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Profile for Jeff the Llamacorn > Reviews

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Reviews Written by
Jeff the Llamacorn "JeffLlama" (City of Jeff)

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The Rivalry
The Rivalry
Price: £6.62

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gold found in their treasure chest, at last!, 8 Sept. 2011
This review is from: The Rivalry (Audio CD)
Running Wild have been churning out their own brand of rock, power rock or pirate rock since the early 80's.
Most of the albums were very average and unmemorable.
After two fairly poor releases in '94 and '95, namely Black Hand Inn and Masquerade, they must have decided to take their time with their next album.
After a worthwhile three year wait, in 1998, they released "The Rivalry".
The break paid dividends, as this is one of their best albums, if not the best.
A lot of people think that their 1992 album "Pile Of Skulls" was their strongest effort, but, for me, this is a far better production, with several stand out tracks.
You still have their trademark Highland Battle rock/Pirate rock songs, but, the most powerful tracks are found when they are playing, pretty much, straight forward hard rock:
"Kiss Of Death", "Resurrection", "Fire And Thunder", "The Poison" and "Man On The Moon" all spring to mind.
"Adventure Galley" is my favourite in the Pirate rock category.
Most of the songs contain great lead guitar solo's, admirably played by the outstanding Thilo Hermann.
I have owned many Running Wild albums over the years, but this is the only one now left in my collection - and it's going nowhere.

Over The Horizon
Over The Horizon
Offered by uniqueplace-uk
Price: £10.56

4.0 out of 5 stars Rousing hard melodic rock, 7 Sept. 2011
This review is from: Over The Horizon (Audio CD)
Second album from the German rock outfit and it's an impressive step forward.
Their music is probably best tagged as melodic hard rock, with elements of heavy rock, tempered with rousing vocal harmonies.
After the one minute musical intro, they crash headlong into four excellent hard rock tracks; (probably the best ones), namely, Cryin, Over The Horizon, Communicate and Want It, all well played by accomplished musicians.
It slows down with Be The One, but they hit straight back with three more up tempo rock tracks, Rock Your Town, Creatures Of The Night (slightly more radio freindly rock, but will have you singing along to the chorus) and Hit The Rock.
Slightly disappointing that they end the album with two ballads.
Overall, an excellent release and recommended.
Look forward to their follow up and hope their progression continues.


0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Axeman Goldy steals the show, 6 Sept. 2011
This review is from: Magica (Audio CD)
Dio's eighth studio album from the year 2000.
Eerie mysterious music starts the album, but soon guitars crash in and you are soon back to Dio's straight down the line, Rainbow inspired rock.
Craig Goldy is back on guitars and his riffing and solo's are superb.
Not sure I would class this as a concept album, not in the classic sense, but it does have a sort of mystical theme
The music of Dio has never really been at the top of my list, but, with Goldy in magical form, this release has been taken to a higher level.
Of course, you can always click forward past the finale, which is an 18 minute, slightly pompous rambling dialogue, about good and evil and some other nonsense.
Apart from that, it's very enjoyable album.

In Hearing Of
In Hearing Of
Price: £6.24

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing release from the British rockers, 6 Sept. 2011
This review is from: In Hearing Of (Audio CD)
Third Album from 1971 from British band Atomic Rooster.
There were so many line up changes, it's difficult to know who was actually playing in the band, at the time of production.
I think Rooster were at their best when they performed their brand of 70's British rock, evident on this release with "Head In The Sky" and "Break The Ice", displaying a dual attack of fuzzed up guitar and fast paced keyboards.
There are usually two things I dislike on albums; Instrumentals and Bonus Tracks (usually songs that were not considered good enough in the first place).
However, this release, features two excellent instrumentals, namely, "A Spoonful Of Bromide" and "The Rock", both again, with a guitar/keyboard riff attack, similar to early 70's Deep Purple.
Great guitar work from John Cann and also, a worthy mention for Paul Hammond behind the drum kit.
Also, on this release, you get three bonus tracks and surprisingly, they are very good quality.
"Devil's Answer" is the US version, which has the backing brass section and two live songs, which really show the quality of musicianship.
The live songs come from a BBC In Concert session, recorded in Paris from 1972, when Chris Farlowe was on vocals and Steve Bolton on guitar. It's heavier than the studio recordings and man, these guys can play.
Very enjoyable and a pity they folded so early on in their career.

