This self titled disc is the 2nd studio release by Big Cock. If you heard the first disc, Year of the Cock, you already probably familiar with this band’s 80′s Hard Rock Sound. The sound has not changed on Big Cock’s sophomore effort. They lyrics may be a little more explicit at times, and some of lyrics are dripping with sexual humor.
There are a few stand out tracks on this disc, including Real Man, Ride on Me, Real Hard, Get Me Up and the straight forward cover of the Tom Jones’ song, She’s A Lady.
Ride on Me
So Easy Bein’ Me has a punk feel to it, and reminds me of when Motley Crue covered Anarchy in the UK.
I could have lived without a couple of the songs, including the 50′s sounding Scottsdale Girls, and country flavored Let’s Make Love. Both of these tracks seem out of place here. The lyrics for Scottsdale Girls are kind of funny, but something about this song has a 50′s, Jimmy Buffett, Beach Boys, bubble gum type of feel about it.
I wonder if Robert Mason is about ready to bust a gut, while trying to keep a straight face singing Every Inch of My Love. The lyrics are pure cheese, but this is still a cool sounding track. This is the closest thing you will get to a power ballad from Big Cock.
Take Me and Booze My Baby are ok tracks, but are nothing special.
As a whole, I tend to like this Big Cock disc, a little more than the debut effort. Big Cock’s sound and delivery are constant on both discs, and are a solid listen. This disc still wont make Robert Mason a household name, but it sounds like he enjoys what he is doing, and that comes across in the music.
Neither one of the Big Cock discs will set your world on fire, but if you like bands with that great 80′s hard rock sound, and are a fan of bands like Lynch Mob, and AC/DC, you will probably want to both of them. If you pick one, I’d say this is the one to get.
- Second Coming
- Fucked Up
- Real Man
- Ride on Me
- Real Hard
- She’s A Lady
- So Easy Bein’ Me
- Every Inch of My Love
- Dirty Girl
- Scottsdale Girls
- Get Me Up
- Take Me
- Booze & My Baby
- Let’s Make 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
If you have been wondering whatever happened to Kix, look no further than the band Funny Money. Funny Money features former Kix members, Steve Whiteman on vocals, and Jimmy Chalfant on drums. The band has gone through some line up changes over the years, but Funny Money has formed a solid four piece lineup with former Centerfold bassist, Mark Schenker and Rob Galpin on lead guitar.
Stick It, is the third studio album by Funny Money, and may be the best one yet. Legendary producer Beau Hill, mixed this disc, and all of the songs flow well as a result of it. Stick It should give Kix fans everything they have been wanting. This is a very strong offering full of AC/DC style, blues infested hard rock.
Check out a couple of tracks below:
About Women is a live video performance by Funny Money.
Slow to Blow is a great track that will give you an idea of what you will hear on Stick It.
If you like either of the tracks above, you need to pick this up. This is a disc that will appeal to 80′s Hard Rock fans, Kix fans, and probably quite a few AC/DC fans as well. It is solid all the way through, and well worth checking out.
Buy It! You will be glad you did!
Rating: Out of 10
- By The Balls
- Hot On Your Heels
- Big Bang Boom
- All Tied Up
- Fool’s Confession
- Slow To Blow
- Nowhere At All
- Play Me Like A Rhythm
- Thousand Thank Yous
- Weeds And Roses
- About Women
Funny Money is:
Steve Whiteman – Vocals
Jimmy Chalfant – Drums
Mark Schenker – Bass
Rob Galpin – Lead Guitar
Killing the Dragon is the 9th DIO studio disc, and the first to feature current Whitesnake guitarist Doug Aldrich. Craig Goldy was not available for Killing the Dragon as he just recently had gotten married and his wife had a newborn child. Goldy did leave his mark on a few tracks, and has writing credits on Throw away Children, Rock ‘N Roll, and Push.
Doug Aldrich, on the other hand ,had played in quite a few hard rock bands prior to DIO, including Lion, Bad Moon Rising, House of Lords and Hurricane. He was the perfect replacement for Goldy at the time, and his guitar work on Killing the Dragon is awesome.
Killing the Dragon stars this disc off with a high tempo rocker. Doug Aldrich establishes himself quickly by showing off his mad guitar skills. This track sounds like classic DIO to me.
The heaviness continues with Along Comes the Spider. There are plenty of chugging guitars on this track. Sure the title and chorus is kind of silly, but the music is great.
Scream is one of the better tracks on this disc. Its a pretty solid song with some excellent guitar noodling by Aldrich.
Better in the Dark is an excellent upbeat rocker with a cool guitar riff by Aldrich. Dio sounds great here but Aldrich steals the show with some killer guitar solos!
Rock ‘n Roll is one an extremely cool track on Killing the Dragon. This song has an very heavy bass riff. Dio’s voice sounds amazing here. As a whole, this is a very heavy track, and a cool one at that.
Push is probably my favorite track off of Killing the Dragon. Aldrich reminds me of Jake E. Lee on this track. Its a cool song with excellent vocals by Dio. This song may be a little less heavy than some of the other tracks here, but it works.
Guilty would have to be a close 2nd to Push as my favorite on this disc. This is another rocker that kicks ass. This track is also not quite as heavy as some of other tracks on Killing the Dragon.
The guitar work on Throw Away Children is absolutely superb. If it wasn’t for Aldrich’s playing, I would probably skip this track.
Before the Fall has a very Deep Purple sounding keyboard throughout the song, but the guitars are far heavier than any Deep Purple track. Once again, the guitar work is great, but I consider this an average DIO track. It is good, but not great.
The keyboards on Cold Feet give this song a less heavy feel to it. I like this song, but I don’t think I would have placed this as the last song on the disc.
