In the late 80s, Suicidal Tendencies ruled the thrash realm alongside bands like Megadeth and Anthrax. By 1989, the band’s popularity dwarfed that of their comrades. With hits like “Institutionalized,” “Join The Army,” and “How Will I Laugh Tomorrow, When I Can’t Even Smile Today,” Suicidal Tendencies were at the top of their game. In 2001, the band took a long hiatus before releasing a few compilation albums. During that time, lead singer, Mike Muir, released some solo CDs, under the moniker Cyco Miko. His latest Cyco Miko effort, The Mad Mad Muir Musical Tour is a gift to fans of Suicidal Tendencies everywhere.
Opening with the instrumental “MMM,” Mike Muir and company draw from Muir’s days in Suicidal Tendencies with an in your face, heart pounding, hard thrash opening. The album erupts from there, spilling out all of Muir’s influences. Muir reminds us all why we loved Suicidal Tendencies so much in the 80s and makes us long for a new album from the band. Gleaning bits of Suicidal Tendencies, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Primus, Cyco Miko combines thrash, funk, alternative, and groove, yet never clearly depicts one particular sound. Some fans will love the variety contained on this record, others will wish that Muir could make up his mind.
Overall, The Mad Mad Muir Musical Tour is a great disc. Heavy songs with deep lyrics like “Happiness” and “Done Gone Stupid,” will find fists in the air and forge shout-alongs in no time. The slower ballads like the Suicidal Tendencies cover “Alone,” and “Logical Thoughts Of A Lunatic” express the pain life puts everyone through. The deep spiritual growth contained in the songs can resonate with fans old and young. The style of music may be all over the map, but the sound is clearly enjoyable. Cyco Miko may not be able to proclaim one particular genre, but that’s all right. The strong songs found on The Mad Mad Muir Musical Tour don’t need to be pigeonholed into one category. They can all fall under the same label of great music.
Notable Tracks: “Happiness,” “Done Gone Stupid,” “Hang On (The Fight Song)
Rating: Out of 10
- All The Way
- Got Feeling
- Done Gone Stupid
- Full Of It
- Hang On (The Fight Song)
- Logical Thoughts Of A Lunatic
- Who’s Next
- What It Is
- S. Lo Death
When listening through some of the releases for my top 10 of 2011, one CD that I keep gravitating back to is Worship Music from Anthrax. It is a great injustice that I have not reviewed this CD before now.
Worship Music is the first CD Anthrax has recorded with Joey Belladonna in twenty-one years. Not since 1990′s awesome Persistence of Time record has Belladonna recorded with Anthrax. I am not sure what has been missing with Anthrax, but the band has recaptured the magic with Belladonna on the microphone. Worship Music is one of the strongest Anthrax CD’s to date. From a musical standpoint, the incredible riffs of Rob Caggiano and Scott Ian, the amazing drums of Charlie Benante and killer bass riffs from Frank Bello, are amongst the best Anthrax has ever recorded. Belladonna’s range may have diminished a little over the years, but he still sounds awesome!
Anthrax has never been radio darlings, but a couple of tunes that seem tailor-made for radio play would be “Crawl”, or “In The End” (with a few minor edits for expletives). “The Devil You Know” or “Fight ‘Em ‘Til You Can’t” are two outstanding slabs of molten metal that are going to make a lot of headbangers happy (self included). I am a sucker for anything that has to do with zombies, so I absolutely loved the intro on “Fight ‘Em ‘Til You Can’t”. I can only imaging the mosh pit craziness that ensues when Anthrax plays this tune live.
If the Big 4 shows with Metallica, Megadeth & Slayer didn’t return Anthrax to the top of the metal mountain, Worship Music will certainly help them get there. Anthrax has outdone their Big 4 peers by releasing what is easily the best metal album of 2011. I highly recommend it!
Rating: Out of 10
01. Worship (Intro)
02. Earth On Hell
03. The Devil You Know
04. Fight ‘Em ‘Til You Can’t
05. I’m Alive
06. Hymn 1
07. In The End
08. The Giant
09. Hymn 2
10. Judas Priest
12. The Constant
13. Revolution Screams
Joey Belladonna – vocals
Scott Ian – rhythm guitar
Frank Bello – bass
Rob Caggiano – lead guitar
Charlie Benante – drums
Remember the Chicago based band D’Molls? Their first two CD’s D’Molls & Warped are harder to find than a Bengals Superbowl ring. If you are one of the lucky folks to have heard their music, or see them perform, you already know how cool this band is.
Long time D’Molls Singer and guitarist Desi Rexx has worked with the fine folks at FNA Records to release D-Sides, a collection of -b-sides, unreleased material & demos, never released before now. Desi has recorded songs with a bunch of famous hard rock musicians over the years. Songs on D-Sides were recorded with Andy Parker (UFO), Chip Z’nuff (Enuff Z’nuff), Bobby Barth(Axe), John Thomas(Lita Ford), Danny Johnson(Alice Cooper), Mick Sweda (Bulletboys & King Kobra) and more. It would have been impossible for him to bring all of these folks back together to record this album properly. With that being said, the audio quality is good on some songs, and lacking on others. Don’t mistake the audio quality for bad songs, as D-Sides has a collection of songs that 80′s rock fans are sure to love.
The album starts off the catchy rockabilly number “Snazzy Shoes”, the extremely cool Stones like number ‘Hi N Lo”, the glamtastic “Crimes of Fashion”. The song “Ladies Stall” is one of the most infectious tunes I have ever heard. If this song would have been released in the 80′s, it could have been a hit for D’Molls. The same can be said for the song “Love Don’t Come Easy”. With a proper recording, this song could have been huge.
“1944″, “Old Tyme Picture” and “The Answer” are also amongst my favorites on this CD.
If you are a fan of D’Molls or Desi Rexx, you owe it to yourself to check out these newly unearthed classic tunes. I enjoyed D-Sides, and I think you will too.
Rating: Out of 10
01. Snazzy Shoes
03. All I Want
04. Hi N Lo
05. Crimes Of Fashion
06. Mr. Conductor
07. Ladies Stall
08. Drums of Love
10. Love Don’t Come Easy
12. Heroes N Kings
13. Queen Bee
14. Olde Tyme Picture
16. The Answer
17. Town So Square
18. Knock On Wood And Pray
In 1977, legendary guitarist Rory Gallagher went into the recording studio and laid down an entire album that was never released. Unsatisfied with the songs, he scrapped them and went on to record another album (with a lot of the scrapped songs being re-worked). Fans thought that “lost” album was gone forever. In 1995, Rory Gallagher passed away due to liver complications. There was much mourning throughout the rock world over the loss of this guitar God. Earlier this year, an archival recording was released to help further celebrate the musical genius of Rory Gallagher. This two-disc collection contains the “lost” album that fans thought they would never hear, as well as an exceptional live recording.
Boogie-woogie, bar beating, foot stomping, down and dirty, fun rock and roll! Notes From San Francisco is all of that and more. Notes From San Francisco is a 2-disc treat for the fans that mourn the loss of Gallagher. Disc one contains unreleased material recorded in 1977 that never saw the light of day until now. Disc two is a smoking live performance recorded at the Waldorf in San Francisco, CA, back in 1979. This collection is out to help preserve the memory of Rory Gallagher as well as promote his good time rock and roll to a whole new generation of fans.
While most of the songs on disc one have been heard in a different format, the unreleased versions are classic enjoyment. Gallagher lets loose his inner demons on the guitar solos and embraces the hard rocking blues style of these songs. At times it sounds eerily reminiscent of a lost Steppenwolf album, until the guitar solos. Those are unquestioningly Rory Gallagher’s. It’s easy to see why he was named one of Rolling Stone Magazine’s greatest guitarists of all time. The man can play the guitar like few before (or after) have.
Notes From San Francisco is certainly your daddy’s rock and roll, and that’s a good thing. The spirit of the 70s is alive and well on both the disc of unreleased material and the live disc. Rory was a man who knew how to rock and this historic 2-disc set really drives that point home. Close your eyes tight and listen to the live disc at a decent volume, and you will swear that it is Jimi Hendrix in both the sound of the guitar and the lead vocals. Rory Gallagher was a legend that other legends looked up to.
Performing riffs that would make Eddie Van Halen envious, Rory Gallagher was a master of the guitar. His talent truly shows on Notes From San Francisco. Listening to the live tracks, one can’t help but wonder how uniquely awesome it must have been watching him play his six string in a live setting. The way his fingers massaged the guitar and plucked those strings, it was simply astonishing. Blistering solos never sounded better. Hearing the live disc after a disc full of unreleased studio material is a real treat for music fans all over. If you’ve never heard Rory Gallagher live or if you’ve never heard him at all, then Notes From San Francisco would be an excellent introduction to this legendary axe genius.
Rating: Out of 10
- Rue The Day
- B Girl
- Mississippi Sheiks
- Wheels Within Wheels
- Overnight Bag
- Cruise On Out
- Brute Force & Ignorance
- Fuel To The Fire
- Wheels Within Wheels (Alternate Version)
- Cut A Dash
- Out On The Tiles
- Follow Me
- Off The Handle
- Bought And Sold
- I’m Leavin’
- Tattoo’d Lady
- Do You Read Me
- Country Mile
- Calling Card
- Shadow Play
- Bullfrog Blues
- Sea Cruise
Rory Gallagher Band Is:
Rory Gallagher – Lead Guitar, Vocals
Gerry McAvoy – Bass
Ted McKenna – Drums
I have to admit that Beggars & Thieves is a band that I forgot about several years ago. I had their 1990 debut on cassette, and never got around to replacing it. Thanks to Beggars & Thieves new CD, I am thankfully getting reacquainted with the band’s music.
