MINI REVIEWS – February 11, 2021

  • 8/10
    JASON BIELER & THE BARON VON BIELSKI ORCHESTRA - Songs for the Apocalypse - 8/10
  • 8.4/10
    FOO FIGHTERS - Medicine at Midnight - 8.4/10
  • 1/10
    UNDER A SPELL - The Chosen One - 1/10
  • 9/10
    STAN BUSH - Dare to Dream - 9/10


[spoiler title=’Metal Express Radio – Ratings Scale’ style=’default’ collapse_link=’true’]

10.0:         Cannot be improved! Perfect, instant classic! Essential in any record collection.
9.5 – 9.9:  Fantastic, spectacular and outstanding!
9.0 – 9.4:  Amazing release! It just lacks that little extra spice to make it perfect.
8.5 – 8.9:  Exceptional release! Will likely rank among top ten albums of the year.
8.0 – 8.4:  Great release! It has many different qualities.
7.5 – 7.9:  Above average! It is an enjoyable release.
7.0 – 7.4:  It is not brilliant, but has many strong points.
6.0 – 6.9:  It has its moments, but is not that strong.
5.0 – 5.9:  Slightly above average, does not stand out. Good outweighs bad by just a little.
4.0 – 4.9:  Just below average, bad outweighs good by just a little.
3.0 – 3.9:  Mediocre. There might be a song or a performance that is enjoyable, but that is it.
2.0 – 2.9:  Very weak! There might be a light at the end of the tunnel, too many flaws.
1.0 – 1.9:  This release gives the word “terrible” new meaning.
0.1 – 0.9:  Awful! Avoid at all cost. There is nothing good to say about this release.


Songs For The Apocalypse
Frontiers Music [BUY] [Facebook]

If the Red Hot Chili Peppers (cira 1995) had a three-way with Jane’s Addiction and Devin Townsend, the unwanted love child would sound like Jason Bieler and the Baron Von Bielski Orchestra. You can use that line free of charge Jason. Songs For the Apocalypse is an appropriate title for such a dark and impressive album.

The catchy, though-provoking, and star-studded album will make you forget that Saigon Kick ever existed. “Anthem for Losers” is sarcastically chipper, “Beyond Hope” is an eclectic jam session, “Crab Claw Dan” sounds like a bonus track from The Monkees Head album, “Bring Out Your Dead” is a spot-on commentary about today’s media culture, and the instrumental breaks give the album a cinematic feel. 8/10 [Interview]

FOO FIGHTERS – Medicine at Midnight
Roswell Records [Facebook]

It’s clear that Foo Fighters’ front man Dave Grohl has been spinning some of his old ’70s vinyl as of late. The sounds of and the defining artist of that era ring loud and clear on the 37 minute Medicine After Midnight. The album’s title track channels David Bowie, while “Chasing Birds” recalls Pink Floyd. “Shame Shame” delivers some Prog Rock goodness with its unique percussion work, while “No Son of Mine” treads ’70s Punk territory. Who doesn’t love a good nah nah nah song (“Making a Fire)?” Grohl has never gone wrong with an acoustic guitar in his hands (“Waiting on a War”). Medicine at Midnight is far from the days of “Monkey Wrench,” but it does show just how diverse the Foo Fighters can be. 8.4/10

UNDER A SPELL – The Chosen One
Pure Steel Records [BUY] [Facebook]

Remember when Grace Slick of Jefferson Airplane/Starship went on a drunken tangent during a taping for Rockplast in 1978? Under a Spell’s The Chosen One is very reminiscent of that train wreck. It almost seems as though Under a Spell is going out of their way to sound like a mess. The vocals are operatic is style, but a bit tone deaf in delivery. The muddy guitars don’t seem to match the frantic drum signatures and the solos are so fast, there’s no way they will be replicated live. There’s avant-garde and there’s annoying. The Chosen One is the latter. 1/10

STAN BUSH – Dare to Dream
LA Records [BUY] [Facebook]

Are you one of those people whose friends tell them they are stuck in the ’80s? From your fashion sense to your taste in music, you just can’t get enough. Of course that is not a bad thing. The ’80s were such a simpler time, especially when compared to 2020. Stan Bush will tell you himself, he’s stuck in the 80s, and he’s still making music today. Dare to Dream is an eleven song collection that will transform you back to the days of powerful melodic vocals, pulsing keyboards, emotional choruses, and edgy guitar licks.

There are no surprises when it comes to Stan Bush’s songwriting; believing in yourself (“Dream Big,” “Dare to Dream”), overcoming obstacles (“Heat of Attack,” “Never Give Up”), embracing the good times (“The Times of Your Life,” “The 80s”), and the power of love (“A Dream of Love,” “Live and Breathe”). Dare to Dream is Bush’s strongest effort since 2007’s In This Life. 9/10 [Interview]


  • George Dionne

    George was a contributor here at Metal Express Radio, reviewing albums and conducting interviews, out of Massachusetts, USA. George has contributed to numerous music related websites and blogs, and even managed his own from 2004-2009. George's first assignment was covering a live show by the mighty GWAR. By contrast his later assignments featured Judas Priest, Van Halen, and Bon Jovi. George was also the front man for the South Eastern Massachusetts cover band Sound Tower from 2009-2015.  Sound Tower played 300+ shows across MA and had two original songs on the Cape Cod radio station PIXY 103. George enjoys a good whiskey, scotch, and/or bourbon and fights crime in his spare time.

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