Tag Archives: sleaze

Marco Mendoza & Bad Actress Rock Real Time Live!

A true legend of the classic rock scene after playing with the likes of Whitesnake, Thin Lizzy, Journey and many more, Marco Mendoza returned to his solo project earlier this year, bringing out an album and announcing an extensive tour. Taking along the phenomenal Bad Actress along with him on the UK leg of the tour, it was set to be a fantastic couple of weeks! We managed to head along to Chesterfield’s legendary Real Time Live last night to catch the show in person and chat to both bands. Check out what we thought below!

After a slightly late start, Bad Actress take to the stage to much fan-fair. And, to put it simply, they tear the stage a new one. I’ve not seen a band so young have such stage presence, attitude and energy for a long time. In fact, scratch that. I haven’t seen a band of ANY age have this much of those qualities in a long time. The band tour that stage up from the moment they got on it to the moment they left. That sort of performance seems reserved for just a few medium sized bands nowadays, so to see it in such an intimate venue from a younger band is fantastic.

They ripped through a full set of their own glam/sleaze tracks, that a lot of the audience seemed to know and enjoy. Every member of the band shone, from the tight rhythm section to Vinnie’s amazing vocals to the frankly insane leads from Chick. All of their talent blends well into their combined songwriting, too. Tracks like ‘Outta My Head’ and ‘High-Speed Heartbreak’ are firm fan favourites and sound if anything better live than they do on track. These guys are gonna be MASSIVE in the very near future, and I can’t wait to see them play to packed out, huge crowds.

When asked about what being on the tour with Marco was like, Chick and Lui had this to say:

It’s been really good actually. He’s a really supportive guy. This is his second time taking us out. We’ve got him in the van actually for this tour! We just brought ourselves a new van back in July and kitted it out with like seats and a table. It’s got nine seats so we’ve got all of his three in too. It’s all good craic getting to know each other! We had to come over from Swansea this morning; it was a long drive but it was good fun!‘.

Then the main man himself took to the stage. The anticipation in the air was palpable, and as soon as Marco Mendoza and his band ripped into the first few notes of the lead single of New Direction, ‘Take it to the Limit’, everyone cut loose. From the crowd singing along and dancing to the band’s high energy, the whole room kept the buzz high.

From there, Marco and co ripped through his back catalogue, playing the very best of his solo stuff, alongside a few cheeky highlights from his time in Thin Lizzy and other covers. Whether it was Thin Lizzy, Stevie Wonder or even Plastic Ono, all were fantastic. Heck, bringing Vinnie and Chick out at the end to jam ‘Boys are Back in Town’ with them was amazing, and went down a storm. However, his own material arguably went down even better. Tracks like ‘New Direction’, ‘Sue is on the Run’ and ‘Sweetest Emotion’ were clear crowd favourites, even more so than some of the Lizzy classics.

Check out our previous interview with Marco here.

Much like Bad Actress, each of the three members got to show off their incredible talents for their instruments, too. Honestly, this felt like a set for the musicians in the audience. Between the extended instrumental parts in a few songs, drum and bass solos and even some beatboxing/scatting from Marco, there was plenty to love even when there were no vocals at play.

When talking about his recent approach to touring, Marco had some very candid words to say:

We’re out there making a difference. What’s going on now with the state of mind of the fans and the music industry alike, worldwide, is that people are very apprehensive, very concerned. They really think about it twice, buying that ticket, going out to that show or supporting that venue. I’m here as a little reminder to say that if we don’t make a difference, it’ll all go. We’ve seen it, the past year or two, some of my favourite venues here and in LA and New York and everywhere, they’re disappearing.

So, something to think about folks; please make an effort to show up when your local bands are playing, national or international, and support the local venues. Without them, there’s no place to play! Whenever you can, make a difference‘.

And check out our review of New Direction here.

So, as I’m sure you can tell, it was one hell of a gig. Both bands are on a roll currently, both live and on track. They still have plenty of stops left on the tour, too, so if you can make it down to any to them I would very much urge you to do so. You won’t be disappointed!

New Music Mondays: Alter Bridge, Red Hot Chili Peppers and More!

Another big week for rock music, from metalcore to sleaze. Check it all out down below!

Alter Bridge: Pawns & Kings

We’ve already reviewed this very good album. Check it out, alongside the score we gave it, here.