I didn’t know what to expect with We Are the Brokenhearted, and I have to admit I have been enjoying this CD quite a bit. The music of Beggars & Thieves is guitar oriented melodic rock. The music is not over powered by keyboards. It isn’t too heavy, but it is definitely not on the mellow side either. The music is just rocking enough to be interesting, but smooth enough to appeal to pretty much everyone. ( I believe Beggars & Thieves could create their own genre of smooth rock.)
Singer Louie Merlino has a terrific voice which is bolstered by the excellent guitar licks of Ronnie Mancuso. The whole band is solid, and they have crafted some very fine tunes on this CD.
Some of the album highlights include the songs “Beautiful Losers”, “Seven Seconds”, “Stranded” and “Midnight Blue”. I love the saxophone that closes out the title track “We Are The Brokenhearted”. I just wish there was more of it. “We Are the Brokenhearted is a really cool tune to close the album out with”. Quite frankly, there really isn’t a bad song in the bunch.
We Are the Brokenhearted is easily one of the best melodic rock CD’s I have heard in 2011. If you have forgotten about this band the way I did, We Are the Brokenhearted has 10 outstanding reasons to get to know the band again. Don’t miss this!!!
For more information on Beggars & Thieves, check out the band’s Facebook page. You can purchase We Are The Brokenhearted here.
Rating: Out of 10
01.We Come Undone
02. Oil & Water
04. Never Gonna See You Again
05. Beautiful Losers
06. Seven Seconds
08. Wash Away
09. Midnight Blue
10. We are the Brokenhearted
Beggars & Thieves are:
Louie Merlino – Vocals
Ronnie Mancuso – Guitars
Erik Gloege – Drums
Blake Newman – Bass
After a decade of music, and five albums to their credit, Disturbed has amassed a good bunch of “b-sides”, rarities, cover tunes. The band has finally put them all on one album, The Lost Children, for their fans to enjoy.
Some of the songs on The Lost Children are better than the majority of the tunes on Disturbed’s previous release, Asylum, but some I can also see why some tunes were b-sides.
The album opener “Hell” is pretty good, and one of the better tunes on the album. I could live the rest of my life without hearing “A Welcome Burden” again. This former b-side from The Sickness probably should have stayed in the Disturbed vaults. “This Moment” was originally on the CD, Transformers: The Album. It is a solid tune, but not one of my favorites.
“Run” and “Parasite” are both b-sides from my favorite Disturbed album, Indestructible. Both songs have that classic Disturbed sound with with David Draiman’s chant like vocal delivery.
The album’s only unreleased tune “Mine” has a creepy intro that would be right at home in a Saw movie. It is an interesting listen with its intertwined news audio clips. I completely understand why this wasn’t released before now though. It just doesn’t seem to fit in with Disturbed’s previous releases.
The Lost Children concludes with two back to back cover tunes. Disturbed blasts out faithful versions of Faith No More’s “Midlife Crisis” and Judas Priest’s “Living After Midnight”. They do a good job on both songs, but don’t really add any Disturbedism’s to the songs.
With Disturbed taking a well deserved break in their touring and recording schedule, The Lost Children may be the last Disturbed release to hit the streets for a few years.
The Lost Children stands up as a decent follow up to Asylum, and is worth picking up if you are one of the Disturbed.
Rating: Out of 10
- A Welcome Burden
- This Moment
- Old Friend
- Leave It Alone
- Two Worlds
- God Of The Mind
- Midlife Crisis
- Living After Midnight
David Draiman – Vocals
Dan Donegan – Guitars & Electronics
Mike Wengren – Drums
John Moyer – Bass Guitar
Halcyon (hal-see-uh’n) – adj. – calm, peaceful, tranquil
Imagine that Cookie Monster meets hair metal and they fall in love. The offspring of their nuptials would be Halcyon Way, an exceptional progressive/doom/glam metal band that is offering their latest round of intense music for the masses in the form of Indoctrination. Halcyon Way blends doom metal, progressive metal, and 80s metal in perfect harmony for the greater good of music. The vocals of lead singer, Steve Braun are the perfect contrast to the gravelly rock voice of death vocalist, Kris Maltenieks, and it is noticed immediately on the opening track, “On Black Wings.” The end result of that serene mix is some exceptional music.
Part doom metal, part progressive metal, all heavy metal – Halcyon Way has released a strong album in Indoctrination. Even though several songs contain cookie monster vocals, Braun’s high notes make the songs fresh and enjoyable. Fortunately, Braun is the dominate voice on this album. However, the direction that Halcyon Way took to sprinkle in the death vocals makes the two contrasting voices work well together. It’s like enjoying a good plate of sweet and spicy wings. Most of the journey is an enjoyable savory taste, and every now and then the bitters are thrown in to snap the senses to life and make the listener aware.
The songs on Indoctrination are layered with multiple levels of musical genius. Each song was painstakingly crafted with numerous changes and arrangements to provide the most ear enjoyment possible for the fan. It is truly an honor to hear such art in the finished format. Phenomenal guitar work overlaying both angelic and devilishly gruff vocals mixed in with one of the best drummers in rock and roll (Ernie Topran) make Indoctrination an album worth owning. Although ripe with double bass throughout most of the record, Topran makes enough changes and spectacular rhythms to prove that he is in the elite of the drumming world.
Indoctrination is metal at its finest. If you prefer your rock dark and heavy with a touch of glam, you will love Indoctrination by Halcyon Way. To learn more about the band or to order a copy of Indoctrination, visit www.halcyonway.com.
Rating: Out of 10
- On Black Wings
- Our Finest Hour
- Revolution Is Now
- The Wages Of War
- Stand Up
- The Age Of Betrayal
- The System
Halcyon Way Is:
Steve Braun – Lead Vocals
Jon Bodan – Lead Guitar
Ernie Topran – Drums
Kris Maltenieks – Bass Guitar, Death Vocals
Zane – Rhythm Guitar
Electric Sister has come storming out of the gate with screaming vocals, big guitar riffs, and songs that demand massive replays. Revival rock just got a huge huge shot in the arm thanks to Electric Sister’s new CD, The Lost Art of Rock & Roll.
I can hear the influence of the bands Black Sabbath, Thin Lizzy and Kiss intertwined in Electric Sister’s music. They manage to craft a bunch of cool tunes without sounding dated. Thadeus Gonzales voice kind of reminds me of Dave Grohl, after he has smoked a carton of cigarettes, and drank a fifth of whiskey (that is a good thing, in case you are wondering). His voice has that rough edge that makes the songs on The Lost Art of Rock and Roll more memorable. The twin guitar attack of Jason Lucero and Nicholas Hernandez complement’s Gonzales’s voice nicely.
While there really isn’t a bad tune in the bunch on the CD, some of my favorites include “Monster Girl”, “The Lost Art of Rock & Roll” (See Video Below), “Rock is Religion” and “City of Night”.
It has been a while since I have heard a debut from a band as strong as this one. If you check out one new band in 2011, give Electric Sister a look. The Lost Art of Rock & Roll rocks hard and does not disappoint.
Rock & Roll might be a lost art, but Electric Sister has figured it out. Don’t miss out on this crank worthy CD!
Rating: Out of 10
1. New Mother Earth / NME
2. I Want It All
3. The Leper
4. Monster Girl
6. The Lost Art of Rock & Roll
7. Rock Is Religion
8. Echo Park
9. City Of Night
Electric Sister is:
Thadeus Gonzales – Vocals
Jason Lucero – Guitars and Vocals
Nicholas Hernandez – Guitars and Vocals
Pete Pacheo – Bass
Eddie Colmenares – drums
Canada’s most famous metal band Anvil is back with their fourteenth slab of metal. The band’s latest opus, Juggernaut of Justice was produced by Bob Marlette (Alice Cooper, Airbourne, Black Stone Cherry). I was extremely impressed with Marlette’s recent reunion effort with Alice Cooper, so I was interested to see what he could do with my favorite Canadian rockers, Anvil. Mr. Marlette has the uncanny ability to bring the best out in a band, and that is exactly what he did with Anvil on Juggernaut of Justice.
First and foremost, the production on Juggernaut of Justice is as good as it gets. I can’t remember the last time that Anvil sounded so vibrant and polished. To my ears, the music on this CD is above and beyond anything on Anvil’s recent releases. The guitar work of Lips on this CD is superb. I can’t remember the last time I heard him or the whole band play this good. It is almost as if Anvil somehow imbued the energy of Motorhead and used that to record this album. Whatever they did, it works, as Juggernaut of Justice is one of the better metal albums of 2011! Not only does Lips do an outstanding job, but Rob Reiner and Glenn Five are absolutely smoking on this disc. The rhythm is fast, furious and outstanding.
The title track and album opener “Juggernaut of Justice” is a beast of a metal anthem. This is a great tune that will win over even the most skeptical metal fans.
“On Fire”, “Fuken Eh!”, “Turn It Up”, “This Ride” and “Not Afraid” might be the best quintet of metal tunes I have heard all year. These songs have a ton of energy and flat-out rock. The tempo finally drops down somewhat for the song “Conspiracy” but this song still rocks.
