Saxon is just about to release their 20th studio album (gasp!), Sacrifice on the world on Tuesday. How does their latest effort Sacrifice stand up? In my opinion, Sacrifice is better than the last couple of releases, Call to Arms and Into the Labyrinth. It is heavier, grittier and delivers a lot more punch than the previous two albums. Byford’s vocals are still in fine form. Even at the ripe young age of 62, Byford is still delivering some of the best vocals in heavy metal. I can’t say enough about the guitar work of Paul Quinn and Doug Scarratt either. There are plenty of solos and heavy riffs to feast your ears on.
After the brief instrumental opener “Procession”, Sacrifice really doesn’t let up at all. If the title track “Sacrifice” doesn’t get your blood pumping, your stereo might be broken. The pounding rhythms don’t end with “Sacrifice”. In fact, there isn’t a slow moment on the album.
If NASCAR was smart, they would use “Warriors of the Road” as a theme song. Byford lets his fondness of auto racing flow into this song with the sound effects from the high speed whine of some open wheel race cars. Much like those race cars, the throttle is wide open on “Warriors of the Road”. This high octane rocker is going to be staple in Saxon’s live set without a doubt.
Another favorite song on Sacrifice is “Stand Up And Fight”. This is a great metal anthem, with a simple, yet powerful message.
If Sacrifice falls short anywhere, it is the overall length of the album, which is a little on the short side. I will take 40 minutes of quality heavy metal over sixty minutes of crap rock any day of the week though, so this isn’t a problem for me. Sacrifice might not stand up to the classic albums, Denim & Leather, or Wheels of Steel, but it is definitely one of the better Saxon albums in the last 10 years or so. It is solid all the way through, and worth your hard earned dollars.
Fans of classic metal and Saxon fans are going to love this! Recommended!
Rating: Out of 10
03. Made In Belfast
04. Warriors of the Road
05. Guardians of the Tomb
06. Stand Up and Fight
07. Walking The Steel
08. Night of the Wolf
09. Wheels of Terror
10. Standing In A Queue
Biff Byford – vocals
Paul Quinn – guitars
Doug Scarratt – guitars
Nibbs Carter – bass
Nigel Glockler – drums
Their bio says they write “trend free music” and what we get to hear are “Real grooves, real performances, real rock.” I’d say that description is
pretty dead on. If there’s one thing that irritates the hell out of me, it’s the over computerized, over produced, overly generic music that’s being pushed out to the world on a daily basis. You certainly won’t get any of that with S.U.N.’s (Something Unto Nothing) self titled debut album.
Sass Jordan (vocals), Brian Tichy (guitar), Michael “Denim” Devin (bass), and Tommy Stewart (drums) make up this quartet with quite an extensive resume: Billboard’s Best Female Rock Vocalist award, songs on major motion pictures and television shows, and time spent in Whitesnake, Foreigner and Billy Idol…just to name a few. With talent like that, you almost can’t go wrong.
Upon listening, the first thing you’re going to notice (because you just can’t ignore it) is Sass’ powerful voice. It’s strong and beautiful in that Janis Joplin kind of way. It’s not dripping with femininity. It’s dirty and gruff and fits perfectly.
The next thing you’ll notice are the solid rock and roll grooves. It’s the kind of sound that makes you tap your foot and bounce your head to the beat because it’s real rock and roll and you can’t help but get into it. There’s dirty, thick guitar all throughout the album, but it pulls you in right from the start with “Burned” and “Crazy Head.” Then you get hit with some Sabbath-y heavy rock during “Nomad.” And if you’re looking for a little 80’s rock influence, you can find it on “I’m the One.”
Where I feel the album falls short is on the ballads like “Wide Ocean” or “If I was You.” Don’t get me wrong, they’re good songs, but they just don’t hold up as well and they’re not as strong as the other songs. S.U.N. are just more powerful when they are rocking faces off.
There’s no doubt that S.U.N. is real, soulful rock and roll. This debut album is a really good, solid foundation that they should be able to build great things on. It makes me excited to see what the future holds for them. They just need to remember not to succumb to making radio friendly music because it sells; they should continue to make solid rock and roll because that’s what makes them shine.
Rating: Out of 10
2. Crazy Head
4. Did Me No Good
5. Mobile Again
6. I’m The One
7. If I Was You
8. The Beginning Of The End (The Journey of The Phrygians from Madrid)
10. Wide Ocean
11. No Way Home
12. Something Unto Nothing
Sass Jordan – Vocals
Brian Tichy – Gutiars
Michael Devin – Bass
Tommy Stewart – Drums
Reviewed by Christine Sixx
I will admit that I have never listened to Atreyu more than once or twice. They were never a band that hit me right away, so I never spent much time with them. I wasn’t even aware that the band was on hiatus while members worked on side projects and pursued other interests. So when Hell Or Highwater’s Begin Again came across my desk for review, I did not realize that it was Atreyu drummer/vocalist Brandon Saller’s side project. That being said, I am glad that I took the time to review Begin Again.
Begin Again is a solid modern rock record. Packed with hard edged, heavy songs that are completed with melody and harmony, Begin Again is an album that most rock fans will want to hear. And once the album is heard you can’t get it out of your head. Begin Again has staying power and replay value. The album kicks off with the first single, Gimme Love. This is a hard rocking track that is meant to get attention and succeeds. Saller’s vocals are reminiscent of Hinder’s Austin Winkler and the twin guitar attack by Matt Pauling and Neal Tiemann is first rate.
The heavy hits continue with “Hail Mary” and “Terrorized In The Night.” The band plays hard on these heavy tracks and the musical talent of each band member shines through. The songs are high energy and touch on typical hard rock themes of anger, disappointment, rage and fear. The songs are performed with a modern rock flair, heavy drums, exceptional guitars, and solid vocals. The combined elements equal nothing but pure entertainment.
The band doesn’t stop there. Begin Again delivers in the slower/ballad department as well. And although “Tragedy” and “Rock Water’s Edge” aren’t true ballads in the old 80s power ballad sense, they are still slower, bluesy songs that deliver in power and passion. Saller’s lyrics are deep and meaningful and when combined with amazing guitar riffs, it is easy to see how either, or both, of these songs will be a huge radio hit. “When The Morning Comes” is the most radio friendly, mainstream song on the record and it is a song that people will be rocking along with all summer long. Led by a blistering guitar intro followed by an enjoyable chord progression and sing-along lyrics, “When The Morning Comes” is one of the best tracks on this record.
Begin Again is an exceptional album that will rock you on first listen. After that, you will find yourself hitting repeat several times. It is an album that can be played over and over again without getting stale. Saller’s voice is strong, steady, and enjoyable. Pauling and Tiemann are a fantastic guitar duo that play off each other well, each knowing exactly when to hold back so the other can move forward. Their timing is second to none and it is their combined ability that really makes Begin Again come to life and sing.
If you are searching for a new band or a new record that is going to excite you and make you want to hear more, pick up a copy of Begin Again. If you are looking for the next great modern rock sound filled with superb hooks and melodious riffs that tunnel into your eardrums and don’t leave until they are committed to your memory, Begin Again is the record for you. Pick it up.
Rating: Out of 10
- Gimme Love
- Hail Mary!
- Terrorized In The Night
- Find The Time To Breathe
- Rock Waters Edge
- Go Alone (Featuring M Shadows)
- When The Morning Comes
- Crash & Burn
- Come Alive
- We All Wanna Go Home
- Tragedy (Villain Remix) – Bonus Track
- The Boxer – Bonus Track
- Pretty Penny – Bonus Track
Hell Or Highwater Is:
Brandon Saller – Vocals
Matt Pauling – Guitar
Neal Tiemann – Guitar
Joey Bradford – Bass
Captain Carl – Drums
Reviewed by Ryo Vie
It has taken me a while to stumble upon the band Hellbastard, but man oh man am I glad I did. The band’s new EP “Sons of Bitches” might be short, but it doesn’t lack in heavy riffs or killer grooves. Hellbastard’s sound sounds like a marriage of Slayer, and Suicidal Tendencies. This is simply killer metal that fans of classic thrash are going to love. I may have over looked Hellbastard because of their name, but I won’t make that mistake again. I can’t wait to hear their full length album due out later in 2013, or their back catalog of music which is pretty deep as well.
Aside from the intro “Wolfsong” which is nothing more than an intro, and the EP closer “Throw The Petrol Bomb”, which is a wacky reggae number, this EP is pretty strong.
If you want a taste of some killer classic thrash, you gotta check out Hellbastard’s Sons of Bitches! Hellbastard will be a band to watch in 2013!
Rating:Out of 10
3. Sons of Bitches
4. System Whore
5. We Had Evidence
6. Throw The Petrol Bomb
Malcolm “Scruff” Lewty – Vocals & Guitars
Tom McCombe – Guitars
Paul O’Shea – Bass Guitars
Nathan Ellis – Drums
Jorn Lande’s latest output Symphonic started as a spontaneous idea to hear how JORN songs sounded with a classical orchestra arrangement. Jorn Lande didn’t want this album to come across as a typical greatest hits album, so Symphonic features some deeper cuts from the JORN catalog. Sometimes spontaneous ideas are the best ones, as Symphonic shows just how powerful JORN’s metal music is. The orchestral arrangement on this album gives JORN’s songs a heavier feel than the original versions. I didn’t think the songs could be improved upon, but I stand corrected. I love this unique mix to JORN’s songs.
I liked the song choices Jorn made for Symphonic, and thought it was enhanced by the cover songs included in the track listing. There are two killer covers on this album, DIO’s “Rock and Roll Children” and Black Sabbath’s “The Mob Rules”. Both of these songs came out sounding cooler than ever.
Symphonic is a tremendous listen, and a true feast for the ears. Jorn Lande’s voice is the most powerful instrument on Symphonic, but his voice truly shines with this orchestral arrangement. I enjoyed Symphonic and I think you will too! Check it out!
