Back in the late 90’s when most of the Big Hair bands went into hiding, and fans of the genre were struggling trying to find new music to listen to, one band from Germany, PC69, threw caution to the wind and released a killer Hair Metal CD, Electrified.
Sadly, this went largely unnoticed in the United States, as interest in this music just wasn’t there at the time.
Pink Cream 69 as they are known as in Germany consists of David Readman on vocals, Alfred Koffler on guitars, Dennis Ward on bass and Kosta Zafiriou on Drums.
Readman has a voice that sounds like a cross between Kip Winger and David Coverdale. Judging from this disc, Alfred Koffler is an amazing yet very under rated guitarist.
Electrified has several stand out tracks including Shame, Stranger In Time, Break the Silence, Electrified, Over the Fire and Burn Your Soul.
This album rocks hard until you get all the way to Rocket Ride, which is the album’s lone power ballad.
This disc is a nice little gem in my collection. When I play this disc for my friends who into the old hair metal scene, their initial reaction is usually, “Oh My God, Who is this band?!”
You can find most of the Pink Cream 69 releases on ITunes now. I have included some videos below so you can hear how good this band is for yourself!
Rating:Out of 10
Over the Fire
Stranger in Time
- Stranger In Time
- Break the Silence
- Over the Fire
- Losing My Faith
- Higher Kind of Love
- Burn Your Soul
- Rocket Ride
- Best For You
- Gone Again
I recently read some good things about the Lizards so I decided to check them out myself to see what they were like.
The Lizards features former Riot, and current Masterplan singer Mike DiMeo on vocals, and former Rainbow, Black Sabbath and Blue Oyster Cult Drummer Bobbi Rondinelli.
I enjoyed Mike’s vocals on the last couple of Riot albums, but that didn’t prepare for me what I was about to hear on Against All Odds.
This disc is more like a 70’s classic rock disc than the progressive, power metal of Riot. The cool thing about this disc is, it sounds great but not too dated. This is a very polished and well produced disc. Mike DiMeo’s voice sounds better here than I have ever heard him anywhere else. He shows more style and range than he has on anything else I have heard him on. Rondinelli’s drums are heavy and very thick. I forgot how good of a sound he had behind the skins. Patrick Klein’s guitars have a sound not unlike Ritchie Blackmore. Randy Pratt has such a good bass grove combined with Rondinelli’s drums, you would think these guys have been playing together for decades.
I’m the One features an almost David Coverdale like vocal by DiMeo. Randy Pratt’s fat bass sound is mixed really well with DiMeo’s vocals.
Can’t Fool Myself is a 9 minute classic that ventures into Deep Purple like territory. This is a very up tempo track with some killer guitar work by Patrick Klein, and super fast bass licks by Randy Pratt. Words can not tell you how cool this track is.
On A Wire is a funky song that features a killer duet with Mike DiMeo and Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple, Black Sabbath).
Planck Time is an instrumental track that strangely enough has a Dave Matthews blues harp sound to it, with guitars by Klein that rock once more.
Ariel is a short instrumental track with DiMeo on the harpsichord and Klein’s howling guitars, with a brief vocal by DiMeo. This track leads into the next track My Dark Angel, seemlessly.
When I heard My Dark Angel the first time, I was pretty astounded. This is an amazing song that starts off slow and builds into this monster rock track with a heavy bass rhythm. DiMeo’s vocals here are amazing. He is approaching Jorn Lande territory in this song. Rondinelli’s drums sound so damn good here, and Randy Pratt is playing the bass like a demon possessed by the need to set the strings on fire. This is a killer track that you play again and again. Excellent!
Bad Luck Is Come To Town is a short and funky rock track. DiMeo shows the soulfulness of his voice here. This is another track where Rondinelli’s drums absolutely rock.
Revelation #9 features another duet with the howling vocals of Glenn Hughes and Mike DiMeo. This Piano driven track almost has a Beatlesque feel to it, before moving into a heavier guitar driven sound.
Take the Fall is another funky track that could easily have sounded at home on any Deep Purple disc. This track has the third duet with Hughes and DiMeo. This is lengthy rocker that clocks in just shy of 9 minutes. The middle of this track has a heavy jam session done The Lizards way.
Up The Stairs features the 4th and final duet between Glenn Hughes and Mike Dimeo. This song almost has a funky disco feel to it, with much heavier over tones. There are lots of horns and heavy guitars on this track, but this one does not work for me.
Eleven is a keyboard driven ballad, with a funky bass lick by Randy Pratt. This track is just OK to me.
The Arrival of Lyla finishes off Against All Odds with an upbeat track with Patrick Klein’s howling guitar licks.
From beginning to end, Against All Odds is a very well crafted disc. The sound is extremely deep on every track while, each track offers something sonically different. The Lizards pull this music off in a effortless Hard Rock flair that is sonically pleasing and leaves you wanting more. This is a new classic rock disc for the masses and is nothing short of a musical masterpiece. Not too many discs come across my player as good as this one.
Deep Purple fans and Classic Rock fans both need to pick this up! You can hear more of these tracks at the Lizard myspace page here.
Rating:Out of 10
- I’m No Good
- Can’t Fool Myself
- On A Wire
- Planck Time
- My Dark Angel
- Bad Luck Is Come to Town
- Revelation #9
- Take the Fall
- Up the Stairs
- The Arrival of Lyla
Judging from the strength of The Erotics 4th release, Rock N Roll Killing Machine, they will be a band to watch in 2007.
This is a short release. 7 tracks, 1 cover tune, 1 song is a clean version of the same song (probably made for radio). This is a hard rock release that oozes punk, glam and sleaze, and just rocks the house. The Erotics remind me of early L.A. Guns and maybe a little bit of old Motley Crue. Their lead singer Mike Trash has a sound similar to Alice Cooper at times, but his delivery is much quicker paced giving the Erotics a totally unique sound.
The songs on RNRKM are all pretty solid. Rock N Roll Killing Machine is a great rocking track that has to translate well live. I Like It The Way That You Hate Me oozes sleaze, and is catchy enough to sing along with it. Drop the Bomb is another energetic track that I find myself playing over and over. Drink, Fight and Fuck is a great rock anthem, and is easily the best song on this disc. You will not get this song out of your head…..Ever!! Only A Fool shows that the Erotics can slow it down a little bit, and still sound great. I Wanna Be Somebody is a cover of the W.A.S.P. track. The Erotics make this version a fusion of Punk and Metal. I think I like their version better.
Rock N Roll Killing Machine is a tasty appetizer that will have you wanting more. The good news is the Erotics next disc, 30 Seconds Over You, is coming out in 2007.
You can grab this very reasonably at ITunes and at CDBaby. CDBaby has it set up so you can listen to all of the tracks here:Rock N Roll Killing Machine. You can also listen to some of their new tracks at their MySpace page here.
Rating:Out of 10
- Rock N Roll Killing Machine
- I Like It The Way That You Hate Me
- Drop the Bomb
- Drink, Fight and Fuck
- Only A Fool
- I Wanna Be Somebody
- Drink, Fight and F*ck (clean version)
Its been a long time since there has been any new material by Leatherwolf. 1989 to be exact.
This lineup is missing original vocalist Mike Olivieri who decided to leave the band in 2000.
The vocals on World Asylum were filled by former Crimson Glory and Seven Witches singer, Wade Black. Drummer, Dean Roberts and Guitarist, Geoff Gayer are the lone holdouts from original Leatherwolf lineup. Rounding out this quintet are Riot bassist, Pete Perez and former Helstar guitarist, Eric Halpern.
