Eonian Records have found another gem with their retro-release of Shake City’s self titled effort. 80’s Sunset Strip rock at its best is what Shake City has to offer, if this album reminds you a little of Warrant or Black ‘N Blue, it could be because vocalist Adam Shore was Warrant’s singer before the train wreck known as Jani Lane came along, or it could be because Erik Turner, Tommy Thayer, and even Lane himself helped pen some of the tunes on this album. Turner and Thayer also lent a hand in the studio producing the album along with Pat Regan. Without a doubt, Shake City is the best release from Eonian so far.
“One Good Reason” is a sleazy opener with some catchy background vocals and chorus. Guitarist Don E. Sachs lays down a very nice solo that I’m sure had all the girls on Sunset stripping off their clothes and throwing them on-stage back in the day. If I didn’t know any better I would think “Hot Love” was a long lost Black ‘N Blue track, even though I think Shore is a better fit than Jamie St. James on this song. This head bobbing, foot tapping treat would’ve garnered Shake City a massive amount of airplay on Headbanger’s Ball, while also adding to the band’s female underwear collection. Another track that has Black ‘N Blue written all over it is “Betty Blu” and while, the band as a whole sound as tight as a drum the guitar tandem of Don E. Sachs and Michael Blair really shine. “Get It While It’s Hot” is a slow, bluesy, sleaze filled song perfect for the strip clubs, reminds me a little of Sweet F.A. “Submarine” is a sex fueled barn burner with more cool guitar from Sachs & Blair, “Little Lianne” is a classic 80’s power ballad that other bands made platinum albums off of. “Lust & Love” takes us back to sleaze with some nice bass from Ray Bailey and more great background gang vocals. “Psychedelic Ride” may sound familiar to some listeners as it also appeared on Eric Turner’s “Demos For Diehards” and it played almost note for note on that album as it is this one, still a very catchy tune though. “Sweet Dreams” is an acoustic based number with a heavy Beatles influence. Another song that will sound familiar to fans is “Game of War”, which appeared on Warrant’s remastered version of Cherry Pie, but in all honesty Adam Shore’s vocals on this song leaves the Jani Lane version wanting, and wanting very badly. “Game of War” is definitely one of the best tracks on “Shake City”.
There are quite a few bands that could’ve been big back in the day, but judging from the songs on this album Shake City is one of the few bands that should’ve been not just big, but huge. Unfortunately, even with Eric Turner and Tommy Thayer’s help, it didn’t happen and that is just a damn shame.
Rating: Out of 10
1. One Good Reason
2. Hot Love
3. Betty Blue
4. Get It While It’s Hot
6. Little Lianne
7. Lust & Love
8. Psychedelic Ride
9. Sweet Dreams
10. Can’t Get Over You
11. Game Of War
12. Bad On Wheels
Shake City is:
Adam Shore – Lead Vocals
Don E. Sachs – Guitar & Vocals
Michael Blair – Guitar
Ray Bailey – Bass & Vocals
Jaycee Cary – Drums
Ethan Gladstone – Guitar on Tracks 5, 6, & 9
Winger is back with a brand new album, Karma and they are ready to kick your ass. While they may have been the butt of some heavy metal jokes back in the day (thanks Beavis & Butthead), Karma is no laughing matter. I don’t know what Kip and the band have been doing over the last couple of years, but I know this, they’ve worked hard to put out an incredible new record.
Karma opens with the hard hitting “Deal With The Devil”. The drums and guitars kick in immediately, and then Kip launches into the vocals. The first thing noticeable about Kip’s voice is that it sounds eerily like David Coverdale’s. This happens throughout most of the record. Kip is older now, so his voice probably changed over the years, but the high notes are no longer his friend.
“Big World Away” is a heavy rock song with a touch of grunge and a lot of grit. Beach’s stand out guitar is felt immediately, and Kip’s “David Coverdale” voice really gives this song a Whitesnake feel with a Winger chorus. It’s a song that gets your feet tapping and will have you listening over and over again. “Big World Away” will definitely hook you on Karma and have you proclaiming what an excellent record this is.
The guitar work on this record is nothing short of fantastic. Even the songs that aren’t spectacular (fortunately that’s just a couple) are saved by the guitar solos. It’s amazing the amount of work that went into the guitar playing for this record. Reb Beach should be celebrated for the amazing work he has done. His guitar licks are all over this record and every one of them sounds incredible. Beach really makes this disc shine.
“After All This Time” is a great power ballad, part of the 1-2 set of ballads to close the album. This is a slow, melodic rocker with balls. The heavy blues influence can be felt in this song about still being in love after many years have passed. Once again, Beach’s guitar solo is fantastic and inspiring. If I was a teenager hearing this for the first time, it would force me to get a guitar and learn how to play.
Karma closes with the absolutely stunning “Witness”, an amazing power ballad with the emphasis on power. Witness is a closer that leaves you wanting to hear more. This is one of the few songs on Karma where Kip Winger’s voice shines through. The feature guitar solo to close the track is one of the greatest I’ve heard in a long time. Simply breath taking and it totally fueled my desire to hear this song live.
With incredible guitars, solid lyrics, and well written, beautifully crafted songs, Karma is poised to thrust Winger back into the spotlight and the center of the mainstream. If they team up with another 80s hair metal act for a summer tour, expect sellout crowds at most stops along the way. Winger is back, let the party resume!
Karma will be released on October 27th in the United States.
Rating: Out of 10
- Deal With The Devil
- Stone Cold Killer
- Big World Away
- Come A Little Closer
- Pull Me Under
- Always Within Me
- Feeding Frenzy
- After All This Time
Kip Winger (bass and vocals)
Reb Beach (lead guitars)
Rod Morgenstein (drums)
Cenk Eroglu (keyboards, rhythm guitar)
John Roth (rhythm guitar)
Super 400 is a power trio from Troy, New York. I must admit that I only recently discovered this band, although, “Sweet Fist” is the band’s 4th studio effort.
This first thing I noticed was the band’s kick ass 70’s rock vibe. I immediately picked up on Led Zeppelin and some Hendrix as influences to this band.
The opening track, “Needle Down” is an absolute scorcher. The heavy riffs immediately capture my attention, and had me anticipating what would come next. This is the type of tune that you need to crank up loud to fully appreciate.
The riffs on “FFMN” (Fear Forget My Name) are ridiculously catchy. Part of the lyrics seem disjointed from the killer groove this song has. It is a shame, as this song has some good ideas, but I think it tries to do too much.
Lori Friday takes over the lead vocals on the song “Flashlight”. Her vocals give the music more of alternative edge, but this song could also turn out to be a radio hit.
Out of nowhere comes this southern, bluesy, swamp rock tune “Sand Hill”. This song takes a few listens to completely appreciate, but was a nice surprise on “Sweet Fist”.
“Thorn Tree” is another highlight on “Sweet Fist”. This heavy Zeppelin-esque rocker rocks hard. Kenny Hohman really cuts loose on the vocals on this tune.
Super 400 covers the Carole King classic, “I Feel The Earth Move” and does an amazing job with it. This version has a much harder edge, but Kenny Hohman gives the vocals proper treatment. The Hendrix inspired guitar work in this version, makes me prefer Super 400’s over the original. Well done!
I like Super 400’s stripped back approach on this disc. You won’t find flashy guitar noodling or a bunch of high speed double bass drumming. What you will find is a very talented three piece band that can dish out some solid classic rock. If you enjoy the early to mid seventies era of rock, you ought to check out Super 400’s “Sweet Fist”. I think you will enjoy it.
You can get a free download of the song “Flashlight” at this link.
Rating: Out of 10
1. Needle Down
2. Another Heavy Word
6. Sand Hill
7. Thought it was the End
9. Thorn Tree
10. I Feel Earth Move
11. Devil Song
12. White Bird
Super 400 is:
Kenny Hohman – guitar, vocals
Joe Daley – Drums and Percussion
Lori Friday – bass, Mellotron, Piano and vocals
On August 4th, Tantric released a follow up effort to their somewhat disappointing disc The End Begins from 2008.
Is Mind Control more of the same, or is this a return to form for the Louisville, KY alt rockers?
