In what could be his best release since Darkness On The Edge Of Town, Bruce Springsteen has returned with a magnificent album fueled by anger, poignant with insight, and offering a glimmer of hope for the future. That album is Wrecking Ball, and it is the first album Springsteen has recorded since the death of his dear friend, and founding E-Street Band member, Clarence (Big Man) Clemons.
While the last Springsteen album (2009’s Working On A Dream) was criticized as being too rushed, too polished, and too pop oriented, none of those comments can be regurgitated for this record. Wrecking Ball is the antithesis of Working On A Dream. Musically, the album is heavier. Lyrically, the album is angrier. Spiritually, the album is much more uplifting and inspiring. Wrecking Ball is a request to a nation; regain the fire that once burned bright in their belly.
If Working On A Dream was themed with hope, opportunity, and a chance for change, Wrecking Ball is a call to action for that change to happen now. The frustration and demand is felt in these songs written by a man mired in blue collar roots who is saddened by the current state of his America. The current situation has cheated us with empty promises and side mouth talking. The time to act upon those promises is now. It’s time for people to rebound and put in the hard work, as a group, not as individuals, required to take back the strength we all once commanded. There is hope in the future. The hope comes with a price though. We have to be willing to put in the sweat required today in order to receive a brighter tomorrow.
While not as patriotic as Born In The USA, Wrecking Ball speaks to the American public. The cynicism of modern day Bruce is immediately felt on opening track “We Take Care Of Our Own.” The lyrics cry out that we feel cheated. The promises of a better today have not arrived and need to. Springsteen sings that “the road of good intentions has gone dry as a bone,” letting us know that the time for talk is behind us and the time for immediate action is upon us. If we join together and take care of our own, we will be able to accomplish anything that we desire.
Calls of unity and group action (“We Take Care Of Our Own”), overcoming tragic loss and still moving forward (“This Depression”), taking the worst that comes and conquering (“Wrecking Ball”) and seeing hope in the future (“Land Of Hope And Dreams”) dominate this record. Springsteen has reached back to a style of writing reminiscent of his early, mid-70s career and composed music with a message and a meaning. The time to stand up and fight for what we believe in is now. There can be no tomorrow if we don’t take action today. The challenge is laid forth. We can overcome it and become greater than we ever imagined.
Recording this album also found Bruce Springsteen in the studio without his best friend and longtime band mate, Clarence Clemons. The trademark saxophone has been replaced by trumpets and horns, electronic drum tracking and plenty of fiddle. Songs like “Rocky Ground” and “This Depression” contain dual messages that not only center on the current state of our nation, but also describe the pain of moving forward after losing someone that has meant so much for so many years. How does a man move forward from that? Strength, determination, and remembering what the friendship stood for are some of the key ways.
Blending his 70s style blue collar rock with his more recent Irish folk flavor, and mixing in some good old fashioned classic guitar rock, Bruce Springsteen has struck gold with his latest release. There is something for everyone on Wrecking Ball. From ballads to blues, from guitar solos, to foot stomping folk songs, Wrecking Ball has it all. That is what makes it such a great treasure. After 40 years, Bruce Springsteen still knows how to rock and roll and Wrecking Ball is the current proof of his lasting musical genius.
Rating: Out of 10
- We Take Care Of Our Own
- Easy Money
- Shackled And Drawn
- Jack Of All Trades
- Death To My Hometown
- This Depression
- Wrecking Ball
- You’ve Got It
- Rocky Ground
- Land Of Hope And Dreams
- We Are Alive
On their debut CD, Will Wallner & Vivien Vain have recruited some of hard rock’s finest musicians to help craft their songs. The end result is a remarkable hard rock CD that I can’t stop listening to. Will Wallner may not be a guitarist whose name you recognize. One listen to this CD, and I think he could possibly become an overnight sensation. Wallner delivers some of the best hard rock riffs I have heard in 2012, and that includes the recent works from Eddie Van Halen & Vinnie Moore (in UFO). Wallner’s style reminds me of a cross between Randy Rhoads & Jake E. Lee. That is pretty good company to be in, in my opinion.
Vivien Vain, where have you been hiding? Vain is easily one of the best new female hard rock vocalists that I have heard in quite some time. Her powerful pipes are a very good match for Wallner’s heavy riffs. Of course it doesn’t hurt when you attract the likes of Carmen Appice, Tony Franklin, Rudy Sarzo, Vinny Appice, Jimmy Bain, Tony Carey, Brian Tichy and Derek Sherinian to play on your songs. These hard rock legends help to craft some very cool tunes. I can’t begin to tell you how good it is to hear Tony Franklin and Carmine Appice (two-thirds of Blue Murder) playing on some songs together again. This is very cool stuff indeed!
The best songs on the CD are “Dreamstealer”, “Streets of Rage” & “Miles Ahead”, but there really isn’t a bad song in the bunch.
If you are a fan of 80’s hard rock, you ought to check out this CD. You won’t be disappointed!
Rating: Out of 10
- The Dream
- Streets Of Rage
- Fourteen Twenty Eight
- All That I Want
- Miles Ahead
- Soul Monster
Vivien Vain – Vocals
Will Wallner – Guitar
Tony Carey – Keys on Tracks 1, 2, 8, 9
Jimmy Bain – Bass on Track 2
Vinny Appice – Drums on Tracks 2, 3, 4, 6
Carmine Appice – Drums on Tracks 3, 5, 9
Tony Franklin – Bass on Tracks 3, 5, 7, 9
Rudy Sarzo – Bass on Tracks 4, 6
Brian Tichy – Drums on Track 7
Derek Sherinian – Keys on Track 7
Royal Hunt is back with their eleventh long player Show Me How To Live. Show Me How to Live features the return of D.C. Cooper (Silent Force) on vocals. DC Cooper’s parting from Royal Hunt was not an amicable move back in the late 90’s, so I am glad the gentleman in Royal Hunt could mend the fences. D.C. Cooper has an outstanding voice, and after giving Show Me How To Live a few spins, I can clearly say, it sounds like he never left.
Don’t misunderstand my excitement with D.C. Cooper returning to Royal Hunt. I thought Mark Boals and John West both did a great job singing for this band. I liked Royal Hunt’s last album X a lot. I don’t know what it is, but there seems to be magic when André Andersen and D.C. Cooper record together.
Show Me How To Live is a tight record packed with melodic, and progressive edged tunes that are a pure pleasure to listen to.
The album starts off with a powerful rocker “One More Day” which is also the main chorus of the song. With Jonas Larsen’s excellent guitar work, and the catchy lyrics, I have found this song to be extremely infectious.
“Another Man Down” (See video below) is a duet with Michelle Raitzin. Raitzin’s vocals are a very good match for D.C. Cooper.
Every time I play “Hard Rain’s Coming” I want to hit repeat. Not only is this one of the best songs on Show Me How To Live, it may also be one of Royal Hunt’s best.
The album’s title track “Show Me How To Live” is a ten minute melodic monster. The musicianship is so incredible you forget that you are listening a song this long.
With only seven songs, I wish Show Me How To Live had a few more tunes, but with 42 minutes of music that is THIS good, I am still quite satisfied.
Royal Hunt fans, do yourself a favor and pick this CD up. You won’t be disappointed!
Rating: Out of 10
01. One More Day
02. Another Man Down
03. An Empty Shell
04. Hard Rain’s Coming
05. Half Past Loneliness
06. Show Me How To Live
07. Angel’s Gone
Royal Hunt is:
André Andersen – keyboards
D.C. Cooper – vocals
Allan Sørensen – drums
Andreas Passmark – bass
Jonas Larsen – guitars
Most Hard Rock enthusiasts would agree that it is the presence of a guitar solo that truly defines whether a song should be considered Hard Rock. Should that definition be used as a litmus test to what is or isn’t Hard Rock, then UFO has passed with flying colors. The most enjoyable part of their new disc, Seven Deadly, is the fact that every song gets a guitar solo — rock, the way it ought to be!
It never ceases to amaze me how musicians like UFO that have been around for such a long time can still put out poignant, high quality music for the masses. UFO’s debut album came out in 1970 and they’ve been rocking the world ever since. Seven Deadly is the band’s 22nd record, and while there have been numerous upon numerous lineup changes, original members Phil Mogg and Andy Parker are part of the latest disc.
Combining southern rock, blues, a twinge of 80s metal, and hard riffs, UFO has created an outstanding record that both longtime fans and “Johnny-come-lately” are going to be ecstatic about. The creative outpouring on Seven Deadly is attributable to the band’s veteran dedication to their craft. After 22 albums, one might think the band would decide to rest on their laurels, or release some sub-par material that had been sitting around for years, not making it on other albums. That is definitely not the case with Seven Deadly. UFO proves they still have what it takes and that nothing less than the best will do for the band and their fans.
