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BLACK MAMA
Black Mama
Andromeda Relix

Black Mama was introduced to us through Bullfrogs’s Clearwater LP where singer Nicolo Carozzi captured our attention with his fluid guitar playing and distinctive voice. The band hails from Verona, Italy where they formed as a four-piece in 2009. Though they have different musical backgrounds Nicolo Carozzi (guitar, vocals), Gianluca Nordera (lead guitar), Paolo Stellini (bass), Andrea Marchioretti (drums) combine jazz, funk, blues and rock in an effort to capture the classic late ‘60s early ‘70s sound. Their self-title debt features eight tracks where elements of The Allman Brothers Band, ZZ Top and Jimi Hendrix Experience can be heard long with blues masters John Lee Hooker, Muddy Water, and Robert Johnson. Opening track “’41-‘61” touches on an era that deeply effects the direction of the recording as the band rediscover all the colors, shades and texture of rock’s foundation. The song’s driving rhythm and hypnotic guitar riff fuel an authentic Mexican outlaw tale as the raw recording highlights the freedom of an unrestrained jam.

The album was done in a single recording session allowing for the group to open up and play freely. Such unrestricted liberty gives the listener an engaging experience as the group extends on the 12-bar shuffle “Blues Is Blues”. Carozzi’s voice is soulful and deep adding an authentic edge and convincing grit to the song. Title track “Black Mama” moves in ZZ Top territory with a heavy chugging riff, forceful drumbeat and another killer solo jam. You feel the energy in the room as the group find their individual expression and allow the music pour out of their instruments. “Round Midnight” drips with Hendrix sweat while the boogie riffing and bouncing rhythm of “Snake Out Blues” becomes a showcase for bass and guitar calisthenics. The Etta James cover “Tell Papa” (with slightly altered lyrics) becomes a loud, brash piece pulling more of the dirty jazz side from the band. Middle-Eastern elements take “Keepin’ My Style” in a slightly different direction but it’s the emotional ballad “The Slow One” with it’s Joe Cocker vibe, that captures our hearts. The liner notes state: “We have recorded this album with true passion, it’s live without compromise…dirty and authentic. As rock n’ roll should sound.”

Website: Black Mama

RIPPED
III
Independent Release

New Jersey band Ripped return with their third outing packed full of homegrown riffs with tributes to Ace Frehley and Alice Cooper. The lineup remains steady with Steve Keller (guitar/vocals), Brian McGee (guitar), Steve Sroczynski (vocals) and Jack France (bass/vocals). Drum duties were split between Aislinn Sroczynski, Jeff Kelly and Charlie Tappan. A big addition was Gary Tripps on saxophone filling out some added texture reminiscent of late-‘70s Springsteen, Foreigner and UFO. The sax sits nicely on first track “Spirit Of Rock & Roll”, a high-energy pub rocker that flashes back to Mott The Hoople with a little Southside Johnny in the mix. Ripped stick to a straight-ahead delivery, guitars, drums, vocals built around the song. Of the record’s 11 tracks, most follow a close structure, however they shake it up a bit with the tongue-in-cheek “Theme From The Wiseguys Show” and the blazing instrumental “Twilight”.

Plenty of rock fills the grooves like the Ted Nugent-inspired “Life’s Cruel ‘14” and “My Friend Alice ‘14” given a dusting and polish from previous versions. The band writes plenty of originals but do an admirable job on the occasional cover. Two make their way onto Ripped III including Ace Frehley’s “Parasite” with it’s killer solo break and Alice Cooper’s jazzy “Blue Turk”, a deep cut from 1972’s School Out. Both not only resurrect the older tracks, but also give them a modern kick in the ass. A couple heavy pop tunes add variety to the mix with “Monkey See, Monkey Do” dedicated to Popcorn Park, The Associated Humane Society in Forked River, New Jersey and  “Swan” with it’s catchy hook and slick chorus. Personal favorite “Cold Hearted Woman” has a classic blues-rock vibe with just enough metal to bring in the heavy and support the razor-sharp solo. “Rock ‘n’ Roll Anemia” stands strong as the disc’s top track with a punk attitude, plenty of muscle and tattooed conviction.