Pride of Lions
Pride of Lions

5.0 out of 5 stars A drop of Peterik, a dab of Survivor and Bingo ......, 5 Sept. 2011
This review is from: Pride of Lions (Audio CD)
Second full release from Pride Of Lions and it's a wonderful piece of melodic music.
If you cross Jim Peterik's solo albums, with mid 80's Survivor, then you have Pride Of Lions, not surprising really.
No Jimi Jamison, but you have an equally strong vocalist in Toby Hitchcock.
It's a spectacular mixture of strong ballads and eighties style rock.
Stunning vocals, great compositions.
My favourites are probably the ballads, especially, "Gone", "First Time Around The Sun", "Madness Of Love" and "Last Safe Place".
If you enjoy melodic rock / AOR, then you will, undoubtedly, be blown away by this release.

The Best Of
The Best Of
Price: £4.60

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pop or Rock - the great divide, 4 Sept. 2011
This review is from: The Best Of (Audio CD)
The other reviewers have basically summed up this album very eloquently, but I would still like to share my thoughts.
This best of album is a mixed up version of their only two releases from 1967 + 1968.
Everything was on the up for them when they reached number one in the States with "Green Tambourine" (one of my favourite 60's songs), unfortunately, this music, although obviously very successful, did not fit comfortably with the band, who were more attracted to the growing rock scene.
This caused major problems between them and their record label. Eventually, the band were given the go ahead to record in their own style, which ultimately, was their downfall, due to the lack of commercial appeal.
So, the mix of cultures is quite striking on this release.
Firstly, you have the commercial appeal of the 'Beatlesesq' pop melodies, all good sing a long songs, but, really, The Beatles had already cornered this market a couple of years before.
Then, quite bizarrely, you have the other half of the album (the music the band wanted to play), which is in stark contrast, leaning towards a far less commercial outlook.
Even then, they don't seem to have any real direction, flitting from folk and blues to out and out psychedelic rock.
Ranging from Bob Dylan through to Atomic Rooster and even drifting off into King Crimson territory.
A real mish mash of styles, but also creates a very intriguing listen.
Bill Bartlett's guitar playing was ahead of it's time, especially evident on "Through With You", where he really stretches the imagination, with great gushes of feedback and weird distortions. A little reminiscent, in the middle section, of By-Tor And The Snow Dog, performed by Rush, six years later.
I'm sure The Lemon Pipers, (ridiculous name by the way), had an influence over many bands to come. but unfortunately, for them, it really was a case of what might have been.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 25, 2014 4:24 PM BST

Offered by GMFT
Price: £13.55

4.0 out of 5 stars Starting to pump up the metal, 31 Aug. 2011
This review is from: Two (Audio CD)
Follow up to their first album, 1995's Lion Share, which had more of a melodic rock feel. This time around, with their second album (cunningly entitled "Two"), they offer a slightly more mature and heavier sound.
This release gives you the first glimpses of their future movement, to their now, rampant heavy metal power, epitomised by their latest release "Dark Hours".
Track two, "Baptism Of Fire", shows they are prepared to push the boundaries a bit more, with time and tempo changes and Gothic choirs thrown in for good measure.
The real metal factor comes to the fore with "Transient", a belting heavy guitar riff, reminding me of the Black Sabbath, Cross Purposes era.
All tracks are rocky, but it slows down with "Don't Come Easy", to which, no doubt, bands like Survivor, would be proud.
"Rat Race" is a ELP rock style instrumental and is basically a filler, although well played.
"Lord Of The Pain", cranks it back up. To me, and you may disagree, this sounds like James Hetfield on vocals and Dave Mustaine on guitars.
Wow, what a combination that would make - no, thinking about it, that would never work.
This release is a step in the right direction and there is still better to come.
Look out for their album "Perspective", which is a double album, consisting of their first two releases, with a couple of bonus tracks also added.
Makes good value for money.

