If Under the Influence was released five years earlier, Wildside would have been a household name. Armed with a sound that was a mixture between RATT and Cinderella, they had the sound, and the look to make it big. Sadly, this disc was released right at the time that the music scene was going through the change to Grunge, and the disc did not gain the success is deserved.
The CD was produced by Andy Johns (Cinderella, Van Halen, L.A. Guns), and even had a little writing help by Paul Stanley on the track Clock Strikes.
I picked this disc up after hearing a few cuts on he syndicated hard rock station Z-Rock. This disc has remained in my play list ever since.
In 2007, Under the Influence is becoming increasingly harder to find, and averages between 20 – 30 dollars on Ebay. It is a disc worth seeking out, if you missed it the first time around.
The band put out a second release in 1995, that was a change in sound (more grunge, than glam) that completely bombed, and the band broke up. In 2004, another disc, The Wasted Years surfaced that contained some demos and live cuts, as well as Wildside’s version of the G ‘N R song Crash Diet.
The released Under the Influence is the best release by the band, and is the release most people are still looking for.
My favorite cuts off of this disc are, Hang on Lucy, Just Another Night, Hair of the Dog, and Clock Strikes.
You can hear some of the tunes off of the Under the Influence at a fan made Wildside page on myspace. Buy this disc if you can find it. You won’t be disappointed!
Rating: Out of 10
1. Hang On Lucy
2. So Far Away
3. Monkey See Monkey Do
4. Just Another Night
5. Looks Like Love
6. Lad In Sin
7. Drunkin’ Man’s Blues
8. How Many Lies
9. Hair Of The Dog
11. Kiss This Love Goodbye
12. Clock Strikes
Drew Hannah – Lead vocals
Brent Wood – Lead, rhythm, and acoustic guitars, backing vocals
Benny Rhynedance – Rhythm guitar, backing vocals
Marc Simon – Bass, backing vocals
Jimmy D. – Drums
With the change in the music scene, Chrysalis Records didn’t want to release this disc. Slaughter eventually signed with CMC and released this disc on the new label. Sadly, after a double platinum and gold album, Slaughter found little success with Fear No Evil.
Amazingly, this is the hardest output by Slaughter, and one of the better releases of the band’s career. Lack of airplay, and a release that was in the middle of the Grunge era of rock, left Fear No Evil as one of the better unknown releases by the band. The heaviness of the tunes reminds of a Dana Strum and Marc Slaughter’s sound while they were in the Vinnie Vincent Invasion. Tim Kelly’s (R.I.P.) guitar playing on this disc is superb. He cuts loose more on this disc than on any other Slaughter release.
The highlights on this disc are Live Like There’s No Tomorrow, Get Used To It, Searchin’, Let the Good Times Roll, and Outta My Head.
Live Like There’s No Tomorrow
Let The Good Times Roll
Hopefully, when Slaughter takes the stage at the Rocklahoma Music Festival they will play some cuts off of Fear No Evil, but since these songs are the least known of the Slaughter tunes out there, I doubt you will hear any of these. You will at least get a double dose of guitarist Jeff Blando, and Dana Strum, as they are currently playing in Vince Neil’s band too!
If you are a fan of Slaughter, you need to pick up Fear No Evil. You won’t be disappointed.
Rating: Out of 10
1. Live Like There’s No Tomorrow
2. Get Used To It
4. It’ll Be Alright
5. Let The Good Times Roll
6. Breakdown ‘N’ Cry
7. Hard Times
8. Divine Order
9. Yesterday’s Gone
11. Outta My Head
12. Unknown Destination
I enjoyed some of the past releases by these guys, and decided to check out the latest effort. The guys have returned to their bumblebee like ways (at least this time it is with paint.) On Reborn, former bass player, Tim Gaines has been replaced with Tracy Ferrie. The rest of the lineup of Stryper are all original members: Michael Sweet on vocals, Oz Fox on guitar, and Robert Sweet on drums.
Quite frankly, I expected Reborn to be awful, which is why I hesitated in picking this up. Surprisingly, this is much better than I anticipated it to be.
Open Your Eyes is a tasty cut that has a more modern, heavy rock sound, similar to what Europe is doing these days. I always liked Oz Fox’s guitar sound, but this is a totally different sound, from the 80′s style hard rock of their past releases.
Reborn continues with the borderline Nu-metal sound. Whether you like the style of music or not, the song is definitely another solid track for Stryper.
With a title like, When Did I See You Cry, I expected a cheesy ballad to fall in line, but this is actually a mid tempo song that kind of rocks.
Make You Mine is probably the closest thing to the 80′s sound of Stryper. I like this track.
Sooner or later, I knew I would have to come across a song that a religious aspect about it. That song on Reborn is Passion. This is a very upbeat and positive sounding song. It is a good song, but will probably only appeal to certain audiences.
Whoa, where in the Hell….oops…Heaven did Live Again come from. This song is one of the heaviest on Reborn and the guitar riff is very Black Sabbath like. This song is going to have to into active rotation into the Hard Rock Hideout play list. Nice!
I didn’t really care for If I Die, but I could see this song growing on me if I listened to it more. Wait For You is very upbeat, and is kind of cool.
Rain is one of the more syrupy songs on Reborn. It is a little too light for my taste, but other people may like it.
Stryper is probably the only band in the world that could make a song like 10,000 Years work for them. When the first words “Amazing Grace” are uttered, my itchy trigger finger wants to hit the fast forward button, to move to the next song. I am glad that my patience prevailed. This is a pretty good song.
I.G.W.T is a remake off the ’88 track, In God We Trust. This is a totally different sounding version. The drums rhythms have been changed somewhat and the bass and guitars on this version have been kicked up a notch. I like the original version, and I like this one a lot too.
Reborn is a completely different sounding record than Stryper’s past releases. This updated sound my alienate some of the fans who preferred the old style of Stryper. I like the old sound, and this new disc appeals to me as well. There are a few tracks worthy of a multiple spins. It is another solid effort by the Yellow and Black Attack!
Rating: Out of 10
1. Open Your Eyes
3. When Did I See You Cry
4. Make You Mine
6. Live Again
7. If I Die
8. Wait For You
10. 10,000 Years
One of the bands that I am disappointed that I won’t get to see perform at the Rocklahoma Music Festival this year, is Calfornia’s East Bay rockers, Y&T.
I never was able to catch this band live, back in the 80′s, and would certainly get a kick out of seeing them perform now.
Y&T does not have any new material in 2007, however lead singer Dave Meniketti has remastered quite a bit of Y&T’s discography, and has re-released them with bonus tracks. These discs are mostly available through the band’s website here.
The cd Mean Streak is still one of my favorites today. The title track is one fantastic rocking tune, that I am sure will be played live during the band’s live set.
Some of my other favorite cuts off this disc are Lonely Side of Town, Sentimental Fool, Breaking Away and Hang ‘em High.
Dave Meniketti’s voice is one of a kind, and is guitar work on this disc is superb. Don’t even hesitate to pick up Meanstreak. It is a great hard rock CD.
Rating: Out of 10
1. Mean Streak
2. Straight Thru The Heart
3. Lonely Side Of Town
4. Midnight In Tokyo
5. Breaking Away
6. Hang ‘Em High
7. Take You To The Limit
8. Sentimental Fool
9. Down And Dirty
I don’t know if the simultaneous release of Tesla’s Real to Reel and Poison’d was intentional or a coincedence. What I do know is, Real to Reel kicks the crap out of Poison’d in just about every way. Due to better marketing, I am sure Poison’d will out sell this disc, and it is a shame, because Real to Reel is far superior.