I immediately noticed the heaviness of the opening track “Mind Control”, and was hoping this was the direction the band was heading. I wouldn’t call Mind Control a heavy album by any means, but there are some songs on this CD that are much harder than I am used to hearing Tantric play.
“Kick Back” sees the band heading into a Shinedown like direction, while the title track “Mind Control” brings Creed to mind.
The opening riffs of “Fall To the Ground” nearly reminded me of early Lynch Mob. Hugo Ferreira gets a little growly with his vocals on this tune. This song gets better with every listen.
I am not sure what to think about the song “Coming Undone”. This song is quite a mixed bag for me. It almost sounds as if Tantric is trying to head into the Tool territory. The song starts off with a really cool violin and piano intro, and then blasts off into a grungy mid-tempo number. For whatever reason, this songs sounds unnatural for Tantric, but I must admit that it is growing on me.
“Desert Me” is a typical post grunge song that, if anything sounds kind of generic. If I were to hear this song on the radio, I would not be able to tell it apart from a lot of the other stuff that is being played today.
“The Past is the Past” has some cool guitar parts that bring U2 to mind. This song will be a hit without a doubt.
“Walk Away” is a catchy rocker, and “What Are You Waiting For” sounds like it is a hit waiting to happen. Both songs are enhanced with the violin of Marcus Ratzenboeck. The violin isn’t an instrument that you hear much of in rock music, and I appreciate his playing on these songs, and on this album.
“Lets Start” is another harder edged tune that rocks pretty well. Half of the song has this cool riff, that brings U2 to mind once more. The other half has these cool heavy crunch filled guitar riffs. This is a pretty cool tune that I would like to hear Tantric do more of.
Tantric has released another solid effort with Mind Control. There are at least seven or eight songs that I will get a lot of replay out of. While this disc may not be as good as their debut record, it is easily their best one since then. This is one of the better alternative rock albums of 2009.
Rating : Out of 10
1. Mind Control
2. Fall To The Ground
3. Coming Undone
4. Desert Me
5. The Past Is The Past
6. Kick Back
8. Run Out
9. Walk Away
10. What Are You Waiting For
11. Let’s Start
12. Guiding Me
Hugo Ferreira – lead vocals and keyboard
Joe Pessia – guitar
Erik Leonhardt – bass and vocals
Marcus Ratzenboeck – violin
Richie Monica – drums
I am not sure why it has taken me so long to discover the metal band Sacred Oath. Judging from the great sounds of their new 14 song CD, I have a lot of catching up to do. This CD is a packed full of classic 80’s style heavy metal, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
If you have been longing for music packed full of guitar solos, and soaring vocals, look no further. The music on this CD reminds me of a cross between Iron Maiden, old Queensryche and possibly Savatage. Rob Thorne has a pretty remarkable range in his vocals. Why haven’t I heard of this guy before?! I love his old school style of singing. The band backing him up might not be household names amongst metal musicians, but there are some serious players on this CD. Guitarist Bill Smith is one of the newer members of Sacred Oath. I am not sure where Rob Thorne, and Kenny Evans found this guy, but they found a great new talent. He cuts loose with solos on just about every song.
I was immediately impressed by the opening cut, “Paradise Lost”. Huge vocals, awesome galloping guitars, and fantastic solos to boot. This is the way to open up an album! By the time you get halfway through the song “Voodoo Dolls” you will be holding your horns high! The CD doesn’t slow down until the mid tempo rocker, “Counting Zeros”. Rob Thorne’s towering vocals are the centerpiece of this killer cut.
“Caught In the Act” reminds me of Slave to the Grind era of Skid Row. This is a another high tempo rocker.
There are a couple of weak cuts on the CD, but overall, I am quite pleased with the majority of the songs here. The moments of brilliance well out weigh the band ones! Some of my favorite cuts are, “Voodoo Dolls”, “Counting Zeros”, “Buried Alive”, and the title track “Sacred Oath”.
Sacred Oath has managed to crank out one of the better metal albums of 2009. It is definitely a disc most metal heads should check out.
This CD is available in most major retailers starting today. Don’t miss out on Sacred Oath! For more information on the band, check out their myspace page. You can check out the “Counting Zeros” video, as well as preview a couple of the tunes below.
Rating: Out of 10
Vodpod videos no longer available.
1. Paradise Lost
2. Blood Storm
3. Buried Alive
4. Voodoo Dolls
5. Counting Zeros
6. Caught in the Arc
7. Mistress of the Setting Sun
8. High and Mighty
9. Wings of Salvation
10. Order of the System Lords
11. Sacred Oath
12. What the Dark Lord Will Undo
13. Scourge of Sin
14. Hunt for the Fallen Angel
Sacred Oath is:
Rob Thorne – Vocals, Guitar
Bill Smith – Guitar
Kenny Evans – Drums
Scott Waite – Bass
Back in the late 80’s, just about every record company on the planet was looking for a new sleaze rock sensation in the vein of Guns N’ Roses. Chrysalis Records found theirs with San Francisco transplants, Sea Hags. Back when the band’s debut came out, I originally picked this up on cassette, and only replaced this on CD recently. The only thing I could remember about this band is that I didn’t care for them very much. It had been years since I heard their music, so I decided to give them a second chance.
Mike Clink who produced the infamous Appetite for Destruction album for Guns N’ Roses, also produced this disc. It had to be great right?! Well, not really. The Sea Hags are better than I remembered them to be, but this isn’t what I would call a great disc either. It just seems to be missing the big hit tracks to push it over the edge. “Half the Way Valley” is pretty cool, as is “Doghouse”, and “Back to the Grind”.
Frank Wilsey shows off some really cool guitar licks on this disc. In fact, the music overall is pretty good. Singer Ron Yocum’s voice is kind of cool. It reminds me of a cross between Phil Lewis from L.A. Guns, and Davey Vain from VAIN. He has a familiar sound, but quite frankly, I don’t think he is quite as good as either of those singers. The biggest issue I think this CD has, is the songs lack the really big chorus that is needed to push them over the edge. The music is good, but is just isn’t memorable enough to stick with you.
Overall, I am glad I gave the Sea Hags a second chance. This isn’t the best CD in my collection by any means, but it is definitely worth a few plays now and then.
This CD was reissued by Rock Candy Records in 2007, but is still somewhat hard to find. You can purchase this disc from CD Inzane.com. You can listen to music from the Sea Hags, at the band’s myspace page here.
Rating: Out of 10
1. Half the Way Valley
3. Too Much T-Bone
5. Back to the Grind
6. Bunkbed Creek
7. In the Mood for Love
8. Miss Fortune
9. All the Time
10. Three’s a Charm
11. Under the Night Stars
Sea Hags are:
Ron Yocum – Vocals
Chris Schlosshardt – Bass, Vocals
Adam Maples – Drums
Frankie Wilsey – Guitars
“Everest” may be the best release of Swiss rockers Shakra’s career, but shortly after its release the band announced vocalist Mark Fox would be leaving the band due to conflicts with Shakra’s business partners. What a shame because Fox’s vocals on “Everest” are his best performance in the six years he has been with Shakra.
“Ashes To Ashes” gets “Everest” started off, this heavy melodic rocker has a great intro with a tight groove from the rhythm section of Dominik Pfister (bass) and Roger Tanner (drums). Lead guitarist Thom Blunier puts on a great solo as well, very hard not to do the ol’ head bang with this song. “Love & Pain” is up next heavier and slower than “Ashes To Ashes” but just as melodic the band as a whole sounds great on this song but Pfister & Tanner may well be on their way to becoming my favorite rhythm section. “Let Me Lie My Life To You” is one of my favorite tracks on the album, a great melodic rocker with some great sing along verses and choruses guitarists Blunier and Thomas Muster absolutely smoke this song. “the Illusion of Reality” is a slow, moody rocker that picks up at the chorus, I just can’t get over how tight the band sounds on this album. “Why?” is power ballad with a nice acoustic intro and some nice piano pieces throughout kind of sounds like a mix of Gotthard/Scorpions. “the Journey” starts out a slow, thumping rocker that kicks in before the first verse then slows down and speeds up throughout at 4 minutes this song would be awesome but at 8 minutes long I am ready to get to the next track. Blunier pulls of a nice solo but does it really need to be 3 minutes long? As soon as “Regressive Evolution” starts so does the foot tapping great song and Pfister’s bass sounds great as well. “Anybody Out There” is another song I would consider a favorite on “Everest” a mid tempo rocker that sounds like it would get over big in a live setting. “Right Between The Eyes” and “Dirty Money” are solid rockers that should go over well live. “Insanity” has stadium written all over it, another favorite of mine. Blunier once again pulls off a great solo. “Hopeless” is the album closer with some nice piano and strings included but I just never understand it when a band closes an album with a ballad.