Bottom line, If you want to hear an above average hard rock disc, with amazing vocals and stellar guitar work, you need to pick up Killing the Dragon. There are at least 4 songs on this disc that are mainstays on my play list today. DIO fans should not hesitate picking this up.
Rating: Out of 10
- Killing the Dragon
- Along Comes a Spider
- Better in the Dark
- Rock ‘n Roll
- Throw Away Children
- Before the Fall
- Cold Feet
Ronnie James Dio – vocals
Doug Aldrich – guitar
Jimmy Bain – bass, keyboards
Simon Wright – drums
Back in 1989 when Udo Dirkschneider was pursuing a solo career, the band Accept carried on without him, recording a new disc with the mostly unknown David Reece ( who would later form Bangalore Choir).
Most Accept fans will cuss and swear that this isn’t real Accept music. Personally, I think David Reece is a hell of a singer, and I got a lot of enjoyment out of this disc. His vocal style is about 70% Rob Halford and 30% Paul Stanley. Eat the Heat is more of a melodic effort than the Dirkschneider efforts, and sounds quite similar to the other hard rock and hair metal bands in the late 80′s and early 90′s.
This disc should have been much bigger than it was. Take a listen to Love Sensation and you will totally understand what I mean.
This disc rarely gets any mention today, and zero airplay from any of places that I listen to hard rock and metal. There are several stand out tracks on this disc including: X-T-C, Prisoner, Love Sensation, Hellhammer, and Break the Ice.
I think this disc will appeal to most fans of 80′s Hard Rock, Judas Priest fans, and Accept fans with an open mind. This disc is available in wide circulation still, including Amazon.com, and ITunes. Check it Out!
Rating: Out of 10
- Love Sensation
- Chain Reaction
- Generation Clash
- Turn the Wheel
- Stand 4 What U R
- Break the Ice
David Reece – Vocals
Wolf Hoffmann – Guitars
Jim Stacey – Guitars
Peter Baltes – Bass Guitar
Stefan Kaufmann – Drums
I hesitated picking up the new Skid Row disc, Revolutions Per Minute, as I heard some awful things about it. I listened to the song, Shut Up Baby I Love You from the Classic Rock Magazine Sampler CD and I was surprised that it reminded me of Slave to the Grind era Skid Row.
I tend to be a little more open minded than the average music consumer, so I decided to give this CD a try. I like the first disc, Thickskin with Texas native, Johnny Solinger on vocals, so I figured why not.
If you go into this disc expecting to hear tracks like Youth Gone Wild, or 18 and Life, you will greatly be disappointed. This disc is more of a punk flavored disc than anything remotely similar to Sebastian Bach era Skid Row.
I am including a track by track run down so you can get a better feel for the CD.
Disease is a heavy track that could have easily been a left over from Slave to the Grind. This is a solid track and a crank worthy one at that.
Another Dick In the System is a pretty good rocker. I like this track a lot. You can’t deny the catchiness of this track. This is actually better than the first track.
Pulling My Heart Out From Under Me starts moving in the punk direction. It is a mid tempo number, but its not bad.
When God Can’t Wait is the first track that made me say,”what the fuck?” This sounds like a part punk, part country, part Irish Beer swaying kind of song. This song is just bad.
Thank God Shut Up Baby I Love You was the next track after that last filler crap song. This is one of the better tracks on this disc, and reminds me the most of older Skid Row material.
Strength is a cover of an Alarm track. This is a pretty good song. I do not remember the Alarm version of this song, so I can’t tell if this is faithful to the original track or not. This is one of the better tracks on this disc.
White Trash is in the punk vein. I’m not crazy about the music style, but I like the lyrics of this song.
You Lie is a country rock toungue in cheek sort of track. It is hard to take this track seriously, but I bet they have fun playing this live. (I am wondering if this song is about Baz.) This is one of my least favorite tracks on this disc.
Nothing is a pretty good upbeat rocker. I have listened to this track a few times, and it is growing on me more.
Love is Dead is just ok to me. It isn’t bad, but I couldn’t get into it.
Let it Ride is a punk flavored rock track. I couldn’t really get into this song at all. It was just noise to me. I thought this was a poor way to close this disc out.
If you compare this to Skid Row’s early work, you are probably going to hate this disc. If you can honestly listen without comparing the two, you might get something out of this CD. For me personally, I like Thickskin better than this disc. I don’t like the punk elements, and hope this was temporary insanity for the band. I consider them a hard rock band, not a punk band. At first listen, I did not like this disc at all. I decided to spin it a few more times before reviewing, and listening it at higher volumes. It honestly sounds like quite a few of these songs will translate well live. It just isn’t what Skid Row fans will be expecting. You can hear some of Skid Row’s songs at their myspace page.
Rating: Out of 10
- Another Dick in the System
- Pulling My Heart Out from Under Me
- When God Can Wait
- Shut Up Baby I Love You
- White Trash
- You Lie
- Love is Dead
- Let it Ride
Skid Row is:
Johnny Solinger – lead vocals
Scotti Hill – lead guitar
Dave “The Snake” Sabo – rhythm guitar, backing vocals
Rachel Bolan – bass guitar, backing vocals
Dave Gara – drums
Saliva is back with their 5th release, Blood Stained Love Story. Saliva has upgraded their sound for this record. This disc has more of a main stream sound than the nu-metal songs of their past. I decided to give this disc a look due to Saliva’s excellent debut at 19th on the Billboard charts. I have liked some of their songs in the past, and “Ladies and Gentleman” is a song that you can not ignore.
I am betting that you will hear quite a few cuts off of this “Blood Stained Love Story” on mainstream rock radio. This reminds me a lot of Stone Temple Pilot at times, but then at times ventures into something completely different.
