Towards the end of the hair metal era, Valentine released their debut album. Valentine’s sound was in the AOR/Melodic Rock style, with a little bit of hair metal flair for good measure. Valentine’s singer Hugo was a great new unheard talent, that should have propelled this band into mass appeal. He has a good range to his voice that is rarely heard amongst today’s rock singers.
This CD has it all, solid musicianship, great vocals and good songs. Those that got their hands on this disc treasure it, and those that didn’t get it while it was in print, have paid through the nose to acquire a copy off of Ebay or the like. This CD has been out of print for years and has been selling for $60.00 or more.
Sadly, this CD got very little promotion, and by 1994 the band had broken up. I vaguely recall Valentine being a guest on a second rate talk show ( I can’t remember which one) but that was about the extent of the promotion this band, and CD received. It is a shame as this is a very good disc that very few people got to hear.
This CD will likely appeal to fans of bands like Journey, Hardline and other of the melodic rock style.
Valentine reunited last year, and have a new myspace page, where you can find out about the band’s latest happenings.
Valentine recently put out a blog that their songs will be available for download via Amazon.com and I-Tunes, but they are not available as of yet. If you spot a copy of this CD, buy it, and give your significant other the ultimate Valentine!
1. Runnin’ On Luck Again
2. No Way
3. Tears in the Night
4. Too Much Is Never Enough
5. Never Said It Was Gonna Be Easy
6. Where Are You Now
7. Naughty Girl
8. Once In A Lifetime
11.You’ll Always Have Me
Hugo – Vocals
Neil Christopher – Drums
Adam Holland – Guitars
Graig Pullman – Keyboards
Gerard Zappa – Bass
Once upon a time, The Throbs were touted as New York’s answer to Guns N’Roses. Their debut record “The Language of Thieves & Vagabonds”, which was produced by Bob Ezrin (Kiss, Alice Cooper) on Geffen Records should have by all means, made these guys stars. Were they the next Guns N’ Roses? Probably not, but their debut CD is quite good.
Singer Ronnie Sweetheart has gritty vocals that reminds me a lot of Mike Trash from The Erotics and maybe even a little bit of David Johansen from the New York Dolls. His vocals take a little bit of time to get used to, but I have grown to like them quite a bit. Sweetheart’s vocals are quite a bit different from most of the band’s of the early nineties.
The music on this disc is nothing short of fantastic. Big guitars and great piano work saturate this disc. In fact, the keyboards on this disc are handles by Bob Ezrin, with the exception of a couple of guest stars. Little Richard plays the piano on the song, “Ecstasy” and Freddy Mandel (Alice Cooper) handles the
keyboards on It’s Not the End of the World” and “Rip It Up”.
How would I describe this music? Bluesy, ragtime hard rock that should have appealed to both 80’s and 90’s rock fans. The music dabbles with some hints of post Appetite Guns N’ Roses with some guitar sounds that bring KISS to mind. The band might look like an early 90’s hair metal act, but let me assure you, this is NOT a hair metal CD. The Throbs “The Language of Vagabonds and Thieves” is full of good songs that must be heard to be appreciated. Play it LOUD!
This CD has been out of print in the United States for a long time. It was reissued in the UK by Rock Candy Records in 2007. You can still find copies of this CD, for under $5.00 at this link. It is worth every penny!
You can find The Throbs on myspace at this link. Check them out, you will be glad you did!
2. Come Down Sister
3. It’s Not the End of the World
6. Rip It Up
7. Ocean of Love
8. Only Way Out
9. Sweet Addiction
11. Strange Behaviour
The Throbs are:
Ronnie Sweetheart – Vocals
Roger Ericson – Guitars
Danny Nordahl – Bass
Ronnie Magri – Drums
Sister Sins’s new CD, “Switchblade Serenades” came with a huge sticker on the cover that said “Heavy Metal Album of the Year”. That is a pretty strong statement for a new band to make. They better have the tunes to back it up, in order to put something like that on their cover.
Typically I have a tendency to shy away from bands with a female lead singer. Once again another band quickly proves that I need to throw away all of my old notions against female singers.
Sister Sin’s singer Liv has a voice that falls somewhere in between Doro Pesch, Lita Ford and Brett Anderson from The Donnas. I like all of these singers, so I was quickly able to get into Sister Sin’s music.
Sister Sin’s style of sleaze metal sounds like a mixture of old Motley Crue, W.A.S.P., and maybe a dash of 80’s Ozzy Osbourne. What is most important to me is that the music rocks, and “Switchblade Serenades” does just that.
There are a bunch of good heavy rockers on this disc, with “One Out of Ten”, “On Parole” and “Beat the Street” being my current favorites. Sister Sin even pulls off a really cool cover of the Motorhead classic “Make My Day”.
“Switchblade Serenades” didn’t crack my top 15 in 2008, but if I heard this sooner, it probably would have. They are a definitely a band you should look into!
1. Beat the Street
2. Death Will Greet Us
3. One out of Ten
4. Breaking New Ground
5. On Parole
6. Make My Day
7. Hostile Violent
8. Switchblade Serenade
10. All Systems Go!
11. Eye to Eye
Sister Sin is:
Liv – Vocals
Jimmy – Guitar
Dave – Drums
Chris – Bass
One of the better bands to hit the music scene in 2008 was Muskegon, Michigan’s Pop Evil. I picked up a copy of this CD months ago, and I should have reviewed this long before now. When Pop Evil’s latest single “100 in a 55” was played on XM Radio yesterday, I unfiled my copy of the CD to check out “Lipstick on the Mirror” once more.
Singer Leigh Kakaty’s vocals are the driving force behind Pop Evil’s hard rocking tunes. He has just enough coarseness in his voice to separate Pop Evil’s music from the many sound alike acts on main stream radio.
There are several songs on “Lipstick on the Mirror” that could be hit worthy tunes. As I mentioned before, “100 in a 55” is already getting airplay on XM Radio (as well as Sirius) and many terrestrial radio stations. There are quite a few other tunes that should help get this band noticed including the debut single “Hero”, “Somebody Like You”. “Stepping Stone” is this massive sounding song where Kakaty’s voice truly shines. This is the type of song that put Creed on the map, and should do the same for Pop Evil.
If there are any downfalls on “Lipstick on the Mirror”, some of the song writing is kind of weak. I expect that will improve as the band continues to grow. There are moments on this disc where the band reminds me of acts like Stone Temple Pilots, Alice in Chains and Creed. That is pretty good company to be in, if you are going to make in the music business.
All in all, this is a very solid debut from Pop Evil, and is one that I will be playing a lot more over the coming months.
4. 100 in a 55
5. Somebody Like You
6. 3 Seconds to Freedom
7. Another Romeo & Juliet
8. Stepping Stone
9. Jupiter in June
10. One More Goodbye
11. Ready or Not
12. Hard Highway
13. Hey Mister
Pop Evil is:
Leigh Kakaty – lead vocals
Dylan Allison – drums
Dave Grahs – guitar
Tony Greve – guitar
Matt DiRito – bass
Switzerland’s Sideburn has been dishing out hard rock music since the 90’s. Shame on me, for not checking them out before now. Their new CD, “Cherry Red” is a rocking affair that will likely appeal to fans of AC/DC, Airbourne, Rose Tattoo and Rhino Bucket.
Opening track “Gimme The Way” is an upbeat rocker that immediately gets “Cherry Red” firing on all cylinders. (Check it out in the video below!)
“Six Feet Under” is a catchy tune that will likely have you wanting to crack open one of your favorite adult beverages. Pierrehumbert growls in this song are reminiscent of those by Udo Dirkschneider from Accept.
If the rock and roll gods were kind, “Cherry Red” would be an instant hit for Sideburn. This song flat out rocks!
“Ghost of 1980” is the coolest ode to Bon Scott since Million Dollar Reload’s “The Last Icon”.