There are a few quality metal tracks on World Asylum that are worth hearing. I Am the Law, King of the Ward, Behind the Gun. At this point in the record, the songs start sounding the same to me. It is solid well sung and well played Power Metal, but I keep looking for a track or two to grab me the way several tracks did on Dream Evil’s United release, and it never seems to happen.
I have given this disc multiple listens over the last 3 weeks, and each time I find that I have a hard time making it through the whole disc in the same sitting.
I liked the initial releases by Leatherwolf, but I just couldn’t get into this disc. Some hardcore metal fans may find this disc more enjoyable than I did. I would suggesting listening to some tracks first before picking this one up.
Singer Wade Black has left the band since this disc has come out, so maybe he didn’t get into it either.
Rating: Out of 10
- I Am the Law
- King of the Ward
- Behind the Gun
- Live or Die
- Dr. Wicked (Rx O.D.)
- The Grail
- Never Again
Quite possibly one of the best discs of 2005 is Lipservice, the 10th release by Swedish rockers Gotthard. Gotthard is well known in the UK and Europe, but continue to go unnoticed in the United States. It is really a shame, because a record this good should really be heard by the masses.
“Lipservice” has gone Double Platinum in Switzerland and continues to sell well everywhere but in the United States.
Gotthard has a sound that falls somewhere between Def Leppard and Bon Jovi, but”Lipservice” is a stronger release than either of those bands have put out in years.
Whether you want some rocking pop metal songs or some power ballads, “Lip Service” has it all.
“All We Are”, and “Dream On” start this disc off right by rocking. “Lift You Up”, should have been a massive hit here. “Everything I Want“, is an awesome Def Leppard like power ballad, and “Cupid’s Arrow” sounds a lot like a Whitesnake track musically.
“I’m Alive” is an excellent heavy track with a killer vocal by Steve Lee. “Stay For the Night” and “Anytime Anywhere” could have both been radio hits. Both tracks have a sound that is similar to House of Lords.
“Said and Done” is another quality rock track with excellent guitars of Leo Leoni and Freddy Scherer.
“Nothing Left At All” is an acoustic guitar, piano based ballad that could have been another big hit.
There is a lot to like on Lip Service. This is a very upbeat and clean sounding record. It has a good mix of excellent vocals, and great sounding guitars, crafting one of the best Hard Rock/Melodic metal discs I have ever heard. Fans of Def Leppard, Bon Jovi, Whitesnake and the Scorpions are going to like this disc a lot. All other should at least give this a listen too.
Here are a couple of videos from Lip Service for you to check out!
Lift You Up
- All We Are
- Dream On
- Lift You Up
- Everything I Want
- Cupid’s Arrow
- I Wonder
- I’m Alive
- I’ve Seen An Angel Cry
- Stay For the Night
- Anytime Anywhere
- Said and Done
- The Other Side of Me
- Nothing Left At All
- And Then Goodbye
Steve Lee – vocals
Leo Leoni – guitars
Mandy Meyer – guitars
Marc Lynn – bass guitar
Hena Habegger – drums
One of the many bands lost in the shuffle of the grunge movement of the early 90’s was Indianapolis natives Sweet F.A.
I had the pleasure of seeing these guys live a few times before they broke up, and they always put on a good show.
Stick To Your Guns is the debut disc by this 5 piece unit of Steven David DeLong on vocals, Jon “Lightning” Huffman and James Thunder on guitars, Jim Quick on bass and Tricki Lane on drums.
This band has a great sound, which is a cross of sleaze metal and a dash of southern rock. They seemed ripe to make it big back in the early 90s but they never seemed to get the marketing push they needed by MCA to get them over the hump. They had the look, the swagger, the sound to get them there, but MCA didn’t really know how to market Hard Rock artists very well, and their success was cut short, way too early.
There are some excellent tunes on this disc that still hold up pretty well today. Prince of the City is a great high energy track to start this disc off with. Nothin’ For Nothin’ is another sleazy rocker that reminds me of the Bullet Boys quite a bit. The beat and groove of Rhythm of Action is killer. Whiskey River is a powerful rocker in the vein of Skid Row. The acoustic power ballad Heart of Gold is easily as good as anything you heard from the more successful bands of the era (Warrant, Poison, Cinderella). This disc ends with the acoustic track Southern Comfort. This is a very cool song to end this disc with.
This is one of those CD’s that 80’s hard rock fans can break out at any time and still enjoy. Great vocals, and musicianship by the Sweet F.A. guys. This is one of those discs that is out of print and is becoming harder to find, so pick one of these up if you can get your hands on it!
Rating: Out of 10
Here is the video for Rhythm of Action:
- Prince of the City
- Nothin’ for Nothin’
- Rhythm of Action
- Do A Little Drivin’
- Daily Grind
- Stick To Your Guns
- Whiskey River
- I Love Women
- Breakin’ The Law
- Heart of Gold
- Devil’s Road
- Southern Comfort
Sweet F.A. is:
Steven David DeLong – vocals
Jon “Lightning” Huffman – guitars
James Thunder – guitars
Jim Quick – bass
Tricki Lane – drums
I passed by the Dream Evil’s United disc in my local record shop several times over the last few weeks. Each time, the cover on this disc would catch my eye, but I haven’t ever heard a single track by this band in my life, so I wasn’t will to lay the bucks to check it out. My local store has a demo copy sitting out, and let me listen to the first couple of songs. This CD went home shortly thereafter. The real bonus is, I picked up one of the first pressings of this disc, that comes with a second CD, with 5 extra songs (at the same price).
What does Dream Evil sound like? If there was a 2nd New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Dream Evil would be one of the bands leading the pack. This is very much in the same vein as Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, without sounding like either of those two bands. This isn’t power metal or progressive rock, this is heavy metal, the way it is supposed to be done!!
Lead Singer Niklas Isfeldt has the pipes to really belt out these tunes, and drive them home. At times he hits notes in the Rob Halford range, which is really cool to hear. Dream Evil has a fiery axe attack of Mark Black on lead, and Frederick Nordstrom on rhythm guitars. The heaviness of this guitar duo reminds me quite a bit of Accept, but the intensity of Peter Stalfors bass really gives this band a different sound. The commanding double bass drums of Pat Power tops off Dream Evil’s powerful yet melodic sound.
United is a very heavy disc, with no filler tracks. There are plenty of stand out tracks:
Fire! Battle! In Metal! is as good as metal anthems come. United, Evilution, Let Me Out, Higher on Fire and Back From the Dead are all impressive. When the band slows it down on Love is Blind, I was blown away. This is one killer heavy track that has to be heard to be appreciated.
Don’t take my word for it. Listen to the video and the 3 mp3’s below, and discover this awesome band for yourself. Fans of British Heavy Metal would be crazy not to pick this up! If I had heard this disc in 2006, it would have cracked my 2006 Heavy metal Top 5 list for sure.
Rating:Out of 10
Fire! Battle! In Metal!
Let Me Out
Back From the Dead
- Fire! Battle! In Metal!
- Blind Evil
- Let Me Out
- Higher On Fire
- Kingdom At War
- Love Is Blind
- Back From the Dead
- My Number One
- Calling Your Name
- Into the Unknown
- I Will Never
If you like your music full of sleaze, punk and in your face heavy rock and roll, you may want to check out North England Rockers, Kid Ego.
The first three tracks Ignite the Tide, Lady Conniver and Till I Die kick you in the head repeatedly and keep you asking for more. Ignite the Tide starts to loose speed about midway through the disc and picks back up again with the infectious Heartbreak Hooker. Deathrow, Flirtin’ with Suicide, and Long Time Runnin’ will have you break out your air guitar and leave you needing a neck brace.