I tend to lean towards the harder edged tracks like “Ladies and Gentleman”, “King of the Stereo”,”Twister” and “Black Sheep”. The Nickelback like “Starting Over” is also pretty good.
I found the slower tracks some boring, and I didn’t think there was enough to help Saliva stand out from the countless other sound-a-like acts on the radio.
This disc probably will not set fans of big hair hard rock on fire, but if you enjoy some of the groups enjoying main stream rock radio success today like Hinder, Nickelback and Daughtry, you will want to check this disc out. Is this Saliva’s best CD? No, not by a long shot, but those with an open mind will find some tunes to enjoy.
You can listen to some of the bands new tracks here!
- Ladies and Gentleman
- Broken Sunday
- Never Gonna Change
- King of the Stereo
- One More Chance
- Going Under
- Black Sheep
- Starting Over
- Here With You
- Is It You (Bonus Track)
- Write Your Name (Bonus Track)
Josey Scott – Vocals
Wayne Swinny – Guitars
Jon Montoya – Guitars
Dave Novotny – Bass
Paul Crosby – Drums
If you want to hear a band that knows how to do 80′s Style Hard Rock right, you need to give Crash Diet’s, Rest In Sleaze a listen. Crashdiet has a sound that is similar to Shotgun Messiah in their prime, and maybe a little bit of Zan Clan. This disc is full of fist-pumping, kick ass rock and roll.
Crashdiet has 4 hit singles in Sweden from this disc, Riot In Everyone, Knokk ‘Em Down, Breakin the Chainz, and It’s a Miracle. This another example of excellent music being released over seas that never gets any attention in the United States!
Sadly, In January 2006, vocalist Dave Lepard committed suicide after being in a deep depression, so will never know how far this band could have gone with this lineup. Judging from this debut effort, they could have been huge globably.
The tunes here speak for themselves. It is great stuff that no hard rock or sleaze metal fan should be without!
You can still pick this up reasonably from CD Inzane. Buy It! You wont be disappointed.
Knokk ‘Em Down
Riot in Everyone
Queen Obscene (69 Shots) – LIVE
Breakin the Chainz
Needle in Your Eye – LIVE
It’s A Miracle
Back on Trakk
Rating:Out of 10
- Knokk ‘Em Down
- Riot In Everyone
- Queen Obscene (69 Shots)
- Breakin’ The Chainz
- Needle in Your Eye
- Out of Line
- It’s A Miracle
- Straight Out of Hell
- Back On Trakk
Day 7 of the 10 Days of Jorn, brings us to the third solo disc by Jorn Lande, Out to Every Nation.
This disc features a new lineup of musicians includingJorn Viggo Lofstad (Pagan’s Mind) on Guitar, Magnus Rosen (Hammerfall) on Bass and Stian Kristoffersen (Pagan’s Mind) on Drums.
Out to Every Nation is not my favorite disc in my Jorn Lande collection. After the stellar release Worldchanger, this disc did not live up to my expectations. I kept looking for a track that jumped out at me like Christine or Sunset Station, and it just never materialized.
With that being said, this is still an above average disc, and an above average disc from Jorn is usually ten times better than anything else out there.
There are a few noteworthy moments on Out to Every Nation worth mentioning.
Young Forever is a scorching hot track to start this disc off with. The title track Out to Every Nation is another cool song in the vein of Whitensnake. Something Real features some excellent guitar work by Jorn Viggo.
Living With Wolves reminds me of a cross between DIO and Dream Theater which is very cool. The Jorn Viggo guitar solo on Vision Eyes is superb.
The Whitesnakish Rock Spirit and the awesome guitars on Through Day and Night are growing on me each time I hear them.
The Japanese bonus track Big is awesome! This track sounds like it was a left over from Worldchanger.
This is the type of disc that needs to grown on you with a few listens. It gets progressively better with each spin. Jorn Lande sounds great, as does the band backing him up. This is a disc that may get over looked over time, but there is enough decent material on Out to Every Nation making this a disc worth picking up. I recommend the Japanese version that comes with the bonus track and the video below!
Check out the video below for Living With Wolves!
Living With Wolves
Rating: Out of 10
- Young Forever
- Out To Every Nation
- Something Else
- Living With Wolves
- Vision Eyes
- One Day We Will Put Out the Sun
- Behind the Clown
- Rock Spirit
- Through Day and Night
- When Angel Wings Were White
- Big (Japanese Bonus Track)
Jorn Lande – Vocals
Magnus Rosén – Bass
Jörn Viggo Lofstad – Guitars
Stian Kristoffersen – Drums
Ronny Tegner – Keyboards
Day 2 of the 10 days of Jorn introduces the debut of Jorn Lande as a solo artist.
With ten songs, five of which are cover songs, one might think Jorn has no song writing skills, or doesn’t have the talent to back up a solo career.
I would have to say wrong on both counts. Most of the covers songs on this discs, are not well known tracks by the average person. After hearing Jorn rearrange these tracks, one will forget that they are cover tunes very quickly. I bet many people will break out their discs by the original artists to discover Jorn’s versions far superior.
Starfire is a brilliantly produced CD, with a good mix of Metal and AOR tracks, all featuring the powerful vocals of Jorn.
How do the songs stack up? Fantastic. Jorn enlisted the help of some amazing, all-star caliber musicians on this disc. You can tell by the quality of each track, that he was trying to put out an excellent disc for his fans.
The title track, Starfire starts this disc off with pure AOR goodness. This track is melodic, yet it exudes such power. There are not enough tracks that come out today that sounds this good.
Edge of the Blade is a cover of the Journey track from the 1983 disc Frontiers. This song features the very Neal Schon like guitar work of Millenium’s Ralph Santolla. I think Jorn’s vocal is definite improvement over Steve Perry on this track.
