Filthy Lucre, Silent Duck and Rat Ta’Mango

Live at Jive, Adelaide SA, Saturday 30th January 2016

The doors opened on Saturday evening at Jive to a hoard of hard rock fans eager to celebrate the release of Filthy Lucre’s debut full-length album Mara. As the venue started to fill, the first tasty band prepared to warm up the crowd for what was to come…

Getting things moving was local Adelaide psych-rock band Rat Ta’Mango. Having seen this band name previously around town, I was intrigued to hear them live and to put a sound to that peculiar name. I was impressed and satisfied by the bluesy tones that echoed throughout Jive and got the early birds moving on the dance floor.

Smack bang in the middle of the night was a quirky, quacky 6-peice band called Silent Duck. Full of unique humor, funky riffs and brassy horns, Silent Duck impressed throughout their forty-minute set. The crowd banter and vocal performance provided by ‘Sexman’ was on fire. I instantly noticed Frank Zappa type influences; the mix of horn section and rock ‘n’ roll music, with spoken vocals splashed here and there was aesthetically pleasing and quite progressive in many respects.

Silent Duck 30-1-2016Silent Duck  showcased their brassy funk-rock tunes.

To round off the night satisfying everyone’s burning desire to hear the tastiest, most blistering and intense riffs of all time, Filthy Lucre took to the stage. Vowing to play every song off the new album, I knew we were in for a treat.

Filthy Lucre is made up of Luke Marsh on guitars, cigars and vocals and Ed Noble on drums and percussion. This band only has two members but manages to create a huge sound; I am surprised and impressed every time, especially when I hear the cigar-box guitar put into action. It is full and in your face, making you stand up and move to the music.

From beginning to end Filthy Lucre brought the big guns, fat, chunky riffs were flying all around Jive. The energy was high on stage and off stage, with many fans in the crowd moshing and jumping around to the music hitting our ears. I’m pretty sure that drummer Ed Noble, was standing up for most of the gig!

All I could think of at the end of the night was how fortunate I am to have experienced such a powerful and memorable performance from Filthy Lucre. I had never seen such excitement and vigor in the local scene, the crowd was giving back the intense energy that they were receiving from the performers. It was a positive night full of sleazy, dirty rock music and Filthy Lucre were the stars.

As the night came to a close, I felt excited because I couldn’t wait to hear Mara, the album I was holding in my hands. I hoped that the sheer, exhilarating live performance of Filthy Lucre would be translated onto the studio record and the thick, fat tones would be captured for all to hear. I guess I will have to listen and find out… for the love of music.

Filthy Lucre 30-1-20156A solid riff-rock performance by Filthy Lucre made Jive go crazy.

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Cherry Grind – ‘A Room With A View’

Released 18th November 2015

With great pleasure I get to experience the long awaited debut album, A Room With A View, from Adelaide rockers Cherry Grind. Possibly one of the most anticipated album releases of 2015, a year that has been full of new music and fresh tunes, it shows that rock ‘n’ roll is not dead. The tasty jams will convince you.

A Room With A View is a classic rock influenced album, with various modern twists, full of catchy hooks, powerful vocal performances and bluesy guitar solos. The album opens with ‘No One Home’ that proves you’re in for a ride as Cherry Grind takes you back in time. Before you know it, ‘Dusty Road’, the first single from the album, blasts onto the scene with fat riffs and groovy madness.

Cherry Grind’s rawness and live appeal has been captured on A Room With A View. The listener only needs to crank the volume and close their eyes to experience the power of Cherry Grind. The album was produced by Bob Daisley, previously of Rainbow, Black Sabbath and Uriah Heep fame (just to name a few), and recorded by Mick Wordley and the band themselves. All parties have done a solid job in achieving the characteristically raw sound and encapsulating the stage presence of the band on the record.

In contrast to the live nature of the album, ‘Sunlight’ stands out as showing a different side to the hard rock band. Keyboard features prominently provided by Sam Patsouris along with intricate harmonies from Patsouris and bassist Peter Cerlienco. Furthermore, Jack Stevenson provides emotionally driven guitar parts. Stevenson’s guitar finesse is on fire throughout the entire album and is definitely worth hearing.