Ignite the Tide is a powerful debut by Kid Ego. There are elements of their music that reminds me of early Motley Crue, L.A. Guns and a maybe a dash of Bad Religion. It is hard rock with one foot firmly implanted in punk. Kid Ego is a band that you will be hearing about for years to come.
This debut is positively worth your money. I had a hard time tracking this one down, but was able to get it from ITunes. Check it out!!
Rating: Out of 10
Here is the video for Flirtin’ With Suicide
- Ignite the Tide
- Lady Conniver
- Till I Die
- Magic Candy
- Sweet Bectoria
- Heartbreak Hooker
- Flirtin’ with suicide
- Long Time Running
While strolling through my local music store, I found this lost gem that I once had in my collection several years ago. Before, I picked this up again, it had been well over 10 years since I have last heard Loudness, so I didn’t remember their music at all.
Thunder in the East was originally released in 1985 and reissued in 2003. This was the first album released in the U.S. in the english language. After a little digging, I found that this disc peaked at #74 on the Billboard charts. Quite an accomplishment for a virtually unknown Japanese metal band.
How does this music stand up today? Pretty well. This is still a pretty good metal disc. I can hear Stryper and Iron Maiden like elements. (It sounds nuts, but it works for this band.)
The opening track Crazy Nights is a catchy heavy rocker with an excellent guitar riff to open the song.
There are a bunch of other quality tracks on this disc including Like Hell, Heavy Chains, Get Away, and The Lines are Down.
Lead singer, Minoru Niihara does an pretty good job vocally on this disc. Lead Guitarist, Akira Takasaki reminds me of Oz Fox quite a bit, but plays much heavier than that.
I enjoyed this disc quite a bit. This band may look like a 80’s big hair band but they were actually quite heavy for their time. Metal fans who haven’t heard this should certainly give this a look. There are some above average metal tracks that are worth discovering!
Enjoy the videos I found from Thunder in the East! If these don’t take you back 20 years, nothing will. :)
Rating: Out of 10
- Crazy Nights
- Like Hell
- Heavy Chains
- Get Away
- We Could Be Together
- Run For Your Life
- Clockwork Toy
- No Way Out
- The Lines are Down
- Never Change Your Mind
Very few bands in 2007 surprise me. One listen to a couple of tracks by The Answer, not only was I surprised, but my jaw dropped. This is the kind of CD that takes an unknown band and makes them superstars. Yes, its really that good!
The Answer is a 4 piece act hailing form Northern Ireland. This amazing band isn’t afraid to show their influences in their music. Name a 70’s rock act, and they have them listed as an influence.
Putting a finger on their music, and comparing them to another group really wouldn’t be fair, but I would say a cross between the Black Crows, and a heavy dose of (old) Aerosmith, and maybe a dash of AC/DC. I honestly don’t think the Black Crowes or Aerosmith have released a disc as strong as this one in a long time. This is a pure hard rock CD from beginning to end.
Usually, you will at least get some filler material with new rock acts, but this is a CD that is truly kick ass from beginning to end.
Singer Cormac Neeson, has a raspy Chris Robinson voice, with the melodic range of Robert Plant. The vocals are great here, but I have to give credit where credit is due. It isn’t just the vocals that make this music so great. The band backing up Neeson is pretty damn good too. Paul Mahon has some wicked skills on the guitar. Throughout Rise, the guitars are all amazing. You can hear hints of southern rock, blues and some slide guitar as well. The rhythm section of Michael Waters on Bass, and James Heatley on Drums would do most bands proud.
There are some definite stand out tracks on Rise. Under the Sky, Come Follow Me, Into the Gutter and Leavin’ Today are great songs that rock out.
Bottom line: If you want to hear a new band with a classic rock sound, that contains great vocals and music, you need to get this. You can hear some of their new songs at The Answer Myspace page. If you are looking to pick this up quickly, can you find on ITunes.
I have also included the video below:
Under the Sky
Come Follow Me
You can also see the new video for Never Too LateHere!
Rating:Out of 10
- Under the Sky
- Never Too Late
- Come Follow Me
- Be What You Want
- Memphis Water
- No Questions Asked
- Into the Gutter
- Sometimes Your Love
- Leavin’ Today
- Always On My Mind
Former Savatage vocalist Zak Stevens and company returns with their 3rd release, Burden of Truth.
This band seems to get better with each new disc, and Burden of Truth is no exception.
Burden of Truth features the hard driving guitar tandem of Andy Lee and Evan Christopher. The Savatage like keyboards are all but gone on Burden of truth. This is more of a heavy guitar driven album. The sound is much better than the bands sophomore effort, the Middle of Nowhere.
One listen to this disc, and you will realize quickly that you are hearing some absolute classic Metal songs.
Heal You is one of the best tracks that I have heard within the last year. Great Stuff!
The Black is a classic metal track that will go down as a band favorite for years to come.
The guitar shredding and double bass drumming on Messiah is very cool.
The title track, Burden of Truth, has to be heard to be appreciated. This is one of those well written and performed songs that people will break out their lighters (or cell phones with today’s concert goers) it they see this played live in concert.
Bottom line, this is an excellent Metal CD, and very worth picking up. Zac Stevens has a killer voice, and he lays down excellent vocals on every track on Burden of Truth. His voice alone, merits a purchase of this disc.
Those looking for a Savatage sound-a-like CD, may do better with the new Jon Oliva’s Pain release Maniacal Renderings.
Rating:Out of 10
- Who Am I To Be?
- A Matter of Time
- Heal You
- Your Reality
- The Black
- Burden of Truth
- Live As One
Put Cinderella, Kix, Britny Fox and dash of Def Leppard in a blender, and you may come out with something that resembles Miss Crazy.
You can easily hear similarities to all of these groups on Miss Crazy’s debut CD.
This a rocking affair that is going to appeal greatly to 80’s Hard Rock Fans! Miss Crazy may not win any awards for being original, but with so few of these bands putting out any quality music today, its nice to find a new group to carry the torch.
No Compromise has elements of all the bands I mentioned above. It is a heavy track which features the very Tom Keifer like vocals of Markus Allen Christopher. The track Billie treads down Kix street with another upbeat rocker.
Hide Island is more more in the vein of Def Leppard. This track features some killer guitar work, and is one of my early favorites.
Dizzy Dean Davidson shows up to sing Life’s Been Gone. Ok, not really, but it sure does sound like it.
You’re Blue sounds like it could have been performed by Night Songs era Cinderella. Scream is reminiscent of Blow My Fuse era Kix.
So Long is another with Britney Fox like song, with a Def Leppard style chorus. Now is another Cinderella like track.
Shut Eyes has elements of AC/DC, Def Leppard and Cinderella. Baby Let’s Go ends this disc on a high note with more Cinderella like elements.
Bottom Line: This is a all killer no filler kind of disc. All of the tracks are mid to high tempo to rockers. This is the kind of music that you want to put into your car CD player and play very LOUD! My only problem with this disc is that it didn’t end up my hands sooner! This is 80’s style hard rock/ hair metal that is as good as it gets today!
If you haven’t heard Miss Crazy yet, pay a visit to the band’s website at www.misscrazymusic.com.
They have a jukebox on their site where you can listen to these tracks.
Warning! You may find yourself running to the record store to pick this up!
Rating:Out of 10
- No Compromise
- Hide Island
- Life’s Been Good
- You’re Blue
- So Long
- Shut Eyes
- Baby Lets Go
Desperado is the band that Dee Snider put together after Twisted Sister broke up back in 1988.