Rating: Out of 10
- I Came To Rock
- Rock And Roll Children
- The World I See
- Burn Your Flame
- Man Of The Dark
- My Road
- Time To Be King
- Black Morning
- Like Stone In Water
- Vision Eyes
- War Of The World
- Behind The Clown
- A Thousand Cuts
- The Mob Rules
Jorn Lande – vocals
Willy Bendiksen – drums
Nic Angileri – bass
Tore Moren – guitars
Jimmy Iversen – guitars
Orchestral arrangements Lasse Jensen
Last week, Buckcherry released their sixth album, Confessions. Confessions was originally slated for a 2012 release, and I am glad the band didn’t rush this one out. Good things come to those who wait. You see, not only does Confessions contain some of Buckcherry’s strongest song writing to date, the band’s playing is also a step above their previous releases.
With Confessions, Buckcherry tackles the seven deadly sins. Gluttony, wrath, envy, sloth, greed, pride and lust are all represented on Buckcherry’s latest opus, and are also seven of the album’s song titles. The lyrics are based on singer Josh Todd’s childhood, and his transformation into adulthood. The lyrics are a step above the normal song writing from Buckcherry. Those looking for “Crazy Bitch” part two, won’t find it on Confessions. What you will find however are some well crafted songs that absolutely rock.
This is the first Buckcherry album that I could listen to all the way through since 15 was released. The only negative I could find with this album, is that it lacks the sing along choruses that have made so many of Buckcherry’s songs popular. It may be a different style of writing for Buckcherry, but I couldn’t find one bad song on Confessions.
With that being said, I still think this is Buckcherry’s strongest album since 15, and one that is going to get a ton of replay in 2013 and beyond. If you haven’t picked up Confessions yet, I highly recommend checking it out! The extended edition of this CD ( available at Best Buy) includes two great bonus songs, “Give ‘Em What They Want” and “When the Fire Starts” and a cool DVD as well. Don’t miss this!
Rating: Out of 10
3. Nothing Left But Tears
4. The Truth
7. Seven Ways To Die
13. Dreamin’ of You
14. Give ‘Em What They Want
15. When The Fire Starts
Josh Todd – Lead Vocals
Keith Nelson – Lead & rhythm guitar
Stevie D. – Rhythm & lead guitar
Jimmy Ashhurst – bass guitar
Xavier Muriel – drums, percussion
I try my best not to be biased when reviewing albums. I prefer to have no expectations, listen with an open ear, and let the music tell me what to write. However, when it came time to review Hinder’s latest album, Welcome To The Freakshow, I must admit that I entered with expectations. Hinder’s last three albums were absolutely incredible, and this band has become one of my “go-to” groups when I don’t know what to listen to. The anticipation of a new Hinder record had me excited and hopeful. These hard rocking greats were going to once again douse my soul with some solid music. Once I listened to the album, I was reminded why I should never have expectations.
Welcome To The Freakshow starts out in typical Hinder fashion with the first track, “Save Me.” And up until the 2-minute mark, “Save Me” sounds like classic Hinder. Then, out of nowhere, violins enter the mix and lead singer Austin Winkler goes into a small rap. That’s right, I said rap, as in hip-hop music. Where did that come from? And while it doesn’t destroy the song, it sets the stage for fans to scratch their heads. The following track, “Ladies Come First” doesn’t do much to persuade me that this record will be a strong effort. Weak vocals, weaker lyrics, and a chorus that sounds like it was ripped right out of a Nickelback song destroy any credibility this track may have had.
The next batch of songs lift Welcome To The Freak Show and gave me hope that this would be a solid album after all. “Should Have Known Better,” is a return to the classic Hinder sound that fans have come to know and love. Although it is a ballad, ballads are where Hinder tend to excel and “Should Have Known Better” is no exception. Possibly the strongest track on the record, “Should Have Known Better” has hit written all over it. The great tunes continued with title track “Welcome To The Freakshow,” and “Talk To Me.” “Welcome To The Freakshow” is classic, hard rocking Hinder with witty lyrics and sexual themes, while “Talk To Me” is another grand ballad performed in the iconic Hinder style. “Get Me Away From You” is another strong ballad, and the following track “Is It Just Me” is a mid-tempo sing along song focusing on themes of doubt and self adjustment.
The real challenge with “Welcome To The Freakshow” is that it is quite ballad heavy. This formula has worked for other bands in the past (Nickelback comes to mind), but I’ve always considered Hinder more of a hard edged band. That’s not to say the ballads are bad, because they aren’t. All of the ballads are actually well written and enjoyable to listen to multiple times through. However, I like the harder edged Hinder and that is what is absent from “Welcome To The Freakshow.” Even the non-ballads are more mid-tempo than flat out rocker, and that takes away from the Hinder that we have come to enjoy. Yes, they kick it up with “Welcome To The Freakshow” and “See You In Hell,” but it isn’t enough to really make Welcome To The Freakshow stand out on its own. Perhaps the band wanted to reach a different audience, or grow the one they have, or branch out in a different direction. I can understand that and don’t fault them for trying something new. However, it makes for a disappointment when coming in with set expectations.
I appreciate that Hinder wanted to be more experimental for their fourth album. And since they have brought me so much joy over the last few years, I am willing to give Hinder a pass this go round. Almost every band, at some point in their career, releases at least one below average record. With that in mind, Hinder is forgiven for Welcome To The Freakshow. While not terrible, it is far from fantastic, and that is what I have come to expect from Hinder—nothing but the best. This time around, the band did not bring their best, but I have every reason to believe that they will make it up to me when they record their next one.
Rating: Out of 10
- Save Me
- Ladies Come First
- Should Have Known Better
- Talk To Me
- Get Me Away From You
- Is It Just Me
- I Don’t Wanna Believe
- See You In Hell
- Anyone But You
- Wanna Be Rich
Austin Winkler – Vocals
Joe Garvey – Lead Guitar
Mark King – Rhythm Guitar
Mike Rodden – Bass Guitar
Cody Hanson – Drums
Mega celebrated hard rock act AC/DC have released a live album as a compliment to their recent world tour. Live At River Plate is the band’s first live album in 20 years and it could not have come at a better time. With the band not planning on touring or releasing any new music for at least another year or two, fans needed something to help them through the waiting period. Live At River Plate was the answer.
Recorded on December 4, 2009, at River Plate Stadium in Buenoa Aires, Argentina, Live At River Plate brings the joy of an AC/DC concert right to your stereo. Capturing all of the magic of a live AC/DC concert, this double disc set delivers the concert goods in every way that your ear drums can imagine and enjoy. Long time fans will rejoice in the song selection as there are several Bon Scott era songs to be found on this live set. New comers will be delighted to see there are four tracks from the bands last studio album, Black Ice. Simply put there is something for everybody on this collection.
And while the song selection is deep and covers a large amount of the AC/DC catalog, it was disappointing to not have any selections from Stiff Upper Lip represented. I understand that the band recorded a concert and released it as their live album, but I had a similar complaint during the tour as well. Stiff Upper Lip is a fantastic album that was recorded long after the band’s last live album was released. To not have any live cuts from Stiff Upper Lip is a real shame and the absence is noted. I was just as disappointed that “Hard As A Rock” from Ballbreaker was not included. Since it was the band’s first live album in 20 years, I would like to have heard more live versions of the songs that came out in the last 20 years. This, however, is a minor complaint at best.
The songs that are included are done masterfully. While Brian Johnson may not sound like he did 20 years ago, his voice is still great. His vocals soar on classics like “You Shook Me All Night Long,” and “Thunderstruck.” He can also hold his own when singing the Bon Scott beauties like “Hell Ain’t A Bad Place To Be,” and “Let There Be Rock.” And while he may be much older, Brian Johnson still rocks with the best of them. Age hasn’t slowed him down and it is apparent on Live At River Plate.
If you have never witnessed AC/DC live in concert, then this set is a wonderful way to hear the magic. As they always do, AC/DC lets the music do most of the talking, with very little stage rap from Brian Johnson. That’s not to say that he doesn’t work the crowd, he has his own way of doing that, but banter isn’t his way. Instead it’s the musical performances that dominate the record. And a great Angus solo during “Let There Be Rock” is the highlight of the record. Angus Young is still one of the greatest guitar players alive, and his exciting and energized solo on this song just shows how amazing he truly is.
If you missed the Black Ice tour, or if you are just looking for some AC/DC music to hold you over until the next record or tour, pick up a copy of Live At River Plate. It is the perfect album for fans both new and old. Live At River Plate is guaranteed to have your head banging and finding you playing air guitar in no time at all.
Rating: Out of 10
Rock N Roll Train
Hell Ain’t A Bad Place To Be
Back In Black
Dirt Deeds Done Dirt Cheap
Shot Down In Flames
Shoot To Thrill
Dog Eat Dog
You Shook Me All Night Long
Whole Lotta Rosie
Let There Be Rock
Highway To Hell
For Those About To Rock (We Salute You)
Angus Young – Lead Guitar
Malcom Young – Rhythm Guitar
Brian Johnson – Vocals
Cliff Williams – Bass Guitar
Phil Rudd – Drums
Reviewed by Ryo Vie
One of the best Swedish Metal band has returned with another fabulous album and I couldn’t be more excited. If you haven’t checked out Bullet yet, this is definitely the time to get to know the band. Full Pull is the fourth album from the Swedish hard rockers and it could be their best album yet.
Hitting with the power of a freight train at full speed, Bullet once again delivers the hard rocking antics on Full Pull. The signature stomp and wail musical style is present and accounted for. The hard rocking, metal madness is all there. And Hell Hofer’s scratchy, screaming vocals are still intact. Hell Hofer has such a unique voice that it is hard for any description to do it justice. Some would categorize it as a voice that you either love or hate, but I don’t think that is 100 percent accurate. Either way, I love Hell’s voice and I feel that it is the perfect accompaniment to Bullet’s fast paced hard rock.
