Where oh where has the band Autograph disappeared to? With all of the reunited eighties bands playing in the various festivals, it surprises me that the band Autograph hasn’t done some one-off shows. I never got to see them play live, and would love to see them in some shape or form today. One of the Autograph’s albums that I have very fond memories of is Loud and Clear. This album was released the year I graduated high school (yes, I am showing my age) and I recall wearing the cassette tape out in my car of this more than once. For whatever reason, I never got around to replacing it on CD in my collection until now. I found the 2006 reissue from Rock Candy Records, and felt like I was reunited with an old friend.
Loud and Clear features some of the best guitar playing that Steve Lynch has ever dished out. I still wonder why Lynch hasn’t resurfaced in another band over the years. He is another under rated guitarist that deserves to be in the spotlight again.
As far as the songs on Loud and Clear go, if you are a hair metal fan, you are going to love them. I have always enjoyed Steve Plunkett as a vocalist, and while he doesn’t do anything new on this CD, he does a fine job at delivering some catchy tunes that will get your party started.
After listening to Loud and Clear for the first time in years, I must admit that some of the music on this CD does sound a little dated. The drum beats are kind of generic, and are pretty much the same on every song, and the keyboards scream 80′s. Aside from that, this is still a pretty fun disc. Some of the songs on this CD, are easily the best of Autograph’s career. Why this CD didn’t take the band to the next level, no one will ever know. “Dance All Night” should have made the same impact as “Turn Up The Radio” but it just wasn’t to be. “Loud and Clear”, “She Never Looked That Good For Me”, and “She’s A Tease” are also amongst my favorites from Autograph. If you are a hair metal fan, you need to track this down, you won’t be disappointed.
Rating: Out of 10
Check out the cameos of Vince Neil & Ozzy Osbourne in the video below!
1. Loud and Clear
2. Dance All Night
3. She Never Looked That Good for Me
4. Bad Boy
5. Everytime I Dream
6. She’s a Tease
7. Just Got Back from Heaven
8. Down ‘N Dirty
9. More Than a Million Times
10. When the Sun Goes Down
Steve Plunkett – Vocals, Rhythm Guitar
Steve Lynch – Lead Guitar
Randy Rand – Bass, backing vocals
Steven Isham – Keyboards, backing vocals
Keni Richards – Drums
Does Buckcherry ever rest? It seems like they have been on tour non stop since the first Cruefest tour in 2008. When the band announced the release date of their new album, I was pretty surprised how quickly this one came after the semi-disappointing Black Butterfly album.
Quite honestly, my expectations were kind of low for All Night Long. I heard that prior to the release that this album would be profanity free. Sure, you don’t really need all of the cursing in rock, but that has pretty much been Buckcherry’s style from the beginning. I don’t know if they were taking the advice of label executive, but they definitely cleaned up song writing for All Night Long. This style doesn’t really fit their bad boy image, which they have also seemingly toned down for this album. Even though All Night Long is clean, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t rock. It definitely has some rockin’ moments.
The first two songs deliver that one two punch to get things started. Chances are you have heard “All Night Long” several times by now. This is pretty cool tune, and how could you not love the cowbell to start things off. “It’s A Party” is another monster anthem that could be All Night Long‘s answer to “Crazy Bitch”. They lyrics are simple, and ridiculously catchy. I expected this song to explode once it is released as a single.
Buckcherry quickly slows it down for the song “These Things”. Every time I listen to this song, Shinedown comes to my mind. For whatever reason, this sounds more like one of their tunes, than Buckcherry’s. I don’t know what it is about this song, but I just can’t get into it.
“Recovery” reminds me a lot of “Broken Glass” from 15. No, the songs aren’t the same but they share the same heaviness and upbeat tempo. Both songs rock hard as a result.
Keith Nelson plays the slide guitar on “Liberty”, and give this song a southern rock edge to it. This was completely unexpected, and cool at the same time.
“Dead” might be the best closer of ANY Buckcherry album. This is easily the heaviest song on All Night Long, and in my opinion, the best. Don’t believe me? Listen to the guitar work from Keith Nelson, and Stevie D. on this one, and tell me otherwise. This song flat out rocks!
Overall, this feels more like a follow up to 15, than Black Butterfly did. Even though this is not as good as 15, All Night Long is good enough to put Buckcherry back on top. There are several songs that will definitely be hits for the band. If you purchase this CD at Best Buy, you will get a bonus disc with six acoustic songs. This bonus disc includes the song their previous album was named after, “Black Butterfly”.
Rating: Out of 10
1. All Night Long
2. It’s A Party
3. These Things
4. Oh My Lord
6. Never Say Never
7. I Want You
9. Our World
Josh Todd – lead vocals
Keith Nelson – lead guitar, backing vocals
Stevie D. – rhythm guitar, backing vocals
Jimmy “Two Fingers” Ashhurst – bass guitar, backing vocals
Xavier Muriel – drums, percussion
I have to admit that I have had mixed feelings about the band Hellyeah prior to their releasing Stampede. The last album just didn’t do it for me, and I expected a lot more from Vinnie Paul & company. On Stampede, Hellyeah, sounds more like a complete band than on their debut. To my ears, everything has improved with album two. The song writing is better, the music is better, Chad Gray’s vocals are even better. As a result, Stampede is a better album! With that being said, even though Stampede is better than its predecessor, it still is not without it some issues. There are a few songs that I would consider filler, and although Gray’s vocals are better, his voice is still an acquired taste.
“Cowboy Way”, and “Hell of A Time” are pretty cool tunes. I even hear a little bit of that Pantera-like groove that I love so much.
The song “Better Man” took me by surprise. It is completely different from the first four songs on Stampede. This is a balladesque tune that was written by Chad Gray. It kind of sounds like a heavy Skynyrd tune. Hellyeah could actually have a big hit on their hands with this.
With “Polerider”, Hellyeah have created a brand new anthem that will likely take all of the strip clubs by storm. This is a pretty catchy tune!
The first time I heard “Stand or Walk Away”, I had to check the credits on the album. Chad Gray sound an awful lot like Fozzy’s Chris Jericho on this track. This is a mid tempo number that isn’t quite as heavy as some of the tracks on Stampede. It is a very good tune that is going to get a lot of airplay.
Overall, with Stampede, I see Hellyeah growing as a band. This album definitely has a lot more good material than bad. This album proves to me that this metal super group has the potential to excel past all of their previous bands, and truly make an impact on the metal scene. Stampede won’t be the album to do it, but it will certainly make a lot of folks take notice of Hellyeah for the first time.
If you are a fan of Pantera, Damageplan, Nothingface or Mudvayne, you gotta give this album a chance. You will definitely find some cool tunes to rock to!
For a free download of the song “Cowboy Way”, please visit the Hellyeah website!
Rating: Out of 10
1. Cowboy Way
2. The Debt That All Men Pay
3. Hell of a Time
5. Better Man
6. It’s On!
7. Pole Rider
8. Cold as a Stone
9. Stand or Walk Away
10. Alive and Well
11. Order the Sun
Hell Yeah is:
Chad Gray – Vocals
Greg Tribbett – Guitars
Tom Maxwell – Guitars
Bob Zilla – Bass
Vinnie Paul Abbott – Drums
DANZIG “DETH RED SABAOTH” – A DARK & HEAVY RETURN THAT TRIUMPHS! Never count out Glenn Danzig. A living Metal Legend like he, never surrenders and will never lay off his drive to make the music that evokes haunting themes and dark places. “Deth Red Sabaoth” was released on June 21, 2010, on Evillive/The End Records. This ninth studio album from DANZIG is nothing short of brilliant, surpassing my expectations of what “Deth Red Sabaoth” would sound like. A valiant return of sort, with the last DANZIG album being “Circle Of Snakes” from 2004. This new DANZIG album of eleven songs shall take you by the hand… and guide you down a path of Heavy Metal grooves, that coincide with all the nightmarish nuances and feel of a vintage Vincent Price, black & white horror flick.
Yes, all the talk is “Deth Red Sabaoth” is a throwback to the first four DANZIG albums and I would be foolish to disagree. If Glenn Danzig felt his best music style needed to be saluted, he surely puts on one hell of a salute here. Cutting to the Metal chase… “Ju Ju Bone” is my favorite song from this album. Then again, come tomorrow, it very well might be “Rebel Spirits”, these songs are just so uncannily contagious to my Metal mind. Where “Ju Ju Bone” carries you along through a foggy nights Metal fantasy, “Rebel Spirits” comes straight at you with the aggression meter turned up a few notches higher, both in the Metal and vocals of Glenn.
“Black Candy” with its molasses tempo has its dark side magnified through the doom fueled riffs and beats, instigated by Glenn’s ever macabre filled, vocal angst. Glenn plays drums on “Black Candy” and he hits the skins just like he sings… very deliberate and very chilling. “On A Wicked Night” has some Classic Rock vibe happening, with the guitar play of Tommy Victor resonating some real late ’70′s Hard Rock excitement. Maybe it’s just me… still “On A Wicked Night” sounds and feels so damn good. ”Deth Red Moon” can best be described as THE song on this DANZIG album that will sound more incredible with each listen. I might just pick this to be my favorite song on “Deth Red Sabaoth” for Fridays only. Tommy Victor lets it all air out with some unreal good leads on this brazenly strong Heavy Metal song.
“Night Star Hel” makes for the finest candidate song to crank up in your car, as you drive through a long forgotten cemetery at night. During a damn full moon too. It’s the classic, no, epic sound of “Night Star Hel” combined with some of the most spine chilling riffs and rhythmic beats that I have heard in years. This song should have ended with Glenn Danzig saying… “are you scared yet”? Instead the climactic highway you hear and ride on “Night Star Hel” is the one and only Johnny Kelly on drums, taking control of this song’s beat and raising holy hell with it.
Ending “Deth Red Sabaoth” is Glenn’s eerily similar to Jim Morrison vocals on “Left Hand Rise Above”. I always and forever will consider Glenn Danzig a unique and formidable vocalist, although the comparison to Jim Morrison is by all means a most sincere and non-confronting statement… in other words, a compliment. What DANZIG can do with turned down tempos is frighteningly amazing to me. The total impact that this band creates with doom and dark tones with chant like beats, is a jaw dropping listen into how Metal Music is truly an atmospheric experience, when done so unpretentiously as “Deth Red Sabaoth”.