The remaining members of Shakra are going to continue without Fox, in fact if you think you’re their man send a demo-song or just an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org . Whoever they decide on as the next singer are going to have some big shoes to fill, especially after Fox’s performance on “Everest” . Otherwise you can check out Shakra at http://www.myspace.com/shakrarock or www.shakra.ch.
Rating: Out of 10
1. Ashes To Ashes
2. Love & Pain
3. Let Me Lie My Life To You
4. The Illusion Of Reality
6. The Journey
7. Regressive Evolution
8. Anybody Out There
9. Right Between The Eyes
10. Dirty Money
Mark Fox – Vocals
Thom Blunier- guitar
Thomas Muster – guitar
Dominik Pfister – bass
Roger Tanner – drums
U.D.O is back with their twelfth studio album, Dominator. This new disc might just be their best one yet.
While I agree that Udo Dirkschneider’s vocals might be an acquired taste, I have loved his voice ever since his early days with Accept. It is hard for me to believe at 57 years old, Udo can still manage to sing at such a high level. On Dominator, he is on top of his game, and vocals are razor sharp.
There are a couple of songs on Dominator that I didn’t care for. “Heavy Metal Heaven” and “Devil’s Rendezvous” just didn’t do it for me. “Devil’s Rendezvous” is a little more poppy than I would expect from U.D.O. The rest of the disc is pretty damn good.
“The Bogeyman” has a slow intro, that led me to believe that this song would plod along, and be a fairly boring track to start off this CD. That is not the case at all. “The Bogeyman” kicks into gear quickly and instantly got me headbanging and singing “He is the Bogeyman”.
“Dominator” is an absolutely killer title cut. This is one of my favorite metal songs of 2009! The guitars of Kaufmann and Gianola are pretty awesome on this tune.
“Black and White” and “Infected” are two more heavy rocking cuts back to back. I was already familiar with “Infected” from the U.D.O. EP that came out earlier this year. If you didn’t grab that EP, this is your second chance to grab the tune “Infected”. Both “Black and White” and “Infected” are awesome cuts on this disc.
“Doom Ride” is a pretty catchy number that seems to get better with each listen. You will find yourself singing Doooooooooom Ride in no time.
“Stillness of Time” is a mid tempo cut that does a good job breaking up the pace of Dominator. At times, I think this song leans more towards Whitesnake than Accept. This song adds in keyboards with some über cool riffing from Kaufman. About midway through the song has some awesome Spanish guitar, before moving back to the classic style riffing. This song is probably as radio friendly as you will ever hear U.D.O. get, and I am ok with that. This is a great tune!
DO NOT drive while listening to the song “Speed Demon”. You will get a speeding ticket. This high octane rocker will have you putting your foot to the floor. If you foot isn’t slammed down on the accelerator, it will be tapping to keep up with the high speed beats of this tune. This is another great head banger!
“Whispers In The Dark” is one of the slower tunes on this CD, but the music is great. This is a piano based number with a moody feel to it. Udo pulls this one off, and it is a really cool closer for Dominator.
For you U.S. fans, you are going to have to wait until October 6th, to purchase a copy of Dominator, but I think it will be worth the wait! This is a disc will appeal to both Accept and U.D.O. fans. I like it a lot, and I think you will too!
If you can’t wait until October, you can score a copy of the import CD, from CD Inzane at this link.
01. The Bogeyman
03. Black And White
05. Heavy Metal Heaven
06. Doom Ride
07. Stillness Of Time
08. Devil’s Rendezvous
09. Speed Demon
10. Whispers In The Dark
Udo Dirkschneider – Vocals
Stefan Kaufmann – Guitar
Igor Gianola – Guitar
Fitty Wienhold – Bass
Francesco Jovino – Drums
Man oh Mercy! When I received a copy of Warpath’s CD, Damnation in the mail, I had no idea what to expect. What I found is one of the best new thrash metal bands to come along in years. This unsigned UK band plays with a fury and conviction, that rivals the biggest names in thrash metal.
What do they sound like? The high speed riffs are reminiscent of early Metallica, and Megadeth, and yet the vocals offer the listener a completely different experience. The bottom line is, this young thrash band delivers in a major way.
James Murphy from Death and Testament mastered this CD, and as a result it sounds absolutely amazing. You can’t listen to this CD without into a headbanging convulsion before long.
Unbelievable riffs, excellent compositions, a fantastic rhythm section help drive the tunes on Damnation. On some of the tunes on this disc, drummer James Davenport delivers more beats per minute than seems humanly possible. It must be an intoxicating experience to see this guy play. The riffs of Pete Hawthorne and Richard Goss are fantastic. The vocals of Richard Goss are really growing on me in a major way. He may not be the best singer I have ever heard, but his vocals work with this music well. I can’t tell you how refreshing it is to hear a singer truly sing instead of opting for the cookie monster approach that so many young metal bands are trying today.
Mark my words, with a record this good, Warpath will not be unsigned long. If you are a fan of thrash, you owe it to yourself to check these guys out. I will take this over Death Magnetic any day of the week!
Rating: Out of 10
3. Hostile Takeover
4. Face to Face
5. Spitting Blood
6. Life Unworthy of Life
8. Expendable Forces
Richard Goss – Vocals, Rhythm Guitar
Pete Hawthorne – Lead Guitar
Gareth Allen- Bass Guitar
James Davenport – Drums
I first heard of singer Ted Bullet in the band Son of a Bitch featuring the former members of Saxon. I liked that band’s release Victim You so much that it was only natural for me to seek out Ted’s other work. When I saw that Thunderhead’s release Ugly Side also had current House of Lords members, B.J. Zampa and Jimi Bell, it was pretty much a no- brainer. I had to have this CD.
Much to my surprise,Thunderhead put out their first disc back in 1989, but I never found out about the guys until long after the breakup.
Ugly Side is Thunderhead’s sixth and final release, and judging from the tunes on this CD. The band went out the way they came in, rocking hard!
Let me start off by saying that Jimi Bell’s guitar work on this CD is phenomenal. If you are a fan of virtuoso type of players, you need to listen to him cut loose on Ugly Side. This disc is filled with a ton of solos and guitar noodling that will keep a lot of rockers happy.
To me, Ted Bullet’s vocals are an acquired taste, but I like them a lot. He has a raspy voice that reminds a little of original AC/DC singer Dave Evans.
Ugly Side starts off with a high speed rocker, “Liar”. There are a some really cool guitar riffs on this song!
“Rock Bottom” reminds me a lot of the House of Lords song with the same name. The lyrics are different, but the chorus
is practically the same. It is a great song nonetheless.
“Blood” is a killer balladesque tune that transforms itself into a high octane rocker, and then back again. Cool tune!
Jimi Bell shows off his guitar wizardry once more on “Pull the Plug”. I don’t really care for the lyrics on this song all that much, but Bell’s guitar work makes it required listening anyway.
“High and Don’t Care” is an acoustic based instrumental. The guitar playing is good, but it doesn’t really add anything to Ugly Side.
The album picks the pace back up with the rocker “35 Minutes” and doesn’t let up again.
Ugly Side is a solid effort from Thunderhead and worth checking out.
Copies of this CD are available for sale at this link. Get it and play it loud! You won’t be disappointed.
