Unhappy with the direction Britny Fox was heading in, singer “Dizzy” Dean Davidson, left that group to form a brand new band, Blackeyed Susan.
From a musical perspective, Blackeyed Susan was probably a couple of steps above Britny Fox. The band had more of a bluesy rock sound in the vein of Aerosmith, that the hair metal sounds of Britny Fox. The metal screams that were commonplace on the Britny Fox albums were also gone. Dean Davidson sings in his natural voice on “Electric Rattlebone”.
Blackeyed Susan did have a song that was a minor hit called “None of It Matters”. This song incorporates a middle eastern flair in the guitar sound, which is kind of cool. Check out the video “None of it Matters” at this link.
“Sympathy” is a bluesy rocker that has a very cool slide guitar, mixed with some funky ragtime style piano playing.
“Ride With Me” reminds me a lot of the more acoustic bluesy numbers that Cinderella was doing on their album, “Heartbreak Station”.
“Old Lady Snow” is one of those songs with simple lyrics, but it is upbeat enough for it to get in your head and stay there.
“She’s So Fine” should have been a hit for Blackeyed Susan. It has catchy lyrics, good guitar work, and a very good beat. This song is one of my favorites on this record.
Even though the music on this disc was superior to anything else Dean Davidson had done previously, this album was a commercial failure. Mercury Records pulled the plug on their tour, and Blackeyed Susan crashed and burned. When this album originally came out, I expected this to be another hair metal CD, and this is nothing of the sort. I didn’t enjoy this very much back in the 90’s, but over the years, my taste has changed. I have grown to appreciate the music on “Electric Rattlebone”.
If you enjoy good bluesy hard rock, “Electric Rattlebone” is a disc you will want to pick up. This under rated gem has been out of print for years. You can find used copies of this CD, for next to nothing in the HRH music store.
Rating : Out of 10
1. Electric Rattlebone
3. None of It Matters
5. Ride With Me
6. Old Lady Snow
7. Don’t Bring Me Down
9. She’s So Fine
10. How Long
11. Best of Friends
13. Heart of the City
Black Eyed Susan is:
Dean Davidson – Vocals
Rick Criniti – Guitar
Tony Santoro – Guitar
Eric Levy – Bass
Chris Branco – Drums
It is hard to talk about Guns N’ Roses without mentioning that this disc is some odd thirteen years overdue. Millions of dollars were spent in creating this much ballyhooed album. I don’t think anyone expects this album to meet their expectations (self included).
I for one am glad this album is finally out, and Axl Rose can finally get this King Kong sized monkey off of his back. Long before this album was released, I heard leaks of several of these tunes. I wasn’t very impressed by the the rougher versions of these songs. I must admit the final product is much better than I thought it would be.
At times, it seems as if the multitude of producers tried to help reproduce Slash’s guitar tones, in order to preserve that classic Guns N’ Roses sound. The end result is an album that won’t sound completely unfamiliar to Guns N’ Roses fans, even though Axl Rose is the only remaining member of the original band.
I have not been a huge Axl Rose fan in the past, but I have to admit it is pretty damned good to hear his distinct voice one more. It has been far too long. The opening and title track “Chinese Democracy” is a pretty rocking good way to start off this disc. Almost immediately, I thought this disc might be a lot better than expected. “Shackler’s Revenge” on the other hand left me scratching my head. This song doesn’t seem to know if wants to be hard rock, Industrial, or techno. It seems to blend elements of all three. It actually isn’t too bad, once you get past the beginning of the song.
I believe “Better” could be one of the best Guns N’ Roses songs ever. Even though this song has some unusual guitar sounds mixed through it, it still feels like a modernized G N’ R song. This is easily my favorite on Chinese Democracy.
“Street of Dreams” was completely unexpected. This is a piano driven ballad with a fairly decent guitar solo in the middle. Early in this song I thought Axl’s voice sounded odd as he was hitting some unusual low notes with his voice. His pure singing voice (thankfully) takes over quickly. What this song is missing is Slash. With Slash’s guitar playing, this could song could have been another taken to new heights. Even still, this song is pretty good, and definitely one of the better ones on “Chinese Democracy”.
Is it just me, or does “If The World” sound like a Lenny Kravitz tune? This is a pop tune with a hard edge and a rhythm with a little bit of funk in it. I wouldn’t expect to hear something like this on a hard rock record, especially a Guns N’ Roses record.
“There Was A Time” has a 70’s classic rock vibe that reminds me a bit of the Moody Blues mixed with some harder guitar parts. This is one of those songs that has the potential to grow on you if given the chance.
At this point in the album, I could have used a really hard driving song. “Catcher In the Rye” is definitely not that. This song also has a classic rock vibe about it, but it doesn’t sound like a G N’ R tune.
I really dislike the intro on “Scraped” but the rest of the song is pretty cool. There is a pretty good groove all throughout “Scraped”.
Riad N’ The Bedouins has more of that familiar Guns N’ Roses sound that I prefer. There are a lot more heavy guitar parts on this song, than on most of the tunes on Chinese Democracy.
“Sorry” sounds as if Axl was trying to channel his inner Pink Floyd. I like Pink Floyd, but I don’t want to hear it on a Guns N’ Roses album. It just sounds odd to me.
The first time I heard I.R.S. I thought the song had a heavier slant to it. This finished product adds a dated keyboard sound, which detracts from the industrial edge it had. It isn’t a bad tune, but I liked the previous versions I heard better.
I didn’t care for “Madagascar” the first time around, but after a couple of listens, I started to realize that this song is a lot better than I originally thought. This song has an epic feel to it that reminds me of “November Rain” somewhat.
Chinese Democracy closes out with two piano based numbers “This I Love” and “Prostitute”. Both songs are solid enough, but not what I would expect to hear from this band.
If you are listening to “Chinese Democracy” for the first time, and are looking for another “Appetite for Destruction” you aren’t going to find it here. This album seemingly expands on the sounds of the Use Your Illusion records, but has a much more experimental feel to it. There are moments of brilliance on “Chinese Democracy”, but those looking for a quick hard rock fix may not give this album a chance to find them.
Was this album worth the wait, and all of the hoopla? Probably not. I would recommend checking out the songs for yourself on the Guns N’ Roses myspace site.
- Chinese Democracy
- Shackler´s Revenge
- Street Of Dreams
- If The World
- There Was A Time
- Catcher In The Rye
- Riad N´ The Bedouins
- This I Love
This is band is often referred to online as a Skid Row clone. I greatly disagree with that statement. Singer Jeffrey Michael Bonds is no Sebastian Bach. There are some guitar parts that might be a little Skid Row like, but as a whole, I don’t think they sound even close to the same. If fact, Dirty Rhythm sounds a lot more like another early 90’s band, Cry Wolf. With that being said, “Hard as a Rock” is still a very solid hard rock disc.
“Hard As A Rock” was produced by Loverboy’s Paul Dean. As a result the production quality is top notch, and the songs shine as a result. The music styling is typical pop metal. This is the sound that was quite common for hard rock acts in the early 90’s. Some of my favorite tracks are “Feel the Fire“, the awesome power ballad “I Can’t Wait“, the Warrant like “Hard As A Rock“, “Backside of Love” and “Bad Girls“.
This CD is very out of print. I finally scored a copy of the CD, after months of unsuccessful bidding on EBay. If you are a hair metal fan, it is worth checking out (if you can find it).
For more information on Dirty Rhythm, check out their myspace page at this link.