Whether you remember, the Foreigner track Break it Up from the 1981 disc 4, you will recognize the music styling almost immediately. This is a very good cover by Jorn Lande featuring Millenium’s Shane French on guitar. This group has the Foreigner down to a science. (Now If Jorn would only sing, Dirty White Boy, that would be something extemely cool to hear.)
I did not realize The Day the Earth Caught Fire was a cover by City Boy. That band may have been before my time, but nonetheless I found this track very enjoyable. This is another pure AOR track featuring the flying fret work of TNT’s Ronni Lé Tekrø
Ark band mate Tore Ostby andJorn absolutely smoke on the Deep Purple cover Burn. This is one hell of a cover, that sounds as good, if not better than the original. You will hear this track again on a new cover album coming out in 2007. (Hint, Hint)
I had a hard time getting into End Come Easy, but I have listened to this multiple times and it has grown on me somewhat. This track has an experimental Led Zeppelin orAerosmith kind of feel to it. I haven’t been able to put my finger on it exactly. It has a Middle Eastern style about it.
The Jefferson Starship track, Just the Same from the 1979 release Freedom at Point Zero is well covered by Jorn and his all-star group featuringTore Ostby (Ark) on guitar, and TNT band members Jon Macaluso on drums and Dag Stokke on keyboards.This track features an awesome bass groove, and has melodic keyboards that are empowered by Jorn’s commanding vocals.
If Zakk Wylde were to play with Jorn Lande, it would sound just like Abyss of Evil. After the other AOR tracks on Starfire, Abyss of Evil kicks you in the head with its excellent 80′s style hard rock heaviness. Abyss of Evil is my favorite track on Starfire, and luckily this track will also show up on a new Jorn disc in 2007.
After the heaviness of the previous track, Forever Yoursalmost seems out of place. This is an acoustic driven number on which Jorn sounds a lot like Jeff Scott Soto. It is a beautiful song, but it seems out of place sandwiched between Abyss of Evil and the monster closing track Gate of Tears.
Jorn breaks out his best Ronnie James Dio voice for Gate of Tears. This monster of a track sounds like it could have been on a Dio era Black Sabbath disc. This is an awesome heavy track, and killer one to close out Starfire. I don’t find it surprising at all that this will be the 3rd track from Starfire to show up on The Gathering!
Bottomline, Starfire is an awesome disc, with a good mixtures of AOR, metal and Hard Rock. This disc gives you a good taste of the amazing talent of Jorn, and should be in everyone’s music collection!
Rating: Out of 10
- Edge of the Blade
- Break It Up
- The Day the Earth Caught Fire
- End Come Easy
- Just the Same
- Abyss of Evil
- Forever Yours
- Gate of Tears
Jorn Lande – Vocals
Tore Ostby – Guitar, Bass
John Macaluso – Drums
Dag Stokke – Keyboards
Ralph Santolla – Guitar
Ronni Le Tekrø – Guitar on track 4
Tore Moren – Guitar
Willy Bendiksen – Drums
Jon A. Narum – Drums, Guitar, Bass, Sampling, Melotrone
For the Next 10 Days I will be posting new reviews on releases from Jorn Lande’s Discography, leading up to the reviews of the hot new January releases, Unlocking the Past and the Gathering. I am going to cover a lot of different material, so stay tuned to the Hard Rock Hideout and check back daily for more reviews, videos and music worth listening to!
Day 1 has now been posted. Check out the review for Ark’s Self Titled Debut from 1999 here.
Day 2 has now been posted. Check out the review for Jorn’s debut as a solo artist, Starfire.
Day 3 has been posted. Check out the review for Ark’s 2nd disc, Burn the Sun!
Day 4 has now been posted. There are some awesome videos to go along with this next review. Be sure to check back and check out the review for JORN – Worldchanger
Day 5 is up! Check out the review for debut by Masterplan!
Day 6 is now up! Check out the review for Jorn’s work on the Brazen Abbot disc, Guilty As Sin.
Day 7 has been posted! Check out the review for the Junior Solo Effort by Jorn, Out To Every Nation
Day 8 is up! Check out the 2nd Amazing Disc by Masterplan – Aeronautics.
Day 9 is here! Check out the incredible release Allen / Lande – The Battle.
Tomorrow night is the Grand Finale to the 10 Days of Jorn!! Be Here for not one but two new Jorn Lande reviews! Until then, check out the top 26 songs by Jorn Lande on Last FM here.
I hope you all enjoyed this segment! I hope to do more things like this in the future at the Hard Rock Hideout!
Quite possibly one of the best discs of 2005 is Lipservice, the 10th release by Swedish rockers Gotthard. Gotthard is well known in the UK and Europe, but continue to go unnoticed in the United States. It is really a shame, because a record this good should really be heard by the masses.
“Lipservice” has gone Double Platinum in Switzerland and continues to sell well everywhere but in the United States.
Gotthard has a sound that falls somewhere between Def Leppard and Bon Jovi, but”Lipservice” is a stronger release than either of those bands have put out in years.
Whether you want some rocking pop metal songs or some power ballads, “Lip Service” has it all.
“All We Are”, and “Dream On” start this disc off right by rocking. “Lift You Up”, should have been a massive hit here. “Everything I Want“, is an awesome Def Leppard like power ballad, and “Cupid’s Arrow” sounds a lot like a Whitesnake track musically.
“I’m Alive” is an excellent heavy track with a killer vocal by Steve Lee. “Stay For the Night” and “Anytime Anywhere” could have both been radio hits. Both tracks have a sound that is similar to House of Lords.
“Said and Done” is another quality rock track with excellent guitars of Leo Leoni and Freddy Scherer.