Red Hot Chili Peppers: Return of the Dream Canteen

This fucking thing is 17 tracks and 75 minutes long. Why is it so SLOW. I used to be a HUGE fan of this band in my youth, from Mother’s Milk to I’m With You all being amazing. However, these last three albums now have not been good. Of those albums, the only track that really feels like the RHCP I grew up loving is ‘Dark Necessities’, and it’s a good few years old at this point.

I reviewed their last album earlier this year when it was release and didn’t score it too high, giving it a lowly 3.5/10 (you can read it here). I don’t even think this one gets that high. There was nothing on here that I remember as soon as I stopped listening to it, nothing about it was at all memorable. Just a collection of almost easy-listening tracks, with the odd good bassline or guitar work. Kedis’ lyrics were all over the place again and there was barely a vocal hook in sight. If it wasn’t for Overtone, I wouldn’t be checking this album out, which is a real shame. The band have slipped so far and even with Frusciante back, they cannot capture the magic they once had. 3/10

Lorna Shore: Pain Remains

Max: So, the deathcore greats are back with a new album and the first full length release since Will Ramos joined the band. This album really proves that they are the new faces of this entire genre. From the painful beauty of ‘Pain Remains I’, to the intensity of ‘In To The Earth’ and ‘Sun//Eater’, this album is genuinely amazing and is a game changing album for the genre. There is so much that makes this album stand about, from the aggressive precision of the drumming, the breakdowns and the solo’s all the way to Will’s vocals going from the ultra-low all the way to the pain filled yells in the bridge of ‘Pain Remains I’.

This band is phenomenal in so many ways. I may be biased to some level since this is one of my favourite bands and I have been looking forward to this album for quite a while and I did see them only a couple of weeks ago when they were on tour with While She Sleeps and Parkway Drive. However, I do believe that everyone should listen to this album and experience the beauty for themselves so they can understand why everyone is so enamoured by this band. Whether there is bias here or not I think this is one of the best albums in this genre, so it really does deserve the 10/10 rating. Now, hurry up and go listen to this album.

Skid Row: The Gang’s All Here

I’ve seen a lot of people gushing over this album already, it being their first in a while and with new singer, Erik Gronwall of H.E.A.T fame. Personally, I wouldn’t go as far as a lot have, but it’s not a bad album!

I somehow didn’t have time to check out the singles before this, but I actually thought the lead single ‘The Gang’s All Here’ was the weakest track on the album. Between that and the equally weak opening track, I was worried about this album to begin with, and thought I was missing what everyone else heard. However, ‘Not Dead Yet’ then began a fantastic run of tracks. In fact, with the exception of the average ‘Nowhere Fast’, the rest of the album is pretty great. Even the slower ‘October’s Song’ was good, Erik channelling his best Bach energy here. I’d put ‘Tear it Down’ and tracks 3-5 up there with some of the very best Skid Row songs, period. 8.5/10

We Came as Romans: Darkbloom

We Came as Romans obviously didn’t get the memo. Metalcore in 2022 is supposed to try and sound like Deep Blue, not Sempiternal. Then again, WCAR push it even further than BMTH ever have with their Linkin Park inspiration here. However, all jokes aside, this was a pretty decent album.

It feels like just about every metalcore band of my teens came out of the woodwork with a new album within the last year. As a result, I feel rather metalcore-d out. But, this felt just different and interesting enough to hold my attention, at least for most of it. Tracks like the opener and the brutal ‘Daggers’ are personal highlights, but the first 2/3rds of the album are definitely worth a listen. I have to admit, I got a tad bored after that. Definitely a good album, though, and the most I’ve enjoyed the band in a while. I must get back into these! 7.5/10

Sleeping with Sirens: Complete Collapse

This was heavier than I expected it to be at times. It was also… fine. The heavier tracks and parts were okay, and the poppier sections and tracks were okay. But nothing at all about this made me want to listen again. Even the guests (including two I’m a big fan of in Dorothy and Spencer Chamberlain) couldn’t really save the album or tracks they were on. Heck, ‘Us’ is a terrible track, with Dorothy very much feeling like she was phoning it in.