Elektra Records wanted a new disc, and strangely shelved this disc before it ever seen the light of day.
This was finally released under the moniker, Bloodied, But Unbowed in 1996. Poor sales sent this disc back to the closet it came out of. Luckily, Cleopatra Records released Ace in its original format as it was intended for release in 1990.
Desperado features the unmistakable vocals of Dee Snider, the guitars of former Ozzy guitarist Bernie Torme, Marc Russell (Widowmaker) and former Iron Maiden drummer Clive Burr. Three of these guys are well known musicians that could have propelled this disc on their own.
Why Elektra buried this is a mystery. It could have been the grunge movement (shudder) or the lack of a huge hit. Bernie Torme was quoted as saying “Well, it took years out of all our lives, though for me 99.9% was pure pleasure. It was a great album, great singer, great band, but unfortunately for us, a shit record company. Hey, its just my opinion. “
How good are the tunes here? Read on!
Immediately, one would think to compare this band to Twisted Sister, but Desperado sounds nothing like Twisted Sister at all. Sure, its Dee Snider singing, but that is where the comparison ends.
Desperado is a more strait forward hard rock offering than the hair metal releases of Twisted Sister. Quite a few of these songs have a western hard rock flair, that brings something new to the table. Dee Snider sings more often than he screams on this disc, and the sound and production is surprisingly good.
Ace starts off with Hang ‘Em High which has an Aerosmith kind of flair to it. Each time I listen to this track it gets a little better. Gone Bad is a quick head banging rocker with some excellent guitar work by Torme.
Run Wild Run Free (The Maverick) has a twinge of southern rock going for it. Snider puts down a great vocal here.
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter clocks in at over 7 minutes in length. This is a low to mid tempo track that takes a few listens to appreciate. Torme’s guitar has a bluesy flair here, and really shines. This is one of those songs that you hear at first and you don’t really get into, but slowly creeps up on you and sucks you back in.
Calling For You is a mid tempo track that could have been a hit, if it was released back in the early 90’s when this disc was originally intended for release.
More amazing fretwork can be found by Torme in See You At Sunrise, another song that is a gem on Ace.
Something about parts of There’s No Angels Here sounds like a cross between a Poison and Van Halen song, but as a whole, it is a very good track.
Made for Trouble is a radio ready track that is in the vein of Tesla.
Probably the best track on the disc is Emaheeval (I’m I evil). This is a hard driving catchy rocker that is just an amazing song to close this disc with.
It is a shame that this disc didn’t see the light of day back in the earlier 90’s. It could have spawned 2 or 3 hits, and kept this band together for another release. This disc is a no brainer for Dee Snider fans. Hard Rock fans ought to give this a look!
Rating: Out of 10
- Hang ‘Em High
- Gone Bad
- Run Wild Run Free (The Maverick)
- The Heart is a Lonely Hunter
- Calling For You
- See You At Sunrise
- There’s No Angels Here
- Made For Trouble
- Ride Through the Storm
- Son of a Gun
Bang Tango returned with another solid rocking disc in 2006 with From The Hip.
The opening track It’s All Ok, is better than Ok. It is an upbeat jamming rocker that will get your blood pumping. This track sets the stage high for the rest of the up and coming tracks .
Ain’t Nothin’ Better sounds like a cross between AC/DC and Guns ‘N’ Roses, and keeps the pace going nicely. Go, Go, Go is another killer track that has more of that AC/DC feel to it.
Carry Me Up is a slower song that almost seems out of place after the punch and delivery of the first three tracks. Mother Mary on the other hand, has a pretty cool bass groove, and is a catchy song to boot.
Get Use To It fails to deliver and feels like filler to me. I’m the One is a punchy track oozing with sleaze and ventures into Faster Pussycat territory.
Simple is sonically pleasing and vocally revolting all at the same time. One More Spin reminds me of old school Bang Tango. It has a crunching bass lick that is infectious as hell.
Angel Devil finishes this disc with an acoustic number that sounds out of place here.
From the Hip rarely sounds like older Bang Tango material and may repel some fans of the band’s earlier work. Joe Lesté’s voice is one you will either love or hate. Many times throughout this disc, his voice sounds raspier than ever. On some songs it works, others it does not. The music on most of the tracks are top notch, and makes this worthy of a listen. While this disc may not be essential to your collection, I enjoyed it, and I am sure those of you with an open mind will too!
You can hear some of the new tracks at Bang Tango’s Myspace page.
Rating: Out of 10
- It’s All Ok
- Ain’t Nothin’ Better
- Go, Go, Go
- Carry Me Up
- Mother Mary
- Get Use To It
- I’m the One
- One More Spin
- Angel Devil
Take one listen to Brother Firetribe’s False Metal and you will likely start to reminisce of a time when popular 80’s hard rock acts had catchy songs, with fun sing along choruses, and great keyboard/guitar driven rock.
Elements of this CD reminds me of Journey, Bon Jovi, Survivor, Diving for Pears, and Blue Tears. On False Metal, you will find the excellent vocals of Pekka Ansio Heino, the Neal Schon like guitars of Emppu Vuorinen, and the melodic Van Halenish keyboards of Tomppa Nikulainen.
The first track Break Out is a hard Journeyesque melodic track that screams radio hit. Valerie sounds like it could have been at home on any Survivor disc. I’m On Fire has that big AOR sound of Blue Tears. Love Goes Down is another track that has radio potential. Devil’s Daughter could have been a much bigger track if the guitar sound was beefed up a little bit. The keyboards are way too over powering on this track.
Midnight Queen and One Single Breath could be potential hits as well. Lover Tonight is a little heavier number. This is a pretty good song. Spanish Eyes is a nice melodic track, but it is a bit boring to me.
Kill City Kid is the heaviest track on this disc. This song treads down the Survivor road again. It is one better tracks on False Metal, and is a good way to close out this disc.
Brother Firetribe is the most AOR friendly rock I have ever reviewed at the Hard Rock Hideout. This is very upbeat, happy music. Whether you will enjoy this or not truly depends for your tastes in AOR keyboard driven rock. Fans of bands like Journey and Survivor will eat this up.
Here is a video I found from the False Metal CD. This will give a taste of the Brother Firetribe sound.
One Single Breath Video
Rating: Out of 10
- Break Out
- I’m on Fire
- Love Goes Down
- Devil’s Daughter
- Midnight Queen
- One Single Breath
- Lover Tonight
- Spanish Eyes
- Kill City Kid
If you want to hear an amazing CD, with awesome vocals, and melodic but heavy metal to match. Run, don’t walk to pick up the Jorn Lande release, The Duke.
For several reasons, the Norwegian Jorn Lande is not very well known in the United States. Lack of promotion, and no radio airplay are a few problems Jorn faces in the U.S. It is really too bad, because most people are missing out on one of the top singers in Metal today.
For those of you who have not been exposed to Jorn Lande, He has a voice that falls somewhere between Ronnie James Dio and David Coverdale. If you know how amazing those two singers are, you will know what to expect from Jorn.
Musically and lyrically, the Duke is a superb effort from start to finish! This is melodic metal in its finest form. The guitar tandem of Tore Moren and Jørn Viggo Lofstad do an amazing job on this disc.
Take one listen to the heavy Blacksong which sounds like Lynch era Dokken and you will be hooked.
Another stand out song is Stormcrow, which sounds like a heavy Whitesnake track. The guitars on this song blow me away every time. Awesome!