Rating: Out of 10
- Rock Bottom
- Footsteps Of Fear
- Pull The Plug
- Ugly Side
- High And Don’t Care
- Pieces Of Pain
- 35 Minutes
- Got 2 End It
- A Real Hard Time
Ted Bullet – Vocals/Guitar
Jimi Bell – Guitars
Mark Franco – Bass
B.J. Zampa – Drums
For the people who know me it is no secret I am a huge Wildhearts fan. Ginger Wildheart is probably one of the most under appreciated musicians in the business today, not only as a songwriter but singer as well. The Wildhearts may be an acquired taste for some people, but seriously folks Ginger could sing Webster’s Dictionary and make it catchy and sing along. Needless to say I couldn’t wait to get my hands on Chutzpah which is the Wildhearts 9th studio album and the first original album since ’07’s self titled effort. Chutzpah is definitely the most cohesive release so far and also has the chance to be the biggest Wildhearts album to date. “The Jackson Whites” kicks everything off in grand fashion. This song is absolutely begging to be played live and one guaranteed to get the crowd involved with the sing along chorus and great rhythm. “Plastic Jebus” has an industrialized feel to it ala Rob Zombie until the vocals kick in and oddly enough the vocals and music melt together perfectly. “Plastic Jebus” should garner the Wildhearts all kinds of spins on radio along with “the Only One” which is a mid-tempo number that alternative radio is jumping all over these days. Dare I say “the Only One” could be a Top 40 hit? Quite possibly.
In the same vein as “the Jackson Whites” “John of Violence” is another song begging to be played live, great rhythm, great feel, and Ritch Battersby kills the drums on this song excellent job. With a chugging intro and great catchy foot stomping chorus “You Are Proof That Not All Women Are Insane” could quite possibly be the best song on “Chutzpah”. What Wildhearts album without at least one song where Ginger is raging on vocals? For Chutzpah, “Tim Smith” is that song heavy chugging bass lines from Scott Sorry, Ginger’s raging vocals classic Wildhearts right here. “You Took The Sunshine From New York” is one more song that should get plenty of spins on radio this is a catchy almost pop song that is great nonetheless and could give “Women Are Insane” a run for best song on this album. “Mazel Tov Cocktail” another great catchy pop oriented song from Ginger and the guys foot tapping sing along at its best. The title track “Chutzpah” closes out the album and it is another rager. Good luck trying to sing a long with this one.
Chutzpah is loaded with great songs from start to finish, absolutely no filler on this album. As great a job Ginger and the guys did with the songwriting and playing you have to give producer Jacob Hansen a hand for bringing it altogether and getting the very best out of the band on this release. The results? One of the best albums of the year and the best Wildhearts album yet.
Rating: Out of 10
1. The Jackson Whites
2. Plastic Jebus
3. The Only One
4. John Of Violence
5. You Are Proof That Not All Women Are Insane
6. Tim Smith
7. Low Energy Vortex
8. You Took The Sunshine From New York
9. Mazel Tov Cocktail
The Wildhearts are:
Ginger – Vocals/Guitar
CJ – Vocals/Guitar
Scott Sorry – Vocals/Bass
Ritch Battersby – Drums
I don’t typically review too many greatest hits collections at Hard Rock Hideout, as they rarely offer music fans anything new, other than a song or two.
I have been a fan of Danger Danger for years, but I must admit that I didn’t keep up with Ted Poley’s solo career after he left that band. This greatest hits collection is a cool career retrospective for Poley. It covers music from his solo project Poley/Pichler, Bone Machine, Melodica, Poley/Rivera, JK Northrup and more. There are also a few unreleased demos & songs. Many of the songs on this CD, I have listened to for the very first time, and I am surprised just how good some of this stuff really is.
Some of my favorites include the Journey like “Deep Inside”, the rockin’ “Simple Life”, the bluesy “Phone Sex” the hard rocker, “Luv on Me” the glam rock like “Takoyaki Rock” and the heavyiest cut “Wastin’ Your Luv”. The song “Ted Poley” is a parody of the KISS song “Unholy”. It features comedian CC Banana and Chris Caffery. It is good for a laugh or two.
Are all of the songs in this two CD set worthy of a greatest hits collection? Probably not. With over two hours of music, on the two CD’s in this set, Ted Poley’s Greatestits is a solid collection of tunes that will not disappoint two many melodic rock fans. This probably could have been shortened down to one CD, but with 33 new tracks at my disposal, I won’t complain too much.
You can score a copy of this 2 CD set at TedPoley.com, and CDInzane.com.
Rating: Out of 10
1. Yeah You Want It
2. What If She Knew
3. Waiting Line
5. Deep Inside
6. Going Blind
7. I Love You
8. You’re The One
9. Let Me Out
10. Missing You
13. Mrs Frankenstein
14. The Song
15. Life And Times
16. Simple Life
17. Phone Sex
1. Luv On Me
3. One And Only
4. Praying For A Miracle
5. Only Human
6. Crossing This Ocean
7. Perfect Imperfection
8. If I Were James Taylor
9. Takoyaki Rock
10. Wastin Your Luv
11. Listen To Ya
12. Smile (Original Smile demo)
13. You Wont See Me Cryin (prev. unreleased demo)
14. Tokyo Nites (prev. unreleased demo)
15. A Letter To Santa
16.Ted Poley (Parody of the KISS Song “Unholy” by C.C Banana w/ Chris Caffery)
I think the warning statement on the back of the Feel the Steel CD case pretty much says it all. “This CD that you are about to listen to contains parodies that feature foul language, adult content, satanic imagery, and depictions of sexually deviant fantasies that may offend the religious right, the unreligious left, fat girls, skinny girls, metrosexuals, animal lovers, animal haters, hippies, skinheads, the current presidential administration and people with ears. The record label and its parent companies do not endorse or support the opinions of Steel Panther. They just think the f–king rock.”
Hair metal parody bands are not a new thing. Skrapp Mettle arguably did it first, of course some may say Spinal Tap, but that wasn’t a real band. The bottom line is this, none of them were as good as Steel Panther. If you are easily offended, you probably aren’t going to like this disc. If you have a sick or twisted mind, Feel the Steel is going to make you laugh, as well as make you rock. I saw these guys at M3 and they were great live. I knew I had to seek out a copy of this disc as soon as possible. The band has changed names quite a few times. The were originally known as Danger Kitty, Metal Shop & Metal Skool prior to Steel Panther. They band is pretty well known in L.A., but as Steel Panther they are beginning to make a name for themselves globally. Quite a few of the songs on the CD, are carried over from the extremely hard to find Metal Shop CD, Hole Patrol. Nonetheless, Feel the Steel rocks all the way through. There isn’t a bad song on the CD.
Every time I listen to this disc, I hear quite a few bands that Steel Panther has borrowed from. Whitesnake, Warrant, Van Halen, RATT and Bon Jovi are just a few of the bands that Steel Panther has taken their sound from. The amazing thing is the music is so tight, you almost forget that you listening to a parody band. The lyrics won’t let you forget for long though. If this CD was a movie, it would definitely be X-Rated. Feel The Steel is not appropriate for kids, so don’t even try to play this one if your family is present.
Feel the Steel may not be for everyone, but I have enjoyed this one quite a bit, and I think a bunch of you will too.
Rating: Out of 10
1. Death To All But Metal
2. Asian Hooker
3. Community Property
4. Eyes Of A Panther
5. Fat Girl
6. Eatin Aint Cheatin
7. Party All Day
8. Turn Out The Lights
9. Stripper Girl
10. The Shocker
11. Girl From Oklahoma
12. Hells On Fire
Steel Panther is:
Michael Star – Vocals
Satchel – Guitar
Lexxi Foxxx – Bass
Stix Zadinia – Drums
Stryper is back with their follow up effort to 2005’s come back effort “Reborn”. I believe their new disc, Murder by Pride is going to please a lot of fans of classic Stryper.
Michael Sweet is in fine vocal form, and Oz Fox plays some excellent guitar on this disc.
Murder By Pride kicks off with the rocking tune “Eclipse of the Son”. This song gets the disc going quickly with its high speed rhythm, and howling vocals of Michael Sweet.
“4 Leaf Clover” keeps the pace going. Oz Fox plays some killer guitar riffs on this track!
Stryper covers the Boston classic, “Peace of Mind” with guitarist Tom Scholz. This is an awesome rendition of this tune. This could easily be the best cover song of 2009.
The title track “Murder By Pride” sounds like it could have come off of the “To Hell With the Devil” album. This song will become a new Stryper hit before long.
“I Believe” has a cool modern rock vibe to it, that should help it get some radio play. This is a cool tune.
For the U.S. release, this album ends with a couple of great rockers “Everything” and “My Love”. Both of these are easily my favorites from this record. Much to my surprise, is the sound of the rocker “My Love”. The opening riffs had me headbanging immediately. This song has big guitars, and drums and that wouldn’t be out of place on a Thin Lizzy record.