Rating: Out of 10
- Hammer Of The Gods
- The Revengeful
- Rebel Spirits
- Black Candy
- On A Wicked Night
- Deth Red Moon
- Ju Ju Bone
- Night Star Hel
- Pyre Of Souls
- Seasons Of Pain
- Left Hand Rise Above
* Deth Red Sabaoth was produced by Glenn Danzig.
* Album artwork was designed by world renowned and award winning artist - Joe Chiodo.
Glenn Danzig – vocals, piano, guitars & bass, drums on “Black Candy”
Tommy Victor – lead guitar, guitars & bass
Johnny Kelly – drums
If you’ve never heard Dirty Penny; well first of all you need to come out from the rock you’ve been living under the last few years cause these California boys are the real F’N deal, and secondly it will only take one listen to their sophomore effort “Young & Reckless” for you to see that these guys were fed a steady diet of 80′s era Sunset Strip hard rock growing up; especially Motley Crue’s “Too Fast For Love”, and the world is a much better place because of it. Made up Binge Daniels on vocals, Jonny Prynce on guitar, Tyno Vincent on bass, and Spanky Savage on drums; Dirty Penny with a little help from producer Johnny Lima, have grown in leaps and bounds since the release of their 2007 debut “Take It Sleezy”. With a sound falling somewhere between early Motley Crue and L.A. Guns; Dirty Penny has firmly embraced the past while still keeping their heads in the present, and they’ve managed to trim the fat from their music that weighs a lot of the new sleaze/glam bands down nowadays.
“Young & Reckless” kicks off with “If I Were You (I’d Hate Me Too)”, and the Boys are hitting on all rock n’ roll cylinders on the opener; a song that can be called nothing, but a smash hit. What I really love about this song is the huge massive drums from Spanky Savage, the guy must be hiding an extra set of arms somewhere. Heavy, but catchy, and filled with piss and vinegar this is the type of song that will be listened to and loved for years to come. Track #2 on “Young & Reckless” is “In Luv With Insanity” and every time I hear it I keep expecting L.A. Gun’s Phil Lewis to jump in and share the vocals with Binge Daniels it just has that big of a L.A. Guns sound to it, but a great song nevertheless. Spanky “the Octopus” Savage strikes again on “L.C.S.” stealing the spotlight from guitarist Jonny Price, who puts on a great performance on this heavy rocker, but Savage’s drums just sound so massive once again. Tyno Vincent finally gets some well deserved attention with his playing for track #4 “On My Sleeve”. Just some great fat, thumping bass lines from Vincent and a great solo from Prynce as well. “On My Sleeve” is #2 on my favorites list off “Young & Reckless”, if commercial rock radio was of any use to the world at all it would be all over this song. Jonny Prynce has a great intro on “Goin’ Out In Style” and the rest of the band follows through on this heavy rocker. “Stand On My Own” is yet another track rock radio should be all over, and although it has a few F bombs in it, which is nothing a radio edit can’t take care of, this song just flat-out rocks from beginning to end. Prynce has a cool short but sweet solo on this track as well, which is #3 on my favorites list. Other stand out tracks on “Young & Reckless” include “Livin’ Rock”, “Wrecking Ball” & “Crash and Burn”, but you really can’t go wrong on any of the 13 tracks on “Young & Reckless”.
Judging from Dirty Penny’s growth from “Take It Sleezy” to “Young & Reckless” the Boys have just began to scratch the surface of what they are capable of in rock n’ roll and I for one am F’N excited cause I’ve got a feeling it’s going to be a hell of a ride. If you’re looking for a leader in the resurgence of sleaze/glam hard rock in the U.S. They can be found in Santa Cruz, CA in the form of Dirty Penny.
Rating: Out of 10
- If I Were You I’d Hate Me Too
- In Luv with Insanity
- On My Sleeve
- Goin’ Out In Style
- Stand On My Own
- Sleeping Dogs
- Devil In Me
- Dead At 16
- Livin’ Rock
- Run To You
- Crash & Burn
- Wrecking Ball
Dirty Penny is:
Binge Daniels – Vocals
Jonny Prynce – Guitar
Tyno Vincent – Bass
Spanky Savage – Drums
When a band’s past involves releasing quality Rock and Hard Rock Music that has been embraced by a generation of fans, such as Giant, the inspiration to carry on and release more music is inevitable. The new Giant album, “Promise Land”, released on February 26, 2010 on Frontiers Records, proves to be 13 songs that have been worth the wait for longtime fans. Original Giant members, drummer David Huff and bass guitarist Mike Brignardello are still in place, carrying on the melodic Rock and Hard Rock sound that features new lead vocalist Terry Brock (Strange Ways, Seventh Key) and John Roth (Winger) on guitars. Longtime Giant loyalists should be happy to know, that original lead vocalist Dann Huff has taken part in this new Giant album, co-writing with fellow band members the songs: “Our Love”, “Double Trouble”, “Plenty Of Love” and “Save Me”. Dann Huff also added to “Promise Land”, two songs from his very own catalog – “Through My Eyes” and “Two Worlds”. Both of these songs were co-written withMark Spiro.
As I listened to “Promise Land” the first few times through, I realized that this album gains strength and momentum with each song. “Through My Eyes” is as solid of a “hit” song my ears have ever listened to. The lyrics and overall melodic enthusiasm that this song bestows manifests itself with an almost magical brilliance. Terry Brock has proven to this lifelong Rock ‘N’ Roll junkie that he has vocals to applaud on “Through My Eyes”… and the remaining 12 songs on “Promise Land” as well.
“I’ll Wait For You” brings back those delicious late 1980′s good-times memories of having no real cares in the world. A song to crank up loud, with the windows down, as you are taking that much longed for ride to the beach this Summer. Wait a second, this entire “Promise Land” album should be cranked up loud on that cool Summer ride to anywhere! Forget calling this new Giant album “feel-good”… it shall be called, “feel-very-good”.
“Never Surrender” is a song that explodes with inspiring melodic Rock and lyrics, coupled with fabulous background vocal harmonies and Terry Brocks’s felt lined vocals. As an added bonus, John Roth is simply excellent on guitar, adding a very heavy solo into the mix that makes “Never Surrender” rise to the top. “Our Love” is a heart strengthening ballad that is sure to make the girls cry and have the guys going out to buy flowers for their sweethearts. Be forewarned, before you listen to “Our Love”, you just might find your romantic soul melting from the seams during this emotional and powerful ballad. If a band can execute a ballad right, regardless of how high the sappy meter goes, then all the power to them. Giant has delivered THE ballad here. If anyone reading this falls in love due to “Our Love”, don’t blame me. I’m just the messenger.
“Love” seems to be a reoccurring theme in the songs heard on “Promise Land” and why not? With all of the evil junk going on in the world today, listening to this new Giant album is a cool detour to take in getting away from the depressing cable and nightly news. “Prisoner Of Love” is an up-tempo Power Ballad that you might just find yourself singing along to. Need not worry though… it’s o.k. to sing aloud to this song or the entire album, Stone says so.
“Two Worlds Collide” and “Plenty Of Love” are two songs that makes me reflect on those “glory days” of late ’80′s arena concerts. You remember those nights? It was a time when you could actually mark your calendar for each weekend of the year for a major concert. These two songs are melodic Rockers on “Promise Land” that makes me call out to Giant and say… when will there be a “Promise Land II”? Giant is BACK, with some originality intact, new vocal strength, new guitar magic and more than enough Rockin’ talent to convince this Rockaholic they are the real deal… once again.
Rating: Out of 10
01. Believer (Redux)
02. Promise Land
03. Never Surrender
04. Our Love
05. Prisoner Of Love
06. Two Worlds
07. Plenty Of Love
08. Through My Eyes
09. I’ll Wait For You
10. Dying To See You
11. Double Trouble
12. Complicated Man
13. Save Me
Terry Brock - vocals
John Roth - guitars
Mike Brignardello - bass
David L. Huff - drums
Danko Jones is back with their sixth full length CD in 2010! Ever since the new Broken Teeth CD, Viva La Rock, Fantastico! came out (on which Danko Jones sings on two songs), I have been looking forward the new Danko Jones CD. If you have never listened to the band before you will be in for a real treat with Danko Jones latest effort, Below the Belt. It seems with each and every release Danko Jones have been clawing their way towards the top. The band’s latest effort Below the Belt, is packed with high-energy, infectious rock & roll that will definitely keep this journey going for Danko Jones.
If you are easily offended, you may want to skip the album opener, “I Think Bad Thoughts”. Danko Jones comes storming out of the gate with a song with some not so subtle bad thoughts. For everyone else, you will be probably get a kick out of this song.
I can’t ever get enough cowbell, and “Active Volcanoes” gives me a lot. This song is an upbeat fun tune that I am going to play a ton! I absolutely the AC/DC flavored riffs of “Tonight is Fine”. This is another great tune, and ought to be another single.
You may not want to drive while listening to “Magic Snake”. You may find your self with a few speeding tickets if you do. This high-octane rocker has one of those great hooks that will suck you in every time. “Had Enough” does a good job at keeping the energy of this album going. Something about this song reminds me a lot of the alternative metal band, Helmet. It is another good rocker.
“(I Can’t Handle) Moderation” has such a fast pace that it almost has a punk like vibe to it. If this one doesn’t get you on your feet jumping around, their may be no hope for you. “Full of Regret” (see video below) is the first single off of the CD, and it is already taking off on rock radio stations everywhere. This is quickly becoming one of our favorites on the Hard Rock Hideout Radio show! The riff on this song is absolutely infectious.
With “I Wanna Break Up With You”, Danko Jones may have crafted the ultimate theme song for divorce courts across America. You have to listen to it, to understand why.
I have listened to Below the Belt a few times now, and I can’t wait to see Danko Jones perform these songs live. If Danko Jones live show can match he energy of Below the Belt, it will be a very powerful and rockin’ experience. This is a fun CD, and one that I have been enjoying quite a bit. Don’t miss out on Below the Belt. It is available in stores now!