“Fight Night” kicks the record off in style and immediately brings forth the hard rocking, bluesy sound of UFO. Guitarist Vinne Moore immediately establishes himself as an amazing lead guitarist and the centerpiece of the magnificent music that is bursting from the speakers.
Phil Mogg’s voice has held up well over the years. That is most evident on the track “Angel Station.” This is the slower, prerequisite ballad of the disc, but it is performed with passion and power. Mogg can still hit the high notes and sing with such clarity that it’s hard to believe his age. “Angel Station” is a brilliant song that moves the listener. Mogg does an incredible service to the vocals on this song and the finished piece is proof of his ability with the microphone.
Not enough great things can be said about lead guitarist Vinnie Moore. His best solo comes on the track “The Last Stone Rider.” Combining blues, metal, and finger picking at its best, Vinnie Moore shows some great, flashy techniques with the axe in his hand. His guitar playing prowess is evident all over Seven Deadly and one of the best treats of the album. If you are not a fan of Vinnie Moore, you will be after listening to Seven Deadly” His guitar work takes the album from great to outstanding.
Album closer, “Waving Goodbye,” is a perfect way to end such an esteemed album. A bluesy, ballad that contains another magnificent Moore solo and passionately sung lyrics, this is one of the best songs contained on Seven Deadly and it is worthy of multiple listens. If ever there was a song to add to the joys of summer playlist, “Waving Goodbye” is it.
If you’re seeking new rock from a classic artist that sounds as grand as ever, Seven Deadly by UFO is an album for you. The brilliance of the music and the magnificence of Vinnie Moore make it a record worthy of adding to the collection. UFO has struck gold once again.
Key Tracks: Year of the Gun, Waving Goodbye
Rating: Out of 10
- Fight Night
- Mojo Town
- Angel Station
- Year Of The Gun
- The Last Stone Rider
- Steal Yourself
- Burn Your House Down
- The Fear
- Waving Goodbye
Phil Mogg – Vocals
Vinnie Moore – Lead Guitar
Paul Raymond – Rhythm Guitar, Keyboards
Andy Parker – Drums
It is finally here! The album you have been waiting for since 1984…….. A Different Kind of Truth. It seems like I have been waiting for ages to hear David Lee Roth sing with Van Halen again. I enjoyed the tunes from the brief, but short-lived reunion in 1996, “Can’t Get This Stuff No More”, and “Me Wise Magic” . A Different Kind of Truth is exactly what I have been waiting for…… An album that sounds like classic Van Halen. While I enjoyed the Sammy Hagar years in Van Halen, I have always longed for Van Halen’s return to their classic sound. That is exactly what A Different Kind of Truth sounds like. Classic Van Halen! This album has a massive production, and will please most audiophiles out there.
I am sure there are many of you that would love to have an album that is on a par with Van Halen I. This album isn’t it. If you want a heavy Van Halen album, with tons of guitars and that fun party rock that Van Halen is known for, A Different Kind of Truth will put a big smile on your face.
I read where many folks were slamming the song “Tattoo”, and while I can understand other people’s opinions, I like the song. It kind of reminds me of David Lee Roth’s song “Sensible Shoes” from his 1991 album, A Little Ain’t Enough. It is a catchy song, but it is one of the lesser songs on this CD.
I have to admit that I like the original demo version of “She’s The Woman” better than this latest version. I miss Michael Anthony’s background vocals. This version is good, and if you haven’t the original unreleased version of this song, you will probably love it.
Alex Van Halen makes his presence felt on the song “China Town”. I have always though of Alex as an incredible drummer. He continues to show just how awesome he is by pulverizing his drum kit, with a super fast tempo, and pounding rhythms. This isn’t a song that would be used as a radio single, but it is one of those deep Van Halen tracks that long time fans of the band will appreciate.
“Blood and Fire” screams radio hit. This song isn’t super heavy, and this song could have easily worked in the Hagar years, but David Lee Roth owns this one.
“HoneybabySweetiedoll” has a strange intro, but this is the kind of aggressive VH tune I have been waiting to hear for years! I love this! “The Trouble With Never” is a catchy, heavy rocker that Van Halen should release as their second single. Those fans on the fence after hearing “Tattoo” will certainly jump on the Van Halen train, after hearing “The Trouble With Never”.
“Stay Frosty” has that same type of acoustic guitar style as the Van Halen classic “Ice Cream Man”, but nowhere near as good as that song (which is one of my Van Halen favorites). The song gets a little heavier towards the middle, but even with Eddie Van Halen’s awesome riffs, this song is still one the weaker tracks.
A Different Kind of Truth closes out in strong fashion with two heavy rockers back to back with “Big River” and “Beats Workin”. It often sounds like to be me that David Lee Roth is singing “Big Trouble” in “Big River”, but it is a cool song nonetheless. Eddie tears it up on “Beats Workin'” and rest assured, but the time this song ends, I am hitting repeat to listen to this CD again.
Thanks to the Van Halen clan and David Lee Roth for releasing the Van Halen album, I have been longing for. A Different Kind of Truth is a tremendous comeback album that I can’t stop listening to. All Van Halen fans should pick up immediately. Highly Recommended!
Rating: Out of 10
02. She’s The Woman
03. You and Your Blues
04. China Town
05. Blood and Fire
07. As Is
09. The Trouble With Never
10. Outta Space
11. Stay Frosty
12. Big River
13. Beats Workin’
Van Halen is:
Eddie Van Halen – Guitars
Alex Van Halen – Drums
Wolfgang Van Halen – Bass
David Lee Roth – Vocals
Riot is easily one of the most under rated metal bands in the world. In 2011, the band has reunited with their classic Thundersteel and The Privelege of Power lineup to release their fifteenth slab of blood-pumping, fist-throwing metal, Immortal Soul. While I have enjoyed the Riot releases with singer Mike Dimeo, I have always regarded Thundersteel as one of Riot’s best albums. I am glad that Tony Moore has returned to sing for Riot once more.
If Tony Moore has lost any range in his voice, it isn’t evident on Immortal Soul. On the opening song “Still Your Man” he quickly establishes that he is still very much the powerhouse vocalist from Riot’s Thundersteel days! This song easily could have been on that album. It is an impressive beginning to an excellent metal album.
If “Still Your Man” doesn’t trip your trigger, “Wings Are For Angels” definitely will. This powerful tune is easily one of the best on Immortal Soul. Moore’s voice soars to new heights, and Reale and Flyntz tear it up on guitar.
“Sins of the Father” is the type of song that makes me want to jump in the car, and drop the pedal to floor. This song is blazing fast, and will definitely get your heart racing. Bobby Jarzombek sounds like he is having a lot of fun playing the drums in this song.
“Fall Before Me” is one of the slower tunes on the album. This song has more of a modern feel, with more toned down riffs. It wouldn’t sound out of place with the stuff they are playing on rock radio today.
Mark Reale’s guitar work on this album is beyond incredible. He rips out those blazing fast metal riffs like a man possessed. Any fan of metal guitar playing will love what Reale is doing on Immortal Soul.
Sadly, Immortal Soul is the swan song for guitar Mark Reale who passed away from complications with Crohn’s disease on Wednesday (1/25/12). Mark has been the one constant member throughout all of Riot’s lineup changes over the years. Mark’s contributions to heavy metal music will be greatly missed. Mark’s Immortal Soul has now been carried on to Heavy Metal Heaven. He left us will some killer tunes to enjoy as his parting goodbye. I am sad that I will never get to see Mark perform these songs live, but I am very glad that I picked this CD up.
If you are a metal fan, you should check out Immortal Soul, you won’t be disappointed. You can purchase a copy of the CD at this link.
Rating: Out of 10
01. Still Your Man
04. Wings Are For Angels
05. Sins of the Father
06. Fall Before Me
08. Immortal Soul
10. Whiskey Man
Tony Moore – Vocals
Mark Reale – Guitar
Mike Flyntz – Guitar
Don Van Stavern – Bass
Bobby Jarzombek – Drums
Swedish Sleaze rockers Sister released their debut CD, Hated via Metal Blade Records in 2011. Metal Blade Records haven’t signed any glam/sleaze bands in the recent past, so their signing of Sister came as somewhat of a surprise to me.
With Sister, Metal Blade Records has scored a killer sleaze band whose sound is like a good mix of Crashdiet and Hardcore Superstar. Hated is back full of high octane, up tempo rock and roll that is going to please a lot of sleaze rock fans out there. Sister’s lyrics have plenty of angst and fire that will help a lot of folks relate to their music.