With Real to Reel you get 13 songs, and 60 minutes of new cover tunes. (With the Bonus disc, an additional 27 minutes) I have listened to this disc a few times now, and I can tell that Tesla put their heart into this disc. I thought at one point in time that Jorn’s Unlocking the Past was the best cover disc I have ever heard. Tesla has some how managed to surpass that one.
Guitar rock fans that listen to this CD will be calling their friends and telling them about this one! Frank Hannon is the MAN! His playing combined with Tesla’s new guitarist Dave Rude is amazing. Jeff Keith’s voice sounds so good, it is crazy!
I won’t give you a song by song breakdown, because plain and simple, all of the songs kick ass. I can’t wait to catch Tesla live, so I can get Reel 2.
You can hear more tracks at Tesla Real to Reel.com. Don’t hesitate to pick this one up! It is worth owning!
Rating: Out of 10
1. Space Truckin’ (Deep Purple)
2. Walk Away (James Gang)
3. Hand Me Down World (The Guess Who)
4. Bad Reputation (Thin Lizzy)
5. Thank You (Led Zeppelin)
6. I’ve Got A Feeling (Beatles)
7. Day Of the Eagle (Robin Trower)
8. Ball Of Confusion (The Temptations)
9. Rock Bottom (UFO)
10. Stealin’ (Uriah Heep)
11. Bell Bottom Blues (Derek and the Dominos)
12. Honky Tonk Women (Rolling Stones)
13. Dear Mr. Fantasy (Traffic)
Best Buy Bonus Disc
- War Pigs (Black Sabbath) from Real to Reel, Reel 2
- Shine Away (Unplugged, from the upcoming 20th Anniversary Box Set)
- Modern Day Cowboy (Unplugged, from the upcoming 20th Anniversary Box Set)
- Paradise (Unplugged, From the upcoming 20th Anniversary Box Set)
On this disc, you get 9 cover tunes, 2 new tracks.
Warrant’s lineup on this disc was Jani Lane on vocals, Billy Morris and Erik Turner on Guitar, Jerry Dixon on bass, and Matt Fasano on drums.
I was skeptical when I saw that Warrant was covering, Toys in the Attic. I must admit, they did a damn good version of this that song. It has all of the fire the original song contained.
To me, Hollywood is one of the lesser known Thin Lizzy tracks, but it sounds pretty good here, and keeps the ebb and flow of Under the Influence going.
I could have lived without the cover of Hair of the Dog. This has to be one of the most over covered songs in Rock Music. I would not shed a tear if I never heard this song again.
Queen is such a hard band to cover. Freddy Mercury has that one of a kind voice that is near impossible to reproduce. Warrant isn’t the first band to cover Tie Your Mother Down, and they wont be the last. Jani Lane does a solid job on vocals. This version of the song is passable at best.
Suffragette City is a solid cover, and stays very true to the original. This would be a cool song to see Jani Lane perform live.
Down Payment Blues features guitarist Billy Morris on lead vocals. He does a pretty good job, and has a Southern Rock type flair in his voice.
The Badfinger cover, Come and Get it was kind of lame to me. Maybe they needed a lame cover to make their new studio tracks sound better.
I used to think that Warrant’s version of Surrender was pretty good until I heard Zan Clan’s version. I can hardly listen to this song as a result of hearing that version.
It worked as the new tracks Sub Human and Face are decent. They are not not stellar add-ons to Under the Influence but they are worth a few listens. I think Face is the best out of the two.
As a whole, Under the Influence was one of the better cover discs at the time it was released. Future cover disc releases down the road surpass the sound the of this one. In 2007, this is probably a disc for the Warrant die hard fans only.
Rating: Out of 10
1. Toys In The Attic (Aerosmith)
2. Hollywood (Thin Lizzy)
3. Dead, Jail Or Rock N Roll (Michael Monroe)
4. Hair Of The Dog (Nazareth)
5. Tie Your Mother Down (Queen)
6. Suffragette City (David Bowie)
7. Surrender (Cheap Trick)
8. Down Payment Blues (AC/DC)
9. Come And Get It (Badfinger)
10. Sub Human * New Track
11. Face * New Track
Overkill got into the heavy metal covers game, with their 1999 disc, Coverkill. I have heard this referred to many times, as Overkill’s Garage Days, as it was released the following year after Metallica’s cover disc.
This disc starts firing on all cylinders with a blistering live cut of the Motorhead song, Overkill.
Tyrant is a cool Judas Priest song, but I don’t think Bobby Ellsworth can quite live up to Rob Halford’s vocals. It is a solid version, but not essential.
My favorite cuts on this disc are the Kiss cover, Deuce, and the remake of Jethro Tull’s Hymn 43.
Coverkill is a decent release by Overkill, and probably the most mainstream recording offered by the band. Coverkill is a solid cover disc, but it probably one that only the diehard Overkill fans will find essential to their collection.
Rating:Out of 10
1. Overkill (Motorhead)
2. No Feelings (Sex Pistols)
3. Hymn 43 (Jethro Tull)
4. Changes (Black Sabbath)
5. Space Truckin’ (Deep Purple)
6. Deuce (KISS)
7. Never Say Die (Black Sabbath)
8. Death Tone (Manowar)
9. Cornucopia (Black Sabbath)
10. Tyrant (Judas Priest)
11. Ain’t Nothin’ to Do (Dead Boys)
12. I’m Against It (Ramones)
B-Side Ourselves is only a 5 song EP, so it can hardly be considered to be a full length release.
On this disc, you get 4 studio tracks, and one live cut.
The band sounds great, but as with most covers discs, you enjoyment from this release will depend on how much you like the original songs.
There is a solid but not stellar duet with Rob Halford on Delivering the Goods.
The cover of the Jimi Hendrix song Little Wing is a very decent rendition. I don’t think most people realize they released a video for this song.
B-Side Ourselves clocks in under 20 minutes. You can find this one for next to nothing on the web. Did this disc start the cover disc trend? I am not sure, but I am positive this offering by Skid Row led to more releases of the same nature.
Rating: Out of 10
1. Psycho Therapy (The Ramones)
2. C’Mon And Love Me (KISS)
3. Delivering the Goods [Live] (Judas Priest)
4. What You’re Doing (Rush)
5. Little Wing (Jimi Hendrix)
Judging from the quality and great sound of her Independent release, Her Majesty, Sophia Ramos’ long term success is only a short time away.
Her Majesty is a release full of big guitar riffs, and the amazing, powerful vocals of Sophia Ramos. The songs are written with passion and fire, and absolutely rock!
The first four songs on Her Majesty have found repeated plays on my play list.
Black Madonna has a very upbeat sound with a great story. What I Do Know has a guitar sound that brings the band Soundgarden to mind.
The guitar riff on Esperanza is crazy good. I love this track.
(You can listen to Black Madonna and Esperanza in the video below.)
Sophia’s voice soars to new levels on Kill Your Pain. This is another exceptional heavy track on Her Majesty.
Sophia shows off her tremendous voice on Deep in Your Bones. This is a low to mid tempo number that impresses me more with every listen.
Torn Down is one of my favorite songs on Her Majesty. The rhythm on this song will pull you in, and the guitar sound is very infectious. The range of Sophia Ramos’ voice really jumps out at me on this song.
Girlfriend’s Ghost is a kick ass song that is full of fire, and blood pumping rhythm. This song has a Garbage/ Gwen Stefani feel to it, but is much heavier than either of those.