Rating: Out of 10
1. I Think Bad Thoughts 3:31
2. Active Volcanoes 3:35
3. Tonight Is Fine 4:20
4. Magic Snake 3:19
5. Had Enough 3:42
6. (I Can’t Handle) Moderation 3:03
7. Full of Regret 3:57
8. The Sore Loser 2:59
9. Like Dynamite 3:14
10. Apology Accepted 3:29
11. I Wanna Break Up With You 4:55
Danko Jones are:
Danko Jones – vocals and guitar
John Calabrese – bass
Dan Cornelius – drums
Black Robot released their self titled debut in May of 2009, and went on to become one of our favorite new bands at Hard Rock Hideout. Black Robot is the new band that was started by former Buckcherry members, Jonathan “JB” Brightman, Yogi Lonich, and Devon Glenn. The band’s lineup has changed since this CD’s initial release, but Black Robot is still rocking harder than ever. After a listening to this CD the first time, you will be hooked by the opening cut “Badass”, the killer cover of the J.J. Cale classic “Cocaine” (that was made famous by Eric Clapton) and my personal favorite “Money”. The great songs don’t stop there though. You will be hard pressed to find a bad tune on this disc.
If you missed the initial release of Black Robot, you will be glad to know that the full CD will re-released tomorrow (Tuesday June 8th, 2010). Not only is it it the same great CD from 2009, but you also get two new tracks that wasn’t on the 2009 version of the CD. The new tracks “Girls Kissing Girls”, and “23 Days of Night” are both kick ass tunes and enhance what was already a kickass CD to begin with. “Girls Kissing Girls” sounds like it could have been on an AC/DC record, and “23 Days of Night” taps into the band’s classic influences including Led Zeppelin & Black Sabbath.
If you are a classic rock or hard rock fan, you need grab a copy of Black Robot’s CD for your collection. You won’t be disappointed! You can purchase the CD in the Hard Rock Hideout Store at this link. You can preview songs over at the Black Robot myspace page.
Rating: Out of 10
- Momma Don’t Cry
- Girls Kissing Girls
- I’m In Love
- In My Car
- Black Robot
- Love on a .45
- 23 Days of Night
- Stop the World
- Nervous Breakdown
Black Robot is:
Huck Johns – Vocals
Jonathan “JB” Brightman – Bass
Andy Andersson – Guitar
Staffan Österlind – Guitar
Possum Hill – Drums
Darren Dodd – Drums, Percussion
Fred Mandel – Piano, Organ
Cris Powell – Drums
Dave Cobb – Guitars
When I first heard the samples of new reissue of Heaven’s CD, Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door, my first reaction was, “How in hell have I never heard this band before”.
Heaven is a hard rock band that started in Adelaide, Australia, and later relocated to the U.S.A. They have three albums under their belt, and yet I have never heard a single tune from these guys until now. Judging from the tunes on Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door, I need to find the back catalog from this band and fast.
“Show on The Road” starts the album off right with a rocker that sounds like a kick ass blend of RATT & KEEL. Every time I play this song I want to rip the knob off my stereo. I love this!!
“Wink of An Eye” is a super catchy rocker that will have you signing along in no time. The keyboards on the song are alittle dated, but they add just enough quirkiness to this song to make it fun.
“Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” is Heaven’s rendition of the Bob Dylan classic. No Guns N’ Roses didn’t do this cover first, although I like the G N’ R version better.
“No Turning Back” is another song that reminds me of early Def Leppard. The guitar that opens this song reminds me a lot of the guitar intro from “Die Hard The Hunter”.
“Last Laugh” is another hit worthy tune with that would not have sounded out of place on any of the KEEL records. Cool stuff!
“Rock On” is a bonus track that was added to the reissue of this CD. It is a such a great tune that I can’t figure out why this would have ever been left off of the original CD.
Overall, I am greatly surprised by Heaven. Singer Allan Freyer sounds like a cool combination of Ron Keel and Marc Storace. The band is way above average on the talent meter. I am greatly surprised that they weren’t a bigger part of the 80′s hard rock scene. I don’t know how I managed to miss Heaven back in the day, but I am damn glad that I found them now. Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door is a CD that I recommend picking up. It has been out of print for years, but reissued in 2010 by Old Metal Records.
Rating: Out of 10
1. Show on the Road
2. Wind of an Eye
3. Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door
4. No Turning Back
5. Last Laugh
7. Keep the Fire
8. Without Your Love
9. No Where to Run
10. Rock On
11. Hard Life [Live]
12. Where Angels Fear to Tread [Live]
13. Love Child [Live]
14. In the Beginning [Live]
15. Madness [Live]
16. Rock School [Live]
Allan Fryer – vocals
Mitch Perry – guitar, keyboards
Tommy Dimitroff – drums
Mark Cunningham – guitar
Dennis Feldman – bass guitar
DoomDogs – Debut Album Is A Stoner & Doom Metal Invasion From Sweden!
DoomDogs - Watch out, look behind you… it’s a Stoner & Doom Metal charge coming straight at you… and their name is DoomDogs! Hailing from Gothenburg, Sweden, these four Metal musicians are crunching and thumping their way into many a Metalhead’s heart… including mine. DoomDogs are not fashion conscious about their brand of Metal… it’s Doom shaking Metal hands with Stoner – thy Metal will be done. Released on April 20, 2010, on High Roller Records, “DoomDogs” is a must own album this year and I shall tell you why!
“Fight The Greed” is a Doom epic, laced with all the Stoner thickness that I could ever wish for. At over eight minutes long, listening to this song is a lesson in dark, doomified Metal therapy. The tempo trudges along at a Metal snails pace, a sliver hint of some Sludge Metal happening here too. Lead vocalist GG sounds extremely determined, not about to hold out the olive branch to the mainstream either… instead he sounds like he is leading his troops on a journey to take over the continents with DoomDogs Metal gospel. Hey, my Metal front door is open to DoomDogs brand of Doom & Stoner and I’m an eager enlister into their fold.
“Dogs Of Doom” steps up the Metal tempo, with shades of early Motorhead, just as any and all of the press releases have been reporting. My opinion is simple, if you want to have a heavy influence within the framework of your Metal brand in 2010, then Motorhead is one damn good influential choice indeed. “Dogs Of Doom” embellishes a surprisingly melodic flair with its guitar leads and riffs, courtesy of Christer. This is a guitarist that should make living legend Tony Iommi (of Black Sabbath) blush with old school pride.
“Calling” takes no Metal prisoners with its angst ridden vocals from GG, the rhythm section crunches and obliterates any outside white noise that may have the audacity to interfere, while this song is being played loud. “Calling” is fundamentally a thunderous example of just how to establish an onslaught of Doom and Stoner Metal upon one’s ears. Patrik on bass plays as if his fingertips are being severed right off… oh, the fabulous sensory sound of quality Doom! Christer invades “Calling” with his blistering guitar licks, making this song all the more lean, dark and mean.
Nanne on drums makes his presence very known throughout DoomDogs debut album, only he sounds much more invigorated on “I’m Sure”, where he flourishes with bombastic beats that rhythmically stop my senses in their Metal tracks. The groove infliction that “I’m Sure” delivers is to be blamed on Nanne and Patrik on bass, how dare they play so good?!
“The Game” continues on with DoomDogs mixture of ear shocking Doom riffs and leads from Christer, while the undulation of grooves keep rolling in like runaway wrecking balls down a slick mountain slope. I don’t need no Doom doctor! Keep the Metal launching pad clear for DoomDogs… they are striking out once again on “Shout”. The old school guitar nod from Christer shall make any 1970′s Heavy Metal aficionado overcome with Stoner bliss. Christer is set loose on “Shout” and his guitar solo could very well make your surroundings shake and tremble if this song is played at maximum volume… as it should be played.
There is no time for kidding around when it comes to establishing yourself as a legitimate Metal band, regardless of genre. DoomDogs are NOT kidding around here. If you were to see an enticing wad of cash, without no known ownership attached to it, laying in the street, would you pick it up? Of course you would. DoomDogs is this wad of cash, only they are not laying in the street… they are embarking on making themselves known to the world of Metal, that they have taken ownership of their brand of Doom and Stoner Metal. This is one heavy band that you should “pick up” and get your ears adjusted to very soon… otherwise you just might find yourself being behind the Metal eight ball, in a spell of dizzying embarrassment.
You can pick up the new CD from the DoomDogs at this link.
Rating: Out of 10
1. Fight the Greed (8:41)
2. Dogs of Doom (4:22)
3. The Game (5:55)
4. I’m Sure (6:47)
5. Calling (9:02)
6. Shout (8:32)
Doom Dogs are:
Tomas “GG” Eriksson – Vocals
Christer – Guitars
Patrik – Bass
Nanne – Drums
Dream Evil, the Swedish heavy metal band named after the classic DIO album, is back with their fifth studio album, In The Night. The only thing the band has changed in 2010 is their stage names. If you are familiar with the heavy metal sound of Dream Evil, you will find much to like with the band’s latest release. Dream Evil dishes out another disc filled with awesome musicianship, incredible energy, and fantastic vocals. If you haven’t ever heard singer Niklas “Nick Night” Isfeldt sing before you are in for a treat. Isfeldt could give Rob Halford and Ralf Scheepers a run for their money. His metal screams are total ecstasy to my ears.
I must admit that I didn’t care much for the album opener “Immortal”. Maybe it just taps into the whole power metal/viking metal thing a little too much for my taste. Luckily, this is one of the only weak spots on In the Night.
The title track “In The Night” immediately bring classic Accept to mind. This is a powerful song, that should have been the album opener in my opinion.
If there is one song that exudes the complete spirit of heavy metal music, “Bang Your Head” would be the one. This stadium anthem might have some cheesy lyrics, but the song is undeniably 100 % pure metal, and I love it.
If Dream Evil ever had a hit song in the making, “See The Light” would be the one. This song has a big bombastic sound that the melodic rock fans are going to love.
