About Rock Hard Reviews

We set up Rock Hard Reviews (www.rockhardreviews.com) to share our thoughts, likes and dislikes regarding music. Mostly we focus on rock , which is a broad genre. We cover many forms of historic and new rock, from soft, through classic rock, metal and even noisier varieties.

Our website is totally independent of the music industry, which allows us to be honest and forthright. We are grateful to Jane Hewitt, expert family tree researcher / genealogist, for making this website possible. Although Jane does not write for Rock Hard Reviews (she is too busy researching family history for the public and running her own excellent family researcher website), Rock Hard Reviews would not exist without her moral and website support.

Our reviewers:

Tali

Way thinner and way less hairy than PJ, Tali is the educated reviewer here at Rock Hard Reviews. If one were to sum up her taste in music the word 'eclectic' would probably come into it somewhere.

When it comes to hard rock, Tali favours modern rock and metal, and when it comes to older albums from the 20th century she is likely to prefer the noisier and raucous variety over classic and melodic rock. She also enjoys indulging in other genres of music from time to time, saying that she likes 'weird' stuff just for the fun of it'.

As well as being a reviewer, Tali is a creative soul. She keeps herself busy as an artist / cartoonist / writer / mad scientist. That last one is a joke – we think!

When not reviewing, enjoys a spot of creative writing. You can find some of her 21st Century Robin Hood short stories in most common formats free of charge by following the link. They are also available in kindle format.

Paul Jack

An old hand at the genre, Paul Jack, sometimes known as PJ, has been around for a long, long time. He was listening to rock music back when the singles chart actually meant something. Or at least so he says, despite the evidence being that he only bought 2 singles in his life, having spent his hard earned on a mountain of vinyl albums back in the day.

Vinyl Everest is sadly gone now, Paul Jack having donated it to a worthy cause back in 2005. Hairy old timer Paul Jack remains though. We asked him if he thinks that rock is dead, and he said "Seems to me that suited and booted members of the music industry have been trying to kill off rock since the nineties. Old established masters of rock (should that read 'monsters'?) are still turning out awesome music, and there is still an audience for it. Talented new rock and metal bands can still make it and are definitely worth listening to, but the money doesn't seem to be there anymore. When is the last time you saw rock acts being promoted by the industry outside of specialist publications and websites?"

"I remember the days when old and new rock were routinely showcased in the mainstream media," he rambled on. "Nowadays rock is a sizeable niche, and rock bands need to market themselves direct to listeners. It is all about self promotion, and we are fortunate that the internet and social media have changed the world just at the right time, making it possible for hard rock and metal artists to reach their audience directly. Seize the opportunity."

We asked PJ what he thinks of modern chart music. When he finished giggling, PJ smirked, "Computers have changed the way music is made and performed. Great software out there means that any IT-literate enthusiast can edit and edit and edit again until they reach over-produced, synthetic. loopy perfection. But – and it's a big but - the artists I respect are those who can simply pick up instruments, play well and sound great. No miming, no auto-tuned vocals, no dancing, no sampled sound.

Sure, it's ok to use computers to enhance studio tracks, but if it is overdone, if the underlying musical skills are missing, you end up with synchronised 'boy blands' and 'girl blands' and you spend all your time listening to computers rather than musicians. A lot of people like that stuff, fair enough, but I find some music to be empty, soulless even. The human spirit feels missing, if you see what I mean. There's a reason that hard rock has found a home in movie soundtracks in the 21st century, it sets the tone for the audience much better than pop music."

Auntie Ethel

Hee, I'm not s'posed to be on here, but when the regular reviewers popped out of the office I snuck in to write what I fancied. I'll try to pop back from time to time, whein I'm not busy with my 'usband Arfur and me bingo partner Mildred. Now, if you 'aven't come across Flight of the Conchords then go and read all about them cos Bret and Jemaine are both lovely.

"So, you must hate modern popular music, and especially electronica?" we said.

"Oddly no," he replied. I'm very selective though. I like some electronica, especially the 'dark' sort." I like creativity and imagination. That's why I like the odd bit of energetic classical orchestral music too. He paused to scratch his designer stubble before continuing. "But yeah, I do love rock. Can't beat the sound of a master guitarist playing classic rock riffs. Can't beat a powerful rock singer blasting out creative, imaginative lyrics over the sound of rock power chords. Give me energy in music, make it fun, make it raunchy, make it loud, make it mild and emotional or make it angry and fast. Whatever my mood, hard rock is such a wide genre that there is always something different to sooth me or enervate me or entertain me."

"Any final message for Hard Rock Reviews readers?" we asked.

"Yeah. If you're already a rock fan then give Rock Hard Reviews a go. If you're not into rock music then give rock a chance, listen to a variety of bands. Find out which sort of rock 'speaks' to you, inspires you. If you listen to enough varieties of rock then you'll find something that resonates with you, resonates with your mood, with your heart and soul. So check out the website, find some amazing new-to-you rock music which appeals to you and give it a serious listen."