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 Slam Cartel - Handful Of Dreams (2011) Album Review

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Zodiac : Aries Metal Reputation : 88
Join date : 2012-01-05
Location : Vacationing in Hell

PostSlam Cartel - Handful Of Dreams (2011) Album Review

Slam Cartel - Handful Of Dreams (2011)
Self-Released -- Running Time 59:03

"We sound like Heaven, we feel like God's burning a hole into your heart, we play like demons, and we smell like Rock 'n' Roll"

The above is written on the inside sleeve of 'Handful Of Dreams' the debut album from Slam Cartel which was released in 2011. It also appears on their website and Facebook page and is the perfect statement to sum up this fabulous band from London. I met, watched and interviewed the band for the first time at the recent Rock & Metal Circus Festival. They put on a great performance and I did say at the time that their sound was difficult to pinpoint, but I wasn't prepared for the variety on this majestic and excellent CD. Why oh why haven't I heard of Slam Cartel until recently?

I'll not go into too much back story, you will get some of that in the accompanying interview. I really just want to concentrate on the music here. Slam Cartel's sound covers Heavy Rock, Rock 'n' Roll, Blues Rock, Country, Grunge...I could go on. I can hear elements of Guns n' Roses, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, The Cult, Alter Bridge, Rage Against The Machine, The Cult, Gun, Oasis etc. Damn, I can even hear Savatage, ELO, Robbie Williams and Neil Diamond in some of the quieter moments. This is all merged together into one fantastically catchy and beautiful rock album. I might add that I had noted all of those names down before I had seen that most of them are mentioned on Slam Cartel's website! They surely don't sound like they come from the UK!

This album was recorded as a six piece, but Slam Cartel have since trimmed down to five with the departure of keyboardist 'Adam Lee' in March of this year. My performance of this album, amongst many very good performances, has to go to vocalist 'Giles Van Lane'. What a voice, he's bang on the button here. Balls and passion go hand in hand and it's all delivered with a wonderful maturity and bourbon soaked smoothness! 'Terence Warville' & 'Tom Hendriksen' both display some excellent guitar work and the rhythm section of 'Marc Neudeck' (bass) and 'Steve Campkin' (drums) provide a fantastic groove. All of this is though is tempered by the fact that Slam Cartel are not always kicking dirt in your face. They know exactly when to bring it down a notch and melody is king, the fabulous 'Maybe Sometimes' and 'Walk A Mile' being perfect examples! Add to that a great production and you have nearly an hour of music that I'm going to find difficult removing from my CD player such is it's replay value!

Look, I could go on writing about every track because there isn't a bad one on here. I'm even quite fond of the Rage Against The Machine 'isms' that they produce on certain songs, not something I would usually admit to. Even if they jar a little on the first listen, by the third or fourth time around they make perfect sense! Hell, this band could appeal to so many music lovers if given half the chance and they should be huge, especially in the States. With a new album being written and prepared for release next year this is yet another band to keep a very close eye on!

Review written exclusively for Brutiful Entertainment by Rick Tilley

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