Duke of Love could have easily been on the Whitesnake, Slide it In Album.
Jorn Lande truly shines on the low to mid tempo Burning Chains. You have to hear it, to appreciate it.
The cover of Thin Lizzy’s Are You Ready may be the best cover song I have heard in 2006. It is very well done here.
The final song, Starfire, is a remake of the same track from his debut disc and sounds even better than the original.
The Duke is certainly one of the top Metal discs of 2006, and a favorite of mine.
If you would like to hear some of the tracks off the Duke, You can listen to a few songs off of this disc at:Jorn Lande’s Website
Rating: Out of 10
- We Brought the Angels Down
- End of Time
- Duke of Love
- Burning Chains
- After the Dying
- Midnight Madness
- Are You Ready
Jorn Lande – Vocals
Jorn Viggo Lofstad – Guitars
Tore Moren – Guitars
Willy Bendiksen – Drums
Morty Black – Bass
When I picked up this new Sweet Cheater disc, I must admit that I had low expectations. Just the name of this disc made me think I was going to regret picking it up. Much to my surprise, Eatin’ Ain’t Cheatin’ is far better than I ever could have imagined.
There are elements in every song that remind of just about every popular 80’s Big Hair Hard Rock act you can thing of. One might complain that they are a copy cat band, but they sound like so many different ones, its actually refreshing to hear.
Take one listen to All Fired Up and see if this doesn’t remind you of old L.A. Guns.
Summer kind of sounds like old school Kix. The keyboard driven One Love is a cool L.A. Guns meets Poison sounding ballad.
The very Kix like Money’s Tough is a killer track, as is the slower paced It’s Our Love.
One listen to Dancin on My Grave, and I thought singer Mike Chappel started sounding like Steven Pearcy.
Holding Out on Love is like a fusion of Poison and L.A. Guns. I’ve Got You sounds like a Poison track as performed by Kix (if that is possible).
Ratt shows up again on the very cool Romina. (Ok…its Steven Pearcy’s vocal clone Mike Chappel ;) )
Subway Train is a good rocker and a great way to end this disc. This track actually sounds better than anything that was on the last Ratt CD.
This disc has to be the surprise of 2006. Perris Records has found one hell of a band in Sweet Cheater. Fans of the 80’s Big Hair sound, and pop metal in general, are going to eat this up. I expect that this will be in my play list for many years to come.
I have added a couple of videos below. You can also hear a few of their songs on their myspace page at: www.myspace.com/sweetcheaterband
Check these guys out! You will be glad you did!
Rating: Out of 10
All Fired Up (Live)
- All Fired Up
- One Love
- Money’s Tough
- It’s Our Love
- Dancin On My Grave
- Holding out on Love
- I’ve Got You
- Subway Train
Sweet Cheater is:
- Charlie Leger – Guitar
- Tom Flaherty – Guitar
- Mike Chappel – Vocal
- Mark Rahilly – Bass
- Tommy Leger – Drums
Big Cock features former Lynch Mob, and Cry of Love vocalist Robert Mason, and former King Kobra guitarist Dave Henzerling a.k.a. David Michael-Philips.
Sonically, this music reminds me of a cross between Lynch Mob and Mr. Big, with a dash of sleaze thrown in for good measure.
There are quite a few catchy numbers on this somewhat short disc. 12 songs and a 25 second filler track to close this disc for a total run time of under 36 minutes.
Bad Motherfucker is immediately infectious and will set your hopes high for the rest of the disc. I Want It All has a very Lynch Mob feel to it. I like this track a lot.
Cinnamon grates on my nerves every time I hear it. I do not like the lyrics at all. I usually skip to King of Cool which is a (no pun intended) a very cool track.
Carrie’s In Love slows it down, and sound a lot like a Mr.Big track. I never cared for that band much, but I do like this track pretty well.
Mean Street Machine kicks it into gear. This is a great track.
I had to look at the credits to see if George Lynch was playing on Take It Off. The layered guitars on this song sound exactly like an older Lynch Mob track.
Dynamite rocks pretty heavy, but lyrically could have been a little better.
My first reaction when hearing Hard To Swallow was wtf is this crap. It sounds like a fusion of 50’s music, and Mr. Big. I still skip this track.
Thank God, Old No. 7 didn’t follow the pattern of the last track. It is a pretty good song, but no where near as good as You Suck the Love Out of Me. Some of the vocals remind me of Axl Rose’s growliness on a old G N R track.
Year of the Cock closes this disc with a mid tempo rock song. It is an ok song, but certainly not classic.
As a whole, this is a pretty decent debut effort from these hard rock veterans.
Both Big Cock discs are getting released to wider distribution in January, so you should be able to find these in more retailers soon.
- Bad Motherfucker
- I Want It All
- King of Cool
- Carrie’s In Love
- Mean Street Machine
- Take It Off
- Hard To Swallow
- Old No. 7
- You Suck the Love out of Me
- Year of the Cock
- Thank You, Good Night
Vocalist Rich Lewis could be a Blackie Lawless clone vocally.
Chris Laney also lent his producing talents, so this is one great sounding disc, from beginning to end.
The track “Violent New Breed” will grab you immediately. This is one kick-ass, hard rocking tune.
The heavy pace continues on “Morning After”. I can hear some Zan Clan like backup vocals on this one. This track is very cool!
“Hey You” cranks it up again. This song reminds me of a KISS song, both sonically and lyrically.
“Eye of the Storm” may be my favorite song on this disc. This is a well written song and the guitars are absolutely killer.
The tempo slows way down on “Turn and Walk Away”. This power ballad really delivers. Rich Lewis delivers an excellent vocal on this track, and Randy Piper’s guitar shines greatly. This song screams radio hit!
Lyrically, “Animal In Me” could have used a little more work. The music is good, but it is my least favorite track on this disc.
“Hellchild” sounds like a W.A.S.P. anthem. The keyboards on this track kind of give it that screechy horror type of feel, but are strangely annoying at the same time. The rest of the song is very good though, and would translate well live.
“Salt” is another excellent, heavy track with Zan Clan like backing vocals. This track sounds as if could have been at home in the late 80’s. It is very cool!
“In The Mirror” is a low to mid tempo number that seems to get better with each listen. The guitar work here is superb.
Just the title of “B.O.O.M.” seems to carry the W.A.S.P. spirit. The keyboards return in a minor fashion on this track, and I think they should have left them out. It would have sounded better. Aside from that, this is a cool hard driving track and it ends “Violent New Breed” in good fashion.
There is more to like on this disc than I expected. Chris Laney’s addition to this group takes it over the top. Many of these songs would translate well live. For W.A.S.P. fans, picking this disc up is a no-brainer. For all other Hard Rock, and metal fans, you ought to stop by the band’s myspace page (www.myspace.com/randypipersanimal) and give some of these tracks a listen. I think this is a great disc, and well worth the price of admission!
Rating: Out of 10
- Violent New Breed
- Morning After
- Hey You
- Eye of the Storm
- Turn and Walk Away
- Animal in Me
- In The Mirror
Randy Piper’s Animal is:
Randy Piper – Guitar
Rich Lewis – Vocals
Chris Laney – Guitar
Jackie Livengood – Bass
Johan Koleberg – Drums
It has been a long time since I have heard any new material from former MSG lead singer, Robin McAuley. I enjoyed the MSG albums he sang on, so I was kind of excited about this release.
The first thing I noticed is how short this CD is. Only 8 tracks, under 35 minutes in length.
Luckily, this CD does out perform quite a few other 2006 releases with more tracks.
