If it was down to me buying it, then thereíd probably never be a Paul Rodgers CD review in the zine. Cos Iím just not a fan. The whole blues rock 70s vibe sort of thing. Bored me shitless. Iím the person who thinks Zeppelin were way overrated. But, Iíve got this new CD "Electric" by him, so a review it is. Though itís another of those that cunningly come in a cardboard case with no track titles. Not an auspicious start giving my general reservations.

Ooooh oooo woooah ooo wooooooah yeah. Thereís no other way it could start is there? Deep Blue is my guess at the title, giving the repeating of the phrase Deep Blue throughout the track. The guitar is dishing out an inoffensive blues riff, the sort that well exists. Deep Bllooooooo-ooooh. My baby yeah, deep berlooooooo, I love you.

Next is a more rockíníroll song, at least in that bass line, you know the ones that like walk up and down. Itís called that, a walking bass line. Honest. I can remember from when I was trying to learn the bass. Sounds simple as hell when you hear it, and I could never master the bloody thing. So for this track you could be going back to the 50s and 60s almost for it, wah ooh this time.

The third track brings Thunder to mind. Well it would considering where theyíve formed their career around. Acoustic balladry, Love Will Find A Way. Itís cliche, but it I remove my cynical head for a moment, then itís catchy enough, thereís some female gospel styleeeed vocals in there and yeah, he does have a good voice - itís just how you use it isnít it? It excites some, not others. Thereís one that reminds me of Jethro Tull with the flute going on - yes, I can remember them, so what of it?

Next up is another gentle one, some scrunch the face guitar playing, heartfelt. To be honest, if Faith No More did it, Iíd have probably gone "wooooshdalaboooooshda, this is so cool". But it doesnít really move me. Maybe itís that I can picture the "sincerity" that would be evident on peoples faces as this is played, and I just find that a bit dubious, whereas FNM would not necessarily be taking the piss, but just not seemingly taking it so serious. Itís an illustration that I can still be swayed by my own preconceptions whether I like it or not. Weíve got a wailing guitar one with the piano backing it. All ok, but none of it with the urgency that you kind of want. Itís growing old disgracefully, but in an acceptable manner. I could imagine it on Radio 2.

Yeah, Iím the wrong person to review this really. It doesnít have anything that stands out as being obviously flawed if you like this sort of thing. Thereís melodies, decent production and heís in good voice. But Iíd like a CD to arrive that excites me, something thatís either not stuck in the 80s metal, doom mongery stonerisms or da blues. Something thatís contemporary to me. Something that excites me. Something like that Tence one is going to do to me in a couple of pages time (I know, Iíve already written the review - there was a space left here, so I filled it.)

Available on SPV Records.

Circle Again/ Out For The Count / Diasphere

October 26

Nottingham Bunkers Hill


Chairs should not be allowed at gigs. Not unless I'm sitting on them. They're taking up nearly half the space here, and so you've got some people sat nice and comfy towards the stage, while people are standing at the back. Shouldn't be allowed really now should it? Specially not at a hardcore gig. This is about getting close to the action isn't it?

Oh and pass me the walking stick. How much younger are bands going to get. I mean, it's not me getting old, I know that much. Diasphere are young. And since I saw them a week or so later and the review of that gig is elsewhere in here, Iíll say no more for now and instead let you go and find that one. Once youíve finished reading all this of course.

Out For The Count are next. I'm a bit more sceptical than most, so Steve may have bought the CD before they play, but me, I'm going to wait first. I'd heard they play a Sick Of It All style, and given my undoubted hardcore pedigree (I'm not some long haird metaller hanging on the shirt tails of hardcore for some credibility, oh no, not me. I'm like the short haired metal kids hanging on the shirt tails of hardcore, I loooove it), if it's like SOIA then there's two things. One: it's a good thing, cos I still reckon SOIA are the best HC band around and Two: it's a bad thing cos you ain't going to be as good as SOIA.

But anyway, that's definitely the thought that runs through the mind. And it is damn impressive, though the lugholes could've done with them turning the guitar down between tracks instead of gleefully enjoying the feedback that wailed everytime the guitarist wandered in front of the amp. Not big, not clever. Some of us are old and with dodgy hearing y'know! I did buy the CD at the end, so when I've listend to it I can maybe give you titles, but for now, tough. There are a few songs that really stand out with a total shoutalong anthem style feel to them. There's maybe a bit too much of the HC posturing, that bass playing maybe hardcore, but put the same bass in a different musical style, and it's got completely different overtones. Anyway, I'm off to have a listen to the CD now, but if you like SOIA and get the chance to, then check out Out For The Count.

I love hardcore, I really do. I think it's the unity of the whole scene you know. I mean the togetherness. You never get half the crowd disappering after the local bands have finished and their mates are trooping off home. No, never. It's us versus them to the end. And we'll stand united. Won't we? I mean, Circle Again announce they're from Dublin. They're obviously not the ideal headline band, and it would be better for them to place them in the middle of the set. At least it should guarrantee them a decent audience. They're straight-edge, which I'm increasingly finding a bit of a yawn, but they've got a decent sense of humour and humility about them. And I love the way the vocalist when talking to everyone between songs doesn't bother with the microphone. A nice touch. Musically it's pretty much straight down the line straight edge hardcore. Fast and frentic, but lacking the punch of Out For The Count. Still, I bought a demo at the end, so I'll probably have more to say somewhere sometime.