01. Feel The Fire
02. I Can’t Wait
04. Hot N’ Cold
05. Hard As A Rock
06. Backside Of Love
07. Reach Out
08. One Summer Night
09. Hold On (Forever Tonight)
10. Waiting For The Money
11. Burn Out The Night
12. Bad Girls
Dirty Rhythm is:
Jeffrey Michael Bonds – vocals and guitar
Brian Harrison – guitar & keyboards
Anthony Brian Greenham – bass
Troy Miller – drums
If some of the song titles sound familiar, it is because “Peephole” was originally written for Sammy’s side project “Planet US” that never got off the ground. A different variation of this song can be found on the 2005 Soul Sirkus CD, “World Play”, although it is different from this version. This is a very cool, heavy and moody sounding track. The drums sound like they are going to crash out of your speakers on this song. Awesome!
“Fight For Your Right To Party” is a cover of the Beastie Boys classic tune. There are certain songs that just don’t need to be covered. Sammy tries to put a fun spin on this song, but it just falls flat in my opinion.
I liked the song “Cosmic Universal Fashion” when I first saw the video a few weeks ago. I can see this song being turned into a dance tune with its heavy bass beats.
“Psycho Vertigo” might be one of the heaviest Hagar tracks ever. This guitar riff on this song is wicked. I like this one a lot.
“Loud” ought to be an instant radio hit. This song is the kind of stadium anthem that requires maximum volume. This will like be a staple in Sammy’s live shows everywhere. It is a great tune.
Cosmic Universal Fashion closes out with a cool live treatment of the Van Halen tunes “Dreams” and “Cabo Wabo”.
The Bottom Line: Is this Sammy’s best CD? No, but there are definitely some good songs to feast your ears on. It sounds like Sammy had a lot of fun recording these songs, and that gives the music a very cool vibe. I think there is a little too much rehashed material on Cosmic Universal Fashion. If Sammy would have added a couple of more good original songs, it could have made Cosmic Universal Fashion a great CD, instead of just a good one. Redheads will still want to pick this one up!
You can buy Cosmic Universal Fashion in the HRH music store at this link.
1. Cosmic Universal Fashion
2. Psycho Vertigo
5. Fight For Your Right To Party
6. Switch On The Light
7. When the Sun Don’t Shine
9. I’m On A Roll
10. Dreams/Cabo Wabo
Just looking at the band roster for this album, I shake my head with the crazy amount of talent that this band had.
“Burn” was the beginning of a bluesier sound for Deep Purple, and this new direction was reportedly one of the reasons for Ritchie Blackmore leaving the band. Nonetheless, “Burn” is a very important part of Deep Purple and hard rock history. This album introduced David Coverdale to the world of hard rock, and for that I will always be forever grateful.
The title track “Burn” is easily one of the best Deep Purple songs, and top hard rock songs of all time. The mixture of Coverdale’s and Hughes vocals on this track are awesome. Not only are the vocals great, but Ian Paice may have laid down the best drum beats of his life. Jon Lord’s keyboards really drive this song as well. Ritchie Blackmore’s guitar riffs are fantastic.
While the song “Burn” is my defacto favorite, I enjoy listening to this entire disc. There is no doubt that this disc was highly influential on a large number of musicians. It is amazing how good this disc sounds when played loud today. Each member of this band is extremely proficient in the instruments that they play, and were easily some of the best hard rock musicians of this 70’s hard rock era. The music just shines when blasted through your stereo speakers!
On the 30th Anniversary Remastered edition, there are 5 bonus tracks added to this disc. “Coroniaras Redig” which was originally only available as a “B – Side” track is one of the bonus tracks, as well as remixed versions of “Burn”, “Mistreated”,”You Fool No One”, and “Sail Away”.
Sometimes in order to see what direction hard rock music is heading in, you have to go back and listen to the bands that help form it. It doesn’t get more classic than Deep Purple’s “Burn”.
2. Might Just Take Your Life
3. Lay Down, Stay Down
4. Sail Away
5. You Fool No One
6. What’s Going On Here
8. “A” 200
9. Coronarias Redig (2004 Remix)
10. Burn (2004 Remix)
11. Mistreated (2004 Remix)
12. You Fool No One (2004 Remix)
13. Sail Away (2004 Remix)
David Coverdale – Vocals
Ritchie Blackmore – Lead Guitar
Glen Hughes – Bass Guitar/Vocals
Jon Lord – Keyboards
Ian Paice – Drums
I don’t know what is happening in Sweden, but good music must be busting out the country’s seams. It seems like every time I turn around I stumble on another really good band from Sweden. Danger is another band that caught my attention with their new six song EP “First Touch”.
So what does Danger sound like? To me their sound is a cross between Crash Diet and older Motley Crue. The first song on the EP “First Touch” sounds like it could have been on the excellent “Rest In Sleaze” from Crash Diet. This is the first song that I have heard from Danger, and it made me a fan instantly.
“Miss Money” and “California Red” are pretty fun rockers that remind me more of Poison songs, than a Motley Crue ones but I like them nonetheless.
There are days where I would like to crank “Shove It” at maximum value over the speakers in my office. This should be my new theme song. My wife likes this one too. 🙂
“On The Run” is a upbeat hair metal anthem, that is as solid of a closing tune as I have heard all year long.
The six songs on First Touch is like getting an awesome appetizer and having the kitchen close before you could order your main course. It will whet your appetite and leave you hungry to hear more. This is Swedish sleaze metal at its finest. Hair metal fans should not hesitate to buy this!
1. First Touch
2. Miss Money
3. Hey You
4. California Red
5. Shove It
6. On The Run (Bonus Track)
Jesse Kid – Vocals
Rob Paris – Guitar
Togge Rock – Bass
Danny Crash – Drums
Paul Rodgers from Free, Bad Company and Queen sings on a couple of Free songs with the band, “I’m a Mover”, and “Hunter“. The Answer also unleashes some of their brand new, unreleased tunes “Revolutions” and “All I Know“.
Why is this rare? The Answer is only releasing 1500 copies of this CD. If you don’t order it now, chance are you won’t see this CD again, except for high prices on eBay. This disc is obviously not sound board quality, with it being a bootleg, but it is way better than I expected it to be. The back up vocals are not quite as audible, as Cormac Neeson’s awesome vocals, but this doesn’t really pose a problem for me. The Answer’s set is tight, and getting to hear Paul Rodgers is an added bonus. If anything, this disc is a nice little warm up for The Answer’s opening set for AC/DC. The new songs as well as the old favorites are all good. This CD has made me anxious to hear The Answer’s new disc that is due in 2009.
If you are a fan of The Answer, you have to act now if you want a copy of this disc. You can purchase it off of The Answer’s website at this link. I am enjoying this disc, and I think you will too.
1. Never Too Late
3. Come Follow Me
4. All I Know
5. Keep Believin’
6. I’m A Mover (feat. Paul Rodgers)
7. Sometimes Your Love
8. Under The Sky
9. Hunter (featuring Paul Rodgers)
The Answer is:
Cormac Neeson – Vocals
Paul Mahon – Guitar
Micky Waters – Bass Guitar
James Heatley – Drums
If there is one band to take a chance on and spend your hard earned cash on it is highly recommended that band be Dirty Sweet believe me you will not be disappointed, especially if you like 70’s blues based rock. Taking their name from the lyrics of the T Rex classic “Get It On (Bang A Gong)” these California guys eat, breathe, and sleep the 70’s and definitely did their homework when learning how to play kick ass rock-n-roll. Taking the best of what was offered by such legends as Led Zeppelin, the Allman Brothers, and Bad Company just to name a few, Dirty Sweet wastes no time in getting the proverbial ass kicking started with “Baby Come Home” right out of the gate. It has a great groove that just dares you to try and listen without tapping your feet, or doing the old head nod.