On the not so cleverly titled song “The Ballad”, Dream Evil slow it down and show that they can deliver one great power ballad. I am not sure why they didn’t call this “When The Children Cry”, but it is a good song nonetheless. A lot of fans have given Dream Evil crap over this tune, but I like that fact that band still shines when they aren’t cranking out their high speed rockers.
“Kill, Burn, Be Evil” is a metal anthem that will have fans screaming at the top of their lungs and throwing their devil horns in the air. The song’s only detriment is that it is a little short, but it is still highly enjoyable.
Not every song on In The Night is perfect, but I have given this CD a few spins now, and it seems to get better with every listen.
Dream Evil always delivers with each new album they have put out. If you are a metalhead, you won’t want to miss out on Into the Night!! Pick it up and let the headbanging begin!
For more information on Dream Evil, and to preview some songs from Into The Night, please visit the band’s myspace page.
Rating: Out of 10
2. In The Night
3. Bang Your Head
4. See The Light
7. On The Wind
8. The Ballad
9. In The Fires Of The Sun
10. Mean Machine
11. Kill, Burn, Be Evil
12. The Unchosen One
Dream Evil is:
Niklas Isfeldt (Nick Night) – Vocals
Daniel Varghamne (Dannee Demon) – Lead Guitars
Fredrik Nordström (Ritchie Rainbow) – Rhythm Guitars, Keyboards
Peter Stålfors (Pete Pain) – Bass
Patrik Jerksten (Pat Power) – Drums
Godsmack is back with their follow-up effort to 2006′s IV. The Oracle sees Godsmack returning to the formula that has garnered the band much success. The end result is a rockin’ CD that is going to get a lot of radio airplay.
Their was a hot rumor that the first single “Cryin’ Like A Bitch” was written about Motley Crue’s Nikki Sixx after Cruefest 2. I don’t know whether this has been confirmed or denied, but it is definitely a great song.
“War and Peace” is the type of song that almost screams “MOSH PIT”! This heavy rocker will fire up your inner headbanger quickly.
One of my favorite songs from this CD, “Love-Hate-Sex-Pain” is a slower song, but it is definitely a stand out cut on the Oracle.
“Devil’s Swing” has an infectious rhythm that is going to demand a lot of replays. If Shannon Larkin’s drums don’t do it for you, Sully Erna’s harmonica certainly will. Cool song!
“Good Day To Die” is another hard-charging, anger-filled stadium anthem that will have the fists flying in the air. The song has a repetitive bass line, but some pretty good riffs that will keep you rocking.
When I hear “Forever Shamed”, I can’t help but think that Sully Erna sounds a lot like James Hetfield from Metallica. Erna’s gruff vocals have made this song grow on me quite a bit.
What I don’t understand is why Godsmack chose to close out The Oracle, with a six plus minute instrumental track of the same name. This is an odd way to close out this disc, and it doesn’t really add anything to the CD in my opinion.
Although The Oracle does not break any new ground, it is much better than Godsmack’s previous effort, IV. The Oracle is very much in the same vein as Godsmack’s debut, which will likely help it get a lot of radio play. If you liked the first couple of CD’s from Godsmack’s, you will probably like The Oracle too. Check it out!
Rating: Out of 10
1. Cryin’ Like A Bitch
2. Saints and Sinners
3. War And Peace
5. What If?
6. Devil’s Swing
7. Good Day To Die
8. Forever Shamed
9. Shadow Of A Soul
10. The Oracle
Sully Erna – vocals, rhythm guitar, harmonica, producer
Tony Rombola – lead guitar, backing vocals
Robbie Merrill – bass, backing vocals
Shannon Larkin – drums, backing vocals
It seems for every band that got signed in the eighties, there were ten more that didn’t. Eonian Records continues to unearth some talented acts from the hair metal era, and after giving Charlotte’s Medusa Groove a few spins, I would have to say that is one of their better CD’s that they have released. The first thing I noticed is the sound quality on this disc. This is a lot better than some of Eonian’s previous offerings.
Charlotte seems to have mixed a little bit of a 70′s vibe into their style of hard rock. Medusa Groove teeters between the bluesy sounds of Led Zeppelin, and the 80′s hard rock of band’s like Steelheart, Kingdom Come and Lynch Mob. It doesn’t really matter who you compare Charlotte to though. The band flat-out rocks.
Eric Ganz has one hell of a cool voice that sounds like a blend of Lenny Wolf, Miljenko Matijevic and Terry Ilous. His voice helps set Charlotte apart from the standard hair metal offerings of the eighties. The more I have listened to Medusa Groove, I wonder how this band didn’t get signed. There is a pretty cool mix of styles on this CD, from the more hair metal flavored tunes such as “Miss Necrophilia”, “She Get It Up”, “Invisible Man”, and “All Tied Up” to the 70′s influenced numbers, “Woman Behind The Eyes”, (my personal favorite) “Siren”, and “Little Devils”. “Changes” is the type of song that would have the masses breaking out their zippo lighters (or cell phones for today’s audiences). This is one of the better ballads that I have listened to. Overall, I did not find one bad song on this CD, and I found myself hitting repeat a few times so I could listen to it again.
The bottom line: Charlotte is an above average band that didn’t get their due. Medusa Groove was a nice surprise for this listener, and is a a quality release that you should look into. I am glad that Eonian Records has given the world an opportunity to hear this cool band.
Rating: Out of 10
1. Medusa Groove
2. Woman Behind The Eyes
4. Little Devils
5. Miss Necrophilia
6. She Get It Up
7. Got Love On The Line
9. Roadhouse Of Love
10. Ocean Of Love And Mercy
11. Invisible Man
12. All Tied Up
Eric Ganz – Lead Vocals
Nick DiBacco – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Vinnie Cacciotti – Guitar
Chris Colovas – Bass, Backing Vocals
Eric D. Brewton – Drums, Backing Vocals
Drowning Pool is back with their fourth CD in 2010, and the second with vocalist Ryan McCombs. Personally, I have always been on the fence with Drowning Pool. I have liked a lot of their music, but I have always wondered if they could top their 2001 debut Sinner. Their electric appearance at Cruefest 2 won me over, and I have been looking forward to this CD as a result of that show.
The band has definitely had their share of tragedies, but with this new CD, I thought for sure that Ryan McCombs would be the spark that would help Drowning Pool continue to grow with their music. Ryan McCombs actually sounds pretty good, and there are some catchy songs, but Drowning Pool’s latest opus is not without its problems. The grungy guitar sound has always been a staple of Drowning Pool’s music, and for this listener, it no longer works. Why? The guitar parts practically sound the same on every song. The song writing is pretty good, but the muddy guitar sound turns good songs into average ones at best.
Some of the highlights include the songs “Let The Sin Begin”, “Alcohol Blind”, the kick ass stadium anthem “Horns Up”. I can’t figure out why “Let The Sin Begin” wasn’t released as the first single, it is clearly better than “Feel Like I Do”(See Video Below). This song is an infectious rocker, and has a lot more hit potential, in my opinion. “Horns Up” might be Drowning Pool’s biggest rocker since “Bodies”.
Sadly, I felt like the middle of the album had too many songs that felt like regurgitated radio rock. There just wasn’t much to distinguish the songs as Drowning Pool. I was hoping for more growth from the band, and it just isn’t here. With that being said, the new album isn’t bad. I didn’t like this one as much as Full Circle, but there are some good songs to be found here. Chances are, if you liked the last couple of albums from Drowning Pool, you will like this one too.
For the latest Drowning Pool Updates, check out the band’s myspace page.
Rating: Out of 10
1. Let The Sin Begin
2. Feel Like I Do
3. Turn So Cold
5. Over My Head
6. All About Me
7. More Than Worthless
8. Children of the Gun
9. Alcohol Blind
10. Horns Up
11. King Zero
Drowning Pool is:
Ryan McCombs – vocals
C.J. Pierce – guitar
Mike Luce – drums
Stevie Benton – bass
ASIA’s “OMEGA” – A REQUIRED ROCK MUSIC REALITY CHECK!
ASIA - releases their fourth studio album on May 4th, 2010, on Frontiers Records, that features the four original members of this vastly influential and Rock historical band. This new album is “Omega”. I could never put into words, just how talented and important to the history of Progressive Rock Music these four musicians are: Geoff Downes, (keyboards, backing vocals), John Wetton, (bass lead vocals), Steve Howe, (guitar, backing vocals) and Carl Palmer, (drums, percussion).
Granted, the Asia franchise has created music with other lineups while Geoff Downes has steered the Progressive ship, (twelve all-encompassing album releases, spanning three decades, since the iconic and self titled debut release of 1982). With that said, this “Omega” release is testament as to the unmatched Progressive Rock prowess that this original lineup possesses.
As I listen to “I Believe”, I actually do believe this Asia lineup has reached that milestone point in their music career, where they can create what I consider to be the most beautiful Progressive Rock Music one could listen to in 2010. “There Was A Time” progressively plays out at almost six minutes and it is rich with the glistening softness of Geoff Downes’s keys, that weaves its way through Steve Howe’s unearthly guitar, while Carl Palmer and John Wetton apply an almost magical rhythm section. I really do hear magic on “Omega”, excuse me if I feel this way.
If there ever was a progressive element in Rock Music that can be considered the super glue of its layered parts, it is the keyboards. Geoff Downes incredibly inspires the song “I’m Still The Same” with his majestic keyboard play, giving this song it’s progressive decor and mind flight sound and feel. “Don’t Wanna Lose You” is the Classic Rock journey back in time, only Asia musically adds the relevant Rock ambiance that reminds me it is still 2010.
The short and extremely creative guitar leads of Steve Howe resonate his fondness for that 1970′s tone, that so many guitar gods of his generation have captured with splendor. John Wetton may still play as astute as ever on bass, still it is his timeless vocals that are all the listening splendor on “Omega”.
Steve Howe may incorporate the tonal spirit of Classic Rock’s guitar elegance throughout “Omega”, just remember that this is a guitarist that has fortified his very own sound through the decades as well… and his trademark licks are peppered throughout this entire album. “Finger On The Trigger” can easily be pointed out as the Rock out moment on Omega, proving that this legendary lineup has a bounty of uplifting Rock ‘N’ Roll left inside of them… and I never doubted that for one Rockin’ second!