The European version of this album includes the song, “My Love, My Life, My Flame”. This is a piano based ballad that was originally on the now hard to find, Michael Sweet solo disc, Touched. This is a good song, and a nice bonus to those who grab the import CD.
Murder By Pride is another solid effort by Stryper. Long time fans of the band need to get this. Recommended!
Rating: Out of 10
1. Eclipse of the Son
2. 4 Leaf Clover
3. Peace of Mind
5. The Plan
6. Murder by Pride
7. I Believe
8. Run In You
9. Love Is Why
10. Mercy Over Blame
12. My Love
13. My Love My Life My Flame
Michael Sweet – vocals
Robert Sweet – drums
Oz Fox – Guitar, background vocals
Tracy Ferrie – bass
While bands like Twisted Sister and Whitesnake are celebrating the 25th anniversary of some of their hit releases this year, they aren’t the only bands with big anniversaries in 2009. Believe it or not, it has already been 20 years since the release of White Lion’s Big Game. “Big Game” turned the big 2-0 this month.
The songs on “Big Game” hardly need any introduction at all if you are classic hard rock fan. “Little Fighter”, “Cry for Freedom”, “Radar Love” and “Goin’ Home Tonight” have all been released as singles, and have been staples in White Lion’s live sets for years.
White Lion’s cover of Golden Earring’s “Radar Love” has probably gotten more radio air play than the rest of the songs on this disc since its release. While I still prefer the original song, I thought this was a pretty good cover.
Mike Tramp’s vocals on “Big Game” are very good, and Vito Bratta’s guitar work is absolutely incredible. Every time I listen to “Big Game” it makes me wish Bratta would rejoin White Lion, or another band and start playing live again. He is such a talented guitarist, it is a crying shame that we can’t hear him play these songs.
Although some may disagree, I thought there was at least one or two low points on “Big Game”. I didn’t care for the ballad, “Broken Home”. It just didn’t work for me. I tend to skip past this song. I am also not fond of “If My Mind Is Evil”. Bratta’s playing on this tune makes it listenable for me.
Even with a couple of clunkers, there are a bunch of really good songs on “Big Game”. “Dirty Woman” and “Let’s Get Crazy” could have easily been singles. Both of these are really fun tunes. “Baby Be Mine” is quite infectious as well.
Even though this album didn’t top the charts, it is still my second most favorite release from White Lion. (“Fight to Survive” is still my favorite). “Big Game” rocks harder than “Pride”, but not quite as hard as their debut. It is worth picking up, especially if you haven’t checked out White Lion before.
Rating: Out of 10
1. Goin’ Home Tonight
2. Dirty Woman
3. Little Fighter
4. Broken Home
5. Baby Be Mine
6. Living On The Edge
7. Let’s Get Crazy
8. Don’t Say It’s Over
9. If My Mind Is Evil
10. Radar Love
11. Cry For Freedom
White Lion is:
Mike Tramp – Vocals
Vito Bratta – Lead Guitar
James Lomenzo – Bass
Greg D’Angelo – Drums
Former Accept front man, Udo Dirkschneider is back with a brand new 5 song EP, for metal heads to feast their ears on. And if you want to become infected with the metal goodness, you have to act fast as this EP will be limited to 2222 pieces worldwide.
How does this EP sound? Imagine the classic metal of Accept performed today! If you are a fan of classic Accept, you are going to love this. This EP is full of heavy guitars, and awesome screaming vocals that Udo Dirkschneider has been known for. “Infected” works as a great appetizer for U.D.O’s new CD, “Dominator” which is scheduled for an August release.
The two songs “Platchet Soldat” and Poezd Po Rossii” are both in German and sound like they came right out of a German bier hall. Some may frown upon this, but I think it sounds really good. I don’t mind hearing Udo sing in his native language.
My only complaint is that I have wait two more months to hear the new disc. “Infected” will definitely hold me over until then.
For more information on U.D.O., check out the band’s website at this link.
Rating: Out of 1o
02. Systematic Madness
04. Platchet Soldat (Remix)
05. Poezd Po Rossii (live)
Udo Dirkschneider – vocals
Stefan Kaufmann – guitars
Igor Gianola – guitars
Fitty Wienhold – bass
Francesco Jovino – drums
Wildstreet was formed in 2006 by front man Eric Jayk and guitarist Jimmie Marlowe but they soon added bassist Ali Hassan, drummer Brian Beck and lead guitarist Keith Robert to complete their lineup. When I listen to Wildstreet’s debut E.P. I am reminded of two sayings one being “All That’s Old Is New Again” and the other is “Looks Are Deceiving”. Going strictly by the band’s look one could think these New Yorkers overdosed on Hanoi Rocks and Guns ‘N Roses but once you start listening to Wildstreet you realize it was Def Leppard’s Pyromania and Hysteria the band OD’d on. Even the production sounds so much like a “Mutt” Lange record it is almost impossible to believe the band produced the album themselves.
Their debut is chock full of Leppardesque anthems and power ballads ready made for stadiums and radio if radio actually played this type of hard rock. “Wanna Get It On” starts everything off sounding like a mix of “Let It Rock” and “Pour Some Sugar On Me” right away you will find yourself wanting to sing along Eric and the guys and Brian Beck’s drums sound absolutely massive. “Hard On You” is another huge sounding anthem tailor made for arenas with hand claps, terrific gang vocals, a great solo by Keith Robert and massive drums by Beck once again. “For So Long” is a power ballad that would make Joe Elliott and the boys proud once again this track is filled with hand claps, massive background vocals just a great sing a long track. “Soldier of Love” sounds like it could have came out of the “Pyromania” recording sessions, Jayk sounds more like Joe Elliott on this song than any other song on the album. “Midnight Gypsy” is a solid instrumental track which you don’t see alot anymore especially from bands that fall into the pop metal/hard rock category. “Open Up Your Eyes” is a fantastic mid tempo rock ballad absolutely fantastic lighters and cell phones will definitely be lighting up the room when this song is played live.
Unfortunately this album doesn’t close as strong as it started out and in the end it brings the album down a notch “the Fist of Fury” is absolutely ridiculous why this was even put on this album is beyond me. This song by itself almost killed the album for me which is saying a lot considering how much I love the first six songs. The band covers Mott The Hooples “All The Young Dudes” which is a decent cover but one that has been done by just about everyone. I would have much rather heard another original song as long as it wasn’t in the vein of “the Fist of Fury”. The album closes out with an acoustic version of “Soldier of Love” which is pretty cool but I liked the plugged in version better.
If I rated the album on the first six songs I would give it a 7 but the last three songs really hurt this album. I am still looking forward to the band releasing a full album and see what they can do with that. Wildstreet definitely has the chops and talent to make some noise and twenty years ago at least four of the songs on here would have went straight to the top of the charts but in today’s day and age I guess we’ll have to see. As long as they stay away from songs like “the Fist of Fury” I will be willing to tag along for the ride. You can check out Wildstreet at www.myspace.com/wildstreet and you buy their E.P. at www.retrospectrecords.com/products/wildstreet.html# Wildstreet is also available on Amazon and I-Tunes.
Rating:Out of 10
1. Wanna Get It On
2.Hard On You
3. For So Long
4. Soldier Of Love
5. Midnight Gypsy
6. Open Up Your Eyes
7. The Fist of Fury
8. All the Young Dudes
9. Soldier of Love (Acoustic)
Eric Jayck – Lead Vocals, Guitar
Jimmie Marlowe – Guitar
Keith Robert – Lead Guitar
Ali Hassan – Bass
Beck – Drums
With the recent announcement of T.T. Quick front man joining Accept, I wanted to break my copy of T.T. Quick’s Debut CD, Metal of Honor. After a couple of listens to this CD, I could definitely hear Tornillo fronting Accept. He can scream with the best of them. Not to lose focus, the music on “Metal of Honor” is definitely worth talking about.
This music on this CD is crazy good in my opinion. Mark Tornillo’s vocals are awesome, and David Dipietro (who is known for teaching Zakk Wylde and Dave “The Snake” Sabo how to play guitar) dishes out some awesome metal licks on his guitar. I really like his guitar tone a lot.