I have been listening to Sister for a few years now courtesy of their EP, Deadboys Making Noise. I love their EP, but I was glad to see that only one song “Body Blow” was carried over from that EP. I didn’t think this was the best song from the EP, so I am surprised they used this song, but it fits right in with the other hard-charging numbers on this CD.
Hated comes blasting out of the gate with several heavy rockers. The album doesn’t slow down until the piano based ballad “Would You Love A Creature” (gasp!). Hated has all the energy of a punk rock album, but it is the heavy guitars that sets it apart.
In my opinion, the best songs on Hated are “Bullshit & Backstabbing”(see video below), “Spit on Me”, “Werewolves on Blackstreet” and “Body Blow” (of course).
Overall, I have been enjoying Hated. I thought the CD could have used a little more variety, but it is still a solid debut. This is definitely worth checking out if you are a fan of the sleaze rock genre of hard rock!
Rating: Out of 10
01. Radioactive Misery
02. Body Blow
03. Bullshit & Backstabbing
05. Motherfuckers (Like You)
06. Werewolves on Blackstreet
07. Spit on Me
08. The Unlucky Minority
09. Would You Love a Creature
10. Too Bad For You
11. Drag me to the Grave
Jamie – vocals
Lestat – guitar, backing vocals
Rikki – bass, backing vocals
Cary – drums, backing vocals
The history of Witch dates all the way back to 1982. Peter Wabitt and Punky Peru formed the band when their former member Don Costa was snatched up by Ozzy Osbourne. Witch opened for many bands on the Sunset Strip including W.A.S.P., Loudness, Obviously, the band never had the same level of success as the Motley Crue and Ratt, but that doesn’t mean the band didn’t have some cool tunes to check out.
Most of the band’s discography was only available on Vinyl and Cassette. FNA Records has unearthed some cool metal tunes that most people never got a chance to hear.Most of the songs on The Hex is On…And Then Some is from Witch’s original EP from 1984, The Hex Is On.
What does Witch sound like? The band has the raw sound of early Motley Crue, with little bits of Quiet Riot and Twisted Sister thrown in for good measure. The second half of the CD features tunes with some massive guest stars like Slash, Steve Stevens, Rowan Robertson and Chris Holmes. The sound quality is a mixed bag on this CD due to the age of the recordings. It does not take away from the fact that FNA Records has unearthed some extremely cool tunes with The Hex is On… And Then Some. Just give the songs “Damnation”, “Can’t Take Our Rock” and “Black Magic” a listen and you will know what I mean.
The song “Black Magic” with Steve Stevens over the top guitar playing is almost worth the price of admission of the CD all by itself. The song “Crazy” with Chris Holmes on guitar would sound great on the radio today! This is another really cool tune.
If you are a fan of 80’s metal, you gotta look into Witch, and this lost classic, The Hex is On… And Then Some. I think you will enjoy it. I know I have been!
Rating: Out of 10
2. Nervous Wreck
5. Wet and Wild
6. Cinderella (In Black Leather)
7. Can’t Take Our Rock
8. Victory Without Pain
10. Take Me Away (version 1)
11. Mad for Life (with Rowan Robertson on guitars)
12. Games that People Play (with Rowan Robertson on guitars)
13. Playing in the Rain (with Slash on Lead Guitar, Keith Emerson on Piano, Rowan Robertson on Guitars, Phil Chen on Bass)
14. Black Magic (with Steve Stevens on Lead Guitar, Rowan Robertson on Guitars, Phil Chen on Bass)
15. Pay the Due (Rowan Robertson-Guitars, Phil Chen-Bass, Howard Leese-Keyboards)
16. Take Me Away (version 2) (Rowan Robertson-Guitars, Phil Chen-Bass, Howard Leese-Keyboards)
17. Nothing Last Forever (Rowan Robertson-Guitars, Phil Chen-Bass, Henn Stone-Guitars)
18. Crazy (with Chris Holmes of W.A.S.P. on Lead Guitar, Rowan Robertson-Guitars, Phil Chen-Bass)
19. Conviction (Rowan Robertson-Guitars, Phil Chen-Bass, Henn Stone-Guitars)
Peter Wabitt – Vocals
Punky Peru – Drums
Ronny Too – Guitars
Jim Warmon – Bass
How many of you have heard of Underground Moon? (insert crickets chirping here). Underground Moon is a little known side project of Jeff Pilson (Dokken, Dio, Foreigner). Pilson was using the name Dominick Moon for this project. He met producer/guitarist Tommy Henriksen (Alice Cooper) and the two proceeded to record and release an interesting modern rock CD that has a sound that is more in common with bands like Nine Inch Nails, Stabbing Westward and Gravity Kills.
Underground Moon’s self titled (and only) CD was put out in 2001 by Rebelution Entertainment and reissued in 2008 by Metal Mind Productions. So how is it? It takes some time getting used to hearing Pilson sing using distortion and other vocal effects. The song writing is solid, and songs are definitely above average. If you go into this CD expecting something Dokken- like, you will be GREATLY disappointed. It is nothing like that at all.
The music reminds me mostly of Stabbing Westward, and maybe Rob Zombie (to a much lesser degree). It seems like the music would have been right at home on the radio in the late 90’s or early 00’s. It blows my mind that Pilson, whose career was deeply rooted in 80’s hard rock & metal, can do something so cool and yet extremely different from his normal style.
Some of CD highlights include the songs “Backslide”, “Imaginary Jesus”, “Open Circles” and the cover of Midnight Oil’s “Beds are Burning”.
If you want to check out something cool, yet different, you could do far worse than Underground Moon. It may not be something I will listen to all of the time, but I am glad I checked it out. If you are interested in Underground Moon, you can pick the CD up at a reasonable price, at this link.
Rating: Out of 10
3. Suicidal Maze
4. In Cinema
5. Beds Are Burning
7. Shed the Skin
8. Acid Superman
10. Imaginary Jesus
11. Open Circles
Underground Moon is:
Dominick Moon (aka Jeff Pilson) – Drums, Bass, Vocals
Tommy Henriksen – Guitars
Produced by Tommy Henriksen
The Scorpions have returned with Comeblack, their last studio album before the band retires. Comeblack is one half re-recorded originals, and one half cover tunes.
How does it stack up? Comeblack shows you just how good the Scorpions original songs are. The versions on Comeblack are not quite as aggressive as the originals. Klaus doesn’t push his voice as much as he did on the original tunes. I have found that the songs are slightly different. The tempo may be a little different on some of the songs. I have heard the original versions of these tunes hundreds of times, so some of the nuances stand out to me quite a bit. To the average fan, they may not notice much of a difference, if any. The cool thing is…all of the songs still work. I prefer the original versions of the songs, but the versions on Comeblack are still very good.
I have never been a big fan of cover song CD’s, but I have to admit the cover songs on this CD, are really good. My favorites of six covers are “Tainted Love”, “All Day and All of the Night” and “Ruby Tuesday”. All of the cover songs are very good. I am convinced that Klaus Meine could sing anything, and make it sound good. To my ears, “Tainted Love” and “All Day and All of the Night” are easily as good, if not better than the originals versions.
Is Comeblack worth picking up? If you are a fan of the Scorpions, you should definitely get this. It is the last studio album the band will ever do. The cover songs are pretty good, and are definitely worth adding to your collection.
My only wish is that someone could talk the Scorpions out of their retirement talk. Comeblack shows me that the band still has plenty of fuel in the tank.
Rating: Out of 10
01. Rhythm of Love
02. No One Like You
03. The Zoo
04. Rock You Like A Hurricane
06. Wind of Change
07. Still Loving You
08. Tainted Love
09. Children of The Revolution
10. Across the Universe
11. Tin Soldier
12. All Day and All of the Night
13. Ruby Tuesday
Klaus Meine – Vocals
Rudolf Schenker – Guitars
Matthias Jabs – Guitars
Pawel Maciwoda – Bass
James Kottak – Drums
Swiss rockers Sideburn are back with their follow-up effort to 2008’s Cherry Red. Jail picks up where Cherry Red left off dishing out 12 more tunes of AC/DC inspired rock.
It seems like more bands have been tapping into the Bon Scott era of AC/DC, and Sideburn does it quite well. Roland Pierrehumbert has that Aussie snarl down to a science. There are even times when I think his voice has a similar to sound to RATT front man Stephen Pearcy. I am a sucker for that bluesy, three chord rock sound, and Sideburn uses that style to crank out a bunch of fun tunes on Jail.
Jail starts off with a fun party rocker “Live to Rock”. This cranker is tailor-made for rock radio. “Devil and Angel” is a short little number clocking in under three minutes. It may be short, but it flat-out rocks. The AC/DC meets ZZ Top inspired number “Long Beard and Boogie” is also one of my favorites. “Good Boy” with its anthemic lyrics, “Shout it Forever” sounds like a lost Judas Priest tune, and is another album highlight. Some of my other favorites include the songs “Rock’n’Roller” and “Lazy Daisy”. Both of these songs are upbeat rockers, and are a blast to listen to.
