· MERRYWEATHER / STARK - CARVED IN ROCK (MS001) ·

::T R A C K S::

01. IRMA LA DOUCE
02. IT AIN'T PRETTY
03. WE GOTTA OWN THIS THING
04. BABYLON - SIN CITY
05. GIVE 'EM HELL, BOY
06. ROCKERS LAMENT
07. LAY YOUR BODY DOWN
08. LOVE AND WAR
09. FREEDOM TO LOVE
10. WHAT'S IT GONNA BE
11. I BELIEVE


FORMAT: Audio CD / STANDARD JEWEL CASE (IMPORT)
MS001 - $14.99

Excellent debut disc by this killer hard rock band featuring Neil Merryweather on Vocals and Janne "Riff:Master" Stark on Guitar. Includes 11 tracks of way-kool, bad-ass, retro-fied, blues-based, heavy guitar rock that lands brain-damaging with high energy, old-school swagger & pure rock fury.

Neil Merryweather (Space Rangers / Steve Miller / Lita Ford Heavy Cruiser...etc.) from Las Vegas (Sin City) is an amazing soul powered 70s rock vocalist who has been Keeping the Rock alive since the late 60s and lands with his heaviest musical effort to date on the "Carved In Rock" disc. Janne Stark (Mountain Of Power Locomotive Breath / Overdrive / Constancia / Grand Design...etc) from Sweden is a kick-ass, prolific, hard riff-rockin', six string animal who definitely rocks the house down with his powerful brand of killer heavy guitar rock riffage + axe rippin' lead guitar action. This international hard rock duo first jammed together on the awesome Mountain Of Power - "Volume Three" disc and that outstanding MOP-V3 jam led to the excellent new band. Between these two classic hard rock n' roll veterans, they have both landed and been part of over 100 discs which is ALL ABOUT THE ROCK!!!

The "Carved In Rock" disc is an essential kick ass, powerful hard rocker that is Highly recommended to fans of Neil Merryweather's Space Rangers, Janne Stark, Mountain Of Power, Snake Head Ritual, Stranger, American Mafia, Hard Driver...etc. and to people who dig awesome, old-school-inspired meets modern day heavy rock music.


MP3 Sample Clips

01. IRMA LA DOUCE
02. IT AIN'T PRETTY
03. WE GOTTA OWN THIS THING
04. BABYLON - SIN CITY
05. GIVE 'EM HELL, BOY
06. ROCKERS LAMENT
07. LAY YOUR BODY DOWN
08. LOVE AND WAR
09. FREEDOM TO LOVE
10. WHAT'S IT GONNA BE
11. I BELIEVE


 

· RECOMMENDED GROOVEYARD DISCS ·

MOUNTAIN OF POWER
"Volume One"
(GYR025)



MOUNTAIN OF POWER
"Volume Two"
(GYR060)



MOUNTAIN OF POWER
"Volume Three"
(GYR140)



Mike Onesko's
Guitar Army
(GYR131)



STRANGER
"Rock Solid"
(GYR075) - $12.99



HARD DRIVER
"FREEDOM MACHINE"
(GYR156)



snake head ritual
"s/t"
(GYR105)



SNAKE HEAD RITUAL
"CEREMONIAL..."
(GYR147)



· VIDEO ·

 

MERRYWEATHER STARK - "FREEDOM TO LOVE"

 

 

· reviews ·

Today Janne Stark is mostly known as the author of massive heavy rock encyclopedias. But, as you probably know, he is mainly a musician, foremost known as guitar player of Overdrive, Baltimoore and Locomotive Breath. Canadian singer and bass player Neil Merryweather has on the other hand released albums since 1969 and worked with musicians such as Steve Miller, Lita Ford and Dave Mason. Together they have now made a fine collection of meat and potato songs. Parallels to other bands are quite clear. “Babylon – Sin City” sounds a bit like Electric Boys, while “Love And War” seems influenced by Aerosmith. But they are no copy cats whatsoever. A song such as “Give ‘Em Hell, Boy” displays an ingenious combination of fat riffs and elegant melodies. My favorite is the up tempo rocker “Rockers Lament”, a song that perfectly takes over where Van Halen left off.

Daniel Reichberg / Sweden Rock Magazine (march 2018)
 


The pairing of American bass playing legend Neil Merryweather and Swedish guitarist Janne Stark came about due to Neil's participation on a recent "Mountain Of Power" record. MoP is one of Janne's musical projects, and he wanted to include two of Neil's songs from his 70's LP 'Kryptonite'. One thing led to another, with Neil providing vocals to that album, which ultimately morphed into Merryweather Stark. The duo, signed to Swedish label GMR Music saw the debut 'Carved in Rock' released at the end of January 2018, and is big riff-laden non-nonsense affair which combines elements from the 70's, 80's and more recent times too.

