Frontiers Records is pleased to announce the release of KING KOBRA’s new studio album “II” on July 5th in Europe and July 9th in North America.
King Kobra’s long-awaited reunion album “King Kobra” (s/t) released on Frontiers Records in 2011, left no doubt that this was a band to be reckoned with. Even though nearly 25 years had passed since the original line-up recorded the landmark “Ready To Strike” and “Thrill Of A Lifetime” albums, the energy and immediacy of the bands lightning attack had not diminished one iota and fans responded in kind.
“We chose to name this album “II” because it is both the second album of our reformation with Frontiers Records as well as the second generation of the band with Paul Shortino as lead vocalist,” says guitarist David Michael-Philips. “Paul’s unique style gives the band a new feel apart from what we were in the 80s with original singer Mark/Marcie Free. I think the “re-boot” naming gives Paul the credit he deserves while paying homage to our original singer and sound”.
The thick, soulful vocals of Paul Shortino, dual guitarists Mick Sweda and David Michael-Philips, and the thundering bass and drums of Johnny Rod and Carmine Appice delivered an album that, while easily carrying on the tradition of the first two releases, brought a contemporary twist to a signature melodic, hard rock style. “The “70’s” flavour of this new album was a conscious move to incorporate our influences into the music,” says David Michael-Philips, while Carmine Appice adds “King Kobra was a band in the ‘80s with great players…and had roots in the ‘70s also.. We tried to make a cool combination of both, which I think we achieved with this new album”.
Produced by David Henzerling with Carmine Appice and Paul Shortino, “II” digs into King Kobra hard rock roots to create an album that has all the swagger and swing of the classic 70’s albums (think Montrose, Bad Company, Deep Purple and even Carmine’s own legendary Cactus) with a crystal clear sound that combines the best of both analogue and digital recording techniques. From the tight and punchy “Have A Good Time” to the 8-minute epic “Deep River”, “II” shows a more mature band confident of its songwriting ability performing with the technical prowess garnered over years of experience.
“II” tracklisting includes: Hell On Wheels; Knock ‘Em Dead; Have A Good Time; The Ballad Of Johnny
Rod; Take Me Back; When The Hammer Comes Down; Running Wild; The Crunch; Got It Comin’; Deep River;
Don’t Keep Me Waiting; We Go Round.
Enjoy a Youtube presentation of the new album following this link : http://youtu.be/pBx-B16Pgzk
Paul Shortino – vocals
David Michael-Philips – Guitar
Mick Sweda – Guitar
Johnny Rod – Bass Guitar
Carmine Appice – drums
On their debut CD, Will Wallner & Vivien Vain have recruited some of hard rock’s finest musicians to help craft their songs. The end result is a remarkable hard rock CD that I can’t stop listening to. Will Wallner may not be a guitarist whose name you recognize. One listen to this CD, and I think he could possibly become an overnight sensation. Wallner delivers some of the best hard rock riffs I have heard in 2012, and that includes the recent works from Eddie Van Halen & Vinnie Moore (in UFO). Wallner’s style reminds me of a cross between Randy Rhoads & Jake E. Lee. That is pretty good company to be in, in my opinion.
Vivien Vain, where have you been hiding? Vain is easily one of the best new female hard rock vocalists that I have heard in quite some time. Her powerful pipes are a very good match for Wallner’s heavy riffs. Of course it doesn’t hurt when you attract the likes of Carmen Appice, Tony Franklin, Rudy Sarzo, Vinny Appice, Jimmy Bain, Tony Carey, Brian Tichy and Derek Sherinian to play on your songs. These hard rock legends help to craft some very cool tunes. I can’t begin to tell you how good it is to hear Tony Franklin and Carmine Appice (two-thirds of Blue Murder) playing on some songs together again. This is very cool stuff indeed!
The best songs on the CD are “Dreamstealer”, “Streets of Rage” & “Miles Ahead”, but there really isn’t a bad song in the bunch.
If you are a fan of 80’s hard rock, you ought to check out this CD. You won’t be disappointed!