I initially found Jail to be more of a grower type of album. I wasn’t super impressed with it at first, but it is album that I have been giving a lot of plays too as of late.
It seems that hard times have fallen on Sideburn, as Fred Gudit, Boris, and Michel Demierre have all left the band. I hope this doesn’t spell the end for Sideburn, as the band has crafted some good tunes on Jail and Cherry Red, and I am definitely looking forward to the band continuing, and recording some new tunes.
Rating: Out of 10
01. Live to Rock
02. Devil and Angel
03. One Night Stand
05. Lazy Daisy
07. Chase the Rainbow
08. The Red Knight
09. Long Beard and Boogie
10. Good Boy
11. Kiss of Death
12. Creedence Vibe
Roland Pierrehumbert – Lead Vocals
Fred Gudit – Rythm Guitar
Boris – Lead Guitar
Michel Demierre – Bass
Lionel Blanc – Drums
Is it ironic that I am listening to Slash’s first live CD, Made in Stoke 24/7/11, the night before I see Guns N’ Roses for the first time (without Slash)? Maybe…maybe not?!
Made in Stoke 24/7/11 captures Slash with Myles Kennedy (Alter Bridge) on vocals, and his band which features Todd Kerns (Sin City Sinners) on bass, Brent Fitz on drums and Bobby Schneck on rhythm guitar. The 21 songs on this two CD set are a mix of Guns N’ Roses, Slash’s Snake Pit & Velvet Revolver tunes. This live set was captured at Victoria Hall in Stoke-on-Trent, England, the same town where Slash was raised.
In this live show, Myles Kennedy has the daunting task to cover songs from four different singers including Axl Rose, Eric Dover, Rod Jackson, Scott Weiland (six if you count the song “By The Sword” which was sang by Andrew Stockdale from Wolfmother, and “Promise” which was sung by Chris Cornell). It is a difficult task to ask any singer to take on, but Kennedy does an admirable job on all of the songs. With that being said, Myles Kennedy is no Axl Rose. His vocals seem a little higher pitched than Axl’s, and it to me, it make those class Guns N’ Roses songs sound a little odd. I thought Myles sounded better on the post Appetite for Destruction material, especially “Civil War’ which he totally nails. I have never heard the Slash song, “Nothing To Say” played live. It sounds pretty damn amazing. I also thought Kennedy sounded as good, if not better than Chris Cornell on the tune “Promise” from Slash’s recent solo CD.
Todd Kerns handles the vocals on the tune “Doctor Alibi” that was originally sung by Lemmy Kilmeister. I honestly think Todd sounds better than Lemmy on this tune. This song absolutely rocks and I prefer the live version, to the studio track.
If Myles Kennedy ever needed to prove he should take over as singer of Velvet Revolver, just listen to “Slither” on CD 2. One again, Kennedy nailed this one, and sounds terrific.
Slash and his band, played all of the songs to perfection, and I enjoyed the music on both CDs a lot. This tour did not come close to my hometown, so I am thankful that I can hear and see what I missed! Slash’s guitar solo of “The Godfather” on disc 2 is incredible. You have to hear it, (or see it) to believe it.
Depending on what version of Made in Stoke you purchase, you can get a two CD set, or two CD/DVD set that captures the live set on video as well. Whichever version you choose, you will have two hours of excellent hard rock music at your finger tips. If you are a fan of Slash, or Myles Kennedy, you need to get this. Check it out!
Rating: Out of 10
01. Been There Lately
02. Night Train
04. Mean Bone
05. Back From Cali
06. Rocket Queen
07. Civil War
08. Nothing To Say
01. Doctor Alibi
02. Speed Parade
03. Watch This
04. Beggars & Hangers On
06. Godfather Solo
07. Sweet Child O’ Mine
09. By The Sword
10. Mr Brownstone
11. Paradise City
Any time that a band covers a much beloved, obscure 80s metal song like “Atomic Playboys,” they are bound to get my attention. Such is the case with Sinner who’s latest release, One Bullet Left, is some solid rock and roll in the vein of glamorous heavy metal. Rocking the world since 1982, Sinner is a veteran hard rock act that hasn’t received a ton of attention outside their home country of Germany. While they’ve always been a big hit in Europe, their success never translated over to the states, which is a shame. Sinner is a solid hard rock band and their latest effort, One Bullet Left, is an enjoyable record, especially if you are tired of all the same whiny modern rock that currently rules the US airways.
The title track on One Bullet Left is a foot stomping, hard rocking, heavy beating, good time song. With a sing-along, chanting chorus and some wicked leads by guitarist Christof Leim, “One Bullet Left” is pure fun. Isn’t that what music is supposed to be anyway—a muse that puts a smile on your face? Once you are singing along with Sinner on “One Bullet Left,” you’ll be grinning from ear to ear.
Sinner’s cover of “Atomic Playboys,” originally done by Steve Stevens in 1989, is magnificent. Sinner’s version of the song is a perfect replica of the original, an homage to the art of an amazing tune that never got it’s recognized due. Sinner performs this deep classic to perfection and it was a real treat hearing this song covered properly. Sinner gets their due for replicating such an obscure, yet enjoyable, metal treat.
Although he’s been leading the microphone since the early 80s, lead vocalist Mat Sinner still sounds like a young, hungry rocker at heart. His voice has not deteriorated over the decades, and while he won’t wow you with overpowering metal scream high notes, his dark, gritty voice is a perfect complement to the hard rock music that the band lays out. Doubling as the bassist (and lead songwriter) for the band keeps Mat Sinner very busy. One Bullet Left is mostly his creation, and it’s a good one. It’s been three years since the band’s last release, but the wait for a new album was worth it. Sinner has delivered a rocking record.
Overall, One Bullet Left is a solid album for fans of hard rock. If you are seeking out a banging album that isn’t overplayed and mainstream, then veteran act Sinner’s One Bullet Left is a disc you will enjoy. Their latest album is a hard rocking good time for the ears. It’s definitely worth a few listens.
Rating: Out of 10
- The One You Left Behind
- Back On Trail
- Give & Take
- One Bullet Left
- 10 2 Death
- Atomic Playboys
- Suicide Mission
- Wake Me When I’m Sober
- Mind Over Matter
- Mend To Be Broken
- Rolling Away
Mat Sinner – Vocals, Bass
Alex Beyrodt – Guitars
Christof Leim – Guitars
Alex Scholpp – Guitars
Andre Hilgers– Drums
The Beatles album, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is such an iconic release, it would almost seem sacrilegious to try to reproduce or cover it. When I first ready about Any Timmons latest release, I was more than leery of him covering such a monstrous album. I have been a fan of Andy’s since his days with Danger Danger, so needless to say, I had to check it out.
First and foremost, Andy Timmons Band plays Sgt. Pepper is an instrumental album. There is no singer to mess things up, and that works well in Timmons favor. The music is so good, you may find yourself singing along anyway.
Timmons guitar tones on this CD would make Eddie Van Halen, and Joe Satriani proud. His speed and technique are excellent. You can tell that Timmons truly loves this music, and put his heart into this recording. I really like his take on these Beatles classics. Some songs have a somewhat harder edge than the originals, but are highly listenable, and very enjoyable. The song “When I’m Sixty Four” has an almost rockabilly feel to it.
An interesting song that is included in this set is “Strawberry Fields Forever,” which was originally intended to be released on Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, but was later released as a single, and then on the Magical Mystery Tour EP. To me, this song is a cut above the rest, and is just a pure pleasure to listen to.
You can purchase Andy Timmons Band Plays Sgt. Pepper at this link. This CD will appeal to all fans of great guitar rock, and Beatles fans alike. Don’t miss out on one of the best instrumental albums of 2011!! For more information on this release and Andy Timmons, please visit this website.
Rating: Out of 10
01. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
02. With a Little Help From My Friends
03. Lucy In the Sky With Diamonds
04. Getting Better
05. Fixing a Hole
06. She’s Leaving Home
07. Being For the Benefit of Mr. Kite!
08. Within You, Without You
09. When I’m Sixty-Four
10. Lovely Rita
11. Good Morning, Good Morning
12. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)
13. A Day In the Life
14. Strawberry Fields Forever
Andy Timmons Band is:
Andy Timmons – Guitar
Mike Daane – Bass
Rob Avsharian – Drums
After listening to Steel Panther’s latest opus, Balls Out, I feel like I need to take a long hot shower. Steel Panther’s latest edition of raunch and roll holds back no punches, and delivers 13 more tongue in cheek songs filled with sex and drug filled lyrics that will either make you laugh, or hurl, or both.
