Rocking the world of hard rock and heavy metal since 1988, Lillian Axe is a veteran rock band that knows what it takes to deliver the goods. They’ve recently returned with their latest CD, Sad Day On Planet Earth, trying to prove that they can still rock hard and make a great album worthy of your valuable listening time.
Sad Day On Planet Earth opens with the excellent instrumental, “Cocoon”, which sets the stage for the rest of the disc. The acoustic guitar mixed with some special sound effects paints a dark, ominous picture of what’s to come. “Cocoon” bleeds into “Megaslowfade”, a rocker that was made to lead off an album.
“Megaslowfade” takes the intro of “Cocoon” and turns it on its ear. This is a guitar heavy, head banging, hard rocking, fist pumping song that electrifies the senses. An enjoyable way to get things started, “Megaslowfade” is one of the best cuts on the disc. The changes from bridge to chorus to verse are well done and enjoyable, and show just how much talent this band still has. The power behind this song is breathtaking; a great punch in the gut that makes the listener notice the immediate impact of Sad Day On Planet Earth.
“Jesus Wept” picks up where the previous song left off, albeit it a slightly slower tempo. This is a catchy song that will have you singing along in no time. The demanding drumbeat, gripping guitar riffs, and crisp vocals pull this song together and make it one to remember.
The title track is the power ballad of the disc without much power. While the message in the lyrics is strong and worth paying attention to, the music doesn’t quite match up and this attempt at a ballad misses the mark. Derrick LeFevre’s voice isn’t up to the task of singing this slow one, and the acoustic guitar riffs are lack innovation and style; they’re just plain vanilla. “Within Your Reach” is the better ballad on the disc, but still doesn’t deliver that knockout punch expected in a strong, complete ballad. The song starts with potential, but falls apart by the chorus and is never able to recover from that point.
“Fire, Blood, the Earth and Sea” is the big, Maiden-esque epic to close out the disc, and it delivers. This is a good way to say goodbye and a great showing of Lillian Axe’s talent. The acoustic guitar intros the song followed by a singing chant from Derrick LeFevre to set up the hammer punch that will soon follow. Like most great epics, this song is complete with several chord changes, lyrical depth, and a deeper message within the lyrics. This song pulsates with power and if there is one song that you should own from this album, “Fire, Blood, the Earth and Sea” is the one. This is an amazing, powerful song that is pleasing to the ear and sure to be enjoyed by any heavy metal fan.
While Derrick LeFevre may not be the original lead singer of the band, he has a great voice and is an excellent singer for Lillian Axe. While he struggles with the ballads, Derrick still has a strong voice and proves it on the heavier tracks from Sad Day On Planet Earth. His vocal styles combined with the amazing guitar work of Sam Poitevent and Steven Blaze make for a great combination and a lot of fun.
Sad Day On Planet Earth is rock with an edge. This is a solid album that delivers what rock fans want, hard hitting, catchy tunes that will move your feet and have you banging your head and throwing your metal hair all over the place. What more could a metal addict want?
Rating: Out of 10
- Jesus Wept
- The Grand Scale of Finality
- Sad Day On Planet Earth
- Within Your Reach
- Down Below The Ocean
- Blood Raining Down On Her Wings
- Cold Day In Hell
- Nocturnal Symphony
- Kill Me Again
- Fire, Blood, the Earth, and Sea
Lillian Axe is
Eric Morris – Bass Guitar
Sam Poitevent – Guitar/Vocals
Derrick LeFevre – Lead Vocals
Steven Blaze – Guitar/Vocals
Ken Koudelka – Drums
Reviewed by Ryo Vie.
In my opinion, Jorn Lande is one of the best new metal vocalists to come along in quite some time. His releases rarely ever disappoint me, and the new CD, Spirit Black is no exception.
The opening cut and title track “Spirit Black” is the greatest song Ronnie James Dio never wrote. Jorn Lande shows off his awesome Dio like mimicry on this tune, and it is damn cool as a result! Lande’s long time axeman Tore Moren plays some wicked guitar on this song.
“Below” isn’t my favorite JORN track by any means, but this tune does a good job keeping the pace going. Tore Moren’s guitar work is the highlight on this one.
The ultra creepy intro on “Road of the Cross” almost made think this was a Black Sabbath tune. I love the chugging guitars on this track.
I found it ironic that Heaven & Hell has a song Rock and Roll Angel, and JORN has “Rock ‘N’ Roll Angel”. They are two completely different songs
but I have to give a point to JORN. JORN’s “Rock ‘N’ Roll Angel” is clearly better. This JORN tune is a heavy yet melodic rocker that takes a couple of spins to fully absorb. Jon Berg makes a guest appearance and throws in some very cool guitar licks on this track.
“I Walk Alone” is a Tarja Turunen cover song. I haven’t heard the original song, but JORN’s version is pretty good. This song is a
little slower paced than the average JORN song, but Lande owns it vocally anyway.
My overall impression with Spirit Black is that it has stellar musicianship, and great vocals, but I am not so sure that the songs are all that memorable. It is a good disc, but not quite as good as some of JORN’s past releases. I like this CD well enough to replay it, and I wouldn’t turn it off if I heard it on the radio. I am a die-hard JORN fan though, so it might not have as much appeal to other folks. I would recommend giving the songs on JORN’s myspace a listen if you are on the fence.
Rating: Out of 10
1. Spirit Black
3. Road of the Cross
4. The Last Revolution
5. City Inbetween
6. Rock’n’Roll Angel
7. Burn Your Flame
8. World Gone Mad
9. I Walk Alone
Jorn Lande – lead vocals
Tore Moren – guitars
Sid Ringsby – bass
Jimmy Iversen – guitars
Willy Bendiksen – drums
Igor Gianola – guitars on “City Inbetween”, “I Walk Alone” and “The Sun Goes Down”
Espen Mjoen – bass on “City Inbetween” and “The Sun Goes Down”
Nic Angileri – bass on “I Walk Alone”
Jon Berg – additional guitars on “Rock’n’Roll Angel”
Tommy Hansen – additional keyboards
I remember listening to Vinnie Moore’s first album (actually it was a cassette), Mind’s Eye back in high school. I have always thought he was an awesome shredder that never got his due. To The Core probably wont change that for the current UFO axeman, but it will make a whole bunch of his fans happy.
To The Core is purely an instrumental CD. There are no vocals to get in the way of Moore’s incredible playing. His guitar playing takes center stage, and it is awesome! Truth be told, I am not a big fan of instrumental records, but Moore’s playing is always a pleasure to behold.
The first few songs on this disc are similar to Steve Vai, and Joe Satriani’s style of playing. The guitar work is so good, you almost wish there was a singer to drive home Moore’s awesome licks. “Soul Caravan” has a distinct 70’s vibe about it, complete with some cool saxophone to compliment Moore’s playing.
John Deservio from Black Label Society serves up the bass work on this disc. He does a good job keeping up with Moore’s frenzied fret work, and shows off some chops of his own on the song, “Tailspin”.
To the Core has whet my appetite to hear more from Vinnie Moore. I am long overdue to pick up some of Moore’s stuff in UFO, and this disc has prompted me to do so. If you are a fan of virtuosic style of guitar playing, To The Core needs to be on the top of your shopping list.
Rating: Out of 10
2. Panic Attack
3. Off The Hook
5. Soul Caravan
9. Over My Head
10. Into The Open
11. Into The Sunset
Vinnie Moore – Guitar
Van Romaine – Drums
Tim Lehner – Keyboards
John JD Deservio – Bass
One year ago, the Motor City Madman performed his 6000th concert, and as a result is celebrating this mind boggling accomplishment with a double live CD that is sure to please the huge legion of Ted Nugent and hard rock fans out there.
Nugent has been performing live since 1967. That is over 146 shows per year for 41 years. No artist has been delivering as much rock over the years at Ted Nugent.
The band backing up Ted in this live show is Greg Smith on bass, and “Wild” Mick Brown (from Dokken) on the drums. Uncle Ted showcases his incredible guitar work. He still delivers the goods at the ripe young age of 59 (now 60).
For this 6000th live celebration of music, Ted brought along some pretty cool guest starts that were quite important to his career including Derek St. Holmes (the original singer of the Nugent classics “Stranglehold,” “Hey Baby,” and “Dog Eat Dog”), Johnny Bee Badanjek (drummer for Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels). All of the Nugent classic hits are accounted for on this CD, as well as some new tunes from Ted’s most recent CD, “Love Grendade”.
The energy of this live show carries over onto the CD well. The sound quality and the music are great. This show sounds like it was a lot of fun. It makes me wish I would have made the trip to Detroit to see this concert. If anything, this CD made me realize what I have been missing out on when Ted Nugent plays live. I will definitely catch Ted the next time he comes around to Cincinnati.