There are quite a few solid tracks. Movin On sounds like a very heavy MSG track, and is the best track by far. Let’s Dance and Gonna Get It are both pretty good as well. Gonna Get it has very Schenker like guitars on it. Let’s Dance cranks the tempo up with driving guitars and drums to match. This is a fun track.
Victoria also sounds like that a track that could have been left off of an MSG album. This is 80’s pop/metal that is as good as it gets. I love the guitars on Promise, and We Belong.
Won’t Let It Go is my least favorite track here. I don’t know if it is McAuley’s vocals or the lyrics that do not work for me here, but I just couldn’t get into this song.
Freedom is another decent track that sounds like it could have been at home in the late 80’s.
Sadly, Robin McAuley has left Demon Angels to go sing for Survivor. I am sure its a higher paying gig, but he left a potential band on the rise. Its a shame based on this hard rocking release. This band has loads of potential. I can only hope that Demon Angels can find a new singer as talented as McAuley and put out a follow up release to this excellent hard rocking disc.
Here is the lone video from Time of Confusion:
Rating:Out of 10
- Gonna Get It
- Movin’ On
- Let’s Dance
- We Be Long
- Won’t Let It Go
I didn’t think I would hear too many new quality releases to close out 2006, but I could not have been more wrong. Jon Oliva’s Pain, is one Heavy Metal release that took me by surprise.
This disc starts off with a very strong track, Through the Eyes of the King, which is unmistakably Savatage in style! This track is one of the best metal songs I have heard all year.
The title track Maniacal Renderings is a progressive number that stretches past 7 minutes. Parts of this song remind of Queensryche, in a good way.
The Evil Beside You starts off slow and kind of reminds me a little of Queen in style, but then breaks into another Savatage style rocker. Time to Die turns up the heaviness, and at times sounds like Black Label Society backing up Oliva. ( At this point, this reviewer has a big evil grin on his face ).
Push It To the Limit cranks the tempo way the hell up. I can see people in a mosh pit, slamming to this song. The bass rhythm on this song reminds me of Anthrax at times.
Who’s Playing God returns to more of a Progressive Metal style. This almost reminds me of a heavy Queen song. Timeless Flight also starts off with that Queen styling, but in a very heavy sense. This is one of those progressive tracks that is technically brilliant. It is one of those songs that make you wonder if you are hearing a CD that may one day be considered classic.
Holes is another heavy track that could easily fit on any Savatage CD. Lots of heavy guitars, rhythm and bass. At first I didn’t like this track, but I had to give it a couple of listens. You have to hear the way this song ends. Awesome!!
End of Times is another prog rocker with plenty of crunching guitars and heavy bass. This is another decent song with excellent guitar work. I didn’t care for this song too much.
Still I Prey For You Now is a slow short number that fails to excite me. I was hoping for something a little more powerful at this place in the record.
The Bonus track features 2 tracks in 1. Reality’s Fool is another slow tempo number that almost seems out of place. A few seconds later another instrumental track continues the fantastic solo work of the late, great Chris Oliva.
As a whole, this is a very strong effort from Jon Oliva’s Pain. Savatage fans should be rushing to pick this up. Progressive Metal fans will likely enjoy this too. If you don’t like either of those, this disc may not appeal to you. I have always liked Savatage, and felt they were very under rated. This disc stands up to any of the Savatage records out there, and is one of the best new releases of 2006.
Rating:Out of 10
Below are a couple of live videos of songs that are from the Maniacal Renderings CD. If you like these, you are going to love this CD!
Evil Beside You
- Through the Eyes of the King
- Maniacal Renderings
- The Evil Beside You
- Time To Die
- Push It To the Limit
- Who’s Playing God
- Timeless Flight
- End Times
- Still I Pray for You Now
- Reality’s Fool (Bonus Track)
Occasionally, I will plug a new band in my music reviews, if they fit in the Hard Rock and Heavy metal genre. When I read that the influences of Violent Divine, were Motley Crue, and Guns ‘N Roses. I had to give them a listen.
I listened to 3 tracks, one time each on myspace and I said, ok, where can I get this…..NOW! I don’t buy much from ITunes, but they actually had this, so I said why not, besides, it beats going to the local record store on December 24th.
This kind of sounds like a fusion between 80’s Hard Rock and today’s current hard rock scene. This comes across as a fusion of Metal and Punk and a dash of sleaze with big drum beats, great guitars and catchy lyrics. There are a few immediate stand out tracks: Let’s Go, Rush You, and Levitate, but there honestly isn’t a bad song on this disc. I dare you try to listen to this disc, and try not to head bang! It is a well produced, fun to listen to debut effort by this Swedish based 4 piece.
This is definitely worth your money if you are looking for a new band that kicks ass!
Here are a couple of video’s to give you a taste of Violent Divine!
Rating:Out of 10
- Let’s Go
- Love Revolution
- The Morning Show
- Rush You
- Ghost in the Machine
- Down the Line
Mark Reale of Riot may be an Army of One. He is lone founding member of Riot, and has held this band together for over 30 years now.
Why Mark or Riot, hasn’t received more recognition in the music community is a mystery to me. With a style that falls between Joe Satriani, and Michael Schenker, you don’t have to listen to Army of One very long before you say “Wow”!
With that being said, how do the songs, on Army of One stack up. In my best Guiness Stout voice, they are “BRILLIANT!!“.
With Mark Reale’s and Mike Flyntz guitars and Mike DiMeo’s amazing vocals, I can’t imagine any hard rock or metal fan not enjoying this CD. This is melodic metal as good as you are going to find it anywhere! It is hard for me to pick out highlights on this disc, as I truly enjoy the whole thing. The Bonus Track of Road Racin’ Live, a track that was on the 1979 release Narita, is excellent. It sounds better now than it when it was first released. Johnny the Seal has something to smile out about when he hears this disc. :)
Check out this video of Reale and Flyntz dualing guitars….awesome!!
Rating:Out of 10
- Army of One
- Knockin At My Door
- One More Alibi
- It all falls down
- Helping Hand
- The mystic
- Stay Alive
- Alive in the City
- Stained Mirror (Instrumental)
- Darker Side of Light
- Road Racin’ (Live)
Here is an excellent hard rocking release that came out in January of 2006. I stumbled on this by accident when I was looking for some Twisted Sister news.
I heard a couple of songs on myspace, and had to pick this up.
Axes 2 Axes starts out with a heavy number Tonight, sung by Ronnie James Dio, and followed up with a blistering instrumental, Axes 2 Axes. Please Remember is a pretty good rock number sung by Eddie.
Dee Snider does a good job covering the Beatles’ Eleanor Rigby, with some backing vocals by Terry llous from XYZ. This is a far superior cover than the torrid, Leader of the Pack, cover from Twisted Sister’s Come Out and Play album.
Evil Duz is a pretty heavy track where Eddie just about sounds like Lemmy from Motorhead on this track. (Well sort of, maybe not as gravelly) .
Crosstown is another kick ass instrumental from Eddie.
Senorita Knows is a mid tempo track. It is my least favorite track, but it isn’t a bad song by any means. Love Power is a funky track with some slap bass playing by Rudy Sarzo. Eddie sounds like he is having fun on this song.
Funky Monkey is the third instrumental track on this CD. It is another great track. Eddie really struts his guitar work here.
The Reason is the sole ballad on this disc, and a good one at that.
Axes 2 Axes closes out with another great vocal by Joe Lynn Turner on Living Free.