A few classic Cherry Grind numbers that fans have come to know and love are featured on the album like ‘The Gap’ and ‘A Minor Problem’, along with new grooves like ‘The Fool’ and ‘See You Again’. Even from the first listen, I was jumping around to the world-class rock ‘n’ roll, with the scrumptious riffs and beguiling melodies sticking in my head.

Cherry Grind has crafted a killer rock album that will make your feet stamp, hands clap and lips slap, or something like that. They combine all the nostalgic influences of what makes rock music brilliant and popular. Have a listen to A Room With A View for the love of music and you won’t regret it.

The Sword – ‘High Country’

Released 21st August 2015

I recently picked up the fifth studio album, High Country, from Texan rockers The Sword. Right from the first track I knew I was in for a ride as The Sword took me down a fresh, laid-back path less travelled on by this previously heavier metal band. Having said that, there are still epic riffs and fat jams as expected to appease any Sword fan!

The album kicks off with a short introductory piece in the form of ‘Unicorn Farm’. I was immediately intrigued and greeted with a big synthesized sound and a comfortable groove, preparing me for what was to come. ‘Unicorn Farm’ seamlessly transitions into ‘Empty Temples’ where classic Sword vibes are felt by all, there is riffage, John D. Cronise’s characteristic vocal tone and full humbucker guitar heaven brought to you by Kyle Shutt. Before you know it you’re banging your head along to the rocking jams that are gracing the speakers.

High Country continues with many highlights with songs ‘High Country’, ‘Tears Like Diamonds’ and the instrumental ‘Suffer No Fools’. Then we come to ‘Early Snow’, which stood out as showcasing The Sword’s new artistic direction. Ending with melodies complimentary of a horn section, and incorporating signature guitar harmonies throughout, I was dancing around to the sophisticated and punchy horn lines. The funky rock drums provided by Santiago “Jimmy” Vela III filled out the song and created memorable music.

The second half of High Country progresses with fresh tunes such as ‘Silver Petals’. This particular piece of music demonstrates another side to The Sword, emotional, deep and reflective. The use of acoustic guitar, provided by bassist Bryan Richie, is an effective textural touch that effortlessly compliments the overall arrangement.

Before too long the rock ‘n’ roll album that is High Country comes to an end with a catchy, killer number called ‘The Bees of Spring’. Just when you thought The Sword couldn’t serve up anymore big, fat riffs, they hit you with the knockout. With strong southern-rock influences, it is a powerful, commanding end to a lovable album.

Right from that moment, I get up to put the needle back to the start of the first disc, longing to hear more of those classic Sword riffs that fans have come to love. What is beautiful about High Country is that The Sword have shown a softer side to their music, this album is more rock than metal, and it sounds amazing. They have not compromised and are still the same hard rockin’ band they have always been. I recommend having a listen for the love of music and discovering the progressing, matured sound of a mind-blowing band.

The Sword - High Country cover 8-10-2015 The Sword - High Country record 8-10-2015

Cherry Grind

Live at Jetty Bar, Glenelg SA, Saturday 8th August 2015

I was excited to head down to the Jetty Bar last Saturday night to experience a huge evening of music performed by one of my favorite Adelaide bands, Cherry Grind. With a full-length album on the way, they just keep getting better and better. Each time I see them I am taken aback by the old school grooves, sophisticated musicianship and tasty originals.

The night consisted of a mixture of various covers and originals. Cherry Grind are not afraid to let their influences show, they are tremendous at performing classic rock tunes from the 1960s and 1970s, providing truthful recreations for their audience. They then hit the concertgoer with an original, perfectly in keeping with the vintage themes but also refreshing and new.

Cherry Grind is made up of Sam Patsouris on vocals and guitar, Jack Stevenson on lead guitar, Peter Cerlienco provides thumping bass and some vocals, and Zach West holds it all together on drums. These guys have been playing together for a while; it is evident in the chemistry shared between them on stage, both musically and personally, making for a great performance and polished songs.

The first set progressed smoothly with different originals scattered amongst well-known covers. Early in the set a rendition of ‘Walk This Way’ was performed getting everyone warmed up and in the dancing mood. Next up was an original called ‘The Gap’, it displayed the classic rock influences Cherry Grind encompasses so seamlessly into their music. Full of powerful riffs, tasty guitar solos and spanking drums, with funky bass lines underneath, Cherry Grind’s originals are a highlight of the new music available to be discovered in today’s modern world.