I remember not being into this band when they were first getting big a decade ago (mainly because of Quinn’s grating clean vocals), and this did little to nothing to change my mind. It was okay, but absolutely nothing to write home about. 5/10

Nothing More: SPIRITS

The vast majority of their descriptions say that Nothing More are a rock band. I got far more metal vibes from the band’s sixth album, from the heavy riffs, dark lyrics and a good few harsh, screamed vocals. Honestly, it all worked perfectly, and this was an awesome album. Right from the opener the band come across as pissed off and ready to take names (pun intended). It’s great fun and a real infectious level of energy. The vocals also reminded me of My Chemical Romance at times with the level of expression and cadence, which is never a bad thing.

I honestly can’t pick fault with a single track on this album. It reminds me of Coldrain and Palisades’ albums this year too: two bands that I knew of but hadn’t checked out really before but put out insanely good albums that are right up my alley, sound-wise. I NEED to check out more of their back catalogue, ASAP. 9/10

Boston Manor: Datura

Another album that surprised me with its heaviness, Boston Manor channelled their inner BMTH with their short fourth album. Emo pop is definitely the best way to describe it, as it feels like a dark blend of modern metal and indie. There are some good riffs and melodies in here, but ultimately it isn’t especially my sort of music. It’d be fantastic to see live I feel, but on track it felt a little more like background music. I’d not skip it if it came on, but I won’t go out of my way to listen to it again. 5/10

New Direction: Marco Mendoza’s Crowning Album?

Thin Lizzy/Black Star Riders/Dead Daisies alumni Marco Mendoza has been a busy man throughout his career, as you can tell. But aside for the number of incredible bands and artists he’s worked with, he’s also had a fantastic solo career. New Direction is to be his fourth solo album, released on the 16th of this month. We managed to get our hands on it a little early to see what we think. I can’t wait for this one!

The original album title and lead single, ‘Take it to the Limit’, is up first. An air raid siren sets up a great sleezy riff, harkening back to the 80s immediately with its sound. The riff opens out a little in the verse, the instrumentation taking a more blusey approach. Marco’s voice sounds better than ever, too, a real testament to his commitment to music. The chorus is of course catchy and massive, the backing vocals and big instrumentation filling it all out perfectly. We get another great blues riff for the bridge, the vocals behind reminding me so much of ‘Love in an Elevator’. And of course, we get a fantastic, technical guitar solo. It wouldn’t be hard rock without one! What a track to open with. I loved it and it’s already been on our playlist for a while now.

Check out our latest interview with Marco Mendoza here.

‘Just Can’t Get Over You’ opens on another blues-inspired riff, giving off LA Guns vibes. It drops down a bit for the verse, being muted and bouncy and a lot of fun with the vocals over the top. The track builds perfectly through an uplifting pre into another huge, catchy chorus. It’s a little more basically layered than the previous track but the vocals are so great it still sticks in your head. We get another fantastic guitar solo too, one that fits the vibe of the song to a T. The final chorus, complete with more lead guitar behind to make it even more epic, ends things on a bang.

‘Light it Up’ opens on steady drums and bass, Marco’s vocals coming in over the top and sounding fantastic. It again builds up as the guitars come in quietly before it all explodes for the choruses. It’s giving off Def Leppard vibes to me, which certainly isn’t a bad thing. The guitars are maybe even catchier than the vocals this time around, too. The guitar solo is off the charts in this track, easily being the highlight one of the album. Also, it dropping back down to just drum and bass for another verse after and building up massively for the final chorus was great. Another playlisted track!

Next, it’s time for a slower one. A slower, cleaner riff plays behind Marco Mendoza ‘s softer vocals. I can hear a lot of The Police, but again it sounds like it inspired it over a cheap copy that some bands do these days. The chorus is absolutely phenomenal, too. It’s one of the biggest stadium-filling choruses I’ve heard this year, and it truly does deserve to be played in front of that many people. Everything about this track is fantastic and I implore you to stop reading this right now and go check it out. You won’t be disappointed!

The next single, ‘Shoot For the Stars’, picks back up the pace a little. The simple riff and vocal combo always works great and here is no exception. It’s still not as quick as the previous tracks but it’s a good soft rock track, nearly a ballad in its own right. It is filled with catchy vocal parts and harmonies, as well as some great lead guitar work. It’s one hell of a choice for a single, everything about it is great!