The melody of Shining Still is very cool. It is great to hear Sophia’s voice hitting some higher notes on this song. This track has some electronic effects mixed with the music, that gives it a very cool sound.
Jon’s Song is a low to mid tempo number that could easily be played on mainstream rock radio. The guitars are toned down on this song, giving it a more modern feel.
Sophia pours her heart into Stay Here With You. I can hear her strong Joplin influence on this song.
Her Majesty is an outstanding rock CD! The production and extras on this disc, make you feel like you just picked up a big studio disc. Get on board and check out Sophia Ramos! Big things are certain to happen for her in the future! You can find out more information on Her Majesty at Sophia’s myspace page here, and here website Sophia Ramos.com! You can also listen to and purchase Her Majesty, at CDBaby.com here.
Rating: Out of 10
- Black Madonna
- What I Do Know
- Kill Your Pain
- Deep in my Bones
- Torn Down
- Girlfriend’s Ghost
- Shining Still
- Jon’s Song
- Stay Here With You
This band features the talent of Vinny Appice (Black Sabbath) on drums, Jimmy Bain (DIO) on bass, Chaz West (Bonham) on vocals and Brian Young (David Lee Roth) on guitars. This disc also features 4 tracks produced by former Dokken bass player Jeff Pilson.
Frozen Summer may be short (only 8 songs, 33 minutes), but it does not lack punch. This may be some of the heaviest music you have ever heard Carlos Cavazo perform on to date. This music is riff and bass heavy. The Black Sabbath influence is very easy to pick up on. Chaz West sings his ass off. I don’t remember him sounding this good with Bonham.
XM41, the Boneyard broke out Frozen Summer a few months ago. I heard this track once, and started looking for this disc. This is a heavy track and very killer stuff!
The band recently released a video for Give and Take Away. I like this track more and more with every listen. The Sabbath style heaviness shows itself well on this track.
Rain on My Parade is a low tempo number where Chaz West’s voice really shines. You have to crank this one up to fully appreciate it.
One Good Reason is one of those excellent metal tracks that ignites your soul and makes you want to throw your fists in the air, with your mano cornuta’s extended for the world to see.
Wasted Life has a little bit of blues fused into the music with Chaz West playing the harmonica. No, this doesn’t sound like a Dave Matthews song. This is some classic metal fused with a little bit of blues. The end result is another whiplash-creating, head-banging tune.
The rhythm section of Appice and Bain really shine on the song, Long Way Back From Hell. This is a mid tempo number that really sounds great.
Man oh mercy, the music on Left for Dead is so good, it is crazy. There are great vocals by Chaz West, and the whole band sounds amazing.
Bring the Hammer Down is the only song on Frozen Summer that I couldn’t really get into.
With Frozen Summer you get quality over quantity. I am a big Black Sabbath fan, and I loved hearing the Sabbath influence in these tunes. I can only hope that these guys get together and do a longer disc at some time in the future. 3 Legged Dogg’s debut totally rocks, and has only left me wanting more. For more info on 3 Legged Dogg, check out the band’s myspace page here.
Rating: Out of 10
1. Frozen Summer
2. Give and Take Away
3. Rain on My Parade
4. One Good Reason
5. Wasted Life
6. Long Way Back from Hell
7. Left for Dead
8. Bring the Hammer Down
3 Legged Dogg is:
Chaz West – Vocals
Vinny Appice – Drums
Jimmy Bain – Bass
Carlos Cavazo – Guitars
This disc was not quite as successful, as the U.S. debut, Metal Health, but still managed to sell over 3 million copies.
I must admit that it has been quite some time since I have dusted off my copy of Condition Critical. This disc is a solid, but not stellar effort by the Quiet Riot crew of Kevin Dubrow, Carlos Cavazo, Rudy Sarzo, and Frankie Banali.
The songs Mama Weer All Crazee Now, and Party All Night are two of Quiet Riot’s biggest anthems ever, and are favorites of mine.
Stomp Your Hands, Clap your Feet is pure 80′s cheese. I can live without this song.
Winners Take All was Quiet Riot’s lone attempt at a power ballad on Condition Critical. I never have liked this song, and still dont.
The guitar sound on Condition Critical sounds a lot like a few of the songs Ozzy was releasing around the same time period. I can definitely hear Randy Rhoads influence on Carlos Cavazo on this song. I actually like it more today, than when I picked this disc up years ago.
Scream and Shout is one of the heaver songs on Condition Critical, and a pretty good one at that.
After listening to Red Alert again, I am surprised that Quiet Riot didn’t release this song as a single. It isn’t an amazing song, but could have possibly been a modest hit for the band back in the ’80′s.
Carlos Cavazo’s guitar playing is the highlight on Bad Boy. This track would just be average if not for his excellent guitar licks.
(We Were) Born To Rock is another throw away track to me.
Condition Critical is not the best rock record you will ever listen to, but its far from the worst. The hits on this record make up for some of the more average sounding tracks. Carlos Cavazo’s playing makes this a disc worth checking out.
Rating: Out of 10
1. Sign Of The Times
2. Mama Weer All Crazee Now
3. Party All Night
4. Stomp Your Hands, Clap Your Feet
5. Winners Take All
6. Condition Critical
7. Scream And Shout
8. Red Alert
9. Bad Boy
10. (We Were) Born To Rock
After a couple of discs in the metal band Sword, singer Rick Hughes formed a brand new band called Saints & Sinners. This self titled debut was a departure from the metal of Sword, and was a move into more of a 80′s glam, hard rock sound in the vein of Skid Row meets Tyketto.
Saints & Sinners features, Rick Hughes on vocals, Stephane Dufour on guitar, Martin Bolduc on bass , Jeff Salem on drums, and Jesse Bradman on keyboards.
Armed with a bunch of great songs that have the writing credits of Aldo Nova, Jon Bon Jovi, and Rachel Bolan from Skid Row, this disc was sure to be a huge hit. It was released just as grunge was taking off, and never got the push that it deserved. It is one of the better hard rock discs released during this time.
Walk That Walk
Wheels of Fire
This disc has become quite impossible to find. It occasionally shows up on EBay and Gemm Music.
If you are looking for a very good melodic metal disc, this is one that is worth searching for.
Fans of great 80′s hard rock bands, and hair metal are sure to love this. This is one of my favorite, hard rock gems in my music collection.
Rating: Out of 10
2. Rip It Up
3. Walk That Walk
4. Takin’ My Chances
5. Kiss the Bastards
6. Wheels of Fire
7. Lesson of Love
8. We Belong
10. Slippin’ into Darkness
Scorpions fans are going to be quite happy when they listen to Humanity Hour 1. The band resumes with their classic heavy sound, and this disc will kick your ass on the very first listen.
Klaus Meine’s voice still sounds amazing. He hasn’t lost a note. Rudy Schenker and Matthias Jabs are still one of the best guitar tandems in hard rock today. Their playing on this record is superb.
This disc starts firing on all cylinders immediately with this heavy track Hour 1. This track took me by surprise, and is an early favorite.
The Game of Life is a mid tempo semi heavy number. Its a good song track that wouldn’t have been out of place on Savage Amusement.
We Were Born to Fly is a low to mid tempo number that could be a potential hit for the Scorpions. It is melodic tune with heavy parts.
The Future Never Lies is a piano based ballad that almost has some Queen like elements. Its another solid tune on Humanity Hour 1.
