I stumbled across the documentary ‘Suzi Q’ on TV back last year and I was amazed how much I didn’t know about the legendary Queen of rock, Suzi Quatro. Of course, I knew the classic songs from the 70s, ‘Devil Gate Drive’, ‘Can the Can’ and ‘48 Crash’, who doesn’t? The image of Quatro in a leather cat suit with a Fender bass that’s bigger than her slung low, is an image that’s ingrained into my mind (as well as many young, and not so young males). I also knew about the rasping voice and that scream that’s instantly recognisable. What I didn’t realise was how revered she is in the music world, with peers such as Debbie Harry, Joan Jett and Alice Cooper clambering over each other to sing her praises. As the Runaways Cherie Currie says, “If people have overlooked her, that’s their fault.”

She has inspired generations of her own gender to pick up an instrument as well as being completely aware of her sexuality and she has used that to her advantage in the best possible way over the years. It’s testament to her talent and determination that she’s still releasing material today and her latest effort ‘The Devil in Me’ hints back to her roots in Detroit, you can hear everything that makes the motor city such a great music town, from the Stooges, the MC5, the blues legend John Lee Hooker as well as the monstrous pop factory Tamla Motown in the twelve tracks that make up the album. While this isn’t as good as Alice Cooper’s own recently released homage to the motor city, ‘Detroit Stories’, there are some fine moments to be heard here.

This is Quatro’s seventeenth studio record and it’s been written and produced by Suzi and her son Richard Tuckey. There are nods to the glory days of the 70s with the title track, starting with some blaring feedback and a crunchy riff and plenty of those trademark screams, it’s a great opener with some fantastic honky tonk piano and harmonicas pushing the song along nicely.  ‘Hey Queenie’ utilises my favourite drum, the cowbell to great effect with a funky feel and a fist pumping chorus to boot.

‘Betty Who?’ Grooves along nicely with more tasteful guitar licks and some soul style backing vocals. Another catchy chorus here with some great bass playing by Quatro. It’s not all great though, ‘You Can’t Dream It’ is a bit throw away with a lacklustre performance and Christmas song ‘My Heart and Soul’ won’t be popping up on one of those NOW That’s the Best Christmas Album in the World….Ever compilations any time soon. Things pick up again for Get Outta Jail with its chain gang vocals adding character to the song. ‘Do Ya Dance’ is another mid paced funky number with loads going on. Things quickly go downhill again; however, ‘Isolation Blues’ is very predictable and not really what we want to hear from Quatro.

‘I Sold My Soul Today’ is an up-tempo rocker that would sound great in a car chase scene in a Hollywood blockbuster, Love’s Gone Bad is another throw away track that doesn’t really go anywhere. ‘In the Dark’ is a sultry number with some nice saxophone playing (I love a sax solo). The album closes with some good old greasy rock ‘n’ roll with ‘Motor City Riders’, this is where Quatro sounds most comfortable, and the best tracks on the album all have this kind of feel. This is more like it!  She can certainly kick out the jams with the best of them. Her chapter in rock ‘n’ roll is a very important one, and we all need to remember how tough it must have been for Suzi to carve out a career for herself back in the 70s. All hail Suzi Q!


Buy ‘The Devil In Me’ Here

Author: Kenny Kendrick



Sea of Snakes are the latest signing to LA based Metal Assault Records and ‘World on Fire’ is their debut EP. The band consist of drummer Jeff Murray (Ex- the Shrine), guitarist Jim McCloskey (Ex – Motorsickle), bassist Mick Coffman and vocalist Tracy Steiger (Ex- Saul of Tarsus). Their aim is to “be loud, be heavy, and do what the fuck we want,”.

They certainly are loud and heavy, with a sound akin to classic Sabbath, Corrosion of Conformity, Down and Alice In Chains they have offered up an impressive debut that left me wanting to hear more. If you’re a fan of the aforementioned bands then you really should check out Sea of Snakes.

The band recorded the EP at the famous Total Access studio where such luminaries as St Vitus, Dio, Guns N Roses and Black Flag have recorded in the past. Studio owner Wyn Davis produced the EP and it has a great, thick, and sludgy sound. The cover art with skulls with snakes coming out of them is a good indication of what Sea of Snakes sound like. Opening track ‘Let the Fire Burn’ has the swagger and chug of Vol 4 era Black Sabbath, a real head banger. The rhythm section of Murray and Coffman really take the lead here with lots of swooshing crash cymbals and tom fills and thumping bass. McCloskey is no slouch in the guitar department either with plenty of wah pedal action. I really hope he was wearing bell bottoms whilst recording this! The accompanying animated video for the track is fantastic, full of snakes and winged demons. Of course!

