Author Archives: Paul H Birch

RAMzine Senior Writer - Writer of fiction, faction and fact, has edited several newsstand magazines. He declares himself a hack for hire but refuses to compromise on the subject of music.

Keen Eyed – Reflection

Keen Eyed hail from Trieste in Italy and began life as a club band in 1985 covering classic songs from the 70s onwards. As the line-up changed they began to write their own material and play nationally, breaking up in 1991 after having established themselves at what’s gone down in Mediterranean metal circles as a “memorable concert” at the Valentinis ...

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Marc Bolan at the BBC – 6 CD Box Set

Marc Bolan, what a chancer. He played the fame game time and time again, but once he’d struck gold stayed too close to a formula that worked and it proved to be his creative downfall. The fact that he actually had talent wrapped up in his precocious elfin frame would have made him the envy of today’s X-Factor wannabes. A ...

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John Martyn ‘The Island Years’ Limited Edition Box Set

John Martyn was a walking contradiction, even when he lost a leg. That he made music so beautiful and so full of anger, sometimes in the same song, proved this. What we thought we knew about him changed somewhat after he died: he wasn’t born in Scotland, the name he sang under wasn’t his real one, and pretty much everything ...

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Robin Beck ‘Underneath’

In 1988 ears pricked up in living rooms across the Western Hemisphere as Robin Beck’s voice erupted with a sexual passion not usually associated when families are sitting down to eat their evening meal. The song was First Time and it was being used in an advert by Coca-cola, it succeeded big time where Pepsi failed by having Michael Jackson ...

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Houston ‘II’

Swedish AOR act Houston debuted to general acclaim as a duo featuring Hank Erix on vocals and Freddie Allen drums back in 2010. Producer and keyboard player Rick Delin has now officially joined their number for their aptly named follow-up released on Livewire/Cargo Records and additional personnel have been pulled in to play additional keyboards, guitars and bass, and practically ...

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Bell XI ‘Chop Chop’

A gentle piano refrain plays wistfully across Starlings over Brighton Pier the first single from Bell XI’s latest album Chop Chop, as in comes a rooted bass line accompanying brushed drums over which Paul Noonan’s vocals casually question the gathering of birds into a single formation and their subsequent decision to take a new direction; offering as it does a ...

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Liquid Casing – A Separate/Divide

Names like Mogwai and The Mars Volta are offered as musical signposts for the aural outpourings from Houston, Texas four-piece collective Liquid Casing and there’s certainly an experimental progressive flow at work on A Separate/Divide, albeit jazzier like the waves of a tide ebbing to and fro, sometimes gently splashing collectively towards the shore at other crashing violently against each ...

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Eye Ra Haze – Eye of the Storm

New York five-piece Eye Ra Haze weave their way into your aural consciousness with rumbling hypnotic near-minimalist melodies and more haunting foreground vocals. Part art- rock, some indy shoe-gazing, an all-in-black emo-come-Goth stance, there’s also an element of old school progressive rock at work. Produced by Chris Harris (Killswitch Engage, Soulfly, Eye of the Storm is a three song cycle ...

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De La Cruz – Street Level

It’s more than a stretch in the ocean from the Sunset Strip to Bondi Beach but when the sounds of Van Halen got a six string razor shave and a glam rock makeover to form the sleazy street rock of bands as disparate as Motley Crue and Guns N’ Roses it seemingly made a belated impact down under too. New ...

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Neuronspoiler – Emergence

With collective feet grounded in the New Wave of Heavy Metal sounds of the 80s and their guitarists’ fingers itching to play out the neo-classical power metal game, Neuronspoiler are a multi-national UK-based band whose debut album has been produced Guillermo Maya (The Answer, Adrian Smith etc). In this day and age you have to dazzle from the outset to ...

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