When Eddie Trunk brought Jake E. Lee on That Metal Show in 2013, I couldn’t have been more excited. Mr. Lee has been noticeably absent from the hard rock world for a few years, and I greatly missed him. When Jake mentioned his new band Red Dragon Cartel, I was ecstatic that Jake was returning to make new music. I have longed to hear him play in a band since the last Badlands CD Dusk from ’98.
Well Red Dragon Cartel is finally here, and I couldn’t be happier. The new music is great, and has me super excited to see the band live later in 2014.
The opening track “Deceiver” is an awesome stadium anthem that easily states that JAKE E. LEE IS BACK! The riffs on this song sound like they could have easily been off of the Ozzy Osbourne Ultimate Sin album. I can’t get enough of this song.
The song “Shout It Out” has more of a modern flair to it, but it a good song, and one of my favorites on the album.
“Feeder” features Cheap Trick’s Robin Zander on vocals, and as always Zander does a terrific job. This guy could sing names out of the phone book and make it sound good. Jake E. Lee’s riffs are pretty awesome too. Something about the intro on this song reminds me of the opening music on the animated series Batman Beyond, but it is very cool.
“Fall From The Sky (Seagull)” is a slower tune that has a cool alternative vibe too it. I really dig this track. It sounds great loud too!
If there is one weak track on the Red Dragon Cartel album, It is “Wasted”. While I like Paul Di’Anno, I don’t think his voice has aged well, and this song to me would have been better with Darren Smith on vocals. I like the music, but the vocals kill it for me.
“Slave” is another cool rocker with some killer riffs from Jake E. Lee. This hard driving tune really gets your blood pumping.
I am sure some folks were shocked when they heard “Big Mouth” with Maria Brink on vocals. This is unlike anything Jake E. Lee has ever done. It is a modern hard rocker, which isn’t too far off from what In This Moment plays. I like In This Moment and Maria Brink so I have really been enjoying this tune. I am hoping In This Moment will play this live at some point.
The song “War Machine” is doom-laden Black Sabbath like metal opus that gets better every time I listen to it. What a cool tune!
I was surprised to find that Jake E. Lee locked in Sass Jordan to sing a song on the album. I love Sass Jordan, especially on her recent release S.U.N. – Something Unto Nothing. She is a powerful bluesy singer. She does a killer job on “Redeem Me”.
“Exquisite Tenderness” is the first song that Jake E. Lee ever wrote. This is a piano based instrumental that shows that Mr. Lee has a great musical talent beyond his guitar (but please don’t give up that six string Jake!).
If you buy the special Best Buy Edition of the Red Dragon Cartel CD, you will get a bonus track “American Dream”. Is it worth it? I think so. This is a cool rocker that should not be missed.
Overall, I have been enjoying Red Dragon Cartel. It has easily been my favorite hard rock CD of 2014 so far. Some of my peers have not been so kind to Red Dragon Cartel singer Darren Smith, but I will go on record that I like his voice a lot. He reminds of a cross between John Corabi and Rod Jackson. I like both of those singers and I like Darren too. I can’t wait to hear him sing these songs live.
Red Dragon Cartel’s debut is a solid album all the way through, and most importantly it brings Jake E. Lee back to the limelight, and live stages all across the world. Welcome back Jake! I am glad you and Red Dragon Cartel are here!
02. Shout It Out
03. Feeder (Robin Zander)
04. Fall From The Sky (Seagull)
05. Wasted (Paul Di’Anno)
07. Big Mouth (Maria Brink)
08. War Machine
09. Redeem Me
10. Exquisite Tenderness
11. American Dream (Bonus Track)
Red Dragon Cartel is:
Jake E. Lee – Guitars
Ronnie Mancuso – Bass
D.J Smith – Vocals
Jonas Fairley – Drums
New Album by Band Comprised of Former Ozzy Osbourne/Badlands Guitar Legend Jake E. Lee, Bassist Ronnie Mancuso, Vocalist D.J. Smith and Drummer Jonas Fairley Set for Release in January
The newest band ready to take aim at the creative void in the hard rock world, Red Dragon Cartel, are set to release their debut album via Frontiers Records. The self-titled debut by the band made up of guitar legend Jake E. Lee, bassist Ronnie Mancuso, singer D.J. Smith and drummer Jonas Fairley is set for release on January 24th in Europe and January 28th in North America.
