The Ones To Watch

2016 hasn’t exactly made a very good start, as far as Rock and Metal fans are concerned.  We had Lemmy’s funeral, the end of Mötley Crüe and the death of David Bowie.  So it’s been a bit of  downer.

The Old Guard are slowly dying out (in some cases, literally), especially with the likes of Black Sabbath and Twisted Sister calling time on storied careers.

So what, exactly, do we have to look forward to?

I’ve looked at some of the bands I’ve played, seen or heard over the past twelve months and put together a little list of the ones that impressed me most.  This is in no real particular order, so we’ll start with a band that grabbed me towards the end of the year: Octanic.

Octanic hail from Adelaide in South Australia, away from the more thriving scene up the east and west coasts.  Like most of the very best bands, Octanic are very difficult to pigeon hole into one specific category.  Their new album, The Mask Of Hypocrisy, takes in Symphonic and Death Metal, by way of Industrial and pretty much any subgenre you want to mention.  According to the biog on their website, they’ve already played with Wyrd Ways Rock Show favourites, Finntroll and Korpiklaani, as well as Hanzel Und Gretyl and Combichrist.  I have to admit that my blackened heart did sink a little when I saw a track on their album by the name of Fear The Reaper, but to my great relief, it wasn’t yet another cover of the old Blue Öyster Cult chestnut (that, no matter how much I love Wolf, has only been convincingly covered by H.I.M).  Watch them play it live…

Megadeth.  OK, I know.  We all know about Megadave, his right-wing verbal diarrhoea and highly variable-quality albums and live performances.  For the new album (which was up for pre-order on Amazon.co.uk for just a fiver!), Dystopia, Mustaine has recruited Brazilian guitar maestro, Kiko Loureiro, of Power Metal band, Angra (who have also made the odd appearance on the Wyrd Ways Rock Show).  Hopefully, the reports of Mustaine’s happiness with his new recruit will mean a return to the form of the early 90’s that produced the likes of Rust In Peace and Countdown To Extinction (and, to a lesser extent, Youthanasia).

Here’s the title track to whet your appetite:

Since Ginger seems to have very much put The Wildhearts to rest as a recording outfit, it seems that Hey! Hello!  are the most likely benefactors of his extreme workrate and quality levels.  Just a few days ago, at time of writing, the band released a new video, for a song called Automatic Love, which features the recording debut of new singer, Hollis Mahady.

Considering their incredibly infectious single, Swimwear was a big part of the soundtrack for the summer it was released, this is most assurely one to keep an ear on.  On the evidence from Hey! Hello‘s debut and Automatic Love, Ginger‘s somewhat neglected (since SilverGinger5 probably, at least since his run with Michael Monroe a few years back) Glam Rock/Power Pop muscles are finally getting more of a workout than in recent years.

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