“Deliah” is up next with a swampy bluesy feel once again with a great groove, some excellent slide guitar work and one thing that is missing from a lot of the releases today, vocal harmonies but with four of the five members supplying vocals it should be no surprise the harmonies are as tight as they are. Ryan Koontz sounds like a cross between Kelly Holland (Cry of Love) and Shane (Law and Order) with great range and emotion in his voice. The band as a whole, guitarists Nathan Beale, Mark Murino, bassist/keyboard Shaun Cornell, and drummer Chris Mendez-Vanacore, are all excellent musicians and play great together.
“Come Again“, “Goldensole“, and “Born To Bleed” all offer more great grooves and sing along choruses. “Born To Bleed” along with “Baby Come Home” are my two favorite tracks on the album. If there is a song that could be considered an epic it is the fourth track “Long Line Down” with its haunting lyrics and keyboards then half way through it becomes a full throttle rock song with some great playing especially from the rhythm section of Cornell and Vanacore before settling back down to finish the song out.
“Sixteen” is another full out burner that completely oozes the 70’s. Once again with a great groove, vocal harmonies, and solo. If there was one surprise on “Monarchs & Beggars” it has to be “Isabel”. It could easily be found on an alternative country station as any rock station.
All in all “Of Monarchs & Beggars” is a great album through and through, with great songs, and great playing. If you take the chance you will not be disappointed in the least bit.
Dirty Sweet is:
Ryan Koontz – Vocals
Nathan Beale – Guitars
Mark Murino – Guitars
Shaun Cornell – Bass/ Keyboards
Chris Mendez-Vanacore – Drums
Twenty one years ago, the band Fastway released a full length CD, that was the soundtrack to the horror movie, “Trick or Treat”. I thought the movie was a campy good time, and the soundtrack was pretty good too.
Oddly enough, this is my favorite Fastway album, and is one that I still listen to today.
Fastway had some cool songs over the years, and some people may think this band is a one hit wonder with their song, “Say What You Will”. In my opinion, this was the album that I thought the band peaked on.
This wasn’t Fastway’s most successful album. Trick or Treat peaked at 156 on the Billboard charts.
There are still a bunch of good rocking tunes on this disc.
“Trick or Treat” starts off with four solid songs right out of the gate. (Check out the videos below for the first two tracks.) “Tear Down The Walls” is the one questionable song on the disc. It is more Halloween like sounds than an actual song.
“Get Tough” is another good rocker that mixes well with my playlist today.
“Heft” is a sludgy almost Sabbath like tune. “Trick or Treat” closes out with a mid tempo rocker “If You Could See”. Fast Eddie Clark has some very cool guitar parts on this song.
As a whole, “Trick or Treat” is one of the better horror movie soundtracks out there. You can pick this one up for less than ten bucks at this link. This is a nice Halloween treat for you metalheads out there!
Trick or Treat
1. Trick or Treat
2. After Midnight
3. Don’t Stop the Fight
4. Stand Up
5. Tear Down the Walls
6. Get Tough
7. Hold on the Night
9. If You Could See
Dave King – lead vocals
Fast Eddie Clarke – Rhythm/Lead Guitar and Producer
Shane Carroll – Second Guitar
Paul Reid – Bass Guitar
Alan Connor – drums
Randy Piper’s Animal is back with their follow up disc, to 2006’s “Violent New Breed”. I really enjoyed their last disc, and still listen to it often. Needless to say, I have been looking forward to hearing the new CD “Virus”.
Pretty much from the first notes of “Cardiac Arrest” I knew that I was going to like this disc a lot. This high speed heavy rocker gets “Virus” firing on all cylinders immediately.
Much like “Violent New Breed”, singer Rich Lewis continues to sound like a Blackie Lawless clone, and this is a very good thing.
While some of the songs on “Virus” have a very W.A.S.P. like feel to them, there are also some surprising numbers that have a more modern feel.
The song “Don’t Wanna Die” could easily be a hit on modern rock radio in 2008. This song has a lot different feel from anything Randy Piper’s Animal has done before. If anything, this is a really cool effort by the band to stay relevant in today’s music scene.
“Crying Eagle” fools you with its slow intro. Without warning the song takes off with its cool machine gun rhythm. It flows naturally into “Unnatural High” which has an almost progressive Dream Theater sound to it.
Remember The Cranberries song “Zombie”? Randy Piper’s Animal covers it here, and quite frankly I like this metalized version of the song much better.
If there is anything negative about this CD, it would be the total play time, which falls short of 39 minutes. It only leaves me wanting to hear more music by Randy Piper’s Animal. As a whole, I enjoyed this CD quite a bit, so much in fact that I wouldn’t be surprised to see it make my Top 10 hard rock/metal CD’s of 2008.
Randy Piper plays his ass off on this disc, and as a result this disc shines. Rich Lewis sounds even better than on ‘Virus” than he did on “Violent New Breed”. Chris Laney not only does a superb job as the second axeman for Randy Piper’s Animal, he also handled the production on this disc. If Laney ever decides to hang up his guitar, he the skill to make it as a producer. Virus has top quality sound and production!
If you have enjoyed any music by W.A.S.P. or Randy Piper’s Animal in the past, pick this up. You won’t be disappointed.
Highly Recommended Listening!
Randy Piper’s Animal is:
Rich Lewis – Vocals
Randy Piper – Guitars
Chris Laney – Guitars
Nalle “Grizzly” Pahlsson – Bass
Johan Koleberg – Drums
The Hell City Glamours have returned in 2008 with their first full length CD. On this disc, H.C.G. have spread their wings and tapped into their influences of such great Australian acts, Rose Tattoo and The Angels.
While I enjoyed the earlier EP’s by H.C.G., this disc is far superior to anything the band has done yet.
“One Night Only” captured my attention immediately with its rocking bluesy riffs. This is pub rock at its finest.
Can you ever have enough cowbell? “Back To You” has it, and I wish it had more, but this is a fun tune. Their is guitar riff on this song that brings Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers to mind.
“Josephine” is a bluesy punk rock tune with a cool Angels meets Midnight Oil type of vibe.
One of my personal favorites is lively rocker “Flying Away”. This is the kind of song that gets your foot tapping, and your cold beers emptied faster.
I am a sucker for a good guitar riff. The opening guitar licks on “Right My Wrongs” pulls me in every time.
Every time I listen to the song “I’m Not Here” I kept thinking to myself, “man this song reminds me of someone”. Finally, I determined it to be the band D-A-D from Denmark. That is pretty cool, as I like that band too.
Some other album highlights are “The Money”, the radio ready “Worst Kind of Man” and the catchy album closer ‘Thankyou”.
I am glad the Hell City Glamours finally put a full length album for the masses to consume. This is a solid release and ought to open up some new doors for these Sydney based rockers.
If you haven’t checked out the Hell CIty Glamours before, pay a visit to their myspace site, and check out their new tunes. Tell them HardRockHideout.com sent you!
1. One Night Only
2. Back To You
4. Flying Away
5. High Brow
6. Ready to Fall
7. Right My Wrongs
8. The Money
9. I’m Not Here
10. Worst Kind of Man
11. In The Cold
12. No Love
Hell City Glamours Are:
Oscar McBlack- Vocals and Guitar
Mo Mayhem – Guitar and Bacground Vocals
Jonny – Bass and Background Vocals
Robbie Potts – Drums
Back in the day when MTV used to play music videos, one video and song that would not get out of my head was “Balls To The Wall” by Accept. This song and video was a staple on the Headbanger’s Ball on MTV, and was a favorite of mine.
