Sunday, June 21, 2015

Degreed - Dead But Not Forgotten

Just released! New album from Swedish melodic rock band Degreed!
The third album is stuffed with a massive 14 new songs, all of which is oozing with quality! How these guys are not more famous is a mystery to me. Degreed has presented three good albums, but the thing is they have gotten better each time. And this third one is pretty damn close to a full pointer. Perfect melodic rock! One of those albums that grows on you every time you listen. The sound on this one is fuller, better produced and both songwriting and playing has grown and improved.

There are a lot of great stuff on here, but if I had to pick one as the album's best it would have to be track 5; Better Safe Than Sorry. Killer chorus, crazy vocals, tasty guitars and a nice backing keyboard sound (which is more distinct throughout the album than earlier).
Other high points is early tracks like The Scam, Madness and Face The Fact. 

If you haven't heard this band then go find them, press play, turn it up and sit back.

Track listing:
1. The Scam
2. Face The Fact
3. Madness
4. Shame On Me
5. Better Safe Than Sorry
6. Love Me, Love Me Not
7. Drama
8. Kill Your Darlings
9. Touch Of Paradise
10. Forgive You
11. Start Again
12. Firefly
13. Final Ride
14. Turn Around, Don't Back Down

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Top 10 Greatest Drummers

1. Keith Moon
One of the most legendary rock musicians ever was also an animal behind the kit. He was pounding the skins hard, fast and with a crazy kind of perfection. His drumming stands out on so many of The Who's classic songs, like Baba O'Riley which has the coolest drumming ever!!

2. Neil Peart
The drummer from Rush is a guy that I didn't really know that much about before, but after looking him up recently, I found that this guy is technically brilliant. Probably the most technically skilled drummer of them all.

3. Eric Carr
Eric is one of those guys that are sadly overlooked by critics (probably because he was in KISS) but was an incredible talent behind the kit. He had the whole package; crazy skills, a hard hitter, great singer, multi instrumentalist, killer solos and was adored by his fans. It's not easy to pick which of the KISS drummers I like best (Eric Singer would also fit in here), but Carr will be my choice! Carr also recorded the most powerful drum sound I have ever heard in studio on 1982's Creatures of the Night.

4. Dave Grohl
Another seriously talented multi instrumentalist than can play basically any instrument and sing great as well. He got famous with Nirvana, worked with several other bands and started his own band Foo Fighters, making Grohl the most successful drummer to come out from behind the kit.

5. John Bonham
The legendary Led Zeppelin drummer always show up on these lists, even though some believe he is overrated. However, Bonham always delivered with feeling, power and energy and was a vital part of the greatest hard rock band ever.

6. Nicko McBrain
In my opinion, the best heavy metal drummer out there. He doesn't just play with speed (which many in the genre tend to do) that just gets annoying after a while, but uses a lot of feeling and spontaneity. Mr. McBrain and his crazy fills (and crazy faces) is a highlight in Iron Maidens live performances.

7. Max Weinberg
The drummer with the most classic style here. He plays it simple and direct, he hits the skins like he means it (hard) and he has that awesome jazz stick handling. On top of that, there's the story of that gig where Springsteen played encore after encore and 'Mighty Max' literally played until his hands bled - now that is commitment!

8. Tommy Lee
I believe Tommy is a bit overlooked in the same way as Eric Carr, probably because his band Motley Crue disliked by critics. His crazy awesome drum solos and stage antics, along with his wild personal life, has at least made him one of the most famous drummers in the world.

9. Phil Rudd
I love how Phil Rudd keeps it simple in a 'less is more' kind of way. It just seems effortless where he sits at the back of the stage smoking his cigarette while Angus and Brian goes off the rails at the front. The former AC/DC drummer's simple style has a big part in the bands sound.

10. Roger Taylor
The man from Queen is not only a great drummer, but also a good singer and a top-notch songwriter (which is uncommon for a drummer). Keeps it rather simple and stylish, which is just the way I like it!

Honorary Mention: Nate Morton
Didn't really make the top 10, and a lot of that has to do with the fact that he is not famous enough. However, his flashy and perfectly timed drumming is just awesome to watch. One of the most entertaining drummers to look at live for sure! Just check him out on Paul Stanley's live DVD One Live Kiss! 

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Top 10 greatest bass players

1. Paul McCartney
As one of the driving forces in the Beatles, and the most successful outside of the band, McCartney is a monster songwriter and one of the most famous musicians in the world. On top of that, his bass playing innovative, melodic and the base for so many fantastic songs.

2. Gene Simmons
The KISS bassist is mostly famous for his stage antics, but the fact is that he is a very skilled bass player and sadly underrated by most. His style reminds of McCartney's - it is melodic and works as a foundation for many KISS classics.

3. Steve Harris
One of the heavy metal Gods himself is a great bass player, with a focus on speed, aggression and drive. He is the main songwriter in Iron Maiden and a great stage presence.

4. Phil Lynott
A talented songwriter, bass player and frontman in Thin Lizzy. Despite dying young, Lynott had a huge influence on the rock scene with his bass driven songwriting.

5. Lemmy Kilmister
Legendary on the hard rock scene for other things than bass playing. And yes, his playing is far from perfect but none the less his Motörhead have delivered some heavy tunes with a crunching bass sound.

6. Sting
Probably one of the most technically skilled players here, with a focus on melody rather than chords. Another great songwriter, both with The Police and solo. Not a great stage persona, but the man is good.

7. John Deacon
The least famous member of Queen and not one of its primary songwriters, even though he has written number one songs. He definitely let his playing do the talking. Too bad he quit too early.

8. Geddy Lee
The main force in Rush is another good bass player and songwriter. Not one to focus on his stage persona, but the band usually lets the music do the talking. Very skilled player (with cool glasses)!

9. Nikki Sixx
Another overlooked player due to his persona. The main songwriter in Motley Crue and the brain behind many of the bands classics. A great and entertaining stage presence, and more than adequate playing.

10. Mike Dirnt
Punk bands like Green Day is not famous for being skilled musicians, but Dirnt certainly has his bass playing down. Focus on speed and attitude, and on top of that he is a fun stage personality.