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“Neil Young In The Dark” is taken from The Ugly Guys’ new album “Senior Moments”, available from Angel Air Records.
Your superb album arrived this morning. Just a few thoughts for what they are worth. You can take the finest guitar and Rob Armstrong makes wonderful sounding instruments. The finest recording studio and sound engineers in the world, but at the end of the day it is the player.
You sir are a fine player and I congratulate you on a lovely piece of work, recorded from the heart which is reflected in your sleeve notes.
Gordon Giltrap (May 2018)
Brand new album from legendary singer-songwriter/guitarist Robin George. Rogue Angels is yet another explosive blast of rockin’ tracks from this ultra talented fellow. Listening to these songs, you’d never ever guess that George has been making music for as long as he has. You’d also never guess that he plays all the instruments on this album except for drums (courtesy of master percussionist Charlie Morgan). Rather than sounding like a collection of one man band recordings, these tracks have all the intense energy of a full band playing live. If you love guitars, you’re almost certain to love the sound of these recordings. Built upon solid rhythms and thick bass lines, these tracks are driven by some totally killer electric guitar riffs. This guy’s one of the best players out there…
This is one of those cases where a musician hits his prime at a later point in his career. Instead of burning out or fading away, George’s music seems to become more energized and magnetic. We can’t imagine any fan of real rock music not having an immediate attraction to cuts like “Wild Eyed Beauty Queen,” “Rush,” “Red Out” “Surreal Dream,” and “Love Is Blind.” Featuring some of the best rockin’ tracks we’ve heard in 2018, Rogue Angels is a solid and direct HIT. Highly recommended. TOP PICK.
babysue (May 2018)
With his strange worn out voice he mysteriously entices you in alongside his killer guitar work whose been on the scene for three plus decades now.
Robin is an intriguing artist who even wrote for the likes of Robert Plant, Phil Lynott and Glenn Hughes and has many an album out in his own right. He fires up on eleven cuts on this brand new release that feature Charlie Morgan too on drums with highlights including the sticking in your head opener ‘Wild Eyed Beauty Queen’ to the blues of ‘Love Is Blind’.
In between you’ll come across numbers like the catchy title track ‘Rogue Angels’; ‘Surreal Dream’ that puts me in mind of ‘Breath’ by The Prodigy in part of the chorus or the cheesy rocky poppified ‘Dancing Shoes Again’.
It is really a grower of an album after you get used to his throaty voice. 7.5/10
Metalliville Zine (May 2018)
Over a vast and varied career Robin George has created a hugely eclectic body of work, but with the hard rocking, blues edged energy of Rogue Angels it really feels like this singer, guitarist and songwriter is making music that completely satisfies his creative need. Surely it’s no coincidence that it also comes across as one of the most impressive albums he’s put his name to.
Sea Of Tranquility (May 2018)
Over the years, since debut solo album, Dangerous Games (1985), George’s songs and production have gained an instantly identifiable style. Themes of love, peace and perseverance are now hardwired into his lyrics…touchingly referring to maternal inspiration on ‘Play Nice’, and resurrecting ‘Go Down Fighting’s ode to the common man, on this 2018 version. Musically, he has perfected the “Alien” technique, where great melodies burst forth from an arrangement seemingly stitched together from fragments of guitar, bass and drum harmonies…especially effective on ‘Surreal Dream’ and ‘Wild Eyed Beauty Queen’.
Where so many Eighties AOR survivors come back with albums mired in the sound of dead horses being flogged, George gives the genre’s faded grandeur a fresh coat of paint.
The Midlands Rocks (May 2018)
Rogue Angels is a rare treasure, an original and innovative work of art, which seduces us subtly, throughout our mysterious journey. A Surreal Dream of Rogue Angels and Wild-Eyed Beauty Queens striding through Dark and Stormy Nights; lyrically, we’re enchanted as we leap between light and shade. Musically, we’re enthralled as the maestros, Robin and Charlie, power through this mind-blowing rock symphony.