I finally got around to replacing my cassette tape with the remastered CD of Accept’s 1984 metal classic, “Balls To the Wall”. The remastered version was released in 2001and as a bonus, a couple of extra live cuts that were recorded in Japan in 1985 were added to the CD.
“Balls To The Wall” may be the song that everyone knows on this disc, but it isn’t the only good song on this CD by any means.
“London Leatherboys” may not be an instant classic, and does sound a little dated in 2008, but I still like it. “Fight It Back” is the type of stadium anthem that will have you throwing your fists in the air, and banging your head instantly.
“Head Over Heels” has a distinct hair metal sound to it, but is pretty good. I think the live version on this disc is even better than the original. I love the guitar solos on this song.
“Losing More Than You’ve Ever Had” is a mid tempo rocker that sounds like it could have been on a Motley Crue album. The 80’s metal influence on Accept is pretty obvious on this song. Listen to the bass rhythm on this song. It is very Nikki Sixx like. As a whole it is a very cool tune.
“Love Child” is another fist pumping, head banger with more excellent guitar work by Frank and Hoffmann.
“Turn Me On” reminds me a lot of mid 80’s Judas Priest. This is a really cool rocking tune that should have gotten more airplay.
Udo Dirkschneider’s vocals are so abrasive on the anthem, “Losers and Winners” it almost sounds like he is going to shred his vocals chords. (Some may say this is how he always sounds.) Either way it works. This is a killer tune.
“Balls To The Wall” is another enjoyable album by Accept. It is their most successful album to date, but I don’t think it is their absolute best. The more I listen to “Balls to the Wall”, the more I think that the over all sound on this record falls somewhere between the Scorpions and Judas Priest. The song writing might be a little suspect on this disc, but Udo’s distinct vocals push it over the top. Most metal heads will like it, and ought to pick it up.
1. Balls To The Wall
2. London Leatherboys
3. Fight It Back
4. Head Over Heels
5. Losing More Than You’ve Ever Had
6. Love Child
7. Turn Me On
8. Losers and Winners
9. Guardian Of The Night
11. Head Over Heels (Live)
12. Love Child (Live)
Udo Dirkschneider – Vocals
Herman Frank – Guitars
Wolf Hoffmann – Guitars
Peter Baltes – Bass
Stefan Kaufmann – Drums
Superdeluxe is the follow up effort to Dirty Looks 2007 CD, Gasoline. This disc features Henrik Ostergaard along with returning members Paul Lidel on guitar, and Jack Pyers on bass.
Henrik Ostergaard’s voice hasn’t changed one bit since the classic Dirty Looks CD, Cool From the Wire. I have always liked his razor sharp vocals, and he is definitely in fine form here. Paul Lidel is obviously influenced by Angus Young. His guitar work here is superb, and seems to be the perfect compliment to Ostergaard’s vocals.
The production issues that were present on Gasoline are all gone on Superdeluxe. This is a great sounding CD all the way through.
Some of the stand out tunes on this disc are ‘A Million MIles”, “Fast Ride”, and “Not Enough”. I must admit that I don’t think Superdeluxe is as strong as Cool From the Wire. This is however a very solid disc that seems to get better with multiple listens. If you are a fan of any of Dirty Looks’ previous releases, you ought to pick this disc up.
Superdeluxe, with the new updated album cover is available now through CDBaby.com. For more information on Dirty Looks, check out their website here.
Rating:Out of 10
01. Bring Me Down
02. A Million Miles
03. Wide Glide
04. Dead Movie Star
06. Fast Ride
07. Blue Light
08. Not Enough
09. Thin Red Line
10. Steppin Stone
Dirty Looks is:
Henrik Ostergaard – Vocals/Guitar
Jack Pyers – Bass
Paul Lidel – Guitar
Jeremy Hummel – Drums
Back in ’99 I bought Backyard Babies “Total 13” and was absolutely blown away. I have been like a junkie needing a fix every since, getting my hands on anything from BYB that I can and the guys have never disappointed me. Since it’s been 2 years since Nicke Borg, Dregen, Johan Blomqvist, and Peder Carlsson released an album of new material I couldn’t wait to get this album in my hands.
Why these guys are not huge in the states confuses the hell out of me. When it comes to Backyard Babies, you know exactly what you are getting, which is straight up in your face rock that is going to beat you senseless and have you singing along while it happens. Which is exactly how the new album gets started with “Fuck Off & Die”. I have to admit the first time I heard I was a little disappointed, but the second time it felt like the song punched me square in face and kept beating me all the way to the end of the song. Peder play the drums on this song as if his life depended on it and Dregen pulls off a great solo. Nicke’s vocals are in your face from beginning to end. Johan is able to keep everyone in line and tight together.
Without giving me a chance to recover next in line is “Degenerated”. The best way to describe this song is BIG, Big sounding guitars, drums, and gang vocals, another great solo from Dregen. “Degenerated ” is definitely a roll the window down, crank the stereo, and sing along kind of song, as is most of the album.
While there isn’t a bad song on this album, “Come Undone” is my one of five favorite songs on the album. Peder once again plays like a monster on this track and Johan gets his chance with a very cool groove throughout.
The fifth track “Abandon” another one of my favorites gives your ears a break for a minute before starting the assault all over again and it continues all the way to the last song “Saved By The Bell”. While I would have preferred BYB went out with guns blazing they slowed it way down. This is the only song that Peder doesn’t get a chance to shine because there are no drums used on this track.
Fans of BYB know Dregen is the mastermind behind the band and along with Nicke the stars but Peder is the star on this album with phenomenal drumming throughout. In a year when some much great hard rock has been released BYB definitely made their case for Album of the Year with this release.
01: Fuck Off And Die
03: Come Undone
06: Voodoo Love Bow
10: Back On The Juice
11: Where Were You
12: Zoe Is A Weirdo
13: Saved By The Bell
Backyard Babies are:
Nicke Borg – vocals, guitar
Dregen – lead guitar, backing vocals
Johan Blomqvist – bass
Peder Carlsson – drums
Reviewed by Rocknrollcoastie.
I thought 15 was one of the best hard rock albums of 2006. For this listener, Black Butterfly has a lot to live up to, if it is going to surpass that disc. To prepare myself for this review, I listened to Buckcherry’s last two releases Time bomb and 15. I am pretty fond of both discs, and I wanted a refresher on both of these before I spun Black Butterfly. If anything I wanted to make sure that I gave Black Butterfly a fair review.
Black Butterfly starts off strong enough, with two rocking cuts, “Rescue Me” and “Tired of You”. Both of these songs, along with “Talk to Me” are amongst my early favorites on this disc.
Every Buckcherry CD to date has had a nasty but catchy tune on it. Time bomb had “Porno star” and “Time Bomb”, 15 has “Crazy Bitch”and “So Far”, and Black Butterfly follows suit with “Too Drunk…”. The lyrics may be juvenile, but I have come to expect these type of songs from Buckcherry, and I can’t help but to like them.
There are several cuts which have a lot of radio potential including “Dreams”, “Don’t Go Away”, and “All of Me”. “Don’t Go Away” kind of feels like a rip off of “Sorry” to me, and because of that, I don’t like this song as much. In fact, I think “All of Me” is the better ballad on Black Butterfly.
The lyrics for the song “Cream” are somewhat puzzling. You can probably guess the subject matter of the song. I have listened to this song several times, and the lyrics just don’t make sense to me. I get the chorus, but the song verses don’t seem to follow suit. I like the music well enough, but the song writing is suspect on this tune.