The three-pack of potential hits, “Midnight Oil,” “Full Pull,” and “Running Away,” get Full Pull started with a bang. The songs feature heavy guitar work led by Hampus Klang and complimented beautifully by Erik Almstrom. The guitar playing on Full Pull makes me want to be a teenager again, so that I can perform air guitar in front of my mirror for hours on end. Almstrom and Klang may not get the recognition of a Malmsteen, or a Bettencourt, but they are just as talented, and Full Pull helps prove that. Hofer’s vocals are in fine form and by the time “Running Away” shows up on the player, long time fans will be hooked once again. Hofer’s distinctive style continues to mesmerize.
Full Pull does find Bullet slightly altering their style and direction. While their previous albums have been a lot of “more of the same” (in a very good way), Full Pull finds the band slowing the tempo down at times. I wasn’t sure if that was so old fans could keep up, or an attempt to lure new fans into the fold. Full Pull finds Bullet leaning away from the thrash slightly and creeping toward the mainstream. And while there isn’t a ballad present on Full Pull, I worry that the band may be closer than ever to writing one. That would be a shame, because Bullet is truly about raw power and hard hitting rock and roll. Leave the ballads to the hair metal bands. Please.
Overall, Bullet have delivered another fantastic gem of a record that will have feet stomping, hands clapping, and fans cheering in no time. Bullet has never disappointed with a record release and they continue to follow that trend with Full Pull. If you haven’t taken the time to seek out Bullet, Full Pull is a great album to get you invested in the band. Any true metal music lover will find nothing but redeeming qualities when listening to Full Pull.
Rating: Out of 10
- Midnight Oil
- Full Pull
- Running Away
- All Fired Up
- Rolling Home
- In The Heat
- High On The Hog
- Rush Hour
- Free Riding
Hell Hofer –Vocals
Hampus Klang – Lead Guitar
Erik Almstrom – Guitars
Adam Hector – Bass
Gustav Hjortsjo – Drums
I have been listening to Aerosmith’s Music From Another Dimension for a couple of weeks now. I was hoping that my initial opinion of this release would change with a few repeat listens. My opinion hasn’t changed at all. Music From Another Dimension is just average.
Quite frankly, I didn’t have high hopes for Aerosmith’s latest effort. With there being so much infighting in the band, and Steven Tyler’s stint on American Idol, I was doubtful that the band, in its current state of health
could deliver an album worthy of the Aerosmith name.
After listening to the CD several times, my thoughts are this: Music From Another Dimension suffers from too many ballads, too many tracks, and an overall cohesive feel. Sure there are some good songs, but nothing that will probably overwhelm you, and say OOOOOH, I have to run out and buy the new Aerosmith album. If you are an Aerosmith fan, chances are you probably have this in your collection already anyway.
On a positive note, the band has brought in Jack Douglas to produce the album, and the overall production is very good.
The album starts off strong enough, but about midway through it starts to taper off, and suffers from far too many ballads.
The opening track “Luv XXX” sounds like a classic Aerosmith track, and that is great, but the lyrics are just stupid. The song does grow on you though.
“Oh Yeah” sounds like it could have been on Get A Grip. This is a pretty catchy, yet simple tune.
“Beautiful” could possibly be a hit for Aerosmith, but time will tell on this one. The jangly guitars give this song a feel more akin to Aerosmith’s later material, but I am a fan of all eras of Aerosmith so that isn’t a problem for me.
“Out Go The Lights” might just have one of the best Aerosmith riffs in recent years, the problem with this song is the background singers. I think the background singers weaken the track with their vocal piece on the lyrics “If You Want to Take A Lookie, Cookie Tonight Might Be Your Lucky, Nighty Nite Nite”. I think it could have been a stronger song without this. The song seems to go on forever too. It is about two minutes longer than it needs to be. This song could have been one of Aerosmith’s biggest hits, but it is overall a let down.
“Legendary Child” was the first single from the album, and this song is actually pretty good. I think this song could have easily been on Pump, but the song is a leftover demo from “Get A Grip”. I am glad they decided to use this song. I like this one pretty well.
“What Could Have Been Love” is the first sappy Aerosmith ballad, and this song will likely be a COUNTRY hit for Aerosmith. One word defines my opinion of this song, “BLECH”!!!. I skip this song every time. (You can check it out in the video below).
Every time I listen to “Street Jesus” I start thinking “Sweet Emotion”. I guess it is the vocal part on the chorus that is similar between the “Street” and “Sweet”.
I like this song a lot, even if it does somewhat borrow from one of Aerosmith’s biggest hits.
“Can’t Stop Lovin’ You” features a duet with Country superstar Carrie Underwood. I have to question Aerosmith’s sanity on this one. Are they looking to recreate some magic, the way they did with RUN DMC in the 80’s? If you wanted to gain a bunch of new country fans, bringing in Carrie Underwood is probably a great idea, but not so much for the rock crowd. I don’t have any problems with Carrie Underwood. She is a hell of a singer. It just seems odd to have a country singer on an Aerosmith album. Oddly enough, this song has less of a country feel than “What Could Have Been Love”. I think this song would have been better suited on a Steven Tyler solo album, than an Aerosmith album, but that is just me.
After a few non-Aerosmtih sounding tracks, we finally get another rocker with “Lover Alot”. This one is pretty catchy, and ought to translate well live.
Joe Perry handles the vocals on “Freedom Fighter”, and as much as I love Joe’s guitar work, I don’t care for his voice very much. The lyrics on this song are pretty good. It is a shame that Steven didn’t sing on this one. It could have been much better. The same goes for the song “Something”. I love the bluesy music on this song, but Joe’s voice just doesn’t do it for me.
The album closes with another sappy ballad “The Last Goodbye”. I think the album, could have been better served by ending with another rocker. It doesn’t and it ends on a weak note in my opinion.
The special edition from Music From Another Dimension includes three bonus tracks, “Up On The Mountain” (sung by Tom Hamilton), “Oasis In The Night” (Sung by Joe Perry) and “Sunny Side of Love” (Sung By Steven Tyler). “Sunny Side of Love” is the best song out of the three. It is a little more pop than rock, but it is still better than a few of the songs that made it on the main track listing of Music From Another Dimension.
Am I being too critical of Aerosmith? Perhaps! I just don’t believe the music from Music From Another Dimension is as good as past Aerosmith releases, and that is disappointing. This is the type of CD that I probably won’t reach for in my collection very often, but won’t turn it off if I hear it on the radio either.
Rating: Out of 10
01. LUV XXX
02. Oh Yeah
04. Tell Me
05. Out Go The Lights
06. Legendary Child
07. What Could Have Been Love
08. Street Jesus
09. Can’t Stop Lovin’ You (Duet With Carrie Underwood)
10. Lover Alot
11. We All Fall Down
12. Freedom Fighter
15. Another Last Goodbye
01. Up On the Mountain
02. Oasis In The Night
03. Sunny Side of Love
Steven Tyler – Vocals, Guitars, Keys, Percussion, Harmonica
Joe Perry – Guitars and Vocals
Tom Hamilton – Bass and Vocals
Brad Whitford – Guitars and Backing Vocals
Joey Kramer – Drums, Percussion and Backing Vocals
Have you ever yearned to hear hard rock music that hits you so hard, your fist is in the air by the second song? If so, then Sister Sin’s Now And Forever is a record that you must listen to. Filled with nothing but hard rocking, pulse pounding, kick ass, hard rock music Now And Forever is a gem of an album.
Sweden has become a hot bed for some great glam metal over the last few years, and Sister Sin is one more addition to that list of awesome. Their latest album, Now And Forever, is another fabulous ride through some ripping glam metal.
Sister Sin has been making hard rocking music since 2002, and making it well. For their fourth album, the tradition of great, glam metal continues. The first single and one of the best tracks from Now And Forever is “End Of The Line.” Showing off all of Sister Sin’s strengths, “End Of The Line” is the song that will have listeners falling in love with the band. Fantastic guitars with great solos, a heavy, steady drum beat, and excellent vocals from lead singer, Liv Jagrell, make “End Of The Line” one of the greatest rock songs that I’ve heard in a while.
The hard hits just keep on coming after that. “Fight Song” delivers the goods with hard hitting drums courtesy of Dave Sundberg, and some excellent guitar work via Jimmy Hitula. And anytime a song starts with a big loud “Fuck You!” from a vixen of a lead singer, well, you can consider me hooked. And the good news is that “Fight Song” has more than just a cool intro. It has balls that last throughout the entire track.
“In It For Life” picks up right where “Fight Song” left off. More loud, hard rocking guitars, devious drum beats, exceptional bass lines from Strandh, and being told to kiss Liv Jagrell’s ass in the first thirty
seconds. Sounds like something I’m going to jam out with for a long time. And with the incredible raw power that is captured on “In It For Life,” I’ll be hitting my repeat button quite a few times.
Every other song on the record follows this same pattern. That’s the greatest thing about Now And Forever — the raw power that it packs. After one listen to this disc if you aren’t rocking out harder than
ever before, well, you may not be a metal head. Sister Sin is the real deal and Now And Forever is their strongest effort yet. The guitar solos are well thought out and perfectly placed with some amazing finger
picking by Hitula. He is a great guitarist and if Sister Sin gets the recognition that they deserve, Hitula will be mentioned in the same paragraphs as some of the greats of our time. Add in the amazing ability of Liv
Jagrell to front the band and you’ve got a deadly combination waiting to explode.
If you haven’t checked out Sister Sin yet, this is the perfect album to get to know them. Now And Forever will leave you hooked and wanting to hear more. The great news about that is that there is plenty of
back catalog to pick up after you’ve worn out your copy of Now And Forever. You can pick up a copy of Now And Forever at this link!