The song is followed by another facemelting track “Running”. The down-tuned guitars of “Paranormal” gives this song a creepy Black Sabbath like feel to it. Very cool stuff!
“New Orleans Voodoo” reminds me a lot of the song “This is Thirteen”, although I like the lyrics better for this tune.
The instrumental track “Swing Thing” closes out the album in fine fashion. This might be the best metal instrumental I have heard in 2011. The horns from Lisa Joy Pimentel (Bob Marlette’s wife) were a nice touch.
If you have never listened to Anvil before, you should definitely give Juggernaut of Justice a chance. It is easily one of my favorite CD’s of 2011.
01. Juggernaut Of Justice
02. When Hell Breaks Loose
03. New Orleans Voodoo
04. On Fire
05. Fuken Eh!
06. Turn It Up
07. The Ride
08. Not Afraid
12. Swing Thing
Steve “Lips” Kudlow – Vocals & Guitar
Robb Reiner – Drums
Glenn Five – Bass
Five Finger Death Punch shows no signs of slowing down in 2011. The band has cranked out another tasty slab of metal with their new release, American Capitalist. Typically, I am not a fan of bands with vocalists who scream more than sing. In the case of Fiver Finger Death Punch’s singer, Ivan Moody, he does quite a bit of both. For that reason, I have found Five Finger Death Punch’s music much more to my liking. I have seen them live a few times, and they always put on a great show.
Their latest CD American Capitalist does see the band breaking any new ground, but if you have a been a fan of the band’s screaming groove metal in the past, you are going to find plenty to like on the band’s latest CD. American Capitalist is packed full of songs with screaming vocals, excellent guitar solos and plenty of blast beats to get your blood pumping.
The first two songs “American Capitalist” and “Under and Over it” starts this CD off on a high note with two massive metal anthems that will likely be a fixture in future 5FDP live set lists.
What amazes me about Five Finger Death Punch, is Ivan Moody’s ability to transition from the heavy screams and growls, in pitch perfect clean vocals. The band can craft super heavy songs like the ones I mentioned above, and then have a song like “Coming Down” or “Remember Everything” which could easily be played on the radio. Zoltan Bathory’s blazing guitar solos are second to none on this album. Between Moody’s vocals, the outstanding guitar work of Zoltan Bathory and Jason Hook, and the über tight rhythm section of Jeremy Spencer and 5FDP newcomer Chris Kael, I have been greatly enjoying American Capitalist.
Is the best Five Finger Death Punch CD yet? My response to that would definitely be yes. I thought the first two CD’s were good, but I have already listened to American Capitalist more than the first two CD’s combined. If you are a fan of metal, or Five Finger Death Punch, you should definitely seek out American Capitalist. I recommend it!
Rating: Out of 10
1. American Capitalist
2. Under and Over It
3. The Pride
4. Coming Down
6. Generation Dead
7. Back For More
8. Remember Everything
9. Wicked Ways
10. If I Fall
Five Finger Death Punch is:
Zoltan Bathory – guitars
Jason Hook – guitars
Ivan Moody – vocals
Jeremy Spencer – drums
Chris Kael – Bass
On their latest release, Big Money, House of Lords reminds us yet again what an underrated band they are. Their last release (2009’s Cartesian Dreams) was so grand that it ranked on my top ten hard rock records of the year list (no easy feat). With singer James Christian still sounding magnificent on the microphone and his current bandmates following suit on their respective instruments, House of Lords prove once again that they are a force to be reckoned with.
Big Money opens with the hard rocking title track that immediate reminds the listener of why House of Lords is such a great band. Packed with strong guitar riffs, a heavy handed drum beat by B.J. Zampa, and some solid vocals by James Christian, “Big Money” is as strong an opener for a record as they come. James Christian can still pack a wallop when singing a tune. His voice sounds as magnificent today as it did back in 1989 when the band debuted. Father time has been very kind to James Christian’s voice.
Proving they can still belt out a ballad with the best of them, House of Lords included “The Next Time I Hold You,” on this record. A powerful love-fest of a song, cigarette lighters will be out in full force if the band decides to play this in concert. House of Lords was kind enough to remind us all what a power ballad should sound like and delivered a superb one in “The Next Time I Hold You.” With exceptional vocals, a solid guitar solo, and a classic arrangement, this is a fantastic ballad and one of the best tracks on the disc.
Synthesizers dominate the music throughout Big Money, making it sound like a harder edged Europe. While House of Lords has always had keyboards in their music, I can’t recall an album where they dominated the landscape of the music as much as they do on Big Money. The added element doesn’t take away from the music, but the disc may have benefited from more guitar solos and less synth work. There are areas on the record screaming for a guitar solo, only to be filled in by some keyboards. That’s not to take away from the great work that keyboardist Jeff Kent has done, but some more solos from Jimi Bell would have helped on certain songs.
Following the mantra of “always leave them wanting more,” House of Lords waited for the final track of the disc to unleash their best song. “Blood” is a hard rocking masterpiece that includes outstanding vocals, a ripping guitar solo, and arena pounding drums. The synthesizers were reduced to a background rhythm section, making “Blood” a much heavier song than most of the album.
Overall, House of Lords have produced another solid record that is worth seeking out and adding to your collection. With any luck, we may see this band on some of the festival bills in 2012. A stop at M3 would be real nice! With new music to support, I suppose that anything is possible.
Rating: Out of 10
- Big Money
- One Man Down
- First To Cry
- Someday When
- Livin’ In A Dream World
- The Next Time I Hold You
- Run For Your Life
- Once Twice
House Of Lords Is:
James Christian – Lead Vocals, Guitar
Jimi Bell – Guitar
Chris McCarvill – Bass Guitar
B. J. Zampa – Drums
Jeff Kent – Keyboards
JAIME ST. JAMES - From 1984 to 1988 Black ‘N Blue was signed to Geffen Records and released four studio albums of pumped-up Hair/Glam Metal. These albums were usually cranked up at many a keg gathering back in the day, the days of those memorable 80′s when I used to feel invincible. Around 1989, the legend of Black ‘N Blue disbanded, still the Hard Rockin’ albums remained as a solid reminder that this band could Rock your face off and make the girls cry for more.
Black ‘N Blue eventually resurfaced for a one-time reunion concert in 1997, resulting in the 1998 release: One Night Only: Live. By 2002, lead guitarist Tommy Thayer replaced the legendary Ace Frehley in KISS. The charismatic lead singer, with the long blonde locks, would find himself fronting the ever famous Warrant, being featured on their 2006 studio album Born Again. With the subsequent return of the late Jani Lane, Jaime St. James moved on. That is the abbreviated history of Black ‘N Blue, certainly there are many other engagements and facts to tell. As time moves on more Rock ‘N Roll history is to be made… Black ‘N Blue history that is.
Fast forward to 2011 and Jamie St. James finds his band rejuvenated and once again Rockin’ like it was 1984 all over again. Frontiers Records is now the label launching pad for the kick-to-the-teeth, Hard and Heavy Rock ‘N Roll that Black ‘N Blue is truly known for. On May 17, 2011, Black ‘N Blue returned with their fifth studio album: “Hell Yeah!”. Fans of Black ‘N Blue have been waiting since 1988 for a brand new studio album and Jaime St. James and the boys have delivered. Recently, Jaime St. James took the time to speak with Hard Rock Hideout on a variety of topics, from the new album to Tommy Thayer to chasing down a chick. Here is what Jaime had to say:
HRH: How did you hook up with Frontiers Records?
JAIME: It all happened rather accidentally. We were on Z Records, they ran out of money so we talked to management and Frontiers bought us out. They were a fine label, its been like six, seven years so they were happy to get money back. I’m happy to be on Frontiers Records. We’ve made a kick ass Rock and Roll record for Frontiers. There are inside jokes on the album. I got out-voted by the band on leaving them off the album, so, oh well.
HRH: Is releasing “Hell Yeah!” likened to getting that monkey off your back?
JAIME: I suppose so. “Hell Yeah!” was never a burden to me, it was not like heroin. I want people to hear it and it’s finished and finally done. I’m like, wow, we had fun making this album. Would I ever do it this way again? Hell no. The next album I want to get finished in three weeks.
HRH: What is the story behind “A Tribute To Hawking”?
JAIME: I get asked this same question in every interview. Oh lord, I did not want this song to be put on the record. It’s an inside joke. I sang “hail, hail” and Patrick (Young) said: “Jaime sounds robotic”. I played the track back and made up the lyrics spur of the moment. It was all just a joke. It makes us all look kinda mean, it’s a bizarre song. Look, you don’t wanna listen to it more than twice, that’s for sure. We might get sued for this song but I don’t give a shit. The beauty of being in Black ‘N Blue in 2011 is I don’t give a fuck about nothing. Frontiers did not want to put this song on the album and Frontiers did put it on this album and God bless ‘em for it. Frontiers is one of the best labels out there and I’m happy to be with them.
HRH: What sparked the song “Angry Drunk Son Of A Bitch”?
JAIME: First of all, it’s a fun song. “Woop” (Jeff Warner) wrote the music. I love the rhythm of it and it has a really cool groove to it. I had this idea about writing a song and I wanted to call it “Angry Drunk Son Of A Bitch”. I said let’s drink, get drunk and write the lyrics. It was amazing how the shit just keeps coming out when writing these lyrics. Like: “I’ve got a bomb in my ass and I’m ready to go…”. This song in general was truly a great moment in creating this “Hell Yeah!” album.