Don’t miss out on a CD that captures one of the top live events of 2008! This disc is essential for all Ted Nugent fans!
You can purchase your copy of Motor City Mayhem at this link.
Rating:Out of 10
1. Ted Nugent Intro
2. Star Spangled Banner
3. Motor City Madhouse
4. Wango Tango
5. Free For All
7. Dog Eat Dog
8. Need You Bad
9. Weekend Warrior
10. Love Grenade
11. Honky Tonk
1. Wang Dang Sweet Poontang
2. Bo Diddley/Lay With Me
3. Baby Please Don’t Go
4. Geronimo And Me
5. Jenny Take A Ride
6. Soul Man
7. Hey Baby
8. Cat Scratch Fever
10. Great White Buffalo
11. Fred Bear
In all honesty my draw to Outloud! was lead singer Chandler Mogel, I was blown away by his work on the last Talon album “Fallen Angels”. I wasn’t familiar with the other members of Outloud! at all, but after hearing their debut that is all going to change very fast.
In addition to Mogel, Outloud! is made up of Tony Kash (Guitar), Bob Katsionis (Guitar/Keyboards), Jason Mercury (Bass), and Mark Cross (Drums). This international line-up is ready to take the world by storm with their 80’s inspired brand of melodic rock. The band’s sound has been called a conglomeration of Riot, Skid Row, TNT, and a bit of Foreigner thrown in and I couldn’t agree more.
“What I Need” is a straight up in your face rocker that kicks the album off that has everyone going at a 100 mph with the duo of Kash and Katsionis stealing the show. “We Run” leans more to the melodic side of the spectrum I expected and it turns out to be one of the catchiest songs on the album with Mercury laying down some great bass lines and Mogel sounds great as always. Katsionis’s keyboard skills are on show for the melodic rocker “Tonight” another great sing along chorus and a great groove. “Search For Truth” gets my vote as the best track on this album with an outstanding performance by all five members of Outloud! but Mark Cross is awesome on this track. “This Broken Heart” is a nice mid tempo ballad that starts out acoustic before kicking in at the chorus.
With the exception of the ballad “Lovesigh” the rest of “Outloud!” is filled with straight up rockers guaranteed to please the masses.
Check out the band’s myspace at www.myspace.com/outloudtheband. Outloud! are definitely a band worth checking out and keeping an eye on for 2009 and beyond, you will not be disappointed.
Rating: Out of 10
01. What I Need
02. We Run
04. Search For Truth
05. This Broken Heart
06. Breathing The Fire
07. Wild Life
08. Broken Sleep
09. Out In The Night
11. Out Loud
Jason Mercury – Bass
Bob Katsionis – Guitar & Keyboards
Mark Cross – Drums
Chandler Mogel – Vocals
Tony Kash – Guitar
EONIAN Records latest release comes to us from Chicago, IL in the form of “Conversation Piece” by Pistol Dawn. Originally formed in 1988 this four-piece is made up of Freddy “Faster” Brecht – Lead Vocals and Guitars, Scotti Ryan – Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals, Rob Stratton – Bass, & Don Ferguson – Drums. The band has toured with such acts as Cheap Trick, Dangerous Toys, Enuff Z’Nuff and Lillian Axe. Chip Z’nuff produced the band’s “Shot in the Act” e.p. and along with a touch of sleaze you can definitely hear Enuff Z’nuff influences on tracks like “Stocks & Blonds” & “Gone Away”. Like with most retro-releases the sound quality isn’t the greatest but this is by far the best release I have heard from Eonian so far.
The album’s title track kicks everything off with a sleazy hard driving beat from Stratton and Ferguson and some very nice playing from Ryan. Freddy Brecht’s vocals are also great on this song very hard to find anyone to compare his singing style too. “Dreams Come True” is a great catchy summer song, why this song did not get airplay back in the day is beyond me as it is custom built for radio and the same could be said for both “Be My Girl”, “Message In A Bottle”, and “HArd Way” as all three are filled with catchy hooks, great rhythm, and sing a long choruses. Scotti Ryan can definitely hold his own on guitar with just about anyone on stage today. “Gone Away” is a mid-tempo/ballad with a great guitar intro and playing throughout “Still Running Wild” and “Talk of the Town” get the band back into sleaze territory, with “Talk of the Town” being one of the best songs on the album. Fortunately Pistol Dawn saved the weakest track on the record for last with “Wish Upon A Star” because it would have definitely been a record killer if it was placed somewhere in the middle of the record.
If you’re looking an 80’s band that didn’t get a fair shake the first time around “Conversation Piece” and Pistol Dawn is a good place to start.
Check them out at myspace, at this link.
Rating: Out of 10
1. Conversation Piece
2. Message In A Bottle
3. Dreams Come True
4. Be My Girl
5. Hard Way
6. Gone Away
7. Stocks and Blonds
8. Still Running Wild
9. Talk Of The Town
10. Wish Upon A Star
Pistol Dawn is:
Freddy “Faster” Brecht – Lead Vocals and Guitars
Scotti Ryan – Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals
Rob Stratton – Bass, “Stun Vocals”
Don Ferguson – Drums
I must admit that I am not a die hard Marilyn Manson fan. I own a few of his CD’s, but his songs have always been hit or miss with me. I get his whole shock rock routine. It is certainly nothing new, but Manson does a good job keeping his name out there.
When Manson’s seventh album, “The High End of Low” hit last month I wanted to spend some quality time with his latest work before I posted a review. There is over seventy minutes of music to consume on Manson’s latest opus.
“The High End of Low” sees the return of Marilyn Manson’s long time guitarist Twiggy Ramirez. I don’t know if Twiggy’s return has anything to do with it, but Manson sounds a little more inspired on this disc.
The opening cut “Devour” is a moody rocker that leaves me guessing where this album is going. The only thing I didn’t like about this song is how it comes to an abrupt halt at the end.
“Leave A Scar” is a mid tempo number that is kind of catchy. This song has become an early favorite of mine.
The first single and video off of this album, “Arma-Goddamn-Motherfuckin-Geddon” is a creepy but cool rocker.
I can hear the song “WOW” getting play in some dance clubs. This song kind of reminds me of the industrial pop that Nine Inch Nails was doing back in late eighties.
The only thing stopping “Unkillable Monster” from getting some radio play are a couple of “F” bombs in the lyrics. They ought to do a radio edit on this tune.
“We’re From America” is a catchy tune with more big beats and an industrial edge that will find its way to quite a few turntables.
“The High End of Low” has a little bit of something for everyone, assuming that you won’t be offended by the sometimes harsh lyrics. Long time Manson fans will be happy to with this disc. There are a few songs on “The High End of Low” that are just on the o.k. side, but this disc seems to have grown on me after multiple listens. Recommended to all Manson fans.
For more information on Marilyn Manson, check out his website at this link.
Rating: Out of 10
2. Pretty As A Swastika
3. Leave A Scar
4. Four Rusted Horses
6. Blank And White
7. Running To The Edge Of The World
8. I Want To Kill You Like They Do In The Movies
10. Wight Spider
11. Unkillable Monster
12. We’re From America
13. I Have To Look Up Just To See Hell
14. Into The Fire
Marilyn Manson is:
Marilyn Manson – lead vocals, guitars, production
Twiggy Ramirez – guitars, bass, backing vocals, keyboards, production
Chris Vrenna – keyboards, programming, production, engineering
Ginger Fish – drums, percussion, piano
On more than one occasion when writing reviews there have been times when I struggle to find the words to describe a particular album, even though I may love the album the words just don’t come to mind. Fortunately with the Poodles third release “Clash of the Elements” that is not the case, without beating around the bush “Clash of the Elements” is absolutely AMAZING!!! These Swedish rockers have released hands down the best album I have heard all year. I liked the band’s two previous releases “Metal Will Stand Tall” and “Sweet Trade” but Jakob Samuel – Vocals, Christian Lundqvist – Drums, Pontus Egberg – Bass and Henrik Bergqvist – Guitar have unleashed a monster of an album, this time around filled with great harmonies, great playing and anthems tailor made for the stadiums.