After a couple of slower songs, the Scorpions crank it back up again with You’re Lovin’ Me To Death. This is another song with big radio potential.
321 has an ultra heavy bass riff, and is extremely catchy. This one is going to get a lot of airplay.
The pace slows back down with Love Will Keep Us Alive. Klaus Meine’s voice shines on this lighter track. This is a song that could actually get airplay on soft rock radio stations.
I find myself getting a little bored with Your Last Song. Its pure melodic AOR. There isn’t really anything wrong with the song, but I could have used something a little heavier at this spot in the record.
Love Is War is a low to mid tempo number, that I find to be just an average track. It never really delivers that punch that I am looking for. Not great, but far from bad.
We Will Rise Again is the track I was looking for. It has all of those heavy and melodic moments that I look for in a Scorpions song. Great Stuff!
The Cross features Klaus Meine and the vocals of Smashing Pumpkins, singer Billy Corgan. The guitar styling on this track almost sounds Nu-metal at times but then falls back into that great Scorpion style. Its a cool track.
I am sure you have heard the track Humanity a few times by now. Its a slower track, but its also a great tune, and a solid way to close out this disc. This is classic Scorpions at their best.
Humanity Hour 1 is another great disc by the Scorpions. If you enjoyed the last disc, Unbreakable, I am sure you will like this one too. U.S. hard rock fans can pick this up on May 25th everywhere.
Rating: Out of 10
1. Hour I
2. The Game of Life
3. We Were Born To Fly
4. Future Never Dies
5. You’re Lovin’ Me To Death
7. Love Will Keep Us Alive
8. Your Last Song
9. Love Is War
10. We Will Rise Again
Caution! The following CD has more glam, than even the glam mistress, Allyson is ready for.
Believe it or not, this is the fifth CD for glam rockers, Shameless. There are Eleven new tracks, produced and engineered by Keri Kelli and featuring Steve Summers (Pretty Boy Floyd) on vocals.
This disc has a ton of guest stars including, Stevie Rachelle (TUFF), Phil Lewis (LA Guns), Jani Lane (Warrant ) and John Corabi (Motley Crue / Union / ESP /RATT), and Eric Singer (KISS).
The opening track Crashdown, kind of reminds me of an Ugly Kid Joe song. Steve Summers vocals sounds a lot like Whitfield Crane’s on this song. It is a cool song to open this disc with.
She’s Watching You maintains that punk feel, but it is a fun little song that merits a few listens. This song features Jani Lane on back up vocals.
Better Off Without You features the vocals of Phil Lewis (L.A. Guns) and the Drums of Eric Singer (KISS). This is a very cool sounding track.
We Won’t Take It Anymore has a big guitar sound in the vein of CC Deville. Steve Summers almost sounds like Vince Neil on this track. This is one of my favorites on this disc.
No Regrets features the vocals of TUFF singer and Metal Sludge’s very own, Stevie Rachelle. His vocals on this one, are very growly on this one, and sounds more like Steve Summers than the person that used to sing for TUFF. Its a short little song with the great sounding guitars of B.C. and Michael Thomas.
Shameless slows it down for the song, Magical Misery. This is closest thing you will find to a power ballad in 2007. This is a great sounding track with Steve Summers on vocals.
Web Junkie is a fun song with great lyrics. Could they have been writing this song about me?
Complications features the vocals of John Corabi, and this track has more of a sleaze sound than glam. It is also the heaviest track on Famous 4 Madness. I love Corabi’s vocals, so I knew this track would not disappoint me, and it doesn’t. Great Stuff!
Stevie Rachelle is back singing Dirty Shirt. Stevie’s vocals sound like his old TUFF style for this song.
Party Tonight is very much in the vein of Poison. It is a very fun track to close out Famous 4 Madness.
Shameless is out to prove that glam is not dead. Famous 4 Madness is a disc full of 80′s style hard/glam rock that should not be missed. This disc is essential to all glam fans! You can pick it up at the following site. For more information on Shameless, please visit it Shameless Rock.
Rating: Out of 10
- Famous 4 Madness
- She’s Watchin’ U
- Better Off Without U
- We Won’t Take It Anymore
- No Regrets
- Magical Misery
- Web Junkie
- Dirty Shirt
- Party Tonight
Dave Mustaine once called this one of his top 10 Metal CD’s of all time. With that in mind, I knew I had to seek this one out. Finally, after many unsuccessful purchases and auctions, I landed a copy.
Does this disc live up to Mustaine’s opinion of it? I am not so sure about that, but Metalized is a damn good Metal disc. Sword is a Canadian metal band that consists of Rick Hughes on vocals, Mike Plant on guitars, Mike Larock on bass, and Dan Hughes on drums.
Sword opened for Metallica on the 1986 Master of Puppets tour in support of this disc, but I would not consider a thrash album, but pure heavy metal. This band reminds me of Savatage, and a little bit of Armored Saint.
Rick Hughes throaty screams are very similar in style to Jon Oliva. Mike Plant absolutely shreds on guitar, and the rhythm section of Mike Larock and Dan Hughes are second to none. Metalized is full of excellent vocals, great guitar work, heavy bass and thunderous drums that will appeal to 80′s hard rock fans.
My favorite tracks are F.T.W. (Follow the Wheel), Stoned Again, Out of Control, The End of the Night and Runaway.
Metalheads are sure to love this disc. Do not hesitate to pick this one up, if you ever see a copy. It is hard to find, but worth the pursuit!
Aquarius Records released a Best of Sword in 2006, and that is far easier to pick up than Metalized.
Either disc would be a great addition to your hard rock collection!. For more info on Sword, check out the band’s myspace page.
Rating: Out of 10
2. Children of Heaven
3. Stoned Again
4. Dare to Spit
5. Outta Control
6. End of the Night
8. Where to Hide
9. Stuck in Rock
10. Evil Spell
Rick Hughes – Vocals
Dan Hughes – Drums
Mike Larock – Bass
Mike Plant – Guitar
A few years after his departure from Guns ‘N Roses, Izzy Stradlin released his second solo CD, 117°. After listening to his excellent 2006 CD, Like A Dog, I knew that I had to pick up some of Izzy’s back catalog of music. Luckily, the local rock shop, had a copy of 117° in their cut out bin, so I could not resist picking it up.
117° features Izzy Stradlin on lead guitar and vocals, former G’NR band mate Duff McKagan on bass, Rick Richards (Georgia Satellites) on guitar, and Taz Bentley (Reverend Horton Heat) on drums.
Those of you looking for a Guns ‘N Roses like CD, are not going to find it with 117°. You can hear a bunch of straight forward rock tunes by one of G ‘N R’s main song writers.
117° has a lot of blues infested rock complete with great guitar work, some slide guitar, and a little bit of rockabilly in places. This CD is more similar in style to the Rolling Stones, than G ‘N R. Izzy Stradlin doesn’t compare to Mick Jagger by any means, but he does an admirable job on vocals.
My favorite tracks off of this disc are Ain’t It A Bitch, The Chuck Berry cover Memphis, the excellent 117°, and the heaviest track Grunt.
This disc may not be heavy enough for the average hard rock fan, but there is enough good music on 117° which merits giving this one a listen. Check out the tracks below, and let me know what you think!
Ain’t It A Bitch
Rating: Out of 10
1. Ain’t It A Bitch
2. Gotta Say
4. Old Hat
7. Good Enough
9. Here Before You
10. Up Jumped The Devil
12. Freight Train
14. Surf Roach
Out of all of the bands playin in the Rocklahoma Music Festival in 2007, W.A.S.P. is one of the few bands that has new music to play for the fans. (Warrant, Quiet Riot, and Bang Tango are the others.)