Overall, Axes 2 Axes is a pretty quick disc to listen to. It clocks in under 39 minutes long. If you want to discover a good rock CD, and an excellent guitar player that deserves more credit than what he gets, check this disc out! The Dio and Dee Snider tracks almost make this disc worth picking up just by themselves.
Rating: Out of 10
- Axes 2 Axes
- Please Remember
- Eleanor Rigby
- Evil Duz (What Evil Knows)
- Senorita Knows
- Love Power
- Funky Monkey
- The Reason
- Living Free
I only discovered Huntington, West Virginia’s Hydrogyn yesterday. After reading that Michael Wagener produced this disc, I knew that I had to get this in my CD player quickly. Michael Wagener has produced more platinum acts than I can remember including Motley Crue, Skid Row, Metallica, Ozzy, Poison and the list goes on and on. He thinks Hydrogyn is going to be huge.
Judging from the first two tracks, he may be right.
Lead Singer Julie has a delivery that is similar to Pat Benatar, however I think she sings at a lower octave than Pat. The songs on “Bombshell” are mostly hard hock and maybe a touch of heavy metal at times.
Vespers Song starts the pace off right, and Blind is a kick ass rock song. Breaking Me Down reminds me a whole lot of Evanescense, except its a bit heavier with better guitar work. I’ve Been Waiting was on OK track. Confession is a pretty good song.
Look Away S.P. is heavier song, and is another great track.
Love Spoke reminds me of a country song with more heavier guitars. I didn’t care for this track.
Depending on which version of Bombshell you picking up, track 8 will be either a cover of AC/DC’s Back in Black, or Skid Row’s 18 and Life. My copy has Back in Black, and is a faithful cover of the original. I had to buy the 18 and Life cover from Hydrogyn’s website after hearing it on their myspace page. Both tracks are great!
The Sand is another cool track similar to Evanescense metallic style, but once again, it has a heavier feel to it.
Whisper slows it down acoustically, but picks up the pace about midway through. For some reason, this song also strikes me as a country song with heavier guitars in parts. I don’t really care for this track.
Circle picks it back up again mid tempo. I didn’t like this one very much either.
Book of Names is another good heavy track.
Come Back To Me goes back in the acoustic direction. This isn’t my cup of tea. Skip.
Mutilated Mind ends this disc with another heavy rock song. I don’t know what they did when they mixed the vocals on this track, but it has this multi layered sound about it, that I didn’t really care for. The song isn’t too bad though. It was good to hear this disc end on an upbeat note.
Similar to Doro’s – Warrior Soul there are really 5 or 6 stand out tracks here. The rest aren’t enough to keep me excited. Hydrogyn is one of those bands that could break out and be huge, if the writing was just a little more solid. It is a decent debut effort from a state that is not known to be a hotbed for Hard Rock Music.
I don’t think the ultra hot Julie will be unseating Doro Pesch anytime soon, but maybe we can have a hard rock and a metal queen.
The videos below will give you a taste of Hydrogyn.
- Vespers Song
- Breaking Me Down
- I’ve Been Waiting
- Look Away S.P.
- Love Spoke
- Back In Black
- The Sand
- Book of Names
- Come Back To Me
- Mutilated Mind
I must admit that Doro fell off my musical radar since her days in Warlock. Why that is, I don’t really know. The cover of this disc really caught my attention, so I had to give this a chance.
I am glad I did. This sounds just like the Warlock songs I used to remember back in the late 80’s.
Doro shows why she will continue by the reigning Metal queen for quite some time. I don’t think too many metal fans will have a hard time liking the majority of this disc.
You’re My Family starts the pace off right with a heavy rocking number. Haunted Heart sounds like it could have been on Judas Priest’s Angel of Retribution disc. Strangers Yesterday is an OK track.
Thunderspell kind of sounds like a heavy Pat Benatar song. I love this track. Warrior Soul is a low tempo almost haunting number. I didn’t really care for this song too much. Creep In My Brain is another very cool track.
At this point I start losing interest in the rest of the songs. The tempo slows down, on Above the Ashes and I think Doro’s voice works best on the faster numbers. My Majesty is an more upbeat rocker, and is a better song, but its not one of my favorites here.
There are also a couple of songs that are in German(In Liebe Und Freundschaft and Ungebrochen. They sound nice, but the only German words I understand is Farfegnuugen, weinerschnitzel and bier. :)
Shine on was just an average song to me, and not a very memorable way to end this disc.
There are certainly some moments of greatness on Warrior Soul, but the disc seems to fall off about midway through. It may not be the best disc you will buy all year, but it definitely wont be the worst.
Rating: Out of 10
- You’re My Family
- Haunted Heart
- Strangers Yesterday
- Warrior Soul
- Heaven I See
- Creep Into My Brain
- Above the Ashes
- My Majesty
- In Liebe Und Freundschaft
- Shine On
Wow…this is a pretty tough CD to review. Fans of late 80’s and early 90’s Europe may find this release a little shocking.
Secret Society has a similar sound to Start From the Dark. There are a few modern rock almost Nu-metal sounding songs.
A couple of times, I had to check the credits to see if Joey Tempest was singing. His powerhouse vocals were so toned down, it didn’t sound like the same singer. At times he sings, what seems like, an octave lower than normal.
Personally, I think Joey is one of the the best singers out there. Why would they want to mess with his voice? It is a powerful instrument that they seemed to tone down this time around.
So how are the songs? If you can get past the initial shock of an almost 180 in sound from the late 80’s and 90’s version of Europe, you might actually like this. I am actually liking it more with each listen. John Norum plays like a madman on this disc. I always new he was a good guitarist, but he picked it up big time on Secret Society.
Here is a breakdown of the tracks:
Secret Society is the first track that may make you say….wtf?! Toned down vocals but excellent guitar work. It doesn’t sound like the Europe I was most familiar with, but its a good song. Norum starts slinging his axe around quickly and sets the tempo for this record.
Joey Tempest starts to sound like himself more on Always the Pretenders. This song still has the modern rock, heavy bass feel to it. It is a pretty good track. I could see this as being a hit in the United States, if they ever would play real rock on the radio.
The Getaway Plan is a more of the modern rock, heavy bass again. This song nearly ventures into the Soundgarden territory, then jumps back out of it again, as soon as Norum starts playing. It is my least favorite track so far, but it isn’t a bad song by any means.
The pace slows down with Wish I Could Believe. This song is really growing on me. This is a well written song. Tempest and Norum both sound great.
Let the Children Play is an interesting track that almost ventures into the Nu Metal area. This is another well written and Tempest sounds pretty decent here. The song finishes with kids singing the Chorus with Tempest. It sounds better than I can describe it. You have to listen to this song to understand it.
Human After All is another mid tempo modern rocker. There is plenty of noodling by Norum here. At this point, this song is starting to sound too much like some of the others on the disc. It isn’t a stand out track to me by any means.
Ah yes………Love is Not the Enemy picks up the tempo. I really like the groove to this song. This is a great track!
A Mother’s Son starts with some piano playing, and ventures into a low tempo modern rock song. This isn’t my cup of tea, but I can see that some people may like this track. It isn’t a bad song, but it is one that I will probably skip while playing this disc.
Forever Travelling is another mid tempo song. It is just an ok track.
Brave and Beautiful Soul almost comes across sounding like a U2 track. I like U2, but I am not sure if I like Europe sounding like U2. Another track that I am not crazy about.
I was hoping that Europe would close this disc with a powerful and high tempo rocker. Devil Sings the Blues is that same mid tempo modern rock formula that the rest of the songs on this disc have. Once again, it isn’t a bad track, but it isn’t great either.