“Clash of the Elements” opens with the epic “Too Much of Everything” filled with strings, piano, and is very reminiscent of Queen in their heyday. It flows flawlessly into “Caroline” which is a hard driving foot stomping rocker with a sing along chorus perfect for summer. Henrik Bergqvist definitely makes his mark on his debut with the band replacing the departed Pontus Norgren with some tight outstanding playing. “No Tomorrow” is an anthem in every since of the word, catchy, foot stomping, daring you to try and resist from singing along with Samuel’s soaring vocals along with the rest of the band’s background vocals. “One Out of Ten” is a piano power ballad that picks up after the first verse, Samuel’s vocals again sound great on this song, and I love that fact that a metal band is not afraid to use piano and strings on their songs giving them a fuller sound. “I Rule The Night” is another anthem with a little heavier vibe than “No Tomorrow” but just as good nonetheless, “Give Me A Sign” is a melodic rocker with a great chrous and some nice keyboards, Bergqvist goes off on the solo for this song too, very impressive. “Sweet Enemy” is a slow, heavy rocker that pulls you in and will not let go. “Seven Days & Seven Nights” is a rocker through and through with a honky- tonk piano opening before it kicks in along with “No Tomorrow” one of the catchiest songs on “Clash of the Elements”. On “Pilot of the Storm” Jakob Samuel is channeling David Coverdale at his best. “Don’t Rescue Me” is another outstanding melodic rocker which should earn the band some airplay on rock radio. “Dream To Follow” is one more awesome anthem with a great chorus and absolutely smoking guitar by Bergqvist, ready made for the stadium.
With 14 tracks “Clash of the Elements” has something for every rock fan to enjoy. Any fan of Queen, Scorpions, Gotthard, and even Whitesnake SHOULD have this album in their collection. If there is a downside to “Clash of the Elements” it is the fact that this is an import because there is not an American A&R rep smart enough to sign the Poodles to an American record deal. But please do not let this stop you from buying “Clash of the Elements” you will be cheating yourself out of hearing the absolute best album of 2009.
Rating: Out of 10
01. Too Much Of Everything
03. No Tomorrow
04. One Out Of Ten
05. I Rule The Night
06. Give Me A Sign
07. Sweet Enemy
08. Seven Days & Seven Nights
09. Pilot Of The Storm
10. Cant Let You Go
11. Dont Rescue Me
12. Heart Of Gold
13. Dream To Follow
14. Wings Of Destiny
The Poodles are:
Jakob Samuel – Vocals
Christian Lundqvist – Drums
Pontus Egberg – Bass
Henrik Bergqvist – Guitar
Chris Laney is probably best known at as a producer/engineer/songwriter or maybe as the guitarist for Zan Clan or Randy Piper’s Animal but with the release of his solo debut “Pure” he will definitely be making a name for himself as a performer in his own right. “Pure” is filled with catchy, hard driving Swedish rock with a modern twist and a sound that falls somewhere between Gemini Five and Shotgun Messiah with touches of Def Leppard thrown in. It’s not hard to miss that Laney is also heavily influenced by Robert “Mutt” Lange’s production techniques not only with how he makes the record sound like he had an unlimited budget to work with but also when it comes to working with the background vocal arrangements. Huge anthems, straight up rockers, heavy thumping hard driving songs “Pure” has it all and more.
“Situation” kicks everything off and gives you a taste of exactly what is in store for you on “Pure” this is a straight up rocker with some great guitar and background . “I Dunno” has anthem written all over it, huge vocals and background vocals with a sound that is a mix of Def Leppard and Shotgun Messiah that can stand toe to toe with some of the best rock anthems out there. “Make You Cry” reminds me of several bands the aforementioned Shotgun Messiah and Gemini Five with a little Crashdiet thrown in for good measure make this rocker one of the best on “Pure”. Laney gives a chance to catch our breath and slows everything down with “the Stranger In You” until the chorus kicks in that is. He adds a nice touch by adding strings and keyboards to the songs along with some great bass lines provided by Nalle ‘Grizzy’ Pahlsson. “Fire & Ice” is a great melodic rocker with Crashdiet’s Martin Sweet providing the solo on this track and once again some outstanding background vocals. “I Hate Yer Guts” is a hard driving rocker with some Zakk Wyldesque guitar, while “Get U Down” has touches of Def Leppard oozing out all over this song. “Pissed At What Ya Missed” sounds like another nod to Zinny Zan’s ex band this anthem has one of the best solos on the album. In my opinion “Last Man Standing” is the best track on “Pure” it is definitely the catchiest song on the album it reminds me of the “Crazy Nights”/”Hot In The Shade” era of Kiss. The ballad “Skin On Skin” is a definite change of pace compared to the rest of the songs on “Pure” with it piano, soaring chorus and Queen influence.
Fans of modern sounding hard driving hard rock will not be disappointed in “Pure” at all. Laney sounds as if he is looking towards the future but at the same time he also acknowledges the past and the bands that influenced his music. After hearing this album I am eager to hear what else Chris Laney has to offer the rock ‘n roll world both as a producer and a performer.
Rating: Out of 10
02. I Dunno
03. Make You Cry
04. The Stranger In You
05. Fire & Ice
06. I Hate Yer Guts
07. Get U Down
08. Pissed At What Ya Missed
09. Make My Day
10. Last Man Standing
11. Skin On Skin
12. Pride B 4 The Fall
Chris Laney band is:
J.Koleberg – Drums
Nalle Grizzly Påhlsson – Bass
Chris Laney – Guitars and Vocals
Where have you been Lou Gramm? The heralded singer of such great classics as Juke Box Hero, Double Vision, Hot Blooded, and Midnight Blue has been stunningly silent this decade. That has now changed with the formation of The Lou Gramm Band. Teamed up with brothers Ben and Richard, The Lou Gramm Band self-titled debut disc will be released this June.
One thing that surprised me about this disc is that Lou Gramm has turned into a Christian rocker. Most of the songs center on God, the Lord, and Lou’s relationship with Him. Songs such as Willing To Forgive, So Great, Redeemer, and That’s The Way God Planned It, all focus on redemption, forgiveness, and loving the Lord. This may explain where Lou’s been for the past few years, he was off finding religion.
The disc kicks off with Baptized By Fire which sounds like a typical Lou Gramm/Foreigner rocker. The guitar work by Don Mancuso sets the tone and pace. The rock & roll vibe is definitely apparent. Lou’s voice still sounds great. Although he may not be able to scream like it was the early 80s, he can still bring the rock as a front man.
Made To Be Broken is the best song on the disc, and shows that Lou can still deliver the goods like the days of old. A touch of the Foreigner sound creeps into this song. It would fit in nicely with any of their 80s releases. The guitar work is tight, the chorus memorable, and Lou’s voice sounds like 1985 all over again.
That’s The Way God Planned It is a song that really surprised me. It plays like a church hymn with a chorus that would get a lot of airplay on the Christian Lite FM radio stations. Complete with pipe organ and preacher’s lyrics, this song is without a doubt, the biggest disappointment of the disc.
Single Vision is not a follow up to the huge Foreigner hit Double Vision. Rather, it is a song that speaks about life without God, and how the teachings of the Lord should be in the classroom and that God should still be in the pledge of allegiance. It may be slightly controversial subject matter, but it certainly is a catchy tune.
The disc closes with You Saved Me, a slow, melodic, clunker of an ending. The piano intro is a nice touch, and the guitar solo is brilliantly performed, but the vocals don’t match the music, and once again, the heavy theme of reconnecting with God paints the entire song. This is another tune that is more church hymn than rock song.
So, is The Lou Gramm Band worth the price? Well, if you’re a fan of Foreigner and miss the vocal stylings of Lou, then yes. If you’re only a casual fan, you may want to download Made To Be Broken on ITunes, and skip the rest.
Rating: Out of 10
- Baptized By Fire
- Made To Be Broken
- Willing To Forgive
- That’s The Way God Planned It
- (I Wanna) Testify
- So Great
- Single Vision
- Rattle Yer Bones
- You Saved Me
The Lou Gramm Band Is
Lou Gramm – Lead vocals
Ben Gramm – Drums
Richard Gramm – Bass
Andy Knoll – Keyboards
Don Mancuso – Guitars
Reviewed by Ryo Vie
Before Gilby Clarke became a super sub in Guns N’ Roses, he was the guitar player and front man for the band Kill For Thrills. This band also features, Jason Nesmith, who is the son of Michael Nesmith from the Monkees. Bassist Todd Muscat, is the brother of former Faster Pussycat guitarist, Brent Muscat. Aside from the ton of connections this band has, the $25,000 question is, are they any good? The answer is, absolutely yes!
All of the songs on Dynamite From Nightmareland were written, or co-written by Gilby Clarke. He proves to have some pretty strong song writing talents, as the songs on this disc are quite good. If you have ever heard any of Clarke’s post Guns N’ Roses material, you will have an idea of what to expect with Kill For Thrills. The music on this disc is completely untypical when comparing it to the many new bands that were releasing music in the early nineties. This isn’t a hair metal band by any means. The tunes on this disc offers up a good mix of sleaze, hard & classic rock. I I have found the harder cuts to be the more enjoyable ones, and “Motorcycle Cowboys” and “Commercial Suicide” deliver that one, two punch to really get this CD firing on all cylinders. “Brother’s Eyes”, “Something for the Suffering” and “Rockets” are also tunes that I like a lot on this disc. Gilby Clarke has a pretty cool voice, albeit a little on the nasaly side, but I have grown to like it. Jason Nesmith serves up some tasty guitar licks on some of the songs here.