“Nothing Left At All” is an acoustic guitar, piano based ballad that could have been another big hit.
There is a lot to like on Lip Service. This is a very upbeat and clean sounding record. It has a good mix of excellent vocals, and great sounding guitars, crafting one of the best Hard Rock/Melodic metal discs I have ever heard. Fans of Def Leppard, Bon Jovi, Whitesnake and the Scorpions are going to like this disc a lot. All other should at least give this a listen too.
Here are a couple of videos from Lip Service for you to check out!
Lift You Up
- All We Are
- Dream On
- Lift You Up
- Everything I Want
- Cupid’s Arrow
- I Wonder
- I’m Alive
- I’ve Seen An Angel Cry
- Stay For the Night
- Anytime Anywhere
- Said and Done
- The Other Side of Me
- Nothing Left At All
- And Then Goodbye
Steve Lee – vocals
Leo Leoni – guitars
Mandy Meyer – guitars
Marc Lynn – bass guitar
Hena Habegger – drums
One of the many bands lost in the shuffle of the grunge movement of the early 90′s was Indianapolis natives Sweet F.A.
I had the pleasure of seeing these guys live a few times before they broke up, and they always put on a good show.
Stick To Your Guns is the debut disc by this 5 piece unit of Steven David DeLong on vocals, Jon “Lightning” Huffman and James Thunder on guitars, Jim Quick on bass and Tricki Lane on drums.
This band has a great sound, which is a cross of sleaze metal and a dash of southern rock. They seemed ripe to make it big back in the early 90s but they never seemed to get the marketing push they needed by MCA to get them over the hump. They had the look, the swagger, the sound to get them there, but MCA didn’t really know how to market Hard Rock artists very well, and their success was cut short, way too early.
There are some excellent tunes on this disc that still hold up pretty well today. Prince of the City is a great high energy track to start this disc off with. Nothin’ For Nothin’ is another sleazy rocker that reminds me of the Bullet Boys quite a bit. The beat and groove of Rhythm of Action is killer. Whiskey River is a powerful rocker in the vein of Skid Row. The acoustic power ballad Heart of Gold is easily as good as anything you heard from the more successful bands of the era (Warrant, Poison, Cinderella). This disc ends with the acoustic track Southern Comfort. This is a very cool song to end this disc with.
This is one of those CD’s that 80′s hard rock fans can break out at any time and still enjoy. Great vocals, and musicianship by the Sweet F.A. guys. This is one of those discs that is out of print and is becoming harder to find, so pick one of these up if you can get your hands on it!
Rating: Out of 10
Here is the video for Rhythm of Action:
- Prince of the City
- Nothin’ for Nothin’
- Rhythm of Action
- Do A Little Drivin’
- Daily Grind
- Stick To Your Guns
- Whiskey River
- I Love Women
- Breakin’ The Law
- Heart of Gold
- Devil’s Road
- Southern Comfort
Sweet F.A. is:
Steven David DeLong – vocals
Jon “Lightning” Huffman – guitars
James Thunder – guitars
Jim Quick – bass
Tricki Lane – drums
If you want to hear an amazing CD, with awesome vocals, and melodic but heavy metal to match. Run, don’t walk to pick up the Jorn Lande release, The Duke.
For several reasons, the Norwegian Jorn Lande is not very well known in the United States. Lack of promotion, and no radio airplay are a few problems Jorn faces in the U.S. It is really too bad, because most people are missing out on one of the top singers in Metal today.
For those of you who have not been exposed to Jorn Lande, He has a voice that falls somewhere between Ronnie James Dio and David Coverdale. If you know how amazing those two singers are, you will know what to expect from Jorn.
Musically and lyrically, the Duke is a superb effort from start to finish! This is melodic metal in its finest form. The guitar tandem of Tore Moren and Jørn Viggo Lofstad do an amazing job on this disc.
Take one listen to the heavy Blacksong which sounds like Lynch era Dokken and you will be hooked.
Another stand out song is Stormcrow, which sounds like a heavy Whitesnake track. The guitars on this song blow me away every time. Awesome!
Duke of Love could have easily been on the Whitesnake, Slide it In Album.
Jorn Lande truly shines on the low to mid tempo Burning Chains. You have to hear it, to appreciate it.
The cover of Thin Lizzy’s Are You Ready may be the best cover song I have heard in 2006. It is very well done here.
The final song, Starfire, is a remake of the same track from his debut disc and sounds even better than the original.
The Duke is certainly one of the top Metal discs of 2006, and a favorite of mine.
If you would like to hear some of the tracks off the Duke, You can listen to a few songs off of this disc at:Jorn Lande’s Website
Rating: Out of 10
- We Brought the Angels Down
- End of Time
- Duke of Love
- Burning Chains
- After the Dying
- Midnight Madness
- Are You Ready
Jorn Lande – Vocals
Jorn Viggo Lofstad – Guitars
Tore Moren – Guitars
Willy Bendiksen – Drums
Morty Black – Bass
Vocalist Rich Lewis could be a Blackie Lawless clone vocally.
Chris Laney also lent his producing talents, so this is one great sounding disc, from beginning to end.
The track “Violent New Breed” will grab you immediately. This is one kick-ass, hard rocking tune.
The heavy pace continues on “Morning After”. I can hear some Zan Clan like backup vocals on this one. This track is very cool!
“Hey You” cranks it up again. This song reminds me of a KISS song, both sonically and lyrically.
“Eye of the Storm” may be my favorite song on this disc. This is a well written song and the guitars are absolutely killer.
The tempo slows way down on “Turn and Walk Away”. This power ballad really delivers. Rich Lewis delivers an excellent vocal on this track, and Randy Piper’s guitar shines greatly. This song screams radio hit!