Website: Ripped

KRÖWNN
Hyborian Age
Independent Release

In going through some of our favorite vinyl of last year, we came across Italian outfit Kröwnn. Instantly we realized it was a review we forgot to post, so forgive our senile minds as we introduce Hyborian Age from the deep recesses of Robert E. Howard’s fantasy world. This doom metal three-piece from Venice, Italy formed in the summer of 2012, with the intention of playing old school doom like Sabbath, Trouble and Saint Vitus. They take their lyrical cues from the fantasy authors Howard, Moorcock, Tolkien and Martin. What caught out attention was the sound bite of opening track “For the Throne of Fire” lifted from Conan The Barbarian (1982) and Schwarzenegger’s classic line, “What is best in life? To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentations of their women” over binding feedback. The riff mows over the rhythm section with unbelievable weight until the two lock horns in a slow, plodding dirge. Michele el Lello Carnielli vocals are as intimidating as his tuned-down guitar deep, dark and dangerous.

The heavy riffage is nonstop as the band forge through “The Woodwose” which can only be described as Alice In Chains-meet-Black Label Society. Bassist Silvia Selvaggia Rossato and drummer Elena Fiorenzano forge a formidable bond that is equally dense and measured. As an impenetrable rhythm section they move like a serpent under the wash of guitar leaving room for Carnielli occasional lead breaks. It’s captivating to hear how they play off each other with disciplined structure. The haunting “At the Cromlech” is a slow, meandering, mind number that chugs along with instinctive phrasing. As the track rounds the bend, the beating of a cowbell comes in enforce the tribal beat. Hailing almighty Priest is “Gods of Magnitogorsk” which plants firmly next to British Steel’s “Rapid Fire” for a ride down the devils highway. The seven-minute instrumental “Stormborn” only fuels the fire as rumbles along to a cascade of feedback. “The Melnibonean” closes the journey with a stoned out, gothic crunch and vocals that conjure the ghost of Type-O-Negative’s Peter Steele.

Website: Kröwnn

SKÅNSKA MORD
Skånska Mord (EP)
Transubstans Records

Fuzzed out psychedelic fun is what we get on Skånska Mord’s new four-song EP. A glorious self-titled platter, it offers a first-listen to what the band’s been up to since 2012’s Paths to Charon. The 45-rpm was recorded at Lemon Recording Studios with engineer Martin Ekelund (Bonafide) and though the length is a bit shorter than what fans would want, with Skånska Mord, it’s the quality of each song that takes top priority. Vocalist Jan Bengtsson (ex-Half Man), one of the strongest voices in Swedish rock history, blends together with the dynamic guitar playing of Petter Englund (ex-Mothercake) and Patrik Berglin (ex-Mothercake). Adding the forceful rhythms of bassist Patric Carlsson (ex-Half Man) and drummer Thomas Jönsson (ex-Mothercake) gives the group a loud mixture of psychedelic blues, solid-riffs and bombastic grooves that celebrate their mutual love of ‘70s hard and heavy rock. Opening track “Illusion” is the perfect example as it jumps out of the speakers with massive guitars and a surging backbeat guaranteed to wake the neighbors.

Plowing headlong into a wall of feedback is “Leaving” which quickly throws a curve with some amplified harmonica. A swampy fever passes through the first couple of verses before a rocked-up instrumental break moves the needle out of the slow burning blues and into Grand Funk territory. “A Room Without A View” was the single released in advance of the EP. Its teardrop guitar and slow, cool build makes room for Bengtsson’s smoldering moan to wrap around the doomy lyrics. With the stormy crash of the chorus, it leaps from the vinyl with an electric jolt. “Black Salad” is the darkest of the tracks hinting of Bulbous Creation or Leaf Hound with harmonized guitars, driving rhythms and a crushing backbeat. Disorderly and whimsical, it soon finds its footing behind a blinder of a funk riff while the rumble of the bass and drum bubble to the surface. The instrumental becomes all too intoxicating with some nice little freakouts along the way. The fantastic cover art is by Janne Schaffer, who often sits in to jam with the band.