Jake E. Lee is best known for his work in Badlands and as guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne on Bark at the Moon and The Ultimate Sin albums. Red Dragon Cartel also features various guest appearances from some of music’s most notable faces including legendary Cheap Trick vocalist Robin Zander, original Iron Maiden vocalist Paul Di’Anno, Kill Devil Hill/Pantera bassist Rex Brown, Slash’s Conspirators Todd Kearns and Brent Fitz and In This Moment front woman Maria Brink. The album was produced by Ronnie Mancuso and Jake E. Lee and was executive produced, mixed and mastered by Kevin Churko (In This Moment, Ozzy Osbourne, Five Finger Death Punch).
From the opening riff of “Deceived” to final sustained piano chord of “Exquisite Tenderness,” it is clear Red Dragon Cartel has created an album that stands amongst some of the greatest hard rock albums of all time. Infectious songs such as “Shout It Out,” “Wasted” and “Slave” showcase the band’s ability to write memorable hooks and vocal melodies. Robin Zander of Cheap Trick lends his voice to the track “Feeder” and a lyric video for the song can be seen below.
Maria Brink of In This Moment lends her unique vocals to the track “Big Mouth.” Paul Di’Anno and Sass Jordan also lend their talents to the band’s debut. Jake E. Lee’s trademark playing style instantly shines through and picks up right where he left off. The album is available for pre-order on Amazon.com at http://amzn.to/1aYjMng or digitally on iTunes at http://smarturl.it/reddragoncartel that comes with an instant download of “Deceived.”
The track listing for Red Dragon Cartel is:
2. Shout It Out
3. Feeder with Robin Zander
4. Fall From The Sky (Seagull)
5. Wasted with Paul Di’Anno
7. Big Mouth with Maria Brink
8. War Machine
9. Redeem Me with Sass Jordan
10. Exquisite Tenderness
The band will be bringing these new powerhouse songs on the road playing a handful of dates in the US before embarking on a full tour in 2014. Tickets are currently on-sale and all information can be found on the band’s website.
December 12th – Los Angeles, CA – Whisky A Go Go
December 14th – Tempe, AZ – Marquee Theater (Support of Queensryche)
December 15th – San Diego, CA – Brick By Brick
December 20th – Las Vegas, NV – Count’s Vamp’d
Red Dragon Cartel – Official Website: http://reddragoncartel.com
Official Facebook: www.facebook.com/reddragoncartel
Official Twitter: https://twitter.com/reddragoncartel
Their bio says they write “trend free music” and what we get to hear are “Real grooves, real performances, real rock.” I’d say that description is
pretty dead on. If there’s one thing that irritates the hell out of me, it’s the over computerized, over produced, overly generic music that’s being pushed out to the world on a daily basis. You certainly won’t get any of that with S.U.N.’s (Something Unto Nothing) self titled debut album.
Sass Jordan (vocals), Brian Tichy (guitar), Michael “Denim” Devin (bass), and Tommy Stewart (drums) make up this quartet with quite an extensive resume: Billboard’s Best Female Rock Vocalist award, songs on major motion pictures and television shows, and time spent in Whitesnake, Foreigner and Billy Idol…just to name a few. With talent like that, you almost can’t go wrong.
Upon listening, the first thing you’re going to notice (because you just can’t ignore it) is Sass’ powerful voice. It’s strong and beautiful in that Janis Joplin kind of way. It’s not dripping with femininity. It’s dirty and gruff and fits perfectly.
The next thing you’ll notice are the solid rock and roll grooves. It’s the kind of sound that makes you tap your foot and bounce your head to the beat because it’s real rock and roll and you can’t help but get into it. There’s dirty, thick guitar all throughout the album, but it pulls you in right from the start with “Burned” and “Crazy Head.” Then you get hit with some Sabbath-y heavy rock during “Nomad.” And if you’re looking for a little 80’s rock influence, you can find it on “I’m the One.”
Where I feel the album falls short is on the ballads like “Wide Ocean” or “If I was You.” Don’t get me wrong, they’re good songs, but they just don’t hold up as well and they’re not as strong as the other songs. S.U.N. are just more powerful when they are rocking faces off.
There’s no doubt that S.U.N. is real, soulful rock and roll. This debut album is a really good, solid foundation that they should be able to build great things on. It makes me excited to see what the future holds for them. They just need to remember not to succumb to making radio friendly music because it sells; they should continue to make solid rock and roll because that’s what makes them shine.