Rating: Out of 10
- End Of The Line
- Fight Song
- In It For Life
- Hearts Of Cold
- The Chosen Few
- Hang ‘Em High
- I’m Not You
- Running Low
- Shades Of Black
- Morning After
Sister Sin Is:
Liv Jagrell – Vocals
Jimmy Hitula – Guitar
Strandh – Bass
Dave Sundberg – Drums
Reviewed by Ryo Vie
When former Guns N’ Roses drummer Steven Adler comes back from the dead, he means it. When Adler’s new CD hits the stores on 11/27, prepare to be BLOWN AWAY! Back From The Dead is packed with great songs, and some killer guest appearances from John 5, Slash and Jeff Pilson. I have been looking forward to Adler’s solo debut for quite some time, but I didn’t expect it to be THIS good.
I had high hopes for this album after hearing “The One That You Hated” a few months ago. Back From The Dead does not disappoint one bit!
Jeff Pilson produced the album with Adler, and also handles all of the bass work on the CD. When you have a rhythm section that is Steven Adler and Jeff Pilson, can you really do wrong?
Steven Adler scored big when he got Lynam’s Jacob Bunton to join his band. No only does Bunton handle the vocals for Adler, but is also the lead song writer. Bunton has written a bunch of quality songs, and delivers what could be the vocal performance of his career.
The opening song “Back From The Dead” almost has a Cinderella like opening, but once this song kicks into gear, it is a take no prisoners, head-banging tune.
“Own Worst Enemy”, “Another Version of The Truth” and “The One That You Hated” are three more killer tracks stacked up back to back.
I was excited to learn that John 5 is one of the guest guitarists on Back From The Dead. If you are familiar with John 5, then you will recognize his playing on “Good To Be Bad”. His guitar work is amazing on this song!
I figured that “Just Don’t Ask featuring Slash would be a real ripping track, and I was very wrong about that one. This is a slower track, but Slash’s fretwork shines. This is a great song!
“Blown Away” is a real rocker that ought to be a radio single for Adler. This song is going to take the world by storm.
“Your Diamonds” has a 70’s classic rock feel, while the album closer “Dead Wrong” has a more of a modern feel to it.
Back From The Dead is easily one of the biggest surprises, and strongest albums of 2012. I love this album, and I think you will too! Don’t miss this!
Rating: Out of 10
Back From the Dead will be released on November 27th, 2012. You can preorder the CD here!
1. Back From The Dead (Paul, Pilson, Bunton)
2. Own Worst Enemy (Paul, Bunton)
3. Another Version Of The Truth (Bunton, Paul, Pilson)
4. The One That You Hated (Bunton, Paul)
5. Good To Be Bad (Paul, Bunton)
6. Just Don’t Ask (Bunton)
7. Blown Away (Bunton)
8. Waterfall (Paul, Bunton)
9. Habit (Paul)
10. Your Diamonds (Bunton)
11.Dead Wrong (Paul, Bunton)
Jacob Bunton -lead vocals, guitar, mandolin and piano
Lonny Paul – guitar and vocals
Steven Adler- drums, cowbell, shakers, tambourine, crowbar, shovel and screams
Johnny Martin – bass and vocals
Jeff Pilson – bass on all tracks, 6 string guitar, keys and vocals
Slash – Lead guitar on “Just Don’t Ask”
John 5 – Lead guitar on “Good To Be Bad”
Michael Lord – Piano on “Waterfall”
What can you expect on T&N’s new CD Slave To the Empire? How about five cool versions of Dokken songs, and some killer new stuff as well?! Slave to The Empire has
plenty of guest stars (Doug Pinnick, Robert Mason, Sebastian Bach, Tim “Ripper” Owens), and each one of these singers do an outstanding job on the Dokken songs they sing.
The new T&N songs are pretty good too.
I always new Jeff Pilson was a great back up singer to Don Dokken, but after listening to “Into the Fire”, it is clear to me that Jeff Pilson’s voice is superior to Don’s. I like the
extended version of the song on this CD. It is a great update to a Dokken classic. In fact, Pilson’s voice shines on all of the songs that he sings on this album. Give the song “Rhythm of the Soul” a listen and you will understand just how big Mr. Pilson’s voice.
The Dokken song that I was concerned about the most on this album, was “Tooth & Nail”. I wasn’t sure how Doug Pinnick’s voice would translate on this song. Pinnick added a little more soul, but also a lot more power to this song. I love this version!
Warrant singer Robert Mason does a trenmdous job on “It’s Not Love”. I am sure he sang this one a few times during his tenure with Lynch Mob, and it shows, as this version is excellent!
I never thought I would like Sebastian Bach singing a Dokken tune, but I love his voice on “Alone Again”. His vibrato and voice are quite different from Don Dokken. While this version is similar to the original, I think I prefer this version. I like this so much that I would love to see Sebastian perform this song live.
“Mind Control” is my favorite out of all of the new T&N songs. This song really rocks. “Kiss of Death” on the other hand is my least favorite out of the Dokken tunes. Tim “Ripper” Owens does a good job on the song, but I still prefer the original “Kiss of Death” version to this one.
George Lynch takes a more bluesy approach to his playing on “Jesus Train”, and it really works on this song. I am not used to hearing George play like this, and I love his sound on this song.
“Access Denied” is a heavy tune that sounds as if it could have been left over from the George Lynch Kill All Control sessions.
This is not a filler tune by any means. George Lynch plays his ass off.
Overall, Slave to the Empire is a very enjoyable album. Half of it does play like a Dokken cover album, but quite frankly some of the versions on this album are superior to the original songs. They give the album a nice flow.
The new songs show off the crazy talent of George Lynch, Jeff Pilson Mick Brown and Brian Tichy (who handles the drumming on the new T&N tracks). If you are a fan of Dokken, you NEED to pick this up!
You can pick up Slave to the Empire here!
Rating: Out of 10
- Slave to the Empire
- Sweet Unknown
- Tooth and Nail (featuring Doug Pinnick of Kings X)
- It’s Not Love (featuring Robert Mason of Warrant)
- Rhythm of the Soul
- When Eagles Die
- Into The Fire
- Alone Again (featuring Sebastian Bach)
- Mind Control
- Kiss of Death (featuring Tim “Ripper” Owens)
- Jesus Train
- Access Denied
George Lynch – Vocals
Jeff Pilson – Vocals and Bass
Mick Brown – Drums
Brian Tichy – Drums
Doug Pinnick – Vocals (Tooth & Nail)
Sebastian Bach – Vocals (Alone Again)
Tim “Ripper” Owens – Vocals (Kiss of Death
Robert Mason – Vocals (It’s Not Love)
I have to admit that the first couple of times that I listened to Jackyl’s latest effort Best in Show, I wasn’t that impressed. I thought a band that I have often compared to Jackyl, SNEW, out did Jackyl on their latest effort.
I do love the song “Screwdriver”, but I thought the rest of the CD was hit & miss. Last Friday night (at The Inner Circle), I saw the band perform several of the songs live, and my opinion changed 100%. You see, a few of the songs on Best in Show translate better live than they do in the studio. After seeing the band perform the songs live, I have grown to appreciate Best in Show much more than I did originally.
The album starts off with a real face melting rocker with “Best In Show”. This is one of the many songs that translate better live, although I like the version on the CD a lot.
“Screwdriver” and “Better Than Chicken” are a couple of tongue-in-cheek tracks that borrows from the Steel Panther playbook. Jesse James Dupree and company truly deliver these songs live. These may not be the type of songs you want to play around your young children, but I doubt you play Jackyl around your kids anyway.
Jackyl has crafted an almost perfect stripper pole anthem with their song “Encore”. This song came as completely unexpected when I heard it the first time but this one is a real party starter in Jackyl’s live set. I am sure this song will find its way into Gentemen’s clubs nationwide soon.
“Horns Up” is a fun little rocker that has a little Nazareth influence on it. I absolutely love the groove on the song “Golden Spookytooth”. This is quickly becoming one of my Jackyl favorites.
“Walk My Mile” is the longest track on Best in Show, and shows Jackyl taking a more serious approach to their music. This is a heavy tune, and a good one at that.
“Open Invitation” would have had a lot more impact, if it would have been released before Bin Laden’s death. While the man will be hated forever, this song was obviously written before he was killed.
The only band that has successfully pulled off the rap/rock thing was Aerosmith in my opinion. Needless to say, I still question why Jackyl covered “It’s Tricky” on this album. I am not a fan of the rap/rock hybrid, and I thought this cover was silly at best. For me that song ended the album on a down note. Nonetheless, Jackyl has delivered another solid album.
Best in Show is exactly what you would expect from a Jackyl CD. It is raw, raunchy and anything but subtle. Most importantly, it is a hell of a lot
of fun to listen to. The more I have listened to Best in Show, the more I have enjoyed it. It isn’t a perfect CD, but I think it is easily the band’s best effort since their 1992 self titled debut. Check it out!
Rating: Out of 10
1. Best in Show
3. Screw Driver
4. Horns Up
5. Golden Spookytooth
6. Cover of the Rolling Stone
7. Walk My Mile
8. Favorite Sin
9. Better Than Chicken
10. Don’t Lay Down On Me
12. What I Do
13. Open Invitation
14. It’s Tricky
Jesse James Dupree- Vocals & Chainsaw
Roman Glick- Bass
Chris Worley- Drums
Jeff Worley- Guitars
It’s amazing that Rush has been around for almost 40 years and are still making significant music. Their last studio album, Snakes And Arrows, was a great disc filled with solid, enjoyable rock songs. Earlier this year, the band released their 19th studio album, Clockwork Angels. This album is a testament to the fact that Rush still has what it takes to make a great record worthy of fan consumption.
Clockwork Angels reminds me a lot of the very underrated Presto, which is one of my favorite Rush albums. While most fans think Presto is a decent record, it never quite got the attention it deserved. Clockwork Angels falls into a similar category. It is an amazing record that may not get the attention it is due.
