Tag Archives: review

Royal Blood Relentless at Coachella


It was as if Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page challenged the men of Royal Blood to wield the hammer of the gods when he presented them with the BRIT Award for Best British Group earlier this year, because the duo was absolutely thunderous during their Coachella performance on Saturday.

Bassist/singer Mike Kerr and drummer Ben Thatcher were relentless at the festival’s Outdoor Theatre, beginning with an electric “Come on Over” and ending with the machine-gun firepower of “You Can Be So Cruel.”

In between, it was detonation after detonation, with Kerr reeling off killer riffs on his bass and Thatcher attacking his drum kit like it owed him money.

For “Come on Over,” the first notes called all fans within earshot to sprint towards the sound, making no apologies to bystanders they may have brushed with over-aggressive air-drumming.

It only got better from there. A few songs later, Kerr shouted out, “Come on Coachella!” midway through “Figure it Out” as Thatcher stood up menacingly, banging a cymbal like a general, just to make sure everyone knew who was boss.

The Royal Blood rocket continued to blast forward with stoner-rock anthems “Little Monster” and “Loose Change,” the latter of which saw Thatcher take it to the next level by actually standing atop his bass drum as Kerr vamped towards each corner of the stage.

That was when chants of the band’s name rose up and when the mosh pit started. It only took the first staccato snaps on Thatcher’s snare to switch on the blender of humanity in the middle of the field during “You Can Be So Cruel.” Hands shot up and bodies began to circle. And those who weren’t amid the whirlpool banged their heads in approval.

Coachella has posted this video of Royal Blood performing “Figure It Out” below.

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Premier Guitar Reviews G5620T-CB Electromatic Center-Block


Gretsch G5630T-CB

The Gretsch Center-Blocks continue to get love from the various music mags, including a great review recently from Premier Guitar.

“The 24.6″-scale 5620 is a shining example of how Gretsch’s Electromatic line has evolved over the last few years,” wrote reviewer Shawn Hammond. “What once seemed a dipping of the toes into entry-level waters has, in many ways, become a deep dive revealing impressive quality and beauty. Our review guitar came in a rich “rosa red” gloss-urethane finish through which you can subtly detect grains of the underlying maple spreading across the sumptuous arches and curves. The rosewood-topped maple neck features a 12.5″-radius fretboard inlaid with 22 remarkably clean, neatly dressed medium-jumbo frets. And peaking inside the cat’s-eye soundholes reveals straight, cleanly cut kerfing and no stray glue.”

In summary, PG had this to say:

“Gretsch’s beautiful G5620T-CB has so much going for it. For the price, it packs a serious punch in almost every category, from visual vibe to practical appointments, control flexibility, and ergonomics.”

Read the complete review here.

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Gretsch-i-tude! Acoustic Guitar Highlights the Jim Dandy


Jim Dandy Flat Top

Acoustic Guitar magazine highlights the new Gretsch Roots Jim Dandy Flat Top guitar in its May issue.

The article first gives a brief rundown of some of the artists who have played Gretsch—from Brian Setzer to George Harrison to Neil Young to Stephen Stills— before diving into the Jim Dandy, which is modeled on the Gretsch Rex that was produced from the 1930s to the ’50s.

“The main difference between this and the original is that this one has an adjustable truss rod, and it has X-bracing so it actually sounds like a guitar,” said Mike Lewis, who developed the new Gretsch Roots Collection.

To read the full piece, pick up the May 2014 issue or sign up for a digital version here.

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Performer Magazine Reviews Gretsch G9311 New Yorker Supreme A/E Mandolin



Performer magazine has posted an online review of the Gretsch G9311 New Yorker Supreme A/E Mandolin, calling it a “stunner.”

“The New Yorker Supreme sports a classy sunburst matte finish (what Gretsch calls ‘antique semi-gloss’) and a user-friendly Fishman M300 ‘Nashville’ piezo-ceramic pickup,” notes reviewer Benjamin Ricci. “Purists, fear not! The pickup is remarkably clear and musical, delivering a much more natural acoustic tone when plugged in than you might be used to in the acoustic/electric realm. In our tests, gone were the somewhat shrill highs other A/E instruments can sometimes (frustratingly) ‘feature.’”

The praise continues — from its feature set to playability to affordability.

“In fact, so good is this instrument that we’re stumped to think of anything negative to say about it,” sums up Ricci.

Read the full review here.

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