…Surreal Dream whisks us into the weird and wonderful ‘bitter sweet’ world caught between dreams and nightmares. It combines mesmerizing Eastern rhythms with spectacular ‘pedal to the metal’ guitar and mesmerizing tribal drums. The enchanting, whimsical lyrics are full of humour as witches and Rogue Angels consort with the Bilston Market cowboys!
Deeper into the dreamscape, One Dark and Stormy Night is pure delight. It’s a rock n roll lullaby you never want to end, a bedtime story you gotta dance to and a tune you just can’t get outta your head all night!
Love is Blind is down and dirty, gritty blues rock that resounds with mind-blowing guitar work. The almost symphonic solo slides, roars and climbs; irresistibly dragging you in. Lyrically beautiful, vocally dynamic and musically magical. A fitting end to the Rogue Angels album, which is an undeniable original, and, indeed, a modern masterpiece.
Vivienne Leonard (May 2018)
Robin George played for over thirty years in the shadow of well known musicians such as Brian May, Roy Wood or Robert Plant. Time for recognition: his recent solo album ‘Rogue Angels’ on Angel Air Records, with melodic slide guitar and strong riffs, will blow you away.
Keys and Chords (May 2018)
These hitherto unreleased on CD tracks represent Edwin’s entire output for Peter Stringfellow’s Hippodrome label during 1985 and 1986, including the distinctly disco oriented revamps of Marvin Gaye’s “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” and Wilson Pickett’s “Land of 1000 Dances.”
Kevin Bryan, regional newspapers (May 2018)
…”Gold Fever” however does fit the Americana bill, a popping, muted cowbell adding an urgency and immediacy to the never wasteful guitar strikes and deeply authentic vocals. “Pretty Pretty Lies”, finds Shuttleworth’s voice adding a slightly more fragile tone, bringing an interesting vulnerability to a confident call of country riff and roll, while it’s maybe the Oliver fronted “OL’45″ that possesses the deepest, boogieing groove, where the good times just keepin’ on keepin’ on and a few doowops are added for good measure. However it’s when Senior Moments gets pensive and poised, as it does on “Neil Young In The Dark”, which unsurprisingly is reminiscent of the great man himself, that this band unveil their strongest side. Yes they can rock, yes they can roll and yes they can start a party, but The Ugly Guys can also pull at the heartstrings and remind you of better days gone by and the good times ahead; which is a rare skill indeed.
There may not be many twists or turns on Senior Moments, but with that album title itself alluding to the more mature outlook this collection contains, maybe it would have been more shocking if it did. More importantly however, and through a gentle variety of styles, The Ugly Guys will keep you entertained and celebrating the good things in life and that in itself is reason enough to join them.
Sea Of Tranquility (May 2018)
….Sonically, it’s spectacularly turned in, with guitarist/mandolinist Steve Oliver and pedal-steel player Vic Collins displaying chops the equal of any Nashville sessioneers and a gloss to the mix worthy of Tom Dowd. Listen to ‘Neil Young In The Dark’ for that Southern Soul vibe.
RnR Magazine (May 2018)
Five seniors who bring, with craftsmanship, qualitative ‘feel good’ Americana. That is the essence of ‘Senior Moments’. Nice album!
Keys and Chords (April 2018)
The Ugly Guys are easily the best exponents of Country Rock or Cosmic American Music as Gram Parsons – anyone who worships Bernie Leadon era Eagles, The Fantastic Expedition of Dillard & Clark and the Parsons- Hillman model of The Flying Burrito Brothers should pounce on Senior Moments post haste.
What sets The Ugly Guys apart from the wannabes is their musical proficiency, songwriting smarts and lead vocalist Paul Shuttleworth’s soulful edge. All songs, save a fine live version of Little Feat’s Willin’, are originals that primarily come from Shuttleworth and guitarist Steve Oliver- all boast a lyricism that’s closer to Texas storytellers like Robert Earl Keen and Butch Hancock. There’s also a touch of hard-boiled fiction in the narrative sweep of King Of Dixie, Mama Has Gone, and Handsome Boy. Whereas the evocative Neil Young In The Dark mixes Gene Pitney with Bakersfield Country and E Street Band.