Metal of Honor if full of heavy anthems that will appeal to fans of classic metal. Every time I listen to this disc, I like it a little bit more. I can’t figure out why a band with music this good is so tragically under rated. There are elements in their music that remind me of bands like Krokus, Lizzy Borden and Whitesnake. The bottom line is, it is all good. Regardless if the band slows it down, or rocks out, they deliver the goods on “Metal of Honor”. This CD is highly recommended for all fans of hard rock and metal music.
You can still score copies of this CD in the HRH music store.
For more information on T.T. Quick, check out the band’s myspace page.
Rating: Out of 10
The video below isn’t a real music video, but at least it will give you taste of the T.T. Quick song, “Front Burner”.
1. Metal of Honor
2. Front Burner
3. Hard as a Rock
4. Child of Sin
5. Asleep at the Wheel
6. Come Beat the Band
7. Hell to Pay
8. Queen of the Scene
9. Glad All Over
10. Siren Song
T.T. Quick is:
Mark Tornillo – Vocals
David DiPietro – Guitars
Walt Fortune – Bass
Eric Ferro – Drums
Billy Sheehan is back with a brand new solo CD. This time around Billy brought an all star cast with him. Holy Cow features Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top), Paul Gilbert (Mr. Big), Dug Pinnick (King’s X), and Ray Luzier (David Lee Roth, KORN).
I have always had a lot of respect for Billy Sheehan. He blew me away when I saw him when he was a member of the David Lee Roth band in 80’s. Since then I have always considered Billy to be one of the top bass players in hard rock. I must admit that I had low expectations with Holy Cow. I haven’t had a whole lot of luck with the solo CD’s I have picked up in the past. They are typically hit or miss, and they usually get shelved fairly quickly. I don’t think that is going to happen with Holy Cow.
Sheehan has crafted some pretty cool tunes on this disc. I wouldn’t consider Billy Sheehan a great singer but he does do good job on the tunes here. His music is far better than his vocals, and his bass work as well as guitar playing is superb on this disc.
“In A Week or Two”, “A Lit’l Bit’l Do It To ‘Ya Ev’ry Time” (with Billy Gibbons on guitar), and “A Bloodless Casuality’ are amongst Holy Cow’s best moments.
The instrumental tracks are better than I expected them to be. “Dynamic Exhilarator” features Sheehan’s long time Mr. Big band mate, Paul Gilbert on guitar. “Theme From An Imaginary Sci Fi” is fun, only to hear Sheehan go off on his bass.
There are a few songs that I prefer to skip through as they just didn’t do it for me. I think a couple of instrumental tracks is fine, but five is a bit overkill in my opinion.
The Bottom line: this isn’t a perfect CD by any means, but it does have some good songs and definite replayability. It is definitely a CD that will appeal to Billy Sheehan’s long time fans.
For more information on Billy Sheehan, and “Holy Cow”, check out the Billy Sheehan myspace page.
Rating: Out of 10
1. In A Week or Two
2. A Lit’l Bit’l Do It To ‘Ya Ev’ry Time
3. Dynamic Exhilarator
4. A Bloodless Casuality
5. Make It To Another Day
6. Just Another Humanoid
7. Turning Point
8. Theme From An Imaginary Sci Fi
9. Another Broken Promise
10. Two People Can Keep A Secret
11. Cell Towers Listen
12. She Goes from Cruel To Missionary
13. Sweat on an E String
14. Swimming Underwater
When I think of Rhino Bucket I picture a hot sweaty smoke filled bar, with a bunch of rowdies smashing bar stools and breaking bottles over each other’s heads with the band is onstage banging out their three chord brand of working man rock ‘n roll while all hell is breaking loose in front of them. To picture them anywhere else would not only take away from the band but the music they have been perfecting for the past 19 or so years. Three years after their last release “And Then It Got Ugly” , Georg Dolivo – Vox/Guitar, Reeve Downes – Bass/Vox, Brian “Damage” Forsythe – Guitar, and the returning Simon Wright – Drums are back in business with their new release “the Hardest Town”. Much like their idols AC/DC Georg and the guys live by the “If It Ain’t Broke Don’t Fix It” rule and I personally wouldn’t have it any other way. The hardest thing about “the Hardest Town” is actually turning it off because once you get started listening to it you will not want to stop.
The title track starts us off and right away I can tell a difference in the drumming expertise and power Simon Wright brings back to the band and the music. Reeve Downes works the bottom end of his bass like a dog on a bone with solid thumping lines from beginning to end. Georg’s whiskey and cigarette soaked voice is music to my ears and sounds better than ever. “Damage” is also solid throughout and pulls off a nice solo. “Justified” doesn’t have a big anthemic chorus but you will find yourself singing along and tapping your foot nonetheless the more I listen to this song the more I think it is going to be a classic Bucket song much like “One Night Stand” and “Beat To Death Like A Dog”. “Know My Name” is another song with classic written all over it a full throttle rocker with a great chorus. Wright and Downes shine once again as they are completely in sync with one another. “Dog Don’t Bite” and “No One Here” both have a great AC/DC feel to it more so than usual for Rhino Bucket. If I was forced to pick a favorite song off of “the Hardest Town” then “Street To Street” would be my choice another full throttle rocker with a great foot tapping crank the stereo groove. Forsythe pulls off his best solo on this song also. “Take Me Down” has a cool ZZ Top meets AC/DC vibe to it that makes me think the guys could have been sitting out on a porch somewhere when this tune was recorded. “She’s With Me” would run a very close second to being my favorite song with “Street To Street” great groove and playing by the band as a whole on this track.
After 20 years of making kick ass music “the Hardest Town” may be the album that gets Rhino Bucket the mainstream recognition they definitely deserve, a absolutely great album from beginning to end with at least 4 songs that should be come classics. You can check out Rhino Bucket at www.rhinobucket.com or www.myspace.com/rhinobucketmusic. In addition to other retailers you can also pick up “the Hardest Town” directly from Acetate Records by going to www.acetate.com/bands/rhinobucket/index.html, it is also available from Amazon Downloads and I-Tunes.
Rating: Out 0f 10
1. The Hardest Town
3. Know My Name
4. Dog Don’t Bite
5. No One Here
6. Street To Street
7. Take Me Down
8. She’s With Me
9. You’re Gone
10. To Be Mine
11. Slip Away (Bonus Track)
Rhino Bucket is:
Georg Dolivo – Vocals/Rhythm Guitar
Brian “Damage” Forsythe- Lead Guitar/Vocals
Reeve Downes – Bass/Vocals
Simon Wright – Drums
For those of you unfamiliar with Steelhouse Lane, Keith Slack is a very good singer with a slight rasp in his voice. His voice is well suited for this style of rock. He has a very cool sound that oscillates between Kelly Keeling and Whitesnake front man, David Coverdale. While on the subject of Whitesnake, former Whitesnake keyboardist Don Airey lends a hand on the title track ” Straight Up”.
The real star on this CD, is Taz Taylor whose excellent guitar licks grace this CD. Taylor, whose influences include MSG, Randy Rhoads, Van Halen and Gary Moore, does a good job of serving up some quality guitar work to back up Slack’s vocals.
While I have enjoyed the vocals and the guitar work on this CD, the songs aren’t quite there. It is almost as if the choruses don’t make the impact that they should. The music is good, but the songs don’t stick with me. This disc doesn’t live up to the Taz Taylor Band’s 2006 effort “Welcome to America” with Graham Bonnet.
If you listen to one song, check out “Razor Tongue”, this song is one of the highlights on “Straight Up”.
Rating: Out of 10
- Lock and Load
- Razor Tongue
- One More Night
- The Fugitive
- What You Need
- In Harms Way
- Information Overload
- Never Letting Go
- Bring It
- Wait No More
- Straight Up
Taz Taylor Band:
Taz Taylor – Guitar, Bass, Keyboards
Keith Slack – Vocals
Val Trainor – Drums
Don Airey – Keyboards
If you didn’t catch Violent Divine’s awesome debut disc you missed one of the better releases of 2006. I am happy to say “In Harm’s Way” carries on where the debut record left off. Much like the first disc, this CD has a bunch of songs that could be easily be radio singles.