These days, Rush fans are mostly about the nostalgia of the band. On their last tour, Rush played Moving Pictures in its entirety, and a plethora of their hits that had the crowd ecstatic. When it came time to play the new songs from their forthcoming album (which would be Clockwork Angels) a lot of fans tuned out, even though the songs were fantastic. “Caravan” and “BU2B” were played live for every concert performance and gave us a taste of what was to come. And that taste left me wanting the full meal. Now that Rush has delivered Clockwork Angels, they have not disappointed.
“Caravan” and “BU2B” start the record off and their studio incarnation is even better than their live counterparts. Building in intensity as the songs progress, both “Caravan” and “BU2B” are great openers for Clockwork Angels. Both of these songs are short, enjoyable bursts of hard rock music that could be released as radio singles with no qualms.
The rest of Clockwork Angels is not short and sweet like the opening tracks, and that is great news for Rush fans everywhere. Rush works the rest of the album in their typical style, with much progression, chord changes, multiple arrangements, and mini operatic songs. Acoustic guitars and strings are plentiful, as well as deep, thought provoking, lyrics that can only be written by Neil Peart.
“Halo Effect” is a magnificent ballad. Opening with a nice acoustic riff from Alex Lifeson, the song builds in intensity when the strings arrive for the chorus. The string section blends together with the acoustic guitars to make a harmonious delight. “Halo Effect” is a fantastic song, even though it is one of the quieter moments on Clockwork Angels.
“The Wreckers” is the song that most reminds of Presto era Rush. With strings, acoustic guitars, a simple drum beat and intense lyrics, “The Wreckers” takes me back to the late 80s when I was dissecting Presto for every fantastic nuance that it contained. The lyrics for “The Wreckers” do not reflect the most positive light, but tell a real message. “Sometimes you have to be weary of a miracle that is too good to be true.” Geddy Lee’s voice is at its finest for “The Wreckers.” While he can’t hit the high notes like it was 1974, Lee still delivers the vocals with pure passion that will have fans truly believing in “The Wreckers” as a huge hit song.
“Wish Them Well” is the strongest song on Clockwork Angels. Opening with a great pounding simple drum beat that bleeds into a typical, complex Peart percussion, “Wish Them Well” captures the ear from the first note of the song. “Wish Them Well” is Rush at their finest. Three guys making music and having fun. There are no strings, no acoustics, and no additives. “Wish Them Well” is Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, and Neil Peart showing what they can still do when the three of them get together to make a great song. This is classic Rush with a modern contemporary twist, and it is beautiful.
With Clockwork Angels, Rush have delivered one of their best albums to date. Even after 38 years of making music, this band still has something to say and it is worth listening to. If you haven’t yet picked up a copy of Clockwork Angels don’t delay any longer. This could be the best record you will hear all year.
Notable Tracks: The Wreckers, Wish Them Well
Rating: Out of 10
03. Clockwork Angels
04. The Anarchist
06. Halo Effect
07. Seven Cities of Gold
08. The Wreckers
09. Headlong Flight
11. Wish Them Well
12. The Garden
Geddy Lee – Bass, Vocals
Alex Lifeson – Guitar
Neil Peart – Drums
I have been listening to Dokken for over 30 years now, and I have to admit that I have some extremely strong opinions about the band. I chose not to review Broken Bones when it first came out, as I didn’t want to deter or sway those fans that would purchase Broken Bones. I didn’t like the band’s last album Lightning Strikes Again very much, and I didn’t expect Broken Bones to be much better. The video for “Empire” was released, and I have to admit that I had a glimpse of hope for the new album. Jon Levin’s guitar is shredding, “Wild” Mick Brown is sounding great on the skins, and Don Dokken surprisingly pushes his voice in this song. With that being said, I decided to spin Broken Bones, and give the band another chance.
Broken Bones starts off strong enough. The first three songs, “Empire”, “Broken Bones” and “Best of Me” have that classic Dokken feel. It certainly isn’t Back For The Attack era stuff, but it is solid enough to keep me interested.
At this point the album shifts into a bunch of mid tempo songs that honestly work a lot better with Don Dokken’s voice. Don’s voice hasn’t aged well, but the songs were smartly crafted to take advantage of his diminished range. Some of the songs have a more modern approach, but Jon Levin keeps it very Dokken like with his Lynch style noodling.
One song that I typically won’t expect to like at all, “Victim of the Crime” has grown on me the most. The song has a little middle eastern flair, mixed with a little Sabbath like heaviness. Levin throws in a little Dokken style flash to keep the song honest. I think this might be the most creative song on Broken Bones.
The album closes out in good fashion with a flashy rocker “Tonight” that is more in the classic Dokken style. I thought this song helped to bring the whole album together. It is a very smartly mixed album in my opinion. Heavy rockers up front, mid tempo stuff in the middle, and a classic Dokken style rocker to close it out.
Overall, I didn’t expect to like Broken Bones at all, and after giving it a few spins, I have really enjoyed this album. I think it is Dokken’s strongest album since 1999’s Erase The Slate. If you go in expecting Under Lock and Key, or Back For The Attack you may be disappointed. If you listen with an open mind, you might be greatly surprised.
Give Broken Bones a chance! I they can win over this Dokken critic, they can certainly win you over too!
Rating: Out of 10
02. Broken Bones
03. Best of Me
06. Victim Of The Crime
07. Burning Tears
09. For The Last Time
10. Fade Away
Don Dokken – vocals
Mick Brown – drums
Jon Levin – guitar
Sean McNabb – bass
Back with some hard hitting, gritty, modern rock tunes, Three Days Grace delivers Transit Of Venus, the follow up to 2009’s solid Life Starts Now. Returning to give fans more of the same, Three Days Grace’s latest album is another enjoyable collection of modern rock tunes filled with anger, angst, pain, and passion. And while that is the same formula the band has followed since their debut album in 2003, it is not necessarily a bad thing. If some is good, more is better, and if a certain sound and style works, why try to reinvent yourselves? Three Days Grace just delivers more solid rock and roll.
Darker, grittier, and perhaps even more angry than ever before, on Transit Of Venus, Three Days Grace returns to themes of hatred, problems, and the depressing side of life. While hope is offered in songs like “Time That Remains,” the majority of the songs deal with the negative side of life. Themes of oppression, anti-authority, and taking control of your own life run rampant throughout Transit Of Venus.
“Operate” is a hard hitting, rocking song that will find fists in the air and throats raw from screaming. Lead singer Adam Grontier crafted a sing-along anthem with “Operate” that is bound to find a lot of fans screaming to the beat. The chorus is a powerful, bombastic blast of rage fueled anger that explodes out of the song. Hearing this song live in concert would be a real treat.
“Give In To Me,” is another powerful blend of smooth harmony and heavy, anger fueled, rock. This song jumps out at the listener with powerful riffs and commanding vocals. The thrash/grunge infusion helps take “Give In To Me” to a higher level of joyfulness. Add in some expert playing by lead guitarist Barry Stock and the combination adds up to a winning song.
The aforementioned “Time That Remains,” portrays a picture of hope with a look toward the future. Grontier’s lyrics are full of beauty and sage advice, telling that the past should not be relived, and the pain of the past should not be dwelled on. Moving forward with life is all that anyone can do. With a beautiful melody and terrific harmony, Grontier sings like an angel on “Time That Remains.” This is an uplifting song that shows how future achievements in life can be grand, despite what has happened in the past. One should use the time that remains to create great memories, and forget about the pains of the past.
Three Days Grace has once again delivered a solid, enjoyable, album in Transit Of Venus. Fans of the band are going to love this record a lot, but there is plenty for new fans to grab onto as well. With the proper balance between rockers and ballads, nice melodies, deep lyrics, and plenty of energy, Transit Of Venus is a solid record worthy of quite a few plays through the I-Pod.
Rating: Out of 10
01. Sign Of The Times
02. Chalk Outline
03. The High Road
06. Misery Loves My Company
07. Give In To Me
09. Give Me A Reason
10. Time That Remains
12. Broken Glass
13. Unbreakable Heart
Three Days Grace Is:
Adam Gontier – Lead vocals, rhythm guitar
Barry Stock – Lead Guitar
Neil Sanderson – Drums
Brad Walst – Bass
If you have never had the opportunity to see Kix live in concert, then you are missing out on one of the greatest live acts in the history of hard rock music. Kix is a dynamic, amazing, intensely entertaining live band that is worth seeing multiple times. Fortunately for those fans who have never witnessed Kix in all of their phenomenal live glory, the band recently released a new live album, Live In Baltimore.
Live In Baltimore is Kix’s first live album in 20 years and it captures the sound of the band as they are now. Recorded at Rams Head in Baltimore, Maryland, Kix captured the experience of a live night with the band. And while the disc doesn’t tell the complete story of a KIx concert, it manages to capture the essence of what a Kix show is all about.
It is during the crowd interaction on “Cold Blood,” that the feeling of a Kix concert really comes together. Lead singer Steve Whiteman hams it up as he does best and getting the crowd involved in the song and the show. Part comedian, part front man, total legend, Steve Whiteman is at his best when he has a microphone in his hand and an audience to interact with. He would be enjoyable at a poetry reading.
There are only 12 songs featured on Live In Baltimore, but it’s enough to really whet the appetite and help fans who have seen the band in concert remember how great a live band Kix really is. With powerful renditions of classic Kix tunes including “Lie Like A Rug,” “Don’t Close Your Eyes,” “Cold Blood,” and “Girl Money,” the extraordinary fun and live energy is manifested on each track. By the end of “Cold Blood,” if you aren’t dying to run out and see Kix live, then you may not be a fan of rock music. Kix gives it their all singing a fantastic version of one of their signature songs and involves the crowd in a great sing-along as only Steve Whiteman can do.
The fun continues throughout the record and comes to a climax during “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah,” one of Kix’s most notorious songs and possible their best live interaction song. Whiteman leads the crowd through key parts of the song and tells his story of women hunting in his best “nice boy loses out again” voice. Whiteman plays the part of a ticked off guy who just missed out on another opportunity for a great night of fun and he plays it perfectly. Even after 30 years in the business, Whiteman is still believable as the guy who failed. It is probably why so many fans relate to and love him.