“Holy War” begins instantly on a spirited note, with Geoff Downes hitting the keys in epic fashion. As this song kicks into progressive gear, the realization that Asia is back once again making a song so structurally sound is a Rock Music reality check. The Progressive Rock elegance of “Holy War” has reminded me once again, that Asia has staked their claim as THE most talented supergroup I can ever describe to someone.
“Ever Yours” may just be the tear jerker of “Omega”. The lyrics of Asia’s songs are synonymous with its respective music’s energy it radiates. The musical highs will inevitably catch up to the musical lows, creating a dazzling union of parts and that is what separates Asia apart in the Rock Music world. The songs on “Omega” are musical moments that have personality, feelings and emotion. “Ever Yours” is as sentimental as it is inspirational, proving to me it’s importance to the overall assemblage of songs heard on “Omega”. An Asia ballad is a work of art, not a filler song for iphone lighters at a live concert.
Not to sound silly or corporate in any way, those who know me realize I am not either when it comes to music, especially Rock Music… yet after each listen to “Omega”, I want to stand and applaud this original Asia lineup. Certainly, many will pump their fists into the air and jump up and down with progressive glee, that Asia is not only back, they are back on top. I myself want to do the same fist pumping and jumping in joy, only the Rock historical reverence, that I uphold for these four musicians, has me restraining myself and saying… bravo.
Rating: Out of 10
1. Finger on the Trigger
2. Through My Veins
3. Holy War
4. Ever Yours
5. Listen Children
6. End of the World
7. Light the Way
9. Still the Same
10. There was a Time
11. I Believe
12. Don’t Wanna Lose You Now
John Wetton – vocals, bass
Steve Howe – guitar
Geoff Downes – keyboards
Carl Palmer – drums
9 Out Of 10 Flying V Guitars!!
Brooklyn, NY hard rockers, Black Water Rising released their stunning self titled debut digitally a few months ago. The band recently signed with Giddy Up! Records, and released their debut on CD in March. If you never checked out Black Water Rising, take notice now! I have seen people compare Black Water Rising to Black Label Society mixed with Led Zeppelin & many more. It doesn’t matter what band you compare BWR to. The important thing you must know is this CD is good…..DAMN good!
If you aren’t sold by the searing opener, “The Mirror”, then “Brother Go On” [see video below] will likely knock you over the head. Both songs are two of the strongest opening cuts that I have heard from a new band in a long time. “Hate Machine” is a real grower track that has a stoner rock groove, with some retro 70′s guitar thrown in for good measure. There are times when Rob Traynor reminds me of Layne Staley on this song. Very cool!
Johnny Fattoruso blasts out some awesome riffs on “Black Bleeds Through”. This is another killer tune that deserves massive radio airplay! It is nearly impossible to listen to “Blessed” without going into a foot-tapping, head-banging glee. I thought the hiss & pop effects of playing an old LP was a pretty cool touch to open up “No Halos”. This song is a catchy rocker that gets in your head and wont let go.
The best song on this CD has to be “The River”. Johnny Fattoruso sounds as if his soul was possessed by Tony Iommi on this tune. “The River” is packed with outstanding heavy riffs that put a big smile on this metalhead’s face. I want to hit replay every time I listen to this song.
Overall, I am quite extremely impressed with Black Water Rising. Rob Traynor is one of the best new vocalists to hit the hard rock scene this year. Johnny Fattoruso’s fat riffs, and Oddie McLaughlin’s heavy bass grooves truly deliver one amazing listen. Don’t miss out on one of the best CD’s of 2010!
Rating: Out of 10
1. The Mirror
2. Brother Go On
3. Hate Machine
4. Black Bleeds Through
6. No Halos
7. Living Proof
9. The River
10. Sale On Your Soul
11. Burn It Down
Black Water Rising is:
HELLOWEEN – “UNARMED, BEST OF 25TH ANNIVERSARY” TAKES A METAL DETOUR!
For 25 years, this pioneering Power Metal band originating from Germany, has taken their fans along a journey of 12 studio albums. From Helloween’s legendary 1985 debut, Walls Of Jericho, to their 2007 release, Gambling With The Devil, this important, resilient, multi-talented and influential band has many a song to choose from for their Unarmed, Best Of 25th Anniversary album. One can debate for a year and a day, as to which of their favorite Helloween songs were included or ignored for this milestone album release. Regardless, Unarmed is by far and large, the most grandiose Helloween album ever to have been created.
Usually, upon my hearing the news of a new Helloween album coming up on the Metal horizon, I begin to lick my chops in anticipation of more speed, power and old school Heavy Metal from this incredible band. Well, Metal truth be told, Unarmed is quite the Metal detour for Helloween and their worldwide fan base too. These classic Helloween songs from years long past, have undergone some major changes in their arrangements! Allow me to explain further… an untold number of composers, producers and arrangers all embarked on the restructuring of these 11 Helloween classics heard on Unarmed. Try this on for Metal size – the 70 Piece Prague Philharmonics Orchestra and the London Choir also play a major role in the musical identity of Unarmed!
Certainly, these songs do sound remarkably different, only this detour did not disappoint me one bit. As an old Metal wise man once told me… “change is a good thing”. Still, this is quantum change for any Helloween fans ears to handle upon a first listen to Unarmed. It’s like shifting gears while driving a standard, it’s all about instinct – while accepting such a dramatic musical change of pace. I became instantly aware from the first note of “Dr. Stein”, that I needed to shift my Metal soul into a mellow soul. “Dr. Stein” does play out as a Classic Rock song, now. With similarities to early 1980′s E Street Band, (minus The Boss), “Dr. Stein” is a knee slapping, foot tapping good time… courtesy of the horn section that really adds to the flavor.
As Unarmed plays out, the quality and sum of the musical parts far outweigh any distractions that I may have experienced during several complete listens of Unarmed. The distractions being – where’s the Speed Metal? Hey, this used to be a Power Metal song! And… the ultimate distraction of them all… could I possibly be falling over for this Unarmed version of Helloween? Metal be thy name! Metal as my witness, I have a soft spot in my Metal heart for this Unarmed chapter of Helloween.
For those die-hard Helloween fans that may not absorb musical change with Metal ease… do not despair for you most likely will not be alone. Fans will either love or (gasp) dislike what Helloween has embarked upon here. I just so happen to be an open minded Metalhead that upholds a love for music, thus my appreciation towards such a drastic change by Helloween is not an alarming issue in my Metal world at all.
Truth be told, Helloween has showed me why I have admired them as musicians first and foremost for so many years, their musical transition on Unarmed has been presented upon my ears, with the highest of quality standards and without question… credibility. Helloween loyalists will embrace Unarmed, as for other curious fans out there… don’t be afraid, take a chance on Unarmed, it won’t ruin your Metal soul!
One last interesting note: there is a hidden track on Unarmed! The song title is – “Why”. My question is this, why is “Why” a hidden track? There is absolutely no mention of this song within the liner notes either. An Unarmed, Helloween mystery that may never be explained!
Rating: Out of 10
- Dr. Stein
- Future World
- If I Could Fly
- Where The Rain Grows
- The Keeper’s Trilogy
- Eagle Fly Free
- Perfect Gentleman
- Forever & One
- I Want Out
- Fallen To Pieces
- A Tale That Wasn’t Right
- Why (Bonus Track)
Andi Deris – Vocals
Michael Weikath – Guitar, Backing vocals
Sascha Gerstner – Guitar, Backing vocals
Markus Grosskopf – Bass, Backing vocals
Daniel Löble – Drums
ARMORED SAINT – TRIUMPHANTLY RETURNS WITH “LA RAZA”
When Armored Saint decided to make a return to the recording studio, the Heavy Metal Gods were surely smiling upon them. If I’m to point out a “comeback” Heavy Metal album for 2010, La Raza gets my vote without hesitation. All ten songs on this new Armored Saint album are as quality a listen I’ve had all year. Released on March 16, 2010, on Metal Blade Records, La Raza is best summed up as the most complete sounding Armored Saint album that has ever been created. No pretensions and no gimmicks to be heard on La Raza, this is Armored Saint we are talking about.
Blame it on the inevitable maturation process of these seasoned musicians or maybe the fact that bass guitarist/song writer Joey Vera along with vocalist/song writer John Bush had something to prove to themselves and the rest of the world. Regardless, the solidarity of Armored Saint I hear on La Raza has never come across this potent and real before… to my ears.
I’m by no means overlooking any Armored Saint album of the past here, only pinpointing 2010 as a moment in time for this blue collar American Heavy Metal Band, that deserves to have their finest album to date exposed for what it is, and it is song writing brilliance. Lyrically, the songs on La Raza don’t glamorize keg parties and girls gone wild, no way, this is Armored Saint. With a glance and a nod to some Old School tendencies that can never be shaken off, (thank God for that), Armored Saint fuses their traditional Heavy Metal approach with oozing relevancy.
La Raza could very well be “that album” that captures the mood and attitude of the 1980′s metalheads that still wear their Heavy Metal hearts on their sleeves in 2010. Armored Saint may come across as mature, only the hardness of their musical roots shines through with decadent streams of heaviness on La Raza. Chilled is one amazingly cool song that radiates this mature ideal… both lyrically and musically. I personally have chosen “Chilled” to be my pick for Heavy Metal song of the year, one that should be played loud while taking a long Summer nights drive with the windows down.
The song “La Raza” reminds fans like me, that Armored Saint has not lost a step in their Heavy Metal beat. Guitarists Phil Sandoval and Jeff Duncan not only compliment each other, they streamline the identifiable sound that makes Armored Saint heavy in the first place. Melodic is this entire La Raza album, with multi flashes of thunderous outbursts coming from the bass lines of Joey Vera and the ultra solid drumming of Gonzo Sandoval. John Bush vocally sounds refreshed and driven… on every song.
An Old School retreat of a song like “Get Off The Fence” only embellishes La Raza all the more with its standout quality of songs. The guitar solo, multi licks and backing vocals on “Get Off The Fence” brings back memories as to why I got hooked on Traditional Heavy Metal in the first place. “Black Feet” alone can stand on its own Heavy Metal feet, (no pun intended), with its strategically placed slow tempos that cave into some seriously heavy grooves. “Left Hook From Right Field” takes its stab at 100% proof Heavy Metal and succeeds with its unforgettable riffs, leads and hooks… and John Bush singing lights out.