I am not sure if it was MCA that killed this band, or if was just bad timing. It is a shame, as this ill promoted release deserved a a better fate than it received. Kill for Thrills is a band that could have easily gone somewhere with a little bit of help. This might not be a mind blowing release, but it does serve up some solid crank worthy tunes that are worth exploring from time to time.
This CD has been out of print for years, but it is definitely worth seeking out, if you can find a copy of it. It often shows up on Ebay, at fairly reasonable prices.
On the liner notes, the first person thanked is none other than Steven Adler. Pretty cool! Buy it if you can find it!
Rating: Out of 10
1. Motorcycle Cowboys
2. Commercial Suicide
3. Brother’s Eyes
4. Paisley Killers
5. Something for the Suffering
7. Wedding Flowers
8. Ghosts and Monsters
9. My Addiction
10. Misery Pills
11. Silver Bullets
Kill For Thrills:
Gilby Clarke – Guitar/Vocals
David Scott – Drums
Jason Nesmith – Guitar
Todd Muscat – Bass
Singer/Songwriter/Guitarist/ Johnny Lima is back after a 3 year absence, which he spent producing other bands such as Miss Crazy, Dirty Penny, and most notably the newly released debut from Freakshow. Appropriately titled “Livin’ Out Loud” is the best album Lima has released in the 12 years he’s been a solo artist. Well known throughout Europe, the fact that the U.S. hasn’t caught on to this California native’s music is mind boggling. With a vocal style similar to Tuff’s Stevie Rachelle, Lima takes touches of glam and mixes it with early Bon Jovi and Def Leppard influences to produce catchy, well written songs filled with melody, hooks, gang vocals galore, excellent solos, and enough rhythm a dead man would be tapping his foot along.
“Livin’ Out Loud” starts off with “All I Wanna Do” which is a catchy foot tapping rocker with a excellent solo and chorus. “Wildflower” follows up with a great thumping bass line followed by a great guitar intro, before the vocals kick in. This is the type of songs you would find playing in a hundred strip clubs back in the day. It has catchy sing-a-long lyrics with another great solo. Heavy guitars and keyboards dominate the opening of “Hate To Love You” which I think is a great touch the keyboards also kick back in at the bridge and chorus. Another catchy sing along that is a little heavier than a lot of the other songs included here. If you can’t hear the Def Leppard influence on “I’m On Fire” you definitely need to get your ears checked out this song could have came straight out of the Hysteria/Adrenalize era. Lima slows things just a tad with “Somebody To Love” but this mid tempo track does not lose any of the power or catchiness that has preceded it. “Caught In The Middle” is a tale of a man getting caught with a married woman by her husband, it boasts more great guitar playing and another excellent chorus. “Gimme Some Rock So I Can Roll” pays tribute to 80’s hard rock while trashing the state of the music industry and commercial radio today. On the title track “Livin’ Out Loud” Lima gives another nod to Def Leppard while singing about living life to the fullest because we only get one chance.
With 12 tracks abouts girls, rock ‘n roll, bad relationships, more girls and life in general,13 if you get the import version, “Livin’ Out Loud” is a fun, catchy, well written album that is absolutely filler free and a great summer time album. Any fan of 80’s style hard rock should definitely have Johnny Lima in their collection, not only “Livin’ Out Loud” but the rest of his catalog as well. You will not be disappointed in the least bit. You can check out all things Johnny Lima at www.johnnylima.com or www.myspace.com/johnnylima
Livin’ Out Loud is for sale at CD Baby.com.
Rating: Out of 10
- All I Wanna Do
- Hate To Love You
- I’m On fire
- Somebody To Love
- Caught In The Middle
- Gimme Some Rock, So I Can Roll
- Livin’ Out Loud
- Still Waiting For You
- Long Way Down
- Hard To Say Goodbye
- ‘Til Love Is Gone
Musicians on Livin’ Out Loud:
Johnny Lima – Lead & Backing Vocals, Guitars, Bass, Keyboards
Craig Takeshita – Lead Guitar
Bernie F. Diaz – Drums
Danny Danzi – Lead Guitar (2nd guitar solo on “Wildflower” and guitar solo on “Caught In The Middle”)
Christian Wolff – Lead Guitar on “I’m On Fire”, “Somebody To Love”, “Still Waiting For You”, and “Hard To Say Goodbye”
Brandon Baumann – additional Backing Vocals on “All I Wanna Do”, “Wildflower” and “Gimme Some Rock, So I Can
Duff McKagan is back with his second full length disc with his band Loaded. You have to give kudos to the former members of Guns N’ Roses. None of these guys rest on their laurels in their downtime. Between Izzy, Duff and Slash, you are almost guaranteed to get some new form of rock each year.
McKagan’s latest effort “Sick” is a modernized blend of hard rock, punk and classic rock. The music is more comparable to Velvet Revolver than Guns N’ Roses, but I believe this disc rocks harder than the last effort by VR.
I don’t think anyone will ever call Duff McKagan a great singer, but he does manage to create some above average tunes worth checking out, and does an admirable job as Loaded’s lead singer.
There are a few rockers on this disc including, “Sick”, “Sleaze Factory”, and “Flatline”. I just wish there were more of them in this vein.
“The Slide” sounds like it could have been a left over track from Velvet Revolver. One song that I had initially written off, “IOU” has become one of my favorites after multiple listens. This song tends to lean more towards the alternative rock side of the fence, but it is cool nonetheless. “Translucent” is a tune that could easily be a radio single if given the chance.
While it isn’t one of my favorites, there is no doubt in my mind that there is a heavy Stones influence on the song, “Mothers Day”. Some of the other songs that I have grown to like are “I See Through You”, and “No Shame”.
I believe this album could have been bolstered by some heavier guitar playing, but this just me. I think “Sick” is a lot better than the first Loaded album. Duff McKagan proves to be a pretty good song writer, and he has served a solid rock album with “Sick”.
Rating: Out of 10Vodpod videos no longer available.
Duff McKagan’s Loaded is:
Duff McKagan – Vocals and Guitars
Mike Squires – Guitars
Jeff Rouse – Bass
Geoff Reading – Drums
There are very few times, especially in today’s music scene, where a band actually lives up to the hype that precedes them. For Chicago based rockers the Last Vegas they not only live up to the hype on their new release “Whatever Gets You Off” they completely blow all those expectations out of the water. But then again, the Last Vegas is not just some new band that walked in off the streets and into the recording studio to record “Whatever Gets You Off”. The band has been releasing albums since 2004 and along with endless touring have definitely paid their rock ‘n roll dues, the fact they have Nikki Sixx helping drive the boat only helps take the band’s punk, sleaze/glam inspired rock to the next level. The only complaint I have about “Whatever Gets You Off” is the fact that six of the eleven songs on this album were also included on their 2008 self titled release. But for anyone hearing the guys for the first time that isn’t going to really matter.
The title track “Whatever Gets You Off” kicks off the whole shebang with a modern sounding Dangerous Toys groove, especially at the chorus. The band as a whole absolutely smoke this song, but vocalist Chad Cherry and guitarist Adam D’ Arling especially stand out. D’Arling shreds his solo on this track and Cherry is so full of swagger and attitude it just spills all over this song. If you want a song to crank and piss the neighbors off this is definitely the song. “I’m Bad”, which is the first single and video, follows up with a thumping nasty groove laid down by drummer Nate Arling and bassist Danny Smash. “High Class Trash” and “Loose Lips are two more swagger and attitude filled rockers with some great foot stomping grooves courtesy of some great bass lines from Danny Smash.
“Apologize” is probably the biggest surprise on “Whatever Gets You Off” after four straight up rockers, a piano and strings based dare I say power ballad with a great 70’s arena rock feel to it was the last thing I was expecting but the band is able to pull it off. You can definitely expect lighters and cell phones lighting up for this one if the band performs it live. “Cherry Red” gets the band back on track with a great sleazy groove and sing along chorus. “Dirty Things You Do” is a great stripper song with a Velvet Revolver feel to it. The remaining four songs on “Whatever Gets You Off” are all re-recorded versions of songs from the band’s last release other than a few subtle changes here and there, they are all note for note versions of the originals.
When summer finally comes around and the top comes off my Jeep “Whatever Gets You Off” is definitely one of the albums I will be blasting all summer long, much to the dismay of my neighbors.