Rating: Out of 10
- The Dream
- Streets Of Rage
- Fourteen Twenty Eight
- All That I Want
- Miles Ahead
- Soul Monster
Vivien Vain – Vocals
Will Wallner – Guitar
Tony Carey – Keys on Tracks 1, 2, 8, 9
Jimmy Bain – Bass on Track 2
Vinny Appice – Drums on Tracks 2, 3, 4, 6
Carmine Appice – Drums on Tracks 3, 5, 9
Tony Franklin – Bass on Tracks 3, 5, 7, 9
Rudy Sarzo – Bass on Tracks 4, 6
Brian Tichy – Drums on Track 7
Derek Sherinian – Keys on Track 7
56 Year old Michael Schenker has released a new solo CD, Temple of Rock. I had no expectations for this CD when I picked it up. I didn’t read any reviews or see any press about it. I picked it up solo because Schenker is a legendary guitarist who always delivers quality music. Temple of Rock continues that tradition with more killer fret work, and a band featuring some of the biggest veterans in hard rock, Pete Way, Herman Rarebell, and Michael Voss.
Michael Voss is the singer from Mad Max and Cassanova. I am not familiar with the music from those bands, so the voice of Voss is new to me. His voice definitely works well with the insane licks from Michael Schenker.
“Fallen Angel” almost has a hair metal like vibe to it, but Schenker’s riffs give it a heavy enough spin to made it stand out.
“The End of An Era” is a high-speed rocker that rocks on all counts. Michael Voss delivers a great vocal, and Schenker cranks out another great guitar solo!
I love the middle eastern influence in the Schenker’s riffs on “Miss Claustrophobia”. This song is one of the many highlights on Temple of Rock.
Doogie White handles the vocals on the song “Before the Devil Knows Your Dead”. You won’t want to miss this killer cut.
“Lover’s Sinfony” reunites Schenker with former MSG vocalist Robin McAuley. If there was ever a Yin to the Yang that is Michael Schenker, McAuley would be the one. His voice is the perfect match for Schenker’s stellar playing. I would love to see these two reunite for another MSG Album.
“Saturday Night” is the ultimate weekend anthem that get lots of airplay. This song is catchy as hell!
The CD is closed out with an extended version of “How Long” that features a guitar battle with Michael Schenker, Leslie West and Michael Amott. Very cool stuff indeed!
The Temple of Rock is a must own CD for all Michael Schenker fans. You won’t be disappointed! Check it out! You can pick it up at this link.
01. Intro (Speech Performed by William Shatner)
02. How Long
03. Fallen Angel
04. Hanging on
05. The End of An Era
06. Miss Claustrophobia
07. With You
08. Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead
09. Storming In
10. Scene of Crime
11. Saturday Night
12. Lover’s Sinfony
14. How Long (3 Generations Guitar Battle Version)
Michael Schenker Band is:
Michael Schenker – Guitar
Michael Voss – Vocals
Herman Rarebell – Drums
Pete Way – Bass
Wayne Findlay – Keyboards
Other featured musicians:
Elliott “Dean” Rubinson
I have been a fan of Paul Shortino since his Rough Cutt days. When I heard he was taking over the vocals duties for the King Kobra reunion, I couldn’t have been happier. I was hopeful that his vocals would help propel King Kobra to new heights. I can happily that say that Shortino’s voice is stronger than ever. His vocals are a good match for King Kobra.
In my opinion, King Kobra’s music has been hit or miss over the years. Their debut album Ready To Strike is still my de facto favorite. The latest effort from King Kobra, doesn’t surpass the debut album, but it is still pretty good. In all reality, it might not be fair to compare this version of King Kobra to the original version as Shortino’s vocals are much different from those of Mark/Marcie Free. If I were to compare this CD to the original releases of Rough Cutt, Shortino’s former band, it stands out extremely well.