Lyrically, “Animal In Me” could have used a little more work. The music is good, but it is my least favorite track on this disc.
“Hellchild” sounds like a W.A.S.P. anthem. The keyboards on this track kind of give it that screechy horror type of feel, but are strangely annoying at the same time. The rest of the song is very good though, and would translate well live.
“Salt” is another excellent, heavy track with Zan Clan like backing vocals. This track sounds as if could have been at home in the late 80′s. It is very cool!
“In The Mirror” is a low to mid tempo number that seems to get better with each listen. The guitar work here is superb.
Just the title of “B.O.O.M.” seems to carry the W.A.S.P. spirit. The keyboards return in a minor fashion on this track, and I think they should have left them out. It would have sounded better. Aside from that, this is a cool hard driving track and it ends “Violent New Breed” in good fashion.
There is more to like on this disc than I expected. Chris Laney’s addition to this group takes it over the top. Many of these songs would translate well live. For W.A.S.P. fans, picking this disc up is a no-brainer. For all other Hard Rock, and metal fans, you ought to stop by the band’s myspace page (www.myspace.com/randypipersanimal) and give some of these tracks a listen. I think this is a great disc, and well worth the price of admission!
Rating: Out of 10
- Violent New Breed
- Morning After
- Hey You
- Eye of the Storm
- Turn and Walk Away
- Animal in Me
- In The Mirror
Randy Piper’s Animal is:
Randy Piper – Guitar
Rich Lewis – Vocals
Chris Laney – Guitar
Jackie Livengood – Bass
Johan Koleberg – Drums
I didn’t think I would hear too many new quality releases to close out 2006, but I could not have been more wrong. Jon Oliva’s Pain, is one Heavy Metal release that took me by surprise.
This disc starts off with a very strong track, Through the Eyes of the King, which is unmistakably Savatage in style! This track is one of the best metal songs I have heard all year.
The title track Maniacal Renderings is a progressive number that stretches past 7 minutes. Parts of this song remind of Queensryche, in a good way.
The Evil Beside You starts off slow and kind of reminds me a little of Queen in style, but then breaks into another Savatage style rocker. Time to Die turns up the heaviness, and at times sounds like Black Label Society backing up Oliva. ( At this point, this reviewer has a big evil grin on his face ).
Push It To the Limit cranks the tempo way the hell up. I can see people in a mosh pit, slamming to this song. The bass rhythm on this song reminds me of Anthrax at times.
Who’s Playing God returns to more of a Progressive Metal style. This almost reminds me of a heavy Queen song. Timeless Flight also starts off with that Queen styling, but in a very heavy sense. This is one of those progressive tracks that is technically brilliant. It is one of those songs that make you wonder if you are hearing a CD that may one day be considered classic.
Holes is another heavy track that could easily fit on any Savatage CD. Lots of heavy guitars, rhythm and bass. At first I didn’t like this track, but I had to give it a couple of listens. You have to hear the way this song ends. Awesome!!
End of Times is another prog rocker with plenty of crunching guitars and heavy bass. This is another decent song with excellent guitar work. I didn’t care for this song too much.
Still I Prey For You Now is a slow short number that fails to excite me. I was hoping for something a little more powerful at this place in the record.
The Bonus track features 2 tracks in 1. Reality’s Fool is another slow tempo number that almost seems out of place. A few seconds later another instrumental track continues the fantastic solo work of the late, great Chris Oliva.
As a whole, this is a very strong effort from Jon Oliva’s Pain. Savatage fans should be rushing to pick this up. Progressive Metal fans will likely enjoy this too. If you don’t like either of those, this disc may not appeal to you. I have always liked Savatage, and felt they were very under rated. This disc stands up to any of the Savatage records out there, and is one of the best new releases of 2006.
Rating:Out of 10
Below are a couple of live videos of songs that are from the Maniacal Renderings CD. If you like these, you are going to love this CD!
Evil Beside You
- Through the Eyes of the King
- Maniacal Renderings
- The Evil Beside You
- Time To Die
- Push It To the Limit
- Who’s Playing God
- Timeless Flight
- End Times
- Still I Pray for You Now
- Reality’s Fool (Bonus Track)
Thank you James Christian for returning House of Lords to its classic sound!
You can almost tell from the CD cover and the majestic intro Mask of Eternity, what kind of record you are going to get with World Upside Down.
Still after the lackluster effort Power and the Myth I was a little leery of what I would hear. It didn’t take long to put my fears aside.
This record takes the bull by the horns. There are powerful vocals by James Christian, Great guitars by House of Lords newcomer Jimi Bell. The rhythm section of B.J. Zampa and Jeff Kent are excellent as well.
There are a lot of songs to like on World Upside Down, with my favorites being These Are the Times, I am Free, Rock Bottom, Your Eyes, and My Generation.
If you are an old House of Lords fan, or a fan of melodic hard rock in the vein of Journey, this is a CD that you must own! This is one of the best Melodic Hard Rock records of 2006. Great Stuff!
Rating: Out of 10
- Mask of Eternity
- These Are the Times
- All the Way to Heaven
- Field of Shattered Dreams
- I Am Free
- All The Pieces Falling
- Rock Bottom
- Million Miles
- Your Eyes
- Ghost of Time
- My Generation
- World Upside Down
House of Lords is:
James Christian – Vocals
Jimi Bell – Lead Guitar
BJ Zampa – Drums
Jeff Kent – Bass, Keyboards and Background Vocals
When I saw that the new Warrant CD was out, I was a little hesitant about picking this up. I didn’t really enjoy the last couple of releases by Warrant, and I was afraid that this CD would be like the last two instead of the initial albums that made me love this band.