Merryweather has an extensive recording history. His involvement includes such names as Mama Lion, Heavy Cruiser, Eyes, Lita Ford, Steve Miller, Randy California, Hundred Watt Head and of course under his own name, such as the classic 'Kryptonite' and 'Space Rangers' albums. Stark is well known on the Swedish circuit, with his involvement including acts such as: Overdrive, Grand Design, Constancia, Locomotive Breath, BALLS and the aforementioned Mountain of Power.

As to be expected, this is a big boisterous slab of heavy rock with a slight bluesy tinge. The album lives in a 70's fat bottomed groove with tough riffs and funky rhythms for friends. No better example than the thick as thieves rocker 'It Ain't Pretty', which lays the platform. 'Give 'Em Hell Boy' is another to wear its attitude on the Merryweather Stark sleeve. The boys pick up the face on the short but cheeky 'Rockers Lament', while 'Love And War' and 'Freedom To Love' feature thick crunchy clusters of guitar riffs, even more so than your morning toasted muesli. For something different, 'What's It Gonne Be' heads into funk rock territory, but overall, that thick groove is still very much apparent.

Glory Daze Music (March 2018)
 


Merryweather Stark is the band moniker for Canadian bass player and vocalist Neil Merryweather and Swedish guitarist Janne Stark. Both musicians have prolific and impressive careers with various bands, individual appearances, and and personal projects across nearly five decades. Merryweather and Stark met when the former did vocals for several songs on Volume Three for Stark's Mountain Of Power band. The collaboration continued into Merryweather Stark and their first recording Carved In Rock.

The album title is apropos. Merryweather Stark basically plays heavy rock, with a touch of blues and psychedelic rock. Stark's riffs could be called both thick and brisk, but at times fuzzed out. Perhaps another way to describe his guitar style is raw and aggressive. His riffs and leads are definitely the centerpeice of the Merryweather Stark sound. On the vocals, Merryweather sings melodic and clean yet has a tone that tunes to Stark's guitar lines. Then there's the rhythm section which is also heavy and aggressive. as well, laying down a thick groove. Actually, of all these parts, I was quite impressed with the drumming. Though uncredited in the press release, this fellow lays down some great flourish and groove within Lay Your Body Down, Rockers Lament, and Love And War. After these things, the songs that captured the most interest were the ones where the psychedelic blues groove were stronger. Good examples come with We Got To Own This Thing, Give 'Em Hell, Boy, and What's It Gonna Be. Fundamentally, if you enjoy guitar-forward heavy rock spiced with a psychedelic blues feeling, you will appreciate Merryweather Stark's Carved In Rock.

Craig Hartranft / Dangerdog Music Reviews (February 2018)
 


Call it being Carved In Rock, call it getting a mighty great boot up the ass in the shape of a riff grooved monster. Hell, call it what you want, but if you're looking for an album to dig in deep and leave you breathless thanks to its authentic blues busting, groove gyrating chops, then, this is where you should be.

If you don't already know, Neil Merryweather is a hugely respected bassist and vocalist who is renowned for his work with Space Rangers, Steve Miller, Lita Ford and well, countless others. Having previously guested on Janne Stark's Mountain Of Power - Vol. 3 disc, the pair have decided to team up and take their brand of down and dirty guitar slinging to the masses and we should be grateful they did. Stark is no slouch either, Locomotive Breath, Constancia, Overdrive and Grand Design all benefitting from his thunderous guitar goodness, but this guy also writes books and reviews about the scene he's part of and a wider scope of music in general. In short Stark is the sort of guy who lives and breathes this music. Hence it's no surprise that combined with the boisterous bass work and stunning vocals of Merryweather, this pair have come up with something just a little special.

Adding an occasional psychedelic groove to proceedings, Carved In Rock came here to hit hard and leave you craving for more. And that's exactly what opener "Irma La Douce" does, a shambolic tumble of sounds giving way to the sort of stinging guitar line and riff that Hendrix would have braved the crosstown traffic for. However from there the staccato bursts are all about making maximum impact, the shout out of this song's chorus just irresistible. "It Ain't Pretty" adds a bluesier flavour, but it's still the combination of spiralling bass and guitar that has you nodding in approval. Throughout, drummer Peter "Trumpeter" Svensson revels in the enviable job of nailing all this riffmongering down and building the base of the groove, as he simply refuses to waste a single beat or cymbal smash along the way.

From the mean and moody "Give 'Em Hell, Boy" to the darting forays and melodically laced riff of "Love And War" - which hits like early Van Halen - this juggernaut of hard hitting rock just keeps on firing. And no matter how many times you abuse the repeat button on this guaranteed party starter, the standard simply never drops.