Roland Pierrehumbert has a course voice that reminds me a lot of RATT front man Stephen Pearcy. His voice works well Sideburn’s style of pub rock.
Sideburn has released a real winner of a disc, with “Cherry Red”. This disc is full of unpretentious, no frills hard rock. Just the way I like it!
If you are a fan of any of the bands I mentioned above, you need to hear this disc. You can purchase the Mp3 downloads of Cherry Red here, or the CD, through CDBaby.com. You can preview songs off of Cherry Red at ReverbNation!
- Gimme The Way
- Hurricane Race
- Six Feet Under
- Cherry Red
- Rock’n’roll queen
- Down and Dirty
- Bring The Hammer Down
- Ghost of 1980 (to Bon Scott)
- Lipstick Lady
- Wild Boy
- Stand Your Ground
Roland Pierrehumbert – Vocals
Fred Gudit – Rhythm Guitar
Michel Demierre – Bass
Boris – Lead Guitar
Lionel Blanc – Drums
I started off the new year wanting to hear some Twisted Sister. After playing “Stay Hungry” for the umpteen millionth time, I broke out my reissued copy of Twisted Sister’s “Love is For Suckers” from 1987.
I remember this album getting a lot of bad reviews when it first came out, and I can understand why some Twisted Sister fans hated this disc. “Love is For Suckers” was supposed to be released as a Dee Snider solo album. Atlantic suggested this be out under the Twisted Sister moniker and as they say, the rest is history.
“Love is For Suckers” was not supposed to sound like a Twisted Sister album, and for the most part it doesn’t. This is more of a pop metal album, than the hard rock and metal sounds of previous Twisted Sister albums.
The first track “Wake Up (The Sleeping Giant)” is the heaviest song on this disc, and the most Twisted Sister like. For the rest of the album, producer Beau Hill managed to make Twisted Sister sound like Winger with Dee Snider on vocals. With no surprise, Reb Beach does play guitar on this album, and Kip Winger sings back up vocals. The songs aren’t bad, but most of them just aren’t very memorable.
The best cuts on Love is For Suckers are “Wake Up” and “Me And The Boys”. The reissued copy of this CD has four bonus tracks: “Feel Appeal”, “Statutory Date”, “If That’s What You Want” and “I Will Win”. If you don’t have this CD, this is the version to pick up. The song “Statutory Date” is probably the best song out of the four bonus tracks. If you listen close enough, you can hear Kix frontman Steve Whiteman singing back up vocals on this song.
As a whole, I didn’t care for this poppy version of Twisted Sister. The band was best when playing their heavier edged material, and although I am a fan of hair/pop metal, this disc didn’t cut it for me. “Love is For Suckers” is a disc for hair metal fans and Twisted Sister completests only.
1. Wake Up (The Sleeping Giant)
2. Hot Love
3. Love Is For Suckers
4. I’m So Hot For You
6. Me And The Boys
7. One Bad Habit
8. I Want This Night (To Last Forever)
9. You Are All That I Need
10. Yeah Right!
13.If That’s What You Want*
14.I Will Win*
Twisted Sister is:
Dee Snider – lead vocals
Eddie “Fingers” Ojeda – lead guitar
Jay Jay French – rhythm guitar, backing vocals
Mark “The Animal” Mendoza – bass, backing vocals
A. J. Pero – drums, percussion
Reb Beach – guitars
Kip Winger – backing vocals
Jimmy Chalfant – backing vocals
Steve Whiteman – backing vocals
Beau Hill – keyboards, backing vocals
The New West Horns – horns
7th Heaven is an Illinois band whose latest release is called U.S.A. – U.K. and no matter how hard they try there is no way these guys are going to be able to avoid comparisons to Def Leppard. To be blunt U.S.A. – U.K. is quite possibly the best album Def Leppard never released. Anyone, who listened to the songs on this album and didn’t know who the band was would be hard pressed to tell the difference between Joe Elliot and 7th Heaven’s Keith Semple. But it is not only Semple’s vocals, but also the background vocals, the music, and the production itself would make you think Mutt Lange was at the helm for this project, everything is top notch.
The band also comprised of Richard Hofherr Lead Guitar & Keyboards, Mark Kennetz Bass, and Michael Mooshey on Drums have been releasing albums and touring, playing in the neighborhood of 200+ shows a year, since 2000, but this is their first release with Irishman Keith Semple handling the vocals and what a way to start this chapter of the band’s history off.
U.S.A. – U.K. is filled with 18 songs, which in itself is almost unheard of today, but if you add the fact that any of these 18 songs could easily find its way to radio and the Top 40 charts makes it even more amazing. I’m almost cringing as I type this, because I hate this term, but this is “pop-metal” at its finest. The first six songs on this album all sound like vintage Hysteria era Def Leppard, if I had to chose a favorite I would go with “Better This Way” , but “Cellophane”, “Gravity”, “Still Be Here”, and “Gave You My Word” are all just as good, background chrouses, great solos, that will have you tapping your feet and singing along. On track #7 “This Summer’s Gonna Last Forever” the guys change direction a little but not by much, instead of Def Leppard it seems they took after another Mutt Lange disciple, namely Bryan Adams. It would fit nicely on any of Adams early albums, especially “Reckless”. The band takes another slight twist on the song “Winning It All” , this is the first and only time when Semple doesn’t sound like Elliott or Adams, but the song does not lose anything from that fact either.
Like I said earlier there are 18 songs on this album and not one could be considered “filler”, but a few other songs that really standout are “Ghost of Me”, “Undone”, “Take Me Back”, and “Oh So Really Old”. Any fan of Hysteria era Def Leppard should already have U.S.A.-U.K. in their collection, but any fan of “pop-metal” would be crazy not to add this album to their collection.
You can check out 7th Heaven and listen to all of their albums by visiting http://7thheavenband.com/
You can also check them out on myspace at http://www.myspace.com/7thheaven
1. Better This Way
3. Still Be Here
5. Gave You My World
6. Kill The Cycle
7. This Summers Gonna Last Forever
8. Ghost Of Me
9. Save Your Life
10. Hand On My Heart
11. Winning It All
12. Oh So Really Old
15. Dream Of A New Day
16. Electronic Karma
17. Take Me Back
18. While You Dream
7th Heaven is:
Keith Semple – Lead Vocals/Guitar
Richard Hofherr – Lead Guitar / Keyboards / Vocals
Mark Kennetz – Bass / Vocals
Mike Mooshey – Drums
Saliva is back with their first new album in almost two years, “Cinco Diablo”. I liked Saliva’s last album, “Blood Stained Love Story” even though it wasn’t well received by the masses. Their last album saw the band moving away from their nu-metal sound into a more mainstream approach. With Cinco Diablo, Saliva continues to spread their wings with an album that blends hard rock, metal and pop. At times some songs feel like like past Saliva tunes, and other songs show the band moving into a different direction once more.
“Family Reunion” is the first single released to radio. If you are familiar with Saliva’s past work, this song will feel somewhat familiar. If you have heard their songs “Click Click Boom” and “Ladies and Gentleman” you will probably like the familiar “BOOM” in the lyrics. It is a good opening song for this disc, even though the lyric is getting a little tired and over used in my opinion.
“My Own Worst Enemy” is a mid tempo hard rocking song that adds a layer of industrial sounding keyboard in the background of the tune. The more I listen to this song, the more I like it.
“Best of Me” keeps the heavy rock going. This is a pretty good rocker that ought to be Saliva’s next single. This is my favorite cut on “Cinco Diablo” so far.
With three hard tunes in a row, Saliva smartly breaks up the pace with “How Could You” . This is a tune that will likely have radio appeal for fans of bands like Nickelback and 3 Doors Down. It has a few hard guitar parts, but is light enough that is could find its way onto pop rock radio.
The hard rock continues with “Hunt You Down”. This tune has a beat that reminds me a little bit of older Nine Inch Nails material. I like the old NIN stuff, so I though that was kind of cool. This is a good song that Saliva needs to make one of their concert staples.