Rating: Out of 10
1. Whatever Gets You Off
2. I’m Bad
3. High Class Trash
4. Loose Lips
6. Cherry Red
7. Another Lover
8. Dirty Things You Do
9. White Lies
10. Love Me Bad
11. Outta My Mind
The Last Vegas are:
Chad Cherry – Vocals
Adam D’Arling – Guitars
Nate Arling – Drums
Johnny Wator – Guitars
Danny Smash – Bass
If you were to ask the average hard rock fan about the band Icon, I am sure you would probably receive a blank stare by most folks. The die hard hard rock & metal fans know these guys, and know them well.
If you aren’t familiar with the band, they are a five piece act that started out with a look like early Motley Crue, and had a sound that was like a good blend of KEEL and Y&T.
If you like big bombastic guitar solos and screaming metal vocals, you will definitely enjoy Icon’s debut. Dan Wexler’s noodley guitar solos on this disc are great, and Stephen Clifford’s vocals could give Ron Keel a run for his money.
There are a few songs on this disc that get a lot of repeat plays by me including, the rocking anthem “On Your Feet”, “Under My Gun”, and”Rock and Roll Maniac”. Even the instrumental track “Iconoclast” is cool. This disc isn’t terribly long. It clocks in just a little over 37 minutes. Although, it is short, is a pretty fun hard rock disc.
Fans of mid 80s’s metal like RATT, Dokken & Keel are sure to love this. The debut CD has been out of print for years, but copies of it show up on Ebay on occasion. It is definitely worth seeking out if you can find a copy. Happy hunting!
For more information on Icon, check out the band’s myspace page.
Stephen Clifford – Lead & Backing Vocals
Tracy Wallach – Bass Guitar
Dan Wexler – Guitars
John Aquilino – Guitars
Pat Dixon – Drums, percussion
With the world being flooded with Swedish sleaze and glam bands it should be no surprise that the legendary Nasty Idols are back with “Boys Town” their first release of new material since 1996’s “Heroes For Sale”. If you asked the new sleaze and glam bands coming out of Sweden about influences, it would be a safe bet to say the majority of them would list Nasty Idols somewhere on the list. Now Sweden’s Motley Crue, Andy Pierce (vocals), Dick Qwarfort (bass), Peter Espinoza (guitars), and newcomer Rikki Dahl (drums) are back to show all the upstarts how Swedish Sleaze is really done. With sirens wailing “Rock Out” gets us started, it is a good heavy song with some good gang vocals at the chorus. “Boys Town” follows the same formula as “Rock Out” a heavy song with a slow dirty groove to it. For me “Method To My Madness” is where “Boys Town” really kicks in and starts to take off, great song with a nice groove and solo from Espinoza, kind of has a Backyard Babies feel to it. “Scar For Life” is up next and if I didn’t know better it would be easy to think “Scar For Life” was a Shotgun Messiah B-Side from the “Second Coming” era with Pierce’s vocals sounding a lot like Tim Tim on this track.
“Nite Like This” is probably one of the best power ballads I have heard in quite a long time, great vocals, both lead and backup, and a really nice touch adding the acoustic guitar and organ to the song. Espinoza pulls off another good solo with a little bit of flash. The guys come back with guns blazing for “Crashlanding” and “48 Hours” both songs have a great sleazy groove which once again remind me of Backyard Babies. “7 Year Itch” along with “Nite Like This” and “Method To My Madness” is one of the best songs on the album, with a great groove, and some very cool guitar parts once again. “Evil One” is by far the heaviest song on the album with some Zakk Wylde style guitar parts but for the most part I wouldn’t have missed this song had it not be included on “Boys Town” “It’s Not Love” and “Need The Nite” are both decent songs. I have never understood why bands close albums out with a ballad instead of going out with guns blazing in a full throttle rocker, but closing with a mid tempo ballad is exactly what the Idols do with “It Ain’t Easy” which is a great song but just not the way I would finish an album.
All in all “Boys Town” is a good introduction or re-introduction to Nasty Idols and I am already looking forward to the band’s follow-up seeing if they can build off of what was started with this album.
1. Rock Out
2. Boys Town
3. Method To My Madness
4. Scar For Life
5. Nite Like This
6. Crash Landing
7. 48 Hours
8. 7 Year Itch
9. Evil One
10. It’s Not Love
11. Need The Nite
12. It Ain’t Easy
Nasty Idols are:
Andy Pierce – vocals
Dick Qwarfort – bass
Peter Espinoza – guitar
Rikki Dahl – drums
When given the opportunity to do some music reviews for Hard Rock Hideout, I jumped at the chance. This was my chance to expand my horizons and discover some new kick ass music. I’ve been really bad about listening to new stuff lately. I either listen to the same old stuff or go straight for the classic rock. I’ve been really out of the loop on new metal, and I’m a bit ashamed of myself for it. So I’m jumping in head first with Primal Fear’s 16.6 (Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead).
I’ll let you all know up front that I’d never heard of this band and didn’t know one freaking thing about them, so I listened to the album with a completely open mind, no preconceived notions, ideas or thoughts. I did do a little research on the band (after listening to the album first) just to familiarize myself with them. The German metal band formed in 1997, has many albums and has had many line up changes over the years. Lead singer, Ralf Scheepers, was even considered for Rob Halford’s replacement in Judas Priest, which comes as no surprise.
The first thing to punch me in the face was Sheepers’ voice. It’s SO reminicsent of Bruce Dickinson and Rob Halford. I didn’t realize how much I missed that kind of singing until I listened to this album. It may be the most poignant part of the music for me. His voice is so strong and so solid. Not many people can sing this well, and although many try…most fall short. Sheepers’ is definitely powerful and a force to be reckoned with.
The other stand out point about this band is that it’s so guitar driven. There are furious, noodley guitar solos that grab you. That is definitely something that is missing from today’s rock that drives me insane. Very few people appreciate a good guitar solo and have almost let the art die off. Thank god metal keeps it alive!
High points for me include “Six Times Dead (16.6)” and “Killbound”. They’re both heavy and brutal.
There were only two negatives on this album. The first is “Soar”. The weird electronic intro and Marilyn Manson like sounds were odd and misplaced. And then there’s “Hands of Time”, which is a ballad. A ballad? I don’t get that at all. I suppose “every bad boy still has his soft side,” but this song totally threw me off and confused me. It just doesn’t fit at all.
If you like classic, straight forward metal, then you’re going to like this album. I have no idea if this is what’s normally expected of this band, but I kind of have a feeling that it is. There’s no denying the Iron Maiden and Judas Priest influence throughout with a little Pantera thrown in for good measure. I’m not saying that in a bad way but in an appreciative way because it’s really been so long since I’ve heard anything like this. It was really refreshing.
01. Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead
02. Riding The Eagle
03. Six Times Dead (16.6)
04. Black Rain
05. Under The Radar
06. 5.0 / Torn
09. No Smoke Without Fire
10. Night After Night
11. Smith & Wesson
12. The Exorcist
13. Hands Of Time
Primal Fear is:
Ralf Scheepers – Vocals
Mat Sinner – Bass & Vocals
Henny Wolter – Guitars & Vocals
Magnus Karlson – Guitars
Randy Black – Drums
Reviewed by Christine Sixx
Aussie rockers Koritni are back with their follow up disc to 2007’s excellent debut, “Lady Luck“.
On “Game of Fools” Koritni you will find some pretty rocking tunes powered by the excellent vocals of Lex Koritni.
The CD kicks off with the hard rocking, up tempo number “155”. I heard a clip of this song and bought the disc immediately. This song sets the stage for a bunch of cool rockers on “Game of Fools”.
The songs “Roll the Dice” and “By My Side” reminds me a lot of Buckcherry. I bet Josh Todd wishes he wrote these tunes. Both songs are better than a lot of the stuff on Black Butterfly.
“V8 Fantasy” is a song that seems to be tailor made for NASCAR. Ok, not really, but if the NASCAR execs hear this tune, they will probably want to use it. Some of the lyrics are:
“Drop the clutch and ride with me
A small block V8 fantasy
A torque ain’t cheap
With a 5 point 2 litre engine running hot
I tailgate slap it back to fourth
Hit the straight with a sling shot
The speed of lights just a gear away
Burning octane in my veins
A sideways slide always in control
People say that I’m insane
400 horses in my engine bay
Well I’ve got it made… yeah”
If this kick ass tune doesn’t pump you up, nothing else will. This is one of my favorite songs of 2009.
“You Vs. Me” breaks up the pace of this album but taking it down a couple of notches. It is the first mid-tempo tune on “Game of Fools”. This song could easily be a massive hit for Koritni. What an awesome tune!!
