Artists & Bands Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Black Rainbows “Hawkdope”

Black Rainbows is a Fuzz Rock band that makes its home in Rome, Italy. The band is composed of Gabriele Fiori on Vocals / Guitars / Keyboards, Dario Iocca on Bass and Alberto Croce on Drums. Together, the trio creates some of the most psychedelic, hardest-hitting and coolest music out there today. If you are a fan of bands like Black Sabbath, Monster Magnet or even Hawkwind, Black Rainbows is a band you need to check out. After releasing the Holy Moon, Supermothafuzzalicious!!  and Twilight in the Desert albums, as well as being included on a couple of split releases with other bands of high quality Hard Rock, Black Rainbows returns with their latest album, 2015’s release entitled Hawkdope.

Hawkdope from Black Rainbows begins with the track “The Prophet”. The hard-hitting track features some strong guitar playing from Gabriele Fiori while the drums from Alberto Croce and bass from Dario Iocca help add to the energy of the track. The addition of electronics and other production to the background also add a bit of psychedelic feeling to the song. The combination of all of the elements creates a track that feels slightly aged yet surprisingly fresh at the same time. While “The Prophet” has plenty of energy, with the track “Wolf Eyes,” Black Rainbows takes their music in a stronger direction. The first thing you’ll notice with this track is the use of the fuzz guitar. The sound of that guitar adds a difference to the music and seems to add a lot of body to the song. The lyrics about staying aware of what is around you in case you end up being tracked end up good pieces of advice for anyone.

Perhaps the main piece on Hawkdope from Black Rainbows is the title track of the album. “Hawkdope” is the type of track that would have been right at home on FM radio once the DJs started playing the longer, more underground tracks from people like Iron Butterfly who were more interested in pushing the boundaries of the music than they were with fitting on the more commercial radio formats. Black Rainbows creates a track with “Hawkdope” that is very expansive as the band plays extended instrumental breaks and just allows the music to speak for itself. Like with the earlier track of “The Prophet,” the inclusion of the effects in the background of the track adds a bit of psychedelic feeling to the track.

The band changes directions slightly with the track “Hypnotize My Soul with Rock ‘N’ Roll”. The track finds the members of Black Rainbows being influenced by earlier bands Cream and other early rock bands. The music on the track features a strong Blues influence to it while still containing plenty of Black Rainbows’ style and sound. The changing of the tempo throughout the track keeps the song interesting. The solid Rock ‘n’ Roll feel of the track makes “Hypnotize My Soul with Rock ‘N’ Roll” a song that would fit in with other songs of the Classic Rock era of the genre.

Once “Hypnotize My Soul with Rock ‘N’ Roll” comes to an end, the band changes directions on the next track of “Waiting for the Sun,” as well. The track begins with only bass, some keyboards and some light percussion. The use of minimal instrumentation creates one of the more interesting tracks on the entire release.

Black Rainbows brings the energy of their music back up once again with the track “Killer Killer Fuzz”. And while they pick up the energy, they slow the pace of their music down for the track. The slower pace of the music adds a bit of intensity to the track as each note being played feels harder. “Killer Killer Fuzz” ends up being one of the songs that seems to stay with you.

The newest release from the Italian band Black Rainbows comes to an end with the track “The Cosmic Picker”. Like “Killer Killer Fuzz” before it, “The Cosmic Picker” features a slower pace to the song. While some of the other tracks on the newest release from Black Rainbows are psychedelic, “The Cosmic Picker” is easily the most psychedelic, musically and lyically. Like some of the stuff from a band like Pink Floyd, “The Cosmic Picker” seems to be the type of song that is best listened to through headphones with the lights off in order to get the full effect of the song.

Hawkdope from Black Rainbows is a strong release from the very first note. For those looking for bands that make Rock and Roll that is meant to be heard through headphones, Black Rainbows is one band that fits that description. And with the band already having a nice library of releases, this is a nice place to start before digging into the rest of the band’s output.

To hear some of the music of Black Rainbows, check out the title song from the album Hawkdope.