Dominator starts off with two great heavy tracks Mercy and Long, Long Way to Go. Blackie seems to sing in a little lower register on Mercy, and I like it a lot. This is a great new song.
The rhythm section takes over on Long, Long Way to Go. This fast and heavy drum beats of Mike Dupke really drives this track. Doug Blair cuts loose and provides some great solos, and Blackie sounds great as always!
Take Me Up is a varying tempo number that Blackie Lawless shines on. Great!!
The chugging guitars of Burning Man is very cool. Doug Blair’s outstanding guitar work makes this track shine. This is another excellent track on Dominator.
Heaven’s Hung in Black is a lengthy (over 7 minutes) powerful track that needs to be listened to multiple times to truly discover how great it is. It starts as a slow brooding number but breaks into something much heavier. Blackie’s voice is amazing and Doug Blair’s guitar noodling is superb.
Heaven’s Blessed cranks up the tempo once more, and is another great heavy tune on Dominator.
Teacher feels like a potential Rock Radio hit. I can see this one getting added to the playlists at some of the hard rock stations and XM radio’s Boneyard.
The revisit of Heaven’s Hung in Black (Reprise) was not really needed on this disc, and seems like a wasted track. If you need a shorter version of the song above, this one is the way to go, but you will miss out on Blair’s guitar work on the longer version.
Deal with the Devil is a heavy, upbeat rocker and a great album closer.
Dominator is another solid effort by W.A.S.P. and another great disc worth picking up in 2007. Currently, it seems the distribution of this disc has not brought into most U.S. retailers (unless you import it.)
Rocklahoma fans have some great new W.A.S.P. tunes to look forward to on the last night of the festival!
Rating: Out of 10
2. Long, Long Way to Go
3. Take Me Up
4. Burning Man
5. Heaven’s Hung in Black
6. Heaven’s Blessed
8. Heaven’s Hung in Black (Reprise)
9. Deal with the Devil
Blackie Lawless – vocals, rhythm guitar
Doug Blair – lead guitar
Mike Duda – bass
Mike Dupke – drums
The Godfathers of Progressive Rock, Rush, are ushering in the first of many great releases in May. Snakes and Arrows is the first studio disc from Rush since 2002′s Vapor Trails. I have been anxiously awaiting to hear the latest and greatest by these Canadian Rock Gods!
Snakes & Arrows is one of those CD’s that is immediately great from the first listen. The production is amazing, and music is absolutely fantastic.
Let me start by saying that I have already listened to the first two tracks Far Cry and Armor and Sword several times, and both tracks are superb Rush classics. I can’t get enough of either one of them, and keep replaying them if that tells you anything.
It never ceases to amaze me how Rush makes a song like Workin’ Them Angels, work for them. For an average band, this would be filler, but Rush is far from an average band. From the musical arrangement, a hint of mediterranean sound creeps into the music, but still maintains a heavy feel. Unbelievable!I thought the The Larger Bowl seemed like a strange name for a song. I have listened to this one a few times, and it just doesn’t work for me. If feels a lot like a filler track.
The guitar riff on Spindrift has a heavy almost haunting feel to it. This is a song about waves crashing in and out, which is a metaphor for a relationship. It is an interesting track but not essential.
The Main Monkey Business is the first of three instrumentals on Snakes & Arrows. The others are the acoustic guitars of Hope and the bass centric Malignant Narcissism. The Main Monkey Business is a great 6 plus minute progressive jam, where the other two are short little two minute romps.
The Way the Wind Blows starts with a bluesy guitar riff that would make Stevie Ray Vaughn proud. It then goes through some varying changes, from bass heavy to light acoustic. This song gets a little lengthy, but is one hell of a cool Rush track.
Faithless is a cool track that you really need to listen to the words to fully absorb.
Bravest Face almost has an alternative feel to it at first with its jangly acoustic guitars. Once Alex Lifeson starts up the howling guitars, and Geddy Lee starts really belting out the notes, I start to take notice. This is one of those songs that goes back and forth in the way it sounds. At first listen I felt it was filler, but the playing is so good, that I have grown to like this track with a few more listens.
Good News First is one of those songs that you need to crank up to fully appreciate it. Alex Lifeson’s guitar is so clean polished sounding it really needs to be listened to a few times to really absorb what you are hearing.
We Hold On is another track that I could hear getting some radio play. It is another solid track, and great way to close out this disc.
The difference between Snakes & Arrows, and other rock albums is you can hear a lot of heart in the music, and can tell that Rush took a lot of time painstakingly putting these tunes together. Even the CD booklet has full color images on ever page with all of the lyrics included.
Snakes & Arrows isn’t a disc full of radio ready hits, although there are some. This is a disc that is more about the music, than making hits. I am sure this will please the majority of Rush fans out there, and a lot of Hard Rock fans in general. Geddy Lee hasn’t lost anything in his vocal range, and the Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart still sound better than many of young guys out there playing today.
Is Snakes & Arrows the best Rush disc I have ever heard? No, but it is very good. I liked this disc from the first note, and will be surely playing this one a lot over the coming weeks. I think a lot of you will be too!
Rating: Out of 10
1. Far Cry
2. Armor and Sword
3. Workin’ Them Angels
4. The Larger Bowl
6. The Main Monkey Business
7. Way the Wind Blows
10. Bravest Face
11. Good News First
12. Malignant Narcissism
13. We Hold On
A great new sleaze band is Rockets to Ruin from Atlanta, Georgia. This band has listed their influences as Guns N’ Roses and Motley Crue, and you can certainly hear it in their music. The debut CD by this four piece outfit was produced by Skid Row’s Rachel Bolan.
Lead singer Cleveland Willis has a punk rock type of voice, so you will either love him or hate him. The music is what makes this band stand out.
Love*Drugs*Rebellion starts off with We are the Drugs which is a raw and heavy sounding tune. It isn’t the strongest of lead off songs that I have heard this year but it is solid.
I prefer Take a Ride With me (straight to Hell) over the first track. This is a great song with lots of replay value. This reminds me of some of L.A. Guns early stuff.
Each time I hear Devil Girl, I like it more and more. I haven’t heard raw sleaze metal like this in a long time.
The guitar riff on Screamin’ At Me is of the typical 3 chord variety, but the track reminds me of early Motley Crue, and that is a good thing.
Burnin’ starts off like a cannon shot into your gut. A killer riff entails, and there are some excellent solos in this song that remind of me of Guns ‘N Roses in a sense.
1 More Fix is the longest track on Love*Drugs*Rebellion, and the band absolutely jams on this track.
Helpless is a catchy number with a very cool sound. Lots of cowbells in the drumming, and more heavy guitars. This is another tune that grows on me with each listen.
Gotta Go, Gotta Roll is another contagious rocker with a great sing along chorus.
Revolution and Nowhere to Go (no Time to Care) both felt like filler tracks to me. I didn’t care for either one very much. The music is good though, and I am betting that some of these songs translate better live.
Rockets to Ruin probably won’t win any awards for originality, but the music is damn good. It is great to hear new bands carrying on the Sleaze Rock tradition in 2007. Love*Drugs*Rebellion is a solid debut, and one that makes me think that Rockets to Ruin will be a band to keep an eye on in the future. Great things are sure to come from this group!
You can listen to more of the band’s tunes at their myspace page here. You can pick their CD up from CDBaby.com.