“Judgment Day” has grungy guitars and occasional harmonics that are reminiscent of the songs Alice in Chains was doing in the 90’s. I think there are some cool guitar parts in this song, but I don’t think there is enough to really set this tune apart from a lot of the other mainstream radio tunes. This song needs something to push it over the edge, but it never quite gets there.
‘Forever And A Day” is the closest thing to a power ballad that you will hear from Saliva. This is another really good song that has major hit potential.
“I’m Coming Back” feels like a filler tune to me. I am sure that isn’t what the band was trying to achieve, but this song does nothing for me.
The song “Southern Girls” took me by surprise. This is kind of a nu-metal meets southern rock song. I don’t remember Saliva doing anything like this before, but I like this song a lot. The chorus on this song kind of has a Motley Crue like feel to it. Cool stuff!
“So Long” closes out “Cinco Diablo” with a piano based number that sounds as if it should have been on a Coldplay CD. Yes, that is right, I said Coldplay. This is a really good song, but it seems out of place on this disc. I think Saliva fans are going to be shaking their heads when they hear this.
As a whole, I think “Cinco Diablo” is a better than Saliva’s last album, “Blood Stained Love Story” but I still don’t feel this is their best stuff. This album shows a little more growth and more experimentation with Saliva’s sound. It is definitely a strong album for the band, and this disc is a cool way to close out a killer year of hard rock music.
Josey Scott – Vocals
Wayne Swinny – Guitars
Jon Montoya – Guitars
Dave Novotny – Bass
Paul Crosby – Drums
I have known about the band White Flame for over a year now, but their CD, “Yesterday’s News”, was not available in the United States until now.
I originally posted White Flame’s video, “Hour of Emptiness” in the HRH Segment, “Sink or Swim”. The folks that voted all said let it swim unanimously, making White Flame’s Yesterday’s News, Hard Rock Hideout’s first Sink or Swim Winner.
As far as hard rock goes, I love it when a band just gets it, and White Flame does just that. The band cranks their Marshall amps up to ten, plays loud and plays hard. Yesterday’s News is a fine blend of funky, bluesy, kick ass hard rock. White Flame wears their influences on their sleeves on this disc. I can hear touches of Motley Crue, Guns N’ Roses, Aerosmith, and maybe even Sweet F.A. (remember them?) on this disc.
There are a lot of good songs worth checking out on Yesterday’s News. “Gun” has this awesome groove that will get you headbanging instantly. “Swimsuit Issue Centerfold” is one of the coolest rocking tunes I have heard in a while. Some of my other favorites on this disc are “Kill The Radio” and the title track, “Yesterday’s News” and the awesome ballad “Miss U”.
White Flame’s “Yesterday’s News” isn’t breaking any new musical ground, but if you are a fan of the 80’s era of hard rock, you are bound to love this. This is a hard rock record that needs to be heard by all! On a side note, not only is the CD good, but the ultra cool digipak comes with a booklet that folds out into a mini news paper with song lyrics, photos and more. I thought this was a nice touch, especially from a new band.
The Bottom Line, White Flame is a killer new band with a very good debut record on their hands. If they play their cards right, they will be anything but “Yesterday’s News”. Check them out on myspace at this link.
3. The World We Live In
4. Swimsuit Issue Centerfold
6. Miss U
8. Your Joint Tonight
9. Yesterday’s News
10. Hour Of Emptiness
11. Kill The Radio
12. Close To You
13. My Future Ex-Girlfriend
White Flame is:
Vince – Vocals, Percussions, Guitar
Anthon – Electric, and Acoustic Guitars, Piano, Keyboards
Percussions, Backing Vocals
Bass, Fretless, Backing Vocals
Jony – Drums, Percussion
Swedish Rockers Badmouth will release their new single “Heartbreaker” on December 5th. The song is a cover from Pat Benatars’s 1979 -world hit and the band releases this song as a tribute to her career and Benatars upcoming 30th anniversary. The original version of “Heartbreaker” is featured in Guitar Hero : World Tour.
Badmouth’s “Heartbreaker” will be available for FREE download on www.badmouththeband.com between Dec 5th – Dec 31st. After that the song will be available on iTunes.
“Heartbreaker” is a brand-new track and not featured on Badmouth’s self-titled debut-album. The band released their album in October and has received overwhelming responses from the media and fans. The band’s label Romolus X Records just announced that the album will also be available through Best Buy very soon. 5 samples from the album can be listened to for streaming at the bands MySpace : www.myspace.com/badmouthswe.
I must admit that I wasn’t very impressed with the last couple of Yngwie Malmsteen albums. Yngwie’s playing was never the problem. It just seemed like the last couple of discs lacked good enough songs to keep me interested.
When the news came out earlier this year, that Tim “Ripper” Owens (Judas Priest, Iced Earth) became Yngwie’s new singer, I knew I would not be able to resist picking up Yngwie’s new disc, Perpetual Flame.
When I first listened to Perpetual Flame, I thought Malmsteen’s playing sounded more inspired than normal. Initially I thought Ripper’s involvement may have lifted Yngwie’s spirits to a new level, which in turn, helped this album shine. After a recent interview with Yngwie at HRH, I learned that the music was completed before Ripper came on board. No matter what the reason is, Perpetual Flame is easily one of the best new albums by Yngwie in many years. Ripper Owens voice seems to complement Yngwie’s frenzied fret work better than most singers that have fronted Malmsteen’s Rising Force.
The first four songs (previews available below) on this disc are excellent slabs of metal. Ripper’s voice sounds great, and Yngwie’s guitar work is amazing as always. These are easily some of the best songs of Malmsteen’s long career.
This wouldn’t be a Malmsteen album without a couple of instrumental tracks, and on “Perpetual Flame” you get three, “Caprici Di Diablo”,”Lament” and “Heavy Heart”.
Malmsteen’s guitar licks on “Caprici Di Diablo” will certainly amaze you, and if anything will have have offering up a metal salute to this guitar god. Yngwie even steals the microphone away from Ripper, and sings the lead vocals on the song “Magic City”.
Without question, the perpetual flame still burns inside of Yngwie, and he given us one of the better metal albums of 2008. Highly recommended!
Rating: Out of 10
Red Devil (Live)
- Death Dealer
- Damnation Game
- Live To Fight (Another Day)
- Red Devil
- Four Horsemen (Of The Apocalypse)
- Priest Of The Unholy
- Be Careful What You Wish For
- Caprici Di Diablo
- Magic City
- Leventh Hour
- Heavy Heart
Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force is:
Yngwie Malmsteen – Lead Guitar, Keyboards, Bass,
Tim “Ripper” Owens – Vocals
Derek Sherinian – keyboards
Patrick Johansson – drums
In case you don’t know Syrym is a Bay Area based band made up with former Babylon A.D. members Ron Freschi on guitars and Jamey Pacheco on drums, along with vocalist Jeffrey Winslow and bassist Rich Talley. Back in the day I was split in my opinion on Babylon A.D. I loved their debut album but “Nothing Sacred” had a few good songs but nothing special. I really wasn’t sure what to expect with this album. Much to my surprise Syrym has a pretty damn good album on their hands. Let me say first that Freschi’s guitar playing on this disc all the way through is outstanding.
“Foul Mouth Blues” gets us started with a heavy throbbing groove from the rhythm section of Pacheco and Talley with Winslow singing in a slow almost growl. Freschi’s solo here is the first of many impressive solos on this album, a good way to open the album up.
The guys pick up the pace a little bit more on “Warpath”, once the song kicks in it has a great hard driving groove. I think you’ll find it very hard to resist playing a little air guitar or drums on this song.
“Torn in Two” finds us getting a little more heavier but still maintaining the ability to sing along with the band. Freschi puts on another great display of his guitar skills.
