Sleaze Rock has seen one of hell of a resurgence over the past few years. While the majority of the bands have came out of Sweden, Johnny Burning is here to show the world that Italians can do it just as good if not better than the Swedes and judging from their album “Get Up, Get Loose, Get Off!” this five piece band from Imola, Italy are definitely on the right track.
There are about three song titles that kind of leave me scratching my head wondering what they are talking about. The first such song is the lead off track “Wrong Shape” but the guys can be forgiven because the song absolutely rocks with a great groove, catchy lyrics, a great sing a long chorus, and a smoking solo. Lead singer Manuel (no last name needed) sounds like a cross between the legendary Jesse Hart (Southgang) and Mimmo (Krystal), the guy can really sing and probably the biggest thing for me, I can understand what he is singing which unfortunately has kept me from being able to get into a couple of other Italian bands in the past. I’m not sure who is supposed to get credit for the solo since the band has two guitarists D.B. & Niko (once again no last names needed), but neither are distinguished as the lead or rhythm.
“Devil Inside” pretty much follows the same suit as “Wrong Shape” and it is just as rocking too. These guys definitely know how to write catchy songs with great hooks that will keep a part of your body tapping be it your head, feet, or hands you won’t be able to help yourself.
The third track is another one of those scratching my head title and it definitely gets my vote for the most interesting song title of year “Sassy Lassie Goose” is another great song that follows the same recipe as the albums first two tracks and pretty the rest of the album follows as well.
I have no idea what “Idiota” means but Johnny Burning changes things up just enough with this track to keep things interesting with it’s an a capella opening and throwing some harmonica in there as well.
“Shine” is the ballad/mid tempo song on the album and unfortunately it was written about 20 years to late because back in the 80′s this song would have been a monster hit. It could have easily stood toe to toe with any song released by Bon Jovi, Poison, Great White, or any other band we could sit here and name and it could just as easily stand toe to toe with any of the power ballads that have been released over the past couple of years, maybe a disc jockey somewhere will give this song the chance it deserves and give it some air play.
For “Rock in the U.S.A.” the guys drop the sleaze and give a more melodic approach but the results are just as great as any other song on this album.
I can’t forget the rhythm section of Cesko on bass and Rob on drums because they definitely keep everybody in line on this album.
If you like your rock sleazy with a touch of blues, big choruses, and smokin’ solos Johnny Burning maybe exactly what you are looking for.
02. Wrong Shape
03. Devil Inside
05. Sassy Lassie Goose
06. Lost & Found
07. Burning Miracle
08. Time To Rock
10. Rock In The U.S.A.
11. Turn Down Just To Leave It
Johnny Burning is:
Manuel – vocals
D.B. – guitars
Niko – guitars
Cesko – bass
Rob – drums
Oklahoma City’s bad boy rockers Hinder are back with their first release of new material in three years. Was the three years worth the wait? I’ll answer that with a resounding YES! As much as I loved their debut “Extreme Behavior” “Take It To The Limit” leaves it in the dust. For all the “single” fans I have to warn you there is not a “Lips of an Angel” on this album and I think the album is better off without it. “Take To The Limit” is a stronger album from start to finish than the band’s debut.
Hinder’s mantra from the get go has always been “Sex, Drugs, & Rock-n-Roll” the more the better and they deliver by the bucket loads on this album. Right from the start with “Use Me” Hinder take us on a wild ride filled with debauchery and fun. I don’t usually like to compare videos to songs but I have to admit the video for “Use Me” is one of the hottest videos I have seen in a long time and the song is just as strong without the video. Guitarists Joe Garvey and Mark King are the perfect tag team trading licks back n forth while Austin Winkler lets all of us know how much he is going love being used.
“Loaded & Alone” is one of two songs that really caught my attention because it seems so autobiographical as they sing about someone giving up everything for fame and once they get the fame wanting what they gave up back. Once again Garvey and King’s playing make this song even better and not to be left out of the picture bassist Mike Rodden lays down some great lines and drummer Cody Hanson gives his best performance on the album.
“Last Kiss Goodbye” is a mid tempo rocker about a cheating significant other and I wouldn’t be surprised if this is a huge hit if released as a single. “Up All Night” is exactly what the title suggest an all out anthem party song, filled with great gang vocals and a very cool opening from Garvey & King and another solid performance from Hanson.
“Without You” is the second release off “Take It To The Limit” and this album’s monster ballad. To be honest it blows “Lips of an Angel” out of the water. It is guaranteed to have people lighting their bics and cell phones when this is played live.
People try to lump Hinder into the “Post Grunge” genre even while the guys have stated over and over that Motley Crue is one of their biggest influences. The title track has had a lot of people talking because the guys are joined by the one and only Mick Mars who plays the solo. The song itself is another great party song that completely lives up to the hype, great groove, killer gang vocals, and Mick Mars like the legend he is completely nails the solo.
“The Best Is Yet To Come” is another mid tempo rocker that has the band looking back to the past but also looking forward to the future. I can see this song not only being a hit but also the class song for a lot of senior high classes graduating this year.
“Heaven Sent”, “Thing For You”, and “Lost In The Sun” are all great mid tempo rockers and all of them have single potential.
“Far From Home” closes the album and it is the second song that really caught my attention because it is so autobiographical about leaving life behind to follow a dream.
Like them or not Hinder is one of the bands leading the revival for straight up rock-n-roll and “Take It To The Limit” is going to go a long way in helping the cause.
1. Use Me
2. Loaded and Alone
3. Last Kiss Goodbye
4. Up All Night
5. Without You
6. Take It to the Limit
7. The Best is Yet to Come
8. Heaven Sent
9. Thing for You
10. Lost in the Sun
11. Far from Home
Austin Winkler – Vocals
Joe “Blower” Garvey – Guitar
Mark King – Guitar
Mike Rodden – Bass
Cody Hanson – Drums
I enjoyed “Sinner” quite a bit, so I was anxious to hear what the Aussie King of the Badasses had in store for us, with his new disc “Judgement Day”.
Dave brought in his writing mate Mark Tinson to craft nine new tunes to get you rocking.
If you are familiar with the sound of Australian pub rock, then you will know what to expect with this CD. You get a bunch of hard rocking tunes with loud guitars that will get your blood pumping.
55 year old Dave Evans can still get in done in 2008. His vocals combined with the bluesy guitar licks of Ngariki makes this a fun disc to listen to. Guitarist Ngariki is a very good player, and his bluesy fretwork greatly augments the songs on “Judgement Day”.
Just listen to his playing on my favorite cuts “We Don’t Dance To Your Song”, “Little Headbanger” and “You Talkin’ To Me?”. He really kicks ass. I would love to see him handle these tunes in a live setting.
Bob Dylan, The Animals, Geordie, and countless other bands have covered “House of the Rising Sun”. Dave Evans doesn’t really add any new twists to the song, but I like his version.
I don’t think the songs on “Judgement Day” are quite as strong as Dave Evans last disc “Sinner”, but I still thought the CD was pretty good nonetheless. It is another solid effort from Dave Evans and company.
The two song clips below will give you a brief taste of “Judgement Day”. Check them out, and if you like what you hear, You can purchase your copy of “Judgement Day” at Chaos.com, CDWow or through iTunes!
For more information on Dave Evans, check out his myspace page.
1. We Don’t Dance To Your Song
2. Little Headbanger
3. Another Boy On The Street
4. You Talkin’ To Me?
5. Ain’t Gonna Do You To Me Anymore
6. Band Molls
7. Shoot On Sight
8. Helluva Night
9. Judgement Day
10. House Of The Rising Sun
Dave Evans Band is:
Dave Evans – Lead Vocals
Ngariki – Lead Guitar and Background Vocals
Steve (Mac) McLennan – Drums and Background Vocals
Craig Foster – Bass and Background Vocals
Mark Tinson – Rhythm Guitar and Background Vocals
Trevor Dare – Capo Guitar (Judgement Day and House of the Rising Sun)
2008 gave us two of the most highly anticipated albums in hard rock. One was Metallica’s “Death Magnetic”, the other is “Black Ice” by the Australian Kings of hard rock, AC/DC. Metallica pleased most of their fans with their new disc. Can AC/DC do the same?
In case you haven’t heard, Walmart has the exclusive release of this disc in the United States, and it hits stores as of 12:01 A.M. today (October 20th).
AC/DC must be out to make a statement that they want to rock. Check out some of the song titles on “Black Ice”. On this album you have “Rock ‘N Roll Train”, “She Likes Rock N Roll”, “Rock N Roll Dream”, and “Rocking All the Way”. That is a lot of rock related titles on one album.
