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.

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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