Black Sabbath, ELO, Kadavar: The best new rock albums you can buy this week
The very impressive Black Sabbath box set, ELO reissue and new Kadavar album are among the best new rock album releases you can get your hands on this week
Black Sabbath - The Ten Year War
"The Ten Year War comprises Sabbath’s first eight albums, originally released between 1970 and ’78 and representing what’s arguably the band’s finest work. Available across eight remastered splatter-vinyl 12-inch discs and a couple of rare seven-inch single reproductions, with a hardback book and a reprinted ’78 tour programme and ’72 poster, it also comes complete with (brace yourself) a crucifix-shaped USB with the eight albums presented in hi-def MQA audio, that you can wear around your neck, just like Tony Iommi would. Whack the USB stick in your slot, bung on your headphones and prepare to be amazed. Crisp, powerful, downright malicious, Sabbath’s familiar sonic immensity snaps into sharp focus from within the murk of accepted technical limitations, gets mercilessly medieval on your ears, and it’s only a joy."
ELO - Out Of The Blue 40th Anniversary
"ELO were everywhere, omnipotent in the 1970s. Perfect driving music. For a generation of befuddled dole-tainted schoolchildren, Jeff Lynne in all his pomp: curly pseudo-Afro perm, denim flares, pilot sunglasses, immaculately-kept beard, spaceships; signified an entire era. But at the height of punk, for many of us he was an object of scorn with his symphonic pop pretensions, concept albums and overwrought strings. The fact remains however, that Out Of The Blue is the finest concept album written about the weather ever recorded."
Pentangle - The Albums
"Even mentioning the names Terry Cox, Bert Jansch, John Renbourn, Danny Thompson and Jacqui McShee is enough to send people of a certain vintage into raptures. If they get their hands on this seven-CD collection of Pentangle’s first six albums (The Pentangle/Sweet Child/Basket Of Light/Cruel Sister/Reflection/Solomon’s Seal), the essential ones, with lavish extras and fabulous notes, joy will be unconfined."
Feeder - The Best Of Feeder
"Is it something in the water coming off the Brecon Beacons? How else to explain the longevity of South Wales bands like Feeder and the Manics way beyond the eras that spawned them. Staying true to their beliefs has certainly helped, creating a lasting bond with their fans. Like their earlier Singles Collection a decade back, they haven’t bothered with chronologyon this three-CD Best Of. Instead they’ve compiled a couple of stonking set lists. The first starts with Feeling A Moment, Come Back Around and Eskimo while the second kicks in with We Are The People, Universe Of Life and Idaho."
Stone Temple Pilots - Core (Super Deluxe Edition)
"The turbulence and tragedy that dogged Stone Temple Pilots over the years, from addiction and trouble with the law to the sacking and later death of troubled frontman Scott Weiland, right up until the recent sad loss of his replacement, Chester Bennington, are so extreme, it’s good to go back to the beginning to remember the optimism and ambition they had in the first place. It’s the 25th anniversary of their debut, Core, and this remastered super deluxe version is jam-packed with demos, session tracks, festival sets, their MTV Unplugged performance and alternative takes."
Kadavar - Rough Times
"The endless stream of Mittel-European bands that have rolled off the stoner metal production line in the last decade puts Volkswagen to shame. Berlin’s Kadavar have always been the equivalent of a VW Golf: reliable but dull.Until now. Where its predecessors were as thrilling as a Sunday drive to the seaside, the trio have souped up their engine on album number four."Read the full review | Buy the album
Carousel Vertigo - Revenge Of Rock And Roll
"It’s taken them a while, but with a bit of Humble Pie here, a smidgeon of Deep Purple there and more than a pinch of vintage Whitesnake, this is an eclectic grab-bag of rock’n’ roll that flaunts its 70s influences proudly but ultimately manages to forge its own identity."
Chris Rea - Road Songs For Lovers
"It’s been quite a while since Chris Rea released an album that wasn’t accompanied by a couple of DVDs or a book of paintings. All of which is grist to Rea’s broadening artistic mill, but this time he’s confined himself to recording an album. He’s even gone to a proper studio to make it, and it shows – there’s a focus and a sense of purpose that you don’t get from tinkering around in your home studio."
King Creature - Volume One
"You can almost hear King Creature’s veins bulging as opener Lowlife fires up, all white-knuckled malice and fury. It’s a punishing kick off that immediately conjures up the ghost of Alice in Chains with Layne Staley at the mic. Those haunting vocals liberally pepper most of the album, and with the best bits of Soundgarden, Zakk Wylde and Black Label Society added to the mix, it makes for a heady, heavy and melodious brew."
Chris Spedding - The RAK Years
"Chris Spedding is, without a doubt, a rock legend. His work for hundreds of major rock figures – everyone from Bryan Ferry to The Wombles – has been heard and purchased by millions, but as a solo artist, he’s known for one song, the semi-novelty hit Motobikin’. Cognoscenti – many attached to his work with Sharks and King Mob – also know that there’s a rich seam of solo work to be discovered. It’s often been hard to find and out of print, so kudos to Cherry Red for releasing this four-CD set of Spedding’s work for Micky Most’s RAK label."
Rick Derringer - Joy Ride – Solo Albums 1973-1980
"Rick Derringer was the Alex Chilton-style teen prodigy – he was 17 when he sang The McCoys’ 1965 US No.1 Hang On Sloopy – who managed to forge a successful 70s career. Looking like a hard rock David Cassidy, he could have been a pop star but he had other plans, like being a blistering guitar-slinger for hire on a lot of your favourite records by Steely Dan, Todd Rundgren, Alice Cooper and Johnny and Edgar Winter. He was more than just a flashy sidekick, though, as his solo debut All American Boy (1973) proved."
Ducks Deluxe - Coast To Coast: The Anthology
"For a brief flicker in the early 70s, Ducks Deluxe ruled the pubrock circuit. Their sweat-soaked energy and straightforward rock’n’roll had no gimmicks attached, nor a discernible image. All these guys wanted to do was get on stage, plug in and take the music and the fans to the limit. People now often cite the Ducks because various members went on to achieve a higher profile in more successful bands like The Motors and Graham Parker & The Rumour. But this lot should be honoured in their own right. And this three CD box set does exactly that."