New Releases Round-Up

This week, we go on a journey from Sweden to Norway, and even take in Trinidad & Tobago. We’ve got old faves, a new guitar hero, and even a busker. Now that’s entertainment.

Hawkwind have been an enduring presence on the space rock scene for so long it’s easy to take them for granted. So it takes releases like Parallel Universe A Liberty/U.A. Years Anthology 1970-1974 (EMI) to remind you of their greatness. The title says it all, as this is a three-CD collection of their work during that era, and includes 12 previously unreleased tracks. But the whole feel is of a pioneering band making tremendously exciting and timeless music.

Europe are on a live kick with two essential CD/DVD packages this week Live Look At Eden (earMUSIC) is a 140-page book of photos from the Swedes’ last major tour, which comes with a CD of live material recorded in four different locations, plus a DVD shot at the iTunes Festival last year. Everything about it is quality and style, showing the band in the best possible light. Equally as impressive is slightly less lavish Live At Shepherd’s Bush, London (earMUSIC). This was filmed and recorded at the Empire earlier this year. Again proving Europe are still excellent stage performers.

Henry Parker is an 18-year-old guitar virtuoso. On Henry Parker And His Magical World Parker shows that he actually can play up a storm, as well as write tunes with a blues-rock swing and just a touch of psychedelia. Find out more at www.henryparkermusic.com

Warren Dean made his money by busking across the country. Now he’s sunk some of that cash into the album Who Is Warren Dean?. The answer is a refreshing, unsullied singer/songwriter who owes something to Bob Dylan, Nick Drake and John Martyn, but also has his own ebullient timbre. Find out more at www.warrendean.net

Jointpop are from Trinidad & Tobago – hardly a hive of rock ‘n’ roll activity, right? But on The Longest Kiss Goodnight (Anarchy On The Ace), they prove to have an individual swing. There’s a hint of punk, some alt. rock tendencies and a flow of pop-rock vibrancy. It’s The Wildhearts with a West Indian passion.

Norwegian black metallers Khold have their 2001 debut Masterpiss Of Pain (Peaceville) reissued. It’s a storm cloud of ominous and dense tirades, and remains their best album to date.

Californians Scarred bring to mind a cross between Solitude Aeturnus and Barren Cross on the pwoer metal themed Haunting Memories. They do this sort of thing with considerable style on the four tracks, which are laced more with an 80s sensibility than anything else. Nothing wrong with that approach when does as convincingly as the foursome do it. Find out more atwww.myspace.com/scarredmetal

Finally, Welsh band Kids In Glass Houses provide something of a shock with In Gold Blood (Roadrunner). If they’ve always appeared a little too emo in the past, now they’ve moved into an area that sounds more like early Manic Street Preachers. There’s definitely a sense here that the band are coming into their own. Raw, powerful and productive, this album points towards an interesting future.

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