Column from August 16th, 1999 edition

First off, apologies to regular visitors at the AOR Basement site ( who’ve been eagerly awaiting a batch of new reviews for some time now. I’ve been a bit distracted by other things over the last couple of months, but once the Scottish summer is over, I’ll be back to getting new stuff up there with a modicum of regularity!

One band I’ve just recently discovered is the Californian duo Gypsy Soul. An interesting concoction of rock and some mild Celtic influences that ends up sounding like a far superior, more poignant and, most importantly, more rocky version of The Corrs. The female vocals are also nothing short of stunning. If you want to find out more about Gypsy Soul, visit their website at and they’re also having a "Celebration Picnic" on August 21st at the Mile Square Park in Fountain Valley, California. An acoustic set will be performed and like minded musicians are free to jam! More details on that are also available at the web site. I’d attend myself, but I think Kurt has the SFK Lear(ing) Jet booked that weekend! J

Took a long tour of the Portrait Records website ( the other day…. Plenty of heavy industry types are saying that melodic rock is in the early stages of a serious comeback and that Portrait’s up-and-coming releases will be what really re-establishes the genre. Having toured the web site I’m still not convinced…. Bands like Ratt and Poison are who got the whole scene stagnant in the first place – I’d really like to see them taking a punt on something a little more obviously deeper in a musical sense. Columbia hardly looks that committed either seeing as there’s virtually no full time Portrait staff. Still it’s a foot in the water and a clear starting point. Shame the bulletin board’s full of the same old people that populate every other rock bulletin board on the internet, though….

I would be interested to hear what our readers think on whether reports of the melodic rock comeback are really that justified….