If you haven’t heard “Rock ‘N Roll Train” on the radio by now, your radio dial must be stuck on an easy listening station. I like this tune, but I am thankful to say that this is far from the best tune on “Black Ice”. I do like this song a lot, and it is a pretty good tune to get things started on “Black Ice”.
The best part of the song “Skies on Fire”, is Angus Young’s fantastic fret work. This isn’t one of AC/DC’s best tunes, and it isn’t very memorable, but it is an OK listen.
“Big Jack” is a foot stomping, fist throwing stadium anthem that is sure to please. I hope this is one of the songs that AC/DC adds to their set list in their 2008 tour!
AC/DC will surely have another hit on their hands with “Anything Goes”. This song has a really cool, uplifting guitar riff that will help power this song on to the radio.
“War Machine” is the kind of song that gets me pumped up, right before I go into battle (online). I have heard this song quite a bit prior to the album’s release, and like this hard rockin’ adrenaline pumper.
A song that has been growing on me is “Smash N Grab”. When I first heard this tune, I felt like I had heard it before, but couldn’t put my finger on which AC/DC song it reminded me of. I still haven’t figured that one out yet. There are some subtle nuances to this song that give it a slightly different sound.
Man oh mercy, the guitar work on “Spoilin’ For A Fight” is AWESOME! Another excellent tune that could be another AC/DC classic.
“Wheels” is a short little bluesy rocker that could easily be the new official theme song of NASCAR.
The pace slows down a little bit with the song “Decibel”. This is a mid tempo foot stomper with some really cool bluesy guitar licks by Angus Young. At first, I thought Brian Johnson’s pronunciation of the word decibel was incorrect, but there are two different sounds for the word depending on the area of the world you live in. It still bugs me somewhat, but this is an OK song.
“Stormy May Day” has a really cool slide guitar riff, but this was another tune that I thought was just on the OK side.
“She Like Rock N Roll” is another really good anthem that could become another AC/DC classic.
I can’t get the song “Money Made” out of my head. If you listen to this song one time, you will find your self chanting “Work, Work, Money Made”. This tune is extremely catchy, and is another sure fire hit.
“Rock N Roll Dream” is one of those typical AC/DC songs where the main lyric is repeated over and over again. This song is one of the more average tunes on Black Ice.
“Rocking All The Way” is another fun bluesy rocker. Angus Young has this innate ability to take an average song, and turn it into something special with his awesome guitar licks. This is one of those kind of songs.
The album closes out with the title track “Black Ice”. This is another good tune with an ultra cool guitar riff. This is a very strong way to close out this album.
I think AC/DC fans are going to be very pleased with this album. Is AC/DC breaking any new ground with this disc? No, absolutely not. Have the guys lost one iota of talent or skill over the years? No, not one bit. Brian Johnson’s voice is as strong as ever, and the Young brothers are still playing some of the best guitar licks I have ever heard.
“Black Ice” is easily the best new AC/DC album since 1990′s “The Razors Edge” Start your week off right, and get to Walmart and pick this CD up! For those about to pick up “Black Ice”, I salute you!
You can now buy Black Ice through the Hard Rock Hideout music store at this link!
1. Rock ‘N Roll Train
2. Skies On Fire
3. Big Jack
4. Anything Goes
5. War Machine
6. Smash N Grab
7. Spoilin’ For A Fight
10.Stormy May Day
11.She Likes Rock N Roll
13.Rock N Roll Dream
14.Rocking All The Way
Brian Johnson – Vocals
Angus Young – Lead Guitar
Malcolm Young – Rhythm Guitar, Backing Vocals
Cliff Williams – Bass, Backing Vocals
Phil Rudd – Drums
2008 marks the 30th anniversary of the Paul Stanley solo CD (God, that makes me feel old). Ok, if you want to get technical, Paul’s first solo CD didn’t come out until 1997, but the album was out in 1978.
For whatever reason, all four of the KISS solo discs (Gene Simmons, Ace Frehley, Peter Criss, and Paul Stanley) all have KISS on the cover, but it isn’t KISS performing on the discs at all, rather than one member of the band. I guess the KISS name, sells better than their individual names. Anyway, it is hard to listen to this CD, and not compare the songs to KISS, especially with Paul Stanley being the voice of KISS. There are some songs on this record that could have easily been leftover KISS tunes. There are also some songs here that feel like a departure away from the rocking tunes that made KISS famous.
The tunes that are almost KISS like are “Tonight You Belong To Me“, “Move On“, “It’s Alright“, “Love In Chains” ,and “Goodbye“. With no surprise, these are my favorites on this disc. I have always like Stanley’s vocals, and his voices soars on the majority of the tunes. Bob Kulick (older brother of former KISS guitarist, Bruce Kulick) provides some tasty guitar licks on this album.
This album had a minor hit with the ballad, “Hold Me, Touch Me“. It might be my personal taste, but this song sounds dated in 2008, and does not hold up well. This sticky sweet tune sounds like it has more in common with the Doobie Brothers than KISS. I am sure this was a tune used to get couples slow dancing in the local discotheques back in the late 70′s.
To Paul Stanley’s credit, he wrote the majority of the material on this album, with a little bit of help from Mikel Japp. The song writing is pretty good on this record. In my opinion, this release, and the Ace Frehley solo disc, are the best out of the four KISS solo releases from ’78.
If you are a KISS fan, chances are you probably own this. If you don’t, you ought to pick this up.
1. Tonight You Belong To Me
2. Move On
3. Ain’t Quite Right
4. Wouldn’t You Like To Know Me?
5. Take Me Away (Together As One)
6. It’s Alright
7. Hold Me, Touch Me (Think Of Me When We’re Apart)
8. Love In Chains
Musicians on this CD are:
Paul Stanley – Lead Vocals, Background Vocals, Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, E-bows, all guitars on “Hold Me, Touch Me”
Bob Kulick – Lead Guitar, Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar
Richie Fontanta – Drums (“Move On”, Wouldn’t You Like to Know Me”, “Ain’t Quite Right”, “Tonight You Belong To Me”)
Craig Krampf – Drums (“It’s Alright”, “Hold Me,Touch Me”, “Love In Chains”, Goodbye”
Carmine Appice – Drums (“Take Me Away”)
Steve Buslowe – Bass Guitar
Eric Nelson – Bass Guitar
Doug (Gling) Katsaros – Piano
Steve Lacey – Electric Guitar
Pepe Castro, Maaria Vidal, Diana Grasselli, Miriam Naomi Valle – Background Vocals
Back in the day when MTV used to play music videos, one video and song that would not get out of my head was “Balls To The Wall” by Accept. This song and video was a staple on the Headbanger’s Ball on MTV, and was a favorite of mine.
I finally got around to replacing my cassette tape with the remastered CD of Accept’s 1984 metal classic, “Balls To the Wall”. The remastered version was released in 2001and as a bonus, a couple of extra live cuts that were recorded in Japan in 1985 were added to the CD.
“Balls To The Wall” may be the song that everyone knows on this disc, but it isn’t the only good song on this CD by any means.
“London Leatherboys” may not be an instant classic, and does sound a little dated in 2008, but I still like it. “Fight It Back” is the type of stadium anthem that will have you throwing your fists in the air, and banging your head instantly.
“Head Over Heels” has a distinct hair metal sound to it, but is pretty good. I think the live version on this disc is even better than the original. I love the guitar solos on this song.
“Losing More Than You’ve Ever Had” is a mid tempo rocker that sounds like it could have been on a Motley Crue album. The 80′s metal influence on Accept is pretty obvious on this song. Listen to the bass rhythm on this song. It is very Nikki Sixx like. As a whole it is a very cool tune.
“Love Child” is another fist pumping, head banger with more excellent guitar work by Frank and Hoffmann.
“Turn Me On” reminds me a lot of mid 80′s Judas Priest. This is a really cool rocking tune that should have gotten more airplay.
Udo Dirkschneider’s vocals are so abrasive on the anthem, “Losers and Winners” it almost sounds like he is going to shred his vocals chords. (Some may say this is how he always sounds.) Either way it works. This is a killer tune.
“Balls To The Wall” is another enjoyable album by Accept. It is their most successful album to date, but I don’t think it is their absolute best. The more I listen to “Balls to the Wall”, the more I think that the over all sound on this record falls somewhere between the Scorpions and Judas Priest. The song writing might be a little suspect on this disc, but Udo’s distinct vocals push it over the top. Most metal heads will like it, and ought to pick it up.