“Nobody’s Home” is a quick upbeat rocker that will have you breaking out the air guitar.
By all rights, “The Devil’s Daughter” ought to be a radio hit everywhere. Lex Koritni’s voice shines on this excellent album closer.
“Game of Fools” is no sophomore slump for Koritni. This is a solid hard rock album all the way through, and a worthy disc to add to your collection! I have been playing this CD for over three weeks now, and it seems to get better with every listen.
02. Stab In The Back
03. Roll The Dice
04. V8 Fantasy
05. You Vs Me
06. By My Side
08. Nobody’s Home
09. Game of Fools
10. Keep Me Breathing
11. Tornado Dreaming
12. Tornado Dreaming II
13. The Devil’s Daughter
Lex Koritni – Vocals
Eddy Santacreu – Guitars
Luke Cuerden – Guitars
Chris Brown – Drums
Matt Hunter – Bass
After one listen to M.O.B’s “The Greatest Enemy”, I am convinced that Sweden’s top exports are their hard rock acts. There has been a mind boggling amount of great hard rock coming of Sweden, and M.O.B raises the bar once more.
On the inside cover of The M.O.B’s new CD, “The Greatest Enemy” there is a quote from Julias Caeser that states “The greatest enemy will hide in the last place you would ever look.” Well Sweden’s M.O.B and their cool new CD, “The Greatest Enemy” has been hiding from me for quite some time, and I am embarrassed that I haven’t discovered this band sooner. The current lineup of M.O.B have been playing together since 1996, and have released four CD’s during this span.
Judging from the sounds of “The Greatest Enemy”, I will need to purchase their back catalog in the very near future. This CD features 14 songs that are a good blend of classic metal and melodic hard rock. M.O.B’s sound reminds me of a cross of two very cool classic metal acts, Krokus and Saxon. It isn’t every day that I stumble upon a band with a sound this cool, but believe me M.O.B most certainly rocks.
There are a bunch of good tunes on this disc that are worth checking out. Some of my favorites include “In My Dreams”, the title track “The Greatest Enemy”, “Stone Cold”, and “Behind the Wall”. I love the hard crunching guitar riffs of Peter Gustafsson. His guitar work is a potent combination when mixed with the vocals of Fredrik Notling. It is a sound that should appeal to most classic metal fans. Overall, “The Greatest Enemy’ is a solid effort by M.O.B and one that is worth checking out.
1. Back On Track
2. In My Dreams
3. The Greatest Enemy
5. Eye of the Beholder
6. Human Nature
7. Inside the Fire
8. Who Are You?
9. Anger Management
10. When Death Gives
11. Stone Cold
12. In Love
13. Behind the Wall
14. You Are…
Fredrik Notling-Lead Vocals
Peter Gustafsson-Guitar & Backing Vocals
Richard Averdahl – Drums
Conny Goldschmidt-Bass & Backing Vocals
Ever since Papa Roach first leaked music off of Metamorphosis at Cruefest last year, I have been looking forward to their latest release. I have see the band twice in the last year, and have heard “I Almost Told You That I Love You”, “Lifeline” and “Hollywood Whore” in a live setting before this album was released. With this in mind, I already knew that I liked a quarter of the new disc, but have been wondering, like many of you, how the rest of it would stack up.
From my perspective, “Metamorphosis” is easily the best release in the Papa Roach catalog. If there was any doubt that Papa Roach was moving more towards a hard rock direction, “Metamorphosis” makes the point clear and does so quickly. The rap core and nu-metal tendencies of Papa Roach are gone. “Metamorphosis” is a full fledged modern hard rock album, and man oh mercy, does it deliver the goods!
If you aren’t a Papa Roach fan, you better be prepared to turn your FM radio off for a very long time. “Metamorphosis” has several songs that could be radio singles. The three songs I mentioned above are the easy candidates for singles (two of which have already been released, “Hollywood Whore” and “Lifeline”), but there are a bunch more. “Had Enough”, “Live This Down”, “Carry Me”, “Into the Light” and “Nights of Love” could all find their way to the radio as well, if this album is marketed right (and it will be).
Two Cruefest alumni make an appearance on this album. Motley Crue guitarist Mick Mars makes an appearance by playing the guitar solo on “Into the Light”, and James Michael from Sixx A.M. plays the Hammond B3 on “Nights of Love”. “Nights of Love” is quickly becoming my favorite tune on the album. The guitar tone on this song is really cool. It is moody, yet upbeat track that shows how much Papa Roach has matured over the years.
“Metamorphosis” could be the release that sees Papa Roach knock Nickelback off the throne of hard rock. It really is that good! If you became a new fan of Papa Roach at Cruefest last year, buy this CD. You won’t be disappointed.
Vodpod videos no longer available.
1. Days of War
2. Change or Die
3. Hollywood Whore
4. I Almost Told You That I Love You
6. Had Enough
7. Live This Down
8. March out of the Darkness
9. Into the Light
10. Carry Me
11. Nights of Love
12. State of Emergency
Papa Roach is:
Jacoby Shaddix – Vocals
Jerry Horton – Guitars and Backing Vocals
Tobin Esperance – Bass, Guitars, Programming and Backing Vocals
Tony Palermo – Drums, Percussion and Backing Vocals
Metal Rendez-vous may have been Krokus’ fourth offereing, but it is easily one of their most important releases. This album marked the debut of singer Marc Storace with Krokus. It is the voice of Storace that helped change the sound of the band, and got them on the road to success.
The big hits from Krokus would come later in their career, but that is not to say that Metal Rendez-vous isn’t worth a look. This album boasts some pretty good rockers that deserve some plays today. “Heatstrokes”, “Come On” and “Back Seat Rock ‘N’ Roll” are probably the best of the rockers on this album. “Streamer” is one of the better slow tracks in the entire Krokus catalog.
Metal Rendez-vous has some very solid axe work by Tommy Kiefer (R.I.P.) and Fernando Von Arb. At times they offer up some bluesy bar room guitar, and on songs like “Come On” they absolutely shred.
One listen to Marc Storace, and is easy to tell how his voice had such an impact on this band. He kicks ass on this disc, as he does on so many other of Krokus’ albums.
Die hard Krokus fans probably already own this disc. New fans should certainly check this disc out. I enjoy this from time to time, and I think you will too.
- Bedside Radio
- Come On
- Shy Kid
- Tokyo Nights
- Lady Double Dealer
- No Way
- Back-Seat Rock’N’Roll
Marc Storace – Singer
Tommy Kiefer – Guitars
Fernando Von Arb – Guitars
Chris Von Rohr – Bass
Freddy Steady – Drums
Juerg Naegeli – Keyboards
Firebird is the band led by Bill Steer from Napalm Death and Carcass. The sound of Firebird is about a million miles away from the other groups that Steer has been a member of. You won’t find death metal on “Deluxe”. Firebird’s sound has a 70’s rock vibe with a stoner rock element that leans heavily towards acts like Jimi Hendrix, Cream and Black Sabbath.
What amazes me about “Deluxe” is the huge sound on this record. For only a three piece band, the music is pretty awesome. The production quality is a little off, but there is no doubt after listening to these tunes, that Bill Steer is a huge, largely unknown talent. His guitar wizardry on this album needs to be heard to be appreciated.
It helps that I love a lot of stoner rock bands, but I believe Firebird is a lot more that your run of the mill, sludge rock act. There is a cool blues vibe, with huge bass lines and big drums which truly give this band a cool sound. This is the type of CD that you need to blast out of a good stereo system, so you can truly hear the music. Ear buds and headphones just don’t do this one justice.
Deluxe is the band’s sophomore release from 2001, which was reissued in 2007. The band is working on their fifth CD, “Grand Union” for a 2009 release. Judging from the sounds on this disc, I will be anxiously awaiting Firebird’s new material
For more information on Firebird, and to hear songs from “Deluxe” check the Firebird myspace page. You can purchase your own copy of “Deluxe” at this link. For you big spenders, the Japanese Import of “Deluxe” has a bonus cover of the Rush song, “Working Man”. You can find that version at this link.
1. Dirt Trap
3. Hammer & Tongs
5. Miles from Nowhere
7. Lonely & Sober
8. Sinner Takes All
9. Sad Man’s Quarter
10. Slow Blues
Bill Steer – Vocals and Lead Guitar
Ludwig Witt – Drums
Leo Smee – Bass Guitar
If you were one of the people that wanted to check out the Punisher War Zone movie, but missed it in the short span that it was at the box office, never fear! The movie will be released on DVD and Blue ray on March 17th.
The soundtrack for this movie is a pretty impressive mix of hard rock and metal. It features the first new Rob Zombie song in quite some time, as well as some great tracks by Slipknot, Slayer, Seether, and Static-X.
