Kevin Bryan’s music album review - 31st January

In the first of a regular series of music reviews, Kevin Bryan gives us his views on what’s hot and not in the world of music.

What do you think to the albums? Let us know your views below.

Nils Lofgren, Old School (Vision Music VMCD 1016)

Gifted Springsteen sideman Lofgren has been actively involved in the music business since the early seventies, but it’s debatable whether the singer-guitarist’s splendid solo output has ever really received the recognition that it deserved during the past four decades. Old School isn’t the most compelling offering that this under-rated performer has ever assembled but it’s a highly listenable piece of work nonetheless,boasting cameo appearances on vocals from fellow veterans such as Paul Rodgers, Lou Gramm and Sam Moore of Sam and Dave fame.

Wolfsbane, Save The World (To get your copy, click here

Save The World is the fourth album from British heavy-metal veterans Wolfsbane, who initially gave up the ghost in 1994 when singer Blaze Bayley left the fold to join forces with Iron Maiden. The original band officially re-united in 2010, and this self released comeback set captures the raucous Tamworth rockers in typically brash and outgoing form as they serve up gloriously unfashionable rock anthems such as Teacher, Blue Sky and Buy My Pain for your delight and delectation.

Accademia Bizantina / Ottavio Dantone, Bach: Sinfonia (Decca 478 2718)

Accademia Bizantina’s latest Decca collection finds the Italian period instrumentation specialists tackling most of the orchestral movements that Bach penned to preface his Cantatas. Not all of the pieces selected for the CD by director and organist Ottavio Dantone will be instantly familiar to listeners but all of them repay closer investigation, including several movements which draw on elements of the composer’s Brandenburg and Harpsichord Concertos.

Sixteen Horsepower, Yours, Truly (Glitterhouse GRCD 716)

This intriguing showcase for the brooding and atmospheric sound of the now sadly defunct Sixteen Horsepower captures David Eugene Edwards’ outfit at their mournfully theatrical best in a series of recordings made between 1995 and 2002. The contents of the two CD set are equally divided between a best of selection assembled in response to the votes of Sixteen Horsepower fans around the globe and a companion disc featuring an assortment of “b” sides, radio sessions and rarities, including arresting covers of songs made famous by Leonard Cohen (The Partisan) and Creedence Clearwater Revival (Bad Moon Rising).

Laura J Martin, The Hangman Tree (Static Caravan VAN 237)

The eagerly awaited debut album from eccentric Merseysider Laura J Martin utilises a sublime blend of folksy instrumentation and high tech electronic wizardry to underpin her highly distinctive exploits as a songwriter. The Hangman Tree finds Laura conjuring up a beguiling mood of wide-eyed innocence which has already prompted comparisons with the likes of Bjork and Kate Bush, and the inventive young singer and flautist is captured at her most appealing on tracks such as Sleepwalker, Spy and Tom.