HRH: Did you ever consider using “Candy” as the new album title? That song is everything great about good times and Heavy Rock and Roll!
JAIME: Well, “Candy” is a cool tune. Lyrically what is “Candy” and what does it mean? Well, it’s shooting sex on a girls face! Look, we called it “Hell Yeah” eight years ago, way before Hell Yeah got together as a band. I wrote this song “Hell Yeah!” ten years ago! Tommy Thayer said we should write a song called “Hell Yeah!” ten years ago! Anybody who says we ripped off Hell Yeah can go fuck themselves. Now, I don’t care about what people write, saying we should be ashamed of ourselves for using the album title “Hell Yeah” and that we owe Vinnie Paul an apology. To all these people who feel this way, I forgive them for they do not know.
HRH: Do you stay in touch with Tommy Thayer?
JAIME: All the time! I went to his birthday party recently, I saw Gene (Simmons) and Paul (Stanley) there. We’re really close, I’ve known Tommy since we were little kids, I’ve known Tommy since we were seventeen years old! I root for him with KISS and I am so happy for him. Just because Tommy is in KISS doesn’t mean he is going to kick me in the curb. I love Tommy and he really loves me. I’m friends with Ace Frehley too, but trust me, Ace doesn’t want to be in that band anymore. I see people saying shit about Tommy all the time, I can’t stand it.
HRH: Who? What people are saying stuff about Tommy Thayer? I’ve never wrote a bad word about Tommy.
JAIME: Blabbermouth. I read the shit on Blabbermouth. Just because Ace isn’t in the band, it’s like, hey, Tommy is in KISS because he can play.
HRH: If “Jaime’s got the beer”, what brand is it?
JAIME: Budweiser. I took all the beer, me and “Woop” were at his place and I was chasing some chick around and never came back. So I took all the beer and I went and got laid with this chick. When I came back, the guys wrote that song, they were singing it: “Jaime’s got the beer”.
HRH: Looking back, which two albums do you feel defined 80′s Hard Rock and/or Heavy Metal?
JAIME: This is not an easy question. Def Leppard “High ‘n’ Dry” and Iron Maiden “Killers”. Those are the two records that I love from back in the 80′s. “High ‘n’ Dry”, I love that album so much. If I went to live on another planet, these two albums I would bring with me and listen to. I know Bruce Dickinson can sing, I just love that “Killers” record and Paul Di’Anno. Thanks for the hard question you son of a bitch! (laughs)
HRH: (laughs). Well Jaime, you can write a song for your next album and title it “you son of a bitch”. The song can be about a press guy asking you a hard question.
JAIME: I can easily write a song called “you son of a bitch”. (laughs).
HRH: Any festivals or touring planned for the remainder of 2011?
JAIME: We’re wide open to touring. M3 Rock Festival may be one of the best in America. We’ve also played in Denver and Phoenix. Black ‘N Blue hadn’t played on the East Coast since 1985 or 1986. It’s been a long time. I’ve played on a lot of dates in the past with Whitesnake, we were both on the same label together with Geffen. David Coverdale is a true English gentleman. David, he’s such a cool guy. We’ll see what happens with the new record and it might open doors for us. We need to rebuild again. We’re not twenty years old and on fire. We’re all in our forties now and not about to torture ourselves by riding around in a tour bus and playing gigs in shit holes.
HRH: Can you reveal one hilarious or shocking moment you experienced while on tour back in the 80′s?
JAIME: There’s a few. I can’t reveal any cause I might get arrested. There’s a few though. Let’s just put it this way, the Black ‘N Blue tour bus was the eighteenth level of hell back in the day. Maybe down the road I’ll write a book about it all and I can get arrested for it. (laughs).
HRH: Would you consider, if asked, doing a reality show on your daily life? If so, what would the show be titled?
JAIME: The big chair. I’d be sitting in a giant chair and people would ask me these ridiculous questions, like, “Jaime, I want to have sex with a rhinoceros, what do I do?”. Then, I’d be telling idiots what to do and I’d slap ‘em in the face and tell them to move on. Next! I’d like to slap you in the face for asking me all these stupid fucking questions.
JAIME: Hey, there’s my next press call phoning in. Gotta go! Make me look good!
HRH: Jaime, are you there? Hello? Jaime? Uh, well, okay, I’ll do my best.
Black N’ Blue’s new album Hell Yeah is available for purchase at this link.
The most highly hyped album of 2011, Chickenfoot III is finally here! The hype machine has been in full gear for several weeks for the latest opus from Chickenfoot. Sammy Hagar has called this his best work to date. I usually don’t buy into all of this hysteria. As much as I love Sammy I think he has had a few “Mas Tequila’s” to make a statement like that… but I digress.
So what are my expectations on a new Chickenfoot album? With Joe Satriani, Michael Anthony, Chad Smith and Sammy Hagar making music together, I would expect something on the level of Van Halen. Their debut together was good, but not quite what I expected. I have the same feelings about Chickenfoot III, however this album is definitely better than the band’s debut.
This album is a bit of a grower. The music is good, if not exceptional in most cases. Joe Satriani absolutely brings it for Chickenfoot’s sophomore long player. His guitar work on this album, is easily his best yet for Chickenfoot. His guitar solos are pure hard rock perfection. I couldn’t be happier with this guitar playing.
Sammy Hagar’s vocals are always top notch, and the Red Rocker proves he is still on the top of his game on Chickenfoot III. The trademark sound of Van Halen returns on Chickenfoot III as Michael Anthony provides plenty of his higher octave background vocals. I love hearing Mikey sing with Sammy! This always brings me some happy Van Halen memories. He gets plenty of opportunities to do so on Chickenfoot III.
After the first couple of spins, I have to admit that I wasn’t super impressed with Chickenfoot III, but my opinion has changed after multiple listens. This is the type of album that takes a few plays to fully appreciate. This is a deeper record, and a little more complex than the debut. It takes a little more for it to sink in (At least it did for me).
I have played Chickenfoot III several times now and there are a few tracks that I believe could be radio hits.
The standout tracks are “Alright, Alright”, “Different Devil”, and the album’s first single “Big Foot”and “Dubai Blues”. “Up Next” has some pretty cool lyrics that I get a kick out of each time I hear it. “Dubai Blues” is quickly becoming one of my favorites. The hidden bonus track “No Change” is pretty cool too!
So the bottomline is this: Is Chickenfoot III worth picking up? Absolutely!! Is this Sammy Hagar’s best work? I don’t think so, but it is still pretty damn good. The scary thing is, I don’t think we have heard the best from Chickenfoot yet. If you enjoyed the first Chickenfoot album, you are going to like this one too.
On a side note, You ought to purchase the CD, instead of the digital downloads. If you don’t, you are missing out on a cool special edition of this CD that comes complete with a set of 3D glasses, and pictures of (you guessed it) Chickenfoot in 3D. The special edition also includes a cool Making of Bonus DVD, which made me appreciate Chickenfoot III that much more.
Chickenfoot III hit stores on Tuesday September 27th. You can pick up the bonus edition at this link!
Rating: Out of 10
1. Last Temptation 4:02
2. Alright Alright 4:39
3. Different Devil 4:25
4. Up Next 4:33
5. Lighten Up 5:12
6. Come Closer 4:08
7. Three and a Half Letters 4:08
8. Big Foot 3:50
9. Dubai Blues 5:03
10. Something Gone Wrong 5:16
11. No Change ( Hidden Track) 4:24
Sammy Hagar – Lead and Background Vocals
Joe Satriani – Guitars
Michael Anthony – Bass and Background Vocals
Chad Smith – Drums and Percussion
Gary Moore is one of many musicians who was taken from us far too soon. When Gary Moore took the stage at Switzerland’s Montreux Jazz Festival last year, no one on Earth knew it would be his final performance there.
On the soon to be released CD ( Will be released September 20th, 2011) Live at Montreux 2010, Gary Moore puts on a one of a kind performance that no Gary Moore fan can afford to miss. In this set are three new songs, “Days of Heroes”, “Where are You Now” and “Oh Wild One” that Moore intended to record for an up and coming rock album. Live at Montreux is the only place where you will get to hear the new tunes. In my opinion, it is some of Gary’s strongest material in recent years, and while it is disappointing that he never got the chance to record these on a studio CD, I am grateful to hear them performed in a live setting.
The rest of the set on this CD is very good as well. You can’t go wrong with such Gary Moore classics like “Over The Hills and Far Away” and “Johnny Boy”. I have loved these songs since I first heard them way back in 1987, when I picked up the Wild Frontier album.
Gary Moore’s legacy will continue to live on through the incredible music he has left us. I am grateful to have such a cool live CD to close out the career of one of the best rock and blues guitarists of all time.
You can pick up your copy of Live at Montreux 2010 on CD at this link. Don’t miss it!
Rating: Out of 10
Some things get better with age. With Vincent Furnier aka Alice Cooper (who turned 63 in February) this is truly the case. With Alice Cooper’s latest effort, Welcome 2 My Nightmare, Alice has turned in one of his most creative pieces of work yet.