As a whole, I think Black Butterfly is another solid but not spectacular effort for Buckcherry. I don’t think this disc has as many strong songs as 15, but it is a little more consistent than Time Bomb. Black Butterfly feels like Buckcherry was trying to repeat the same formula they used for 15. On some songs it works, and on others it doesn’t. The end result is a good hard rock disc, that Buckcherry fans will likely enjoy, even if it doesn’t measure up to their last disc.
Rating: Out of 10
1. Rescue Me
2. Tired of You
3. Too Drunk…
5. Talk to Me
6. Child Called “It”
7. Don’t Go Away
10. All of Me
11. Imminent Bail Out
Josh Todd – Vocals
Keith Nelson – Guitars
Stevie D. – guitar
Xavier Muriel – drums, percussion
Jimmy Ashhurst – bass guitar
Metallica’s Death Magnetic has easily been one of the most hyped CD’s of 2008. This album will certainly be a major conversation piece in the hard rock and heavy metal world. I can’t think of another album released this year that will receive an equal amount of love and hate.
The question most people have been wondering is if this disc surpasses Metallica’s last effort, the awful St. Anger.
The first time I saw the cover art, I thought it was pretty terrible. I still don’t think it is great, but the way the cover is cut does make it kind of cool, and if anything, unique. Thankfully, the music is better than the cover art! Death Magnetic is cram packed with music. This CD has over 70 minutes of music. The first two songs together clock in at 15 minutes in length by themselves.
Death Magnetic is not a detour from Metallica’s roots ala the Black and Load albums. There are a couple of instances, where the album slows down just enough, so fans of the Black/Load era Metallica will find something to sink their teeth into. In fact, on Death Magnetic, Metallica does a pretty good job blending the sound of all of their past albums (with the exception of St. Anger). The end result is a heavy album that I think most fans will be pleased with.
Death Magnetic starts off in heavy fashion with “That Was Just Your Life“. The music on this song is awesome, and easily one of the heaviest songs Metallica has done since their album, And Justice For All. I thought the vocals of James Hetfield were mixed a little too low on this song, but the music is so full of headbanging goodness that the mixing quickly becomes an after thought.
“The End of The Line” is another long heavy cut with a crazy amount of guitar solos by Kirk Hammett. If this song doesn’t ignite your inner head banger, your headphones must be broken.
Chances are you have already heard the first single off of Death Magnetic, “The Day That Never Comes“. I immediately took a liking to this song. I though it was a nice mix of the Black album, with a mix of Master of the Puppets thrashing guitar solos by Kirk Hammett.
“Suicide & Redemption” might be the heaviest and longest instrumental track that I have ever heard.
I didn’t care for the track “Cyanide” at first, but repeated plays has completely changed my mind. I like this track a lot now. Some other highlights for me are “Broken, Beat & Scarred”, and “The Judas Kiss”.
The Bottom line, Death Magnetic is a great return to form by Metallica. Yes, folks that is right Metallica still has it, and if you haven’t bought Death Magnetic, you should go get it!
You can buy Death Magnetic at this link!
1. That Was Just Your Life (7:08)
2. The End Of The Line (7:52)
3. Broken, Beat & Scarred (6:26)
4. The Day That Never Comes (7:56)
5. All Nightmare Long (7:58)
6. Cyanide (6:40)
7. The Unforgiven III (7:47)
8. The Judas Kiss (8:01)
9. Suicide & Redemption (9:58)
10. My Apocalypse (5:01)
James Hetfield – Vocals & Guitar
Kirk Hammett – Guitar
Lars Ulrich – Drums
Robert Trujillo – Bass
“Pub Rock” must be an entirely Australian term because the only time I have heard it used is in describing Australian bands. AC/DC, Rose Tattoo, the Angels (aka Angel City), Jet, and Airbourne are just a few of the known “Pub Rock” bands. So being a fan of all five bands I was looking forward to listening to what newcomers Fallen Silver had to offer and needless to say this 5 piece band from Sydney did not disappoint in the least bit.
It all kicks off with “East L.A.” which has a great bass line from Mick Garside and while you can definitely hear an AC/DC influence both this song and the second song “Loaded Gun” automatically made me think of Johnny Crash. I can’t compare singer Matt Chambers to Vicki James Wright but the songs lyrics and groove made me want to hear “Neighbourhood Threat”. I can’t forget guitarist Doug Nekic, he delivers two smokin’ solos for these songs.
Not to stand on AC/DC’s influence alone. The title track “Blood In Blue Eyes” starts out acoustically with Chambers trying to channel a little Robert Plant before the song kicks in to a Bad Company feel. Really how can you go wrong when one song makes a person think of both Led Zeppelin and Bad Company.
Mick Garside shines in the spotlight again on “Fire Walk With Me” with more great bass lines, while the song has a more alternative feel it took me a while to get into it but after a few listens I found myself loving it.
Snake Eyes and Sunset are the other two tracks that really stood out to me more great blues based rock and the album closes the same way it opened with guns blazing on the track “Pissin’ on the Poor Man“.
Without a doubt Mick Garside and Doug Nekic are the stars of this album with great playing from start to finish. Drummer John Duffy and rhythm guitarist Tony Vulic are also solid throughout the album. In all honesty it took me a while to get used to Matt Chambers voice but once I did. I saw how well it fit with the songs.
If you want flashy pretty boys prancing around Fallen Silver is not for you. But if you want sweaty, beer and cigarettes blue collar rock-n-roll they definitely deliver that and more.
Rating: Out of 10
1. East L.A.
2. Loaded Gun
3. Blood In Blue Eyes
4. Fire Walk With Me
5. Leave This Town
6. Snake Eyes
11. Pissing On The Poor Man
Fallen Silver is:
Doug Nekic – lead guitar
John Duffy – drums
Tony Vulic – rhythm guitar
Mick Garside – bass guitar
Matt Chambers – vocals
Much like many of you, my first exposure to Dragonforce was through the Playstation 2 version of Guitar Hero, and their song “Through The Fire And Flames“. (I gave up trying to play that song in the game a long time ago.)
I recently met the band at the Mayhem festival in Indianapolis and decided to give their new disc, Ultra Beatdown a try.
If you haven’t ever heard Dragonforce before, the one thing you have to understand is just how fast these guys play. I am not sure if Speed Metal would be the appropriate title for these guys, but name a band, any band, and I doubt they play as fast as Dragonforce.
There are only 8 songs on Ultra Beatdown, but each song averages over 7 minutes in length.
After spinning Ultra Beatdown a couple of times, I felt like I was listening to a heavy metal, science fiction movie soundtrack. The music is pretty amazing stuff, but the writing is definitely suspect. I don’t know if it has anything to do with overall rhythm of each song, but it is hard for me to develop a passion for this music. ZP Theart has a very good melodic voice, but his vocals are robbed by the insane pace of the music.
There are moments where Dragonforce slows it down, and shows moments of brilliance. There just aren’t enough of those moments to keep me very interested.
Dragonforce fans will probably eat this stuff up, but I found Ultra Beatdown lacking. I hear a lot of flash in their playing, but I don’t hear enough substance to back it up. There is no doubt that these guys are extremely talented, but they need to slow the pace of their music below light speed if they want some career longevity in Dragonforce.
Check out Dragonforce on myspace at this link.
