This month sees us giving a very big Powerplay welcome back to our old friend Robin Brock. Robin’s been out of the spotlight since her 2001 release “Hidden Power”, but is now ready to rock once again. Having toured the UK and Europe in support of her two albums, Robin then went back to Canada and never came back. In that six year period Robin has been, and I quote, “Losing myself, finding myself, becoming a better person, a better writer. Healing a broken heart, broken bones, and a broken soul. Picking up a guitar, picking up a pen, picking myself out of the darkness and chasing monsters.” Phew! She also found time to pen some new tunes with her long-time writing partner John Capek. Having heard three finished songs, I can safely say that this is a harder, heavier and darker version of Robin Brock than we’ve heard before. The melody is still evident; it’s just a damn sight heavier! “Monsters is a sparse romp about the demons that we all encounter form time to time. “Two Words” has a very Metallica opening to it, whilst “Power It Through” is full of clever instrumentation and is my personal favourite of the three. It’s certainly a different approach for Robin, but it’s one that works well. Heres to album number Three.
Powerplay Issue 91 Rob Evans AOR underground September 2007 Page 69
From the DEC/JAN Powerplay Issue 116 2010
I have something of a soft spot for Canadian songstress Robin Brock; not only does she possess a storming rock voice but she’s a wonderfully sweet person too. Seemingly a lifetime ago I raved about her hard rockin’ debut: Blame it on Rock and Roll way back in issue 112. A rip-roaring rock affair, the likes of lungbusting “She’s Outta Control” and “Rockin’ On The Airwaves” highlighted the kind of gutsy performance Robin was capable of and the album was chock full of superb songs. Follow-up CD “Hidden Power” saw Robin exploring her more country leanings and though it was a polished affair, the rock quota was limited and it lacked the oomph of the debut. Now Robin is back with her third album, the independently recorded “Monsters” and while it’s clearly a return to the rock roots of her debut, the songs don’t quite hit the mark in such spectacular fashion. Robin seemingly happy to croon through many of the songs rather than belting them out with gusto. Catchy and upbeat “New Addiction” and “7 Pieces” brooding and moody “Two Words” and “Witching Hour”, and downright sexy “Master and Slave” are the top picks but the gritty/dirty title track left me scratching my head and wondering if it suits Robin’s vocal style at all. I’m still undecided, but fans of Ms Brock’s debut should definitely take a listen. Powerpoints 7/10
Co-written by Robin Brock and John Capek and Produced by John Capek. This is the evolution and resurrection of Canadian Rock singer/songwriter Robin Brock. 10 tracks of fiery, gritty guitars, infectious melodies and sing-a-long, addictive choruses, delivered in a playful, matter of fact, velvety edged voice.
Classic Rock with a little electronica going on in places with enough pop sensibilities to allow it to fare well commercially, even chart in many countries! Robin Brock could be a huge star if ‘Monsters’ gets some airplay! Now I believe that most of the lyrics are written with tongue firmly in cheek as they make Steel Panther and Spinal Tap look mature, but they’re fun and it’s great to hear a talented female singer give the lads a run for their money!
Harder Edged modern sounding rock album from Robin than I expected that really works and she has some pitch bending effects on her voice too at times on the high sections.
Highlights include the opening industrial sounding title track ‘Monsters’; the strong rockin’ ‘Master And Slave’; the excellent definate hit sounding ‘Fuel’ that has a Sheryl Crow quality to it; the powerfully worded ‘Warrior’; the poppy ‘7 Pieces’ about being broken as a person with brilliant hooks and arrangement all-round & ‘New Addiction’.
It’s an album that’s dynamic, fresh and has songs that don’t all sound like repeats of what you’ve heard already which is refreshing in this day and age.
An album that you simply can’t go wrong with. 9/10
Metallus.it Review Translation Monsters (this was initially written in Italian)
Very few rockers know Robin Brock. She is a Canadian artist presented by a very bad “work art” and a label which normally gives privilege to emerging artists. She is emerging, but above all, she is full of incredible energy! Let’s say she is something between Shania Twain and Lita Ford. Of these examples, the English market knows various numbers of artists but for us to discover her has been especially pleasant because she did not become known to us through the big media. So once again, a good artist is in the position of accepting the independent American market (and to fit to it), which alone could make up for 10 traditional Italian markets.