Producer Bob Ezrin came up with the idea for Alice to do the sequel to Welcome to My Nightmare. I don’t know if anyone could have guessed what Alice would come up with after that. Alice Cooper brought in several of his old bandmates including Michael Bruce, Dennis Dunaway, Neal Smith, Steve Hunter, and Dick Wagner, as well as a cast of many others to help create a brand new nightmare, which to my ears is one Alice Cooper’s finest works to date.
Welcome 2 My Nightmare somehow manages to recapture that classic 70′s sound of the original, without sounding dated. Welcome 2 My Nightmare incorporates the sounds of classic and hard rock, and little bit of disco. It is hard to compare it to the monsterous album Welcome to My Nightmare, which spawned such great songs like “Cold Ethyl”, “Only Women Bleed” and “Welcome to My Nightmare”. You won’t find Vincent Price (God rest his soul) narratives on Welcome 2 My Nightmare either, but you are going to find a whole bunch of new tunes that you will be sure to love.
There are several songs on Welcome 2 My Nightmare which could easily be worked in to Alice’s live set for years to come. This album is so strong that he could probably do a tour playing the entire album live. The album isn’t perfect, but it is pretty close to it. I could have lived without the auto tune effect on Alice’s vocals on the opening cut “I Am Made of You”. Luckily, this is the only song plagued by that ill-used effect. (Note: To all artists and producers of rock music, Auto Tune is NEVER ok to use in rock music; No one wants to hear that crap.) “I Am Made To You” is a pretty strong opener, and a really good song. Bob Ezrin should have known better than to use those effects in my opinion.
While Alice Cooper’s previous effort Along Came a Spider was an outstanding effort, it pales in comparison to the creative and enthusiastic offering Welcome 2 My Nightmare from the Alice Cooper and company. There are many classic moments, and too many cool tunes to mention on this CD. Some of my favorites are the catchy “Caffeine”, to the Vaudeville fun of “Last Man on Earth”, and the cool rocker “I’ll Bit Your Face Off”. I will be playing this one a ton for years to come.
Voting is now closed, throw away your unused ballots, Welcome 2 My Nightmare will be the easy choice for album of the year in 2011. Highly Recommended!
Rating: Out of 10
1. I Am Made of You
3. The Nightmare Returns
4. A Runaway Train
5. Last Man on Earth
6. The Congregation
7. I’ll Bite Your Face Off
8. Disco Bloodbath Boogie Fever
9. Ghouls Gone Wild
10. Something To Remember
11. When Hell Comes Home
12. What Baby Wants
13. I Gotta Get Outta Here
14. The Underture
Alice Cooper – Vocals, Harmonica
Michael Bruce – Guitars, keyboards, backing vocals on “A Runaway Train”, “I’ll Bite Your Face Off” and “When Hell Comes Home”
Dennis Dunaway – Bass, backing vocals on “A Runaway Train”, “I’ll Bite Your Face Off” and “When Hell Comes Home”
Neal Smith – Drums, percussion, backing vocals on “A Runaway Train”, “I’ll Bite Your Face Off” and “When Hell Comes Home”
Damon Johnson – guitar on “We Gotta Get Out of This Place”
Keri Kelli – guitar on “We Gotta Get Out of This Place”
Jimmy DeGrasso – drums on “We Gotta Get Out of This Place”
Steve Hunter – guitars on “Something To Remember Me By”, “When Hell Comes Home” and “What Baby Wants”
Keith Nelson – Guitars, backing vocals on “Caffeine”
Desmond Child – Co-songwriter
Dick Wagner – Co-songwriter / Lead guitar on “The Underture”
Rob Zombie – Backing vocals on “The Congregation”
John 5 – guitar on “Disco Bloodbath Boogie Fever”
Tommy Denander – Guitars on “I Am Made of You”
Vince Gill – Lead guitar on “A Runaway Train” and “Gotta Get Outta Here”
Chuck Garric – Bass
Jeremy Rubolino – Co-songwriter
Ke$ha – Guest vocals on “What Baby Wants”
Piggy D – Co-songwriter, and bass on “Last Man On Earth”
David Spreng – Co-songwriter and drums on “Last Man On Earth”
Kip Winger – backing vocals on “Ghouls Gone Wild” & “The Congregation”
Patterson Hood – guitar on “Gotta Get Outta Here”
I have been a Bulletboys fan since their debut album. Anything that the band slaps their name on, I will probably buy. Call me a sucker if you will! Needless to say, the newly released Bulletboys new cover album, Rocked & Ripped by Cleopatra Records found its way into my possession. When I first read the description of the album, it mentioned cover songs and original tunes. I didn’t find any original tunes on Rocked & Ripped, other than the re-recorded version of “Smooth Up In Ya”.
The song selection on Rocked & Ripped is actually pretty good for a covers album. Bulletboys cover songs by Motley Crue, Bon Jovi, Journey, Accept, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Styx, Led Zeppelin, The Scorpions, Elton John & More. Some of these songs have been around on previous Cleopatra/Deadline releases, and some of the songs were newly recorded by the Bulletboys lineup of Marq Torien, Lonnie Vencent, Greg Gatti, Don Bish, and Christ Turbis.
The problem with Rocked & Ripped is Marq Torien & company rarely improve upon the original tunes, nor do they put their own unique spin on them. It kind of sounds like a cover band, covering some of your favorite 80′s hard rock tunes. Marq can sing his ass off, and still sounds great in 2011, but his powerful voice is truly put to the test with this collection. He sounds great on some tunes, and just ok on others. Some of my favorites on Rocked & Ripped include the covers of Styx’s “Renegade”, The Scorpions “Falling In Love”, Pink’s “Fuckin’ Perfect” , Led Zeppelin’s “The Rover” and Amy Winehouse’s “Rehab”.
I haven’t ever heard Pink’s “Fuckin’ Perfect” before, and quite honestly, I like the Bulletboys version better. If there was one song from Rocked & Ripped I would give repeated listens to, it would be this one. I never really cared for the Led Zep tune “The Rover” before, but I like the Bulletboys version found here. I have never listened to Amy Winehouse in my life, so I have never heard her song “Rehab” prior to this. (I went out to Youtube to check out her version). Once again, I like the Bulletboys version better. The re-recorded version of the Bulletboys biggest song “Smooth Up In Ya” does not live up to the original in my opinion.
If you are a diehard Bulletboys fan, you will probably want to pick this up. If not, you may want to save your cash for some of the bigger releases coming to stores in September 2011 (Anthrax, Chickenfoot, Alice Cooper, Sebastian Bach & House of Lords). Rocked & Ripped is an entertaining covers album, but I would rather listen to some new Bulletboys music, than these re-recorded hits.
Rating: Out of 10
1. Dr. Feelgood
2. Livin’ On A Prayer
3. Take Me Home Tonight
5. Balls To the Wall
6. Free Fallin’
8. Falling In Love
9. Fuckin’ Perfect
10. The Rover
11. I’ll See You In My Dreams
12. Colder Weather
14. Broken Wings
15. Tiny Dancer
16. Smooth Up In Ya (Re-Recorded)
Marq Torien – Vocals, Guitars, Congos, Percussion
Lonnie Vencent – Bass
Greg Gatti – Guitar
Don Bish “Dish” – Drums
Christ Turbis – Keyboards
Stockholm, Swenden’s Badmouth are back with their smokin’ sophomore effort, Heavy Metal Parking Lot! The music on this CD shows a lot of growth in the Badmouth sound. The music is heavier, the song writing is better, and overall the band has crafted a CD that is even better than their debut.
On your first listen, you almost know from the creepy intro on opening cut “Son of Sam” that you are going to hear something special with this disc. Heavy Metal Parking Lot blasts off with “Son of Sam”, and doesn’t let up until the ballad “Jake Brakes”.
In Badmouth’s music I can hear the influence of Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, and maybe a little bit of Saxon. It is these influences on the music that makes Heavy Metal Parking Lot a lot of fun to listen to. The band rocks out in a classic style that will make fans from “the best” era of rock (the 80′s) quite happy. If you aren’t sold after the songs “Radiator”, “Judas”, “Tired” and “Blue Ribbon Days”, then you may have to rip the metalhead patch off of your jacket, and go back to listening to Lada Ca Ca. If you don’t find your self headbanging to Badmouth’s party anthem “Heavy Metal Parking Lot”, then there may be no hope for you.
Heavy Metal Parking Lot is easily one of the best hard rock discs of 2011. Don’t miss this!!!
For more information on Badmouth, please visit the band’s website!
Rating: Out of 10
1. Son of Sam
4. Silver lining
5. City is burning
7. Bottoms up
8. Blue ribbon days
9. Heavy Metal parking lot
10. Jake Brakes
11. Facing my demons
Tom Pearson – Lead Vocals, Electric & Acoustic Guitar
Randy Joy – Lead and Rhythm Guitar, Background Vocals
Mike Hill – Rhythm Guitar, Backing Vocals
Chris Lemon – Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals
Vinnie Sharpe – Drums, Percussion and Background Vocals
In 2011, Eagle Rock Entertainment has released not one, but all three of the Deep Purple CDs with the Mark I lineup. Deep Purple’s self titled album was the least successful album of the Mark I lineup. The end result was the band shifting to a heavier sound, and eventual joining of Ian Gillan and Roger Glover.