Rating:Out of 10
1. Heroes of Our Time
2. The Fire Still Burns
3. Reasons to Live
4. Heartbreak Armageddon
5. The Last Journey Home
6. A Flame For Freedom
7. Inside The Winter Storm
8. The Warrior Inside
ZP Theart – Lead vocals
Herman Li – Lead and rhythm guitars, backing vocals
Sam Totman – Lead and rhythm guitars, backing vocals
Vadim Pruzhanov – Keyboards, backing vocals
Dave Mackintosh – Drums, percussion, backing vocals
Frédéric Leclercq – Bass guitar, backing vocals
Succubi’s are defined as demons who take the form of beautiful women, in order to seduce men. If the band Black Succubi are demons, they have taken form as metal heads who will tear your world apart with heavy guitar riffs, powerful vocals and hard crashing rhythms.
When I first read about this Scandinavian metal act, I knew they could be something special, but I had no idea they would be this good.
Not only is Black Succubi’s new disc a great new metal album, it will compete with Testament’s The Formation of Damnation for best of 2008. On this CD, I hear heavy riffs that remind me of Pantera, Halford and Black Label Society. I love all of those bands so I found this album very much to my liking.
Jan Lundstrom is one of the best new metal singers that I have heard in a long time. When you hear the combined guitar might of Thomas Pedersen, and Michael Larsen, you will think you have died and gone to metal heaven. Black Succubi has some great guest appearances on this record as well. Mercyful Fate’s Hank Shermann adds a guitar solo on the tune “Cry For Your Brother”, and Iron Fire’s Kirk Bacharach on the song “Psychotic Meltdown”.
Bottom line, this album is heavy as hell, and absolutely killer. No metal fan should be without this!
Go to the Black Succubi myspace page to preview some of the music on this album. For more information on the band, check out their website at this link. You can buy this album from iTunes and Prefueled. Go get it! You will be glad you did!
01. Troubled Times
02. Dark Side
03. Into Oblivion
04. Blood And Flames
05. You Cant Run Away
06. Psychotic Meltdown
07. Feel It Coming
08. Cry For Your Brother
10. Time To Get Even
Black Succubi is:
Jan Lundstrøm: vocals
Thomas “Pede” Pedersen – guitars, growl
Jens B. – drums
Jesper Brogaard – bass, backing vocals
Michael Larsen – guitars, backing vocals
Additional backing vocals by Rachelle Ramm
Guitar solo by Kirk Backarach (IronFire)
Guitar solo by Hank Shermann (Mercyful Fate, Force of Evil)
Chicago’s D’Molls formed in the mid 80’s and secured a recording deal before many of the glam metal bands from the late 80’s early 90’s metal acts made a name for themselves.
Like many of the bands of the era, D’Molls never really caught on, except with the hard core sleaze/glam metal fans.
The music on Warped reminds me of a heavier edged Poison, with raspier vocals from Desi Rexx, and better back up vocals.
There are quite a few cool songs that I think hair metal fans would enjoy including “Real Love”, “Centerfold Girl”(which you can hear below)”, and “Passion” S.S. Priest’s guitar work on this disc is way above average on Warped. This CD made me want to find more stuff that he has played on.
The music may not be original, but it does rock. Their isn’t a bad song on this disc.
Warped, and the D’Molls self titled debut from 1988, are becoming increasingly harder to find, are selling for large sums on eBay. In fact, if you need a quick fix of D’Molls, you may be better served by their greatest hits CD, The Best of Everything, which is available through CDBaby. Happy Hunting!!
For more information on D’Molls, check out their myspace page.
Rating:Out of 10
1. My Life
2. Down T’Nothin’
3. Backstage Bombers
4. This Time It’s Love
5. Real Love
6. On ‘N’ On
7. The Answer
8. Centerfold Girl
10. Father Time
Billy Dior – Drums
Desi Rexx- Vocals, Rhythm and Slide Guitar
S. S. Priest – Lead Guitar
Lizzy Valentine – Bass Guitar, Piano, and Percussion
Nancy, France, or isn’t known for many hard rock and heavy metal acts. EdenSands looks to change that with their new release Living Kills. In their music, I hear bits of progressive and maybe a dash of power metal, but no question about it, EdenSands are a heavy metal act. The guitar styling is very similar to mid 80’s heavy metal, and I hear an Iron Maiden influence in the music. The vocals of Stefan Tudela are often high pitched. His voice seems to soar above the music more often than not. His voice has a strong accent which is quite noticeable.
There is a moment on this album, where EdenSands treads into Screamo territory on the song “Scream”. I don’t care for this style, but this may be a song for modern rock fans to get into.
I kept looking for some stand out tracks on this album, and I found those in the rocking tune, “Run”, and the ballad “From Dark to Light”. These are easily the best songs on the album. In the case of the song “From Dark to Light”, Tudela’s voice is showcased well. After hearing this song, I think his voice may be better suited for more acoustic based rock, than metal the tunes of EdenSands. For this listener, his high pitched voice doesn’t match up well with the heavy tunes of Living Kills. The band itself is quite good, and this album shows a lot of potential for future success. EdenSands will be a band to keep an eye on the future.
You can check out Eden Sands on their myspace page here.
Rating:Out of 10
- Path of life
- Golden fangs hungry dogs
- You’ll sink
- From Dark to Light
- Last will
- Taste of hope
Stefan Tudela – Vocals
Yoan Da Costa – Lead and Rhythm Guitar
Maxence Hugues – Lead and Rhythm Guitar
Vinz – Bass Guitar
Benjamin Nogaret – Drums
Kentucky rockers, Black Stone Cherry have released their sophomore effort, Folklore and Superstition. I was extremely impressed with their debut record, and I wondered if the band would try to repeat the sound of that record or change it up a bit for album #2.
The first album sounded like a cross between the Allman brothers and Metallica. The heavy nature of the first album still shows up in places on Folklore and Superstition, but this record sounds a lot different from the first disc. It isn’t so different that Black Stone Cherry fans will dislike it. In fact, some people may like this one more than the first effort. To my ears, it sounds as if, Black Stone Cherry’s sound has matured over the self titled disc.
This album opens up with the rocking tune, “Blind Man” (see video below). This song is a great opener and does a good job bridging Black Stone Cherry’s last album with Folklore & Superstition.
Some Led Zeppelinish guitar sounds find their way into “Please Come In”. This hit ready song is no Zeppelin rip off though. This is great stuff.
Black Stone Cherry jams out on “Revered Wrinkle”. With so many bands forgetting how to play guitar solos in 2008, BSC shows them how to do it.
“Soulcreek” is the type of sing along anthem that will likely become a staple of Black Stone Cherry’s live show. This is a fun tune, and one of my new favorites.
For the first time ever, Black Stone Cherry breaks out the piano on “Things My Father Said”. If any song on this album could hit the mainstream, this is the one. This tune could easily cross over onto pop and rock radio formats.
For whatever reason the backup vocals on the heavy rockier “The Bitter End” gives the song a disjointed feel to it. I think this song would have been a lot better without them. I love the music, and the lyrics, but the back up vocals mess this tune up.
At The beginning of “Long Sleeves” I picked up on a slight Aerosmith groove similar to their cover of the Beatles “Come Together”. I thought the voice coder in the middle of the song was a nice touch. This is a pretty cool tune for the most part, although I am sure some fans will start picking on Black Stone Cherry’s song writing. One of the core lyrics in this song is “My Momma Always Said to wear Long Sleeves”. After the previous song, “Things My Father Said”, this may be a bit much for some folks. It works for me. I think its cool.
“Peace is Free” is quite possibly the most southern rock styled tune on Folklore and Superstition. I can imagine the lighters and cell phones coming out in a live setting for this low tempo number.
