The best melodic rock you can buy this month

Dave Ling on the latest releases from White Widdow, Roth Brock Project, Fair Warning, Bryan Cole and Seven

White Widdow band photograph

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White Widdow - Silhouette

At this time of year, what would you give for 50 minutes of glorious sunshine? Well, that’s exactly what’s on offer from White Widdow. Formed in Australia in 2008, White Widdow are proud of the influences that make them tick, including Survivor, Dokken, King Kobra, Night Ranger, White Sister and Giuffria, that last pair reflecting the keyboards in their music.

Four albums in, the Melbourne-based five-piece have long since settled upon a formula and they stick to it. The likes of Surrender My Heart, Wild At Heart and Stranded are built upon neat, mid-paced tempos, multitracked backing vocals and the invigorating push and pull between Enzo Almanzi’s guitars and the dancing keys of Xavier Millis, the latter’s sibling Jules supplying the vocals. Should you seek a band to reinvent the wheel then you’d be better off looking elsewhere. White Widdow’s raison d’être is simply to remind us how enjoyable the 1980s used to be. (810)

Roth Brock Project - Roth Brock Project

The sensible money would have been on a collision of Winger (guitarist John Roth’s day band) and Strangeways (from whence comes Terry Brock on vocals) but Roth Brock Project are a harder rocking and slightly edgier proposition, and there are some terrific songs here, including What’s It To Ya? and If That’s What It Takes. (810)

Fair Warning - Pimp Your Past

In keeping with a growing modern trend, Pimp Your Past sees these German hard-rockers using contemporary technology to re-record songs from their first three albums, all of which were released in the 1990s. Along with the fresh arrangements, Tommy Heart’s vocals remaining head and shoulders above the pack represents another sizeable bonus. (810)

Bryan Cole - Sands Of Time

This youngster from Pittsburgh has been taken under the wing of Jim Peterik (Survivor/Pride Of Lions), who contributed to four of the 11 songs featured on this unusually strong debut album. Naturally, it carries the swagger of a more established artist, though only time will tell how much of the magic is actually attributable to Cole. (710)

Seven - Shattered

This little beauty of an album emerged a short while back but somehow evaded review in this magazine. Let’s put that to rights now, because Shattered is among the premier melodic hard-rock releases of 2016. Vocalist Mick Devine returns with a rebooted line-up for a sizzling second set, but Seven’s music remains Foreigner-esque and defiantly filler-free. (810)

The best new melodic rock albums you can buy this month

Dave Ling

Dave Ling was a co-founder of Classic Rock magazine. His words have appeared in a variety of music publications, including RAW, Kerrang!, Metal Hammer, Prog, Rock Candy, Fireworks and Sounds. Dave’s life was shaped in 1974 through the purchase of a copy of Sweet’s album ‘Sweet Fanny Adams’, along with early gig experiences from Status Quo, Rush, Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Yes and Queen. As a lifelong season ticket holder of Crystal Palace FC, he is completely incapable of uttering the word ‘Br***ton’.