We would like to imagine Robin in a live pub somewhere in the Southern United States behind a metal barred grill, singing while she is drinking a beer. There would be a bunch of cowboys staring at her with open-mouthed fascination amongst applause and cheers from the crowd. Robin is pure Rock! Robin plays her music hard with pure melodic rock and is not for the indulgent. There is no poor quality sound but an accurate production in a clear voice with good songwriting.
Let’s imagine a pearl riding between the 80’s and 90’s who ended up here…who knows what miracle brought this about!
Robin Brock, hailing from Canada, returns with her third independent releaseMonsters. With a vocal style that moderates somewhere between Ann Wilson and Pat Benatar, Brock’s music is squarely in the melodic rock camp. Her emphasis has always been on a solid vocal performance presented over assertive rhythms, nimble guitar work, and well-crafted arrangements. In her own words, Ms. Brock attempts pursuing more modern rock stylings on Monsters. For the most part, she has succeeded. This disc, if anything, is both creative and eclectic moving between heavier melodic rock (New Addiction) to rock with some prog nuances (Monsters) to more demure and subtle movements (Solitary Girl). With all the different arrangements Brock still is able to cut a crafty melody and a catchy tune as Two Words, Master and Slave, and 7 Pieces prove. Sometimes she nearly rips it up like a true rocker as on Warrior or Fuel.
Robin Brock excels at what she does best putting her impressive vocal skills to some creative alternative melodic rock with equally clever twists. Her fans and curious newcomers should explore this vibrant and eclectic material.
Her highly anticipated third release is an early candidate for best indie record of 2010. From the opening assault on your rhythmic senses of the title track that grab you and don’t let go, MONSTERS strokes and caresses you, taking you on a 40 minute musical odyssey that defines the best of the scene, and could very well be the record that takes Robin Brock to the next level.
Cut from the same rocker chick cloth as the likes of Lee Aaron and Darby Mills, the comparisons between Robin and them are inevitable, and for good reason. Listening to several of the vocals on MONSTERS, you can’t help but imagine what a duet with either of those Canadian legends would sound like. And those images are goooood. Robin has quite simply one of the best sets of pipes on the scene today. But MONSTERS is superb on more than just that level.
She’s learned her craft well, previously working with some of the best, includingRandy Bachman , and has learned patience is key to creating a record that’s alive and with staying power. MONSTERS is ten songs of pounding rhythms and changing tempos, some of the best axe riffs in recent memory.
With the title track she’s proven that she’s here to make a statement, with an album full of relatable experiences and emotions. Every song has attitude and it’s the collaborative production effort from Robin and her production team of John Capek (also co-writer of the songs), John Bailey and Phil Kaffel that bring it out.
“New Addiction” was written while she was healing from a broken ankle, showcasing the personal traps that one can fall in in life. But make no mistake about it – Robin Brock is heavy. But she might very well be the most diverse rocker chick today and combined with songwriting and production this strong, there are a number of tracks which are natural fits for new rock radio. “Master and Slave” has a natural anthemic rhythm, and with its powerful acoustic intro, “Two Words” is another standout, – one of the most personal set of lyrics on the record. The way she goes about telling someone to go to hell is a gem on an album that’s her crowning achievement… so far.
Robin smoothly crosses being sultry to haunting in “Solitary Girl” and Seven Pieces,” switching moods and atmospheres. The guitar work shines on “Fuel” and “The Witching Hour” and should be on every new rock radio station in the country. The overall appeal of MONSTERS can be partially attributed to the keyboards and slick effects in tracks like “Power It Through” and “Warrior” – enough to showcase her versatility, but at the core are still examples of great writing.
There’s really not a single lull in MONSTERS, let alone a bad track. Some in fact are just plain exceptional. You’ll have your own favourites. She ended 2009 by signing a European distribution deal, and it’s no longer a case of her time is around the corner. Robin Brock is here. Get used to it, you’ll be thankful you did because she’s one of the best things going today.