“Rock the House” opens the album in fine fashion with a cool party rock anthem. “Turn Up the Good Times” helps deliver that one-two punch. This heavy rocker is the perfect complement to “Rock the House”. King Kobra came firing out of the gate for this CD.
The pace slows down for the song “Live Forever”. The funny thing about “Live Forever” is, if this song was released twenty years ago, it could have been a hit for King Kobra. It might just be the perfect melodic rock tune.
“Tear Down The Walls” was always just a clichéd title from the 80’s. I remember a lot of bands taking a lot of crap for this song title. Nonetheless, King Kobra’s “Tear Down the Walls” does rock.
“Midnight Woman” is a great sing-along tune that won’t get out of my head.
I can’t begin to tell you how much I love the drumming of Carmine Appice. His drum fills on “We Got a Fever” remind me so much of the way he played on the Blue Murder debut. His excellent drumming combined with the awesome riffs from Mick Sweda and David Michael-Phillips make this one enjoyable tune.
It was a minor disappoint to me that the song “Monsters & Heroes” was not on this CD. This is a really cool King Kobra tune that was released last winter. It got quite a bit of play on the Hard Rock Hideout radio show.
Personally, I am quite happy to see these guys back in action. I have been listening to King Kobra, and all of the bands the members of King Kobra have been in for years. From Blue Murder, to W.A.S.P., to Bulletboys, to Rough Cutt, and Big Cock. There are so many great bands that the collective members of King Kobra went on to form. I think it is cool that they all got back together to give us another cool set of tunes to enjoy.
Overall, this is a solid album for King Kobra. I think the band’s long time fans will enjoy it.
Rating: Out of 10
1. Rock This House
2. Turn Up The Good Times
3. Live Forever
4. Tear Down The Walls
5. This Is How We Roll
6. Midnight Woman
7. We Got A Fever
8. Top of the World
9. You Make It Easy
10. Cryin’ Turns To Rain
11. Screamin’ For More
12. Fade Away
Carmine Appice – Drums
David Michael Philips – Guitar
Johnny Rod – Bass
Paul Shortino – Lead Vocals
Mick Sweda – Guitar
Carmine Appice – An undisputed Rock legend is Carmine Appice. With a Rock and Roll resume that screams “Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction NOW!”, Carmine never once spoke of acceptance into any clique or popular circles. That’s because Carmine Appice knows his accomplishments and knows he belongs with his countless fans. Carmine is not just a legendary Rock drummer, he is also an accomplished teacher of drumming and unquestionably his profession’s biggest advocate spanning six decades.
To appreciate the works of Carmine Appice is to also appreciate Rock Music history. Carmine has played and written for Rod Stewart, while founding such Classic Rock icons as Vanilla Fudge, Cactus and Beck, Bogert and Appice. His drumming can also be heard on albums from Ted Nugent and Paul Stanley to Pink Floyd’s “A Momentary Lapse Of Reason”. We’ve only begun to scratch the surface of this famed drummers accomplishments. With two of Carmine’s biggest 80’s bands being King Kobra and Blue Murder, Hard Rock and Heavy Metal fans alike gravitate to Carmine Appice with a justifiable reverence.
2011 has ushered in the reunion of King Kobra, with their newly released and self-titled album on Frontiers Records. This King Kobra reunion album shakes loose everything we all adore about 80’s Melodic Hard Rock… King Kobra style. With new vocalist Paul Shortino (Rough Cutt, Bad Boyz, Quiet Riot) surrounded by the original King Kobra lineup, there could not be a better time than now to celebrate this bands everlasting Hard Rock appeal. Carmine took the time recently to talk to Hard Rock Hideout about the reunion of King Kobra and their new album. As I anticipated, Carmine wasn’t just a receptive interview, he was a downright good guy. Here is what Carmine had to say:
HRH: King Kobra in 2011, does it feel like the first time or old hat with the band?