Unlike like many current Alt-Country units, The Ugly Guys can rock out with authority. It’s all there – cry-in-your-beer vocals, keening pedal steel guitar, the hard twang of a Telecaster and the authentic grunt of Pub Rock rhythm section. Once again, The Ugly Guys have made beautiful music.
Michael Macdonald (April 2018)
This is the third album from Americana style band The Ugly Guys. Paul Shuttleworth and Vic Collins were together originally in The Kursaal Flyers who in 1976 had a UK top 20 hit with ‘Little Does She Know’…12 new songs here including ‘King Of Dixie’, ‘Gold Fever’, ‘Ol’ 45′, ‘Neil Young In The Dark’ and ‘Dixie Grass’, there’s also a bonus track…
Bev Bevan, Sunday Mercury (March 2018)
Check out Jenny’s brilliant audition on Britain’s Got Talent!
Check out Jim’s new music video for the track ‘Charmed’, taken from his new solo album ‘Walking In The Wild Land’ – available now from Angel Air Records.
It’s easy to fall under the spell of opener “Top Shelf” whose irresistible, insistent riffs betray the ensemble’s old-school blues-based rock, slider rolling across the fretboard and refrain infecting the listener with a wish to join the party, yet, despite the six-string filigree, the sneer and simple beat which fill the funky “Toxic Love” reveal the group’s fascination with post-punk, and not for nothing they used to frequent the “CBGB” stage. But if the swaggering “Rock Now” and the moderately heavy “Trappin’ Me In” have the “in your face” quality, “Like The Rain” is very much rootsy – its jangle and vocal harmonies wouldn’t feel out of place and time in the ’60s – the funereal ballad “Come Back Lover” should fathom the depth of the band’s emotional crunch.
Unfortunately, all these strands coming together in “Shock Wave” fail to produce a memorable performance, whereas the saving grace of the equally groovy “Love So Large” is, again, rock ‘n’ roll licks that somehow undermine the piece’s anthemic message only to take “Best Friend” beyond the pale; and when there’s a need for reflection, it’s best to make it as frantic as “Get Inside Yourself” is – dipped in Delta, albeit looking contemporary. Ostensibly, the group didn’t stop, another album is long overdue; until the record is delivered, “The Zippers” are here for all to catch up. 4 / 5 Stars
DMME.net (April 2018)
Reissue of the debut album from The Zippers that was originally released on the MCA label in 1990…This is the first time we’ve heard this music. Based on the first track (“Top Shelf”) we can see why these guys might’ve been lumped into the hair/metal category. But some of the other tracks are very surprising, falling squarely into power pop terrain. Callahan wrote the majority of the songs, and it’s interesting how much variety you’ll hear on these ten tracks. Produced by Freddie Salem, these recordings have stood the test of time very well. It would certainly seem appropriate if this reissue yielded a surprise hit single so many years after the fact, because this is one of those cool treasures that just somehow got lost in the shuffle over the years. Cool guitar-driven pop/rock tracks include “Toxic Love,” “Like The Rain” (our favorite), “Love So Large,” and “Get Inside Yourself.”
babysue (March 2018)
The fare on offer ranges from the J. Geils Band’s Centerfold-like stylings of “Top Shelf” through The Cars-style power pop of “Like The Rain” to “Come Back Lover”, a dead ringer for the Stone’s Angie…worth filing alongside Petty and Mellencamp if US power pop is your bag.
Record Collector (March 2018)
I can’t tell you that The Zippers’ self titled effort is an all time classic, but it’s certainly far too good to have been ignored for 28 years. If you like honest, no frills hard rock without the metal pretensions – but which also doesn’t take itself too seriously – then this band and album may well be something of a find.
Sea Of Tranquility (March 2018)
“Shipping Forecast” is taken from Norman Baker’s new album “Staying Blue” available from Angel Air Records.