1. Balls To The Wall
2. London Leatherboys
3. Fight It Back
4. Head Over Heels
5. Losing More Than You’ve Ever Had
6. Love Child
7. Turn Me On
8. Losers and Winners
9. Guardian Of The Night
11. Head Over Heels (Live)
12. Love Child (Live)
Udo Dirkschneider – Vocals
Herman Frank – Guitars
Wolf Hoffmann – Guitars
Peter Baltes – Bass
Stefan Kaufmann – Drums
Forever More is easily one of the most highly anticipated albums of 2008 for this listener. I am a big fan of Tesla, and have been for many years. Their cover albums from 2007 Real to Reel Volume 1 and 2 were really good, and I have had high hopes that the band would put out a CD with some new kick ass tunes for me (and everyone else) to enjoy.
Forever More finally hits stores October 7th. It has been over four and half years since their last studio album, Into the Now. I can gladly say that this album was worth the wait.
The title and opening track “Forever More” has more of a modern feel to it. It reminds me a lot of the sound from the Into the Now record. Frank Hannon’s trademark sounds show up often on this song. This one grows on me each time I hear it.
“I Wanna Live” is a great new rocking tune from Tesla. This is their first single, and it ought to be a hit.
Believe it or not, “One Day At A Time” rocks even harder than “I Wanna Live”. This song ought to be a new concert staple for Tesla.
The first time I heard the song “So What” was right here at HRH. I liked this song the first time I heard it, and still do. (Click here to listen to “So What”).
Each time I hear “Just In Case” I think to myself, man this ought to be a monster hit. This song sound is more similar in sound to The Great Radio Controversy. This song ought to be huge, if radio picks it up. Great stuff!
There are so many good songs on this disc, it is hard to call them all favorites, but “Fallin’ Apart” is definitely one of mine.
“Breakin’ Free” is a very moody sounding tune by Tesla. In fact, I don’t recall hearing them do a song anything like this one before. This song has some modern bass tones, and guitar sounds that initially reminded me of Tool in the beginning of the song. It then morphs into a sound that is more reminiscent of Into the Now. This isn’t my favorite song on Forever More, but isn’t bad either.
“All of Me” also has a very modern sound to it. This is a very mainstream rocker that ought to draw some new fans to Tesla.
I think the song ‘The First Time” should have been named “Extraordinary”, but aside from that, this is a pretty cool tune. Dave Rude breaks out the slide guitar on this bluesy rocker.
Tesla has been performing “Pvt. Ledbetter” during their live shows in 2008, so I was already very familiar with this song. This is also on Tesla’s new DVD, Comin’ Atcha Live. This is another solid tune and is also one of my favorites on Forever More.
“In A Hole Again” has more of that modern sound to it. I love Hannon’s solos on this song, but as a whole (no pun intended) this is my least favorite track on this disc.
The closing track “The Game” has a heavier edge to it, and sounds like it could have been a left over track from the Bust A Nut record. Dave Rude and Frank Hannon really jam on this killer song. This is a really cool tune to close out the album.
Forever More is every bit the album that I hoped it would be. Is it Tesla’s best work? No, not by any means, but it is really good. Forever More is better than their last studio effort Into the Now, and will please Tesla fans everywhere. Forever More has stellar guitar work, great production, and the fantastic vocals of Jeff Keith. What more could a fan want? This is highly recommended listening!
You can buy your copy of Forever More at this link!
1. Forever More
2. I Wanna LIve
3. One Day At A Time
4. So What
5. Just In Case
6. Fallin’ Apart
7. Breakin’ Free
8. All of Me
9. The First Time
10. Pvt. Ledbetter
11.In A Hole Again
12. The Game
Jeff Keith – Vocals
Frank Hannon – Electric & Acoustic Guitars, Keyboards and Background Vocals
Dave Rude – Electric, Acoustic and Slide Guitars, and Background Vocals
Brian Wheat – Bass Guitar and Background Vocals
Troy Luccketta – Drums and Percussion
Sixteen years is a long time to wait for an album to be released, but that is how long I waited for Johnny Crash’s second album “Unfinished Business” to finally see the light of day. I guess the question is was it worth the wait, that is where the answer gets tricky. If any of you read or participate in HRH Forums you may know that Johnny Crash’s debut album “Neighbourhood Threat” is one of my top 5 all time albums. It has great songs from start to end but the biggest thing for me is after listening to it for the past 18 years it still does not sound dated to me. “Hey Kid”, “Crack of Dawn”, & “Ax To The Wax” all sound as great today as they did in 1990 when I first bought the cassette.
Unfortunately that is what is missing off “Unfinished Business” now don’t get me wrong there are some good songs and there are some o.k. songs but there are no great songs and as much as I hate to say it the album sounds very dated. “Damnnation Alley” and “Mama Don’t Care” try to capture the in your face balls to the wall feeling of the debut while they come close in the end just can’t pull it off. “Mama Don’t Care” could definitely be a better song but instead of letting it end the last minute and half is a senseless and useless outro that kills all the momentum of the song. “In The Groove” shows the guys stretching a little bit more with the acoustic intro and could have easily been a good stripper song back in the day but not in ’08. “Rock-n-Roll Suicide” is another attempt at trying to recreate the energy of the debut but it to falls a little short.
It’s not often that I say this but in this instant the best song off of “Unfinished Business” is a ballad “When It Gets Hard”. Vicki James Wright really gets to stretch his vocals on this song, it has a real bluesy feel and a backup choir that really helps fill the song out.
I don’t know if it was the fact that Dizzy Reed replaced August Worchell on lead guitar or because the band was still morning the loss of bassist Andy Rogers who died from a heroin overdose, but something is definitely missing off this album. To answer the question was it worth the wait? Yes and No I love the fact that I got to hear some new Johnny Crash songs, I just wished the songs were a little better than they are.
- Damnation Alley
- Monkey See Monkey Do
- Mama Don’t Care
- In The Groove
- Rock’n'Roll Suicide
- Summer Daze
- Ditch The Bitch
- When It gets Hard
- Livin Above The Law
- No Parole
Johnny Crash is:
Vicki James Wright – lead vocals
J.J. Bolt – guitar
Christopher Stewart – guitar
Dizzy Reed – keyboards
Andy Rogers – bass
Matt Sorum – drums
New York sleaze merchants, The Erotics have returned with a new eight song EP, titled Rubbish. Their 2007 disc, 30 Seconds Over You, was one of my favorite new compact discs last year, so I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy of Rubbish.
Once again, Mike Trash and company delivers the goods! Singer Mike Trash has an Alice Cooper-like growl that is well tailored for The Erotics’ style of punk meets sleaze, rock and roll.
“Dead Last in The Rat Race” is an infectious tune that will immediately get you rocking. Some of the guitar riffs on this song, reminds me of Metallica’s cover of Queen’s Stone Cold Crazy.
The Erotics change up their sound a little bit with the addition of some cow bells, and use of the voice box in the tune “Push Comes To Death“. This is one of my favorites on Rubbish.
“Get Away From Me” has some really cool slide guitar by Rachel Toxic. The Yankees in the Erotics somehow pull off a catchy tune that sounds like it ought to be on a southern rock album.
Rubbish closes out with a really cool cover of the classic AC/DC tune, “Walk All Over You“. I never expected to hear The Erotics cover AC/DC, but they do a really good job on this tune.
The Erotics sound like they had a good time when they recorded these tunes, and the end result are eight very cool and very fun songs to listen to. Someone needs to get smart and put the Erotics on the Cruefest bill, and take this bands’ career to the next level. The Erotics have the talent, the look and the sound to make it on the big stage. Rubbish ought to open up some new doors for the Erotics. If you are a fan of sleazy good rock and roll, you need to pick this up.
01. Dead Last In The Rat Race
02. Terrorize You
03. Push Comes To Death
04. Get Away From Me (Mother F*cker)
05. Nobody Wants You Around
06. Born To Let You Down
08. Walk All Over You
The Erotics are:
Mike Trash – lead vocals and rhythm,lead guitar
Rachel Toxic – lead, rhythm, slide guitar and talk box
Billy Beer – bass
Johnny Riott – drums and percussion
Cold Blooded Demon blasts out of its heavy metal cannon with the cool anthem “Head My Way“. This heavy rocker was a pretty good way to start off this disc. This tune immediately grabbed my attention, and left me wanting more.
“She’s My Drug” (see the video below) keeps the pace going well. This song has a cool sleazy bass line that really drives this tune.
