On their debut CD, Will Wallner & Vivien Vain have recruited some of hard rock’s finest musicians to help craft their songs. The end result is a remarkable hard rock CD that I can’t stop listening to. Will Wallner may not be a guitarist whose name you recognize. One listen to this CD, and I think he could possibly become an overnight sensation. Wallner delivers some of the best hard rock riffs I have heard in 2012, and that includes the recent works from Eddie Van Halen & Vinnie Moore (in UFO). Wallner’s style reminds me of a cross between Randy Rhoads & Jake E. Lee. That is pretty good company to be in, in my opinion.
Vivien Vain, where have you been hiding? Vain is easily one of the best new female hard rock vocalists that I have heard in quite some time. Her powerful pipes are a very good match for Wallner’s heavy riffs. Of course it doesn’t hurt when you attract the likes of Carmen Appice, Tony Franklin, Rudy Sarzo, Vinny Appice, Jimmy Bain, Tony Carey, Brian Tichy and Derek Sherinian to play on your songs. These hard rock legends help to craft some very cool tunes. I can’t begin to tell you how good it is to hear Tony Franklin and Carmine Appice (two-thirds of Blue Murder) playing on some songs together again. This is very cool stuff indeed!
The best songs on the CD are “Dreamstealer”, “Streets of Rage” & “Miles Ahead”, but there really isn’t a bad song in the bunch.
If you are a fan of 80’s hard rock, you ought to check out this CD. You won’t be disappointed!
Rating: Out of 10
- The Dream
- Streets Of Rage
- Fourteen Twenty Eight
- All That I Want
- Miles Ahead
- Soul Monster
Vivien Vain – Vocals
Will Wallner – Guitar
Tony Carey – Keys on Tracks 1, 2, 8, 9
Jimmy Bain – Bass on Track 2
Vinny Appice – Drums on Tracks 2, 3, 4, 6
Carmine Appice – Drums on Tracks 3, 5, 9
Tony Franklin – Bass on Tracks 3, 5, 7, 9
Rudy Sarzo – Bass on Tracks 4, 6
Brian Tichy – Drums on Track 7
Derek Sherinian – Keys on Track 7
Surprise Surprise! Blue Murder hasn’t been together since 1994, and now they have VEVO channel on youtube. Could this be a sign of John Sykes resurrecting his old band? Somehow I doubt it, but one can only hope!
Check out my favorite Blue Murder tune, “Valley of the Kings” below.
I am not sure how Freakshow’s CD dropped off our review schedule at Hard Rock Hideout, but I can not overlook this CD any longer. I have been a fan of Marcus Allen Christopher’s other band Miss Crazy for quite some time. I always thought that there are some similarities between his voice, and Cinderella’s Tom Keifer. It seemed like the the perfect fit for Cinderella’s Jeff LaBar to work with Markus. Freakshow is rounded out by fretless bass wonder Tony Franklin, and former Quiet Riot skin man, Frankie Banali. The overall talent in the band is crazy good, so the CD has to be good too right? Right! After hearing this CD, I can only hope that line up would record together again, and or tour.
Admittedly, I was not super crazy about the opening tune, “Welcome To the Freakshow”, but decided to hang around to see what else Freakshow could offer. The first time I listened to the song “Everyone”, I thought that is was a major rip off of Cinderella’s “Somebody Save Me”. It isn’t exactly the same, but the main riff is pretty similar. It is still a cool song. I guess if anyone is going to rip off Cinderella, why shouldn’t it be their long time axeman. The more I listen to this song, the more I love it.
“You Who Wins” is an excellent crunchy rocker. Tony Franklin and Frankie Banali steal the show on this tune. Banali’s drumming is near perfection, and Franklin bass work complements him well. The guitar licks on “It’s Really Over” instantly brings Whitesnake to mind. This is an infectious tune that demands a lot of replays.
