DeCarlo-Lightning Strikes Twice   ©2020  Frontiers  Records
​Boston fans will be familiar with Tommy DeCarlo due to his presence in the legendary band. This album is a solo outing that also includes his son Tommy DeCarlo Jr. This is a pretty good platter of melodic rock that will have appeal to fans of Boston as well as just about anyone who appreciates great songwriting and delivery. DeCarlo fronted a Boston tribute band and with the sound of this solo record, the inspiration is definitely there. I'm sure it's not meant to be just a clone, but it does have elements that will feel familiar to fans of Boston. It's a well rounded release with a good mix of mid temp rockers and melodic ballads. I have gone back to this album quite a bit as it offers an amazing listen start to finish. Definitely give this one a listen via samples or maybe YouTube offerings as well. Easy melodic rock recommend! 
Release Date:  January 24, 2020
Blue Öyster Cult-Hard Rock Live: Cleveland 2014    ©2020  Frontiers Records 
​Everyone has a favorite live record. For me, it's Blue Öyster Cult's 'Extraterrestrial Live'. Of the first few bands I was exposed to, this band was one of them. I had very few albums at the time, but had the gatefold of this album on Vinyl. With that being said, I always enjoy hearing new live material and feel lucky that the band still tours occasionally. This record  showcases a very good track lineup. It also clocks in at just under 2 hours which is a lot of bang for your buck. There are multiple formats of the release including CD/DVD, Vinyl, and Blu-Ray. I haven't had the chance to check out the video portion yet, but plan on it soon as I am a fan of the band for decades now. While some music fans may not be into live material such as this, I think there will be plenty who appreciate what Blue Öyster Cult offers here. Great show!
Release Date:  January 24, 2020
The Oneira-Injection  ©2020  Rockshots  Records
​This band is new to me. Took a skim through it and liked the band's sound. 'Injection' is a great progressive album that has a lot of melody and to me, felt very smooth as a listen. As I made my way through this album a couple of bands came to my mind. Classic Saga and Rush. There were some similarities there whether intended or not at least to my ear. There are other bands mentioned as well such as Yes and Porcupine Tree which is also accurate.  This is the band's third release to date and will see a street date in March. The music is consistent in terms of quality as well as delivery. For those familiar with Greek musician Filippos Gougoumis, you will probably like the depth and technical ability on display here. It's a solid group of songs that will appeal to progressive fans as well as rock fans in general. Great multinational act!
Release Date:  March 13, 2020
Degreed-Lost Generation   ©2019  Gain Music Entertainment
​This band deserves much more success in my opinion. There are a lot of great melodic hard rock acts out there today and Degreed should be considered among the better of them. This latest record continues the sound that was offered with the previous self titled album. Big choruses, flashy musicianship, and tons of radio potential. It really is crazy how many great bands of many genres that come out of Sweden. Degreed is one of those and have been on my radar for the last few albums. There are a few really large sounding tracks such as 'Summer of Love', 'Body of Work', and 'You All Know My Name'. As always, the album is consistent throughout and an enjoyable listen. I actually had missed this one, but wasted no time ordering it as I liked the samples I checked out. If you are unfamiliar, check out samples, you will more than likely dig this album!
Release Date:  November 22, 2019
Dirty Shirley -Dirty Shirley  ©2020 Frontiers Records
​This record features an amazing collaboration of George Lynch and Dino Jelusic who some will know from the band Animal Drive.  The music has a strong blues influence which to me is one of the album's strengths. Jelusic's vocals remind me of a cross of David Coverdale and Ray Gillen with some Ronnie James Dio in there for good measure. There is so much to like on this album. The songs are definitely strong and Lynch's guitar playing is up to his standard which is always high. Some of the standout tracks in my opinion include 'Dirty Blues', 'The Dying', 'Siren Song', and 'Escalator'. Even though I do mention a few favorites, I do feel that this is one of the stronger albums I have heard this year as a whole. I'm hoping that there will be more from these guys together in the future as the chemistry is amazing. This one will make some best of lists this year!
Release Date:  January 24, 2020