The bass line on “Lie To Love Me” reminds me of Alice in Chains somewhat. This anthem seems to get better with every listen.
I love the Metallica influence that creeps its way into the song, “Finally“. On the title track “Cold Blooded Demon” I felt that the mixing on this song was a little off. The song is pretty good, but the bass and drums are mixed a little too loud, and it overpowers the vocals of Nathan Yetter. The guitar solos on this song rip!
“Such A Disease” is another cool track that sounds like it could have been a left over tune by Alice in Chains.
Cold Blooded Demon shows a ton of potential for Revmatic. Revmatic does a good job at blending 80′s metal and some 90′s grunge on this CD. Cold Blooded Demon is another nice surprise in 2008.
If a record label gives these guys a break, they could be the next big act to hit the scene. You can preview clips and order your own copy of Cold Blooded Demon at CDBaby.com. For more information on Revmatic, check them out on myspace.
Rating: Out of 10
Nathan Yetter – Lead Guitar and Vocals
Jay Hopkins – Guitar and Backup Vocals
Rob Baker – Drums
Keith Daigle – Bass Guitar and Backup Vocals
Rumor has it that Danger Danger is in the studio recording their first album with Ted Poley on vocals in something like 15 years. Well to tide you over until the album is released comes Marcello Vestry, what does Marcello Vestry have to do with Danger Danger you ask? There are quite a few things actually. First off guitarist Rob Marcello has been playing with D2 for the past few years, secondly D2 head honcho Bruno Ravel plays bass and produced this album, and last but not least Marcello Vestry play fun party melodic rock just like D2, in fact if I didn’t know any better it would be very possible to think this album was released right along side D2′s debut album in ’89.
In all honesty, I had no idea who Frank Vestry was before hearing this album, but he has been around the music business for quite a while singing in Burning Starr back in the mid-80′s. Regardless of his past I am a fan now after hearing him on this album. He has a strong powerful voice that fits each of these songs to a T.
Now let’s get to the music, “Fireworks” gets us started and what a great start it is with a cool intro by Marcello and keyboards reminding me of Kasey Smith. It is impossible to listen to this song and not want to sing along or play a little air guitar or maybe keyboards. Great gang vocals for the chorus and Vestry shines.
“Ready or Not” is the next piece of ear candy for us to enjoy. Once again a great intro by Marcello and a great sing along chorus with a shout out to Twisted Sister and of course Danger Danger thrown in. If guitar gods still existed in this day and age Rob Marcello could definitely be leading the pack. I believe he would make Andy Timmons proud with his solo on this song.
“All I Wanna Do Is U” is hands down my favorite song on this album. Melodic rock perfection is the only way to describe this song. As much as I love this song I think I would love it even more if I got to hear Ted Poley singing. This song has classic Danger Danger written all over it.
“Gone” is one of the obligatory mid tempo power ballads on the album and probably the best one on the album. I can’t stress enough how skillful Rob Marcello is as a guitarist or how strong Frank Vestry’s vocals are
Two more songs that would easily fit on any Poley sang Danger Danger album “Live Life” and “Love Injection” also border on perfection. The only song on this album I couldn’t get into is “Gangster of Love” not that it is a bad song it just didn’t do anything for me. One misfire out of eleven songs is not bad at all, speaking of the 11th song, if you spend the money for the import version you are rewarded with an acoustic version of “Gone”, which really shows the power of Vestry’s voice.
As much as I am looking forward to Danger Danger’s new album I am already looking forward to the next Marcello Vestry album also, it would be an absolute shame if they do not record another album, because after listening to this one I think they are on to something great.
Marcello Vestry is:
Rob Marcello – Guitars, Keyboards
Frank Vestry – Lead Vocals
Kory Young – Guitars
Bruno Ravel – Bass, Background Vocals
Lynn D. Ruhms – Drums
Metallica’s Death Magnetic has easily been one of the most hyped CD’s of 2008. This album will certainly be a major conversation piece in the hard rock and heavy metal world. I can’t think of another album released this year that will receive an equal amount of love and hate.
The question most people have been wondering is if this disc surpasses Metallica’s last effort, the awful St. Anger.
The first time I saw the cover art, I thought it was pretty terrible. I still don’t think it is great, but the way the cover is cut does make it kind of cool, and if anything, unique. Thankfully, the music is better than the cover art! Death Magnetic is cram packed with music. This CD has over 70 minutes of music. The first two songs together clock in at 15 minutes in length by themselves.
Death Magnetic is not a detour from Metallica’s roots ala the Black and Load albums. There are a couple of instances, where the album slows down just enough, so fans of the Black/Load era Metallica will find something to sink their teeth into. In fact, on Death Magnetic, Metallica does a pretty good job blending the sound of all of their past albums (with the exception of St. Anger). The end result is a heavy album that I think most fans will be pleased with.
Death Magnetic starts off in heavy fashion with “That Was Just Your Life“. The music on this song is awesome, and easily one of the heaviest songs Metallica has done since their album, And Justice For All. I thought the vocals of James Hetfield were mixed a little too low on this song, but the music is so full of headbanging goodness that the mixing quickly becomes an after thought.
“The End of The Line” is another long heavy cut with a crazy amount of guitar solos by Kirk Hammett. If this song doesn’t ignite your inner head banger, your headphones must be broken.
Chances are you have already heard the first single off of Death Magnetic, “The Day That Never Comes“. I immediately took a liking to this song. I though it was a nice mix of the Black album, with a mix of Master of the Puppets thrashing guitar solos by Kirk Hammett.
“Suicide & Redemption” might be the heaviest and longest instrumental track that I have ever heard.
I didn’t care for the track “Cyanide” at first, but repeated plays has completely changed my mind. I like this track a lot now. Some other highlights for me are “Broken, Beat & Scarred”, and “The Judas Kiss”.
The Bottom line, Death Magnetic is a great return to form by Metallica. Yes, folks that is right Metallica still has it, and if you haven’t bought Death Magnetic, you should go get it!
You can buy Death Magnetic at this link!
1. That Was Just Your Life (7:08)
2. The End Of The Line (7:52)
3. Broken, Beat & Scarred (6:26)
4. The Day That Never Comes (7:56)
5. All Nightmare Long (7:58)
6. Cyanide (6:40)
7. The Unforgiven III (7:47)
8. The Judas Kiss (8:01)
9. Suicide & Redemption (9:58)
10. My Apocalypse (5:01)
James Hetfield – Vocals & Guitar
Kirk Hammett – Guitar
Lars Ulrich – Drums
Robert Trujillo – Bass
Stockholm, Sweden’s Heave have released a brand new disc, “Final Day”. Unlike the majority of the acts from Sweden that have been moving in the glam metal direction, “Final Day” is a heavy metal record.
The music on “Final Day” is pretty good. The guitar work is often in a heavy doom laden style, that I didn’t expect to hear from this band. The problem with Heave’s sound, is the vocals of Anna Olsson. This girl can sing, and truly belt out the notes. On “Final Day” Anna Olsson hits some extremely high notes with her high pitched screams that makes the hair stand up on my arms. It is really cool, and from a metal perspective this is the type of thing that I like to hear from a singer. From this listener’s ears, the pitch of her voice doesn’t match up well with Heave’s bass heavy music.
This is an example of a talented band with a good singer, but the two pieces of a puzzle that don’t seem to fit together very well. I believe Heave has a lot of potential, but Final Day is a release that they will need to grow from if they are to succeed.
If female fronted metal is your thing, you ought to give Heave a look.
Rating:Out of 10
Heave performing Emptiness Live
1. The End
3. Stand My Ground
4. Fears Come Alive
6. In Control
7. On And On
11. Final Day
Anna Olsson – Vocals
Marcus Sundquist – Guitars
Pasi J Lappi – Bass
Patrik Nikolic´- Drums
Chicago’s D’Molls formed in the mid 80′s and secured a recording deal before many of the glam metal bands from the late 80′s early 90′s metal acts made a name for themselves.
Like many of the bands of the era, D’Molls never really caught on, except with the hard core sleaze/glam metal fans.
The music on Warped reminds me of a heavier edged Poison, with raspier vocals from Desi Rexx, and better back up vocals.
There are quite a few cool songs that I think hair metal fans would enjoy including “Real Love”, “Centerfold Girl”(which you can hear below)”, and “Passion” S.S. Priest’s guitar work on this disc is way above average on Warped. This CD made me want to find more stuff that he has played on.