Live In Baltimore is not a substitution for the real thing, but if you are looking for something to hold you over until the next time Kix comes to your town, this will do nicely. If you have never seen the band live before, then this will provide a nice sampling of what it is like. If you are a long time fan of the band, you will simply love this record. Live In Baltimore is highly recommended to be added to the collection.
Rating: Out of 10
01. No Ring Around Rosie
02. Atomic Bombs
03. Lie Like A Rug
04. Don’t Close Your Eyes
05. Girl Money
06. Cold Blood
07. Cold Shower
08. She Dropped Me The Bomb
09. Blow My Fuse
10. Kix Are For Kids
11. Midnite Dynamite
12. Yeah, Yeah, Yeah
Steve Whiteman – Vocals
Brian Forsythe – Guitars
Jimmy Chalfant – Drums
Ronnie Younkins – Guitars
Mark Schenker – Bass
Reviewed by Ryo Vie
Over the last couple of years, I have heard a lot about Danko Jones and it was all positive. From their live shows to their recorded music, everyone was speaking highly of the band. Even with all of the rave reviews and terrific word of mouth, I never took the time to check them out. So, when their latest disc, Rock And Roll Is Black And Blue, was released, I figured that now was as good a time as any and I decided to give the band a listen. Am I ever glad that I finally took the time to pay attention to Danko Jones.
Rock And Roll Is Black And Blue is the band’s sixth studio album, and having not heard the other five, I wasn’t sure what to expect. What I got was a blues/rock record full of sexual vibes, hard rocking music, and a 10 on the fun factor! Anyone who is a fan of songs about hot women, rock music, and having a great time on a daily basis, is going to love Rock And Roll Is Black And Blue. While the subject matter is light and playful, the music is fast and furious, creating an overall vibe that is nothing short of terrific.
Songs like “Legs,” “You Wear Me Down,” and “Type Of Girl,” are exactly what they seem, but not in a clichéd sort of way. Danko Jones found a way to take standard themes of hard rock music and breathe a whole new life into them, crafting fun songs that everyone will want to sing along to. “Legs” in particular is a great sing along with a shouting chorus of “Legs! Legs! Legs! Long legs!” And while that may seem simple in print, it’s nothing but pure fun with the volume cranked up.
Ripe with rhythmic riffs, several chord changes, and a lot of musical prowess, Rock And Roll Is Black And Blue is a solid album. The passion that Danko Jones has for his music is evident in the songs provided on this disc. Rock And Roll Is Black And Blue is one of those highly entertaining albums that you fall in love with right away. By the second time through the record you will find yourself singing along, hitting the repeat button (particularly for “Legs” and “Just A Beautiful Day”), and just wanting to hear the album over and over again.
Rock And Roll Is Black And Blue is a great reminder that music doesn’t always have to be deep and meaningful—sometimes music can just be fun. Danko Jones reminds us all of what we loved in early sleaze metal: women, music, and women. It’s a refreshing change of pace from the dark melodrama that dominates the rock scene today. If you are yearning to discover fun music that will find your lips moving and your backside shaking, as you dance around your living room in your underpants, Rock And Roll Is Black And Blue is the record for you. Danko Jones, I only wish that I had paid attention to you sooner than this!
Rating: Out of 10
02. Get Up
04. Just A Beautiful Day
05. I Don’t Care
06. You Wear Me Down
07. Type Of Girl
08. Always Away
10. Don’t Do This
11. The Masochist
12. I Believed In God
13. I Believed In God (Reprise)
Danko Jones Is:
Danko Jones – Vocals, Guitars
John Calabrese – Bass Guitar
Atom Willard – Drums
Reviewed by Ryo Vie
Eonian Records has been putting out some cool stuff over the last few years, but their latest release No Retreat by Youngblood is a step above anything they have put out yet. How this CD didn’t get released in the early nineties is mind-boggling! No Retreat is packed with catchy tunes that every fan of hair metal is going to love.
What does the band sound like? How about a blend of Steelheart, Poison and Extreme?! It really is that good! Singer Bobby Sisk could give Miljenko Matijevic a run for his money.
No Retreat is one of those rare releases where there is no filler songs at all. My favorites are “Pump It Up”, “Get Down To It”, “Heat of the Passion”, “Taste of Your Lovin’ “, “Back In My Life” and “Don’t Play With My Head”. It is a tall order for any band to write an album full of good songs. Youngblood has dished out sixteen of them on “No Retreat”!
With music this good, I hope Youngblood will do some reunion shows. I would love to hear the songs on No Retreat played live!
If you are a fan of hair metal, do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of this CD! You won’t be disappointed!
Rating: Out of 10
01. Pump It Up
02. Love Is All Around
03. Sock It To Me
04. Get Down To It
05. Shot of You
06. Heat of the Passion
07. Save Your Lies
08. Feel Thang
09. Find A Way
10. Taste Of Your Lovin’
11. Back In My Life
12. Coming Home
13. My One and Only
14. Don’t Play With My Head
15. You’ve Gotta Go
16. I Love You
Bobby Sisk – Lead Vocals
Jeff Diehl – Guitars & Vocals
Eric Saylors – Guitars & Vocals
Danny William – Keyboards & Vocals
Kyle Koker – Bass & Vocals
Kevin Kale – Drums
You wanted the best, you got the best! The hottest band in the world! Kiss! Kiss is back with their 20th studio album, Monster, the follow up to 2009’s fabulous Sonic Boom. Can Kiss repeat their spectacular performance from their last album, or will Monster fall flat on its face? That is a question that many die hard Kiss fans were wondering. Do these aging rockers still have what it takes to produce a record that fans are going to want to listen to over and over again?
If the album were judged solely on the strength of the first single (and first track), “Hell Or Hallelujah,” then the answer is no. “Hell Or Hallelujah” is not a strong song. It’s not a terrible piece of music, it is just plain, which is not something that one would expect from Kiss. Fortunately for fans all over the world, Monster contains more than just the lead track.
Monster is armed with typical Kiss themes of girls, music, girls, parties, girls, rock and roll, and girls. And even though they are aging rockers, they still make singing about girls and rock music a whole lot of fun. Kiss has delivered a phenomenal package of rock music that both long time fans and newcomers alike are going to love. After nearly 40 years in the business, Kiss still has what it takes to make a significant rock record that music lovers will want to hear.
“Wall Of Sound” is a terrific, hard rocker featuring lead vocals by Gene Simmons. Thankfully, this is not a self-centered Gene Simmons song about sleeping with thousands of women, or being the greatest human being alive. On “Wall Of Sound,” Gene reached a little deeper to not flaunt himself, but to sing about rock and roll and the wall of sound that makes fans excited. “Wall Of Sound,” can also be used as a metaphor for life, showing how the harder you try at something, the better you are going to be. It all comes down to the amount of effort a person is willing to put in. With slick solos by Tommy Thayer, and beautiful musical arrangements and chord changes, “Wall Of Sound” is one of the better songs to be found on Monster.
Tommy Thayer takes over lead vocals for the tantalizing “Outta This World.” This is a superb song with terrific solos, excellent changes, and a great beat. Hearing Tommy sing lead vocals is a real treat as well and left me wanting to hear Thayer sing lead on more songs. Thayer has a solid voice, is adept at crafting a song, and creates al highly enjoyable experience for the listener. I would much rather see Tommy Thayer perform “Outta This World” live, instead of “Shock Me.” Let’s hope that Kiss let’s Tommy’s original songs speak for themselves on the next tour.
“Long Way Down” is a nice melodic rocker composed and sung by Paul Stanley. The harmony vocals from Tommy Thayer add a nice touch and provide a pleasing balance with Paul’s voice. “Long Way Down,” is another of those great Kiss rock and roll songs, telling stories about the crowd, the music business, and continuing to make a significant contribution in rock and roll after many years. It’s always enjoyable when Paul writes from the heart, and “Long Way Down” feels like a song that Stanley really put all of his emotions into as a thank you to the fans.
“Take Me Down,” is one of the best tracks that Monster has to offer. Not surprisingly, this is a song about loving women and the sexual escapades that can only happen to a member of a rock band. What makes “Take Me Down” so grand is the depth provided in the music. While the lyrics are playful and light, the musical composition is deep and meaningful. It’s quite obvious that the addition of Tommy Thayer to the band has had a profound effect on Kiss. The extra layers of depth and creativity that Thayer provides has not gone unnoticed. He has been able to elevate Kiss to continue to make significant music.
“All For The Love Of Rock & Roll” finds Eric Singer on lead vocals, doing a fine job. While his voice is reminiscent of Peter Criss, Singer provides enough of his own personality to help “All For The Love Of Rock & Roll” stand out as his own song. Singing about performing the music for love, not for fame or girls, is a tired theme that has been revisited countless times by endless bands, but hearing Eric Singer give his take on the theme is still a treat for the ears. This is another song that I hope Kiss will consider performing in concert.
Once again, Kiss has delivered another high quality record. Monster is better than Sonic Boom, better than Psycho Circus, and rivals their albums of the 70s for greatest Kiss albums ever. Once again, Kiss has recorded music for the masses that already has fans wondering when they will release more. Because when something is this good, you just can’t get enough!
Rating: Out of 10
- Hell Or Hallelujah
- Wall Of Sound
- Back To The Stone
- Shout Mercy
- Eat Your Heart Out
- Long Way Down
- The Devil Is Me
- Outta This World
- Take Me Down
- All For The Love Of Rock & Roll
- Last Chance
Gene Simmons – Vocals, Bass Guitar
Paul Stanley – Vocals, Rhythm Guitar
Tommy Thayer – Lead Guitar, Vocals
Eric Singer – Drums, Vocals
You may have seen the new SNEW CD, What’s It To Ya advertised on That Metal Show. You may have even said, “Who in the hell is SNEW?” Let me tell you, if you haven’t checked SNEW yet, you are missing out on one of the best new bands to come out of Hollywood in quite some time. What does SNEW sound like? Blend the ass-kicking rock of Jackyl, AC/DC and maybe a dabble of Accept, and you will know what to expect. What’s it To Ya is SNEW’s third CD, and easily their best. To my ears, this CD features the band’s best music, and song writing to date. This CD is packed with a bunch of catchy hard rocking tunes, that classic rock fans are going to love.