If you aren’t completely hooked after hearing “Blackheart”, “Love is Divine”, “Happy Ever Afterlife” or “Vampire Empire” (my current favorites), there are plenty of other cool tunes on this disc to get you rocking. Violent Divine have mastered their sound which blends the big hooks of 80’s metal, and the modern guitar tones of today’s hard rock acts. With a sound this cool, Violent Divine are easily one of the best new bands on the scene today. With a little luck, this disc will bring Violent Divine a great deal of success.
If you like your rock hard and heavy, check out “In Harm’s Way”. If you are a fan of bands like Hard Core Superstar, and Skid Row, you have to check these guys out. I am enjoying this CD, and I think you will too.
1. Let Them Burn
4. Days of Sorrow
5. I Am
6. Love is Divine
7. End of Times
8. Master of Reality
9. Happy Ever Afterlife
10. Skin Deep
11. This Love
12. Vampire Empire
Violent Divine is:
Mike – Vocals
Q – Guitars
Klaus – Bass
Gus – Drums
I read some positive things about the band’s latest opus, “Crash & Burn”, and I decided to give this band another chance.
From the opening air raid siren of “Crash & Burn” I had a pretty good idea that this disc would rock, and man does it ever. The opening cut is a rocker and there really are not any sleepers on this disc.
“Revolution” (please see the video below) is a catchy tune but it is far from the best tune on this CD. My favorite cut on this disc has to be the metal anthem “Fist to Face”. If Mat Sinner keeps writing songs like this, he may not find the time to play in Primal Fear anymore. Sinner will be a full time gig for him.
Sinner even covers the Butch Walker penned Marvelous 3 tune, “Little Head” and almost give this song a Thin Lizzy like spin. Cool stuff!
The Lizzyisms continue on the song “Connection”. The guitar melodies on this song would make Phil Lynott (R.I.P.) smile. This song reminds me a lot of Lizzy Classic “The Boys Are Back In Town”, but it is good nonetheless.
“Like A Rock” is a pretty cool album closer. This is a catchy yet harder edged tune with some pretty cool guitar riffs by Henry Walter.
“Crash & Burn” has been one of 2009’s better surprises. This CD is a a cool disc with some good catchy tunes, solid vocals and great guitar work. It is a worthy pickup for all hard rock fans. Check it out!
Mat Sinner – Vocals and Bass
Henny Wolter – Guitar
Christof Leim – Guitar
Klaus Sperling – Drums
I have been a huge fan of Queensryche for years. In the 80’s and 90’s, I probably saw Queensryche play live five or six times. I have been disappointed with their last few CD’s although Mindcrime II gave me a glimmer of hope with this band. I just don’t think the band has been the same without their long time guitarist, Chris DeGarmo. With that being said, I had low expectations for the new Queensryche disc “American Soldier”.
“Sliver” starts this record off with a song that almost sounds like a classic Queensryche song, but there is a twist. Jason Ames is a guest vocalist on this song. His chants during this song almost gives this tune an almost rap metal slant. Tate sounds better than expected, but I am not sure if Ames parts on this song were really necessary. I did not think this was a very good opening track at all.
Queensryche has never been afraid to make a statement with their music, and they try it again with the song “Unafraid“. This song sounds like news clips mixed with a heavy Disturbed like riff. The chorus is very good, but the rest of the song is a hot mess. I am not sure who mixed this CD, but the audio clips mixed into this tune are quite distracting.
“Hundred Mile Stare” is the first song on American Soldier that I could truly get into. This song actually has some potential as a radio single. The guitar work is pretty good, and Tate’s voice is in fine form here. Once again, the mixing on this song is odd. This song would have been better served by an end fade instead of the end chant.
“At 30,000 ft” is another solid tune with some pretty good song writing. This song is written from the perspective of what I assume is a fighter jet pilot. You have to listen to the words to fully appreciate this song. This is pretty cool stuff.
“A Dead Man’s Words” is longest tune on this disc, clocking in at over six minutes. This song has a really cool, moody sounding guitar riff that blends well with Tate’s vocals. This is another song that grows on you with repeat listens.
“The Killer” is a mid tempo number that seems to get better with each listen. This song is quickly becoming one of my favorites on this disc.
“If I Were King” is the first song that I heard off of “American Soldier” when it debuted on the Eddie Trunk show a few weeks ago. I have heard this one a few times since then and I like it pretty well now.
On “Home Again” Geoff employs the help of his ten year old daughter Emily. Emily sings quite a bit of the vocals with her dear old dad on this song. I have to imagine that it is pretty hard for a child her age to sing in a key this low. I am sure that Geoff will have fond memories of recording this song, but I am not so sure that the end result is what he was looking for. It is an average tune at best.
Queensryche has released better CD’s than “American Soldier” in the past, but this easily the best they have done in quite some time. This CD doesn’t show the band trying to make an attempt at trying to recapture their past glory, but Michael Wilton did a pretty good job at trying to recapture that classic Queensryche guitar sound. The subject matter is interesting, and the song writing is pretty good for the most part. This disc could have used a couple of more catchy tunes to push it over the edge, but the music tends to grow on you which is a good thing. This probably isn’t that type of album that will generate a bunch of new fans for Queensryche, but it should keep their long time fans happy for quite a while.
Rating: Out of 10
3. Hundred Mile Stare
4. At 30,000 ft
5. A Dead Man’s Words
6. The Killer
7. Middle Of Hell
8. If I Were King
9. Man Down!
10. Remember Me
11. Home Again
12. The Voice
Geoff Tate – lead vocals, horns
Michael Wilton – lead & rhythm guitars
Eddie Jackson – bass
Scott Rockenfield – drums
Joe Lynn Turner is a man that needs no introduction to classic or hard rock fans, the former Fandango, Rainbow, Malmsteen and Deep Purple vocalist has been blowing crowds away for years with a voice that is still as powerful today as it was on Fandango’s 1977 debut. Now Melodic/AOR fans have a reason to celebrate with the release of Sunstorm’s second album “House of Dreams”. The return of the Joe Lynn Turner fronted project should be celebrated by not only melodic/aor fans but any fans of music that love well written songs loaded with plenty of melody and hooks galore. A virtual who’s who of songwriters, producers, and musicians lent their talents to this project lead by Dennis Ward (Pink Crean 69) who not only returned to the helm as producer but also supplied all the bass and background vocals on “House of Dreams”, Jim Peterik (Survivor, Pride of Lions), Tom and James Martin (House of Lords, Khymera) returned and Paul Sabu also came on board to help out in the songwriting process. Besides the presence of Turner and Ward this time around the band consists of Uwe Reitenauer and Thorsten Koehne on guitars, Chris Schmidt on drums and Gunter Werno on keyboards, all of which are accomplished musicians in their own right.
From the opening keyboards of “I Found Love” I knew I was in for one hell of an enjoyable ride and I was not disappointed at all. Great keyboards, and guitar with a chorus that will have you singing along long after the song is finished playing. “Divided” follows the same formula with the same excellent results. “Don’t Give Up” makes me think back to the 1980’s and those movie montage theme songs where the hero is trying to over come the impossible, much like Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” and “Burning Heart” or Robert Tepper’s “No Way Out”. Along with “I Found Love”, “Gutters of Gold” is my favorite song on the album with Schmidt’s hard driving drums and an awesome chorus. “Walk On” is another stand out track that was written by Desmond Child and Joe Lynn Turner that originally appeared on Jimmy Barne’s 1987 release “Freight Train Heart”
The one thing you will not find on “House of Dreams” is filler material, every song has hit potential if they are given a chance. Although there is no mistaking that “House of Dreams” is a melodic rock album with it’s soaring vocals, guitar solos and keyboards the music is modern sounding and does not sound dated whatsoever.
If I have one complaint about Sunstorm it is the fact that in all actuality this is a side project. With the way the music scene is today a band this great with an album this great it’s a shame it can’t be the primary focus of the players involved.