The lack of chart success is by no means a reason to not check this CD out. There are a bunch of interesting moments such as the epic twelve-plus minute song “April”, the rockin’ psychedelic jams of, “The Painter”, “Why Didn’t Rosemary?” and “Bird Has Flown”, plus the original released single “Emmaretta”.
If you like bonus tracks, this re-issue has four of them to sink your ears on. You get three versions as originally performed on the BBC, the other is a B-side version of the song “The Bird Has Flown” that was originally found on the B-side of the “Emaretta” single.
If you are a rock fan that loves to hear deep cuts from bands that rarely ever get radio play, you are going to love this album. The self titled album may have caused changes in the Deep Purple lineup, but it is interesting listen, and one should be in every Deep Purple fan’s collection.
Rating: Out of 10
1.) Chasing Shadows
4.) Fault Line
5.) The Painter
6.) Why Didn’t Rosemary?
7.) Bird Had Flown
9.) The Bird Has Flown (alterntive b-side version)
10.) Emmaretta (single a-side)
11.) Emmaretta (BBC Top Gear session Jan. 16, 1969)
12.) Lalena (BBC radio session June 6, 1969)
13.) The Painter (BBC radio session June 6, 1969)
Deep Purple is:
Ritchie Blackmore – guitar
Rod Evans – lead vocals
Nick Simper – bass, backing vocals
Jon Lord – Hammond organ, keyboards, backing vocals
Ian Paice – drums
When I first heard that George Lynch’s new CD, Kill All Control was supposed to be the sophomore effort from Souls of We, I was somewhat curious about this disc. I am one of the few that liked the Souls of We CD. I thought there was some pretty good songs there.
When I heard George had the guest vocalists Marc Torien and Keith St. John on a few tracks, I did something I rarely do. I pre-ordered the CD.
I can happily say I made the right choice, as Kill All Control is every bit as good as I expected it to be.
To me, the tracks with Marc Torien alone are well worth the price of admission. I never would have guessed that Marc Torien and George Lynch would have sounded so good together. This is a collaboration that I would like to see happen again. London LeGrand, Will Martin, and Keith St. John all turn in solid vocal performances.
The first four songs on this CD, “Kill All Control”, “Done”, “Fly on the Wall”, and “Brand New Day” all have that classic George Lynch sound. George absolutely brings it on these songs, and many others. The modern sounds of the first Souls of We album are still present on some tunes, but Lynch’s guitar work is the shining star on most tracks.
The CD slows down for the song “Wicked Witch”, which to me sounds like a left over Alice in Chains song, albeit a very good one. (You can listen to “Wicked Witch” at this link.)
“Son of Scary” is a derivative of the 1987 classic instrumental “Mr. Scary” from the Dokken album, Back for the Attack. This song features Fred Coury from Cinderella on drums. If you liked “Mr. Scary” you will probably like “Son of Scary” too. While this version doesn’t quite have the teeth of the original, it is a fun listen, and worth checking out.
Some other good tunes worth checking out are “Resurrect Your Soul”, the cheesy, but fun “Rattlesnake”, “Man on Fire” and the upbeat rocker “Go It Alone”.
Overall, Kill All Control is a good CD, and one of the better solo efforts from George Lynch. Every time I listen to this CD, I like it a little more. If you are a George Lynch fan, you need to pick this up now! I Recommend it!!
Rating: Out of 10
1. Kill All Control
3. Fly on the Wall
4. Brand New Day
5. Wicked Witch
6. Voices in My Head
7. Resurrect Your Soul
10. Man on Fire
11. My Own Enemy
12. Son of Scary
13. Go It Alone
George Lynch Band is:
George Lynch – Guitars
Adrian Ost – Drums
Nick Speck – Bass
London LeGrand (Souls of We)– Vocals (Track 5, 11, 13)
Marc Torien (Bullet Boys) – Vocals (Tracks 1, 3, 9)
Will Martin (Earshot)– Vocals (Tracks 1-4, 6, 9)
Keith St. John (Montrose) – Vocals (Tracks 7, 8, 10)
Fred Coury – Drums (Track 12)
California rockers, Diamond Lane released their second longplayer, World Without Heroes in May. The band’s latest effort is a pretty cool blend of modern rock, and 80′s hair metal.
“All Rebels Welcome” starts World Without Heroes off right with a hard rockin’ number that does a good job getting the party started. The fun continues with the cleverly titled “I Know Who You Did Last Summer”. This catchy rocker has become a staple of my summer time, hard rock playlist. “City of Sin” has more of a modern rock feel to it, but it is a very catchy song, and is another tune worth checking out.
If you aren’t sold on Diamond Lane after hearing the song “Sundress City”, there is no hope for you. This is an upbeat rocker that demands to be played at maximum volume.
Brandon Baumann’s vocals have just enough rasp to make the songs on World Without Heroes interesting. When Jarret Reis cuts loose on the guitar, he takes the music on this CD to a whole new level. There are some moments on World Without Heroes that offers me an 80′s flashback that brings old Warrant tunes to mind, but there is enough of a modern take on many of the songs that keeps Diamond Lane from sounding like another retread hair metal act.
World Without Heroes has been a pleasant surprise in 2011. This fun rockin’ CD ought to open up many doors for Diamond Lane, and is definitely a disc you should check out.
To hear songs from World Without Heores, and for more information on Diamond Lane, check out the band’s website: http://www.diamondlanerocks.com/
You can pick up World Without Heroes at this link.
Rating: Out of 10
01. All Rebels Welcome
02. I Know Who You Did Last Summer
03. City Of Sin
04. Sundress City
05. All The Pretty Things
06. Needle Down
07. Time Bomb
08. Heaven’s Falling
09. Never Going Home
Diamond Lane is:
Brandon Baumann – vocals
Jarret Reis – guitar
Ray Zhang – bass
Jonah Nimoy – drums
With a warm summer breeze blowing in from Caribbean Sea, Bad Company rocked my summer vacation with an excellent set of live tunes that seemed perfect for the sand, and surf I enjoyed earlier this month in Mexico. No, Bad Company didn’t play on the beach I vacationed at (although that would have have been extremely cool). On April 2010, Bad Company performed live at the Wembley Arena in London. This excellent live show was captured not only on CD (sold separately), but on DVD and Blu-ray as well.
Live At Wembley catches Bad Company in fine form. The ageless Paul Rodgers sounds every bit as invigorating as he did on Bad Company’s 1974 debut. I couldn’t have picked a more perfect set of Bad Company tunes if I chose the set list myself. This live CD has all of the band’s hits, and the audio captured from this performance is near soundboard quality.
Bad Company’s Live at Wembley is easily one of the best live CD’s I have heard in 2011. If you are a fan of band, you owe it to yourself to check this out!
Rating: Out of 10
1) Can’t Get Enough
2) Honey Child
3) Run With The Pack
4) Young Blood
6) Gone, Gone, Gone
7) Electric Land
8) Simple Man
9) Feel Like Makin’ Love
10) Shooting Star
11) Rock And Roll Fantasy
12) Movin’ On
13) Ready For Love
14) Bad Company
15) Deal With The Preacher
Bad Company is:
Paul Rodgers – Vocals
Mick Ralphs – Guitars
Simon Kirke – Drums
Lynn Sorensen – Bass
Howard Leese – Guitars
It seems like everyone is jumping on the live music band wagon in 2011. Def Leppard is just one of many bands who have released a live CD/DVD set in 2011. Def Leppard’s new live collection, Mirrorball, is a Wal-mart exclusive release in the United States, and available via Frontiers Records in Europe.
The question is: Should you buy it? If you are a Def Leppard fan, you most certainly should. This live set was recorded during the band’s Songs From the Sparkle Lounge Tour.
In my opinion Songs From the Sparkle Lounge was not that strong of an album from Def Leppard, and luckily there are only two live songs in the band’s set on this release (three, if you count the bonus live track “Bad Actress”). The live sets on the two CD’s are good. Joe Elliott’s voice is definitely showing its age, but he can still sing. I prefer the second CD in this set with the older material on it. I thought the fan interaction on “Bringin’ on the Heartache” was really cool. The three bonus tracks, are almost worthy of picking up Mirrorball by themselves.
“Undefeated” is a good Def Leppard tune that I would have liked to have seen on the Songs From the Sparkle Lounge CD. It is better than “Nine Lives” &” C’mon C’mon” in my opinion. “Kings of the World” almost has a “Bohemian Rhapsody feel to it. “It’s All About Believin’ ” is a solid tune, although it is nothing overwhelming.
I thought the DVD was ok. I didn’t really care about the music videos, but the live songs, and behind the scenes footage was kind of cool. Overall, I thought the $11.88 our local Wal-Mart charges for Mirrorball was a fair price. The music is good, and the CD’s have already gotten a lot of play from me.
If I have any complaint about Mirrorball, it would be about the set list. I would rather hear Def Leppard play “Rock Brigade”, “Hello America”, or “Wasted” than waste five minutes on a cover of “Rock On”.
This is only a minor complaint. Overall, Mirrorball is definitely worth checking out if you are Def Leppard fan!