Rating: Out of 10
- We Are the Drugs
- Take a Ride With Me (straight to Hell)
- Devil Girl
- Screamin’ At Me
- 1 More Fix
- Gotta Go, Gotta Roll
- Nowhere to Go (no Time to Care)
In 2007, Mike Tramp is only original member left of White Lion. Vito Bratta is out of the music business. Greg D’Angelo is drumming for Britny Fox, and James Lomenzo is the current bass player for Megadeth.
In 2003, Mike Tramp tried to relaunch White Lion a few years ago with Warren DeMartini from Ratt, but Vito Bratta wouldn’t let him use the White Lion name, and the whole deal fell through.
It is ironic that, Mike Tramp is using the White Lion name once more, and is touring with RATT this summer, and playing in the Rocklahoma music festival.
Rocking the USA is a double live CD that gives you a taste of Mike Tramp’s White Lion. This disc was produced by Michael Wagener, and has a great sound as a result of it. Mike Tramp must have scoured the globe looking for a guitarist that could reproduce the awesome sound of Vito Bratta, and has succeeded. Guitarist Jamie Law does an pretty amazing job, and sounds very close to his predecessor. For a live CD, these tunes are almost studio quality, and crowd noise is surprisingly minimal for a show this great.
Fans going to the Rocklahoma, and Ratt/Poison shows this summer have something else to be excited about. Although the original band will not be the one playing in front of you, the White Lion sound and tunes are being faithfully reproduced by this current band. White Lion will be a band to keep an eye on in 2007, as they plan to release a new studio disc.
Rocking the USA is a no brain pick up for White Lion fans! This 2 CD, 90 minute set is a great taste of what is to come this summer!
Check out Mike Tramp’s White Lion performing Hungry and Radar Love in the videos below:
Rating: Out of 10
1. Lights and Thunder
3. Lonely Nights
4. Love Don’t Come Easy
5. Broken Heart
6. Fight to Survive
7. Cry for Freedom
8. You’re All I Need
9. Little Fighter
1. It’s Over
2. Living on the Edge
3. Tell Me
5. Lady of the Valley
6. When the Children Cry
7. Radar Love
Regardless of the band he is singing for, one thing is always constant, his awesome vocals. The great fall out of 80′s hard rock probably prevented any chance of Robert Mason being a household name among music fans, and it is a true shame, because this is one talented hard rock singer.
Silent Witness is one of the lesser known bands that Robert has sung for, and this self titled CD was a great find for me on Ebay recently. Silent Witness features Robert Mason on vocals, John Bushnell on guitar, Hal B. Selzer on bass and Lance Hyland Stark on drums. This is a damn good melodic hard rock CD that very few people ever got to know.
John Bushnell has a guitar sound that reminds me more of Neal Schon than George Lynch. This disc is a little lighter than Lynch Mob, and kind of reminds me of Neal Schon’s former band, Hardline, and another band that I like, Cry Wolf.
I would give a track by track break down, but all of the tracks are worth listening to. This is an all killer, no filler disc that will appeal to the majority of the 80′s hard rock fans out there.
I could gripe over the fact that the music lacks originality, and yes, the song writing could be a little better. Quite frankly, I love to find CD’s like this one that still have that great 80′s hard rock sound. This is still a solid effort from Silent Witness, and is a disc that fits in well with a lot of those classic hard rock CD’s from the late 80′s and early 90′s.
You can still find this disc for reasonable prices on Ebay from time to time. I would recommend grabbing this lost classic, if you see it.
Rating:Out of 10
- Can’t Keep From Falling
- Living In A Lie
- Pouring Rain
- I’ll Wait
- Tell Me
- Take Me Back
- Don’t Let A Good Thing Slip Away
- Get Right Back Up
- Wrapped Around Your Finger
- Make This Night Last Forever
Silent Witness is:
Robert Mason – vocals
John Bushnell – guitar
Hal B. Selzer – bass
Lance Hyland Stark – drums
Tarsha is new band led by former Adler’s Appetite singer Sheldon Tarsha.
Prophecies is a good dose of raw in your face Rock and Roll. Sheldon’s time in Guns and Roses must have influenced him well. I can hear some of the G N’R influence in his music, and this hard rock effort has a raw heavy sound that gets better with each listen. Sheldon Tarsha’s vocals are raw, throaty and very cool.
The first track Dirty, has had moderate success on internet radio. This is a heavy track that instantly contagious from the first listen.
Ten Stars Away goes in the complete opposite direction. It is an acoustic driven tune that is one my favorites on Prophecies.
I love the groove to My First Hit, however the chorus is a little too raw for me vocally. I still think this a descent song, and sounds good when played loud.
The guitar work on Skeletons is great. I’m not too sure about the mix of the harpsichord (at least I think that is what is) in the track. As a whole, it is a very cool sounding track.
Galilean Eyes slows the pace down just enough to keep Prophecies interesting. Something about this song and the following track, Let You Go has a Nine Inch Nails feel about it, at least to me.
Why Fight has a similar to sound to Dirty, and includes a guitar riff that sounds as if it was ripped from an 80′s hard rock track. It has a good beat, and I found myself headbanging to this one.
Cynical Christ has an infectious beat with a heavy guitar. This is one of those tracks that needs to grow on you. I could almost hear this track played in some alternative music clubs out there. It is one of those tracks that could go either way.
Apostle has some interesting lyrics, but is not one of my favorites on Prophecies.
Buried on the Inside on the other hand, is an upbeat rocker, with a drum beat that is contagious. This one sounds great loud.
I swear that I have heard the guitar riff on Modern-Era Exodus on the Batman Beyond animated series. It is an ok track, but not one of the best offerings on Prophecies.
Generation H  is one of the lesser heavy sounding tracks on Prophecies. I like the guitar sound on this track a lot. This is an upbeat track with a nice beat, and a solid way to close out this disc.
Prophecies is a pretty good modern rock album that crosses between hard rock and alternative metal. It may take a couple of listens, but it has a pretty cool sound that doesn’t really mimic the work of any current artists. You can hear more of Prophecies at Tarsha’s myspace page and at CDBaby.com.
Rating: out of 10
- Ten Stars Away
- My First Hit
- Galilean Eyes
- Let You Go
- Why Fight
- Cynical Christ
- Buried On The Inside
- Modern-Era Exodus
Shelter is the third offering by the band Trixie. This band features the lead vocals, lead guitar, production and song writing skills of Ronnie Borchert. Judging from the sound of this disc, Ronnie Borchert had got some mad talent. This is a disc that fuses the sound of Def Leppard and Motley Crue, and has a production value that could easily meet the last few efforts by Def Leppard.
If you took the time out to check out Miss Crazy’s debut release you will already have a taste of Ronnie’s song writing and production skills. Both discs are a kick ass throw back to that 80′s hard rock sound, and well worth checking out!
Highlights on this disc include the opening track, Hell Yeah, Day and Night, Inside of Me, You That I’m Wanting, Lookin’ For Love and the cover of the Def Leppard tune, Wasted.
This is one of the better 80′s hard rock sounding discs that I have heard as of late. If you enjoy bands like Def Leppard, Motley Crue, Cinderella and Faster Pussycat, you ought to give Trixie’s Shelter a listen.
Trixie’s Shelter is a great CD worth discovering.
You can also preview a couple of the songs below!