Rating: Out of 10
2. Crazy Head
4. Did Me No Good
5. Mobile Again
6. I’m The One
7. If I Was You
8. The Beginning Of The End (The Journey of The Phrygians from Madrid)
10. Wide Ocean
11. No Way Home
12. Something Unto Nothing
Sass Jordan – Vocals
Brian Tichy – Gutiars
Michael Devin – Bass
Tommy Stewart – Drums
Reviewed by Christine Sixx
NEW ROCK SUPERGROUP
SOMETHING UNTO NOTHING (S.U.N.)
FEATURING SASS JORDAN, BRIAN TICHY, MICHAEL DEVIN AND TOMMY STEWART
TO PHYSICALLY RELEASE DEBUT FULL-LENGTH SELF-TITLED ALBUM
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 5
ON ROBO RECORDS
ALBUM RELEASE DATE POSTPONED DUE TO TICHY’S RECENT MOUNTAIN BIKE ACCIDENT
AND SUBSEQUENT SURGERY
NEW SINGLE “I’M THE ONE” REACHES TOP 50 AT CLASSIC ROCK RADIO
AS OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO IS RELEASED
TICHY ANNOUNCES DEPARTURE FROM WHITESNAKE TO FOCUS ON S.U.N.
New rock supergroup SOMETHING UNTO NOTHING (S.U.N.) featuring Juno Award winner SASS JORDAN, BRIAN TICHY, MICHAEL DEVIN and TOMMY STEWART will physically release their debut full-length self-titled album Tuesday, February 5 on Robo Records with distribution through Fontana/Universal Music. Initially the album was scheduled to be released Tuesday, January 15; however, S.U.N. guitarist TICHY was recently involved in a serious mountain bike accident which resulted in a broken collarbone, requiring him to undergo surgery on New Year’s Eve. This unforeseen injury has temporarily sidelined the band’s promotional plans for the record release and as recompense to their fans for the delay, S.U.N. has decided to sign a limited quantity of pre-sale CDs for fans that purchase the physical album beginning today at www.somethinguntonothing.com (while supplies last). This will be the only opportunity for fans to have the album before it’s officially out in stores. Also, as a unique and special keepsake for TICHY fans, included in these signed CD packages will be a signed copy of TICHY’s x-ray which shows the metal plate and nine screws required to put his clavicle back together. Several other bundles will also be available on the website for various price points including t-shirts, lyric sheets, drumsticks and more.
The album’s first single “I’m The One” hit the Top 50 at Classic Rock Radio as the official music video for the track was released. With footage from the band’s November 20 show at the Key Club in Los Angeles, celebrating the digital release of the album, the video showcases S.U.N.’s non-stop, high-octane live performance. Watch it now here: http://youtu.be/7NktMr8Sjqk.
All this news coincides with TICHY’s announcement of his departure from the iconic rock band Whitesnake. TICHY, a veteran musician who served as Whitesnake’s drummer for 2 ½ years and has also performed with Billy Idol, Foreigner, Ozzy and more, has decided to devote his full attention to S.U.N.
“When you start a band with an Interplanetary Mountain Goddess and you both agree it’s worth giving 100%, you don’t just up and leave,” explains TICHY of working with SASS and his decision to leave Whitesnake. “If I did, our efforts would have been a bit of a waste of time, and I might as well stick to being a drummer-for-hire.” TICHY goes on to say, “I owe David Coverdale a big ‘thank you’ for allowing me to be in his band, and be myself in his band. The man simply told me to play how I play and make his band and its music sound like a kick-ass rock ‘n’ roll freight train. He trusted me. I also owe David thanks for all the inspiration and for clearly letting me see that if you want something, you better at least TRY to get it.” A full statement has also been posted to www.briantichy.com.
Whitesnake frontman David Coverdale also released a statement regarding BRIAN’s departure: “We are truly sad to see him go, but, we fully support the pursuit of his ambitions & sincerely wish him well. His fearless drumming brought a relentless driving edge & to our music that we fully embraced. Good Luck, Brian…May the SUN shine brightly on you!!”
BRIAN and the rest of the band are looking forward to his speedy recovery and to getting back to what they love most…performing live. S.U.N.’s first show of 2013 will be on Saturday, January 19 at the Key Club. They have also confirmed a gig Saturday, February 9 at Vamp’d in Las Vegas alongside Frank Hannon of Tesla.