So what’s new about SNEW this time? The band now features former Black Sheep front man, Willie Basse on bass. Willie’s big bass sound only helps to bolster SNEW’s take no prisoner’s style of rock. I don’t know if his addition has added new energy to the band, but Curtis Don Vito is singing like a man possessed on his record. Every single song rocks, and while this isn’t the longest of CD’s, it is 40 minutes of some of the best hell raising tunes I have listened to in 2012. I can’t get enough of this!
If you like bluesy, raw, kick-ass rock & roll, What’s It To Ya is a CD you are going to want to add to your collection and soon! You can become a member of the SNEW World order by picking up What’s It To Ya at Amazon.com, iTunes or direct from the band at Snewstore.com. Don’t miss this!
Rating: Out of 10
01. Release The Beast
02. I Got A Rocket
03. Pull My Stinger
05. Tearing Up Your City
06. Clever Girl
08. Bad Words
09. What’s It To Ya
10. All Over You
Curtis Don Vito – vocals and harmonica
Andy Lux – guitar
Mark Ohrenberger – drums
Willie Basse – bass
Heavy, powerful, dominate: all are good adjectives to describe Eve To Dawn, the latest record from Japan’s Loudness. This album is like a fresh kick to the groin in a world of stagnant metal. This is Iron Maiden meets Anthrax turned up to eleven! Even though they have been rocking the masses since 1981, Loudness proves that they still know how to make the hair on the back of your neck stand up while blowing out your eardrums in style.
If you haven’t followed Loudness in a while, Eve To Dawn is a good record to get you back into the band. If you’ve never listened to Loudness, Eve To Dawn is a great record to get you interested in the band (you may even seek out their back catalog after listening to this record). Innovation and style paint this disc in a musical landscape that is amazing to the ears of even the most seasoned heavy metal lover.
Songs like “Gonna Do It My Way” showcase how superb Eve To Dawn is. With smart lyrics, exceptional guitar solos, and gritty vocals from lead singer Minoru Niihara, “Gonna Do It My Way” reminds us all how much fun hard rock music can be. Blistering solos and fantastic finger work on “Hang Tough” are reminiscent of Nuno Bettencourt in his prime. “Hang Tough” is a hard and heavy rocker complete with some great rock screams, dark riffs, and mesmerizing guitar solos.
Guitarist Akira Takasaki provides chops that would put most modern guitar players to shame. The lead guitar work is some of the best that I’ve heard on any album released in 2012. Takasaki’s fret work is simply astonishing. If you are a fan of guitars, guitar solos, and a crisp thrash metal sound, Eve To Dawn should be added to your “must own” list.
The instrumental track, “Emotions” may be one of the best overall tracks on Eve To Dawn. Once again, it is Akira Takasaki’s guitar work that makes this song stand out. His playing is simply mind blowing on “Emotions.” Throughout Eve To Dawn, I continued to be amazed at the ability of Takasaki as a guitar player. The guitar work, changes, and musical prowess really helps solidify Eve To Dawn and raise it from mediocre levels to outstanding.
Eve To Dawn is a terrific record that I highly recommend for any fans of the hard rock/sleaze metal genre. It could be the biggest surprise of 2012. Just as I was blown away by the band’s M3 performance, I am once again blown away by their latest CD release. Hard rock has been made fun again thanks to Loudness and Eve To Dawn.
Rating: Out of 10
- A Light In The Dark
- The Power Of Truth
- Come Alive Again
- Keep You Burning
- Gonna Do It My Way
- Hang Tough
- Comes The Dawn
- Crazy! Crazy! Crazy!
Masayoshi Yamashita – Bass
Akira Takasaki – Guitar
Minoru Niihara – Vocals
Masayuki Suzuki – Drums
In this Moment is a band that I believe has potential to be a major force in the heavy metal world. The band has been on the cusp of being the next big metal band. The band has a very strong fan base, and I have always felt that they need one more successful album to push them up the METAL ladder. If their latest album Blood doesn’t get them there, it is going to take them a little bit closer.
Maria Brink is a super talented vocalist, and on Blood, her vocals takes the music of In this Moment to new heights. Blood is easily the band’s most creative output to date. The band is stretching its wings past its metalcore roots. I hear a lot of different musical elements and influences in the music, including Slipknot, Five Finger Death Punch, and maybe even a little bit of Nine Inch Nails. Many of the songs sound very mainstream radio ready, but this isn’t paint-by-numbers metal.
There are songs on Blood where Maria Brink’s voice seem to come from the depths of hell, and on others, she delights the auditory senses with her uncanny vocal ability. This is the first album without In the Moment founders Jeff Fabb and Blake Bunzel. I thought In This Moment’s sound might suffer from a shift in the lineup, but quite frankly the addition of Randy Weitzel, Travis Johnson, and Tom Hane have been an upgrade to In This Moment’s sound. Chris Howarth’s blazing guitars are still very present in Blood, but don’t expect a face melting solo in every song.
It took me a few spins to truly get into Blood, but I seem to like this album more with every listen. Some of the stand out tracks include “Adrenalize”, “You’re Gonna Listen”, the hit worthy “From the Ashes” and “The Blood Legion”. I am not a fan of the effects packed into the first single and title track “Blood”. I think this is a much better song live than the version that is on the album.
Overall, Blood is a very interesting and creative album from In This Moment. It isn’t a perfect album by any means, but it is entertaining, and that is why I listen to music.
Rating: Out of 10
1. Rise with Me
5. You’re Gonna’ Listen
6. It Is Written
10. From The Ashes
11. Beast Within
13. The Blood Legion
In This Moment is:
Maria Brink – Vocals
Chris Howorth – Lead Guitar
Travis Johnson – Bass
Randy Weitzel – Guitar
Tom Hane – Drums
I have been a fan of Irish rockers Million Dollar Reload since I first heard their debut album, Anthems for a Degeneration four long years ago! Their debut album was killer, and their latest effort, A Sinner’s Saint is no sophomore slump by any means.
I have described Million Dollar Reload in the past as a cross between Buckcherry and AC/DC, and their sound is still very much the same, and I couldn’t be happier. Phil Conalane is a tremendous vocalist, and it is his vocals that really make Million Dollar Reload’s music a step above so many other bands in this vein.
The opening cuts “Fight The System” and “Bullets in the Sky” deliver that one, two punch that will make you listen to the rest of
A Sinner’s Saint to see what other gems the band has in store for you. The album has plenty of more cool cuts that you will definitely want to check out.
The song “Broken” is a slower tune that ought to be a massive hit for the band. “I Am The Rapture”, “Smoke ‘N Mirrors” and “Headrush” are also amongst my favorites. There really isn’t a bad song in the bunch. All of the songs on “A Sinner’s Saint” would sound great in a live setting. I am hopeful that “A Sinner’s Saint” will bring Million Dollar Reload back to the U.S. to tour. Until then, I will be cranking up this CD, and you should be too!
If you like straight forward classic rock, you are going to love A Sinner’s Saint. Check it out!
You can purchase A Sinner’s Saint from Amazon.com. I highly recommend it!
Rating: Out of 10
A Sinner’s Saint Track Listing:
1. Fight The System
2. Bullets In The Sky
3. Blow Me Away
4. Can’t Tie Me Down
6. I Am The Rapture
8. Smoke ‘N Mirrors
10. Pretty People
11. It Ain’t Over
Million Dollar Reload is:
Phil Conlon : Lead Vocals
Andy Mackle: Guitars
Brian Mallon: Guitars
Kie McMurray: Bass
Sean McKernan: Drums
I am always overjoyed when metal bands from the 80s are still taking the time and effort to record new music. It’s nice to know that they are still dedicated to their craft and don’t want to just fall back on their old hit records, touring only behind those songs, or worse, re-record their old hits (something that I’ve never understood). So, when I learned that Lita Ford had a new record out (Living Like A Runaway), I was excited. I was looking forward to listening what Lita had been up to recently. Then I heard the record. My excitement dissipated like the morning fog.
It’s not that Like A Runaway is a terrible record, it’s just not a very exciting album. There are few songs to rally behind and give multiple listens. Most of the album is rather pedestrian and boring. Sometimes that’s worse than putting out a horrendous record. Ford’s vocals are subpar and lack energy, on the songs where she actually sings (as opposed to talking through the vocals).
Lead track, “Branded,” and the follow up song “Hate,” are very weak introductions to the record and it isn’t until the title track (fourth on the album) that things pick up. Again, these songs aren’t terrible, but none of the first three tracks do anything to excite me. None of them make me want to sing along, or get stuck in my head. They all hang in the air and then quickly fade into the oblivion of forgotten.
“Love 2 Hate U” was a song that showed potential early on, but suffered from clichés and weak vocals by both Lita Ford and duet partner Gary Hoey. Add into the mix some lame lyrics (I gave you lovin/your first real lovin/in the backseat/on the night I bought your first real car). Ugh. There is almost no thought in those lyrics. And while the music is somewhat catchy and the guitar riffs rock hard, the terrible vocals and lyrics can’t be overcome.
There are some high points on Living Like A Runaway. A lot of the guitar work is above average, and some of the solos really rock hard. The title track of the album, “Like A Runaway” is a great, nostalgic song that harkens back to Ford’s earliest days as a rock musician in her former band The Runaways. The song has a nice arrangement and overall is quite enjoyable. Ford has a tendency to speak through rather than sing out on the song, which is a recurring problem on most of the album, but otherwise “Like A Runaway” is a solid tune. I expect that it will sell well as a single.