Heavy Metal purists should find themselves embarrassed, if they are to turn a deaf ear to this Armored Saint accomplishment of an album. Armored Saint and La Raza would be a listening requirement, mandated by me… if Heavy Metal was the law. Regardless of my wishful thinking, let La Raza engulf your ears soon, you don’t want to miss out on one gem of a Heavy Metal album… that 2010 and beyond has to offer.
Rating: Out of 10
1. Loose Cannon
2. Head On
3. Left Hook from Right Field
4. Get Off the Fence
6. La Raza
7. Black Feet
8. Little Monkey
10. Bandit Country
Armored Saint is:
John Bush – vocals
Jeff Duncan – guitar
Joey Vera – bass
Phil Sandoval – guitar
Gonzo Sandoval – drums
Can too much Airbourne be a bad thing? Considering how much I love this band, I would be very quick to answer “No”. On Airbourne’s new album, No Guts No Glory depending on which version of the CD you buy, you will get an unprecedented five bonus tracks. I don’t recall any band doing this recently, and definitely not with all new material. In this crappy economy, the special edition of No Guts, No Glory offers rock fans plenty of value and great songs to rock out to!
The opening riff of “Born To Kill” immediately brought Fastway to mind. For a second I thought Sammi Curr was going to jump through my speakers. Luckily this song blasts off quickly, and sounds like the kissing cousin of “Girls In Black”. This song captures Airbourne at an all time high. What a way to start off an album! WOW!
I have been rockin’ out to the first single “No Way But the Hard Way” for a month now. I love this song, but I found the video (see below) a little lacking.
“Blonde, Bad and Beautiful” ought to be another single off of this CD. This radio ready anthem should be another hit. The lyrics in this tune are great! “She is a wet drink in the desert of lust”….that is classic!
If there was a way to bottle the energy of Airbourne on songs like “Raise the Flag”, I don’t think we would need gas for our cars anymore. This is another great, up-tempo rocker. Airbourne is certainly raising the flag for Rock & Roll!
I don’t anything about Airbourne’s hometown of Warrnambool, but I am guessing that “Steel Town” was written about it. If not, the band may have managed to write a brand new anthem for the Pittsburgh Steelers. This song is tailor-made for the NFL. I have a feeling we are going to be hearing this song for many years to come.
If I had to pick a favorite song off of No Guts, No Glory, “Get Busy Livin” would have to be it. This is a super catchy rocker, with a really cool riff. This ought to be a monster song for Airbourne.
I have only mentioned a few of the songs on No Guts, No Glory, but I did not find a bad tune on this CD. In my opinion, Airbourne is rocking as hard, and is releasing music as good as the bands that influenced them. I believe they have delivered a better disc than their classic debut, Runnin’ Wild. The bonus tracks make the Special Edition of No Guts, No Glory, the must own CD of 2010.
No Guts, No Glory will be released on April 20th! I highly recommend picking this one up!
Rating: Out of 10
1. Born To Kill
2. No Way But The Hard Way
3. Blonde, Bad and Beautiful
4. Raise The Flag
5. Bottom Of The Well
6. White Line Fever
7. It Ain’t Over Till It’s Over
8. Steel Town
9. Chewin’ The Fat
10. Get Busy Livin’
11. Armed And Dangerous
13. Back On The Bottle
14. Loaded Gun
15. My Dynamite Will Blow You Sky High (And Get Ya Moanin’ After Midnight)
16. Rattle Your Bones
17. Kickin’ It Old School
18. Devil’s Child
If you are anxiously awaiting Ozzy Osbourne’s new CD “Scream” that is coming out this summer, I have a disc that you seriously need to look into. Hellfueled’s latest CD, “Emission of Sins” is packed full of kick-ass heavy riffs and hard rock that fans of Ozzy (and most hard rock) are going to enjoy. If Ozzy ever had a child out-of-wedlock, Andy Alkman would have to be it. Alkman sounds so much like Ozzy, it is scary.
Emission of Sins opens up with the hard chugging number”Where Angels Die”. This song sounds like a blend of Ozzy, and Black Label Society. This is a great way to start off on album. If this fiery rocker doesn’t grab your attention, nothing will.
If there was ever a song from Hellfueled that deserves radio play, “Am I Blind?” makes a strong statement. You probably won’t hear this heavy rocker in the United States, (unless you listen to Hard Rock Hideout Radio) and that is too bad. It ought to be cranked up and played on FM Rock stations every where. I love this tune!
Jocke Lundgren does a damn good Zakk Wylde impression on “I’m The Crucifix”. Lundgren has Wylde’s style down to a tee, including those pinch harmonics that many love (or hate) depending upon who you ask. This song shows the influence of Black Sabbath, and rocks hard!
Every time I listen to the song “A Remission of My Sins”, I hear something different. One thing is for certain, this song absolutely delivers. The pace oscillates between the mid tempo chorus, and super fast deep-toned guitar riffs that open the song. This could be the greatest song that Hellfueled has ever done. It is that good!
“End of the Road” and “In Anger” are two songs that have major radio potential. “End of the Road” is a heavy rocker, while “In Anger” has more of a modern rock feel to it.
The album closes out with an awesome instrumental track, “Moving On”.
It seems that Hellfueled gets better and better with every release and Emisson of Sins is easily their finest work to date. There is no official release date for this album in the United States as of yet, but you can purchase the mp3 download of Emission of Sins at this link. Check it out! You will be glad you did!
For more information on Hellfueled, please visit the band’s myspace page at this link.
Rating: Out of 10
1. Where Angels Die
2. Am I Blind?
3. I’m The Crucifix
4. A Remission Of My Sins
5. Save Me
6. Lost Forever
7. For My Family And Satan
8. In Anger
9. End Of The Road
10. Stone By Stone
11. Moving On
Andy Alkman – Vocals
Jocke Lundgren – Guitars
Kent G Svensson – Drums
Henke Lönn – Bass
Do you have a twitter account? If so, you can get Jetboy’s hot new song, “Goin’ Down Above The Clouds” for free in exchange for just one tweet!
This song has been one the most requested songs at Hard Rock Hideout Radio, and now Jetboy is giving you the opportunity to get it for free!!
AT VANCE – “RIDE THE SKY” RIDES WITH POTENT & MELODIC POWER METAL!
AT VANCE - Ride The Sky was released on January 12, 2010, an album emboldened with the blazing guitar mastery of founder and leader Olaf Lenk. Guitar enthusiasts know that Olaf Lenk will more than fortify the songs of At Vance, to unreal heights of the Melodic Power Metal stratosphere. Ride The Sky plays this truth out, in non-excessive fashion. Olaf Lenk has the acute ability to streamline his leads and solos into an all-out accessible listen, which in turn becomes dozens of listens. Giving equal spotlight to lead vocalist Rick Altzi, Olaf has truly found a star with this frontman. Rick Altzi convincingly adds a classic Hard Rock touch, vocally, to Ride The Sky, combined with his credible Power Metal pipes.
The album title and opening track Ride The Sky makes no excuses for what is about to come. Sensational from the onset with its bridge leading into a heightened Power Metal theme, that sets the excellent musical standards of this ensuing album. Vivaldi, Summer 2nd Set is the one Euro Power Metal trademark song, an instrumental that gains it’s identity through its Medieval ambiance of keys, rhythm and guitar tone. Salvation Day has the emotional theme in both its lyrics and music, a song that catapults inspiration into a mesmerizing plane. End Of Days is acceptably the fastest song on this album, blending an inspired rhythm attack from bass guitarist Wolfman and drummer Alex Landenburg with borderline shredding from Olaf.
If you have heard even the slightest comparisons of Rick Altzi to the legendary David Coverdale, those comparisons are justified. No where will you hear more, the shades of David Coverdale, than in Rick Altzi’s vocals in that of Wishing Well. This genuine Classic Rock song, made famous by the legendary Free, is covered so brilliantly here by At Vance that I equate it to taking a Metal Music ecstasy pill. I’m not kidding. Olaf Lenk knows where Hard Rock and Heavy Metal roots were sown, giving Free such an enormous nod through the cover of Wishing Well exemplifies this.
Torn - Burning Like Fire is a song that should make the great Yngwie J. Malmsteen smile, with it’s melodic muscle and lyrics, coupled with Olaf Lenk’s arena style riffs and leads, this song is an old school standout. Power is adequately titled, this song is laden with old school Hard Rock crisscrossing with Power Metal of 2010, best defined as a sped up mid ’80′s Whitesnake with Rainbow lyrics. Not to be misunderstood, influences that I hear aside… Power is as original an example as you will hear from At Vance.
You And I is the ballad found on Ride The Sky. I will stand outside the Metal box here and respect my own self commandment: thou shall not criticize a ballad just because I am not fond of them. This ballad has the balance and fortitude to belong on Ride The Sky, plus Olaf Lenk saves the day with his most appreciated and short guitar solo. Besides, Rick Altzi has the vocals that are tailor-made for a ballad once in a while.
There are Power Metal albums and then there are those elite offerings that only come around every half dozen years or so… Ride The Sky is one such album. Olaf Lenk has an At Vance lineup that has obviously seen and listened to his Power Metal vision. Olaf Lenk and his band At Vance can now continue onward, with Ride The Sky as their newest measuring stick of Melodic Power Metal completeness.
Rating: Out of 10
01. Ride The Sky
02 Burning Like Fire
03. End Of Days
04. Wishing Well
06. Last In Line
08. Glommy Monday
10. Salvation Day
12. You And I
At Vance is:
Rick Altzi – vocals
Olaf Lenk – guitars
Wolfman – bass
Alex Landenburg – drums
When settling in to listen to the new Crazy Lixx album, My Religion, I had an idea of what was in store for me but wasn’t fully expecting what I got. Upon the first few notes hitting my ears, I was immediately taken back to a time when music was great and big hair reigned supreme. Get out your Aqua Net and your spandex, folks; these Swedes are going to rock you like it’s 1987.