Website: Skånska Mord

LUGNET
All The Way
Independent Release

First time we heard Swedish band Lugnet, it was like an electrical shock through the system. They have nailed down a tough, gritty sound reminiscent of classic ‘70s hard rock that rings of Whitesnake, Uriah Heep and Lucifer’s Friend. A supergroup of sorts with ex-Witchcraft drummer Fredrik Jansson and one-time Ken Hensley vocalist Roger Solander (also of Dust) who’s voice drips with charisma, swagger and passion. The guitar-driven attack of Mackan Holten and Bonden Jansson delivers crushing riffs and classic rock melodies that ride steady on the driving bass of Z Zethzon. The name of the band means tranquility (The Calm) in Swedish and is also the name of band’s rehearsal space. But make no mistake, this band is out to kill. Their live set is high energy with each member pushing the other along to a surging tidal wave of amplified heat. In a recent showcase with Swedish rock legends Abramis Brama, Lugnet confirmed their ability to captivate and seduce an audience with dynamic original songs and expert musicianship.

Lugnet have recently released a two-track single All The Way. Its brief but turbocharged set is raw power proving that sometimes two songs are enough; at least enough to convince this listener of the vitality and authenticity of a band with immense potential. Title track “All The Way” is the bastard son of Deep Purple’s “Burn”, aggressive, hook-filled and expertly crafted. The band know their strengths and write around Solander’s voice with a sonic fury of drums, bass and twin-guitar muscle. The official video for the track features famed Grindhouse actress Christina Lindberg in a tribute to Tarantino’s dark humor. Second number, “Fly With Me” is a metallic blues monster with a sweat-soaked riff that occasionally opens to a Cathedral-like organ while the arched vocals pierce the heavens. There is a third track buzzing around the internet called “In The Still Of The Water” which has a bone-crushing groove and lumbering rhythm section. Its use of dynamic riffing makes it an instant headbanger while exalting the best of Coverdale’s electric blues.

Website: Lugnet

FLOOD THE ENGINE
Flood the Engine
Grooveyard Records

We’ve been big supporters of vocalist Jimmy Kunes since meeting him as a member Cactus back in 2005. He’s sent us several projects over the years but his latest, Flood the Engine, really got our attention. In 2007 Kunes and Firehouse guitarist Bill Leverty released a Back Street Crawler song “All the Girls Are Crazy” which became a huge success. They answered the call for more by putting together an all-star line up with bassist Keith Horne (Peter Frampton, Heart, Waylon Jennings) and drummer Andre LaBelle (Vinnie Vincent). The result was the creation of Richmond, Virginia-based Flood the Engine. Their self-titled CD contains 8 tracks of classic rock including the previously “All the Girls Are Crazy” with its infectious groove, full-scale production and wicked riff. Kunes is a vocal talent that breathes new life into ‘70s-inspired rock. His range and delivery are on par with Coverdale, Rodgers and Daltrey. It’s in the framework of Flood the Engine that he has found his perfect vehicle.

The disc is ripe with blues-based hard rock. Songs like “Bootstrap Blues” with its Free-like hook and the swagger of “Lay It All on Me” pay tribute to their roots while still keeping the mood vibrant and exciting. It recalls a time in the late ‘80s where bands like Tangier, Bad English, Damn Yankees (and Firehouse) were all over the airwaves. “Change” could easily be FTE’s hit single. Tipping the hat to Motown’s Aretha Franklin and “Chain of Fools” the band inject a serious dose of testosterone into an R&B rhythm, color it with high volume guitar and make it stick with soulful vocals. Rockers “You’re Not the Only One” and “All Your Trouble” make you wish radio played “new” quality music and filled concert halls with heartfelt talent and honest emotion. A surprise attack is the addition of the Gary Wright cover “Love Is Alive” which fits easily alongside the other tracks both in class and smokin’ delivery. “Open And Undone” closes out the set with five minutes of pounding drums, throbbing bass, powerful voice and slow, grinding guitar. Brilliant!

Website: Flood The Engine, Grooveyard Records

DUST
Tequila Shiver
Grooveyard Records

Galloping out of the snowy tundra of Sweden comes Dust waving the flag of classic hard rock with eleven songs from their debut CD Tequila Shiver. Taking their inspiration from Rainbow, Blackfoot, Uriah Heep and Led Zeppelin, the experienced four-piece pull from their individual strength to create one dynamic whole. Vocalist Roger Solander (Ken Hensly, Lugnet) joins guitarist Johan Niskanen, drummer Örjan ‘Dr Rock’ Englin and bassist Bernt Ek in a celebration of a timeless era when thunderous rock rules the airwaves. Title track “Tequila Shiver” finds its roots in AC/DC-meets-Zeppelin with a fat staccato riff that could have sat anywhere on the brown bomber. Solander’s vocals are perfect for capturing the essence of ‘70s blues-rock and sits comfortably leading the pack. As the drum and bass fuse together in tandem rhythm, it’s clear the boys are on the prowl. “Black Dressed Woman” is the power-chord mating call with a pulsating beat and lyrical tale that would rival the mighty Coverdale.