I have never been a big fan of movie soundtracks, but I found myself headbanging quite a bit to this disc. Some of the songs are extremely heavy and are not for the feint of heart.
If you haven’t picked up Slipknot’s new CD yet, this soundtrack features their new song “Psychosocial”. This is easily the best song off of their new CD “All Hope is Gone”. To my ears, this one of the coolest new heavy metal tracks to be released in recent years.
Not every song falls in the hard rock & metal genre. “Genesis” from Justice is a pop/dance music tune. “Showdown” from Pendulum falls closer to the techno side of the fence. It has a harder edge to it, which makes it quite listenable. These songs seem like an odd fit amongst so many hard rock and metal acts, but they do sound good when played loudly, and offers a good breaking point amongst the heavier tracks.
I can honestly say that I haven’t listened to Hatebreed or Rammallah before. Hatebreed’s style of metal reminds me a lot of Slipknot. The singer has an extremely coarse voice. The guitars are heavy and the percussion is very good.
Ramallah reminds me of a cross between Rammstein and Nine Inch Nails. It is interesting, but not essential.
If you are a fan of today’s metal acts, you will likely enjoy this soundtrack. To me, the first three songs on this disc are worth the price of admission. This is the only place you will find Rob Zombie’s “War Zone” making this a must own CD. You can listen to Rob Zombie’s War Zone at this link.
1. War Zone – Rob Zombie
2. Final Six – Slayer
3. Psychosocial – Slipknot
4. Historia Calamitatum – Rise Against
5. Fallen – Seether
6. Bulletproof – Kerli
7. Take Me Away – 7 Days Away
8. The Past Is Proof – Senses Fail
9. Butterfly Wings – Machines Of Loving Grace
10. Genesis – Justice
11. Showdown – Pendulum
12. Refuse/Resist – Hatebreed
13. Lunatic – Static-X
14. Days of Revenge – Ramallah
Back in 1996 – 1997, Rachel Bolan had a side project with former Saigon Kick drummer Phil Varone called Prunella Scales. The band released their one and only CD, “Dressing Up The Idiot” on the now defunct Mutiny Records. Those of you who immediately associate Rachel Bolan with Skid Row will be surprised with the sound of this record. Prunella Scales sounds nothing like the early 90’s Skid Row with Sebastian Bach. In fact, their sound might have more in common with the later incarnations of Skid Row.
Their sound has a modern hard rock vibe, with a dash of alternative and an occasional punch of metal for good measure. Skid Row producer Michael Wagener helped mix this CD, and the songs flow well as a result. Bolan is not the strongest singer in the world, but he has some very solid musicians backing him up in this band.
The first couple of songs on this CD “Crisp” and “Deadman” show some promise. “Freak Machine” is the most rocking tune on this disc and easily my favorite. The song “When” even has some almost Clapton like guitar moments.
As a whole, this isn’t the strongest batch of songs I have heard, and by the time I get half way through “Dressing Up The Idiot”, I am ready to move onto something else.
In my opinion, this is a CD for Rachel Bolan die hard fans only.
This CD has been out of print for quite some time. You can purchase “Dressing Up The Idiot” for next to nothing at this link.
- Freak Machine
- Fifty Tons of Life
- Don’t Let the Flowers Die
- T.V. is King
- Toms River
- Had To Look
- Talk Myself Down
Prunella Scales is:
Rachel Bolan – Bass, Guitars & Vocals
L. Wood – Guitars & Backing Vocals
Tommy Southard – Guitars & Backing Vocals
Phil Varone – Drums & Backing Vocals
“Damned Nation” is the CD that should have taken Jetboy’s career to the next level. While “Damned Nation” may not be as classic as say, Guns N’ Roses “Appetite for Destruction”, it is easily Jetboy’s best offering. If more fans would have heard this disc back when it was released in the day, Jetboy would have been more of a household name than a mere footnote in the world of hard rock.
I have been a fan of Jetboy since their debut CD from the 80’s, but “Damned Nation” is the disc I still play the most. With awesome cuts like Stomp It (Down To the Bricks), Moonlight and Heavy Chevy, this CD will likely appeal to fans of bands coming out of the Sunset Strip in the mid eighties such as L.A. Guns and Faster Pussycat. There is also a really cool guest appears by Michael Monroe (Hanoi Rocks) who plays saxophone on the tune “Rock N’ Roller”
Jetboy’s mixture of glam and punk was very well done, and they should have hit a homerun with “Damned Nation”. Jetboy never got the proper support from their label and instead of “Damned Nation” propelling the band to superstar status, the lack of label support for this disc eventually led to their demise. Thank the rock gods that the band has gotten back together again once more!
This CD has been out of print for years, but you find used copies of it at this link. Grab this CD while you can!
You can check out Jetboy on myspace here.
1. Stomp It (Down To The Bricks)
3. Groove Tube
4. Heavy Chevy
5. Too Late
7. Trouble Comes
8. Bullfrog Pond
9. Ready To Rumble
10. Rock N’ Roller
12. Suicidal Shakedown
Mickey Finn – vocals
Fernie Rod – guitar
Billy Rowe – guitar
Ron Tostenson – drums
Sami Yaffa – bass
George Lynch is back with a hot new CD, and an updated sound. For his new project, Souls of We, he has enlisted the help of former Brides of Destruction front man, London LeGrand. I kind of liked the Brides of Destruction CD’s so I was curious to see how LeGrand would fair with Lynch. Much to my surprise, this is easily the best music ever released with London on vocals.
First and foremost, I had no expectations going into this disc. I didn’t expect the music on this CD to sound like Dokken, or Lynch Mob. I knew George Lynch was tired of playing the same old riffs over and over again, so I expected something different from Souls of We. Different it is, but in a good way.
The bass guitar on this CD is deep and heavy. At times it seems as if Lynch has tuned his guitar down a key to better blend with the bass. The ripping solos that Lynch is famous is for is there, but they don’t stand out as much as his previous works. London LeGrand shows more range with his voice than ever before.
Lynch may be known best as a hair metal guitarist, but with Souls of We he has managed to put together a very modern sounding recording. It so modern sounding in fact that some of these songs ought to be played on rock radio. There are a couple of songs on “Let The Truth Be Known” that remind me a lot of Alice in Chains, and one or two that could easily fall into the System of Down territory.
The first time I played this record I thought to myself, “Wow, I need to listen to this again.” There are some pretty cool if not amazing songs on “Let The Truth Be Known”. I applaud Lynch for trying something different. Not every song on this disc works, but there are quite a few good ones to check out.
If you listen to one song on this disc, check out “January” or “Skeleton Key”. These are some of the stand out tracks.
If you are a fan of modern hard rock fan, you ought to pick this up. Lynch fans probably already own this.
1. Let The Truth Be Known
3. Skeleton Key
4. Everything I Want
5. Key Of Noise
6. Sorry To Say
8. St. Jude
9. Ghandi’s Got A Gun
10. Push It
11. Psycho Circus
12. Nork 13
14. Under The Dead Tree
Souls of We are:
George Lynch – Guitars
London LeGrand – Vocals
Johny Chow – Bass
Yael – Drums
Andrew Freeman – Bass
Frederic Leclercq – Bass
Jeff Pilson – Bass
Mike Hanson – Drums
Bobby Jarzombek – Drums
Mike Wengren – Drums
Patrick Johansson – Drums
Wow! What is happening over in Ireland?! There has been some seriously cool hard rock acts coming out of there as of late. The Answer, Glyder, Million Dollar Reload and now Jaded Sun are amongst the pack of new rock bands that are on knocking on the door of success.
The first song I heard from this Irish five piece, was their tune “Hey You” (see the video below). I liked the song and video quite a bit, so I immediately sought out this CD.
There is no question that “Hey You” is a good tune, but it is far from the best song on this disc.
“Gypsy Trip” has a real 70’s classic rock vibe. Singer John Maher reminds me a lot of a young Paul Rodgers. I love his vocals on this disc. Jaded Sun not only has a great vocalist, but also excellent musicians. Seann Gosker and Eorann Stafford serve up some wickedly delightful six string action.
Gavan Murry serves up an almost tribal drum beat to get the tune “Breaking Free” started. This is a hard driving tune with a killer upbeat rhythm. In my opinion, they couldn’t have started off “Gypsy Trip” any better than this.
“Crazyman” has some killer slide guitar and excellent blues harp action. I love the groove of this catchy tune.
One of my absolute favorites on this disc is the tune “Can’t Stop”. This tune has a cool blend of piano, slide guitar and catchy lyrics. This rocking tune is type of stadium anthem that ought to help make “Jaded Sun” famous.