While the first three songs remind me a lot of early Lynch Mob songs “Ugly on the Inside” drifts more in Babylon A.D. territory and it is easily one of the best songs on the album. It has great sing a long chorus and the whole band sounds in sync with one another. I hope this song finds it way to radio
“30 & Dirty” has a sleazy groove to it that hearkens back once again to Babylon A.D. and you can’t help but want to tap your foot along to it.
“Foul Mouth Blues” was a good song to open the album but “While America Sleeps” would’ve been a great song to open this album up. If Freschi never got to flex his guitar playing muscle on any Babylon A.D. albums he definitely does with Syrym, he definitely earned my respect for his playing here.
“What I’m Trying To Say” is a ballad that not only closes the album, it completely changes the direction of this album. It is a pretty emotional song about a parent trying to explain to their child that the parents divorce is not the child’s fault. Acoustic guitars and piano fill this song and it has a very Journey like feel to it. Another very good song.
As far as the rest of the album is concerned “Brokedown”, “the Sky is Falling”, “Alive in the Real World”, and “Bring It On (Go Down Fighting)” are all good songs with “Bring It On” being my favorite.
Any fans of Lynch Mob, Babylon A.D., or Lillian Axe will find plenty of reasons to love Syrym, but fans of heavy and melodic late 80s/early 90s rock will also find plenty of reasons to pick Syrym up. Definitely worth the price of admission.
- Foul Mouth Blues
- Torn In Two
- Ugly On The Inside
- The Sky Is Falling
- 30 & Dirty
- While America Sleeps
- Alive In The Real World
- Bring It On (Go Down Fighting)
- What I’m Trying To Say
- What I’m Trying To Say (Reprise)
Ron Freschi – Guitars
Jeffrey Winslow – Vocals
Jamey Pacheco – Drums
Rich Talley – Bass
When HRH was offered the opportunity to review the new Twilight soundtrack, I jumped at the chance. Any movie soundtrack that is capable of taking a huge bite out of AC/DC’s sales is something worth investigating. A quick look at the artists on this disc, and there aren’t many that fall into the hard rock genre, although Linkin Park and Collective Soul might come close. A quick listen of the CD, and I passed this disc over to the resident Twilight expert in my household (my wife). She has read the Twilight series of books, and is much more knowledgeable on the subject matter of this disc than I.
With that being said, the review below is written by my wife Bonnie, the biggest Twilight fan that I know.
Being a huge fan of the Twilight book (and the others in the saga), and being very impatient for the movie release date to get here, I was really excited to find out that Hard Rock Hideout would be reviewing the soundtrack. Unfortunately, that excitement faded pretty fast as I gave a listen. My first impression of the soundtrack was that it was a bit strange. I have now listened to it at least 20 times, and I still can’t find a better description for it. For the most part, the lyrics to most of the songs are just bizarre, but the music itself is pleasant enough that you find yourself listening anyway.
That being said, there are a few songs on the disc worth mentioning…”Leave Out All The Rest” by Linkin Park is by far my favorite, and was immediately. The flow of the music, the lyrics…it just works. I had never listened to Linkin Park prior to this, but I am definitely a fan now.
“Spotlight” by Mutemath is a catchy little tune that immediately has you singing along. Not hard to do considering the same lyrics lace the majority of the song, but even so, it’s one of the better songs on the disc.
Paramore has two tracks on the CD, “Decode” and “I Caught Myself”, both of which are likeable in their own way. The band has a distinctive guitar sound which adds to their charm.
“Full Moon” by the Black Ghosts reminds me of something by Manheim Steamroller. Different is the only word that comes to mind, but it’s nice to listen to.
The hottest vampire living, Robert Pattinson, aka Edward Cullen, also has a spot on the CD with “Never Think”. The guitar is very nice, and I read that it is actually him playing, but the lyrics are mumbled and hard to understand. I really wanted to LOVE this song, and even though it is Edward, and that sexy vampire accent of his, I hope his acting impresses me more than this tune.
Wrapping up, the movie has to be better than this soundtrack, or my months of excitement and anticipation will have been wasted time. As much as I wanted to enjoy this record, I found it to be unusual and slightly disappointing. Three or four of the songs on the disc are above average, but the majority of them leave me longing for a rainy day in the forests of Forks, and a chance meeting with a vampire.
1. Supermassive Black Hole – Muse
2. Decode – Paramore
3. Full Moon – The Black Ghosts
4. Leave Out All The Rest – Linkin Park
5. Spotlight [Twilight Mix] – Mutemath
6. Go All The Way [Into the Twilight] – Perry Farrell
7. Tremble For My Beloved – Collective Soul
8. I Caught Myself – Paramore
9. Eyes On Fire – Blue Foundation
10. Never Think – Rob Pattinson
11. Flightless Bird, American Mouth – Iron & Wine
12. Bella’s Lullaby – Carter Burwell
2008 marks the 30th anniversary of the Paul Stanley solo CD (God, that makes me feel old). Ok, if you want to get technical, Paul’s first solo CD didn’t come out until 1997, but the album was out in 1978.
For whatever reason, all four of the KISS solo discs (Gene Simmons, Ace Frehley, Peter Criss, and Paul Stanley) all have KISS on the cover, but it isn’t KISS performing on the discs at all, rather than one member of the band. I guess the KISS name, sells better than their individual names. Anyway, it is hard to listen to this CD, and not compare the songs to KISS, especially with Paul Stanley being the voice of KISS. There are some songs on this record that could have easily been leftover KISS tunes. There are also some songs here that feel like a departure away from the rocking tunes that made KISS famous.
The tunes that are almost KISS like are “Tonight You Belong To Me“, “Move On“, “It’s Alright“, “Love In Chains” ,and “Goodbye“. With no surprise, these are my favorites on this disc. I have always like Stanley’s vocals, and his voices soars on the majority of the tunes. Bob Kulick (older brother of former KISS guitarist, Bruce Kulick) provides some tasty guitar licks on this album.
This album had a minor hit with the ballad, “Hold Me, Touch Me“. It might be my personal taste, but this song sounds dated in 2008, and does not hold up well. This sticky sweet tune sounds like it has more in common with the Doobie Brothers than KISS. I am sure this was a tune used to get couples slow dancing in the local discotheques back in the late 70’s.
To Paul Stanley’s credit, he wrote the majority of the material on this album, with a little bit of help from Mikel Japp. The song writing is pretty good on this record. In my opinion, this release, and the Ace Frehley solo disc, are the best out of the four KISS solo releases from ’78.
If you are a KISS fan, chances are you probably own this. If you don’t, you ought to pick this up.
1. Tonight You Belong To Me
2. Move On
3. Ain’t Quite Right
4. Wouldn’t You Like To Know Me?
5. Take Me Away (Together As One)
6. It’s Alright
7. Hold Me, Touch Me (Think Of Me When We’re Apart)
8. Love In Chains
Musicians on this CD are:
Paul Stanley – Lead Vocals, Background Vocals, Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, E-bows, all guitars on “Hold Me, Touch Me”
Bob Kulick – Lead Guitar, Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar
Richie Fontanta – Drums (“Move On”, Wouldn’t You Like to Know Me”, “Ain’t Quite Right”, “Tonight You Belong To Me”)
Craig Krampf – Drums (“It’s Alright”, “Hold Me,Touch Me”, “Love In Chains”, Goodbye”
Carmine Appice – Drums (“Take Me Away”)
Steve Buslowe – Bass Guitar
Eric Nelson – Bass Guitar
Doug (Gling) Katsaros – Piano
Steve Lacey – Electric Guitar
Pepe Castro, Maaria Vidal, Diana Grasselli, Miriam Naomi Valle – Background Vocals
Kelly Keeling from the bands Baton Rouge and MSG handles the vocals on all tracks with the exception of the song, ‘Gladrags & Limozenes” which features another former MSG front man, Robin McAuley.
On this disc you also have appearances by George Lynch (Dokken), and Chris Poland (Megadeth). This is a short CD, only clocking in at 28 minutes in length. It is a very good 28 minutes, and well worth your time.