If you can play “Burning Me” without headbanging, you must have a neck brace on. This catchy rocker will have you singing along, “I need your love”. Another great tune! From this point forward, this album is packed with rockers all the way until the final song “Mistaken”. This is a slower number, but still a cool tune at that.
While some band projects suffer from mediocrity, Freakshow rises above the masses to deliver one rockin’ CD. This is easily the best CD that Retrospect Records has ever put out. If you are a fan of 80’s hard rock music, you will love Freakshow. You can purchase this CD at this link. Check out Freakshow on myspace here.
- Welcome To the Freakshow
- You Who Wins
- It’s Really Over
- Burning Me
- Four Leaf Clover
- Looking Back At Me
- Mistreat Me
Marcus Allen Christopher – Vocals
Jeff LaBar – Guitars
Tony Franklin – Bass
Frankie Banali – Drums
If you were a fan of the 1987 album by Whitesnake, you should be familiar with the awesome guitar work of John Sykes. Blue Murder is the band started up by Sykes after his departure from Whitesnake. Needless to say, the songs from Blue Murder have a definite Whitesnake like vibe about them, but they stand out on their own merit.
It didn’t hurt his cause that he got two amazing musicians to join him in Blue Murder. The Firm’s fretless bass wonder Tony Franklin and former Ozzy Osbourne drummer Carmine Appice flesh out would could be one of the best hard rock three piece acts of the eighties.
Blue Murder has it all. Great vocals, fantastic guitar work and killer songs. This CD has been one of my favorites over the last 20 years. I still play this one regularly today. I became a fan of John Sykes because of the infamous 1987 Whitesnake album, but it was the Blue Murder disc that solidified him as one of my favorite guitarists of all time.
The Bottom line: Every hard rock and metal fan on the planet ought to own this excellent CD. You can grab your own copy of this disc, at this link.
2. Sex Child
3. Valley Of The Kings
4. Jelly Roll
5. Blue Murder
6. Out Of Love
9. Black-Hearted Woman
Blue Murder is:
John Sykes – Vocals & Lead Guitar
Tony Franklin – Bass
Carmine Appice – Drums
Freakshow, the new band featuring Markus Allen Christoper (Miss Crazy), Frankie Banali (Quiet RIot), Jeff Labar (Cinderella) and Tony Franklin (Blue Murder) have released a new song called “Everyone” on their myspace page.
Cinderella fans are going to love it! The guitar riff on this tune reminds me a lot of Cinderella’s song, “Somebody Save Me”
Go to myspace.com/freakshowrox to check it out!
I am really pleased and amazed about all the wonderful attention that the “FREAKSHOW” project has garnered in such a short period of time and at such an early stage.
Here are some facts as I know them to be. Markus has written some fantastic songs. I flew up to San Jose last week and slammed out serious rock drum tracks which I am very proud of. As I write this, Markus is in the studio continuing to work on the material. Cinderella’s mighty Jeff La Bar will be flying in the next few weeks to add his guitar virtuosity to these great songs.
Yesterday it was announced that Tony Franklin will be laying down the bass tracks for the FREAKSHOW recordings. Markus and I had discussed the bass player situation, and since I was available to record the drums right away, we did not seek, search or cattle call for bass players, but rather decided to get the best bass player to record the best bass tracks. I recommended Tony as he is not only the best, but also my favorite bass player. Markus wholeheartedly agreed as he is all too familiar with the gifted Mr. Franklin! Having said that, there are no mutual plans for Tony to continue beyond the recordings. Sometimes a simple mention here or there seems to create an artificial life of it’s own! The last thing anyone involved in FREAKSHOW wants is to disappoint the fans due to misconceptions.
Now then….. While Tony has agreed to record the FREAKSHOW bass tracks, there has not been any discussion of any participation on his part beyond the recordings. So I think that it is important for everyone to understand that we are trying to make the FREAKSHOW recordings the best that they can possibly be and as memorable as possible for those who might listen to it.
Beyond that, the future of FREAKSHOW is up to you, the listener and the fans!
I hope that you will enjoy FREAKSHOW to the fullest!