At no point was Jamie St. James a deterrent for me at all. I liked Jamie in Black ‘N Blue and I always thought that band was underrated. The last couple of discs with Jani Lane didn’t set my world on fire, so why not give Jamie a chance.
Thankfully, Born Again is a nice surprise! This CD has the vibe of the first 3 CD’s and is the best thing the guys have done since Dog Eat Dog.
Some could argue that the music is a little dated. I would argue, hell yes, its 80′s Hard Rock, and it still sounds great in 2006. I love this stuff! Why didn’t Warrant do this sooner?
Jamie St. James is a great addition to this band, and the return of Joey Allen has helped to strengthen the Warrant sound!
There are plenty of songs on here to like. My personal favorites are Devils Juice, a song that sounds like it could have been on DRFSR. I also like the rocking Dirty Jack, and Bourbon County Line. Angels is a pretty good song as well.
The amazing thing is, the whole vibe of this CD sounds like Warrant in their heyday, and that is hard thing for any band to reproduce. With each successive listen this CD has gotten better. The guys in Warrant have crafted a very enjoyable disc.
The future is certainly bright for Joey Allen, Erik Turner and company.
Here is the video for Bourbon County Line. I think if you like this song, you will enjoy this CD. I know I did!
Rating: Out of 10
- Devils Juice
- Dirty Jack
- Bourbon County Line
- Hell, CA
- Love Strikes Like Lightning
- Down in Diamonds
- Velvet Noose
- Good Times
Jaime St. James – Lead Vocals
Joey Allen – Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals
Erik Turner – Rhythm Guitar, Backing Vocals
Jerry Dixon – Bass, Backing Vocals
Steven Sweet – Drums, Backing Vocals
I heard “Crazy Bitch” on the Boneyard (XM Radio 41) several months ago before this CD was released in the United States. To me, “Crazy Bitch” is the catchiest song I have heard in years. I finally decided to give this CD a chance to see how the rest of the material stacks up.
Is Buckcherry a one hit wonder? Read On.
Let me start by saying, “WOW, THIS IS A GREAT CD“!!!
This has to be the easiest thing I have ever reviewed on my blog! I like just about every song on the CD. That is rarity for sure.
There are plenty of good rockers on this album. “Out of Line”, “Onset”, “Sunshine”, and the kickass, nasty rockers, “Crazy Bitch” and “So Far”. It doesn’t end there though, the Rockabilly flavored “Next To You”, the Bluesy “Brooklyn”, and the AC/DC styled tune “Broken Glass”. “Everything” screams hit, and ought to be the next single.”Sorry” is one of the better ballads I have heard in a while.
The only song that I didn’t care for much is the country twinged “Carousel”, and even it isn’t that horrible.
This CD is so good, I went searching for the videos so you could have a taste of what this CD sounds like.
“Next To You”
“Crazy Bitch” [ PG Version]
If you like these songs, you will likely the rest on this Disc! This is one of the best hard rock CD’s in 2006. Highly recommended!
- So Far
- Next 2 You
- Out of Line
- Crazy Bitch
- Broken Glass
Josh Todd – lead vocals
Keith Nelson – guitar
Stevie D. – guitar
Xavier Muriel – drums, percussion
Jimmy Ashhurst – bass guitar
Here is another CD that totally took me by surprise.
I stumbled on this CD, thanks to Sleazeroxx.com a few months ago, and I still listen to this one today.
Zan Clan consists of singer Zinny Zan from Shotgun Messiah and Pontus Norgren (Talisman, The Poodles). If you have ever liked Shotgun Messiah back in the 80′s and early 90′s you will know what to expect vocally. Personally, I liked those guys, but the reason I picked this up, is Pontus Norgren is playing on this disc.
I first discovered Pontus on a Talisman disc with Jeff Scott Soto. I thought then, and still think he is a great unknown talent to people in the U.S. He is one of the best guitarists I have heard for a while.
Zan Clan sounds like a band stuck in the big hair 80′s era, and all I can say is THANK GOD! I love this type of music!.
This CD is filled with infectious songs that you will like on the first listen. My Current favorites are “Go Go Go”, “High Speed Junkie”, “Mess ya up”, and the blazing cover of Cheap Trick’s “Surrender“. A fun CD that will appeal to all big hair era Hard Rock fans.
Rating: Out of 10
- Go go go
- Heart n soul
- High Speed Junkie
- So Damn Good
- Mess Ya Up
- Silver Bullet Toy
- Heart Died Young
- Deja Vu
- Can’t Get You Out
Zan Clan is:
Zinny Zan – vocals
Pontus Norgren – guitar and backing vocals
Chris Laney – guitar and backing vocals
Eggy Egberg – bass and backing vocals
Johan Koleberg – drums
Out of all singers I have discovered on TV, Bo Bice is the best of them all, hands down.
He has the best voice, and to me is still the best new talent to come off the TV screen.
Does the Real Thing reflect this? Yes and no. First off, RCA forced Bo to do songs in this Pop/Rock style.
Bo Bice would be better suited for a Skynyrd style rock album than a bunch of pop tunes. The amazing thing is, on The Real Thing it works, it just isn’t what you would expect from a southern rocker like Bice.
So The Real Thing is mainly a collection of Pop Rock tunes. There are no bad song on this disc, but some are certainly better than others. Personally, I think the title track, The Real Thing is kind of lame. RCA released this as a single, along with a lame video. What the hell were they thinking. Its not even close to being, one of the better songs on the disc.
You’re Everything was written by Nickelback’s Chad Kroeger. I like this track a lot.
The Jon Bon Jovi/Richie Sambora track Nothing Without You is also pretty good.
Lie…It’s Alright has a pretty good groove and is kind of cool.