Additionally, the members of S.U.N. will also make several appearances at the annual NAMM music trade show January 24-27 in Anaheim, CA. On Thursday, January 24 at 7pm at The Observatory, S.U.N. and the world’s most accomplished drummers will come together for the Bonzo Bash NAMM Jamm. This event, as with the four previous Bonzo Bashes, is curated by TICHY himself and pays tribute to the legendary drummer John Bonham of Led Zeppelin. Those drummers confirmed to appear and perform their favorite Led Zeppelin songs include Steven Adler (Guns N Roses/Adler), James Kottak (Scorpions), Stephen Perkins (Jane’s Addiction), Mike Portnoy (Adrenaline Mob), Dave Lombardo (Slayer), TICHY, STEWART and many more. There will also be special guests on-hand to host the festivities including Eddie Trunk, Nicko McBrain (Iron Maiden) and Uncle Joe Benson (Los Angeles’ 95.5 KLOS). Tickets are on-sale now at http://www.observatoryoc.com/events/bonzo. TICHY will also take part in several signing appearances throughout the convention including at booths for Natal Drums, Regal Tips, Remo, Paiste Cymbals and more.
Positive reviews continue to pour in. Here’s what’s being said about S.U.N.’s debut self-titled album:
“…a slab of blues-based rock that might have been blasting from a Camaro’s 8-track in the summer of ’71…Sass Jordan wails like a congregant called forth to testify on the eve o judgment day. A vocalist in the Janis Joplin mold, the singer hits all the highs and lows…[Tichy] is not only an accomplished shredder; he drives the tracks with his unfussy, supportive playing…his killer guitar tone—a thick, dripping snarl—is the best thing about his playing in S.U.N….Something Unto Nothing dips deeply into the ‘70s canon, but in targeted, discrete ways…”
—DRUM, February 2013
“S.U.N.’s debut album is reminiscent of the classic big album sounds of the 1970s. It’s raw, real music from the days when records were played on a turntable and cranked up to 10.”
–James Wood, GUITARWORLD.COM, November 28, 2012
“Jordan’s gritty, intense vocal stylings are featured prominently on this album, with several short a capella sections on “Burned.” The tracks contain a fusion of blues and rock, which is a natural fit for Jordan’s voice and Tichy’s high energy guitar playing. Michael Devin’s bass playing is tight and in control, and adds to the intensity of Stewart’s drums.”
— Hilary Mahoney, SCREAMERMAGAZINE.COM, December 20, 2012
“The debut album from rock supergroup Something Unto Nothing is perhaps the first great rock record of 2013. The band have come together for a record that’s a solid, no-nonsense rock record.”
–Philip Sayblack, WNCT TV 9, December 24, 2012
“Something Unto Nothing is a record of soundscapes. It’s got delicious, boot-stomping sleaze. It’s got nods to the best of grunge and post-grunge. Over here is a valley of groove, with periodic stands of blues. Over there is a vista of Zeppelinesque drum walls and phrasing. The common thread is hard rock purity.”
—BOWILLIAMS.COM, December 16, 2012
“Las Vegas was treated to some full out, power blues, over-driven, rock ‘n roll on Saturday night, and it went by the name S.U.N. Seeing a band of this caliber in a intimate setting was truly awesome. Imagine a band with a very 70’s, bar room, vintage vibe that can jam with no pro tools, no auto tune, Just balls out, bad ass, Rock and Roll.”
— FULLMETALROCK.COM, November 16, 2012
CD OUT PHYSICALLY TUESDAY, JANUARY 15
GROUP INCLUDES CURRENT AND FORMER MEMBERS OF WHITESNAKE, OZZY, FOREIGNER,
BILLY IDOL, GODSMACK, FUEL AND MORE
FIRST SINGLE “I’M THE ONE” BUZZING AT RADIO NOW
WEST COAST PROMO TOUR KICKS OFF FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 16
INCLUDING RECORD RELEASE PARTY 11/20 AT KEY CLUB IN LOS ANGELES
New rock supergroup SOMETHING UNTO NOTHING (S.U.N.) is set to digitally release their debut full-length self-titled album Tuesday, November 20 on Robo Records. On Tuesday, January 15, 2013 the CD will be available physically with distribution through Fontana/ Universal Music Distribution. As the band’s first single “I’m The One” continues buzzing at radio nationwide, S.U.N. has also announced a week-long string of West Coast promo tour dates, kicking off Friday, November 16 in Las Vegas. They’ll also host a special record release party 11/20 at the Key Club
in Los Angeles. Here’s a video to promote that show: http://youtu.be/efS6dPhlitA.
Legendary multi-platinum selling Canadian vocalist, Juno Award winner and “Canadian Idol” judge SASS JORDAN, has teamed up with songwriter and multi-instrumentalist BRIAN TICHY, known for his tours of duty with Billy Idol, Foreigner, Ozzy and currently Whitesnake, to record an album of anthemic rock songs, under the band name S.U.N. Previously working together is what drove JORDAN and TICHY to collaborate on new music.