I don’t know what it is with Balls Out, but I didn’t find the songs as funny as Steel Panther’s debut Feel the Steel. In most of the songs, the jokes were only somewhat funny the first time around, but not so much after repeat listens. If you are a media darling, chances are you are included in Steel Panther’s lyrics. Justin Bieber, Chris Brown, George Clooney, and Tiger Woods all make Steel Panther’s hit list this time around.
Some songs seem derivative of other works…..the intro “In the Future” for Balls Out gives a strong nod towards the intro “In the Beginning” of Motley Crue’s Shout at the Devil album. “17 Girls In a Row” borrows a riff from Sammy Hagar’s “I Don’t Need Love”. It is a catchy tune, just not very original.
“If You Really Really Love Me” is really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really the dumbest song I have heard in 2011. ( You will have to listen to the song, to understand this statement).
“Gold Digging Whore” is another super catchy rocker, which lyrics done in fine cheerleader fashion.
Steel Panther has crafted the biggest power ballad of 2011 with their real tear ( or something else) jerker, “Weenie Ride”.
If you are easily offended, you are definitely need to skip Balls Out. The music is great, and Michael Starr aka Ralph Saenz delivers some killer vocals that sound like they came right out of 1989. Satchel aka Russ Parrish has surprised me with his awesome riffs on Balls Out. The song lyrics on Balls Out are graphically explicit, crude, and particularly offensive to women.
You definitely won’t want to play this in the work place, or around children. Purchase at your own risk….you have been warned!
Rating: Out of 10
01 .In The Future
02. Supersonic Sex Machine
03. Just Like Tiger Woods
04. 17 Girls In A Row
05. If You Really Really Love Me
06. It Won’t Suck Itself
07. Tomorrow Night
08. Why Can’t You Trust Me
09. That’s What Girls Are For
10. Gold Digging Whore
11. I Like Drugs
13. Let Me Come In
14. Weenie Ride
Steel Panther is:
Michael Starr (Ralph Saenz) – lead vocals, acoustic guitars
Satchel (Russ Parrish) – rhythm, lead and acoustic guitars, backing vocals
Lexxi Foxxx (Travis Haley) – bass, backing vocals
Stix Zadinia (Darren Leader) – drums, percussion, backing vocals
56 Year old Michael Schenker has released a new solo CD, Temple of Rock. I had no expectations for this CD when I picked it up. I didn’t read any reviews or see any press about it. I picked it up solo because Schenker is a legendary guitarist who always delivers quality music. Temple of Rock continues that tradition with more killer fret work, and a band featuring some of the biggest veterans in hard rock, Pete Way, Herman Rarebell, and Michael Voss.
Michael Voss is the singer from Mad Max and Cassanova. I am not familiar with the music from those bands, so the voice of Voss is new to me. His voice definitely works well with the insane licks from Michael Schenker.
“Fallen Angel” almost has a hair metal like vibe to it, but Schenker’s riffs give it a heavy enough spin to made it stand out.
“The End of An Era” is a high-speed rocker that rocks on all counts. Michael Voss delivers a great vocal, and Schenker cranks out another great guitar solo!
I love the middle eastern influence in the Schenker’s riffs on “Miss Claustrophobia”. This song is one of the many highlights on Temple of Rock.
Doogie White handles the vocals on the song “Before the Devil Knows Your Dead”. You won’t want to miss this killer cut.
“Lover’s Sinfony” reunites Schenker with former MSG vocalist Robin McAuley. If there was ever a Yin to the Yang that is Michael Schenker, McAuley would be the one. His voice is the perfect match for Schenker’s stellar playing. I would love to see these two reunite for another MSG Album.
“Saturday Night” is the ultimate weekend anthem that get lots of airplay. This song is catchy as hell!
The CD is closed out with an extended version of “How Long” that features a guitar battle with Michael Schenker, Leslie West and Michael Amott. Very cool stuff indeed!
The Temple of Rock is a must own CD for all Michael Schenker fans. You won’t be disappointed! Check it out! You can pick it up at this link.
01. Intro (Speech Performed by William Shatner)
02. How Long
03. Fallen Angel
04. Hanging on
05. The End of An Era
06. Miss Claustrophobia
07. With You
08. Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead
09. Storming In
10. Scene of Crime
11. Saturday Night
12. Lover’s Sinfony
14. How Long (3 Generations Guitar Battle Version)
Michael Schenker Band is:
Michael Schenker – Guitar
Michael Voss – Vocals
Herman Rarebell – Drums
Pete Way – Bass
Wayne Findlay – Keyboards
Other featured musicians:
Elliott “Dean” Rubinson
Reckless Love have recently released their new disc, Animal Attraction. I can gladly say that these Finnish rockers have not hit the dreaded sophomore slump with album #2. If you are a fan of 80’s style hard rock and pop metal, you are going to love the new set of tunes on Animal Attraction!
If you picked up the band’s debut, you will be glad to know that the band’s hair metal meets melodic rock sound is well in tact. On Animal Attraction you are going to find a bunch of catchy anthems, with big sing along choruses. It is almost as if Reckless Love stepped right out of 1989, and I wouldn’t have it any other way!
While I do like this album a lot, I wouldn’t go so far as comparing Animal Attraction to some of my favorite albums from back in the day. The album isn’t perfect by any means. There are two or three songs that didn’t really work for me. Even the worst songs on Animal Attraction are better than a lot of the stuff I hear on FM rock radio today. You won’t find any lame down tuned guitars on this CD. The tunes are cram packed with lots of rockin’ guitar riffs, and keyboards, and Olli Herman’s cool vocals and high-pitched screams.
The songs remind of a blend of Def Leppard, Shotgun Messiah and Valentine (remember them?). The songs take me back to an era when music was a lot more fun, and not so serious. Some of favorites on this CD included the songs “Speedin”,”Born To Break Your Heart” “Switchblade Babe” and “On the Radio”. (You can check out the songs “Animal Attraction” and “Hot” in the clips below.)
Is Animal Attraction one of the best CD’s I have heard in 2011? No, it isn’t, but it is a whole lot of fun, and I certainly enjoyed it. I recommend picking it up! You can purchase a copy at this link.
Rating: Out of 10
01. Animal Attraction
03. Born To Break Your Heart
06. Dirty Dreams
09. Switchblade Babe
10. On The Radio
12. Young N Crazy
Reckless Love is:
Olli Herman – lead vocals
Pepe Salohalme – guitar
Hessu Maxx – drums
Jalle Verne – bass
What is in a name? If the band Zombie Shaker Box would have come across my desk, with any other name, I may not have checked them out. You see, zombie’s are Hollywood’s current “It” monster. As a horror aficionado, I can’t get enough of the Zombie movies. “The Walking Dead” has become a weekly staple of my T.V. watching. What does this have to do with Zombie Shaker Box? Absolutely nothing. If the band would have been called Ghostly Shaker Box, or Vampire Shaker Box, I may not have given them a proper listen. That would have been a big mistake on my part, as Zombie Shaker Box is pretty damn good.
The band’s debut CD, Encrypted reminds me of a mix of Alice in Chains and a little bit of Ozzy Osbourne here and there. The music is dark, riffy and extremely crank worthy.
Kirk Hulshoff’s layered vocals seemed tailor-made for today’s FM rock radio. Instead of following the way too common path of just playing with down tuned guitars, Jami Lin offers some pretty cool riffs. The rhythm section of Cory Kay and Tomonori Sugiyama deliver a cool groove to the songs on Encrypted.
To my ears, the best songs on Encrypted are “Blow N Smoke” (See Video Below), “Answer To No One” and “Gates of Hell”. These are the most rocking cuts on Encrypted. If there is anything I would change for album # 2, it would be the inclusion of a few more rockers. The mid-tempo numbers aren’t bad, they are actually pretty good, but Encrypted could have used a few more of them. As a whole, I have been enjoying all of the songs on Encrypted, and the whole CD sounds great when played at maximum volume.
If you remember one herd of zombies on this Halloween evening, and beyond, check out Zombie Shaker Box. I think you will like them!
Rating: Out of 10
01. Welcome To My Rave
02. Blow N Smoke
03. Tiger Lilly
04. Answer To No One
06. In Loving Memory
07. Gates of Hell
09. Industry Witch
Zombie Shaker Box is:
Kirk Hulshoff – Vocals
Cory Kay – Bass
Tomonori Sugiyama – Drums
Jami Lin – Guitars
Sebastian Bach is back with a new album, a new(er) band, and a whole new attitude. Fans expecting to hear a new incarnation of hair metal should keep on walking. This is new Bach, and it is highly transformed from old Bach.