Striking an intriguing pose is the band’s self-penned ode to themselves in the foot-stompin’ “Dust”.  “She’s got my brain rollin’ in dust / Yeah, she’s a mind breaker / like a voodoo woman.” The catchy chorus is just the ticket to get the crowds punching the air and shouting the words immortalizing the band and the song. Songs like “Bad Boy”, “Stranger” and “Lies I Tell” are guitar riddle masterpieces. Having established their craft in tribute bands (Brainbow, Fan Heller), the bulwark of songcraft and attitude is showcase in their original compositions. Personal favorites “Keltic Wheel” and Van Halen-inspired instrumental “Mojo” rise like a phoenix with lambasting drums and roaring guitar. The six-minute epic “Changing Colours” is the record’s crowning achievement. Its slow melodic build explodes into a huge blues groove reminiscent of Deep Purple with Solander’s soulful vocals bring up the chills. “Losing My Mind” and “All Night Long” have shades of early Whitesnake, rough and ready with plenty of bump and grind.

Website: Dust, Grooveyard Records

GLI AVVOLTOI
Amagama
Go Down Records

Italian garage rockers Gli Avvoltoi (The Vultures) play an inspired version of late-sixties/early seventies seminal rock and roll. Their passionate compositions and versatile musicality easily weave their way into the fabric of your soul. Elements of Fleetwood Mac, Question Mark & the Mysterians and The 13th Floor Elevator are the architects to Gli Avvoltoi base sound. First track “Storia Di Una Notte” puts it all together using an aggressive riff over 60s-inspired keyboards and an acid guitar fuzz for immediate impact. The song is an excellent piece of writing, paying tribute to the past while sonically balanced with a modern edge. The running order has a tasteful stability moving from the playful, almost carnival like “Solo Un Nome” with its staccato beat to the six-minute Beatle-esque “Quando Sarai Tu” where a beautiful melody graceful moves through a landscape of texture and color. Since forming in 1986 and through numerous lineup changes, the band have held fast to their distinct and original process of making music.

Along with vocalist Moreno Spirogi, frontman of the group, we find Nicola Bagnoli at the piano and organ with Dome La Muerte on guitar. Bassist Michele Rizzoli and drummer Marco “Ciccio” Gualandra create the rhythmic center. Together they celebrate a range of emotions and musical escapades. Of their six LPs, Amagama may be their most diversified yet. “Eh Eh Ah Ah” captures the listener is its twangy western approach and chugging pace while “Come Puoi” has an acoustic picking, folk-like atmosphere reminiscent of mid-seventies Fleetwood Mac. The pulse-driving, heavy rocker “Isabel” is a stunner with frantic keyboard, blaring guitar and hip-shaking swagger. The perfect 3-minute song encapsulates the very best of the band’s unison of harmony and exploration. Both “Uomini Fantastici” and “Federica” stick closely to the cosmic vibe of the late sixties while “Un Figlio Dei Fiori Non Pensa Al Domani” closes out the record with laid-back pop sing-a-long. Fantastic!

Website: Gli Avvoltoi, Go Down Records

THREE EYES LEFT
Asmodeus
Go Down Records

Three Eyes Left are a heavy psych doom band from Bologna, Italy. Asmodeus is their sophomore platter with Go Down records and puts together a set of eight extended songs that summarize the group’s multiple influences. Harnessing a range of emotions from anger to chaos, the three-piece build a wall of feedback that’s pure stoned-out heavy rock. All eight of the album’s tracks worship at the altar of Black Sabbath starting with “Beyond the Mountain”, a plodding retro monster tuned down to its primal depths. Sung in English, the lyrics echo universal cosmic despair merging the insanity of Ozzy and the darkness of Peter Steele (Typo O Negative). The pace picks up with “Lucifer Brightest in the Sky”, a ten-minute sludge fest that doles out weighty riffs over a thundering rhythm section. The death metal vocals transition to a clean baritone while the guitars attempt to harness the reverberating chaos. The song’s length allows the band to full explore a sonic landscape from low and slow to grinding mayhem.