Rating: Out of 10
01. Divided 4:38
02. Don’t Give Up 4:49
03. The Spirit Inside 4:02
04. 04 I Found Love 4:00
05. Say You Will 4:34
06. Gutters Of Gold 4:39
07. Save A Place In Your Heart 4:14
08. Forever Now 4:16
09. Tears On The Pages 4:36
10. House Of Dreams 4:51
11. Walk On 4:35
Joe Lynn Turner – vocals
Dennis Ward – bass, background vocals
Uwe Reitenauer, Thorsten Koehne – guitars
Chris Schmidt – drums
Gunter Werno – keyboards
John Corabi where are you now?!? The Scream’s debut “Let It Scream” was my first taste of John Corabi’s excellent vocals. In my opinion, “Let It Scream” was way ahead of its time. The CD was released towards the end of the hair metal era, and The Scream was unfortunately lumped in with a bunch of bands that was not nearly as good. Even when playing this CD today, I can’t really consider this hair metal, as it is so much better than that.
Every song on this disc is very good. From the killer opening cut “Outlaw”, to the rocking “Man In The Moon” to the excellent closing cut, “Catch Me if You Can”, there are plenty of songs to rock out to. Even the ballad, “Father, Mother, Son” is a stand out tune.
Listening to “Let It Scream” in 2009, it makes me wonder what would have happened if John Corabi stayed in the band, instead of joining Motley Crue. His vocals on “Let It Scream” are great. The guitar work of Bruce Bouillet is so good, it surprised me that we haven’t heard more from this guy over the years. I have to buy more of RacerX’s stuff so I can hear him play more.
Out of all of the projects and bands that John Corabi has been involved in over the years, The Scream remains my favorite out of all of them. “Let It Scream” is a CD that you should seek out if you can find it.
This disc has been re-released a couple of times and is out of print again. It is a shame as it is a great disc, and definitely worth picking up. You can still find some copies at Amazon.com & Ebay. Happy Hunting!
2. I Believe In Me
3. Man In The Moon
4. Father, Mother, Son
5. Give It Up Listen
6. Never Loved Her
7. Tell Me Why Listen
8. Loves Got A Hold On Me
9. I Don’t Cry Listen
10. Every Inch A Woman
11. You Are All I Need
12. Catch Me If You Can
The Scream is:
John Corabi – Vocals
Walt Woodward III – Drums
Bruce Bouillet – Guitars
John Alderete – Bass
Call Tora Tora hair metal or southern rock or whatever title you think fits them. One thing is for sure, their debut album “Surprise Attack” is one kick ass record. No matter what genre or label you slap on them, chances are you will love them.
I had the luxury of seeing these guys in their prime, shortly after their record hit the stores, and my god did they kick ass. I have always had a soft spot for “Surprise Attack” since I have seen the band play live in support of this record. It was great when it was released, and it still stands up well today.
Anthony Corder’s high range vocals may be an acquired taste for some, but I like his style. His voice is somewhat unique, and the band backing him up flat out rocks. These Memphis hard rockers may not be the most well known act from the late 80’s, but they are definitely worth checking out.
Surprise Attack has been out of print for years, and it is a real shame. You can sometimes find this disc at Amazon.com and Ebay. Grab it if you can find it, and check out how good this tragically under rated band was. For more information on Tora Tora, check them out on myspace at this link, or at facebook here.
Tora Tora is:
Anthony Corder – vocals
Patrick Francis – bass
Keith Douglas – guitar
John Patterson – drums
I am not ashamed to admit that I have been a U2 fan over the years. The band has been chugging out quality rock since 1980.
The music and production on this CD is exactly what you would expect it to be, awesome as always. The Edge plays with this perfect guitar tone that is easily recognizable as U2 as soon as you hear it.
With that being said, I don’t think this is U2’s best effort. I wasn’t overly impressed with their first single, “Get On Your Boots”. The have done a lot better stuff that this. To me, this feels like a leftover track, from one of their past releases. As a whole, it seems that there are more filler tunes than hit worthy cuts on this disc.
There are however some stand out tracks. “Stand Up Comedy” has a Zeppelinish guitar riff, and is one of the more rocking cuts on the record. “Breathe” out to be the second single off of the record. This song screams hit, and probably will be before it is all said and done.
After a few more passes, this CD may grow on me more. Overall, I feel that this is a good but not great album from U2.
1. No Line On The Horizon
3. Moment Of Surrender
4. Unknown Caller
5. I’ll Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight
6. Get On Your Boots
7. Stand Up Comedy
8. FEZ-Being Born
9. White As Snow
11. Cedars Of Lebanon
Bono – Vocals and Guitar
The Edge – Guitars and Piano
Adam Clayton – Bass
Larry Mullen Jr. – Drums & Percussion
AC/DC, and Jackyl are just two of many bands I would consider amongst my favorites. Hollywood, California’s SNEW somehow manages to tap into the sounds of these bands, to deliver one hellaciously good hard rock disc, “SNEW YOU”.
If you are still sitting in your chair by the time the opening cut, “Stand Up High” is done, either your headphones are broke, or the battery died in your Miracle ear. “SNEW YOU” starts off with this awesome stadium anthem that will make you throw your fist in the air, and scream “HELL YEAH” at the top of your lungs. The rock doesn’t stop there either.
“SNEW YOU” relentlessly pounds your senses with nine more hard rock tunes after this killer opening cut. You won’t find any wimpy power ballads on this CD. This disc rocks hard from beginning to end. I couldn’t find a bad song in the bunch.
If you are looking for highly original sounding tunes, you probably won’t find them on “SNEW YOU”. I thought a couple of songs sounded quite similar to some AC/DC tunes, but I wasn’t bothered by that aspect of SNEW’s music one bit. I have been enjoying every song on this disc, and hit repeat once it is done. My only disappointment with this CD, is that I didn’t hear this disc sooner.
Don’t think for a second that the sound quality is going to be off, because this disc isn’t on a major label, that simply isn’t the case here. This disc has good songs, with a production effort that rivals those of the big labels.
If you want to hear hard rock the way it should be played, do not pass go, do not collect $200 dollars, go to this link and buy “Snew You” today. Highly Recommended!
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Andy Lux – guitars
Cat Tate – bass
Curtis Don Vito – vocals
Mark Ohrenberger – drums
I must admit that I didn’t know what to expect with Steelheart’s new album, “Good 2B Alive”. I intially heard their single, “LOL” when it was released on the band’s “Just A Taste” EP so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I loved this band back in the early 90’s. I have seen them play live a couple of times, and I was always amazed at Miljenko Matijevic’s vocal range.
I thought Steelheart deserved another shot, even though I wasn’t impressed on what I had hear previously. After the first play, I must admit that my opinion didn’t change much. I casually set the CD aside, not expecting to go back to it for a while. A few weeks later, I decided to give this disc another shot, and I am quite glad I did.
Those going into “Good 2B Alive” expecting to hear the hair metal of Steelheart’s past will be greatly shocked if not disappointed. Steelheart has updated their sound, and by doing so, have created something a little more modern, a big edgy,and a lot more relevant to today’s audience.
Miljenko Matijevic has always been known as the singer with a wide range, whose voice could break glass with his high pitched screams. On this disc, Matijevic doesn’t try to destroy your China with his high notes, but he does show that he still has that same powerful instrument that helped Steelheart become well known amongst 90’s hard rock fans.
In a certain sense, this disc kind of reminds of Guns N’ Roses new epic, “Chinese Democracy”. It isn’t because they sound the same. Both bands opted to go in a different direction, and by doing so, have alienated their long time fans. Steelheart obviously isn’t as well known as Guns N’ Roses, but they took a major chance with the sound of their latest release. The guitar tones are a little more toned down, but there is some pretty solid playing on this disc, although without Matijevic’s voice, I doubt I would have given this another look.
After a few more listens, I like the music and the vocals on “Good 2B Alive”. It takes a few listens to soak it in to gain a full appreciation for the music. My biggest issue with this CD, is that the songs are not very memorable. Yes, the music is good, but I can’t find a song on this album that has lyrics that stay with me. Back in the 90’s when Steelheart was still doing their hair metal thing, they were able to craft some pretty catchy tunes. Some of which have never left my memory. I can not say the same thing about their latest opus.
If Steelheart can figure out a way to create a disc using the sound of this record, but writing some more catchy tunes, they could have a monster record on their hands. Unfornuately, “Good 2B Alive” isn’t it.
You can find Steelheart on myspace at this link. You can purchase “Good 2B Alive” here.
Miljenko Matijevic – lead vocals, rhythm guitar, acoustic guitar, piano
Chris Risola – lead guitar
Rev Jones – bass
Mike Humbert – drums