Check out the new RAGINGMETAL Radio show. This week’s artists include:
Masterplan (feature band), Metal Law,
Vio-Lence, Demon Angels, Mötley Crüe, and more….
Before Van Halen became a household name, before Quiet Riot released their U.S. debut, and before Ronnie James Dio sang a note with Black Sabbath, there was the great unknown band from New York City, RIOT. Rock City is the debut by Riot featuring Guy Sperenza on vocals and Mark Reale on guitar.
At this early stage in the band’s career, they had a sound that was similar to April Wine and Blue Oyster Cult at the time, instead of the heavy/power metal offerings of today’s lineup.
This disc spawned several killer tracks including Rock City, Tokyo Rose, Warrior and This is What I Get. This is not hair metal. This is hard rock in its purest form, before the onslaught of 80’s hard rock bands came along. The guitars are raw and heavy. The drums and loud and pounding, and the bass rhythm’s are deep and heavy, especially for 1977. Mark Reale showed back in ’77 that he had awesome guitar chops back in the day. Take one listen to the guitar solos on Warrior, and you will be amazed that this was released in ’77.
Rock City is truly one of those discs that you have to listen and absorb to truly appreciate.
Mark Reale’s playing was stellar in 1977 and it has only gotten better over the years. Guy Sperenza’s vocals were pretty good. Overall, this debut is one worth hearing. I can’t even imagine what rock fans thought of this disc at the time. It sounds great in 2007 as long as you have an open mind, and understand hold old the tunes are.
Take a listen to a couple of the cuts off Rock City below, and let me know what you think!
Rating:Out of 10
- Rock City
- Tokyo Rose
- Heart of Fire
- Gypsy Queen
- This is What I Get
If you want to hear some good new 80’s style hard rock, you need to give Snakeryder’s new disc, Back For the Kill a listen. To give you a quick idea what this band sounds like, if you were to put Dave Meniketti from Y&T, members of Cinderella and George Lynch era Dokken into a blender, they might sound like Snakeryder.
I decided to check these guys out after seeing their disc advertised over at Melodic Rock and previewing some of the tracks over there. To my surprise, this band and disc are far better than I expected them to be.
Back For the Kill is the 2nd disc by these New Jersey rockers. Judging from the great sounds here, I am going to have to pick up the debut as well.
Wake Up the Nation starts this disc off right by rocking hard right out of the gate. Something about this track kind of reminds of me of Keel, but that is all good.
Hard Life is another good headbanger. The guitars by A.J. Fedz really kick ass on this track. Breakout is an excellent Dokken like sounding hard rock track.
I hate to keep comparing Snakeryder to other bands I love, but I hear little bits of other great 80’s hard rock acts in each of these songs. I mean this only as a high compliment.
Sweet Desire sound like it could have been on the Y&T disc Contagious. This is a killer mid tempo track, that would have been huge in 1990.
The title track Back For the Kill is an excellent rocker with killer guitar riffs and a cool bass groove.
Can’t Stop the Insanity is a track that is growing on me more with every listen. It has some excellent guitar noodling by by A.J. Fedz. The overall heaviness of this track reminds me of Skid Row.
Love Steals slows the pace down mid tempo. This is another track that could easily be a big hit.
You Never Knew Me is a moody song with the guitars toned down. At first listen, I didn’t care for this song, but it is slowly growing on me.
Shotgun is probably my least favorite track on this disc. It isn’t a bad song, but I just couldn’t get into this one.
Money on Her Mind is a good upbeat rocker. I found myself singing along with this one after a couple of listens. (always a good sign for me, but not for the people around me ;) ) This is a very good track to end this disc with.
Overall, Back For the Kill is a quality slab of new 80’s style hard rock. This is sure to appeal to most fans of that genre. Y&T fans really need to give this a look. I think this will appeal to some Dokken and Cinderella fans as well. You can pick this disc up at Metal Mayhem as well as CD Inzane .
Rating: Out of 10
- Wake Up the Nation
- Hard Life
- Break Out
- Sweet Desire
- Back For the Kill
- Can’t Stop the Insanity
- Love Steals
- You Never Knew Me
- Money on Her Mind