Rating: Out of 10
CD 1 Track Listing:
1. Rock! Rock! (Till You Drop)
4. C’mon C’mon
5. Make Love Like a Man
6. Too Late for Love
8. Nine Lives
9. Love Bites
10. Rock On
CD 2 Track Listing:
1. Two Steps Behind
2. Bringin’ on the Heartbreak
3. Switch 625
5. Armageddon It
7. Pour Some Sugar on Me
8. Rock of Ages
9. Let’s Get Rocked
10. Action [Live]
11. Bad Actress [Live]
13. Kings of the World
14. It’s All About Believin’
DVD Track Listing:
1. Rock! Rock! (Till You Drop)
2. Armageddon It
3. Pour Some Sugar On Me
5. Nine Lives (Music Video)
6. C’Mon C’Mon (Music Video)
For a band that looks like the bastard children of Motley Crue and KISS, I had hopes for Black Veil Brides. While the band isn’t doing anything new with their looks, at least they are trying to do something different. There are far too many bands in today’s scene that have NO image at all. That is one of the things that made rock exciting in the 70′s and 80′s, and is severely lacking today.
I am glad that the Black Veil Brides have shed the whole hardcore/metalcore sound. I can stand bands that cookie monster as their singer, and quite frankly, I didn’t think Andy Biersack was all that great of screamer/screacher/cookie gargler or whatever title fits those core bands. His vocals on Set the World on Fire, are better than those he laid down on Black Veil Brides debut, We Stitch These Wounds. His vocals may be better, but they still aren’t great. His range appears to be far too limited to make a statement in the music found on this CD.
If it wasn’t for the high-speed beats from CC Coma, and solid guitar licks from Jeremy Ferguson and Jake Pitts. I may not have given this CD a second listen. I have to admit that I did like the song “Fallen Angels” somewhat, and it was this song that kept me interested enough to give Set the World on Fire a few more spins. If it was 1987 all over again, “Savior” would probably be a massive big hair ballad. It would have been a better tune, if Biersack didn’t start that screamo crap towards the end of the song.
With this CD The Black Veil Brides prove that image isn’t everything. While their look is interesting, their new CD DOES NOT set the world on fire. I am typically hardwired to like bands like this, but for my ears, Set the World on Fire just misses the mark. If you like the songs in the videos below, you may want to check CD out. I think they are the best songs on the disc. Aside from “Fallen Angels” and “The Legacy” there just wasn’t too much more to keep me excited.
For more information on Black Veil Brides, check out their website: http://www.bvbarmy.com/.
Rating: Out of 10
1. New Religion
2. Set The World On Fire
3. Fallen Angels
4. Love Isn’t Always Fair
5. God Bless You
6. Rebel Love Song
8. The Legacy
9. Die For You
11. Youth And Whiskey
Black Veil Brides are:
Andy “Six” Biersack – lead vocals, keyboards
Christian “CC” Coma – drums
Jeremy “Jinxx” Ferguson – rhythm guitar, violin, backing vocals
Jake Pitts – lead guitar
Ashley Purdy – bass, backing vocals
Burn Halo is back with their sophomore effort, Up From the Ashes. On Burn Halo’s debut, the band had a helping hand from Synnester Gates, Daniel Adair and more. They helped James Hart create a cool CD with some excellent stand out tracks like “Dirty Little Girl” and “Save Me”.
The band backing up singer James Hart on Up From the Ashes is completely different from the band that recorded the debut. With that being said, Up From the Ashes is sort of a second debut for the Burn Halo.
I have liked James Hart’s voice since his days in Eighteen Visions, and his vocals are in fine form on this CD. I can hear the influence of Avenged Sevenfold on some of the songs, and I thought that was kind of cool. I kept looking for a track to stand out amongst the rest on Up From The Ashes, and that song is “Dakota”, a heavy rocker which was written by Burn Halo’s guitarist, Brandon Lynn.
“I Won’t Back Down” and “Dakota” are the heaviest tunes on the album. This is a direction I would like to see Burn Halo move towards. I say this because far too many of the song on Up From The Ashes fall in that mid tempo modern rock style that is unidentifiable. When Burn Halo breaks out of the modern rock comfort zone, they truly shine, and in my opinion, that is what people are going remember the most. With so many bands in the modern rock genre, bands have to start doing something to differentiate themselves from another. Burn Halo has the talent to do that, but they don’t do it anywhere enough on Up From The Ashes. Drummer Dillon Ray has added some serious kick to Burn Halo’s music. We he cuts loose on the album, the music really takes off on its own. Joey Roxx and Brandon Lynn have plenty of cool licks on the album, but there are cases where I wish there was more.
While I don’t think Up From the Ashes quite lives up to Burn Halo’s debut, it isn’t a sophomore slump either. The standout tracks are “Tear it Down”, “Dakota”, “I Won’t Break Down” and the rockin’ album closer “Shine”. Now that James Hart has a solid lineup in place for Burn Halo, the potential for success is extraordinary. Up From the Ashes should be a launch pad for future successse for Burn Halo.
You can check out songs from Up From The Ashes on the Burn Halo Facebook page. Check it out!
Rating: Out of 10
1. Tear it Down
2. Up From the Ashes
4. Threw it all Away
6. Stuck in a Rut
7. Give Me a Sign
9. Rest My Soul
10. I Won’t Back Down
Burn Halo is:
James Hart – vocals
Joey Roxx – guitar
Brandon Lynn – guitar
Aaron Boehler – bass
Dillon Ray – drums
The former members of Guns N’ Roses are a relentless bunch of musicians. While I love the original lineup of Guns N’ Roses, when I hear an album like Duff McKagan’s Loaded’s The Taking, I begin to think that the fans are winning by the break up of G N’ R. If Guns N’ Roses was still around, we may not get so many cool tunes from Duff McKagan’s Loaded.
The Taking starts off with a heavy rocker “Lords of Abaddon”. This song is so good, it demands multiple replays. McKagan play a heavy bass line throughout this song, and delivers a pretty cool vocal to boot. ”Lords of Abaddon” is definitely the right way to start off an album!
“Executioner’s Song” is a powerful and heavy number that invokes the spirit of Black Sabbath. This is a tune needs to be played a maximum volume to be fully appreciated.
“Dead Skin” is one of the more radio friendly tracks, that U.S. Radio has simply ignored. It is a crying shame, as this is one of Loaded’s better tunes. (Check it out in the video below.)
I don’t know what it is about “We Win” that reminds me of early U2, but it does. I mean that in the utmost respect to Duff McKagan and company. It is a pretty extraordinary tune that I wouldn’t expect to hear from Duff McKagan’s Loaded.
“Easier Lying” is the first song that I have mixed feelings about. This mid-tempo number isn’t terrible, but it needed something to take it up a notch. I kind of feel the same way about the song “She An Anchor” too. ”She’s An Anchor” is an angry sounding rocker that could have been improved upon a bit.
Loaded could actually have a mild hit on their hands with “Indian Summer”. It is one of the catchier songs on The Taken, and one of my favorites on the CD.
“King of the World” is one of the harder rocking moments on The Taking. It commands attention with its hard-driving beat, but might require a few plays before you truly appreciate it.
Everytime I listen to “Cocaine” I begin to wonder how this song would have sounded with Axl Rose on the vocals. This song could have easily been recorded as a Guns N’ Roses tune.
While I have enjoyed The Taking, it does not surpass the Duff McKagan’s Loaded’s previous release Sick. This CD is however a better release than the band’s debut Dark Days. The Taking could have used a couple of stronger tunes to get it through its weaker spots. It is still is a solid album, and one that all of Duff McKagan’s fans need to check out!!
For more information on Duff McKagan’s Loaded, please visit the band’s website at http://duff-loaded.com/.
Rating: Out of 10
1.) Lords of Abaddon
2.) Executioner’s Song
3.) Dead Skin
4.) We Win
5.) Easier Lying
6.) She’s An Anchor
7.) Indian Summer
8.) Wrecking Ball
9.) King Of The World
11.) Your Name
12.) Follow Me To Hell
Duff McKagan’s Loaded is:
Duff McKagan - vocals and guitar
Mike Squires - lead guitar
Jeff Rouse - bass
Isaac Carpenter - drums
Omaha, Nebraska may be better known for its wild weather than its rock and roll bands, but Emphatic may change that soon.
I usually hear new music before I see a band live, but in the case of Emphatic, I saw their live show, and was so impressed that I purchased a pre-release copy of their debut CD, Damage after their show.
The song writing style of Emphatic kind of has a hair metal flair in my opinion. You can relate to the songs, and they are instantly catchy. I have listened to Damage several times, and I couldn’t find one bad tune on the CD.
The opening song “Do I” kind of has a Disturbed like vibe to it, but with a more upbeat approach. It is a great tune, and one that will have you singing along in no time.
“Get Paid” is absolutely infectious. This song may not find its way to radio due to the language, and that is a real shame. It is one of the best tunes on Damage.
Changes are you have seen the video or listened to the song “Bounce”. If not, you can check it out in the video below. With “Bounce” Emphatic has their first anthem. This song is a real crowd pleaser live, and it gaining momentum on the radio.
“Pride” has the potential to be a monster hit for Emphatic. This ought to be the second single from the CD in my opinion.
Damage is easily the best modern rock CD I have heard in 2011. Damage will be released on July 12th, 2011. Don’t miss out on this excellent CD!
For more information on Emphatic, please visit the band’s Reverbnation page.