Do I detect a little Lynyrd Skynyrd in “Devil’s Queen”? You may not hear it, but I sure do. This song has a fat guitar sound that is awesome. This is one of my favorite songs on the the disc. You have to hear the guitar work on this song. Great Stuff!
“The Key” is one of the more interesting songs on this disc. It is one of the heavier tracks. About midway through, you will find some interesting guitar sounds. I wouldn’t call this tune essential, but it is somewhat unique.
“You” is one of those songs that has grown on me with repeated listens. This song dives into the southern rock pool once again. “You” has a good classic rock sound that seems radio ready.
“Sunrise” has a very modern rock tone to it, which may help it find its way to radio. This song feels like a filler tune to me, and is my least favorite on the album.
“Ghost of Floyd Collins” is a cool tune about a Kentucky cave explorer Floyd Collins who died as a result of being trapped in a cavern 50 feet below the ground. He was exploring the cave trying to find a new entrance for the Crystal Cave system back in 1925. This is a pretty cool homage to a person who is from the area where the members of Black Stone Cherry grew up.
As a whole, Folklore and Superstition is no sophomore slump for Black Stone Cherry. The band has turned out another very good album. I don’t think this album is as instantly accessible as their first disc. This album isn’t as heavy as the first one, and the tempo seems to have been turned down on the songs somewhat. Folklore and Superstition does have a bunch of good tunes, and a few that are growers. If you prefer to buy your music electronically, I-Tunes has three bonus tracks, “Junkman”, “Stranger” and “Bulldozer”. The big box retailers have this disc on sale for $9.99 this week (8/19 – 8/23).
Rating:Out of 10
1. Blind Man
2. Please Come In
3. Reverend Wrinkle
5. Things My Father Said
6. The Bitter End
7. Long Sleeves
8. Peace is Free
9. Devil’s Queen
10. The Key
13. Ghost of Floyd Collins
Black Stone Cherry is:
Chris Robertson – Vocals and Guitar
Jon Lawhon – Bass
Ben Wills – Guitar
John Fred Young – Drums
In 2007, West Midlands based rockers Angel House released their debut album, World On Fire. I must admit that I was not aware that Angel House was a trio until after I listened to the CD a couple of time. With that in mind, I gained some new respect for the tunes on World on Fire.
The opening cut “Mask” will grab your attention with its cool guitar solos, and overall heavy sound. This is the way you lead off an album! The song “Dying At Your Door” has a guitar sound that brings Michael Schenker to mind. “Victim 13” is a heavy tune that will make you break out the air guitar. “Superstitious Woman” has a cool 70’s hard rock vibe to it. It is a short tune, but it really jumps out of your speakers.
Peter Easthope proves to be a talented guitar player, and his vocals are pretty good too. He reminds me a lot of former Rough Cutt/Quiet Riot singer Paul Shortino.
I wouldn’t call World On Fire an amazing record, but it is a pretty solid start for Angel House. There are some tunes on this disc that makes think about classic Scorpions and UFO tunes, and that is a good thing.
With a little luck on their side, Angel House could be headed for success. This album shows the awesome potential of this group.
Rating: Out of 10
- Loaded Too Late
- Dying At Your Door
- Hush A Bye
- Victim # 13
- Weapons Of Self Expression
- Superstitious Woman
- World On Fire
Angel House is:
Paul Easthope – Bass & Backing Vocals
Simon Cooper – Drums & Percussion
Peter Easthope – Vocals & Guitars
Quite honestly, after listening to the Judas Priest debacle called Nostradamus, I was not looking forward to hearing another concept album in 2008. Nonetheless, Alice Cooper has unleashed his latest batch of hard rock horror in the form of a concept album. The difference between this and Nostradamus is quite simple, this album has good songs, and a whole bunch of them to boot.
The songs on Along Came A Spider follow the story of the serial killer named Spider. I wont give up all of the secrets of the story of Spider, but this is pretty good song material. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I enjoyed an Alice Cooper CD this much.
The sounds on Along Came A Spider is a pretty good balance of 70’s era Alice Cooper mixed with 80’s and 90’s style rock. Kerri Kelli and Jason Hook handle the guitar work, and they do an excellent job. The production quality on this disc is fantastic. Alice also enlists the help of a couple of friends on this disc. Slash cuts loose playing guitar on the track “Vengeance is Mine“. Ozzy Osbourne helped Alice write the tune “Wake The Dead“. Ozzy handles the harmonica solo on this song. There is no mention of Ozzy singing on this album, but If you listen closely enough, you can hear what appears to be his background vocals on this tune.
I must admit that some of Alice Cooper’s releases have always been a bit hit or miss with me. I had low expectations for Along Came A Spider. With that being said, this disc is one of the nice surprises of 2008. This is one of my favorite discs so far this year. I had a lot of fun listening to this, and I think you will too.
Rating:Out of 10
1. Prologue / I Know Where You Live
2. Vengeance Is Mine (Featuring Slash)
3. Wake The Dead
4. Catch Me If You Can
5. (In Touch With) Your Feminine Side
6. Wrapped In Silk
7. Killed By Love
8. I’m Hungry
9. The One That Got Away
11. I Am The Spider / Epilogue
Alice Cooper band is:
Alice Cooper – Vocals
Keri Kelli – Guitar
Jason Hook – Guitar
Chuck Garric – Bass
Eric Singer – Drums
In 1990, Baltimore rockers, Child’s Play released their debut album on Chrysalis Records.
Strangely enough, I originally owned this on cassette tape when it first came out. I didn’t recall liking this album very much. I finally tracked down a copy of this CD, a few of months ago, and was pretty amazed with the tunes on Rat Race. It has been years since I have listened to this, and in 2008, I found this much more to my liking.
Child’s Play has a sound that I would say is a cross between Skid Row, L.A. Guns, and maybe a dash of Spread Eagle. This is very good sleaze metal with a good mix of late 80’s glam. The first four songs on Rat Race absolutely rip. This is the way to start off an album.
The band slows it down somewhat with the tune Wind, which is a mid-tempo, acoustic based rocker.
Evicted picks the pace back up, this time with drummer John Allen on vocals. Allen’s vocals sound quite a bit like L.A. Guns front man, Phil Lewis. The album rocks out all the way until the last song.
Rat Race is out of print, and is become increasingly harder to find. If you are a fan of the late 80’s and early 90’s hard rock sound, you need to find this disc. I am enjoying Rat Race, and I think you will too.
If you are curious to find out what the guys in Child’s Play have been up to, check out this website.
Rating:Out 0f 10
1. Good Ol’ Rock And Roll
2. Day After Night
3. My Bottle
4. Rat Race
7. Knock Me Out
8. Girl Like You
9. Capricorn/Bang Bang
10. Pay Your Dues
11. Damned If I Do
12. When Hell Freezes Over
Child’s Play is:
Brian Jack – Vocals
Nicky Kay – Guitar
Idzi – Bass
John Allen – Drums
New Jersey alt rockers Dive sent me a five song sampler of their album, The Truth About Us.
If you are a fan of mainstream radio rock, Dive has a sound that will appeal to you immediately. Dive’s sound is fairly common amongst today’s rock acts. They employ a distorted bass line combined with a heavy
rhythm guitar. There are a few lead guitar licks, but they are few and far between. I like how the percussion was mixed on this disc. The crashing of the cymbals is crystal clear instead of hidden behind the bass rhythm.
The most powerful instrument in this band, is the voice of Jon Sitar. Sitar has the voice that could take Dive to the next level. I was more impressed with his vocals than I was the music, but the five songs on this sampler are pretty good. Dive is certainly band to keep an eye on in the future.