‘Ride the Line’ is a more up-tempo affair with lyrics about lights in the sky and guns in hand. White Zombie comes to mind here with Steiger barking out the vocals with the rest of the band pounding away to their hearts content. ‘Son of Man’ is next up with more tasteful use of the wah pedal and vocalist Steiger sounds like Scott Weiland in parts here. That’s certainly no bad thing! The ‘take no bullshit’ lyrics fit the track perfectly and there’s more groove-laden drumming from Murray.

‘Fear Behind the Stare’ starts off innocently enough with some clean, almost pretty guitar work from McCloskey before another pulverising riff kicks in. The final track ‘Drink Your Teeth’ has a ‘Facelift’ era Alice In Chains feel to it with its solid backbeat and dream-like guitar tones. The track flows seamlessly into a thrashy crescendo with Steiger screaming like Cobain on ‘Territorial Pissings’

When the EP was finished, I really wanted to hear more and felt like I’d just got started with my Sea of Snakes journey. This is a solid effort from the band and I eagerly await to see what comes next from these guys.

Buy the EP Here

Author: Kenny Kendrick

Ah, the mighty Saxon. The band that turned me into a metal head back in 1986. Up until that point it was all about the top 40 and whatever was on Top of the Pops for me! A friend from school did me a mix tape and lent me his vinyl copy of the compilation ‘Strong Arm Metal’ and I was hooked. It was all about heavy metal for me from that pivotal moment. There was something about early Saxon that I connected with and I’ve (mostly) been a fan ever since. They have been through their ups and downs over the years and a few line up changes, but Saxon have had a resurgence over the last 10 years or so and have released some fantastic albums. 2013’s ‘Sacrifice’ and 2015’s ‘Battering Ram’ is up there with their best work, as is 2018’s ‘Thunderbolt’. Enlisting Andy Sneap (Sabbat/Judas Priest) as producer gave their sound a thunderous edge and pushed Saxon back into the big leagues of metal.

The band had been busier than ever in the live arena until the dreaded virus put paid to any dates that were scheduled. What do you do when you have lots of free time on your hands? Put out an album of covers from the bands and artists that have influenced you of course! That’s exactly what Saxon have done here with some fantastic results. It’s a celebration of the music that makes Saxon the band they are. They have gone down the old school route to record the album at Brockfield House near York, using real drums, and lots of Marshall amps! Frontman Biff Byford along with Jacky Lehmann have produced the album and it benefits from a great mix.

The band have dabbled with covers in the past with a great version of The Sweet’s ‘Set Me Free’ on 1984s ‘Crusader’ album and this foray into the bands influences throws up some tracks I would never have dreamed of a band like Saxon covering. The albums kicks off with a crunchy version of The Rolling Stones ‘Paint it Black’, this was the first release from Inspirations and there’s a cool behind the scenes video to accompany it. Zeppelin’s ‘Immigrant Song’ is up next and Biff shows his vocal prowess here (yes, he handles the high notes in his own inimitable style), the bands groove is relentless behind him, this is a great version. The next track is one of the songs that shouldn’t work but it does somehow! The Beatles ‘Paperback Writer’ sounds great with heavier guitars and the vocal harmonies really work well.

We get back on more familiar ground with Black Sabbath’s ‘Evil Woman’, a real showcase for Tim ‘Nibbs’ Carter who is undoubtedly one of metals most underrated bass players. Next up we have a version of Jimi Hendrix’s classic anthem ‘Stone Free’, the band sound like they are having a blast with this one, you can feel the energy. I don’t think Saxon fans would be very happy if there wasn’t a Motorhead cover on here, of course they deliver with a brilliant version of ‘Bomber’ with drummer Nigel Glockler in full double bass monster mode. A great tribute to their old friends.

A frenetic take on Deep Purple’s ‘Speed King’ again highlights the vocal range of Biff Byford, he screams like a man possessed here and guitarists Paul Quinn and Doug Scarratt play an absolute blinder with some serious shredding. A lesser know Thin Lizzy track gets the Saxon treatment, ‘The Rocker’ is a welcome addition instead of the usual Lizzy covers. Byford surprises again here with his range and really carries the song. A true to the original version of ‘Hold the Line’ by Toto grooves along nicely with Glockler showing he can handle the famous ‘Porcaro Shuffle’ with ease. (Google it kids). AC/DC’s ‘Problem Child’ doesn’t have the raw energy of the original, but it’s a solid effort all the same with Biff doing his best Bon impression. To close the album, we have a version of The Kinks ‘See My Friends’ which is probably the only track that doesn’t transition very well over to the metal titans even though it does chunk up towards the end.

Saxon have done a great job here and the main thing is to remember that it’s a bit of fun to try and lighten up these darkest of days that we have all been experiencing over the last year. Don’t take it too seriously, Saxon certainly haven’t. Crank it up with a beer in hand and sing along, you know the words!