Cherry Grind 8-8-2015 01

Cherry Grind put on a show full of hard rock classics and originals.

What I enjoyed most about Cherry Grind is the sophisticated and refined vocal performance of Sam Patsouris. Each time I see the band I am reminded of the sheer power and range of his vocals, making everyone in the venue stand up and take notice. With performances of Led Zeppelin classics, ‘Whole Lotta Love’ and ‘Since I’ve Been Loving You’, Sam’s voice shines, hitting all the notes impeccably and getting the tone and delivery spot on.

As song after song was played, I watched the Jetty Bar fill up. People were mesmerized, not only by the vocals but also by the high-voltage guitar solos of Jack Stevenson. With remarkable guitar runs in covers of ‘Sunshine of Your Love/Crossroads’ and ‘Black Dog’, it was obvious why Cherry Grind can pull such a large crowd.

The set came to a head with the performance of the original ‘A Minor Problem’ to a Jetty Bar full of hard rock fans. The vocals kicked off the song with incredible energy, punching the listener in the face from the very first note. The guitars then entered playing a fat riff, with thumping bass from Peter Cerlienco that was felt all around the room. The entire venue was enthralled in a perfect hard rock ‘n’ roll universe that only Cherry Grind can create with their quality high-energy originals.

It was an evening to remember from beginning to end. Cherry Grind has shaped a juicy world of exciting, raw and memorable hard rock music that is itching to explode in your ears. With talk of a new album soon to be released, Cherry Grind continues to provide good old rockin’ tunes, keeping great classic rock music alive in the process. Get on down to the next Cherry Grind gig and rock out for the love of music, you will not be disappointed.

Cherry Grind 8-8-2015 02

The room was filled by the tasty tunes of Cherry Grind.

Holy Serpent, Filthy Lucre and Jungle City

Live at Worldsend Hotel, Adelaide SA, Friday 10th July 2015

I headed down to the Worldsend Hotel last Friday night for a hard rock experience full of sludgy riffs, hypnotic bass lines and spanking drum solos. Holy Serpent served up some heavy music as part of their Shroom Doom Tour, designed to make you chill out and sway back to forth to the mesmerizing tunes.

Kicking off the evening was Jungle City, a band I had seen a few times before; each time I am reminded of their balls-to-the-wall performance. This time was no exception. Every member of the band was rockin’ out and really feeling the music they were playing. I enjoyed Brenton Wilson’s epic voice and tasty guitar solos, backed effectively by Kaileb Rothwell on fuzzy bass and Luke Wilson on drums.

Next up was Filthy Lucre, a heavy rock duo from Adelaide. When they took to the stage I was getting a beverage, what I thought I heard was four people but I was presently surprised to find two musicians jamming out. Filthy Lucre has mastered a full sound with only two members; the resonances I heard were fat and the riffs were flavorsome. As the set continued, the drum performance from Ed Noble was so ferocious that a cymbal was cracked in the process. I was further impressed by the huge tones emanating from Luke Marsh’s unique cigar-box guitar.

Filthy Lucre 10-7-2015

A heavy and flavorsome set by Filthy Lucre.

To end the evening, Holy Serpent provided a muddy and psychedelic set. All the way from Melbourne, these guys know how to put on a heroic doom rock show. Right from the beginning the riffs were big and in your face, just the way it should be. The tempos just slow enough so you can take in all the mud and distortion. Both guitarists, Scott Penberthy and Nick Donoughue, have crafted vintage guitar tones that generously outline the old school influences of the band.

What stood out for me was a performance of ‘Holy Serpent’, a tune that is featured on their latest self-titled record, Holy Serpent. It made the audience jump around and trip out to the head-banging rhythms and riffs that were being created on stage. The songs were leisurely and dirty, helping everyone get into the groove of a powerful and entrancing show.

This was one night of intense, filthy and psychedelic rock music. It was awesome to hear such low-down, grimy jams that captured the listeners imagination and emanated such power and drive. Check out these bands and cross over into a dooming, enthralling world of heavy rock for the love of music.

Holy Serpent 10-7-2015

Holy Serpent provided doom rock at it’s finest.