I have always liked Kelly Keeling’s vocals, and he sounds great here. The disc starts off with the title track, “Long Live Me“. This song is a very cool rocker that has a pretty impressive solo by Gus G. from Firewind.
George Lynch provides the guitar solos on “Halo”, and funny enough, this sounds just like a Lynch Mob song, albeit a very good one.
On the tune “Evil” , Screamin’ Lords guitarist Jason Gile proves to have some pretty impressive guitar chops himself.
Former Megadeth axeman Chris Poland dishes out the guitar solos on “Fire In The Blue Sky”. This is easily my favorite song on “Long Live Me”. It is good to hear Poland playing again, and although his part on this album is minimal, his guitar work is excellent.
Remember the classic Fastway tune “Say What You Will“? The Screamin’ Lords cover it here, and do a good job with it. Their version is very true to the original song.
Robin McAuley takes over the lead vocals on “Gladrags & Limozenes” This is a cool upbeat tune, and one of the highlights on this CD.
Although this disc is short, it is good. Hopefully with CD #2 the guests will be fewer so the true talent of The Screamin’ Lords can shine.
The Screamin Lords are:
Jose Ferro – Bassist
Dustin Boyer – Guitar
Jason Gile – Guitar
Chris Collier – Drummer
Kelly Keeling (TSO, MSG, Baton Rouge) – Vocals
Robin McAuley (Survivor, MSG) – Lead Vocals
George Lynch (Lynch Mob, Dokken, Souls of We)- Lead Guitar
Chris Poland (Ohm, Megadeth)- Lead Guitar
Gus G. (Firewind, Dream Evil) – Lead Guitar
Loren Molinare (Little Caesar) – Rhythm Guitar
The first time I heard Wednesday 13 was a song called “Your Mother Sucks C**k in Hell” from Metal Sludge’s compilation “Now That’s What I Call Sludge”. I listened to the song and pretty much forgot about Wednesday 13, until a couple of weeks ago. A co-worker was playing “Fang Bang” at work at first I thought it was Stevie Rachelle. Boy was I wrong!
Although he does sound a lot like Stevie Rachelle his songs are closer to mid 80’s Alice Cooper than Tuff and like Cooper back then it sounds like Wednesday is having fun singing about American Werewolves, Haddonfield (Home of Halloween’s Michael Myers), and partying at Crystal Lake waiting for Jason Voorhees to pay a visit on “Till Death Do Us Party”.
If Wednesday is having fun singing you can’t help but have fun listening. Honestly how many times can you say you had a smile on your face singing along to a song called “Happily Ever Cadaver”? I’m guessing not to many.
But that is exactly what you will end up doing listening to “Fang Bang” and there are plenty more songs to go along with the ones already mentioned like ” My Home Sweet Homicide”, “Too Much Blood”, and “Curse of Me”. In today’s day and age it is nice to hear an artist having fun and not taking themselves too seriously and that is what you get with Wednesday 13 a guy singing fun Horror Punk wrapped in 80’s hard rock. “Fang Bang” is not going change the world or pave the way for a new rock-n-roll revolution. But for what it is “Fang Bang” is a pretty good album and most of all fun record, the perfect soundtrack for Halloween.
You can buy a copy of Fang Bang, at this link.
1. Morgue Than Words
2. American Werewolves In London
3. My Home Sweet Homicide
4. Faith In The Devil
5. Happily Ever Cadaver
6. Curse Of Me
8. Too Much Blood
9. Till Death Do Us Party
10. Buried With Children
11. Kill You Before You Kill Me
12. Die Sci-Fi
13. Burn The Flames (Bonus Track)
Wednesday 13 is:
Wednesday 13 – lead vocals and guitars
Jamie Hoover – bass, background vocals, guitar, organ
Ghastly – drums, percussion
Kid Kid – background vocals
The majority of the hard rock loving public are probably not aware their was a band called Sleeze Beez. Hair metal fans know them, (most of them love this band) but very few are aware that Sleeze Beez put out a fourth studio album in 1994.
The hair metal scene was on life support by this time, and new releases such as this one, got very little, if any mentions in the press.
The tunes on Insanity Beach have a much harder edge than the Sleeze Beez previous releases.
Many hard rock acts from the late 80’s and early 90’s tried to update their sound in an effort to keep going. The change in the Sleeze Beez sound isn’t quite as drastic as the updated sounds from Warrant, Shotgun Messiah, or Asphalt Ballet. It may be a harder approach, but its very listenable.
My favorite cuts on this disc are “Human Zoo“, “Sacrifice“, and the title track “Insanity Beach“. While I don’t think this CD is as good as Screwed, Blued & Tattooed, it is better than previous effort, Powertool.
This disc has been out of print for a while, but you can still find copies of it on eBay. Happy Hunting!
For more information on the Sleez Beez, check out this link.
Rating:Out of 10
1. Tell It to the Judge
2. Save Myself
3. Gun Culture
4. Youth is a State of Mind
5. DUI (Intoxicated)
6. Human Zoo
7. Best Things in Life Are Free
8. The Long Goodbye
10. Hate Rock and Roll
11. Insanity Beach
12. Scream (Encore)
Sleeze Beez are:
Andrew Elt – Vocals
Chriz Van Jaarsveld – Guitar
Jan Koster – Drums
Don Van Spall – Guitar
Ed Jongsma – Bass Guitar
I am not sure why it took so long for me to discover Zebrahead. This Pop/punk/rap core band has had their music in a plethora of movies and video games, and yet they have stayed off of my radar until now.
With their brand new album “Phoenix” the band has a sound that is like a blend of The Offspring, Green Day, and Sum 41. The music does have a little bit of rap in it, but it doesn’t define the music. Zebrahead makes it work for them.
Is this music hard rock? No, it isn’t. I think the harder guitar riffs and rapid fire drum beats will certainly make this music palatable to both hard rock and power pop fans.
The songs on Phoenix are extremely upbeat and easy to listen to.
Typically, I wouldn’t like a lot of music like this, but Zebrahead works for me, as they aren’t trying to sound like any of the acts that I am usually listening to. I have been playing this disc in my car for a couple of weeks now, and I have been surprised how much I have enjoyed this.
Some of the songs have a punk rock style with a heavy edge to them, and some fall more into the pop rock category.
Some of my favorite cuts are “HMP”, “Mental Health”, “The Juggernauts” and “Ignite”
As an added bonus, this CD comes with a DVD, Broadcast the World, the Fucking DVD, that is packed with Zebrahead music videos from their previous releases as well as home videos, and live footage. If you haven’t listened to Zebrahead before, this CD/DVD set is the perfect introduction to the band. I am enjoying Phoenix, and I think you will too.
Rating:Out of 10
2. Hell Yeah!
3. Just the Tip
4. Mental Health
5. The Juggernauts
6. Death by Disco
7. Be Careful What You Wish For
8. Morse Code for Suckers
10. Mike Dexter Is a God, Mike Dexter Is a Role Model,
Mike Dexter Is an Asshole
11. Junkie and the Halo
13. Hit the Ground
14. Two Wrongs Don’t Make a Right, But Three Rights Make a Left
15. All for None, And None for All
16. Sorry, But Your Friends Are Hot
DVD Track Listing:
Postcards from Hell
Broadcast to the World
Karma Flavored Whisky
The Walking Dead (Previously Unreleased)
Ali Tabatabaee – vocals
Matty Lewis – guitar, vocals
Ed Udhus – drums
Ben Osmundson – bass
Greg Bergdorf – guitar
“The End Begins” is an appropriate title for Tantric’s first album in four years. After recording the follow-up to 2004’s “After We Go” the band watched as the album was shelved and forgotten by Maverick Records. This eventually led to the three original members, Jesse Vest, Todd Whitener, and Matt Taul walking away leaving vocalist Hugo Ferreira to soldier on alone. Instead of fighting to get “Tantric III” released Ferreira decided to start fresh with new members Kevin Miller, formerly of Fuel, on drums, Erik Leonhardt on bass, Marcus Ratzenboeck on electric violin (???) and guitarist Joe Pessia, who had previously played in Dramagods with none other than Nuno Bettencourt and Kevin Figueiredo from Extreme.