Buy Inspirations Here

Author: Kenny Kendrick


Ricky Warwick is one of those artists that we all know from one of his many guises in the Rock ‘N Roll world. For me, Ricky will always be the growling, tattooed frontman of The Almighty, a band I saw live many times and I was a big fan of their first three albums. They established themselves in the late eighties/early nineties and were very successful. They toured with such luminaries as Motorhead, Megadeth, The Ramones, etc, as well as many headline tours of their own.

After the Almighty ceased to be, Ricky could have easily sat on his laurels but he began a solo career in 2003 with his first solo effort – ‘Tattoos & Alibis’ and has since gone on to release a further seven (eight including this latest album) solo albums. In 2010 Ricky got a call from Thin Lizzy’s Scott Gorham who was putting together a reformed version of the band. Ricky fronted Thin Lizzy in a live setting for a few years and the band wanted to start writing new material. Out of respect for the Thin Lizzy name, they released new material under the Black Star Riders moniker, with their acclaimed debut album ‘All Hell Breaks Loose’. BSR has since released another three albums and are an established band in their own right.

With his latest solo album, Ricky drafted in Keith Nelson (Ex Buckcherry) to produce.

Ricky is a true Rock-n-Roll soul…he’s got incredible stories to tell and a unique way of telling them. It’s been an honour to be asked to partner and contribute to this record.”  (Keith Nelson).

Ricky has brought in his old friend Robert Crane (Black Star Riders) on bass and Xavier Muriel (Ex – Buckcherry) on drums. With top-notch performances all around they have created a strong body of work with some fantastic songwriting. Catchy, short, and to the point, this is a well-rounded collection of songs that will be going around in your mind long after listening.

With guest spots from Joe Elliot (Def Leppard), Andy Taylor (Duran Duran), Luke Morley (Thunder), and Dizzy Reed (Guns N Roses) the album just oozes quality.

The album opens with the title track and it instantly sets the tone for the rest of the album. An anthem about chasing your dreams and losing friends along the journey of life, it’s one of those driving with the top down sing along tunes that everyone can relate to. With Joe Elliot contributing backing vocals it’s a fantastic introduction to the album.

‘You Don’t Love Me’ is straight to the point, a one-sided relationship that isn’t working is the theme, more fantastic performances here with a blinding guitar solo from Thunder’s Luke Morley.

‘I’d Rather Be Hit’ is next up, an up-tempo track with lyrical content around how the world is in such disarray politically. (You’re not wrong there Ricky),  Duran’s Andy Taylor contributes with a guitar solo that has his distinct style all over it.

‘Gunslinger’ is a cover of a Mink Deville track that Ricky has wanted to cover for some time. He does a great job, if you’re not tapping your foot or nodding your head along to this then you’d better check your pulse! Brilliant. ‘Never Corner A Rat’ has an early Therapy? Feel to it, chugging rhythms and pounding drums, and rasping vocals. Another stand out track.

The next song ‘Time Don’t Seem to Matter’ is a revelation. Ricky’s youngest daughter Pepper joins her father on vocals for a deeply personal and moving track. The lyrics around being away from family and the difficulty of being a musician and father are explored here. A real stand out moment and lyrical content that every father will relate to. The version used on the album is a demo. Ricky tried to re-record the song, but he felt that the demo had the best vibe.

We get back on familiar ground with ‘Fighting Heart’ a track about sticking to your guns and not compromising yourself for others. A guitar melody that sticks in your head is the foundation of the song with some powerful drumming from Muriel.

Dizzy Reed adds keyboards to ‘I Don’t Feel at Home’, a mid-paced grower that deals with the horrors of drug addiction and the shame it brings. ‘Still Alive’ kicks off with some great slide guitar from producer Nelson and the song is based around the film ‘Hell or High Water’, another great driving track. ‘Clown of Misery’ is a demo that Ricky sang into his phone and sent to producer Keith Nelson. A very simple melody strummed aimlessly on an acoustic guitar works wonderfully well.

The final track ‘You’re My Rock ‘N Roll’ has an up-tempo, almost Wildhearts feel to it and is a fantastically bombastic end to the album. The 2CD digipak version of the album also has a bonus disc – ‘Stairwell Troubadour’ with Ricky performing cover versions of an eclectic mix of songs such as: ‘Summertime Blues’ (Eddie Cochran), ‘Wrathchild’ (Iron Maiden) a version of ‘Jesus Loves You…But I Don’t’ by his old band The Almighty and erm.. ‘Oops I Did It Again (Britney Spears)! They all work wonderfully well played acoustically.

Ricky Warwick has proved yet again that he’s no one trick pony. A fantastic album from start to finish that sits well with his extensive body of work.

Buy ‘When Life Was Hard & Fast’ –  Here


Author: Kenny Kendrick