Rating: Out of 10
1. Do I
2. Get Paid
3. Put Down the Drink
5. Place To Fall
9. Original Sin
10.Don’t Forget About Me
Patrick Wilson – Vocals
Justin McCain – Lead Guitar
Alan Larson – Bass
Lance Dowdle – Guitar
Jeff Fenn – Programing/Keys
When Black Country Communion released their debut album last fall, they sent many rock critics into a frenzy, and much praise was received for their first effort. I was not as enamored with BCC’s debut as my peers, but I thought to myself, “Man, if these guys stick together, they could release something really special”. I just didn’t expect it to happen THIS fast.
Black Country Communion’s new CD “2″, is far better than the debut. Everything has improved on “2″. The song writing, the music, and the vocals are absolutely fantastic. Black Country Communion quickly prove they are here to rock. The album begins with the face-melting anthem, “The Outsider”. The hard-driving riffs of Joe Bonamassa paired with the amazing rhythm section of Glenn Hughes and Jason Bonham is absolutely superb. Glenn Hughes vocals are at the same high level as his days with Deep Purple. To think he sing like this at age “59″ is simply amazing. Hard rock music just doesn’t get BETTER than this.
“Man in the Middle” is another riff heavy rocker that does a good job at keeping the pace of the album going. It is a catchy rocker that grows on you with multiple listens. (Check out “Man in the Middle” in the video below.)
To my ears, the best song on 2 might just be “The Battle For Hadrian’s Wall”. This acoustic number not only shows off the fret work of Bonamassa, but features his vocals as well. The first time I heard this song, it brought Led Zeppelin to mind. I don’t know if Bonamassa is influenced by Jimmy Page or not, but there is definitely a Zeppelinesque feel to this amazing song.
Was Paul Rodgers a stand in on “Ordinary Son” ? This song has a Bad Company like feel to it, although it somewhat heavier than most of Bad Company’s music. Bonamassa and Hughes both share the vocal duties on this impressive tune. I can only imagine that song is an intoxicating experience live.
“Smokestack Woman” is a rockin’ number that should have been released as the first single. This is better tune overall than “Man in the Middle”, and has tons of radio potential.
I am a sucker for good bluesy rock, and Joe Bonamassa’s playing on “Little Secret” is pure blues brilliance. Bonamassa truly shines on this song.
Overall, I am extremely pleased with “2″, and feel it is a much better album than the debut. Black Country Communion shows to the world what the title “supergroup” is supposed to mean. The band has put together an amazing effort with their sophomore release, and is one of the best rock records of 2011. I highly recommend picking up “2″. You won’t be disappointed!
“2″ was released in UK via Mascot Records today, and will be released on Tuesday in the US by J&R Adventures. Don’t miss this!!
Rating: Out of 10
1. The Outsider
2. Man In The Middle
3. The Battle For Hadrian’s Wall
4. Save Me
5. Smokestack Woman
7. An Ordinary Son
8. I Can See Your Spirit
9. Little Secret
Black Country Communion is:
Glenn Hughes – Vocals & Bass
Jason Bonham – Drums
Joe Bonamassa – Guitar & Vocals
Derek Sherinian – Keyboards
How is it that a CD can make me smile and scream at the same time? I have been waiting for May 31st to come around for quite a while. I have been quite anxious to hear Black Stone Cherry’s third effort, Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea. Let me preface this review by stating that I am a big Black Stone Cherry fan. I have been from the beginning, and probably always will be.
Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea is a very good CD, however I feel like the band’s latest effort has been Bensonized. What does that mean? Howard Benson is the producer on this CD. He has produced CD’s for many successful modern rock acts including Saliva, Seether, Three Days Grace and many more. The problem being is that Black Stone Cherry has never been a 100% Modern rock band. On their past releases, they have had one foot in the Southern Rock camp, and the other in modern rock. It is the blend of these two sounds that makes their sound a unique one, and makes Black Stone Cherry one of the more interesting bands to come along in the last 5 years. With that being said, Howard Benson has pushed Black Stone Cherry’s sound more towards the modern side, and I couldn’t be more frustrated. The mix on this record has Ben Wells guitar work practically mixed out of existence. It sounds like the Marshall stacks are set on 10 for the bass and 6 for the guitars. Ben is one hell of a guitar player, and when he does cut loose on Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, he shines. Unfortunately, he doesn’t get to do so anywhere near enough. With no disrespect to the bass playing Jon Lawhon, he does a fine job, but this CD sounds as if Benson tried to modernize Black Stone Cherry’s sound more down the well beaten and tired path of Nickelback, Theory of a Deadman and Saving Abel. The whole down tuned guitar thing is WAY overdone. Quite frankly, Black Stone Cherry is a much better band than this, and deserved much better from the production and mixing side. Oddly enough, the Clear Channel family of radio stations will probably eat this up, and this could be Black Stone Cherry’s most successful CD to date.
Ok, now that I have gotten that off of my chest, aside from the production qualities of this CD, I do like Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea. There are plenty of cool songs worth checking out, from “White Trash Millionaire”(see video below), “Blame It On the Boom Boom”, the future hit “In My Blood” the cover of the Marshall Tucker Band song “Cant You See”, the future stripper anthem, “Let Me See You Shake” and “Like I Roll” are amongst my favorites.
Lzzy Hale from Halestorm sings back up vocals on the CD, and does a great job. Her voice is very good pairing for Chris Robertson. I would love to see these two do a duet on a future BSC or Halestorm song. I can’t say enough good things about Chris Robertson on this disc. His voice IS the most powerful instrument to be found on Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, and he has never sounded better than he does here.
Don’t let my mini rant scare you away from Between the Devil & The Deep Blue Sea, this is a very good CD, and maybe Black Stone Cherry’s best yet. With a little bit of tweaking it could have been even better.
Rating: Out of 10
1. White Trash Millionaire
2. Killing Floor
3. In My Blood
4. Such A Shame
5. Won’t Let Go
6. Blame It on the Boom Boom
7. Like I Roll
8. Can’t You See
9. Let Me See You Shake
12. All I’m Dreamin’ Of
Black Stone Cherry is:
Chriss Robertson – Lead Vocals, Guitar
Ben Wells – Guitar
Jon Lawhon – Bass Guitar
John Fred Young – Drums
When does a re-release get better? When it is packed with bonus tracks, and a Live concert DVD “Live at the Garage” from the Glasgow, UK show on September 22nd, 2008. The DVD also includes the promo video for “No More” and all of the band’s previously released Webisodes.
Sick is easily my favorite work from Duff McKagan since he left Guns N’ Roses, and that includes the Velvet Revolver records. I loved the original version of Sick, and this version is even better with the bonus track “Roll Away”, and the acoustic version of “Wasted Heart”. Every time I listen to this CD, I hear elements of Guns N’ Roses & the Rolling Stones in the song writing. The music has a slight punk rock edge, and even the slower track “Mother’s Day” is extremely cool.
If you haven’t picked up Sick, this is the best way to experience the CD. The DVD adds a ton of a value to a cool CD that should already be in your collection. The live show is shot at the Garage, a small 500 seat (est.) club in Glasgow. The footage is great, and Loaded sounds amazing. I wish I could have experienced a Loaded show in a small venue like this. It was a packed house for the show, and I bet it is almost as much fun to watch the show on DVD.
I haven’t seen Duff McKagan’s Loaded Live, and unless they schedule some East coast shows (rare) I may never get the chance. Until then, I will enjoy watching this live concert footage on the DVD. The CD & DVD offers over 2 1/2 hours of entertainment, and is a great value to all McKagan & Guns N’ Roses fans alike!
You can pick up the special edition CD/DVD Set of Sick for the price of a regular CD in the HRH music store at this link. Check it out, you will be glad you did!
Rating: Out of 10
CD Track Listing:
- Sleaze Factory
- The Slide
- Mother’s Day
- I See Through You
- Forgive Me
- No Shame
- Blind Date Girl
- Wasted Heart
- No More
- Roll Away
- Wasted Heart [Acoustic Version]
Duff McKagan’s Loaded is:
Duff McKagan – Vocals & Guitars
Geoff Reading – Drums & Vocals
Jeff Rouse – Bass, Vocals on Translucent
Mike Squires – Guitars & Vocals
Today at Hard Rock Hideout, we are going to do something that we have never done before. We are going to review a CD from a band from……..wait for it………… Sweden. All kidding aside, Die For Diamonds is the new debut effort from Billion Dollar Babies.
Pure Steel Records calls this band a cross between Motley Crue and KISS. I wouldn’t call that a completely accurate description. To my ears, Billion Dollar Babies sounds like a mix of Black N’ Blue, The Poodles and Mamakin. Whichever way you look at it, their new CD does rock. The songs are a bunch of fun rockers that would make a very good Friday night party soundtrack.
Die for Diamonds is a solid debut for Billion Dollar Babies, and one that rock fans should take note of.
This CD is powered by the songs “Boys Night Out” (my personal favorite), “Lose It”, and “Key To My Heart”. The songs are well written, catchy, and will likely appeal to most Swedish glam fans, and a bunch of 80′s hard rock fans as well.
Rating: Out of 10
1. Boys Night Out
2. Highest Mountain
3. Restless Minds
4. Lose It
5. Key to my Heart
6. Second Time Around
7. Right on Time
8. Stand your Ground
9. Nineteen Ninety Four
10. We Don’t Live Forever
Billion Dollar Babies are:
Frankie Rich : Vocals
Jon Silver : Guitars, Backing Vocals
Nic Lester : Bass, Backing Vocals
Pat Kramer : Guitars, Backing Vocals
Robban XII : Drums, Backing Vocals