Eonian Records have found another gem with their retro-release of Shake City’s self titled effort. 80’s Sunset Strip rock at its best is what Shake City has to offer, if this album reminds you a little of Warrant or Black ‘N Blue, it could be because vocalist Adam Shore was Warrant’s singer before the train wreck known as Jani Lane came along, or it could be because Erik Turner, Tommy Thayer, and even Lane himself helped pen some of the tunes on this album. Turner and Thayer also lent a hand in the studio producing the album along with Pat Regan. Without a doubt, Shake City is the best release from Eonian so far.
“One Good Reason” is a sleazy opener with some catchy background vocals and chorus. Guitarist Don E. Sachs lays down a very nice solo that I’m sure had all the girls on Sunset stripping off their clothes and throwing them on-stage back in the day. If I didn’t know any better I would think “Hot Love” was a long lost Black ‘N Blue track, even though I think Shore is a better fit than Jamie St. James on this song. This head bobbing, foot tapping treat would’ve garnered Shake City a massive amount of airplay on Headbanger’s Ball, while also adding to the band’s female underwear collection. Another track that has Black ‘N Blue written all over it is “Betty Blu” and while, the band as a whole sound as tight as a drum the guitar tandem of Don E. Sachs and Michael Blair really shine. “Get It While It’s Hot” is a slow, bluesy, sleaze filled song perfect for the strip clubs, reminds me a little of Sweet F.A. “Submarine” is a sex fueled barn burner with more cool guitar from Sachs & Blair, “Little Lianne” is a classic 80’s power ballad that other bands made platinum albums off of. “Lust & Love” takes us back to sleaze with some nice bass from Ray Bailey and more great background gang vocals. “Psychedelic Ride” may sound familiar to some listeners as it also appeared on Eric Turner’s “Demos For Diehards” and it played almost note for note on that album as it is this one, still a very catchy tune though. “Sweet Dreams” is an acoustic based number with a heavy Beatles influence. Another song that will sound familiar to fans is “Game of War”, which appeared on Warrant’s remastered version of Cherry Pie, but in all honesty Adam Shore’s vocals on this song leaves the Jani Lane version wanting, and wanting very badly. “Game of War” is definitely one of the best tracks on “Shake City”.
There are quite a few bands that could’ve been big back in the day, but judging from the songs on this album Shake City is one of the few bands that should’ve been not just big, but huge. Unfortunately, even with Eric Turner and Tommy Thayer’s help, it didn’t happen and that is just a damn shame.
Rating: Out of 10
1. One Good Reason
2. Hot Love
3. Betty Blue
4. Get It While It’s Hot
6. Little Lianne
7. Lust & Love
8. Psychedelic Ride
9. Sweet Dreams
10. Can’t Get Over You
11. Game Of War
12. Bad On Wheels
Shake City is:
Adam Shore – Lead Vocals
Don E. Sachs – Guitar & Vocals
Michael Blair – Guitar
Ray Bailey – Bass & Vocals
Jaycee Cary – Drums
Ethan Gladstone – Guitar on Tracks 5, 6, & 9
Not one, nor two, but three discs come with the new Foreigner album and it’s an impressive look ahead at a band with “No End In Sight” (good) and a chance to get into a live performance featuring the stirring new and current lineup. New may actually be a misnomer at this point as vocalist Kelly Hansen has been with Foreigner for four years now. If you’ve seen the band during that time you’re no doubt aware that this is the best they have ever sounded. Hansen brings a vitality and energy to the group that seems to have awakened everyone else, specifically Mick Jones, Mr. Foreigner himself. Somehow in this new configuration Jones has become a legitimate shredder on guitar. Somehow his virtuosity got buried in the “serve the song” style the band employed for most of its early years. Fact is, Mick kicks ass. Born in the same general area, within a couple of miles from each other in England, in the essentially same time period, the mid-forties, amazingly are Jones, Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton. The odds of that happening are akin to having a health care deal everyone likes by COB tomorrow. But where Page, Beck and Clapton (not in any particular order) went on to superstardom in their own individual ways, influencing thousands of players in the years to come, Jones became a session player and then moved to France as a member of Johnny Hallyday, that country’s Elvis. Hey, Jones was twenty years old, driving a Porsche and living in Paris with all the responsibility of a teenager with an open credit card. Things came quickly and seductively and Mick was golden…for awhile. But what he needed was a band, a really good rock band. He joined Spooky Tooth, a legit band, but with little recognition. It was in 1976 when he assembled a band of superior talent, three Brits and three Yanks…how about Foreigner? Three of us always will be, no matter where we are. But we feel the world didn’t know of the true talent which lay within until just recently.
Foreigner can be accessed at ForeignerOnLine.com where you can get a taste of what some of the new songs sound like, the album is available, but we’ll dive in and let you check it out if you haven’t had a chance on your own. The third disc is a re-mix album worthy of some attention as you’ll notice the lead vocals have a delightfully different timber. Nice, Kelly. The band continues to develop and grow, but with Jeff Pilson and Thom Gimble on hand there’s long term continuity and musical wizardry with this particular band. Then there’s a completely new album featuring a new songwriting team and a different direction. The album was produced by Marti Frederiksen and Mick’s stepson Mark Ronson, a tremendous vote of confidence for them as Mick has produced the likes of Van Halen and Billy Joel. The DVD of a live show which is included serves as a wakeup call. It’s the real Mick Jones absolutely cementing his rightful place in the pantheon of great Rock guitarists. Don’t believe us? Check out “Juke Box Hero” as it segues into “Whole Lotta Love”. Or “Urgent”. What a treat it is to see him really let go.
Talk about a nice package, this is a compelling release by band at a peak period in their storied career. Join us for Mick Jones and Kelly Hansen on the next ROCKLINE!
AFI has just released a re-edited, higher quality, version of the visually intriguing video for “Medicate.” The Paul Minor directed video which was shot in black, white and a hint of gold captures the first predominantly performance video from the Bay area quartet. The video also showcases Jade Puget’s guitar solo which has been described by lead singer Davey Havok as, “not only my favorite moment in ‘Medicate’… but one of my favorite moments on the record.”
“Medicate” is the first single from AFI’s new album, Crash Love, and is also included on the new Guitar Hero 5 game. Crash Love hit stores last week and is available in stores and through iTunes. For all the latest news from AFI visit www.afireinside.net