The music may not be original, but it does rock. Their isn’t a bad song on this disc.
Warped, and the D’Molls self titled debut from 1988, are becoming increasingly harder to find, are selling for large sums on eBay. In fact, if you need a quick fix of D’Molls, you may be better served by their greatest hits CD, The Best of Everything, which is available through CDBaby. Happy Hunting!!
For more information on D’Molls, check out their myspace page.
Rating:Out of 10
1. My Life
2. Down T’Nothin’
3. Backstage Bombers
4. This Time It’s Love
5. Real Love
6. On ‘N’ On
7. The Answer
8. Centerfold Girl
10. Father Time
Billy Dior – Drums
Desi Rexx- Vocals, Rhythm and Slide Guitar
S. S. Priest – Lead Guitar
Lizzy Valentine – Bass Guitar, Piano, and Percussion
Kentucky rockers, Black Stone Cherry have released their sophomore effort, Folklore and Superstition. I was extremely impressed with their debut record, and I wondered if the band would try to repeat the sound of that record or change it up a bit for album #2.
The first album sounded like a cross between the Allman brothers and Metallica. The heavy nature of the first album still shows up in places on Folklore and Superstition, but this record sounds a lot different from the first disc. It isn’t so different that Black Stone Cherry fans will dislike it. In fact, some people may like this one more than the first effort. To my ears, it sounds as if, Black Stone Cherry’s sound has matured over the self titled disc.
This album opens up with the rocking tune, “Blind Man” (see video below). This song is a great opener and does a good job bridging Black Stone Cherry’s last album with Folklore & Superstition.
Some Led Zeppelinish guitar sounds find their way into “Please Come In”. This hit ready song is no Zeppelin rip off though. This is great stuff.
Black Stone Cherry jams out on “Revered Wrinkle”. With so many bands forgetting how to play guitar solos in 2008, BSC shows them how to do it.
“Soulcreek” is the type of sing along anthem that will likely become a staple of Black Stone Cherry’s live show. This is a fun tune, and one of my new favorites.
For the first time ever, Black Stone Cherry breaks out the piano on “Things My Father Said”. If any song on this album could hit the mainstream, this is the one. This tune could easily cross over onto pop and rock radio formats.
For whatever reason the backup vocals on the heavy rockier “The Bitter End” gives the song a disjointed feel to it. I think this song would have been a lot better without them. I love the music, and the lyrics, but the back up vocals mess this tune up.
At The beginning of “Long Sleeves” I picked up on a slight Aerosmith groove similar to their cover of the Beatles “Come Together”. I thought the voice coder in the middle of the song was a nice touch. This is a pretty cool tune for the most part, although I am sure some fans will start picking on Black Stone Cherry’s song writing. One of the core lyrics in this song is “My Momma Always Said to wear Long Sleeves”. After the previous song, “Things My Father Said”, this may be a bit much for some folks. It works for me. I think its cool.
“Peace is Free” is quite possibly the most southern rock styled tune on Folklore and Superstition. I can imagine the lighters and cell phones coming out in a live setting for this low tempo number.
Do I detect a little Lynyrd Skynyrd in “Devil’s Queen”? You may not hear it, but I sure do. This song has a fat guitar sound that is awesome. This is one of my favorite songs on the the disc. You have to hear the guitar work on this song. Great Stuff!
“The Key” is one of the more interesting songs on this disc. It is one of the heavier tracks. About midway through, you will find some interesting guitar sounds. I wouldn’t call this tune essential, but it is somewhat unique.
“You” is one of those songs that has grown on me with repeated listens. This song dives into the southern rock pool once again. “You” has a good classic rock sound that seems radio ready.
“Sunrise” has a very modern rock tone to it, which may help it find its way to radio. This song feels like a filler tune to me, and is my least favorite on the album.
“Ghost of Floyd Collins” is a cool tune about a Kentucky cave explorer Floyd Collins who died as a result of being trapped in a cavern 50 feet below the ground. He was exploring the cave trying to find a new entrance for the Crystal Cave system back in 1925. This is a pretty cool homage to a person who is from the area where the members of Black Stone Cherry grew up.
As a whole, Folklore and Superstition is no sophomore slump for Black Stone Cherry. The band has turned out another very good album. I don’t think this album is as instantly accessible as their first disc. This album isn’t as heavy as the first one, and the tempo seems to have been turned down on the songs somewhat. Folklore and Superstition does have a bunch of good tunes, and a few that are growers. If you prefer to buy your music electronically, I-Tunes has three bonus tracks, “Junkman”, “Stranger” and “Bulldozer”. The big box retailers have this disc on sale for $9.99 this week (8/19 – 8/23).
Rating:Out of 10
1. Blind Man
2. Please Come In
3. Reverend Wrinkle
5. Things My Father Said
6. The Bitter End
7. Long Sleeves
8. Peace is Free
9. Devil’s Queen
10. The Key
13. Ghost of Floyd Collins
Black Stone Cherry is:
Chris Robertson – Vocals and Guitar
Jon Lawhon – Bass
Ben Wills – Guitar
John Fred Young – Drums
According to Wikipedia “Saudades de Rock” roughly translated means “Nostalgic Yearning for Rock”. With that being said it doesn’t change the fact that Extreme’s first album in thirteen years is still unpronounceable to almost anyone not familiar with the Portuguese language. Fortunately the title is the only bad thing I found with this release.
Before I listened to this album I went back and reintroduced myself to Extreme’s music because quite honestly after “Pornograffitti” they lost my attention. The songs were there occasionally but not albums as a whole. There were no such problems with Saudades from start to finish it had me bobbing my head, tapping my feet, and singing along.
Everything gets started with “Star” where the band’s admiration for Queen shines brightly with the vocal harmonies, thumping bass line, and a damn good solo from Nuno Bettencourt. From there it goes to “Comfortably Dumb” with a funk feel Extreme is famous for. Other standout tracks include “Take Us Alive” with what I would call a Texas Stomp feel, “Run” that goes back to the Queen influences again maybe a little to much because the opening lines reminded me of Fame right off the bat. “Last Hour” has a bluesy swagger to it once it gets started. “Flower Man” has a great foot tapping vibe to it even though I can’t understand a single word Gary Cherone is singing. “King of the Ladies” would have fit nicely with any song on “Pornograffitti”. When “Ghost” first started playing I had to check my I-Tunes to make sure someone hadn’t slipped a Coldplay song in there but after a few listens that little mistake was forgiven. Peace (Saudade) gives a nod to the Beatles with some great vocals, harmonies, and piano playing.
Throughout the album Extreme shines together as well as individually. Nuno Bettencourt’s playing is unbelievable; Gary Cherone’s vocals are strong as ever, bassist Pat Badger keeps everyone tight and in line. But in my opinion the “Star” of this album is drummer Kevin Figueiredo not only did he help write three of the tracks he gives one of the best performances I have heard in a long time. In case you didn’t know, one of Figueiredo’s drumming mentors was Mike Mangini. If you pick up the European version you also get an extra track, a demo from 1985 called “Americocaine”
“Saudades de Rock” gives you every thing you would expect from Extreme, plus a few surprises without the trash that plagues a couple of their previous releases.
2. Comfortably Dumb
3. Learn To Love
4. Take Us Alive
6. Last Hour
7. Flower Man
8. King Of The Ladies
13. Peace (Saudade)
Gary Cherone – Vocals
Nuno Bettencourt – Guitars
Pat Badger – Bass, backing vocals
Kevin Figueiredo – Drums, percussion
Reviewed by Rocknrollcoastie.
Staind has made us wait three long years for their sixth studio album, The Illusion of Progress. The band has three number one albums in a row, so they have a lot to live up to with this new disc.
Staind calls The Illusion of Progress the “most musical CD” they’ve recorded to date. While I don’t know if I agree with that statement or not, there are some tunes on this disc that have the potential to be hits for Staind.
The first song This Is It starts off with a heavy but moody track, “This Is It”. This tune has a grunge element to it, but it is pretty cool tune. I expect that this song will hit mainstream radio in the near future.
“The Way I Am” is mid tempo song that just plods along. It isn’t breaking any new ground. It isn’t a bad tune, but it just comes across as average to my ears.
“Believe” is the first single off of Illusion of Progress. This is a pretty solid tune that ought to be a hit for Staind. You can listen to Believe by clicking here.
“Save Me” is a slower paced song that also has some radio potential, if they recorded a clean version of the tune. Their is a lyric in this song, “save me for the fuck of it” that unintentionally jumps out of your speakers when you hear it.