“Positive” is an upbeat bluesy foot stomper with a cool lead guitar/slide guitar duo in the middle of the tune.
“She’s Got Class” has a cool Aerosmith-like groove to it. This is the best album closing song that I have heard all year!
Jaded Sun has a superb debut record on their hands. No classic rock fan should be without this disc.
Jaded Sun is:
John Maher – Vocals
Sean Gosker – Guitar
Eorann Stafford – Guitar
Damien Kelly – Bass
Gavan Murry – Drums
Only Human is Poley/Rivera’s debut but in name only as the two have worked together on Poley’s previous solo albums “Collateral Damage” , which could have very easily been called Poley/Rivera also. On Poley’s release “Smile” Rivera was not as involved in the recording process but he did write two of the best songs on the album.
If you are familiar with Ted Poley or Vic Rivera’s other projects, namely Danger Danger and AdrianGale then it should be no mystery as to what you are going to get with “Only Human”. Pure unadulterated melodic rock filled with hooks, harmonies, great solos, and sing along choruses.
“Keep on Fighting” starts the album off and it is a straight up rock anthem, hopefully Rivera’s name and talent will get a lot more exposure with this album because he is an outstanding guitarist. He plays this song like he is having the time of his life. Poley’s voice sounds as great as it ever has, this song should go over great live.
“Top of the World” is the kind of radio friendly melodic rock song that made Poley famous. Head bobbing, foot tapping, roll the windows down and sing a long lyrics. This song deserves some radio airplay. Rivera shines on this song also and he does it without a big flashy solo.
The title track “Only Human” is a mid tempo ballad that would easily fit on any Danger Danger album filled with keyboards, huge background vocals and huge guitar sounds. The solo is outstanding with classic 80’s feel.
“Did We Just Have A Moment” is another radio friendly rocker. Poley/Rivera work so well together on every song it just seems like they click perfectly.
The rest of “Only Human” is filled with more radio friendly rockers “The Bigger They Come” and “Delirious” really stand out. “Crossing This Ocean” is a classic ballad you would expect from Ted Poley. “N.W.S.” will appeal to fans of heavier melodic rock.
Danger Danger’s new album may not come out until 2009 some time but the Danger Danger family has been well represented with two very good albums this year. First Marcello/Vestry’s debut earlier this year and now Poley/Rivera’s debut. If you are not a fan of Danger Danger or other similar bands “Only Human” is not going to do much to change your mind. But if you are a fan of Danger Danger, Firehouse, etc. etc. Poley/Rivera will be a great addition to your collection, definitely worth the price of admission.
1. Keep On Fighting
2. Top Of The World
3. Only Human
4. Did We Just Have A Moment
7. The Bigger They Come
9. Fire At Will
10. Breathe Deep
11. Crossing The Ocean
Ted Poley – Vocals
Vic Rivera – Guitars, Bass, Drums, Vocals
When does a Ted Nugent CD not sound like a Ted Nugent CD? When Ted brought in Brian Howe (Bad Company) to sing on this record, it completely changed the sound of the music. The music on “Penetrator” is completely different from the hard rock most folks recognize as Ted Nugent’s. In fact, this disc treads the melodic rock/aor fence with its layered keyboard tracks. Nugent’s blazing guitar is here, but they keyboards really tone it down.
At times the style of Penetrator reminds me a lot of the band Bad English with its pop/rock tendencies.
Nugent rips it up on the song “Tied Up In Love”. I wish they would have left the keyboards off of this song. It really takes the song down a notch, and it doesn’t blend well with Nugent’s acrobatic guitar licks. This is a good song that could have been even better.
Once again, the ultra cheesy keyboards are back on” (Where Do You) Draw The Line”. The keyboards really date this song badly. Nugent’s playing is the best thing about this tune.
“Go Down Fighting” sounds like a lot Survivor tune. In fact, I thought I could hear parts of “Eye of the Tiger” in here. I think it is that same bass sound and rhythm. Aside from that this song is completely different, but it still doesn’t work for me.
The one song on “Penetrator” that does sound like classic Ted Nugent is the tune “Thunder Thighs”. This is the album’s one redeeming song, that I like quite a bit. In the CD booklet, Ted Nugent calls “Thunder Thighs” a career high point. I don’t know if I can completely agree with that statement or not, but it is high point of this album.
I can’t imagine what producer Ashley Howe was shooting for by adding all of the keyboards to the tracks on this song. Did he want the songs to be played on MTV or something? Ted Nugent is a great guitar player, and his style of music hard rock, not pop. It almost seems as if they were trying to have some crossover success with this album. The keyboards really messed up the sound of this record badly.
Brian Howe sounds great, as does Ted Nugent on guitar. If you can get over the cheesy keyboards on this disc, you might like it. This isn’t a Nugent record that I can listen to very often. I will stick with the classic stuff from the 70’s.
1. Tied Up In Love
2. (Where Do You) Draw The Line
3. Knockin’ At Your Door
4. Don’t You Want My Love
5. Go Down Fighting
6. Thunder Thighs
7. No Man’s Land
8. Blame It On The Night
9. Lean Mean R&R Machine
10. Take Me Home
Ted Nugent – Guitars
Brian Howe -Vocals
Doug Lubahn – Bass
Bobby Chouinard – Drums
Alan St. Jon – Keyboards
Peter Wolf – Percussion & Sequences
Background Vocals: Alan St. Jon, Kevin Russel, Todd Howarth, Cynthia Shiloh, Xoe Fox, Rahni Raines
2008 has introduced me to a plethora of new hard rock and metal music. For whatever reason, I have not picked up any Mudvayne releases until now. I recently heard Mudvayne’s new single, “Do What You Do”, and I liked that song well enough to check out their new CD, “The Game”.
Dave Fortman, who produced Mudvayne’s last album, “Lost and Found” returns to helm for “The New Game”. He has also previously worked on albums by Evanescence and more recently “All Hope is Gone” by Slipknot produced this disc. I am familiar with the discs that he has worked on, so I took the plunge, and purchased this CD.
I must admit, with Mudvayne’s image, I expected this to be a disc that was more heavy metal than anything else. Most of the time, “The New Game” is more hard rock than heavy metal, but it does have its heavy moments. When the band slows it down, they remind of Disturbed mixed with a bit of Slipknot. When they crank up the tempo, they nearly fall into that hard core style. Singer Chad Gray, is another one of those singers that can sing in a pure voice, and then change over to hard core like screams. Typically, I can’t stand hard core vocals, but with Gray, I can understand what he is singing, so that is a definite plus. He occasionally reminds of me of ex-Pantera front man, Phil Anselmo, so that is kind of cool.
“Fish Out of Water” is the first song that is half hard core, half hard rock. I didn’t like this song on the first spin, and while I have warmed up to it somewhat, I can still do without this one.
“Do What You Do” is the first single, and was my introduction to the band. I like this song pretty well, and there are more songs in this vein on “The New Game. “Have It Your Way” is one of the songs in the same style. This song has a really cool rhythm and seems tailor made for radio.
I can see the mosh pits breaking out for the title track “The New Game”. This is more of a hard core tune which is really not my cup of tea. I do like the heaviness of the song, but as a whole, this isn’t a tune that I can get into.
“Dull Boy” originally appeared on the Mudvayne compilation CD, “By The People, For the People”. Strangely enough, I have heard this on the radio a few times, but I never realized that it was a Mudvayne song. This is another solid tune on this disc.
“Never Enough” has that typical heavy rhythm guitar style of playing that is so common place with today’s rock acts. This reminds me a lot of Corey Taylor’s side project, “Stone Sour”. This is a nother song that will find its way on the radio.
“We The People” closes out “The New Game” with a hard hitting number that will ignite your inner head banger. Each time I play this tune, I like it more and more. This is as good of an album closer as I have heard all year.
After listening to this CD, I read what some long time Mudvayne fans have said about this disc, most of which was not nice. Most have not liked Mudvayne’s change of direction in sound. While I can’t comment on the bands’ past work, I liked the majority of the songs on “The New Game”. If you are a casual fan, you ought to give this band a chance, you might like what you hear. The music might not be completely original, but it is definitely worth giving a spin. I believe the more mainstream approach on “The New Game” will mak this Mudvayne’s most successful album to date.
You can preview songs off of the “The New Game” on the Mudvayne myspace page.
- Fish Out Of Water
- Do What You Do
- A New Game
- Have It Your Way
- A Cinderella Story
- The Hate In Me
- Dull Boy
- Same Ol’ (Clean Album Version)
- Never Enough
- We The People
Chad Gray − vocals
Greg Tribbett − guitars, backing vocals
Ryan Martinie − bass
Matthew McDonough − drums