“Into the Red Light of Sabbath” is a masterful salute to doom with over 12-minute of sludgy, dirty metal. For a three-piece the band deliver both intense and fully concepted drudgery while still making room for Andrea’s bass and Ste’s drums to create a melodic refrain midway through the massive number. Maic vocals are a dedicated tribute to Ozzy while his guitar chugs out riff after riff of Iommi-inspired density. Elsewhere on the disc “Sign of the Pentagram” and “Psychonauta” pick up pace with a groove that’s saturated in a loose ‘70s swagger. The time change breaks up the plodding nature of the beast and injects an energetic, rhythmic pulse. Feedback dominates “Black Rites of the Witch Mother” with plenty of wha wha fuzz to keep it warm and wooly while “Trident” uses the drums and cymbals to thunderous effect then slows to a mammoth crawl. Closing the record is the trance-inducing “The Sun”. Bright and powerful it hits hard and heavy with a sound similar to San Francisco-based Orchid. The Asmodeus album art is stunning, so get your hands on the vinyl in black, orange or green.

Website: Go Down Records

MIKE ONESKO’S GUITAR ARMY
In The Name of Rock n’ Roll
Grooveyard Records

Mike Onesko is one of those rare, unsung heroes of rock and roll. Guitarist (and producer) of the Blindside Blues Band, he has stacked up an impressive array of 24 records and compilations. In The Name of Rock n’ Roll features 10 tracks of axe-grinding, guitar-fueled heavy rock straight out of the ‘70s songbook. With influences that range from Pat Travers, Ted Nugent and Leslie West, Mike Onesko’s Guitar Army is a galeforce of meaty riffs and pounding rhythms. Recruiting bassist Mark Kingen and drummer John Warmouth (Steelwind), Onesko has revitalized the classic blues-rock power trio. Opening track “The Destroyer” takes a sound bite from a Saturday matinee ‘creature feature’ to lead a furious run at speed metal. Racer X singer Jeff Martin lends his voice while guest guitarist Bruce Bouillet (Racer X, The Scream) shreds away like a six-string madman. Still boiling with volcanic energy, the band later continue to harness the same frantic display as they erupt into “Speed Freak”.

Balancing out guitar wizardry with tons of tone and amplified heat, the trio lock into a groove with title track “In The Name of Rock N’ Roll”. The throbbing drumbeat collides with a Judas Priest-like chord progression building into a hook chorus. Onesko holds nothing back as he growls out the lyrics over a barrage of guitars. “Sacred Sun”, “Keep the Flame Alive” and “Nothing Can Hold Me Down” are almost tribal in the delivery. Stirring up dust and dirt with a rawness found only in those willing to sweat it out for their musical addiction gives the tracks true authenticity. A few big names lend a lick or two throughout the disc. Dirty Dave Osti, Martin J. Andersen, Janne Stark, Jay Jesse Johnson and Craig Erickson are just some of the heavy hitters. Personal favorites are “Warzone (Dogs of Doom)” with its turbo-charged nod the Deep Purple and the incredibly melodic “Child of the Sky” dedicated to the late great Ronnie Montrose. Also worth checking out is the band’s cover of Zeppelin’s “Good Times Bad Times”. A monster classic!

Website: Mike Onesko, Grooveyard Records

BLINDSTONE
Live In Denmark
Grooveyard Records

Danish band Blindstone have been paying homage to Jimi Hendrix since they first started jamming together back in 2003. Five albums later, they now release Live in Denmark, a collection of their favorite tracks played live and a permanent testament to their passion and spirit. The recording, captured at the Plantagehuset (night club) Thisted, Denmark, bursts to life with excitement and energy. Led by guitarist Martin J. Andersen with bassist Jesper Bunk and drummer Anders Hvidtfeldt, the trio dig deep into the modern archives of electric blues. Scorching versions of Hendrix classics “Stone Free” and “Are You Experienced” thrill fans of guitar rock. Andersen is a master craftsmen scaling the frets with expert precision. His whiskey baritone gives the songs an added validity as the rhythm section hammers away like a locomotive. The band slay the crowd with the Mahogany Rush cover “Land of 1000 Nights” and Journey’s ball-breaking deep cut “Karma” (Next, 1977). Older originals “Temple Trippin” and “Freedom’s Calling” sit nicely alongside newer songs “Rock Your Mojo” and “Struck down by the Blues”. Of course the pièce de résistance is the nine and a half minute “Gm1 Jam” (found on the band’s Rare Tracks CD). A fusion and musical color and rhythmic texture, the track dances with raw feedback, emotional tenderness and amplified aggression. Stunning!