“I had played drums on Sass’ RATS record” explains TICHY. “I knew she was one of the best rock singers out there. So after many years, we reconnected and tried a bit of writing together.”
Both felt that in order to write the best, trend-free music they could, they needed to get away so they hunkered down for two weeks to write. “We didn’t realize where we were going when we started out,” says JORDAN. “As we continued the songwriting path from the quintessential rock tunes ‘Burned’ to ‘Mobile Again’ to ‘Nomad’ and on … The whole thing started to take shape in the form of a 70’s odyssey, a time travel trajectory.”
Completing the all-star ensemble is bassist MICHAEL DEVIN (Whitesnake, Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience, Kenny Wayne Shepherd) and drummer TOMMY STEWART (Godsmack, Lo Pro, Everclear, Fuel).
JORDAN has an innate talent capable of conveying powerful emotion through heart-stomping, primal, rock-and-roll singing. S.U.N’s debut album, self-produced by JORDAN and TICHY and recorded in Canyon Country, CA, is explosive, crushing, real and soulful with its natural fusion of blues and rock. JORDAN’s vocal intensity proves a perfect match for the high-energy guitar playing of TICHY and her bandmates which provide the unique music palette that is S.U.N.
S.U.N. Tour Dates:
Fri 11/16 Las Vegas, NV Vamp’d
Sat 11/17 Costa Mesa, CA Venue TBA
Sun 11/18 San Diego, CA Brick by Brick
Tue 11/20 Los Angeles, CA Key Club
- Crazy Head
- Did Me No Good
- Mobile Again
- I’m The One
- If I Was You
- The Beginning of The End (Instrumental)
- Wide Ocean
- No Way Home
“THERE MUST ALWAYS BE A BEGINNING AND THERE MUST ALWAYS BE AN END….
BUT WHILE YOU’RE HERE, IT’S ABOUT THE MESSAGE YOU SEND”… S.U.N.
Something Unto Nothing (S.U.N.), a name all together fresh and rooted in rock ‘n’ roll, is setting onto the music scene breaking the social traditions that have become the rock norm. Headed up by the whiskey soaked voice of Sass Jordan, a Canadian icon and Juno Award winner with music partner renown drummer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Briian Tichy known for his tours of duty with Billy Idol, Foreigner, Ozzy and currently Whitesnake, their self titled debut album hopes to smash through the anonymity and secure a place in the current rock landscape.
Sass Jordan has an innate talent capable of conveying powerful emotion through heart-stomping, primal, rock-and-roll singing. S.U.N’s debut album is explosive, crushing, real and soulful with its natural fusion of blues and rock. Jordan’s vocal intensity proves a perfect match for the high-energy guitar playing of Tichy and her band-mates that provide the unique music palette that is S.U.N.
Previously working together is what brought Jordan and Tichy together in collaboration of the new music. “I had played drums on Sass’s ‘RATS’ record” explains Tichy. “I knew she was one of the best rock singers going. So after many years, we reconnected and tried a bit of writing together”. Both felt that in order to write the best, trend-free music they could, they needed to get away. They chose the mountains of Canyon Country and in an old, deserted shack S.U.N. was born. “We didn’t realize where we going when we started out”, says Jordan. “As we continued the songwriting path from Burned to Mobile Again to Nomad and on … The whole thing started to take shape in the form of a 70’s odyssey, a time travel trajectory.”
Completing the band that drives this music home is Marty O’Brien (We Are The Fallen/Tommy Lee/ Static X/ Disturbed) on bass and Tommy Stewart on drums (Godsmack, Lo Pro, Everclear, Fuel).
S.U.N. will be playing their first ever live performance at the Viper Room in Hollywood this Tuesday night! S.U.N. is now finishing up mixes to their “Something Unto Nothing” record and looking for the best platform to release the music to their fans. Also coming up, be on the lookout for an extensive summer tour as well as international dates.
Check out S.U.N.’s video “Nomad” below!
Tuesday, March 6th –
Viper Room in Hollywood, CA at 10:00. Tickets ordered here:
Friday, March 9th –
Martini Ranch, Scottdale, AZ 11:00pm
Saturday, March 10th–
Vamp’d, Las Vegas, NV, 11:00 pm
For more information on S.U.N. and the upcoming album release or to get a free MP3, go to www.somethinguntonothing.com – There you will find their Facebook, Twitter and MORE!
FREE MP3! Get your Free MP3 of S.U.N.’s “Nomad” single by visiting www.somethinguntonothing.com.