Everything gets started with “Regret”, which sounds a like bit like “the Cult meets Cold” with the opening guitar and Ferreira’s vocal style. Joe Pessia may not have the worshippers of the Guitar Gods bowing at his feet, but he is able to pull off a nice solo and after a couple of listens you will find yourself tapping your feet and playing air drums on the steering wheel as you are driving down the road.
Next up is the lead off single and video “Down & Out”, I think the song stands much better by itself than with the video which is the way it is supposed to be. It took me a while to get into the song because it reminds me of the rap/rock days which I am not very fond of. Electric violinist, Marcus Ratzenboeck makes the most of his chance to stand in the rock n’ roll spotlight with a nice piece of playing throughout.
The third track “the One” was originally recorded for the afore mentioned Tantric III. Ferreira decided to recut the track as a duet with Candlebox’s Kevin Martin. Both singers go back and forth trading the lyrics which in my opinion works as “the One” is my favorite song on this album and it should be a big hit on Modern Rock Radio.
I was a little turned off by the jazz feel of “Love Song” but it picks up at the chorus after which I found myself able to get into it a little more. A few other songs I was able to get into were Wishing, Lucky One, Why Don’t You, and Lay.
Now “The End Begins” isn’t going to change the rock n’ roll world, but then again I can only think of a handful of bands or artists that have ever done that. What this release is going to give the fans of “post grunge” music and rock in general is a pretty solid performance from beginning to end. If you were a fan of Tantric before you will be a fan after hearing “the End Begins” if you weren’t a fan before, Ferreira and his boys might be able to open your ears with some nice musicianship throughout.
For more information on Tantric. Check out their myspace page.
Rating:Out of 10
2. Down And Out
3. The One (Clean)
4. Love Song
6. Something Better
7. Lucky One
8. The End Begins
9. Monopoly (Clean)
10. Why Don’t You
Hugo Ferreira – Vocals
Joe Pessia – Guitars
Erik Leonhardt – Bass
Kevin Miller – Drums
Marcus Ratzenboeck – Electric Violin
Reviewed by Rocknrollcoastie
Staind has made us wait three long years for their sixth studio album, The Illusion of Progress. The band has three number one albums in a row, so they have a lot to live up to with this new disc.
Staind calls The Illusion of Progress the “most musical CD” they’ve recorded to date. While I don’t know if I agree with that statement or not, there are some tunes on this disc that have the potential to be hits for Staind.
The first song This Is It starts off with a heavy but moody track, “This Is It”. This tune has a grunge element to it, but it is pretty cool tune. I expect that this song will hit mainstream radio in the near future.
“The Way I Am” is mid tempo song that just plods along. It isn’t breaking any new ground. It isn’t a bad tune, but it just comes across as average to my ears.
“Believe” is the first single off of Illusion of Progress. This is a pretty solid tune that ought to be a hit for Staind. You can listen to Believe by clicking here.
“Save Me” is a slower paced song that also has some radio potential, if they recorded a clean version of the tune. Their is a lyric in this song, “save me for the fuck of it” that unintentionally jumps out of your speakers when you hear it.
At this point in the record, I was hoping for something a little more upbeat, and I got it, with the song “All I Want“. This is another solid tune from Staind.
“Pardon Me” has a sound that falls somewhere between Tool and Shinedown. This is another slow, and moody track that I just couldn’t get into.
At this point I started to get a little bored with this disc, as I could not find a tune that had the WOW factor I was looking for.
Most of Staind’s tunes have the down tuned guitars that is common place in modern rock today. The one thing that sets apart this band from most of the others is the fine voice of Aaron Lewis. The problem that I have with the Illusion of Progress is that most of the songs of their low to mid tempo range, and are a little more soft and mellow. This isn’t what I expected from Staind. Yes, some of the songs are good, but very few of them excite me very much. I was hoping for something a little heavier, and this disc never seems to get there. This may not be a problem for die hard Staind fans, but I would recommend streaming this album before picking it up.
Rating:Out of 10
1. This Is It
2. The Way I Am
4. Save Me
5. All I Want
6. Pardon Me
7. Lost Along The Way
8. Break Away
9. Tangled Up In You
10. Raining Again
11. Rainy Day Parade
12. The Corner
13. Nothing Left To Say
Aaron Lewis – Vocals
Johnny April – Bass
Jon Wysocki – Drums
Mike Mushock – Guitars
Fans of 80’s style Hair Metal rejoice. Rockarma released a cd earlier this year that will Rock your world. It is their second cd, titled “Bring It!” and is absolutely an incredible piece of work.
For some reason, this cd has escaped notice by the mainstream….but after a quick listen to the myspace tunes you will want to put “Bring It!” in your library for sure.
From the very first tune, “Badjune”, sit up and take notice. Rockarma’s music is so tight, so melodic and so perfect that you will be projected back in time. Back to an era when good-time, rock-hard, party-hard, bring-on-the-girls type Rock N Roll ruled. And if you didn’t grow up in that era, “Bring It!” will make you will wish that you did!
“Get Me Outta This Hole” is the obligatory anthem song that every Hair Metal band places on their cd, and this example is just killer.
The title track “Bring It!” tells a short tale of success, which is exactly what this entire cd encompasses.
And the last tune on the cd, “Same Ol Song” is a wonderfully bluesy effort that will leave you with two thoughts racing through your mind:
“This was a great cd that I’ve gotta play it again right now!” and “Man! I can’t wait to hear what Rockarma does next!”
While the four tracks mentioned above are my favorites, make no mistake, every song is of the highest quality in both musicianship and production.
This four man, Canadian band has given us a CD with all the qualities to make it a choice for top Rock cd of the year.
You can purchase Rockarma’s “Bring It!” at http://www.rockarma.com/
1. Bad June
2. Between You And Me
3. All 4 You
4. Get Me Outta This Hole
5. I Know
6. Missin You
7. Bring It!
9. Feels Like I’m Falling
10. Lets Go
11. Thats All
12. Same Ol Song
Damon Kelly – Vocals, Rhythm Guitar
Pete Fry – Lead Guitar
Jeff Kahn – Bass Guitar
Chris Ryan – Drums
Reviewed by Bic and Que.
Warrant has reunited with their original lineup intact in 2008, and will
be one of the headlining acts at Rocklahoma on Saturday, July 12th.
As much as I like the initial releases with the original lineup, I decided to dust off one of Warrant’s later discs, Ultraphobic, which featured Kingdom Come’s Rick Steir on guitar and James Kottak on drums.
I remember when I first heard that a couple of former Kingdom Come guys were joining the band, I was hoping that Warrant might try to approach a classic rock/ Zepplinesque update to their music. That was not the case at all with Ultraphobic.
In 1995, Hair metal was about as popular as diarrhea, but Warrant tried to forge ahead with a darker, grungier sound in an effort to stay relevant in the music scene. The sound of Ultraphobic seemed to follow the heavier sound of the 1992 Warrant record, Dog Eat Dog.
The guitars are are tuned down, and a little grungier on Ultraphobic. For me, this style of guitar playing does not suit Jani Lane’s voice well, and this album suffers as a result.
There are a couple of highlights on this disc. Undertow, isn’t too bad, and Crawl Space is pretty cool. I kind of like the title track, Ultraphobic as well.
Chameleon is a song that would have sounded better if Warrant just stuck to their tried and true sound. The deeper guitar sounds mess up, what could have been one of the better Warrant tracks. There are some cool guitar parts, but this song scream redo.
