Fuel for your speak­ers

Diesel through a Halestorm but watch for the Roo

Owner Driver - - Road Sounds - Greg Bush

DIESEL 30 – THE GREAT­EST HITS Diesel

Blood­lines/Universal www.blood­li­nes­mu­sic.com.au

This com­pre­hen­sive dou­ble CD great­est hits pack­age spans the ca­reer of Mark Li­zotte, bet­ter known as Diesel, from 1989 to 2018. Book­end­ing the 30 tracks are the newly recorded rocker ‘Give Me Satur­day Night’, with a cover of the Buddy Holly hit ‘Rave On’, from Diesel’s 2016 al­bum Amer­i­cana, com­ing in at track 30. In be­tween are three from his 1989 de­but as Johnny Diesel & The In­jec­tors, in­clud­ing top 10 hit ‘Cry In Shame’. His most suc­cess­ful song ‘Tip Of My Tongue’ is among five tracks from his sec­ond al­bum Hep­fi­delity, while the soul clas­sic ‘I Can’t Stand The Rain’ is lifted from Short Cool Ones, his 1996 col­lab­o­ra­tion with Melbourne blues­man Chris Wil­son. Of note are two mid-paced rock track­ers, ‘Dig’ and ‘Satel­lite’, from 1997’s Lost Soul Com­pan­ion, which Diesel re­leased in the US un­der his birth name.

WIDE AWAKE Ray­land Baxter ATO Records/[PIAS] www.atorecords.com

Nashville, Ten­nessee­based Ray­land Baxter has been la­belled as al­ter­nate coun­try, but there’s much more to his mu­sic than that. As per his pre­vi­ous re­lease Imag­i­nary Man, Baxter tra­verses var­i­ous gen­res on new al­bum Wide Awake, al­though in a dif­fer­ent life­time he could have slot­ted in among Bri­tish ’60s pop-rock artists. With its def­i­nite drum­beat, ‘Casanova’ is a great rock track where he sings of a “hole in my pocket” as he com­pares a stu­dent debt to a greedy girl­friend. Baxter mocks the US pro-gun lobby on the mid-tempo ’79 Shiny Re­volvers’, and he’s star struck on ‘Amelia Baker’, a song that starts with acous­tic gui­tar be­fore his fren­zied fix­a­tion launches Cage The Ele­phant gui­tarist Nick Bock­rath’s fiery rock gui­tar licks. He again ques­tions his coun­try’s values on ‘Strange Amer­i­can Dream’, writ­ten around the time of Don­ald Trumps’ 2016 elec­tion tri­umph.

DYNA-MITE

Jon Cleary

Thirty Tigers/Cook­ing Vinyl www.jon­cleary.com

De­spite orig­i­nat­ing from Kent in Eng­land, Jon Cleary is con­sid­ered a New Or­leans lo­cal, due to his smooth blend of funky R&B and soul, as well as per­form­ing with Dr John, Bonnie Raitt and oth­ers. Al­though pi­ano is his go, Cleary is a multi-in­stru­men­tal­ist and in 2016 he won a Grammy for Best Re­gional Roots Mu­sic Al­bum with GoGo Juice. For new al­bum Dyna-Mite Cleary en­listed a tal­ented bunch of New Or­leans mu­si­cians and back­ing vo­cal­ists. The songs range from the en­er­getic French quar­ter-in­spired ti­tle track, to the re­laxed jazz-funk of ‘Skin In The Game’. There’s a Cajun feel to ‘Big Greasy’, and there’s slow blues in Boz Scaggs’ style on ‘Best Ain’t Good Enough’. Cleary wrote ev­ery song, in­clud­ing a co-write with leg­endary blues mu­si­cian Taj Ma­hal on the se­duc­tive ‘21st Cen­tury Gypsy Singing Lover Man’.

VI­CIOUS Halestorm Warner/At­lantic www.halestorm­rocks.com

Al­though orig­i­nat­ing from the US state of Penn­syl­va­nia, hard-rock­ing quar­tet Halestorm headed to coun­try mu­sic cap­i­tal Nashville to record its fourth al­bum Vi­cious. There’s noth­ing coun­try about this Grammy-win­ning out­fit, how­ever. Lead singer Lizzy Hale gives her vo­cal cords a work­out on ‘Black Vul­tures’, a sym­bol­ism for cir­cling dark­ness. She puts her at­ti­tude right out there on ‘Un­com­fort­able’, a fast-paced rocker and also the al­bum’s first sin­gle, and she de­liv­ers ag­gres­sive bed­room lyrics on ‘Do Not Dis­turb’, backed by Joe Hot­tinger’s lead gui­tar licks. ‘Con­flicted’ is an­other track about a fiery re­la­tion­ship, while ‘Heart Of Novo­caine’ has the band in a rare acous­tic mood, al­though nor­mal hard rock mode is re­sumed on ‘Skulls’ and ‘Painkiller’. Hale is one of most pow­er­ful vo­cal­ists around, and as a unit (in­clud­ing brother Are­jay Hale on drums) Halestorm is pure rock at its best.

QUIET MAN Roo Panes

CRC Records www.cr­c­mu­sic.co.uk

Singer­song­writer An­drew ‘Roo’ Panes, from English county Dorset, has found him­self in a peace­ful place with his aptly ti­tled third al­bum Quiet Man. Recorded away from the hus­tle and bus­tle of city life in nearby Devon, Panes de­liv­ers 12 mostly in­tro­spec­tive tracks, in­clud­ing ‘Sketches Of Sum­mer’, an am­bi­ent song with min­i­mal­ist pi­ano back­ing. There’s a pos­i­tive mes­sage in ‘War­rior’, a track that, with the aid of a horn sec­tion, builds in in­ten­sity. Panes of­fers hope to a loved one on ‘Ophe­lia’, a song no­table for its choir-like har­monies, while on ti­tle track ‘Quiet Man’ he re­flects on past short­com­ings with an air of op­ti­mism. At times draw­ing com­par­isons with fel­low English­man Ben Howard and US am­bi­ent folk band Bon Iver, Panes has his own dis­tinc­tive sound, mainly due to his deep and un­af­fected vo­cals.

SHADOWPARTY ShadowParty Mute/[PIAS] www.mute.com

Four-piece band ShadowParty is some­what of a su­per­group, its in­di­vid­ual mem­bers hav­ing been part of an as­sort­ment of suc­cess­ful bands. Jeff Friedl for­merly drummed with Devo, Tom Chap­man and gui­tarist Phil Cun­ning­ham both played with New Or­der and later in UK rock band Bad Lieu­tenant, and gui­tarist Josh Hager is a cur­rent mem­ber of the lat­est in­car­na­tion of Devo and for­merly of The Ren­tals. There are guest artists too on this ShadowParty self-ti­tled de­but al­bum, in­clud­ing The Verve’s Nick Mc­Cabe and Denise John­son from Pri­mal Scream, the lat­ter tak­ing lead vo­cals on the poppy ‘Present Tense’. Ra­dio sin­gle ‘Cel­e­brate’, as the ti­tle sug­gests, is bouncy and up­beat, and ‘Tak­ing Over’, with its vi­brato gui­tar back­ing and mid-tempo beat, is even bet­ter. There’s a funk beat to ‘Re­verse The Curse’ while ‘Marigold’ has def­i­nite Brit-pop qual­i­ties. Eleven tracks of catchy elec­tronic pop-rock.

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