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Escape Music 2015 release round-up - Ozone / Naked / Lifeline / Lioncage

posted 18 Mar 2016, 06:07 by Paul Woodward

Reviews By Woody

Ozone – ‘Self Defence’

This collaboration between vocal powerhouse’s Steve Overland (FM) and Chris Ousey (Heartland) has been in the planning stages for what seems like forever, but it’s finally with us! I had extremely high expectations for this album not just because of the exciting prospect of Overland and Ousey singing together but also because of Mike Slamer’s involvement who is one of my favourite melodic rock guitarist’s and song writers. But I think my high expectations may have ruined this album for me, don’t get me wrong it’s a solid album with some great musical moments, it’s just not the mind blowing experience I had thought it might be. I think it may be in the lyric’s where the album loses me as my biggest problem with the album is I don’t connect with the songs and therefore don’t get hooked into listening to the songs repetitively. Musically though Steve Overland and Chris Ousey put in amazing performance’s throughout and their voices really compliment and boost each other’s voices. Slamer also delivers some cracking guitar licks in his distinct style. It’s a good album and I’m sure melodic rock fans will love this album – It’s just not the magical hybrid I was hoping for.

Album Rating: 7/10

Woody’s Essential Track: Practice What You Preach

Lifeline – ‘Scream’

Nigel Bailey is a name we are hearing more and more in melodic rock circles. With Lifeline we see Bailey showing what a diverse song writer he is going in more contemporary melodic hard rock vein than we’ve heard before. It’s a hard rocking album but highly melodic, so it gives Scream a broader appeal, heavy enough for those needing some crunch but melodic enough for the softer rockers. Bailey has brought in some British musicians to fill out this band many who have much love for like Black Country vocalist Lee Small (Shy) and Paul Hume (Lawless) and these great musicians all bring out the best out of each other when bringing Bailey’s songs to life. It’s not an instant album though, it took a few spins for me to really get into it but once it clicks you’ll find yourself spending a lot of time listening to this album. One of the best British hard rock releases of 2015. I hope the ever busy Bailey continues to work and record with Lifeline.

Album Rating: 8/10

Woody’s Essential Track: Feels Like Love

Naked – ‘End Game’

This is one of my favourite releases of 2015 a real smooth melodic rock gem and highly recommend all genre fans check it out. I do feel because there is no connection to the eighties or any big names in the band it may be overlooked by many fans which is a great shame. So if you haven’t already make sure you track this album down. I instantly loved this album, smooth, catchy with some of the best choruses this side of 1990! If songs like ‘Aim For The Heart’, ‘Leaving You Tonight’ and ‘Born To Live For Love’ had been released in the melodic rock heyday Naked would now be been talked about as genre heroes. The album ticks all the right boxes for melodic rock fans, it’s extremely commercial and I can’t see anyone into this style of music not getting swept up by Naked and enthusing about End Game as much as I am! Essential purchase!

Album Rating: 9/10

Woody’s Essential Track: Aim For The Heart

Lioncage – ‘Done At Last’

My initial thoughts on Lioncage were not positive after my first spin of the album, I really struggled with Brettermann’s gruff vocal style and the dark nature of the music. I preserved with the Done At Last putting it on in the background and found that after giving the album some time it did grow on me and I found a few of the tracks standing out and even getting stuck in my head. I still don’t think it’s a great album but nowhere near as bad as my initial feelings. Also as I started to give the music time to breath it seemed less dark and I could appreciate some of the songs far more. I think the biggest downside to the album, especially on first play is it seems a little one dimensional and therefore lacking any exciting sparks to capture your interest. I think it’s definitely one melodic rockers should check out but be prepared to give it some time and I’m sure some will really dig this album.

Album Rating: 6/10

Woody’s Essential Track: Fallin’