At this point in the record, I was hoping for something a little more upbeat, and I got it, with the song “All I Want“. This is another solid tune from Staind.
“Pardon Me” has a sound that falls somewhere between Tool and Shinedown. This is another slow, and moody track that I just couldn’t get into.
At this point I started to get a little bored with this disc, as I could not find a tune that had the WOW factor I was looking for.
Most of Staind’s tunes have the down tuned guitars that is common place in modern rock today. The one thing that sets apart this band from most of the others is the fine voice of Aaron Lewis. The problem that I have with the Illusion of Progress is that most of the songs of their low to mid tempo range, and are a little more soft and mellow. This isn’t what I expected from Staind. Yes, some of the songs are good, but very few of them excite me very much. I was hoping for something a little heavier, and this disc never seems to get there. This may not be a problem for die hard Staind fans, but I would recommend streaming this album before picking it up.
Rating:Out of 10
1. This Is It
2. The Way I Am
4. Save Me
5. All I Want
6. Pardon Me
7. Lost Along The Way
8. Break Away
9. Tangled Up In You
10. Raining Again
11. Rainy Day Parade
12. The Corner
13. Nothing Left To Say
Aaron Lewis – Vocals
Johnny April – Bass
Jon Wysocki – Drums
Mike Mushock – Guitars
I must admit that when I found a copy of the Little Angels CD, Young Gods in my local rock shop recently, I didn’t know very much about them. I guessed by the cover art that they would be another average hair metal act that I had forgotten about. I decided to take a chance on the band, and purchased this disc.
I really didn’t expect Young Gods to be much. With that being said, I was pleasantly surprised to find a disc full of good catchy tunes.
It sounds as if the band was trying to tap into the early 90′s glam metal scene with some of their songs. Take one look at the video for the song Boneyard (below) and you will see what I mean. Not all of the songs are in the style of late 80′s/early 90′s pop metal. This disc has a good mix of pop metal, AOR, and maybe a small dash of southern rock.
The musicianship of Little Angels appears to be a lot better than many of the bands that found success in the United States in the 90′s. Bruce John Dickinson is a pretty good guitar player. His guitar licks combined with the piano, and keyboards of his brother, Jimmy is a pretty stout combination in my book.
Toby Jepson, The voice of Little Angels, can go from a clean vocal to a Tom Keifer like scream. I like is style and I believe he is a very under rated vocalist.
Some of my favorite cuts are Back Door Man, The Wildside Of Life, and She’s A Little Angel. I don’t recall hearing any of these songs on the radio, or seeing any of the Little Angels’ videos on MTV back in the day. Apparently, the band was pretty popular in the UK, but never gained a foothold in the United States. It is a shame as Young Gods is an above average disc that I have been enjoying a great deal. If you can find a copy of this out of print disc, I recommend picking it up.
For more information on Little Angels, check out their myspace page at this link.
Rating:Out of 10
I Ain’t Gonna Cry
She’s A Little Angel
Radical Your Love
Product of the Working Class
1. Back Door Man
3. Young Gods (Stand Up, Stand Up)
4. I Ain’t Gonna Cry
5. The Wildside Of Life
6. Product Of The Working Class
7. That’s My Kind Of Life
8. Juvenile Offender
9. She’s A Little Angel
10. Sweet Love Sedation
11. Radical Your Lover
12. Natural Born Fighter
13. Feels Like The World Has Come Undone
Little Angels Are:
Toby Jepson – Vocals & Acoustic Guitar
Mark Plunkett – Bass & Backing Vocals
Bruce John Dickinson – Guitars, Banjo & Nylon Strung Acoustic
Jimmy Dickinson – Keyboards, Piano, Hammond CD & Backing Vocals
Michael Lee – Drums & Percussion
In 2007, West Midlands based rockers Angel House released their debut album, World On Fire. I must admit that I was not aware that Angel House was a trio until after I listened to the CD a couple of time. With that in mind, I gained some new respect for the tunes on World on Fire.
The opening cut “Mask” will grab your attention with its cool guitar solos, and overall heavy sound. This is the way you lead off an album! The song “Dying At Your Door” has a guitar sound that brings Michael Schenker to mind. “Victim 13” is a heavy tune that will make you break out the air guitar. “Superstitious Woman” has a cool 70′s hard rock vibe to it. It is a short tune, but it really jumps out of your speakers.
Peter Easthope proves to be a talented guitar player, and his vocals are pretty good too. He reminds me a lot of former Rough Cutt/Quiet Riot singer Paul Shortino.
I wouldn’t call World On Fire an amazing record, but it is a pretty solid start for Angel House. There are some tunes on this disc that makes think about classic Scorpions and UFO tunes, and that is a good thing.
With a little luck on their side, Angel House could be headed for success. This album shows the awesome potential of this group.
Rating: Out of 10
- Loaded Too Late
- Dying At Your Door
- Hush A Bye
- Victim # 13
- Weapons Of Self Expression
- Superstitious Woman
- World On Fire
Angel House is:
Paul Easthope – Bass & Backing Vocals
Simon Cooper – Drums & Percussion
Peter Easthope – Vocals & Guitars
Quite honestly, after listening to the Judas Priest debacle called Nostradamus, I was not looking forward to hearing another concept album in 2008. Nonetheless, Alice Cooper has unleashed his latest batch of hard rock horror in the form of a concept album. The difference between this and Nostradamus is quite simple, this album has good songs, and a whole bunch of them to boot.
The songs on Along Came A Spider follow the story of the serial killer named Spider. I wont give up all of the secrets of the story of Spider, but this is pretty good song material. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I enjoyed an Alice Cooper CD this much.
The sounds on Along Came A Spider is a pretty good balance of 70′s era Alice Cooper mixed with 80′s and 90′s style rock. Kerri Kelli and Jason Hook handle the guitar work, and they do an excellent job. The production quality on this disc is fantastic. Alice also enlists the help of a couple of friends on this disc. Slash cuts loose playing guitar on the track “Vengeance is Mine“. Ozzy Osbourne helped Alice write the tune “Wake The Dead“. Ozzy handles the harmonica solo on this song. There is no mention of Ozzy singing on this album, but If you listen closely enough, you can hear what appears to be his background vocals on this tune.
I must admit that some of Alice Cooper’s releases have always been a bit hit or miss with me. I had low expectations for Along Came A Spider. With that being said, this disc is one of the nice surprises of 2008. This is one of my favorite discs so far this year. I had a lot of fun listening to this, and I think you will too.
Rating:Out of 10
1. Prologue / I Know Where You Live
2. Vengeance Is Mine (Featuring Slash)
3. Wake The Dead
4. Catch Me If You Can
5. (In Touch With) Your Feminine Side
6. Wrapped In Silk
7. Killed By Love
8. I’m Hungry
9. The One That Got Away
11. I Am The Spider / Epilogue
Alice Cooper band is:
Alice Cooper – Vocals
Keri Kelli – Guitar
Jason Hook – Guitar
Chuck Garric – Bass
Eric Singer – Drums
Powertrip is latest heavy act that is wiping away my aversion towards female fronted rock acts.
Singer Vikkis Johansson has a sound and style that is more reminiscent of 60′s and 70′s rock. While it is probably unfair to compare her a great singer like Janis Joplin, she can certainly hold her own. She does get a little pitchy at times, but I think that adds more character to the music.
A lot of bands coming out of Sweden as of late seem to fall into the glam metal category. Powertrip sounds nothing like the majority of the bands coming from Sweden as of late. If anything, they probably have more in common with Soundgarden, than they do Crashdiet. Their bass-laden music is heavy, and unpretentious. Cold Black Lie shows the raw potential that this band has.
Some of my favorite cuts on this disc are Abused, Emptiness, and Cold Black Lie.
Since the release of Cold Black Lie, the band has changed their name to Scars of Paradise, to better reflect their music. You can still find the band at their Powertrip myspace page at this link. Check them out!
You can purchase Cold Black Lie, through CDUniverse.com.
1. My Statement
2. Still Here
3. Cold Black Lie
7. Out of Control
10. Claiming Insanity
Vikkis Johansson – Vocals
Peter Uvén – Bass
Per Eriksson – Guitar
Erik Palmqvist – Drums
I don’t usually review greatest hits collections at Hard Rock Hideout. I usually prefer to collect an artists complete catalog, and create my own greatest hits collection. It is my feeling that each album is worth a review. Unless you are a die hard fan of a particular artist, it highly unlikely you will own all of their albums or compact discs. So why review this disc?