Rating: Out of 10
How does the sequel compare to the original? Just like most sequels, this one is not as good as the original. The dual guitars of Michael Wilton and Mike Stone don’t quite meet up to the great sound of the former dynamic duo of Wilton and Chris DeGarmo. They do sound very good, but maybe not quite as powerful or melodic as the original guitar tandem.
Once upon a time, Geoff Tate’s voice could reach notes that most rock singers could only dream about imitating. Watch the video below; if you aren’t blown away by his amazing vocals, you are probably reading the wrong website:
In 2006, and beyond Geoff Tate can still sing well, but those amazing high notes has moved out of his vocal ability. With that being said, the last few Queensryche releases have been mostly disappointing to me, so my approach to Mindcrime II was timid at best.
Amazingly, I would consider Mindcrime II is the best disc that the band put out since 1994′s Promised Land. Mindcrime II continues on with the story of Nikki, and the infamous Dr. X. It may take you a couple of times to absorb the story from the music, but I am betting you will want to listen to this a few times anyway.
Some of the highlights of this disc are I’m American.
One Foot in Hell is a very cool, heavy progressive number. Hostage is a dark and heavy track that seems to grow on me more with each listen. The Hands is one of those tracks that you will need to listen to over and over a few times. The guitar work is superb, and sounds pretty close to classic Queensryche.
The Chase, featuring the combined vocals of Geoff Tate and (Dr. X) Ronnie James Dio is one of the better Queensryche tracks I have heard in a while. Tate’s and Dio’s voices sound great together.
Fear City Slide has a killer bass groove, and is a very good listen.
Every time I listen to this disc, I hear something different, and tend to like the songs a little more each time. The first time I listened to this disc, I was disappointed, but my opinion has changed with time. This is one of those sleeper discs that needs to grow on you.
This may not be the stellar effort that Operation Mindcrime is, or the hit cranking machine of Empire, but is a solid listen, and certainly essential to every Queensryche fan.
Rating: Out of 10
- Freiheit Over
- I’m American
- One Foot in Hell
- The Hands
- Speed of Light
- Signs Say Go
- Re-Arrange You
- The Chase
- If I Could Change It All
- An Intentional Confrontation
- A Junkie’s Blues
- Fear City Slide
- All the Promises
White Tiger is the band that Mark started up after he left KISS. His band mates are one time Black Sabbath singer, David Donato, Mark’s brother Michael Norton on bass, and Brian James Fox on drums.
White Tiger has a heavier sound that falls somewhere between KISS and Black Sabbath.
Rock Warriors is a very cool track that was not mixed very well. Donato’s vocals get washed out by the guitars and bass on this track. The remixed version of Rock Warriors on this disc, takes care of this problem, and is a much better sounding version.
Love/Hate is an upbeat song with a great guitar sound. Bad Time Coming is a mide tempo song that has a heavy bass groove by Norton, and great vocals by David Donato. This is a good song, and could have been a potential hit for this band.
The production on Runaway sounds a little muddy to me, but the song is good, and its style kind of reminds me of Savatage. Mark St.John has some excellent soloing on this track.
Still Standing Strong is a very good heavy track. The mixing on this track was heavy on the guitars and bass, Donato’s vocals get a little washed out, but its still a good song.
Live to Rock is a catchy track with simple lyrics. Mark St. John has more excellent solos on this song. Very cool!
I love Mark St.John’s guitar sound on Northern Wind. It reminds me a great deal of John Sykes guitar work on the Whitesnake album. This is another cool song.
On Stand & Deliver, David Donato’s vocals stand tall, and Mark St.John plays great thoughout.
White Hot Desire is a good ass kicking track that reminds me some of RIOT.
You can still find White Tiger’s CD on the net in a few places. This CD does have its production issues, but itt is a solid listen, and worth picking up to discover the work of fallen rock warrior and guitar hero, Mark St. John.
Rest in Peace, Mark!
Rating: Out of 10
- Rock Warriors
- Love / Hate
- Bad Time Coming
- Still Standing Strong
- Live To Rock
- Northern Wind
- Stand And Deliver
- White Hot Desire
- Rock Warriors (Remix)*
Thunderstone is no exception. This is one kick ass Finnish power metal band.
Thunderstone features Pasi Rantanen on vocals, Nino Laurenne on guitar, Titus Hjelm on bass, Kari Tornack on keyboards and Mirka Rantanen on drums.
Pasi Rantanen has a vocal style similar to that of Johnny Gioeli of Hardline, and the band has a sound that reminds me of a heavy Dream Theater. Thunderstone’s Evolution 4.0 is one kick ass, heavy, melodic metal disc.
If you like the music in the two videos below, you are going to love Evolution 4.0. It is an all killer, no filler disc.
Face in the Mirror
This disc is full of great vocals, excellent guitars, kick ass double bass drumming, and is a amazing listen from beginning to end. This disc will be one to compete for the top 10 metal discs of 2007 at the Hard Rock Hideout. Yes, it is that good! Check it out!
Rating: Out of 10
1. Evolution 4.0
3. Roots Of Anger
4. 10 000 Ways
5. Holding On To My Pain
7. Down With Me
8. Face In The Mirror
9. Solid Ground
10. The Source
11. Great Man Down
Fast Forward to 2007! Danny Vaughn has experienced mild success with his previous offerings in Waysted, and later Tyketto. 21 Years later, Danny is off on his own and has released a solo disc under his own name. He is joined by his band mates, guitarists Tony Marshall (Contagious) and Pat Heath ( Brave New World), plus Steve McKenna (Ten) on bass and Lee Morris (Paradise Lost) on drums.
If you enjoyed the Tyketto disc, Don’t Come Easy, you may want to give Traveller a listen.
This disc starts off out with a very catchy, Journey like track right out of the gate, Miracle Days. Badlands Rain has a great guitar sound and excellent vocals to boot.
The title track, Traveller is a very positive, upbeat song, and is one of this disc’s highlights.
Restless Blood sounds as if it could have been a leftover Tyketto song, I couldn’t be happier with its sound. This is another great melodic rock song.
Thats What She Says is an acoustic based number that Danny Vaughn shines on vocally. The video below for the song was taken from the acoustic set, where Danny was opening for Journey in London on March 14th, 2007.
The Touch of Your Hand is a low tempo number and to me, Traveller’s first snoozer. Some people may like this song, but it was a bit too slow for my tastes.
Lifted is a good piano based number. This song may be a little too light for some, but it isn’t a bad song by any means. This song comes across to me as a Christian rock tune. That is the vibe I get from this one.
The Warriors Way is much heavier than the last two offerings, and is a much needed change, at this point on Traveller. This is another solid track on Traveller.
The Measure Of A Man has a very country feel about it. Either you like country, or you don’t. I don’t hate it, but I don’t want it on my rock albums either. (HINT HINT BON JOVI!) I usually skip this track.
Think of Me in the Fall made me want to smack the hell out of the person playing the triangle. (At least that is what I believe it to be anyway.) I skip this song as well.
Death by the Tiger and Better By Far failed to excite me and felt like more filler.
Traveller as a whole is not a bad effort by any means. Danny Vaughn still has one of the better voices in the business, and the songs here reflect this. Traveller starts off strong, but about mid way through begins to take a tail slide. A couple more heavy tracks could have helped this disc out quite a bit. It was a bit too light for my tastes in a few places. While not all of the songs appeal to me me, fans of good melodic rock will probably eat this disc up. You can hear more of Danny Vaughn’s tunes at his myspace page here.