Valley of Angels, Whiskey Women and Time, Cinnamon and Novocaine are Bice penned tracks, and shows off his writing skills. All 3 are great tracks, and show what kind of CD Bo would have made, if not overpower by RCA’s strong-arm. Sadly, 2 of these are only available on the DVD side of The Real Thing Dual Disc CD/DVD, so most people never got the chance to hear these.
Even though I would not consider this music hard rock by any means, I like this CD. There isn’t a track on this CD, where the music overpowers Bo’s voice, and that says what kind of talent Bo Bice really is. I can only hope that CD #2 will be more in the Southern/hard rock vain I would expect.
Rating: out of 10
- The Real Thing
- You’re Everything
- U Make Me Better
- Nothing Without You
- My World
- Remember Me
- Hold On To Me
- Lie…It’s Alright
- It’s My Life
- Willing To Try
- Valley of Angels
- Whiskey, Women and Time (Dual Disc only)
- Sinner in a Sin (Dual Disc only)
- Cinnamon and Novocaine (Dual Disc only)
Slave to the System is one of the better CD’s released in 2006.
This group consists of Damon Johnson, and Roman Glick from Brother Cane, and Scott Rockenfeld and Kelly Gray of Queensryche.
I have always liked both bands, but I must admit that I haven’t been very fond of the Kelly Gray, Queensryche years.
After hearing this CD, I wonder how much Geoff Tate has been holding back Kelly, as he kicks ass on this CD. Damon Johnson and the rest of the guys are great as well. Some songs lean towards more album oriented radio friendly rock, others are a little harder. The slower tracks took two or three listens to digest, and have really grown on me. The CD does a good job of mixing the two up.
As a whole, this is a killer CD with no filler tracks. This is straight up hard rock all the way through. If you like either of the two bands, I mentioned above, you are going to like this. It may take you a couple of listens to get into this, but if you give this a chance, you will be pleasantly surprised.
This CD is one of my top picks in 2006.
For more information on Slave to the System, check out their myspace page here.
Rating: Out of 10
- Ruby Wednesday
- Slave to the System*
- Live this Life
- Cruze out of Control*
- Gone Today*
- Will You Be There
- Walk the Line
Slave to the System is:
Damon Johnson – Vocals and Guitar
Roman Glick – Bass
Kelly Gray – Guitar
Scott Rockenfeld – Drums
How does Zakk Wylde do it? Each year he chugs out another quality CD.
Shot to Hell is no exception in the quality dept.
This CD sounds like it could be Mafia part 2 in many cases, with the exception that it has more slower tracks than its predecessor. Aside from that, Zakk’s vocals and guitar style is virtually unchanged, and that is a good thing. I guess if it isn’t broke don’t fix it. The BLS formula seems to work.
Several quality tracks and a only a 2 or 3 that I would consider fillers. If you liked Mafia, chances are you will enjoy Shot to Hell as well. Fans needing a heavy yet melodic hard rock CD should give this one a look. For Black Label Society fans, its a no brainer, pick this up!
- Concrete Jungle*
- Black Mass Reverends*
- Blacked Out World
- The Last Goodbye*
- Give Yourself to Me
- Nothing is the Same
- Hell is High
- New Religion*
- Sick of it All
- Faith is Blind
- Blood is Thicker that Water*
- Devil’s Dime
- Lead Me to Your Door
Black Label Society is:
Zakk Wylde – Vocals, Lead Guitars, Rhythm Guitars, Piano, Keyboards
John DeServio – Bass Guitars
Craig Nunenmacher – Drums
Nick Catanese – Rhythm Guitars
Black Stone Cherry is quite simply at the top of my list for best new band in 2006. I discovered these guys only because I saw they were opening for Black Label Society. I found their website, listened to two songs and went out and bought the CD immediately.
The only way I can describe these Kentucky rockers is a cross between Skynyrd and Metallica. They are definitely harder and faster than Skynyrd for those that are wondering.
There are so many great tracks on this CD, I don’t even know where to begin.
My favorites change from day to day, but currently, they are Lonely Train, Violator Girl and Hell or High Water.
This is head banging, heavy southern rock! This CD is so damn good, you need to sign off the net now and get to your local CD shop and pick this up!
Rating: Out of 10
- Rain Wizard
- Backwoods Gold*
- Lonely Train*
- Maybe Someday*
- When the Weight Comes Down*
- Crosstown Woman
- Shooting Star
- Hell and High Water
- Shapes of Things
- Violator Girl*
- Tired of the Rain
- Rollin On
Black Stone Cherry is:
Chris Robertson – (vocals/guitar)
Ben Wells – (guitar/vocals)
Jon Lawhon – (bass/vocals)
John Fred Young – (drums/vocals)
What a great find this CD was! This CD features former Whitesnake members Rudy Sarzo on bass, Tommy Aldridge on Drums, Adrian Vandenberg on guitars, and Little Caeser singer Ron Young.
If you were to put Whitesnake in a blender with a dash of Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughn, you may get a sound that resembles Manic Eden. It is a kick ass CD, that has been largely unheard of.
James Christian from House of Lords was briefly involved in this band, before Ron Young took over on vocals. Nonetheless, Ron sounds great singing with the former Whitesnake band mates.
Listen to the tune below, and see what you think. This is a very good blues rock effort, and worth picking up.
Rating:Out of 10
- Can you Feel it
- Gimme a Shot
- Fire in my Soul
- Do Angels Die
- Pushing Me
- Dark Shade of Grey
- Keep it Coming
- When the Hammer comes down
- Ride the Storm
- Can’t hold it
Manic Eden is:
Ron Young – Vocals
Adrian Vandenberg – Guitars
Rudy Sarzo – Bass
Tommy Aldridge – Drums