To check out the band’s record label, Heavy Psych Sounds, click HERE. Also check out FLY PR, the band’s PR firm.

To purchase a copy of Hawkdope from Black Rainbows, click on the album cover below.


More Cool Stuff Reviews & Suggestions

Arrow Films reissue Black Sabbath and much more……

Do you ever find yourself to be intrigued by the name of a band or more to the point, how that name got to be chosen in first place? One band who formed in the late sixties and have been a major international name in the music world ever since. Not only have Black Sabbath created such a plethora of genre bending and shaping music, but they have also got one of the most memorable and striking band names in the history of Rock music. The first name which the band created by Iommi/Ward/Butler/Osbourne was called Rare Breed.

Live Rock and Roll Reviews and Suggestions

Show Review: Bat Sabbath @ Les Foufounes Electriques, Montreal

In the case of some music fans, the word ‘cover’ may elicit any one of a number of negative reactions. Well, it’s time to change all that.

If you fall into this category (and you know who you are) let me assuredly tell you that Bat Sabbath has the power to change your mind and make you a believer in the magic of covers. If you don’t fall into the above-mentioned category, let me still tell you that Bat Sabbath can make you a believer in the magic of covers.

Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Cast Iron Crow “First Edition”

The world of rock is in for a real treat on November 8th, as another debut album is due for release. Pardon me, I just used the word ‘another’ and this album is a far cry from that.

The album in question is First Edition by Cast Iron Crow. This stunning band is blasting its way out of Hayward in the San Francisco Bay area. The amalgamation of its four musicians has created a stunning grunge/alt rock band whose sound demands attention.

Artists and Bands

Antics with attitude in Aberdare: The Nukes and Clay Statues

Have you ever made a spur of the moment decision and gone off on a whim, chasing a gut feeling? And don’t you just love it when this pays off? Well, I recently trucked off up to Aberdare in the valleys of South Wales on one of these whims. This particular whim was to go and check out a couple of bands from Aberdare whom I had only just come across thanks to a good friend who lives there. The bands I went to see play were The Nukes and Clay Statues, and I was so pleased to find that the journey was well worth it, as both bands played blinding sets at The Glandover Arms.

The opening band of the night was Say When!, a young indie rock band. These guys played with great enthusiasm, but I have to say that they did not really do much for me. Their style of rock just blended into the vast collection of so many other similar bands who sadly fail to stand out from this bland majority of young and enthusiastic acts.


Deep Manalishi and Manalishi Purple were considered, but Black Manalishi was born

Black Manalishi are emanating, illuminating and blasting out of the Northwest corner of the U.K. They have a classic/heavy rock style shaped by many great influences such as Black Sabbath, Cream, Crosby, Deep Purple, Free, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Lynyrd Skynrd, Nash & Young, Pink Floyd and a great many more.

I recommend you check out their tunes, as these guys have got everything that a true classic rock fan is looking for, in triplicate. The band members are Nathan Moore on guitar, Adam Ward on vocals, Lee Gallagher on drums and Sean Gallagher on bass. Yes, you may have guessed the fact that Sean and Lee are brothers, which must add so much to the bands synergised, taught sound. Black Manalishi stimulate your mind, body and soul with an amazing wall of guitar sound and vocals backed up so well with that brotherly rhythm section. I recently threw a few questions at Nathan…

Q: How did Black Manalishi come to form initially and what inspired the choice of name?

A: I met Adam Ward through a mutual friend when forming a cover band for fun. I decided to form a new band and continue writing and performing original material, something I had done since first learning to play. Being a great vocalist, with a style reminiscent of some of my favourite rock singers, Adam was the perfect choice for vocals. The other members have always been auditioned to find the best musicians when needed.