Lion's Share
Lion's Share
Offered by Discoteca Rotacao
Price: £20.00

3.0 out of 5 stars Melodic rock opener for the future metallers, 30 Aug. 2011
This review is from: Lion's Share (Audio CD)
I did this the wrong way around really, buying their latest album "Dark Hours" first.
Dark Hours is a tremendous heavy metal release and going backwards into a band's discography, is not always the best idea.
However, I can't say that I am disappointed, even though, their 1995 opener leans towards the melodic side of rock, as opposed to their latest metal assault.
Ratings wise, it's more of a three and a half stars album, rather than just the three stars, as shown above.
The first half of the album is geared towards the harder side of melodic rock, but the remainder fall away into soft rock and are weaker, plus they throw in a funky jazzy instrumental, which doesn't help.
If you like a solid rock rhythm, lead guitar solos in the middle and excellent vocals, you should like this.
I have to say, that Lars Chriss, is a very good guitarist, writer and producer, ably assisted on this release, by the awesome vocals of Andy Engberg (sounds freakishly similar to Niklas Isfeldt from Dream Evil) - praise indeed!
It's very listenable and sets the mark for their future movement towards a more heavier metal sound.
My recommendation is to purchase their fourth release, from 2000, called "Perspective", which, is in fact, a double album, consisting of their first and second album, with a couple of bonus tracks added.
Good value for money.

Offered by Alemannenprog
Price: £9.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Average follow up to the awesome Space Rangers, 26 Aug. 2011
This review is from: Kryptonite (Audio CD)
It was always going to be difficult to try and match their wonderful 1974 release, Space Rangers.
A year on, they released Kryptonite, maybe too quickly and unfortunately, although listenable, it lacks the quality of the predecessor.
Strangely, it also lacks the same production quality, as this sounds like it was made a few years earlier, rather than a follow up album.
Having said that, Michael "Jeep" Willis, still shows his guitar qualities, especially on "Star Rider" and "You Know Where I'd Rather Be", both of these and to some extent the title track, "Kryptonite", take you back to their original psychedelic space rock genre. The finale, "Let Us Be The Dawn" reminds me of Sole Survivor from Space Rangers.
The rest of the songs don't seem to fit in and therefore, makes this a slightly disappointment effort.
Try and buy the version with the added Bonus CD, where you can discover their early blues based roots, quite interesting to see the complete change in direction.

Space Rangers
Space Rangers
Offered by Alemannenprog
Price: £9.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still playing this album nearly 40 years on .... drift into a far away world of futuristic space rock, 25 Aug. 2011
This review is from: Space Rangers (Audio CD)
I was lucky really, I discovered this album by pure chance.
As a teenager in the seventies, I was thumbing through the LP's (that's what they used to be called), in my local record shop. Yes, they also used to be called records ...
Anyway, I came across this album cover depicting what looked like an invasion of Earth, with a darkened figure carrying a women, presumably back to his space ship.
I bought the album purely on that basis, having never heard of the group, or their music.
And what a lucky choice it was ....
It's difficult to put the music into a category, but the nearest would be psychcedelic synthesised rock (if there is such a thing).
All the tracks are captivating, taking you to a far off land, somewhere in the outer reaches of space perhaps, but this is not Hawkwind.
These guys are spot on musicians, having learned their trade over many years, being able to write totally original compositions.
One of the highlights of this album is the awesome guitar work from Michael "Jeep" Willis, the solo's on "Neon Man" are breathtaking.
Each track lets your mind drift away into this world of astral futuristic fantasy.
It's rarely been off my turntable, CD player and now Ipod for the past 37 years.
Truly spectacular piece of work, highly recommended.

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