For more information on Dive, check out their myspace page.
You can buy their CD, The Truth About Us at CDBaby.com.
Rating:Out of 10
2. The Truth About Us
3. All I Know
Evan Canova – Guitars
Jeff Moczydlowski – Guitars
Jon Sitar – Vocals
Brian Weaver – Bass
Andy Zampella – Drums
WOW!! Now this is the music that I like to hear. I recently received a copy of a 7 song demo CD from Kiruna, Sweden’s Coldspell. Quite a few of the demos that I receive have a mixed production quality, and songs that are barely listenable. Neither one of these issues are present on this demo from Coldspell.
This demo ought to get the band signed, and signed quickly. (SPV, Frontiers, Chavis are you reading this?!) The music on this disc reminds me of a cross between Lynch Mob, and Whitesnake.
Coldspell states their influences as Led Zeppelin, Whitesnake, Mr. Big, and Yngwie Malmsteen. They obviously don’t try to hide their influences, and their music is awesome as result. For Micke Larsson to be a virtually unknown guitar player in 2008 is pretty amazing. His fretwork is reminiscent of some of the top guitarists of the 80’s including George Lynch, and John Sykes.
Keyboardist Matti Edlund sounds a whole lot like Deep Purple and Whitesnake’s Jon Lord. Niclas Swedentorp is one of the better undiscovered singers that I have listened to as of late.
Coldspell flat out rocks. This CD is far too good to be a demo. Every hard rock fan needs to keep an eye on this band. They are destined for great things in the near future.
Rating:Out of 10
2. Keep Believin
3. Ravin Mad
4. All I Want
6. Solid Ground
Niclas Swedentorp – Vocals
Micke Larsson – Guitars
Tommi Partanen – Bass
Matti Eklund – Keyboards/Hammond organ
Tobbe “Toby” Broström – Drums
One of the bands from the late ’80’s early 90’s glam metal scene, that has been long forgotten about by most is Hollywood, CA’s Funhouse.
The band released one CD, back in 1990, and pretty much vanished shortly thereafter. On Generation Generator, you get 5 studio tracks, and 3 live cuts. I though this was kind of odd mixture, especially for a new band starting out.
Funhouse’s sound falls somewhere between Motley Crue, Skid Row and maybe a dash of Ugly Kid Joe. They weren’t as good as any of those bands, but they do have a solid sound that I found enjoyable. This disc isn’t breaking any new ground musically, and it kind of short, with it clocking in just shy of 33 minutes. 80’s and 90’s Glam metal fans will probably love this disc. It is a fun disc of partying hair metal tunes, that is still worth a few spins in 2008 and beyond.
Generation Generator has been out of print for quite a while, but you can still snag some copies of this disc from Amazon.com for a reasonable price. If you like what you hear, grab a copy of this disc, before they are all gone.
In 2008, Chris, Marc and Joe E. are playing together in a band called Hazard Los Angeles. Funhouse did a reunion show in 2002. I doubt we have heard the last from this Hollywood band. For more information on Funhouse, check out their myspace page.
Rating:Out of 10
2. Y R S
3. One Funhouse
4. The Preacher
5. One More Time For Love
6. Rocks And Roses
7. Generation Generator
8. Christine In Chains
Chris Hazard – Vocals
Marc Vachon – Lead Guitar
Johnny Hill – Drums
Joe E. rhythm – Guitar
Cat – Bass
In 2007, Crash Music released Black ‘N Blue’s Rarities. This is a collection of rare demos, live cuts, and previously unreleased songs.
I have been playing this disc for a few months now, but haven’t mentioned it at HRH. The band will be performing a reunion show at Rocklahoma this afternoon, so I thought I would give this disc another look.
The opening cut Violent Kid, is one of the heavier cuts I have heard Black ‘N Blue record. This is a really cool song that deserves a finished studio version. Tommy Thayer really jams on this song.
Sign In Blood is another heavy rocker that reminds me a lot of RATT’s style of hard rock. This song also deserves a finished studio version. This is a really good tune.
Every Black ‘N Blue recognizes the song Wicked Bitch, as one of the band’s biggest anthems. This version is slightly different that the original studio version, but still worth hearing.
Cold Heart is a demo that didn’t really cut it for me. They could rework this song a little bit, and improve it, but I could see why this one didn’t get released.
Hold on To 18 is a little different than the version on the band’s self titled album from 1984. This one is little more raw, and lacks the cool guitar intro in the beginning of the song. I prefer the original, but this one is o.k. too.
Lickety Split is a cool upbeat tune, that seems to capture Black ‘N Blue having a lot of fun.
A few of the demo cuts on Rarities offer a glimpse into the unreleased disc, Hell Yeah. Serious Drag, So Long and Hell Yeah are all demos from the up and coming (rumored to be) 2009 release.
Serious Drag is a raw sounding cut that has some good sounding guitar parts. This song has potential, but needs some work.
So Long has a cool intro. This version also has that raw demo sound. With a little tweaking, this song could have some hit potential (if radio would actually play the finished version).
Hell Yeah is probably my favorite out of the three songs. This song has a good classic rock vibe about it.
I already had live versions of both Autoblast and I’m the King from the band’s Live in Detroit 1984 record. The cuts here are the same with one exception. The sound quality is far superior to the 1984 record on both of these tracks. For that reason, I am glad to have these songs again.
I have all of the Black ‘N Blue releases prior to this one, so this disc was a must own disc for me. If you are a Black ‘N Blue fan, Rarities is a nice way to round out your collection. Check it Out!
Rating:Out of 10
1. Violent Kid
2. Sign In Blood
3. Wicked Bitch
4. Cold Heart
5. Hold On To 18
6. Lickety Split
7. Serious Drag
8. So Long
9. Hell Yeah
10. Autoblast (Live)
11. I’m The King (Live)
Black ‘N Blue is:
Jamie St. James – Vocals
Tommy Thayer – Guitar
Jeff Warner- Guitar
Patrick Young – Bass
Pete Holmes – Drums
Before Sixx A.M. ever saw the light of day, Nikki Sixx had another side project called 58. The name of this group came from Nikki’s year of birth. The band members also had Sixx’s former father-in-law, Dave Darling, session drummer Bucket Baker, and Steve (Son of Barry) Gibb.
Those of you looking for something Motley Crue like, or even Sixx A.M.- like for that matter, you wont know what to think about 58.
One quick look at the song titles and it isn’t too hard to figure out who wrote the majority of the material on this record. Sixx and Darling penned most of the material on Diet For A New America.
Quite honestly, this is more of the type of release I would expect from Tommy Lee, than Nikki Sixx. This music is a radical departure from the hard rock tunes that I am used to hearing Nikki Sixx play on.
I am not a fan of this style of music, but I hear little bits and pieces of Nine Inch Nails type of industrial rock fused with an odd mixture of alternative, and pop music.
This CD is an interesting listening experience, but would likely serve fans of alternative music more so than the hard rocking fans of Motley Crue.
You can pick copies of this disc up from Amazon.com for very little money. Die hard Sixx fans may want to check this out. All others will probably want to avoid this disc.
Rating:Out of 10
1. Don’t Laugh (You Might Be Next)
2. El Paso
3. Piece Of Candy
4. Shopping Cart Jesus
6. Song To Slit Your Wrists By
8. Killing Joke
9. All Of My Heroes Are Dead
10. Alone Again (Naturally)
11. Who We Are
Nikki Sixx – Bass
Dave Darling – Guitars and Vocals
Steve Gibb – Guitars and Vocals
Bucket Baker – Drums