The first exceptionally noticeable trait on Sebastian Bach’s latest CD, Kicking And Screaming is how unique the sound is when compared to past Bach. While Sebastian mentioned in several interviews that the new disc was going to be decidedly different from anything he’s previously recorded, it’s hard to know what that means until actually hearing the disc. Bach was not kidding. Fans purchasing Kicking And Screaming hoping to hear regurgitated hair metal from days gone by are in for a big disappointment. Kicking And Screaming is a Sebastian Bach solo record like none that has been heard before and that is great news for metal fans.
Bach’s voice has changed for this release. Known for his primal metal screams and magnificent yowls that ruled the hairspray rock back in the day, Bach has followed more of a modern trend for Kicking And Screaming. The yodeling has been pushed aside for more of an alternative rock sound. Blend together the sounds of Seether, Three Days Grace, Shinedown, Soundgarden, and a lot of London LeGrand, and the end result will be Bach’s voice on Kicking And Screaming. It’s neither a good thing nor a bad thing, but it is different. So different that it is immediately noticeable and after a couple of spins through the disc, it’s likeable. The lengths that Bach went to be more than a cliché of his former self shows and it is a welcome breath of fresh air.
After seeing Sebastian Bach live at this year’s M3 Festival, I knew that young guitar wizard, Nick Sterling, was an exceptional talent. However, once I heard his work on Kicking And Screaming I was reminded of Steve Vai on David Lee Roth’s Yankee Rose. Sterling is close to being that elite and his chops on the album are astonishing. Layered with intense solos and spectacular finger picking, Nick Sterling is every bit as good as Sebastian Bach proclaimed him to be. As lead guitarist for Bach’s band, he provides a fresh and invigorating style of guitar that brings out the best in each song. Nick Sterling is the future sound of hard rocking guitarists, and if he keeps up this great work, he is going to be remembered forever. Like Johnny Lang and Kenny Wayne Shepherd before him, this young superstar can be the next IT guitarist. Let’s just hope he keeps his head on straight and doesn’t fade away into the fold.
Overall, if you are seeking a great hard rock album with a modern spike, purchase a copy of Kicking And Screaming. However, if you are looking for old school Bach ala the Skid Row days, you might want to take a pass. There is no Aqua Net required to enjoy this album.
Notable Tracks: Dance On Your Grave, Long As I Got The Music, Dream Forever
Rating: Out of 10
- Kicking And Screaming
- My Own Worst Enemy
- Dance On Your Grave
- Caught In A Dream
- As Long As I’ve Got The Music
- I’m Alive
- Dirty Power
- Live The Life
- Dream Forever
- One Good Reason
- Lost In The Light
Sebastian Bach Is:
Sebastian Bach – Lead Vocals
Nick Sterling – Lead Guitar
Johnny Chromatic – Rhythm Guitar
Rob DeLuca – Bass
Bobby Jarzombek – Drums
It is hard for me to believe that Styx has been around for four decades. They have had countless hits over the years, many of which are well represented in their new two CD compilation Regeneration. What makes this new compilation special? This CD was recorded with their current touring lineup, and offers one new song “Difference in the World”, as well as two newly re-recorded Damn Yankees songs “High Enough” and “Coming of Age”.
I am sure it will anger some folks that the songs in the 2 CD set were re-recorded without Dennis DeYoung, but Styx has carried on without him since 1999. Sometimes, you have to let the music do the talking, and the music speaks loud and clear. Tommy Shaw still sounds amazing in 2011, and Lawrence Gowan is excellent as well. I am a little disappointed that “Babe” and “Mr. Roboto” aren’t in this collection, but the new song, “Difference in The World”, as well as the re-recorded Damn Yankees songs make up for the tracks that are missing.
Overall, I think Regeneration is a very good career retrospective, and is one for all current Styx fans to check out.
Regeneration will be available on October 4th. You can pre-order it here.
For more information on Styx, please visit www.styxworld.com.
Rating: Out of 10
1) The Grand Illusion
2) Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man)
4) Sing For The Day,
5) Crystal Ball
6) Come Sail Away
7) Difference In The World
1) Blue Collar Man (Long Nights)
2) Miss America
4) Queen Of Spades
5) Boat on The River
6) Too Much Time On My Hands
8) Coming Of Age
9) High Enough
James “JY” Young – Guitars & Vocals
Tommy Shaw – Guitars, Vocals, Mandolin
Lawrence Gowan – Vocals & Keyboards
Todd Sucherman – Drums & Percussion
Ricky Phillips – Bass Guitar
Chuck Panozzo – Bass Guitar
I have been meaning to check out the band Status Quo for years. The thing I love about music, and Hard Rock Hideout is we are always discovering new bands. Occasionally, we discover a few of the older ones too. I embarrassed to say that Quid Pro Quo is the first release I have checked out from Status Quo. With 29 albums and over 4 decades of music under their belt, I have a lot of catching up to do!
Quid Pro Quo’s opening number “Rock ‘n’ Roll ‘n’ You” is a fun number that reminds me a of a cross between Cheap Trick and the Doobie Brothers. It is a upbeat tune, and does a good job to set the mood for the songs to come. In fact, if you like the opening numbers, “Rock ‘n’ Roll ‘n’ You” and “Two Way Traffic” (See video below), you will have a pretty good idea as to what to expect with Quid Pro Quo. This album is packed full of upbeat rockers, and has a very uplifting feel to it. The album could have used a little more song variety to break up the pace, but it is a highly enjoyable album overall.
Some of favorite songs on Quid Pro Quo include “Two Way Traffic”, “Let’s Rock”, “Leave a Little Light On”, “The Winner” and “My Old Ways”. I also enjoyed Status Quo’s re-recorded cover of “In the Army Now”. This was a good tune to close the album out with.
Is Quid Pro Quo worth checking out? Yes, absolutely!!! My only regret is that I haven’t been exposed to Status Quo’s kick ass brand of boogie rock sooner.
Rating: Out of 10
1. Rock ‘n’ Roll ‘n’ You
2. Two Way Traffic
3. Let’s Rock
4. Dust to Gold
5. Can’t See For Looking
6. Better Than That
7. Movin’ On
8. Leave A Little Light On
9. Anyway You Like It
10. Reality Cheque
11. Frozen Hero
12. The Winner
13. It’s All About You
14. My Old Ways
15. In The Army Now (2010)
Status Quo is:
Francis Rossi – Vocals & lead guitar
Rick Parfitt – Vocals & guitar
John Edwards – Bass & vocals
Andy Bown – Keyboards
Matt Letley – Drums
Eagle Rock Entertainment has reissued one of the finest live releases from Rainbow, Live in Germany in 1976. Arguably, the most powerful of all of the Rainbow lineups, Live in Germany captures Ronnie James Dio, Ritchie Blackmore, Jimmy Bain, Cozy Powell and Tony Carey at their finest.
Don’t let the few number of tracks in this 2 CD set keep you from picking this up. Live in Germany captures Rainbow in over 90 minutes of hard rock perfection. If you never got the chance to see Rainbow live (like myself), Live in Germany 1976 is a release you will not want to miss.
Ritchie Blackmore’s guitar playing in this concert is absolutely spectacular. You can almost hear the smoke coming off of his guitar strings. The guitar solos that Blackmore plays in this concert have to be heard to believed.
Ronnie James Dio’s vocals have never disappointed me, and his voice is outstanding in this concert.
The audio quality of this reissue is excellent. If you close your eyes, while listening to this, you almost feel like you are back in 1976, with Rainbow bringing the house down with their electric live show.
From Blackmore’s guitar wizardry, to Dio’s amazing vocals, and the outstanding musicianship of Jimmy Bain, Cozy Powell and Tony Carey, Live in Germany 1976 is one Rainbow live offering that is definitely worth catching. I highly recommend it!!
You can pick up Rainbow Live in Germany at this link!
Rating: Out of 10
1. Kill The King (5:25)
2. Mistreated (16:00)
3. Sixteenth Century Greensleeves (7:50)
4. Catch The Rainbow (14:50)
1. Man On Silver Mountain (13:32)
2. Stargazer (17:10)
3. Still I’m Sad (15:00)
4. Do You Close Your Eyes (9:45)
Bored. This is how I felt after listening to Theory of a Deadman’s latest CD, The Truth is…
You see, I really wanted to like this CD. I did enjoy the band’s previous effort Scars & Souvenirs, but no matter how may times I spin The Truth is…, I just can’t get into it.
There are two problems that I hear that makes this CD not as enjoyable as their past efforts. One is the song writing, the other is the music in general. Let me explain….
There are a few songs on The Truth is… where Tyler Connolly sounds like a card-carrying
member of the “He-man Woman Haters Club”. In between are tunes like “Out of Head” (Tyler can’t get that girl out of his head) that me scratching my head. Maybe it is the bi-polar style of writing that I didn’t get into. I just thought it was odd. One of the catchiest songs on the CD is “The Bitch is Back”, but it is NOT a song I would recommend singing along to (especially in mixed company).