Website: Blindstone, Grooveyard Records

MARTIN J. ANDERSEN
Six String Renegade
Grooveyard Records

Taking time off from his day gig as guitarist with Danish blue rock trio Blindstone, Martin J. Andersen plugs in with his first ever solo record. Six String Renegade sees the 40-year old riffmaster extraordinaire playing guitar, bass and keyboards assisted by Meridian drummer Klaus Agerbo. From the cascading notes of “The Fire Burns Within” to the swagger of “Dirty Little Angel” and the groove of “Funky State of Mind”, Andersen focuses on having fun. You can hear it in his playing as he literally flies across the frets with visceral pleasure. A true, legitimate guitar hero, Andersen balances his tone and feeling with mood and vibe. Title track “Six String Renegade” is a blaze with distorted notes and heart-pounding action. Andersen’s vocal prowess is honest and made for rock ‘n’ roll - telling a lyrical story with punch and passion. Balancing groove and wah wah “Never Ending Climb” shines as one of his best compositions. Laying down plenty of heavy function with skillful playing, the track smokes with chugging drive.

Some of the truly enjoyable moments of the CD are Andersen’s interpretation of Frank Marino’s “Strange Dreams” (Juggernaut, 1982) and Johnny Winters “Stranger” (John Dawson Winter III, 1974). The guitarist pays tribute with reverence and respect, finding the soul of the song and creating his own beautiful signature. His attention to detail includes a musical flashback that keeps the songs firmly rooted in their era without being overshadowed by modern polish. A surprise attack was the reworking of Iron Maiden’s “The Trooper”. Layered guitars, thunderous bass and drum and the six-string vocal treatment is a hair-raiser. This one called for a steady set of repeats, each time getting louder and louder. “Freak Flag Flying” is a nod to the late sixties with plenty of Hendrix-stylings while the ten-minute opus “Anthem for Humanity” brought in several guest guitarists (including Soren Andersen, Torben Enevoldsen and Michael Denner) for cosmic romp through one of Andersen’s more complex compositions. Take time to appreciate the disc’s incredible art work courtesy of Nyxian Drift.

Website: Martin J. Andersen, Grooveyard Records

FOUR STICKS
Electric Celebration
Grooveyard Records

Named after the infamous Led Zeppelin track from Zeppelin IV, Four Sticks are a Swedish super group that feature the incredible, soul-powered voice of Stefan Berggen (Company of Snakes, Razorbacks, Snakes in Paradise). Berggen is joined by guitarist Henrik Bergqvist (The Poodles), bassist Tomas Thorberg (Plankton, Michael Schenker) and drummer Sebastian Sippola (Grand Magus, Fortune), all stellar musicians in their own right. Back in 1996 they came together to record a blues-based, hard rock LP that was limited to a small, limited pressing. Over time, and through word-of-mouth, they found themselves gaining a fan-base on the Internet. Joe Romagnola, president of Grooveyard Records, was impressed by their debut lost treasure and negotiated a re-issue of Electric Celebration. The rare, genuine masterpiece is an ode to classic ‘70s rock complete with dynamic guitar, rumbling bass and powerhouse drumming.

Hard-driving tracks “Under My Thumb”, “Hallelujah” and the bass-heavy “Music Revolution” are packed up front capturing the attention of the listener and setting the pace for the record. Perfectly placed ‘live’ track “Wondercolourblue” moves closer to power pop while still maintaining an aggressive punch. Noticeable is the band’s ability to gel in complete synchrony. They accentuate the melody while leaving room for each other to move about with in the song structure. Slow builders “Intertwined” and “Broken Glass” start off at a leisure pace then escalate into a dynamic crescendo echoing bands like Whitesnake, Badlands and Kings X. Title track “Electric Celebration” is more exploratory merging a pop sense into a rock format. Standout track “Strange Dreams” is a killer blues number while “Just Got Back” begs for a Tawny Kitaen video. Mellower tracks “Reason to Live” and “Like a Flower” showcase Berggen’s incredible range and passionate delivery. As an added bonus Berggen dug up the acoustic-based “World Is Calling” just for this release.

Website: Four Sticks, Grooveyard Records