I have to applaud Warrant for trying to stay relevant in the music scene (although some might argue that they never were relevant). Ultraphobic isn’t a total departure from their signature glam metal sound, but I didn’t care for the varied guitar sounds on this disc. (What was the purpose of that drill sound on Ride #2)
With the classic lineup of Warrant back together, they could rearrange some of the songs on Ultraphobic, and quite possibly turn them into new hits. This isn’t Warrant’s best work, but it isn’t their worst either. This is a middle of the road album, that isn’t as good as the first three discs the band released. Warrant fans will still want to pick this up. All others may want to preview this album on Amazon.com, before buying.
Rating:Out of 10
3. Family Picnic
4. Sum Of One
6. Crawl Space
7. Live Inside Of You
9. Ride #2
11. Stronger Now
Jani Lane – Lead Vocals
Rick Steier – Guitar
Erik Turner – Guitar
Dave White – Keyboards
Jerry Dixon – Bass
James Kottak – Drums
In 2007, Oxford trio, The Treat, have released their sophomore album, Phonography. This is the first Treat album that I have listened to, so I wasn’t sure what kind of sound to expect by this band. The Treat’s sound appears to be heavily influenced by 70’s hard rock. I can hear elements of Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd in the music.
As you can tell by the song titles, the song writing on this disc is much more than just your typical subject matter of sex, drugs and rock and roll. This disc requires a few listens before you can fully absorb what you are hearing.
I struggled with some songs, and others proved to get a little better with successive plays. Make You Crawl, and Too Late, are my favorite cuts, but those were the only ones that I could truly get into.
There have been quite a few newer bands adopting a 70’s hard rock sound, including the Answer, Thieves and Liars, Glyder and Wolfmother. The Treat’s Phonography lacks the polish that so many of the newer classic sounding bands have. For this listener, quite a few of the tunes on Phonography sound too dated. For some people, this will not be a problem. 70’s die hard rock fans will certainly enjoy this disc a little more than I did.
The Treat shows potential with this release, but Phonography isn’t going to set the world on fire.
You can check out several of the cuts below. You can purchase Phonography, at this link.
Rating:Out of 10
1. Fanfare For the King
2. Make You Crawl
3. The Deathday Parties
4. Bolivian Diary
7. Haitian Morning Dress
8. Too Late
9. Clutching At Jagged Glass
11. Black Cat Whites
13. Track 13
The Treat is:
Mike Hyder – Guitars/Lead Vocals
Dom Lash – Bass/Keyboards
David Hart – Drums
Temptation Come My Way completely overhauls the sound from the debut, A Chorus of Obliteration. The metalcore screams are 99% gone, and this release solidifies a sound for that band that is in the same vein as the later Metallica albums. It is a more mainstream approach that should bring mass appeal to this amazing quintet.
The first song that I heard off of this disc was the band’s cover of the Kansas song, Carry On Wayward Son. Once I heard that track, I knew I had to hear more from this group.
Fanatics And Whores is a very heavy head banging tune that put a big smile on my face. This is obviously not a band that is afraid to rock!
Head Down is a song that deserves to be heard on rock radio everywhere. This track is so damn cool, words can not do it justice.
The guitar work of Travis Bailey and Josh Childers is very cool on the song Six Feet Under. This is a heavy rocker with plenty of crunching guitars. David Bunton’s vocals are clean and very enjoyable.
After listening to We Die Young a couple of times, I came to the realization that band is putting a lot more guitar solos into their songs. I am not used to hearing that from a lot of newer bands these days. This is the way it used to be done in the late 80’s, when the guitar solos reigned supreme. We Die Young is another solid offering from The Showdown.
Breath of the Swamp is the heaviest of the songs so far. This song nearly ventures into Pantera like territory. David Bunton nearly sounds like Phil Anselmo on this song.
It Drinks From Me smartly slows the pace back down again. This song reminds me of a Saliva tune. Very Cool!
The title track, Temptation Come My Way, starts with a heavy bass groove that nearly has a Black Sabbath like feel to it. David Bunton breaks out his Anselmo like vocals once again for this heavy groove laden track.
Forget My Name is another instant classic. This is an up tempo rocker that is going to firmly implant itself in my regular play list.
Spitting In The Wind is another good rocker. It isn’t the best song on this disc, but it is another solid slab of rock.
I, Victim (Here’s To The Year) starts to venture a little towards the Nu-Metal side of the fence, and I didn’t really care for this song too much.
I am sure you have heard, Carry on Wayward Son hundreds of times over the years. The Showdown puts a nice metal touch on the song, while staying fairly true to the original. I like the original song, and this cover is pretty cool too. If it wasn’t for this song, I may not have found this band, so I am glad the recorded it.
Death Finds Us Breathing is a very bass heavy mainstream sounding rock song, with a few of those Metalcore screams that I don’t really care for. It is however, a decent track to close out this disc with.
The Showdown shows a lot of maturity on this release, and will be a band worth keeping an eye on for years to come. I enjoyed this disc very much, and will be playing this one quite a bit in the upcoming weeks. To preview some of the tracks below, visit the band’s myspace page here.
If you like it, go buy it. This band deserves your support!
Rating:Out of 10
1. Fanatics And Whores
2. Head Down
3. Six Feet Under
4. We Die Young
5. Breath Of The Swamp
6. It Drinks From Me
7. Temptation Come My Way
8. Forget My Name
9. Spitting In The Wind
10. I, Victim (Here’s To The Year)
11. Carry On Wayward Son
12. Death Finds Us Breathing
The Showdown is:
David Bunton – Vocals
Josh Childers – Guitar, Vocals
AJ Barrette – Drums
Eric Koruschak – Bass
I stumbled on this disc by listening to the Boneyard’s(XM 41) Breaking Bone show. This is a radio show where they introduce new hard rock and metal music to the Boneyard listeners.
Desert of Tears is a very heavy disc. Judging from the quality of the tunes here, I am surprised that I haven’t heard of these guys before.
I Believe is an explosive metal anthem to start this disc off with. Running Blind is a heavy Iron Maiden style track. Day of Champion is another powerful track that has guitar harmonics that sound very close to George Lynch.
I Will Fly reminds me of some older Leatherwolf tunes. Rich Wilde really howls on the vocals, on this cool track.
The lyrics on Desert of Tears sounds like something Bruce Dickenson would write. This is another excellent Maiden style track.
It Ain’t Over is one the only track I didn’t like on this disc. It breaks up the pace on the album as this is a low tempo number, but I didn’t care for it.
Live By the Sword, Soldier’s Fate, Chosen One are all very good heavy tracks.
Freedom starts with a very cool acoustic guitar and builds into a beast of a metal anthem. This is a very cool track to end this disc with.
The guitar tandem of Chris Atchison, and Craig Behrhorst, absolutely smoke on this disc, and vocalist Rich Wilde sings like he is out to put the Ruffians on the Heavy Metal map. Judging from the Desert of Tears CD, this band will be one to watch in 2007.
Metal fans need to check out this killer disc!
You can also hear more tunes from the band at the Ruffians my space at Ruffian’s metal .
Rating:Out of 10
Ruffians – Do or Die Video
- I Believe
- Running Blind
- Day of the Champion
- I Will Fly
- Desert of Tears
- Darkest of Light
- It Ain’t Over
- Live By the Sword
- Chosen One
- Soldier’s Fate
- Do or Die (Bonus Video Track)
The Ruffians are:
Chris Atchison – Guitar
Craig Behrhorst – Guitar
Luke Bowman – Drums
Rich Wilde – Vocals
Eric Wong – Bass
The New York five piece band, Rev Theory have released their sophomore effort, Light It Up, on Interscope Records.
If the first single, Hell Yeah, is any indication what is in store for this band, Rev Theory could have a platinum album in the hands. Hell Yeah is easily the best stadium anthem that I have heard in a long time. This Guns ‘N Roses flavored tune could be the one that takes Rev Theory to the next level.
What I think is kind of cool about this band is they have a sound that crosses three decades of rock. On Light It Up, I hear elements of G ‘N R, Alice in Chains, and a mix of Hinder and Nickelback.