Although the throw back to the 80′s is right up my alley, there were qualities about it that didn’t always sit well with me. Don’t get me wrong, I love, love, love 80′s rock, but with current bands, I appreciate a little more
updated take on it. Taking influence from the bands of the 80′s is great; however, at times the influence was over-saturated on this album. For instance, “My Medicine” sounds like Poison and Def Leppard had a torrid love affair together and “My Medicine” was the result of that union. The similarities between this song and Poison and Def
Leppard are uncanny.
That being said, this album still rocks. Killer guitars and vocals set this off and make you bang your head. From hot chicks (“She’s Mine”) to staying young and having fun (“21 ‘Til I Die”), it’s got all elements of rock ‘n roll covered. Just to mix it up a little bit, they throw in “Desert Bloom,” a little bluesy interlude with some kick ass slide guitar. And don’t think for one second that Crazy Lixx will leave you without a ballad! No way! “What of Our Love” is a heart breaking, please come back to me love song that would make any girl rethink why she left.
If you’re feeling nostalgic for the good ol’ days, then put this in your MP3 player and crank it. My Religion doesn’t stray from the 80′s rock recipe at all, but it’s a solid recipe and Crazy Lixx has perfected it.
For more information on Crazy Lixx, check out the band’s myspace page. My Religion will be released in United States on April 20th. For those of you not wanting to wait, you can buy it from CD Inzane now!
Rating: Out of 10
01. Rock And A Hard Place
02. My Medicine
03. 21 ‘Til I Die
04. Blame It On Love
05. Road To Babylon
06. Children Of The Cross
07. The Witching Hour
08. Lock up Your Daughter
09. She’s Mine
10. What Of Our Love
11. Desert Bloom
12. Voodoo Woman
Crazy Lixx is:
Danny Rexon – vocals
Andy Dawson – guitar
Luke Rivano – bass
Joey Cirera – drums
Paul Shortino’s Music Works label signed the band and released their debut effort Rise of the Tora. Not only did Paul Shortino produce this CD, but he also provides background vocals on the song “Warrior”. He must have seen a lot in this young band, and I completely see why.
This disc sounds like it was made in 1984, not 2009. Black Tora may have a retro sound, but make no mistake about it, they flat out rock. Rise of The Tora is cram packed with old school metal riffs that put a huge smile on this rocker’s face. Razer Dave is one of the most impressive new guitarists I have heard in a while. His style seems to encompass a mixture of influences including Eddie Van Halen and KK Downing. Don’t believe me? Listen to Rise of the Tora! This guy can shred!
A singer can make or break a band, and Black Tora’s singer Chris Daniel gets the job done! He delivers solid vocals and plenty of metal screams to keep this listener interested. Edd “The Animal” provides plenty of thunder to drive these songs home.
This CD starts off with the scorching hot tune “Burn Out”. This high-speed rocker quickly establishes that Black Tora isn’t here to fool around. They are out to rock your race off, and with Rise of the Tora, they do just that. You wont find any wimpy power ballads on this CD. This disc is packed from beginning to end with heavy tunes that will make you throw your horns in the air!
“Heart of Fire” is a monstrous tune that needs to be heard by every metalhead on the planet. Some of the additional highlights on this CD include the songs, “Never Enough” “Wild Child”, and “Warrior”. If you are a fan of classic hard rock and metal, check out Black Tora on myspace and grab Rise of the Tora on iTunes or Amazon.com. You will be glad you did!
- Burn Out
- Never Enough
- Wild Child
- Stealing Thunder
- Don’t Drag Me Down
- Born To Rock
- The Slayer
- Hearts on Fire
Black Tora is:
Razor Dave – guitar, vocals
Chris Daniel – vocals, bass
Edd “The Animal” – drums
FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH - has no sophomore blues to remedy with their second studio album War Is The Answer, (released on September 22, 2009). If a one line review was to suffice regarding War Is The Answer, I would take a corn dog route and just say: Skull crushing Hard Rock that melds with the finer points of Heavy Metal. Alright, with that said, Ivan Moody has secured his place among Hard Rock and Heavy Metal’s most convincing and steel solid vocalists. Ivan’s vocals on War Is The Answer can be construed as the show stealer, however, there is one terrific band behind him as well… and these guys have also secured themselves some heavy respect, with laying down the hard and heavy.
Cutting to the Metal chase on the ferocious songs heard on War Is The Answer, a standout for me is “Burn It Down”. It opens up into an angst fueled and welcomed invasion of Metal music and lyrics. An electrifying song is “Burn It Down”, highlighted by exquisitely heavy guitar licks from the guitar tandem of Zoltan Bathory and Jason Hook. Five Finger Death Punch never comes across as playing heavy out of necessity, these guys play heavy because they damn well can… and play it hard and heavy – extremely well. “Canto 34″ is all rip and tear, with elevated riffs and melodic leads that creates the genuine factor that this band glistens with. If a heavy instrumental could talk, then “Canto 34″ is a testimonial to someone or something very important to Five Finger Death Punch.
“Falling In Hate” rages along with Metal glee, a sound reminder that no one should ever consider messing with this band in a remote alley. “Falling In Hate” flat out smokes, the hardcore vocals of Ivan Moody ignites the powerful mood here. The cover version of “Bad Company” receives a unique FFDP spin, it’s harder, faster and downright leaner and meaner than it’s iconic original. I’ll always revere the original Bad Company song, still, FFDP pronounces this classic in a way that cannot ever be ignored or denied. Far From Home is an up tempo and heavy ballad, it seems to fit into this album rather seamlessly… a short detour from the storm filled sound that FFDP is so well known to carry out.
“War Is The Answer”, the albums title song, borders on that fine line of Thrash meets Hardcore, both musically and lyrically. The profound ability for FFDP to shift gears, into various levels of heaviness, is what I most admire about them.”War Is The Answer” is THE song to listen to when you feel like someone has slighted your life in any way… it’s Metal psychotherapy for the ears! “No One Gets Left Behind” maintains the precision accuracy of speedy riffs and leads alongside a hell bent for Metal rhythm section that this entire album is seething with. The military oath of “no one gets left behind” has never been more heavier stated and explained than on this FFDP song… it’s an eye popping listen!
Closing out my Metal praise for War Is The Answer is “Dying Breed”. If FFDP was looking for that Metal body slam to close the door on this fantastic album… they succeeded. Ivan Moody’s diverse use of his vocal range coupled with layered vocal harmonies, lent an element of surprise upon my very first listen to what is a very heavy song. FFDP once again, uniformly as a band unites their talents, in creating an album that screams textured hardness, molten together with all the heavy goodness of what we Hard Rock and Heavy Metal fans love to savor.
- Dying Breed
- Hard To See
- No One Gets Left Behind
- Crossing Over
- Burn It Down
- Far From Home
- Falling In Hate
- My Own Hell
- Walk Away
- Canto 34
- Bad Company
- War Is The Answer
Five Finger Death Punch is:
Ivan Moody – vocals
Zoltan Bathory – rhythm guitar
Jason Hook – lead guitar
Matt Snell – bass guitar
Jeremy Spencer – drums
I have been a fan of Jason McMaster for a long time. From Watchtower, to Dangerous Toys, to Broken Teeth, I have pretty much enjoyed all of the bands he has performed in. With that being said, it is hard for me to believe that Broken Teeth has already matched the number of studio releases as Jason McMaster’s other band Dangerous Toys, but they have done just that. With their latest release, Viva La Rock, Fantastico, McMaster and company may have released the finest Broken Teeth record to date.
Viva La Rock, Fantastico sounds as if Broken Teeth walked into the studio and performed the same kind of high energy set that they do live. It is a no frills hard rock effort cram packed with crank worthy tunes to help you get your party started.
Viva La Rock, Fantastico explodes out of the gate with fast paced rocker “Blackheart”. The Motorhead like feel to this tune instantly had me wanting to play the air drums. “Exploder” delivers that one-two punch for this CD. If “Blackheart” didn’t reel you in, “Exploder” will get the job done with its breakneck rhythm and energetic riffs.
At this point Viva La Rock Fantastico is merciless with its high-speed tunes. You don’t get a moment to catch your breath until the song “Break the Spell”. This tune does a very good job of breaking up the pace with its AC/DC inspired riffs. This song may lack in originality, but Broken Teeth deliver it with such conviction, you will hardly care. McMaster’s razor-sharp vocals, and the riffs of Tuten & Beeson are damn near perfect here.
Jason McMaster has made no secret that he is a fan of Danko Jones. The song “Twister” has similar pacing as some of Danko’s previous work. Borrowed ideas or not, “Twister” is one hell of an infectious tune.
The guitar riff on “Back On The Road” is so insanely catchy that I consider this song, one of Broken Teeth’s best. I can’t this song out of my head.
Much like “Twister” before it, “Bullet” also that similar guitar rhythms as Danko Jones. This is another fun tune that I like a lot.
Danko Jones sings on the title track “Viva La Rock, Fantastico!”, as well as the following tune “Big Spender”. The end result are two classic Broken Teeth songs that make Viva La Rock Fantastico a must own record for all Danko Jones, and hard rock fans alike.
If you like your hard rock raw, and not over produced, you are going to love this CD. The songs are fairly short in length. What they lack in length, they deliver in punch. Viva La Rock Fantastico is one of my favorites of 2010. Don’t miss this!
You can purchase your own copy of Viva La Rock Fantastico at this link.
Rating: Out of 10
3. Spitting Nails
4. Dressin’ Up In Flames
5. Break The Spell
7. Back On The Road
8. All Hail The Altar
9. Get Outta Here Alive
11.Viva La Rock, Fantastico! (Featuring Danko Jones)
12.Big Spender (Featuring Danko Jones)
13.Ride Upon Glory
Broken Teeth is:
Jason McMaster – Vocals
Bruce Rivers – Drums, Backup Vocals
Brett McCormick – Bass, Backup Vocals
Jared Tuten – Guitar, Backup Vocals, Percussion
David Beeson – Guitar, Backup Vocals
Former KISS guitarist Bruce Kulick has released his third solo effort, BK3 on February 2nd. I have always felt that Bruce Kulick is the most under rated guitar player KISS ever had. On this new disc, Kulick gets to strut his stuff not only on the six string, but vocally as well. He isn’t without help on BK3, as this CD is loaded with guest stars, including Gene & Nick Simmons, Tobias Sammet, John Corabi and more.