Not only does this disc come with two new tunes (John Wayne and New Future Weapon), but it also contains the complete Billy Idol video collection. Two of the videos on the DVD are previously unreleased versions.
Billy Idol’s music speaks for itself. His hybrid version of punk, pop and hard rock has created a slew of top 10 hits all over the world, and has turned Idol into a rock icon. Billy’s right hand man, guitarist Steve Stevens is easily one of the most under rated axe slingers from the 80′s. There are many songs on this collection where he cuts loose with some very cool guitar riffs. I often feel that his talent was overshadowed by the keyboards in Idol’s music, but he is a very good player nonetheless.
Many of you may already own Billy Idol’s first Greatest Hit collection, Vital Idol from 1987, or the newer one from 2001. Even if you do, you still may want to give this new collection a look. This Deluxe edition surpasses all of the previous versions. This collection is also a great starting point for new fans to check out the best parts of Idol’s career spanning music. I love owning copies of the music videos, so the DVD is one bonus that adds a lot of value to this collection. The only negative that I found with this collection is in the CD booklet. I thought it was a little light on information, and could have had a lot more details and pictures. That is only a small problem, and the music is what is the most important thing anyway.
The deluxe edition of Idolize Yourself is available at most retailers for under $20.00. It is well worth the price in my opinion.
For more information on Billy Idol, check out his website Billy Idol.net.
Rating:Out of 10
Disc: 1 (CD)
1. Dancing With Myself
2. Hot In The City
3. White Wedding Part 1
4. Rebel Yell
5. Eyes Without A Face
6. Flesh For Fantasy
7. Catch My Fall
8. To Be A Lover
9. Don’t Need A Gun
10. Sweet Sixteen
11. Mony, Mony (Live)
12. Cradle Of Love
13. L.A. Woman
14. Shock To The System
16. World Comin’ Down
17. John Wayne – new exclusive track
18. New Future Weapon – new exclusive track
Disc: 2 (DVD)
1. Dancing With Myself
2. Hot In The City (Uncensored Version) – previously unreleased
3. White Wedding, Part 1
4. Rebel Yell
5. Eyes Without A Face
6. Flesh For Fantasy
7. Catch My Fall
8. To Be A Lover
9. Don’t Need A Gun
10. Sweet Sixteen
11. Mony, Mony (Live)
12. Cradle Of Love (Extended Billy Idol Only Version) – previously unreleased
13. L.A. Woman
Back in 1989, When Black ‘N Blue broke up, current KISS guitarist Tommy Thayer was looking for a new band/project to join. His associate producer from the Black ‘N Blue Album, In Heat, Pat Regan had recently signed singer/songwriter Teresa Straley.
Thayer agreed to play the guitar on this new group which would become Harlow. Most of the songs were already written by the time Thayer came in, but his guitar work certainly helped to improve the songs on this disc.
Harlow recently announced that they were reuniting and will be playing at Rocklahoma. I had to scramble to find a copy of this record. I originally owned this on cassette back in the 90′s but did not replace it until now. I recalled liking this band, but couldn’t remember much about the songs or the music.
What is even funny, is that I found out after the fact that this is NOT the Harlow that will be playing on the Retrospect Records stage at Rocklahoma. There was a second band with the same name from Kansas City, that will be reuniting for this gig (and I thought this band was obscure).
Much to my surprise, the most powerful instrument in Harlow is not Thayer’s guitar, but is the voice of Teresa Straley. Her style reminds me of a cross between Lita Ford and Heart’s Nancy Wilson. She has the ability to let loose with a powerful metal screams, and then sing with a very clean sounding voice. Thayer’s guitar work shines on this record, but he definitely takes a back seat to Straley on this disc.
The music on this disc fluctuates between early 90′s hair metal and AOR, but it is highly listenable. Some of the best songs on this disc are Chain Reaction, Empty, Cry Murder, Beyond Control (which was dedicated the family and friends of Pan Am Flight 103) and Pictures.
This disc can be found for very little cash at Amazon.com, and is worth grabbing if you are a fan of early 90′s rock.
Rating:Out of 10
1. Chain Reaction
3. Don’t Say We’re Over
5. When You Love Someone
6. Cry Murder
7. No Escape
8. Beyond Control
10. Edge of Love
Teresa Straley – vocals
Tommy Thayer – guitars
Pat Regan – keyboards
Todd Jensen – bass
Steven Klong – drums
The New York five piece band, Rev Theory have released their sophomore effort, Light It Up, on Interscope Records.
If the first single, Hell Yeah, is any indication what is in store for this band, Rev Theory could have a platinum album in the hands. Hell Yeah is easily the best stadium anthem that I have heard in a long time. This Guns ‘N Roses flavored tune could be the one that takes Rev Theory to the next level.
What I think is kind of cool about this band is they have a sound that crosses three decades of rock. On Light It Up, I hear elements of G ‘N R, Alice in Chains, and a mix of Hinder and Nickelback.
There are several songs on this disc that have major hit potential including Hell Yeah, Favorite Disease, Broken Bones and Wanted Man.
Every time a play this disc, it seems to get a little bit better. Their is no doubt in my mind that Rev Theory has a hit record on their hands. How far it goes is up to you! If you check out one modern rock band in 2008, give Rev Theory a look. I think you will like what you hear.
Check out Rev Theory on MySpace! Light It Up is in stores now.
Rating:Out of 10
1. Hell Yeah
2. Favorite Disease
3. Light It Up
4. Broken Bones
5. Kill The Headlights
6. Wanted Man
7. Ten Years
8. Falling Down
9. You’re The One
10. Far From Over
Rev Theory is:
Rich Luzzi – Vocals
Julien Jorgensen – GUitar
Rikki Lixx – Guitar
Matt McCloskey – Bass/Backing Vocals
Dave Agoglia – Drums
One of the craziest releases of the late 80′s, was O.F.R. by Nitro. Everything about this four piece band was so completely over the top, it wasn’t even funny. The only thing higher than Jim Gillette’s hair was the octave of his glass breaking screams.
Michael Angelo Batio’s guitar playing was nearly as high pitched as Gillette’s voice.
Former Vinnie Vincent Invasion drummer, Bobby Rock did a pretty good job maintaining the pace of this high speed, high octave hair metal. Nitro only proved to be one of the many sub par bands that he would be a member of.
I wish I could tell you that Nitro’s music was awesome, but quite honestly, Freight Train, is probably the best song on the album, and that isn’t saying much.
Most of the songs are focused around Gillette’s high pitched wails and screams. Although Nitro’s music is above average, Gillette’s vocals can grate on your nerves, and if anything else are some what ridiculous to listen to. When Gillette isn’t breaking glass with his voice, Batio is usually guitar noodling at notes nearly as high as Gillette’s voice. This too can grate on your nerves.
If they band managed to do anything, it was to get themselves noticed with their insane sonic attack.
Aside from Freight Train, the song Long Way From Home, is probably the closest thing resembling a hit on this album. O.F.R is exactly what you would expect it to be, out-fucking-rageous, it just isn’t very good. Migraine sufferers might not want to play this album during an attack.
After listening to this album again for the first time in years, I honestly believe the best thing Gillette did was marry Lita Ford.
This album is long out of print, and I doubt too many of you would want to pay the top dollars it will take to track this one down. That is unless you need some of your old glassware broken.
If you are dying to hear some songs by this band, check out their myspace page.
Rating:Out of 10
1. Freight Train
2. Double Trouble
3. Machine Gunn Eddie
4. Long Way From Home
5. Bring it Down
6. Nasty Reputation
7. Fighting Mad
8. Shot Heard ‘Round the World
Jim Gillette – vocals
Michael Angelo – guitars
T.J. Racer – bass
Bobby Rock – drums
I have been a fan of David Reece since the first time I heard him sing with Accept back in 1989. I liked his stuff in Bangalore Choir, and I recently picked up newly reissued Sircle of Silence releases. I had no doubt that I would check out the new Gypsy Rose CD, Another World, which features David Reece on vocals.
I did not hear the first CD by Gypsy Rose, so I didn’t really know what to expect aside Reece’s excellent vocals. What I found is a very solid band that has delivered a very good melodic rock CD.
Martin Kronlund’s guitar work is nicely complemented by the keyboards of Rikard Quist. Unlike a lot of AOR/Melodic Rock bands where the keyboards over power the music, Quist’s keyboard playing is mixed so that it enhances the songs. Although the music of Gypsy Rose is pretty tight, the weakness of the band lies with the song compositions. The songs on Another World are not the strongest I have ever heard. Once again, Reece gives a solid vocal performance, but I don’t think this is his best work by any means. I kept looking for a few stand out tracks, but the songs all kind of ran together for me.