There are several songs on this disc that have major hit potential including Hell Yeah, Favorite Disease, Broken Bones and Wanted Man.
Every time a play this disc, it seems to get a little bit better. Their is no doubt in my mind that Rev Theory has a hit record on their hands. How far it goes is up to you! If you check out one modern rock band in 2008, give Rev Theory a look. I think you will like what you hear.
Check out Rev Theory on MySpace! Light It Up is in stores now.
Rating:Out of 10
1. Hell Yeah
2. Favorite Disease
3. Light It Up
4. Broken Bones
5. Kill The Headlights
6. Wanted Man
7. Ten Years
8. Falling Down
9. You’re The One
10. Far From Over
Rev Theory is:
Rich Luzzi – Vocals
Julien Jorgensen – GUitar
Rikki Lixx – Guitar
Matt McCloskey – Bass/Backing Vocals
Dave Agoglia – Drums
Poison front man, Bret Michaels, hot off his hit cable show, Rock of Love 2, has released a brand new solo CD, for us to check out.
I thought this disc was going to be all new material, instead, Rock My World has three new tracks (Go That Far, Fallen, Start Again), one remixed song (It’s My Party), and 9 tunes that were previously released on Michaels’ previous solo CD’s, Freedom of Sound and Songs of Life.
Rock My World is more or less a Bret Michaels greatest hits CD. Those of you looking for a new Poison style, glam metal CD, may be disappointed by this disc. This is a completely different sounding disc. It is a mix of styles that blends pop, rock, and dare I say, country music.
The new song, Go That Far, did not impress me at all. I saw the video, before I heard the song, and it more or less plays out to be an advertisement for Rock of Love 2. Rock My World is not without good songs, but they aren’t enough of them here. Some of the highlights are the songs Driven, the Poisonish ballad Raine, Bittersweet, and the bluesy Start Again. On the latter half of Rock My World, Bret pulls a Bon Jovi, and does a duet with country music’s Jessica Andrews. I am not a big country music fan, so I didn’t care for this song too much, but this track does have some major crossover potential.
Now that Michaels has relaunched his career as a Hollywood Icon, with the T.V. Show Rock of Love, he needs to focus on his music career, and stop treading water with released like Rock My World.
Bret will be the headliner on Thursday Night, July 10th, at the Rocklahoma music festival. He will be playing a mix of Poison tunes, and songs from Rock My World. For you Rocklahoma fans, I hope he focuses on the Poison material. This is a disc for diehard Bret Michaels fans only.
Rating:Out 0f 10
- Go That Far
- Start Again
- Songs of Life
- Strange Sensation
- All I Ever Needed
- Menace To Society
- Right Now, Right Here
- It’s My Party (2008 Mix)
Quite a few bands have mentioned Watch Tower as one of their influences. Watch Tower’s impact on progressive rock and metal can be heard on their debut record, Energetic Disassembly.
This CD is a fairly short listen, clocking in at under forty minutes, but it is definitely worth the time spent.
Not only did Energetic Disassembly launch the careers of Jason McMaster (Dangerous Toys/Broken Teeth) and Billy White., it also influenced the sound of many future progressive metal acts, including Dream Theater.
This Texas quartet’s music is best described as technical thrash. Think early Metallica style thrash with a bunch of progressive style time changes. Those of you who are familiar with Jason McMaster’s work in Dangerous Toys, have never heard him sing like this. Most of his vocals are sung at a higher, ear splitting register. His vocal approach was a lot more common by the speed metal acts of the 80’s.
The musicianship is nothing short of stellar on this disc. Not only does Billy White’s guitar work shine on this disc, but Doug Keyser’s bass work really stands out. Watch Tower’s sound may be a little on the experimental side, but fans of early 80’s thrash, will most certainly like this. If there are any downfalls with this disc, it would be with the production. The production quality is a little on the thin side, but this doesn’t hurt your listening experience.
Those wanting to hear one of the early pioneers of thrash metal music need to seek out Energetic Disassembly. This disc was out of print for quite some time, and was recently reissued by Rockadrome. It can be purchased from CD Baby.com. Check it out!
Rating: Out of 10
1. Violent Change
3. Tyrants in distress
4. Social Fears
5. Energetic Disassembly
6. Argonne Forest
7. Cimmerian Shadows
Jason McMaster / vocals
Billy White / guitar
Doug Keyser / bass
Rick Colaluca / drums
Sometimes it is a mystery to me how some talented bands remain obscure, while bands of lesser talent went on to be the next big thing.
In the case of New York City’s Spread Eagle, they were not short on talent, but seemed doomed to fail the day they signed with MCA. I wonder if things would have been different if this band received a little more support. Their debut came out a little late in the game. Had this record hit two years earlier, Spread Eagle would surely be a household name amongst hard rock fans.
Spread Eagle is an excellent sleaze metal band that has a sound that I would call a cross between Skid Row and Guns ‘N Roses. The music may be a little derivative of those two bands, but it still kicks ass. Their debut album is filled with killer tunes like Broken City, Switchblade Serenade, Dead of Winter, and Scratch Like a Cat. Ray West has a gritty, abrasive voice that works perfectly for this type of metal. Paul Dibartolo plays his ass of on this disc.
Spread Eagle is highly under rated, and this CD is still worth seeking out. This CD was out of print for a while, but it was reissued by Lovember Records in late 2006. Grab a copy of this disc if you can find it!
For more information on Spread Eagle, check out their myspace page.
In 2008, Rob DeLuca carries on in a new band called Of Earth, while Ray West continues on in Hostel Inc. Who knows…..we may not have seen the last of Spread Eagle yet!
Rating:Out of 10
1. Broken City
2. Back On The Bitch
3. Switchblade Serenade
4. Hot Sex
5. Suzy Suicide
6. Dead Of Winter
7. Scratch Like A Cat
8. Thru These Eyes
9. Spread Eagle
10. 42nd Street
11. Shotgun Kisses
Spread Eagle is:
Ray West – Vocals
Paul Dibartolo – Guitars
Rob DeLuca – Bass
Tommi Gallo – Drums
First Hit For Free is the second debut of sorts for Voodoo Six.
In 2006, the band put out their debut CD, Feed My Soul. Their label didn’t promote the record, and rolling into 2007, the band was still virtually unknown.
Voodoo Six brought in new management, and Mike Fraser (AC/DC, Aerosmith, Metallica, Van Halen) who remixed the album. Voodoo Six didn’t stop there. They also added the killer new tune, Faith, to their album, First Hit For Free.
So how is the new disc? If you missed their debut, Feed My Soul, then First Hit For Free is an excellent new way to check out Voodoo Six. Voodoo Six has a cool classic rock sound that is listening to Led Zeppelin with a blend of Soundgarden.
Henry Rundell has a solid rock voice that could push Voodoo Six to the next level. This album is chock full of great vocals, killer guitar work (yes, their are solos,) and a solid rhythm section. Voodoo Six will join the likes of bands like Airbourne, Z02, and The Answer, that will bring real rock back to the mainstream. The only negative thing with First Hit For Free, is that some of songs don’t stand out very well, and can be a little repetitive. Aside from that, First Hit For Free is pretty good record. Hard rock fans have a brand new classic rock record to check out.
My favorite cuts are Faith, Feed My Soul, Crawl and I Am the Sun.
You can download this album via ITunes or buy a copy from Voodoo Six today. Don’t miss this disc!
For more information on Voodoo Six, check out their website!
Rating: Out of 10
2. No Friend Of Mine
3. Feed My Soul
4. Walking On Nails
6. I Am The Sun
7. Saint & Sinners
8. One More Day
10. Shine On
12. Slip Inside
Voodoo Six is:
Henry Rundell – vocals
Matt Pearce – guitar
Chris Jones – guitar
Tony Newton – bass
Dave ‘Grav’ Cavill – drums