BK3 starts off with a pretty credible rocker,”Fate”. Kulick dishes out some pretty cool guitar licks and does a solid job vocally as well. His voice reminds me of Gene Simmons, who ironically handles the vocals on the following song, “Ain’t Gonna Die”. I prefer “Fate” to “Ain’t Gonna Die”. Overall, both songs have a gritty edge that remind me of the later KISS releases with Kulick.
Kulick’s former band mate John Corabi handles the vocals on “No Friend of Mine”. This song made me regret missing Crabby perform with his solo band when they came to Dayton, Ohio a few weeks ago. This song grows on me more and more with every listen.
Nick Simmons sings on the tune “Hand of the King”, and I must admit, I didn’t really care for his vocals very much. I don’t know if this is the first song he has ever sang on or not. His voice is not unlike his father’s but just doesn’t work for me on this tune. The guitar work is great on “Hand of The King” , but overall I thought this song was forgettable. “I’ll Survive” is the second song that Kulick sings on, and much like the previous track, it just falls flat.
The biggest surprise guest on BK3 is the Knack’s Doug Fieger. I haven’t heard anything from the Knack in ages, and found his vocals on “Dirty Girl” quite enjoyable. This song is one of BK3′s highlights.
Kulick takes over on vocals for “Final Mile”. This is a slower tune that has a southern rock vibe. It isn’t perfect, but I have grown to like after a few plays.
“I’m The Animal” features not one, but two guests. Tobias Sammet from Edguy handles the vocals, while Eric Singer from KISS plays the drums. Kulick ups the ante with some stellar fretwork. Sammet truly delivers with his vocal performance. This is easily one of the best songs on BK3. I absolutely love this tune.
“And I Know” is an upbeat, catchy song that deserves a lot of airplay.
Steve Lukather struts his six string prowess on the instrumental “Between The Lines”. While I am not a huge fan of instrumental songs, I must admit that Lukather’s playing is outstanding.
BK3 is closed out with Kulick’s final vocal performance on “Life”. For whatever reason, I didn’t really care for Bruce’s vocals on this song. The music is good, but the vocals kill it for me.
So, should you buy BK3? If you are a die-hard Kulick, or Union fan, you will probably want to pick this up. Overall, I thought this CD did not feel like a very cohesive effort. The song styles are varied, and some of the guests do more harm than good. There are some cool moments on the CD, but I was hoping for more from Bruce Kulick and company. You can check out some of the songs from BK3, at the Bruce Kulick myspace page.
Rating: Out of 10
02. Ain’t Gonna Die
03. No Friend Of Mine
04. Hand Of The King
05. I’ll Survive
06. Dirty Girl
07. Final Mile
08. I’m The Animal
09. And I Know
10. Between The Lines
Starting out over 40 years ago when they were just kids, Blackwood Creek could hold the record for longest amount of years passed before a reunion. Theirs was longer than even the Eagles. However, it’s a good thing for the fans that the band waited so long to get back together, because it gave one of their members a chance to become famous and form a great hard rock band in Winger. Now known (unofficially) as Kip Winger’s side band, Blackwood Creek is releasing their debut album here in the states on January 12th.
After coming off a great record in Winger’s Karma, it’s questionable whether Kip could put together two great albums in a 6 month span. Well, after listening to the record there’s no doubt that he can. Blackwood Creek rocks! The disc has a little of the new Winger sound, blended with some southern rock (ala Lynyrd Skynyrd). Blackwood Creek combines the high power charges of party rock and roll and mixes them with simple free style guitar riffs, easy steady drum beats, and a lot of fun.
Blackwood Creek opens with Out In Outer Space, which sets the tone immediately and makes you sit up and take notice. After the first spin of this song, you just know there are good things coming. The opening guitar chords and drum beats throw a warning punch, the first verse announces their presence, but the chorus has you hooked. If you’re not singing along to this song by the third listen, you may not be a rock music fan.
Nothing But The Sun continues where Out In Outer Space left off. Kip’s voice sounding bold and clear and the musical melody holding steady with foot tapping, enjoyable rhythms. Love Inspector is a good time party song about babes and beer, something that any healthy male can enjoy and sing along too.
The great songs continue with “Your Revolution”, “Dead Stung”, and “Albatross”, just to name a few.
Kip’s voice continues to have that blend of former Kip Winger and David Coverdale that stood out on Winger’s last CD, Karma, but just as then, he makes it work to his advantage. While he may not be able to hit the high notes of Madeline anymore, he doesn’t need to, because he has great current songs that are well within his range. His grainy, grungy vocals give his new music a rougher age that is very appealing to older music fans. The squeaky clean high vocals of the glam era are gone and the grittier, throaty vocals are fronting the songs now.
Blackwood Creek is amazing in its simplicity. The guitar playing is straight forward, three chord rock. The drums are simple 1-2-3-4 beats, with not a lot of rolls or changes. There are few guitar solos, there are no crazy bass lines, and there’s no screaming or wailing glam metal vocals. And that’s why this record is so amazing. A stripped down, easy feeling, good time, bar band rock and roll. Kip Winger and the band focused on the product (in this case the music as a whole) more than the packaging (glitzy guitar solos or musical tricks). This is down to earth rock for fans that have been musically starved for too long.
Rating: Out of 10
- Out In Outer Space
- Nothing But The Sun
- Your Revolution
- Dead Stung
- After Your Heart
- Jimmy and Georgia
- Rack of Greed
- Love Inspector
- Joy Ride
- Wooden Shoe
Blackwood Creek Is:
Kip Winger – Lead Vocals and Bass Guitar
Nate Winger – Drums
Peter Fletcher – Guitars
I am not sure how Freakshow’s CD dropped off our review schedule at Hard Rock Hideout, but I can not overlook this CD any longer. I have been a fan of Marcus Allen Christopher’s other band Miss Crazy for quite some time. I always thought that there are some similarities between his voice, and Cinderella’s Tom Keifer. It seemed like the the perfect fit for Cinderella’s Jeff LaBar to work with Markus. Freakshow is rounded out by fretless bass wonder Tony Franklin, and former Quiet Riot skin man, Frankie Banali. The overall talent in the band is crazy good, so the CD has to be good too right? Right! After hearing this CD, I can only hope that line up would record together again, and or tour.
Admittedly, I was not super crazy about the opening tune, “Welcome To the Freakshow”, but decided to hang around to see what else Freakshow could offer. The first time I listened to the song “Everyone”, I thought that is was a major rip off of Cinderella’s “Somebody Save Me”. It isn’t exactly the same, but the main riff is pretty similar. It is still a cool song. I guess if anyone is going to rip off Cinderella, why shouldn’t it be their long time axeman. The more I listen to this song, the more I love it.
“You Who Wins” is an excellent crunchy rocker. Tony Franklin and Frankie Banali steal the show on this tune. Banali’s drumming is near perfection, and Franklin bass work complements him well. The guitar licks on “It’s Really Over” instantly brings Whitesnake to mind. This is an infectious tune that demands a lot of replays.
If you can play “Burning Me” without headbanging, you must have a neck brace on. This catchy rocker will have you singing along, “I need your love”. Another great tune! From this point forward, this album is packed with rockers all the way until the final song “Mistaken”. This is a slower number, but still a cool tune at that.
While some band projects suffer from mediocrity, Freakshow rises above the masses to deliver one rockin’ CD. This is easily the best CD that Retrospect Records has ever put out. If you are a fan of 80′s hard rock music, you will love Freakshow. You can purchase this CD at this link. Check out Freakshow on myspace here.
- Welcome To the Freakshow
- You Who Wins
- It’s Really Over
- Burning Me
- Four Leaf Clover
- Looking Back At Me
- Mistreat Me
Marcus Allen Christopher – Vocals
Jeff LaBar – Guitars
Tony Franklin – Bass
Frankie Banali – Drums
We have seen a crazy amount of good bands come of Sweden in the last couple of years. In 2007, Swedish rockers Bonafide released their self titled debut. I enjoyed their first disc quite a bit, but Bonafide has far exceeded that album with their sophomore effort “Something’s Dripping”. What does Bonafide sound like? How about Paul Shortino on steroids, fronting a band the caliber of Rhino Bucket. This is bluesy pub rock at its finest.
If the opening track “Dirt Bound” doesn’t knock you down on the first play, the following cut, “Hard Livin’ Man” will certainly deliver that one-two punch.
Mia Coldheart from Crucified Barbara shares vocal duties with Pontus Snibb on “Straight Shooters” I can only describe this as one bad-assed tune.
There are parts of the song “Elvis Chapel Blues” where Pontus Snibb nearly sounds like Paul Stanley from KISS. I think the song also has a Krokus like vibe going for it. Cool tune.
“Dog” is a high octane head banger that has to be fun to see live. (Neck brace is optional).
“Butter You Up” starts off a triumvirate of kickass rockers to close out Something’s Dripping.
I am a sucker for the bluesy riffs of “Swan Song”. If you don’t find your self rocking out to this tune, then your headphones must be broken.
The closer “Sicker Than I Think” sees Bonafide channeling their inner AC/DC, and it flat out rocks.
Go ahead and “Fill Your Head With Rock” by checking out Bonafide’s myspace here. Something’s Dripping may not be completely original, but it certainly entertaining! This is the type of music that will make you want to crack open a cold one, and enjoy your weekend! Recommended!
Rating: Out of 10
01. Dirt Bound
02. Hard Livin´man
03. No Doubt About It
04. Straight Shooters
05. Elvis Chapel Blues
06. Fill Your Head With Rock
08. Shot of You
09. Butter You Up
10. Swan song
11. Sicker Than I Think
Pontus Snibb – Guitar & Lead Vocals
Mikael Fässberg – Guitar & Background Vocals
Sticky Bomb – Drums
Micke Nilsson – Bass & Background Vocals