Recent news is that Lita has been getting together with old Runaways band mates, discussing the possibility of a reunion. And maybe there is a reason for that. If she continues to put out lackluster albums like Living Like A Runaway, there won’t be much of a solo career for Lita Ford to fall back on.
Rating: Out of 10
- The Mask
- Like A Runaway
- Devil In My Head
- Love To Hate You
- A Song To Slit Your Wrists By
Reviewed by Ryo Vie
While there is a few good tunes on the new CD, it did not live up to my expectations.
On the good side, Slash plays his ass off, and truly delivers some killer riffs. This might be his best playing since his Guns N’ Roses days.
On the bad side, I think I have seen (or heard) Myles Kennedy’s one weakness as a singer. On the mid tempo songs he sounds great! On the high tempo songs, he gets a little screachy, and in my opinion, his voice doesn’t work well on those songs. Luckily there aren’t many songs like this, but
there are a few that I want to skip over.
Apocalyptic Love really starts picking up steam with “You’re A Lie”. The best songs on the album start at this point on Apocalyptic Love.
With that being said, there are a few good songs worth checking out including the first single “You’re A Lie”, “No More Heroes”, “Anastasia”, “Hard Rain”, and “Shots Fired”.
My favorite track on Apocalyptic Love is “Anastasia”. This song starts off with a simple acoustic part which makes you
think this is going to be a simple or even a weak track. One listen, and you quickly find that is one of the strongest
songs on the album. (Check it out below).
“Far and Away” is the slowest number on Apocalyptic Love. This song has a blusier feel to it, and Kennedy’s voice shines on this track.
Apocalyptic Love isn’t a perfect CD, but it is still worth checking out. I enjoyed most of the songs on the album, and few stronger tracks and this could have been one of 2012’s best albums.
01. Apocalyptic Love
02. One Last Thrill
03. Standing In The Sun
04. You’re A Lie
05. No More Heroes
07. We Will Roam
09. Not For Me
10. Bad Rain
11. Hard And Fast
12. Far And Away
13. Shots Fired
Slash featuring Myles Kennedy & the Conspirators are:
Slash – Guitar
Myles Kennedy – Vocals
Todd Kerns – Bass
Brent Fitz – Drums
You can purchase Apocalyptic Love from Amazon.com at this link.
Rock veterans Vinny Appice (Black Sabbath, Dio) and Rex Brown (Pantera) have formed a stupendous band named Kill Devil Hill. Named after the town in North Carolina that was famous for pirating way back when, Kill Devil Hill has released their self-titled debut album. With a seasoned veteran like Appice at the helm, there is no doubt that Kill Devil Hill is going to be one amazing hard rock ride.
I really like vocalist Dewey Bragg’s voice on this record. Little is known (or at least, little is revealed) about his background and past musical accomplishments, but however his band mates found him, they should be proud of themselves. Dewey Bragg sings like a seasoned champion. He has a deep, dark voice that fits the melodies of 90s grunge (think Alice In Chains). His vocals are sharp and clear, and his voice adds plenty of depth to the great rhythms played by the rest of the band.
The overall mood on Kill Devil Hill is dark and eerie, yet highly enjoyable. It is doom and gloom meets modern rock minus all the filler. There are only choice cuts of hearty music to be had on this exciting debut record. Imagine a hybrid of Blue Murder and Alice In Chains and that will give you the best idea of what Kill Devil Hill sounds like. This music is fantastic!
With an infectious groove and sultry vocals from Bragg, “Voodoo Doll” is one of the strongest tracks on Kill Devil Hill. The song launches with a superb guitar solo from Mark Zavon (most recently a guitarist for WASP). It then kicks into overdrive as Bragg sings some of his best work on the record. Filled with exceptional time changes, powerful vocals, and incredible melodies, “Voodoo Doll” is a song that everyone is bound to fall in love with.
“We’re All Gonna Die” is another solid song that showcases not only Bragg’s ability, but also the intensity of rhythm section Vinny Appice (on drums) and Rex Brown (on bass guitar). Launching with a roaring drum beat then sliding into dark vocals from Bragg, “We’re All Gonna Die,” is a heavy, grunge-tinged song, very reminiscent of 90-s rock. This could be Appice’s best work on the record, as the drums are extraordinary. Rex Brown keeps pace with some superb bass playing and all tied together “We’re All Gonna Die” is an excellent song.
“Old Man” is a song that plays like a perfect session of love making. Fast and furious leads into slow and caring, then speeds up again before hitting the climax. The tune starts hard and heavy, like most sessions do, building to a rhythmic pace of excellence. When the hook comes, the song slows down, becoming melodic and deep. Then it’s back to the fast paced verse. The pacing of “Old Man” is the biggest part of what makes it such an attractive song. Kill Devil Hill could have a real hit on their hands if they were to release “Old Man” as a single.
With a great rhythm section, an astonishing lead singer, and some wicked guitars, Kill Devil Hill is a solid record that hard rock fans should add to their collection. If your ears hunger to hear some innovative, solid rock music, then grab a copy of Kill Devil Hill and let it play. You’re guaranteed some fantastic music created by some of the best in the business.
- War Machine
- Voodoo Doll
- Gates Of Hell
- Rise From The Shadows
- We’re All Gonna Die
- Time & Time Again
- Old Man
- Mysterious Ways
- Up In Flames
Kill Devil Hill Is:
Rex Brown – Bass
Vinny Appice – Drums
Mark Zavon – Guitar
Dewey Bragg – Vocals
Buy your copy of Kill Devil Hill’s CD at Amazon.com at this link!
Let’s make one thing perfectly clear — if you are a fan of the harder side of Hard Rock Hideout, you are not going to have any interest in Donnie Vie’s solo effort, Wrapped Around My Middle Finger. That having been said, if you like the softer side of rock once in a while, then this is an album you will fall in love with. Even without his band mates from Enuff Z’Nuff, Donnie Vie has put out some spectacular, haunting, beautiful music.
As he has done for years in Enuff Z’Nuff, Donnie Vie writes sweet, smooth melodies overlaid with beautiful lyrics. On Wrapped Around My Middle Finger Vie tends to lean toward the ballads and moderate tempo songs, but they are so expertly crafted that it is a joy to hear them. While there may not be any cranking guitars or drum solos, there is still impressive, beautiful, melodic music.
Starting with the opening notes of the title track, “Wrapped Around My Middle Finger” sucks you in to hear more. The amazing “Lisa” and hook catchy “Now Ya Know” lead the way in anchoring the album as a solid record. After a few spins, every listener will find themselves singing along to “Now Ya Know.” “I Won’t Let You Down” is another love song done right. The changes and expert guitar playing mixed in with Vie’s raspy vocals create a fantastic song that is one of the best the album has to offer.
Vie continues to inspire. Even after more than 20 years of song writing, he is still able to craft fresh lyrics blended with perfect harmonies and melodies that never tire. Wrapped Around My Middle Finger is just another example of the great artist Donnie Vie is. If you are a fan of Enuff Z’Nuff’s softer side, exceptional lyrics, or superb soft melodies that are easy to sing along with, then you are going to love Wrapped Around My Middle Finger.
Rating: Out of 10
- Wrapped Around My Middle Finger
- Daddy’s Girl
- Now Ya Know
- No Escape
- Lil Wonder
- Flames Of Love
- Rattle On
- I Won’t Let You Down
Donnie Vie Band Is:
Donnie Vie – Vocals, Guitars
Jimmy Maguire – Guitars
Patrick Pulver – Bass
Randi Scott – Drums
It is a good thing that I don’t review CD’s after one listen. After I listened to L.A. Guns new CD, Hollywood Forever the first time, I didn’t like it very much. Maybe I expected this album to be another Cocked & Loaded, or maybe I was just too tired when I listened to it. Needless to say, my opinion has done a complete 180 since then, I can’t get this CD out of player. Hollywood Forever may not be Cocked & Loaded, but it is clearly their best album L.A. Guns have released since Hollywood Vampires.
L.A. Guns has managed to recapture their former sound and this is due mainly to the killer guitar work of Stacey Blades. . Hollywood Forever oozes that awesome 80’s sleazy sound, and that is due mainly to Stacey’s playing on this album.
L.A. Guns most powerful instrument has always been the voice of Phil Lewis. Phil proves that he still has one of the best voices in the business on Hollywood Forever.
The album starts off with the ripping title track “Hollywood Forever”. This is the way to start out a rock album. This heavy rocker could go down as one of L.A. Guns best yet.
The best songs on the album are ‘Hollywood Forever”, “You Better Not Love Me”, “Sweet Mystery” and “I Won’t Play”, but there are several more that will grow on you with every listen. “Eel Pie” is one of those tracks that I keep finding myself replaying. “Vine Street Shimmy” is another song that I keep gravitating too. I hope this one finds its way into L.A. Guns live set some time soon. This is a fun and upbeat rocker that L.A. Guns fans are going to love.
I thought the inclusion of the cover song Arana Negra was pretty clever, even though it is in Spanish. I understand the lyrics “Hola coma estas”, but my Spanish is pretty weak after that. It is a catchy song, even if I don’t know all of the words that Phil Lewis is singing.
Overall, this is a very strong effort from L.A. Guns, and one that every fan should pick up. I love this album, and I think you will too!
You can purchase Hollywood Forever from Amazon.com at this link. Don’t miss this!
Rating: Out of 10
01. Hollywood Forever
02. You Better Not Love Me
03. Eel Pie
04. Sweet Mystery
06. Vine St. Shimmy
07. Dirty Black Night
08. Underneath The Sun
10. Crazy Tango
11. Venus Bomb
12. I Won’t Play
13. Requiem (Hollywood Forever)
14. Arana Negra (Black Spider)
L.A. Guns are:
Phil Lewis – vocals
Stacey Blades – guitar
Scotty Griffin – bass
Steve Riley – drums
Kelly Nickels – bass and backing vocals