If you are looking for the Final Countdown 2006 style, you aren’t going to hear it on this record. If you can listen to Secret Society with an open mind, you may enjoy it. This is one of those CD that is pretty good through the first half and kind falls off about midway through the disc. Nonetheless, it is another solid effort from Europe.
Rating:Out of 10
- Secret Society
- Always the Pretenders
- The Getaway Plan
- Wish I could Believe
- Let the Children Play
- Human After All
- Love is not the Enemy
- Mother’s Son
- Forever Travelling
- Brave and Beautiful Soul
- Devil Sings the Blues
This video will give you a minor taste of the Europe 2006 sound.
The Carmine Appice Project is a CD that I absolutely had to hear.
All of the songs on this disc are written by Kelly Keeling and Carmen Appice with Tony Franklin on Bass, Appice on Drums and Keeling on vocals. All 3 are former members of Blue Murder. I hold that band in high regard. As you can probably tell by the front cover, each song has a different guitarist.
There is a stupid amount of talent on this CD. How do the songs stack up? Let me continue……….This CD isn’t what I expected at all. A few of the songs sound like well orchestrated Jam Sessions. It may appeal to some people, but I think I prefer a more concise musical effort but a solid 4 or 5 piece outfit. The mixing on the CD is horrible. Tony Franklin’s bass overpowers the rest of the music on just about every song. I am not impressed with the song writing either.
Days are Nights with Ted Nugent comes across as one of those Jam Sessions. It isn’t bad, but it isn’t great either.
Nobody Knew with Brian May was kind of boring to me.
Stash with Stevie Salas was just noise to me everytime I tried to listen to it. I skip this track every time now.
Where You Belong is a piano based number with Slash. I did not care for this song, I thought this was a poor use of Slash’s talent.
4 Miles High with Steve Morse has a good groove to it, but I did not care for the vocals on this song.
Gonna Rain with Richie Sambora is an almost Modern Rock song. There is a pretty good solo by Richie but as a whole this song is filler. I did not like this song.
This Time Around features Yngvie Malmsteen and Doug Pinnick. Awesome fretwork by Malmsteen, but this is just an odd combination. Pinnick’s vocals do not go with Yngvie’s high speed noodling.
Killing Time with Ty Tabor. More Filler. Skip!
Doin Fine with Vivian Campbell. This is a slower paced number. Did Vivian show up for this track? I can hear Tony Franklin. Oh wait….there he is….he showed up midway in this track. Did he phone this in?…..more crap!
Under the Moon and Sun with Edwar Winter on vocals and Mick Mars on Guitar. Edgar shines vocally on this track. Mick sounds pretty decent to. This is the best song on this CD.
Code 19 with Zakk Wylde. Zakk sounds great but this is a poor song.
Out of Mind with Neil Schon. Neil’s time is better spent in Journey, or Soul Sirkus, or cutting the grass (in the desert). Yawn!
Do You Think I’m Sexy with Pat Travers. Yes, its the Rod Stewart song with Carmen Appice on vocals. Oh my god, just when I thought this CD was bad, it gets worse. This is total crap.
G Z Blues is a bluesy number with Seymour Duncan and Steven Seagal (how the heck did he get on there?). This is pure instrumental and after the aforementioned tracks above, it was rather pleasing.
It has been a long time since a CD has actually pissed me off. This one has!. I doubt I will give this another listen. If you feel the need to buy this, I will sell you my copy!
Rating: Out of 10
Thank you James Christian for returning House of Lords to its classic sound!
You can almost tell from the CD cover and the majestic intro Mask of Eternity, what kind of record you are going to get with World Upside Down.
Still after the lackluster effort Power and the Myth I was a little leery of what I would hear. It didn’t take long to put my fears aside.
This record takes the bull by the horns. There are powerful vocals by James Christian, Great guitars by House of Lords newcomer Jimi Bell. The rhythm section of B.J. Zampa and Jeff Kent are excellent as well.
There are a lot of songs to like on World Upside Down, with my favorites being These Are the Times, I am Free, Rock Bottom, Your Eyes, and My Generation.
If you are an old House of Lords fan, or a fan of melodic hard rock in the vein of Journey, this is a CD that you must own! This is one of the best Melodic Hard Rock records of 2006. Great Stuff!
Rating: Out of 10
- Mask of Eternity
- These Are the Times
- All the Way to Heaven
- Field of Shattered Dreams
- I Am Free
- All The Pieces Falling
- Rock Bottom
- Million Miles
- Your Eyes
- Ghost of Time
- My Generation
- World Upside Down
House of Lords is:
James Christian – Vocals
Jimi Bell – Lead Guitar
BJ Zampa – Drums
Jeff Kent – Bass, Keyboards and Background Vocals
New Quiet Riot in 2006? who would have thought these guys would still be around.
This lineup on the CD includes Kevin Debrow on vocals, Frankie Banali on the drums, Tony Franklin on bass and Neil Citron on guitar.
Whether you will like this release or not is highly dependent on how much you like Kevin Dubrow. To me, Dubrow’s voice is like a fine wine. You may have to savor it, in order to like it. Unfortunately, I am a beer drinker, and I do not enjoy wine.
I really enjoyed a lot of Quiet Riot’s past material, but haven’t really heard anything since QRIII that has excited me too much. Rehab has not changed my opinion.
Musically, Rehab comes across as a classic rock sounding record. The music is good, but Debrow’s voice does not work well with the music being played here. There are too many mid tempo, modern rock songs. Gone are the stadium anthems of Quiet Riot’s past that made them so popular.
Here is a breakdown of the tracks: Free is a mid tempo almost modern sounding rock song with an occasional guitar squeal. Tony Franklin’s bass is quite audible here. It isn’t a good enough song to start this disc off with.
Blind Faith is another mid tempo rock song, and is rather forgettable. South of Heaven sticks with the mid tempo rock formula. It is a tad bit better than the first two songs, but its not enough to stop the tail slide.
Black Reign ups the tempo (finally). You can really hear Banalli pounding the drums in this one. This is the best tracks so far.
Old Habits Die Hard slows it back down again. Dubrow croons to this almost blues song with a background choir. I liked this song until the choir chirped in. That ruined it for me. This does not sound like a Quiet Riot song.
Strange Daze once again ups the tempo (thank God). This is one of the heavier tracks on the CD, and probably sounds the most like older Quiet Riot material. Lots of drums and guitars on this one.
In Harms Way goes back to the mid tempo modern rock formula once more. Sounds like filler to me.
Beggars and Thieves is a good song. It is one of the better tracks on this CD. Citron’s guitars finally show up on this track.
I didn’t care for Don’t Think at first. This song may be one that needs to grow on you. Neil Citron shows up more on this one as well.
It Sucks To Be You sounds more like a classic rock song to me, that it does a QR tune. I kind of like this track.
Evil Woman ends this record on a high note and is the major highlight on Rehab. Glenn Hughes shares the vocals with Dubrow, and he really shines here. There are some keyboards on this one, giving this track an almost Deep Purple feel.
Aside from a couple of tracks, the guitars seem to be anemic and the music strays away from what made Quiet Riot so popular. I think the absense of Carlos Cavazo and Chuck Wright really takes away from the Quiet Riot sound. They are greatly missed here. As a whole Rehab comes across as a very average sounding record. I don’t think its going to appeal to a lot of Quiet Riot fans.
Rating: Out of 10
- Blind Faith
- South of Heaven
- Black Reign
- Old Habits Die Hard
- Strange Daze
- In Harms Way
- Beggars and Thieves
- Don’t Think
- It Sucks to Be You
- Evil Woman