Hopefully Merryweather Stark is set to be a name we're going to get used to hearing from again and again. If Carved In Rock is anything to go by, the mark they're sure to leave will be as indelible as the title of their debut album suggests.

Steven Reid / Sea Of Tranquility (March 2018)
 


With Carved in Rock, we finally see the return of Neil Merryweather. It seems the Canadian singer, bassist and songwriter has been pulled out of retirement by famed Swedish guitarist Janne Stark (Overdrive, Locomotive Breath, Mountain of Power). Just to catch you up, Merryweather was a phenom from the sixties through the eighties. His impressive and eclectic career had him working with the who’s-who of 70s rock while recording with his own outfit Merryweather. Mama Lion proved to be his foray into hard rock, which became sharper and crisper in Heavy Cruiser – then truly focused on solo albums, Space Rangers (1974), Kryptonite (1975) and Differences (1978). We last saw him working with Lita Ford on her debut Out for Blood (1983). Disillusioned with the music biz, Neil took a break from it until 2009. In 2015 he appeared on Janne Stark’s Mountain of Power III released by Grooveyard records. The two have continued their collaboration efforts on Carved in Rock which showcases the duos ability to craft some incredible ‘70s-inspired heavy rock.

To say the disc packs a punch is an understatement. We’re talking heaps upon MF heaps of Stark’s heavy riffiage with Merryweather’s signature growl. ‘Irma La Douce” breathes fire from the speakers with cosmic swirls of green haze. A sonic lick drives the song straight into the bass and vocals where Neil’s voice is a welcome ghost from the past. The singer’s clever lyrical rhymes meet somewhere between Kiss and Motörhead with “Hey liar, liar, your pants are on fire / you’re bubbling over with molten desire.” Then there’s the thrashing speed of ‘Rocker’s Lament’ where Starks rips away, his six strings on fire, while Neil growls “I am what I am / and I don’t give a damn / I’m just playing my fucking guitar.” There’s no hiding, you can hear the pain of a tortured soul having been dragged through 50 years in the music business. The nastiest guitar snarl on the disc must be ‘Give ‘Em Hell, Boy’ with its Aerosmith swagger and bump-n-grind bass riff followed by the stripper pole workout of “Lay Your Body Down.’

Merryweather cranks it up on ‘It Ain’t Pretty’, rattling the walls in a four-minute homage to classic James Gang/ZZ Top. His voice even sounds, at times, like Joe Walsh or Billy Gibbons matching the weight of the guitar, drum and bass in a power trio cyclone of pure bliss. Though the guts of the record are heavy, heavy, heavy there is still plenty of air to breathe. ‘I Believe’ has a nice ‘70s structure moving from verse to verse while ‘We Got to Own This Thing’ uses a cascading riff in a blues fame for bite and muscle. Stark find’s his own strut in the beefy ‘Love and War’ that borrows some lyrical grooves from Aerosmith’s ‘Walk This Way’. The guitarist soars this each solo while still keeping it lean, mean and chunky. Our favorite songs change with each listen but ‘Babylon – Sin City’ keeps rising to the top with its thumping guitar and frantic chorus. One can’t help think the song is dedicated to Neil’s adopted home, Las Vegas. Carved in Rock is honest, dedicated and blue-collar. It’s Sex drugs and rock ‘n’ roll without fading… and these guys really mean it!

Todd K. Smith / The Electric Beard (February 2018)
 


Rock singer, bass player, Neil Merryweather (Space Rangers / Steve Miller / Lita Ford) and guitarist plus multi talented Janne Stark (Mountain Of Power / Locomotive Breath / Overdrive / Constancia / Grand Design) come out swinging for the fences with their intense debut release, 'Carved In Rock', an album that will sends chills down your spine, I know it did mine as soon as I pressed play. This is the kind of album that can only be enjoyed one way, at MAXIMUM VOLUME! The intent is obvious from the start with the gut busting, "Irma la Douce", opening the album leading into an intense voyage of riff city mayhem. As your listening experience intensifies with tracks like, "It Ain't Pretty", "We Gotta Own This Thing", "Give 'Em Hell", Boy", "Lay Your Body Down" and "Freedom to Love". One thing is certain if you want straight ahead in your face blues based rock that pulls no punches and will make you forget about anything that's ailing you; this album is just what the doctor ordered. Overall, the chemistry between Merryweather and Stark are like hand in glove. The musical interplay between the two is what one would expect from these two talented and veteran musicians. After listening to 'Carved In Rock' your ears will be ringing for days! Be prepared to be slayed!!

Tony Sison / Dedicated Rocker Society (February 2018)
 



 


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