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.


Artists and Bands

Huw Lloyd Langton on LLG, Hawkwind, tackling 18th century guitar pieces and collaborating with Killing Cancer

Huw Lloyd Langton is one of the U.K.’s leading rock guitarists and he’s  recently released a new album entitled, “Hard Graft.” Just in case you are not aware, Huw has a rich and varied musical background. Huw joined Hawkwind as they were forming in the late ’60s/early ’70s and has been working with the band ever since. Hawkwind is in fact Huw’s ‘mothership,’ but other bands that he has worked with include Fox (later this name changed to The Whip). To read an album review of Hard Graft and learn more about Huw’s musical past, head here. To read R&RR’s interview with Huw, scroll down!

Q: After gaining so much experience with so many bands do you have any advice for all bands and musicians who are out there?

A: Keep banging your head against that brick wall and keep your mind open. Keep on doing what you do as long as you love what you are doing, but always keep your mind open and learn as much as you can!

Q: Can you tell us a little about your previous seven LLG releases?

Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Huw Lloyd Langton’s LLG “Hard Graft”

Hard Graft is the latest release from one of the U.K.’s leading rock guitarists, Huw Lloyd Langton. Listening to this album gives me the impression that Huw had found that same crossroads which Robert Johnston had stumbled on many moons ago. Hard Graft is overflowing with deeply rich inventive guitar work and the Lloyd Langton Group provides a sumptuous back drop to this. The LLG band line-up for this album was the late Tim Rice Williams on keys with Richard Gillespie on bass and Volker Van Hoff on drums. Huw was obviously on guitars and vocals.

Just in case you are not aware, Huw has a rich and varied musical background. Huw joined Hawkwind as they were forming in the late 60s/early 70s and has been working with the band ever since. Hawkwind is in fact Huw’s ‘mothership.’ Other bands that Huw has worked with include Fox (later this name changed to The Whip). This was just before Huw met Dave Brock, when Hawkwind was forming. The next band that Huw helped to form was Amon Din and after this Huw joined a band called Magill. Shortly afterwards Huw joined a calypso rock band, Batti Mamselle, before joining Leo Sayers’ band for a while. After this Huw joined rock supergroup Widowmaker. Huw had also taught guitar at a comprehensive school and wrote the music for a cartoon narrated by Vivian Stanshall. He also worked with Michael Moorcock.