‘All that I’m Living For’ has a fantastic riff running through it. It’s heavy but definitely an ear-worm too. The low vocals sound great over the top. We even get a key change hidden in the middle which sounded awesome. It leads to yet another huge, great chorus. I can hear in this track where Marco’s influence on Dead Daisies went, this is very much like the last album of theirs he was on. It’s another good track, with Marco channelling his inner Stephen Tyler in the bridge again being a particular highlight.

‘Free Ride’ was a fun 80s throwback track. From the spoken word at the start to the hard rock/sleezy riff, this screamed MTV. Having said, I also thought it could be ripped straight out of Reckless Love’s discography. Both are similar sounds though, and all sound great. In all fairness, so do the following couple of tracks, ‘Can’t Explain It’ and ‘Scream and Shout’. Both are more hard rock than sleaze, but are great, fun tracks too.

Then we reach the final track and the albums title song. Opening on the infectiously catchy chorus vocals and some huge chords, it’s definitely memorable. The track itself stays pretty steady-paced, again coming across as a bit of a hard rock ballad. Given the poignant subject matter of the song, it lends itself well to the sound. Looking for a new direction after the last couple of years definitely resonates with a lot of people, including myself. The chorus is MASSIVE and another stadium-filling highlight of the album. It’s an epic, fantastic way to close an amazing album.

Overall: As I said just, this is amazing. It’s the best solo album Marco Mendoza has done, in this humble writers opinion. There isn’t a bad track on the album and each one has a unique sound, energy and feel. I enjoyed listening to it from start to finish and it kept me interested, something few newer albums seem to do these days. I can’t wait to hear it live and I’mma be listening to this a lot over the next few weeks!

The Score: 8.5/10

Did you enjoy our review? Check out more from our Instagram here.

Reckless Love: ‘We’ve all had more time to dig deeper into our influences to actually create something new!’

Part four of our Call of the Wild 2022 interviews sees us talking to the headliners Reckless Love! Check out as we talk about their latest album, their plans for touring and their sabbatical!

What’s it like to finally be playing the festival?

Yeah, I mean it’s the first festival of the season and our first show in the UK for I don’t know how many years. At least four years. It’s the first time we’ve flown abroad since 2020. So super special!

You’ve just put out a new album, it seems to have gone down pretty well?

Yeah, the feedback has been amazing. Following the streaming numbers it’s been the best streaming by far from any of our albums.

It’s been 6 years since the the last album. We toured for two, two and a half years after the last album, InVader, which came out in 2016. After that we decided to have a sabbatical for a year, year and a half, because we had been touring for like eight years in a row. So we took the time to step back and get some fresh inspiration.

Then of course we booked a huge tour for 2020 that was supposed to be the ten year anniversary of the first album. We all know how it ended up. So it ended up being six years away from the studio. We never wanted the break to be that long but sometimes it goes like this. It can be really frustrating, and it was at times, but we’re really happy that we made it back.

Has the tour been pushed back then?

Yeah, we just skipped the whole anniversary thing and it’s now called the Turborider tour. We’ve got the new album out, why not celebrate it!

We’re back over here in late August and we’re starting the European tour from here. We’re going for like 5 weeks and we plan on just playing and touring all year.

Check out our last interview with Archy and the Astronauts here.

What would you say the music scene is like at the minute?

We’ve actually only done five shows in Finland before this one. It’s quite literally a fresh start for us.

When it comes to the music scene, the creative break that everyone was forced to take was actually really good for the business. The actual business side of things is in a sad state, so many sound engineers and backliners and technicians have gone out of business. So many bands have quit. But then again we’ve all had more time to dig deeper into our influences to actually create something new. Get inspired in new ways.

We’ve seen in these few shows that people are so enthusiastic coming out to these shows. They’re craving for it. At first it feels like people are a bit afraid, looking around like ‘there are so many people in this room, can we actually be here?’. Then after three songs they’re like this is fucking good!

Is there anything we can expect for tonights show and for the tour?

Of course we’re going to do some old ‘classics’. We’re never going to forget the parts which got us here. But yeah, we’ve got some new stuff on the live set and some new drum sounds and some cool stuff that we purchased for the new album. And so the old songs sound fresh as well. It’s like a hybrid of the synthwave style. A turbocharged Reckless Love gig!

Did you enjoy the interview? Keep up to date on all of our content from our Facebook page here.