Rating:Out of 10
1. Miracle Days
2. Badlands Rain
4. Restless Blood
5. Thats What She Says
6. The Touch Of Your Hand
8. The Warriors Way
9. The Measure Of A Man
10. Think Of Me In The Fall
11. Death Of The Tiger
12. Better By Far
Tyketto was just getting rolling around the time that the grunge movement took over the hard rock scene, and stalled out any progress they were making.
It is a shame as Don’t Come Easy is a very good melodic rock CD. This CD did not give Tyketto the recognition that they deserved.
The opening track Forever Young was a staple on the nationally syndicated Z-Rock hard rock radio station, and was getting airplay on MTV’s Headbanger’s Ball back in the day.
Wings was also another semi hit for the band and also had a video on MTV. Danny Vaughn sounds great on this track and is one of my favorites here.
Seasons is an outstanding acoustic guitar based song. This song should have been released as a another single. It really is that good.
Standing Alone is the third single released from Don’t Come Easy. This is a great power ballad from this disc. Check out the video below, if you don’t remember this track.
Lay Your Body Down is pure 80′s cheese metal. The music for this track almost reminds me of RATT in some places. Nonetheless, it is a fun song, and worth checking out.
Walk on Fire starts out acoustically ala Uncle Tom’s Cabin, but then busts out into a much heavier but melodic track.
Nothing But Love is an ok track but is not one of my favorites here, however, this isn’t a filler song by any means.
Danny Vaughn is a fan of the blues and shows it on Strip Me Down as he breaks out the blues harp on the intro and body of the song. This is a funky track and very upbeat.
Sail Away has a Slaughter like bass groove about it, but it is a very cool and upbeat way to close out Don’t Come Easy.
A few things really stand out on this disc. The production is top notch, and the band sounds like a million bucks. Danny Vaughn’s voice is fantastic throughout the whole recording, and the whole band is as solid as ever. If this disc was released a couple of years earlier, it would have had much greater success. If you are a fan of good pop metal and maybe some glam, you ought to check this disc out. If you enjoyed the videos above, then this disc is a no brainer for you. This disc is becoming increasingly harder to find, and is starting to fetch higher dollars on EBay now. If you don’t own this, the time to get it is now!
Rating: Out of 10
- Forever Young
- Burning Down Inside
- Standing Alone
- Lay Your Body Down
- Walk On Fire
- Nothing But Love
- Strip Me Down
- Sail Away
Waysted is the hard rock band formed by former UFO bassist, Pete Way. Save Your Prayers is the bands’ fourth studio disc, and first featuring vocalist Danny Vaughn. This is the highest charting release (#185) for Waysted to date.
Save Your Prayers starts with a very good upbeat rocker Walls Fall Down. Black and Blue was a small hit in the U.S.
Former UFO guitarist Paul Chapman cuts loose on Heroes Die Young. His guitar work on this song is superb. If you aren’t singing along with Danny Vaughn before this song is done, you need to have your head examined. This is a lost classic that should have helped Waysted become a household name.
Heaven Tonight may be the song that everyone remembers Waysted for. The band re-recorded this track which originally was on their The Good, The Bad, The Waysted disc from 1985. This is a killer track, and almost makes Save Your Prayers worth picking up for this song alone.
How The Wast Was Won is a very good keyboard/guitar driven rocker that reminds me somewhat of some the hard rocking songs by Journey.
Wild Night is a high-speed, head banging tune. Paul Chapman breaks loose on this track, and drummer Johnny Dee pounds the hell out of his drums and makes himself heard.
Something about Out of Control reminds me a ton of Y&T. Danny Vaughn sounds a lot like Dave Meniketti on this track. It is one of the heavier tracks on Save Your Prayers. It isn’t the best song that I have ever heard, but I like it.
A great power ballad So Long closes this disc. Danny Vaughn’s voice shines on this track. It wouldn’t have listened to this track a second time if it wasn’t for his excellent voice.
After listening to Waysted’s Save Your Prayers again for the first time in a long time, I realized how under rated this band is. Save Your Prayers is a very good melodic hard rock disc, and still a worthy pick up in 2007. This disc was re-released in 2004 by Majestic Records with two bonus tracks, and again in 2006 as a 21st Anniversary collection with a 2nd live disc. Don’t let this one slip past you again. Its well worth your money. Check it Out!
Rating: Out of 10
1. Walls Fall Down
2. Black & Blue
3. Singing To The Night
4. Hell Comes Home
5. Heroes Die Young
6. Heaven Tonight
7. How The Wast Was Won
8. Wild Night
9. Out Of Control
10. So Long
Thundersteel marked a new era in Riot history, as singer Tony Moore joined the band, and for the first time, Riot moved from a hard rock sound to more of a heavy/power metal outfit. This was the first of two discs featuring a solid lineup of Mark Reale on guitar, Tony Moore on vocals, Don Van Stavern on Bass and Bobby Jarzombek on Drums
Thundersteel should have put Riot on the map in a big way in , but this disc went largely unnoticed by hard rock fans in the U.S. CBS did not promote this, so it crashed and burned quickly. At a time when most labels were promoting their bands with music videos etc, the little band that could, Riot, continued to struggle but move forward.
Thundersteel had all the makings to become a top seller. It has the awesome vocals by Tony Moore and Mark Reale’s over the top guitar playing.
The opening cut Thundersteel is a huge power metal offering that has more in common with the power metal sound in 2007, than the hard rock of 1988. Nonetheless, you can not deny the power of this song, or the soaring vocals of Tony Moore.
Fight or Fall keeps the pace moving with a full out attack of chugging guitars and the pounding drums of Bobby Jarzombek. This is another great head banging track.
Sign of the Crimson Storm takes the tempo down a notch from the first two songs. I like this track a lot. Mark Reale cuts loose and has some great solos on this track. This song mixes well with today’s hard rock and metal and is always a good listen.
Flight of the Warrior cranks it back up again. The chugging bass of Don Van Stavern gives this track a remote Iron Maiden like feel to it. It is another great head banger.
On Wings of Eagles doesn’t let you catch your breath. At this point I was hoping that Riot would throw in a slower track. Mark Reale cuts loose big time on this track. It is a little repetitive after Flight of the Warrior, but it is still a solid track and the guitar work is excellent.
Johnny’s Back is an ultra cool headbanger with ultra fast bass riffs and guitar licks. Tony Moore approaches Tony Harnell octave level on this song. I can’t begin to tell you how cool this song is.
Bloodstreets is the closest thing to a radio friendly hit on Thundersteel. This is another highlight on this album.
Run For Your Life is a solid rocker leading up to the closing track Buried Alive. It isn’t my favorite track here but it is good.
Buried Alive (Tell Tale Heart) is the longest song on this disc, clocking in close to nine minutes in length. This song has a heavy Judas Priest feel to it. This song to me is a little too lengthy, but it does have its moments. It features a great melodic intro, and some Halford like screaming by Tony Moore. The song has some creepy Sabbath like elements at times, and Reale’s guitar work shines here. It is an interesting heavy track to close out Thundersteel.
After listening to Thundersteel again in 2007, it is amazing to me that this music was written and played back 1988. Tony Moore’s vocals really help to make this disc shine, and the music by the band is very tight. Thundersteel is a lost metal classic that deserves a few new ears today. You can often find this disc for around 10 dollars today, and is well worth the price. Check it out!
Rating: Out of 10
- Fight or Fall
- Sign of the Crimson Storm
- Flight of the Warrior
- On Wings of Eagles
- Johnny’s Back
- Run For Your Life
- Buried Alive (Tell Tale Heart)