The closing song Hellhammer is pretty good, but it is a reworked version of the Accept tune that was featured on the CD, Eat the Heat, on which Reece sang.
Gypsy Rose isn’t breaking any new ground musically with this Another Word, but it might please some fans of the genre. While Another World isn’t the best disc I have listened to in 2008, it is far from the worst. David Reece fans will certainly want to give this one a look.
To preview some of the songs on Another World, check out the Gypsy Rose myspace page.
Rating:Out of 10
1. Final Call
2. Nothing Really Matters
4. When I Call Your Name
5. Don’t Look Back
7. A Little Aint Enough
8. All The Way To The Sun
9. A Million Miles
11. Another World
Gypsy Rose is:
David Reece – vocals
Martin Kronlund – guitar, backing vocals
Rikard Quist – keyboards
Mats Bostedt – bass
Imre Daun – drums
I must admit that Journey is a band that has fallen off of my musical radar for quite some time. I wasn’t a big fan of Steve Augeri’s work in the band, but was I glad that Journey kept going. Like the majority of Journey fans out there, I too am a fan of the Steve Perry era of the band. I had no plans to check out Journey’s new CD, Revelation at all.
I recently read Andrew McNiece’s review at Melodic Rock.com giving this release high marks. I have come to trust Andrew’s opinion over the years, so I decided to give Journey another chance.
In the U.S., Revelation is a Walmart Exclusive release, and is two CD/ 1 DVD set, for the price of one CD. Yes, you read that correctly. Journey is giving you a chance to check out the latest version of the band, with a CD of new material, a CD of re-recorded hits with Arnel Pineda on vocals, and a DVD covering some live footage with the band.
There have been quite a few bands as of late trying to recapture the magic of their old sound. Some of them have done it well (Whitesnake) and some of them not so well (Dokken). I can honestly that with Revelation, Journey has finally put out a release that rivals those of their hit making years with Steve Perry.
By now, I am sure you know that Journey found Arnel Pineda via a You Tube video. They must have been impressed with what they saw and heard, and I have to second that opinion with his work on Revelation. Make no bones about it, Pineda doesn’t try to inject a new sound into Journey’s music. He is almost a dead ringer for Steve Perry vocally.
I don’t know if Pineda’s vocals have breathed new life into Journey, but the whole band seems re-energized. Neal Schon’s guitar work on this album is nothing short of superb. Cain, Vallory and Castronova also sound inspired.
With Arnel Pineda, Journey can forge ahead with the sound their fans love. While it may be true that Journey isn’t breaking any new ground here, I don’t think too many people will care. Revelation is going to please a hell of a lot of Journey fans, as well as the Steve Perry diehard fans out there.
Revelation is one of the highlights of 2008, and one of the best Melodic Rock discs so far this year. Highly recommended!
1. Never Walk Away
2. Like A Sunshower
3. Change For The Better
4. Wildest Dream
5. Faith In The Heartland
6. After All These Years
7. Where Did I Lose Your Love
8. What I Needed
9. What It Takes To Win
10.Turn Down The World Tonight
11.The Journey (Revelation)
1. Only The Young
2. Don’t Stop Believin’
3. Wheel In The Sky
5. Any Way You Want It
6. Who’s Crying Now
7. Separate Ways
9. Open Arms
10.Be Good To Yourself
11.Stone In Love
Arnel Pineda – Vocals
Neal Schon – Guitars and Backing Vocals
Jonathan Cain – Keyboards and Backing Vocals
Ross Vallory – Bass and Backing Vocals
Deen Castronova – Drums and Backing Vocals
In 1985, Leatherwolf unleashed their three axe attack with their self titled debut.
If you are a metal fan that loves to hear a lot of heavy guitar work, you are going to love Leatherwolf.
This record starts off with the heavy tune Spiter, that immediately shows the prowess of their three pronged metal music. Michael Olivieri is quite a good metal singer, and he proves to be quite a solid axeman as well. Carey Howe, Matt Hurich and Michael Olivieri’s musicianship is ultra tight, and their guitar work plays off of each other well.
Leatherwolf is a hard band to compare to other acts from the era, but Iron Maiden would likely be the closes act they resemble, although their style is somewhat different. This is hard driving metal that simply kicks ass from beginning to end.
This disc has been out of print for quite some time and recently reissued by the band in 2007. The re-released version has a bonus track, Alone In the Night, which was originally recorded for the movie, Return of the Living Dead Part II. It is a nice addition to this cool disc.
Leatherwolf is still going strong with their 2007 release New World Asylum, you should definitely check out this record, as well as their latest work. If you are a heavy metal fan, buy this, you wont be disappointed. This album rocks!
For more information on Leatherwolf, check out the band’s myspace page.
Rating:Out of 10
2. Endangered Species
3. Tonight’s the Night
4. The Hook
5. Season Of the Witch
6. Off The Track
7. Kill And Kill Again
10. Alone In The Night* (Bonus Track)
Mike Olivieri – Vocals and Lead Guitar
Carey Howe – Lead Guitar and backing vocals
Matt Hurich – Lead Guitar and backing vocals
Geoff Gayer – Bass Guitar and backing vocals
Extreme’s debut CD hit the hair metal scene in 1989. I always thought their debut CD was a little hit
and miss. There are some good songs, and there are a few tunes that feel like filler material.
The one thing that propels Extreme past many of their peers is the superb guitar work of Nuno Bettencourt. Without Nuno, I often wonder if this band would have been a blip on the musical radar.
Bettencourt adds a funky groove to Extreme’s music that helps seperate them from so many of the bands that oversatured the music scene in the late 80′s and early 90′s. The band broke out in 1989 with several videos on MTV that launched a fairly solid career for Gary Cherone and company.
This self titled debut isn’t the band’s strongest effort by any means, but it is definitely worth a listen. Check out the songs Wind Me Up, Kid Ego, or the Play With Me, and you will certainly have a rocking good time.
This is one of those discs that you have to get out from time to time, if only to hear Bettencourt shred. His guitar work on Play With Me is worth the price of admission, all by itself.
Extreme has reunited in 2007, and will play the first show of their 2008 tour, at the Rocklahoma music festival in July. For more information on Extreme, check out their myspace page.
Rating:Out of 10
1. Little Girls
2. Wind Me Up
3. Kid Ego
4. Watching, Waiting
5. Mutha (Don’t Wanna Go To School Today)
6. Teacher’s Pet
7. Big Boys Don’t Cry
8. Smoke Signals
9. Flesh ‘N’ Blood
10. Rock A Bye Bye
11. Play With Me
Gary Cherone – Vocals
Nuno Bettencourt – Guitars
Pat Badger – Bass
Paul Geary – Drums
Quite a few bands have mentioned Watch Tower as one of their influences. Watch Tower’s impact on progressive rock and metal can be heard on their debut record, Energetic Disassembly.
This CD is a fairly short listen, clocking in at under forty minutes, but it is definitely worth the time spent.
Not only did Energetic Disassembly launch the careers of Jason McMaster (Dangerous Toys/Broken Teeth) and Billy White., it also influenced the sound of many future progressive metal acts, including Dream Theater.
This Texas quartet’s music is best described as technical thrash. Think early Metallica style thrash with a bunch of progressive style time changes. Those of you who are familiar with Jason McMaster’s work in Dangerous Toys, have never heard him sing like this. Most of his vocals are sung at a higher, ear splitting register. His vocal approach was a lot more common by the speed metal acts of the 80′s.
The musicianship is nothing short of stellar on this disc. Not only does Billy White’s guitar work shine on this disc, but Doug Keyser’s bass work really stands out. Watch Tower’s sound may be a little on the experimental side, but fans of early 80′s thrash, will most certainly like this. If there are any downfalls with this disc, it would be with the production. The production quality is a little on the thin side, but this doesn’t hurt your listening experience.
Those wanting to hear one of the early pioneers of thrash metal music need to seek out Energetic Disassembly. This disc was out of print for quite some time, and was recently reissued by Rockadrome. It can be purchased from CD Baby.com. Check it out!
Rating: Out of 10
1. Violent Change
3. Tyrants in distress
4. Social Fears
5. Energetic Disassembly
6. Argonne Forest
7. Cimmerian Shadows
Jason McMaster / vocals
Billy White / guitar
Doug Keyser / bass
Rick Colaluca / drums