Artists and Bands

Electric guitar master Joe Satriani talks about his 14th studio album, shares thoughts on fellow guitar legends and reveals Chickenfoot’s future

Electric guitar legend Joe Satriani is releasing his 14th studio album, Black Swans and Wormhole Wizards, on October 5. With over 10 million album sales and 15 Grammy nominations to him name, Satriani’s upcoming release is certainly an anticipated one. R&RR’s very own Aaron Kupferberg recently had the chance to talk to Satriani about the new record, everything to do with guitars and Chickenfoot – Satriani’s band with Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony of Van Halen and Chad Smith of Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Q: I wanted to ask, since we both grew up on Long Island, you went to Carle Place High School, right?

A: Yeah, Carle Place High School.

Q: Do you remember the name of your very first band in high school?

A: Yes, the very first band was called “Mephistopheles”  and it was quickly followed by a band called “Tarsus.”

Q: What type of music did you play?

A: We were doing Black Sabbath, Stones, Zeppelin, The Doors and Spirit. I attended St. Bridget’s Catholic School till they threw me out, [then] I attended Carle Place High School.


Genius or Madman? Gary Reynolds Plans to Release 52 Songs and 12 Albums in 2010 – Really

Seattle-based singer/songwriter Gary Reynolds and his band, The Brides of Obscurity, have extraordinary plans for 2010: they plan to release a song a week and a full-length album a month throughout all of 2010. Yes, you read that correctly. The band will release fifty-two songs and twelve full-length albums this year and to keep things fresh the tracks will range in style from psychedelic indie-rock to power-pop to folk-inspired numbers.  So genius or madman? Read the interview, hear the tunes and make up your own mind!

Q: Wow! Tell us about the inspiration behind choosing to release 12 albums this year.

A: I came up with this concept of releasing a song a week. Basically, I’ve been playing music for a long time and officially, what happens is, in the past I would record an album. I have three “Chronicles” – Cretin Chronicles volumes 1, 2 and 3 – those were what I did in my college days and they’re Brit-poppy psychedelic garage rock. Remember the “Pebbles” series that came out?

Artists and Bands

The Rock and Roll Report Band of the Week is Wizardry

Wizardry webOne of the perks about being a music journalist is the opportunity to be made aware of artists you ordinarily would never have even heard of if not for the plethora of publicists, labels and ambitious band members flooding my email box , proclaiming what they have to offer is going to “shock the very foundation that which the musical world stands upon.” Now, of course 99.9% of it is either an out and out lie or completely subjective (based on the opinions of parents – mine consider me to be a “catch”), but that just means that .01% manage to rock my world. And that’s also .01% that I never would have had the pleasure of knowing existed.

Brooklyn’s Wizardry falls into that very exceptional category. Brooklyn, already being home to some killer metal acts over the years (Biohazard, Type-0 Negative, Genghis Tron), has always been a hotbed for hardcore, so inspiration is in abundance.


The Giraffes Rock the Mercury Lounge & Talk Music, Money and Getting Sardines Thrown on Stage!

fence_lined_up_01It’s mid July, the sun is shining, the air is warm, and life is overall pretty damn good. I’m in a car on the way to Coney Island, NY for a music festival, and the driver turns his Ipod on to a song on the playlist called ‘Having Fun’. I listen carefully, trying to place the sultry male voice against the hard rock/metal sound of the music. I want more. I want to know who this is, and why I haven’t heard it before.

I soon discover the song was by none other than The Giraffes: a Brooklyn based band who’s been around since the late 90’s. I feel ashamed and sorry for not having heard of them until this moment, but I quickly compose myself and inquire further. Turns out guitarist Damien Paris and drummer Andrew Totolos formed the band in ’96 and quickly gained notice in the hard rock scene at the time. After a few years, singer Aaron Lazaar joined the group and the band was then rounded out by bassist Jens Carstensen (whom I can’t forget to mention was rocking a boy-scout outfit at the show I saw at Mercury Lounge).

I was intrigued and needed to make some purchases, which included their self titled album ‘The Giraffes’. Once the “listen all day and night” phase passed, and I had marinated in their grunge and metal infused sound, I couldn’t ignore influences such as Black Sabbath, Iggy Pop, The Stooges and some similarities to contemporaries like Queens of the Stone Age (whom The Giraffes have been associated with in the past).