The second problem is the music, and that is a whole different story. If you were to hear any songs from The Truth is… on the radio, unless you actually owned this CD, I doubt you could figure out which band was playing the song. It is the same reformulated, overproduced (by Howard Benson) stuff that I have heard 100 times before. The over all experience left me a little bored, and had me looking forward to hitting the eject button, so I could put something else in the CD player.
The Truth is that The Truth is… is not that good. There are a few decent songs, but overall, this CD is tame and unmemorable. I wouldn’t recommend it.
Rating: Out of 10
02. Bitch Came Back
03. Hurricane – (featuring Dan Chase)
04. Out Of My Head
06. Love Is Hell
07. The Truth Is…(I Lied About Everything)
08. Head Above Water
09. Drag Me To Hell
10. What Was I Thinking – (featuring Arik Leavitt)
11. Easy To Love You
12. We Were Men
14. Does It Really Matter – (featuring Robin Diaz)
15. Villain – (featuring Robin Diaz)
16. Better or Worse – (featuring Robin Diaz)
17. Out of My Head [Acoustic]
18. Easy to Love You [Acoustic]
Theory of a Deadman is:
Tyler Connolly – vocals, guitar
Dave Brenner – guitar
Dean Back – bass guitar, backing vocals
Joe Dandeneau – drums
Tesla is back with their latest offering Twisted Wires.
Twisted Wires offers fans acoustic versions of some of Tesla’s classic tunes. Half of the songs recorded feature former Tesla guitarist Tommy Skeoch, the other half Dave Rude.
I have to be honest, I have mixed feeling about this release. While I love Tesla, I can’t say that Twisted Wires feels like an essential release.
The two new songs “2nd Street” are “Better Off Without You” are pretty good, but I wouldn’t rate them amongst Tesla’s best works. I did like Tesla’s rendition of the Climax Blues Band’s tune “I Love You”.
The acoustic versions of the songs are good, but some of the songs lose their power by unplugging them. A perfect example is the song “Hang Tough” which I have heard hundreds of times prior to this acoustic version. This song really loses its energy without those blazing solos from Frank Hannon and Tommy Skeoch. The acoustic version isn’t bad, but it just isn’t as good. I felt that was about a few of the songs on Twisted Wires.
I did like hearing the acoustic versions of “Shine Away” and my all time favorite Tesla tune “Song and Emotion”.
Overall, Twisted Wires isn’t a bad CD, but your enjoyment of it will greatly depend on how big of a Tesla fan you are. I am a huge fan of the band, so needless to say, I will buy anything they put out. While I enjoyed this CD, I thought it was good, but not great.
It will definitely hold me over until the next Tesla CD comes out.
Rating:Out of 10
1. Into the Now
2. Hang Tough
3. 2nd Street
4. Edison’s Medicine
5. What You Give
6. Better Off Without You
7. Shine Away
8. I Love You
10. Lot To Lose
11. Caught In a Dream
12. Song and Emotion
Jeff Keith – vocals
Brian Wheat – vocals, bass
Frank Hannon – vocals, guitar, piano
Troy Luccketta – drums, percussion
Dave Rude – guitar
Tommy Skeoch – guitar
The most powerful three-piece rock band from Texas, ZZ Top have released a new live CD, Live in Germany 1980. The music for this live CD was recorded long before top 40 hits and videos that shot them to fame on MTV. This CD shows the band in fine form, and shows just how powerful their earlier songs are.
Some of my favorites in this live set are “Thank You”, “Cheap Sunglasses”, “Beer Drinkers & Hellraisers”, “La Grange” The Elvis cover “Jailhouse Rock” and “Tush”. There really isn’t a band song in this awesome live set.
For a band that has been rockin’ for over 40 years, I can’t believe that I haven’t seen ZZ Top live yet. Live in Germany 1980 proves to me that ZZ Top is not only a great live band, but was highly influential on many of the bands that I listen to today. I hope that I get a chance to see them play live before they call it a day.
If you are familiar with the DVD, Double Down Live, then you already have an idea of how cool this CD is. This concert was filmed for German television’s popular Rockpalast program and released on DVD as Double Down Live in 2009. The music is now available on CD for the very first time.
If you are a ZZ Top fan, you should not miss Live in Germany 1980. It does not disappoint!
Rating: Out of 10
- El Deguello
- I Thank You
- Waitin’ For the Bus
- Jesus Just Left Chicago
- Precious And Grace
- Manic Mechanic
- Lowdown In The Street
- Heard It On The X
- Fool For Your Stockings
- Cheap Sunglasses
- Arrested For Driving While Blind
- Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers
- La Grange / Sloppy Drunk / Bar-B-Q
- Dust My Broom
- Jailhouse Rock
ZZ Top is:
Billy Gibbons – Vocals & Guitar
Dusty Hill – Bass & Vocals
Frank Beard – Drums
It is not very often when a piece of music has me excitedly breaking out some old CD’s in my collection, but that is exactly what the new CD single from Tony Iommi and Ian Gillan has done. The two new songs “Out of Mind” and “Holy Water” are splendid metal offerings from Iommi, Gillan and friends to help raise funds for the rebuilding of a music school in Gyumri, Armenia.
I enjoyed both of these songs greatly, and had only left me wanting more. I had to break out my copy of the 1983 Black Sabbath classic Born Again, which featured Ian Gillan on vocals. It isn’t a CD that I listen to very often, but this new CD single shows that there may be something more to a collaboration between Gillan and Iommi. These elder statesmen of hard rock and metal have put together two very solid tracks, which are worth every penny of your hard-earned money.
Who Cares? Tony Iommi and Ian Gillan cared enough to create this music for a good cause, and we the music fans get to reap the benefits. Sure, I wish there were more tracks, but the two songs here are excellent. Don’t miss this!
Rating: Out of 10
1. Out of My Mind
2. Holy Water
“Out Of My Mind” recording lineup:
Ian Gillan (DEEP PURPLE, BLACK SABBATH) – Vocals
Tony Iommi (BLACK SABBATH) – Guitar
Mikko “Linde” Lindström (HIM) – Guitar
Jason Newsted (METALLICA, VOIVOD, FLOTSAM AND JETSAM) – Bass
Nicko McBrain (IRON MAIDEN) – Drums
Jon Lord (DEEP PURPLE) – Keyboards
“Holy Water” recording lineup:
Ian Gillan (DEEP PURPLE, BLACK SABBATH) – Vocals
Tony Iommi (BLACK SABBATH) – Guitar
Steve Morris – Guitar
Michael Lee Jackson – Guitar
Rodney Appleby – Bass
Randy Clarke – Drums
Jesse O’Brien – Hammond Organ
Ara Gevorgyan – Underlying Duduk Intro Music And Keys * Arshak Sahakyan – Duduk Solo
In 1990, Whitesnake embarked on a World Tour in support of their (then) latest album, Slip Of The Tongue. One of the stops made during that tour was in Donnington, Berkshire England as headliners of the Monsters Of Rock Festival. Their fateful headlining performance was recorded with the intention to release a live album the following year. Unfortunately for Whitesnake fans, the live album was shelved and never heard from again…until now. Whitesnake has released a double live album (and a companion DVD) of the entire Donnington concert and their fans should rejoice. This live set is amazing!
Back in 1990, Whitesnake was at the peak of their stardom. Three years earlier they had released their biggest album to date, the self-titled Whitesnake that went on to sell millions of copies. Their follow up, Slip Of The Tongue was just as grand, and featured new guitarists Steve Vai and Adrian Vandenberg (replacing the much beloved John Sykes), along with Rudy Sarzo on bass and Tommy Aldrige on drums. This was an entirely different lineup than the one that recorded the magnificent eponymous CD. Slip Of The Tongue would be the last Whitesnake album released in the US for 18 years. That is part of the reason that fans were anxious to see the Donnington CD get an official release. The other part of the reason is because the performance was one of the best the band has ever done.
Opening with “Slip Of The Tongue” and coming out onstage with rampant energy, Whitesnake proved immediately what headlining rockers should do at a festival. While it was expected that the band would play a few tracks to help promote their new album, the classics were plenty and arrived early as well. “Slow And Easy,” “Slide It In,” and “Cheap And Nasty” all showed up toward the beginning of the set, much to the delight of the fans.
Key moments throughout the live CD set include both Adrian Vandenberg’s guitar solo as well as Steve Vai’s. Both of these gentlemen are exceptional guitarists in their own right, and I often forget that they were in the same band for a brief time. Hearing the stunning work that they put into their respective solos was a real treat to the musical ear. If for no other reason (even thought there are plenty) these solos make this album worth owning.
A magnificent version of “Ain’t No Love In The Heart Of The City” complete with the audience serenading the band shows up in the encore just before the show stopping, “Still Of The Night.” This one-two combination is an exceptional way to close out a concert and had me yearning to see the band live again. I only wish that I could build a time machine and see this rendition of Whitesnake live on stage. However, since time travel has not become available without a flux capacitor, plutonium, and a boatload of money, we will just have to settle for the next best thing — Whitesnake Live At Donnington 1990. This 2-disc set is worth every penny that you spend on it.
Rating: Out of 10
Slip Of The Tongue
Slide It In
Slow An Easy
Kitten’s Got Claws
Adaigo For Strato
Flying Dutchman Boogie
Is This Love
Cheap And Nasty
Crying In The Rain
Fool For Your Loving
For The Love Of God
The Audience Is Listening
Here I Go Again
Ain’t No Love In The Heart Of The City
Still Of The Night
Whitesnake (circa 1990)
David Coverdale – Vocals
Steve Vai – Guitar
Adrian Vandenberg – Guitar
Rudy Sarzo – Bass
Tommy Aldridge – Drums
I have been anxious to hear new Warrant music, with Robert Mason on vocals ever since I first saw them play live with Mason singing back in 2009.
When the band debuted a couple of their new songs at the M3 Rock Festival in 2010, I knew we were going to have another cool Warrant album on our hands before long.
With no surprise, Rockaholic has exceeded my expectations by far.
There are several great tunes on Rockaholic, and way too many to talk about individually. The songs that are amongst my favorites are “Sex Ain’t Love”, “Dusty’s Revenge”, Life’s A Song”,”Show Must Go On” and “The Last Straw”.
This is easily Warrant’s strongest album since Dog Eat Dog, and surpasses the previous effort Born Again with Jamie St. James by a mile!
Robert Mason is a fantastic vocalist, and some may argue, “Yeah, but he ain’t Jani Lane”, but quite honestly, I think he is a better hard rock singer overall. That isn’t a dig against Jani, I like him a lot too. I believe Robert Mason has the voice that is going to keep Warrant around for many more years. Rockaholic is great beginning to the Robert Mason era of Warrant, and is a CD you should be checking out!
Rating: Out of 10
1. Sex Ain’t Love 3:57
2. Innocence Gone 3:40
3. Snake 3:44
4. Dusty’s Revenge 4:26
5. Home 3:27
6. What Love Can Do 4:19
7. Life’s A Song 4:09
8. Show Must Go On 2:48
9. Cocaine Freight Train 2:57
10. Found Forever 4:14
11. Candy Man 4:04
12. Sunshine 3:53
13. Tears In The City 3:34
14. The Last Straw 4:12
Robert Mason – Vocals
Joey Allen – Guitars
Eric Turner – Guitars
Jerry Dixon – Bass
Steven Sweet – Drums
Nixx Sixx’s other band, Sixx A.M. is back with their sophomore effort, This is Gonna Hurt. I have been anxiously awaiting to hear the follow up to 2007’s The Heroin Diaries Soundtrack.
Once again, Nikki Sixx proves that he is one hell of a song writer. The songs, and the music on This is Gonna Hurt, seems like a step above the stuff found on the band’s debut. This is Gonna Hurt feels like a more cohesive album. The Nikki Sixx narratives are gone. This CD is 100% rock although the style on the CD bounces around quite a bit. This CD is packed with that tunes that are sometimes modern rock, sometimes alternative, sometimes heavy but always good.
The album opener and title track “This is Gonna Hurt” is one of the heavier numbers on the disc. This is a super catchyrocker that ought to be the second single off of the CD.
The tempo slows down a little for “Lies of the Beautiful People” (see video below) but this hit worthy tune does a good job maintaining the pace of the album. This is a great song that is going to get a ton of airplay.
“Are You With Me Now” is a very infectious modern rock tune. The lyrics will have you signing along in no time.
When I hear the huge voice of James Michaels on “Live Forever”, it blows my mind that this guy wasn’t a force in music before Nikki Sixx found him. His vocals are quite impressive on “Live Forever”.
“Smile” is a slower number that find its way on some Pop/Rock stations. This song has an almost Beatle-esque quality to it, with some incredible music that includes piano/keyboards and violin.
Would you believe the song “Oh My God” has an almost Journey like sound to it? Listen to guitar riffs on the song, and see what I mean! DJ Ashba sounds like he was inspired by Neal Schon on this tune.
Overall, I am very pleased with the music on This is Gonna Hurt. DJ Ashba plays his ass off on this CD, and James Michael’s voice is as strong as ever. If Nikki Sixx keeps releasing material this strong, he may find even more success in the band that bears his name. This is definitely a CD worth picking up. Check it out!
If you would like a free taste of This is Gonna Hurt, you can download the song “Lies of the Beautiful People” for free from Amazon.com.
Check back on Friday for Hard Rock Hideout’s This is Gonna Hurt listening party!
Rating: Out of 10
1. This Is Gonna Hurt
2. Lies Of The Beautiful People
3. Are You With Me Now
4. Live Forever
5. Sure Feels Right
8. Help Is On The Way
9. Oh My God
10. Goodbye My Dear Friends
Sixx A.M. is:
Nikki Sixx – bass guitar, backing vocals
James Michael – lead vocals, rhythm guitar, keyboards, drums, programming
DJ Ashba – lead guitar, backing vocals
I have four words to describe the new Voodoo Circle album, Broken Heart Syndrome, ALBUM OF THE YEAR!!!
2011 has already hosted some pretty good releases. Broken Heart Syndrome is better than all of them. Let me repeat that, BROKEN HEART SYNDROME IS BETTER THAN ALL OF THEM !
This CD is packed with fantastic vocals, stellar guitar work, and songs you will feel the need to play loud.
When Alex Beyrodt mentioned to me that he was working on a new Voodoo Circle album, after a Primal Fear gig in 2010, I had no idea that it would be THIS good.
With Voodoo Circle’s second effort, the band has taken the music in a classic hard rock direction that sounds like a blend of Whitesnake & Rainbow. From the heavy numbers, to the slower bluesy numbers, Alex Beyrodt and company have delivered a batch of tunes that will electrify your auditory cortex into sheer bliss!
I have been praising singer David Readman for years. I have been telling anyone and everyone that would listen to check out his band Pink Cream 69. After hearing Broken Heart Syndrome, the gentlemen in Pink Cream 69 may have to find a new vocalist. This may be the best Readman has ever sounded. His vocals enhance the incredible guitar work of Mr. Beyrodt like no other. There are many bands out there today, where I feel the guitar player and singer, work like a Yin and Yang to each other. I believe Alex Beyrodt has found the perfect vocalist for his band.
Alex Beyrodt has played on some cool releases in the past. His previous work in the bands Silent Force, and Sinner all have music worth investigating. In the case, of Broken Heart Syndrome, Beyrodt may have given career defining performance.
The opening tune “No Solution Blues” sounds like a blend of Sykes era Whitesnake . Alex Beyrodt blows my mind on “King of Your Dreams” where he shows off his skillful Ritchie Blackmore like playing. “Devil’s Daughter” taps into the soulful bluesier side of hard rock. Beyrodt’s playing on “Devil’s Daughter” makes the hair stand up on my arms. This is truly amazing stuff.
“Blind Man” has a really cool 70’s vibe. Beyrodt’s guitar tone on this song sounds very Hendrix like. This is a slow number, but a very impressive tune in it’s own right.
I don’t know how anyone could listen to “Heal My Pain” and not have a smile on their face. This is a short, little upbeat rocker with a great beat, and is kind of catchy too.
“The Heavens are Burning” is another amazing Rainbow inspired number that flat out rocks.
It will take a legendary effort to surpass this music found on Broken Heart Syndrome in 2011. The men who form Voodoo Circle may wear their influences on their sleeves, but when they put together an album as convincing as this one, I could care less.
Don’t miss out on, what I consider to be, the best hard rock record of the year! Highly Recommended!!
You can preview some of the songs from Broken Heart Syndrome at this link.
Rating: Out of 10
1. No Solution Blues
2. King Of Your Dreams
3. Devil’s Daughter
4. This Could Be Paradise
5. Broken Heart Syndrome
6. When Destiny Calls
7. Blind Man
8. Heal My Pain
9. The Heavens Are Burning
10. Don’t Take My Heart
11. I’m In Heaven
12. Wings Of Fury
13. Strangers Lost in Time (Bonus Track)
Voodoo Circle is:
Alex Beyrodt – Guitars
David Readman – Vocals
Mat Sinner – Bass
Markus Kullmann – Drums
Jimmy Kresic – Keyboards