CARMINE: It’s a little of both. We have a new energy from Paul (Shortino). He adds a bluesier sound to the band. Some songs we wrote back in ’84 and the first meeting with Dave (Henzerling) and I was writing all our takes from ’84 down. Me and Dave initially were part of the heavy writing on the first two King Kobra albums. My drums and Dave’s guitar are the core of King Kobra’s sound and we captured that sound once again, blending everything else together nicely.
HRH: This album is a great listen Carmine, it does take me back.
CARMINE: Thank you. I was very surprised it came out so good! We were never all together in studio to record this album. This King Kobra album was an international undertaking. Me and Paul were together and Dave was in Phoenix. It was all put together and mixed in Germany by Mike Ross. The track we used to get Mike Ross on line in Germany was “Monsters And Heroes”, a tribute song (about) Ronnie James Dio. All the royalties from this song go directly to the Ronnie James Dio Cancer Fund.
HRH: A fine job you guys did with that Carmine.
HRH: How did Paul Shortino land with King Kobra?
CARMINE: Our first press release was back in December of 2009, when the idea to do this reunion and album came about. It was my saying hey look, let’s get together and let’s do a record. It all took time because we all live in different cities you know?
HRH: What event or series of events triggered the reunion of King Kobra after the initial idea?
CARMINE: It was never a planned thing or anything like that, it just happened one day. David (Henzerling) by trade is a computer programmer. He was coming out to L.A. to Edwards Air Force Base to program jet fighters. Dave and I were together one day when Pat Regan called and said he would be in town mixing a new album for KEEL, so we went down and said hello to the guys. Pat told me Frontiers Records is signing a bunch of 80’s bands right now. Pat said “why don’t you guys do an album?” I’ve had a bit of a run-in with Marcie Free, so I called Paul (Shortino) because I’ve worked with him before, plus he’s a great person and has a great voice. Of course, when I called Paul and asked him he said “yeah, I’d love to do it”. So, me, Dave, Paul and Mick (Sweda) were up for it. Johnny Rod has always been asking me when we were going to get King Kobra back together, so he was in for sure.
HRH: That’s really cool how it all came back together.
CARMINE: It is. Do you remember Paul played Duke Fame in Spinal Tap? (laughs)
HRH: Man, Carmine, I forgot about that! (laughs)
HRH: King Kobra captures all good things about Melodic Hard Rock and Heavy Metal. Is this a sound that is missing from young bands today?
CARMINE: I think this album to me, is more of a Hard Rock album than anything else. The words “Heavy Metal” describes a certain era. Heavy Metal is more of the dark side of stuff. I consider King Kobra a Hard Rock band. This is a really good Hard Rock record. Blue Murder I’d consider as a Heavy Metal band. Some of the songs on “Beck, Bogert & Appice” are heavy. When Y&T came out, they were a Rock band, then everyone began to call them a Heavy Metal band in the 80’s.
HRH: That’s a good point there about Y&T.
CARMINE: Look back on the song “Hot Legs” with Rod Stewart, now that was some good Hard Rock! When I hear a cool new song on the radio now, from a new band, they never announce the band! That drives me crazy!
HRH: I know what you mean Carmine, we’re supposed to figure it out ourselves!
HRH: Would you ever consider reuniting Blue Murder for a new album or one-off show?
CARMINE: Since 2000, I’ve wanted to do another Blue Murder album. I want to do an album and a tour with Blue Murder, the only thing stopping it is John Sykes. To do an album with John Sykes would take forever, he is a real perfectionist. The longer we wait, the further and further away we get from when the last album was released. The real money is made with touring. Right now with the economy, there is really no market for an album like Blue Murder.
HRH: Any tour plans for King Kobra?
CARMINE: King Kobra used to play arenas. Now, all us bands are playing clubs. Dave (Henzerling) is too busy with his regular job to tour with King Kobra. I don’t want to lose money either. If we go play and lose money, it makes no sense to me. Big acts have to package up with other big acts today. Rod Stewart is packaged up with Stevie Nicks. Now Rod Stewart is packaged! We never saw Rod Stewart packaged up!
HRH: It’s the sign of the times, Carmine.
CARMINE: Doing gigs with Cactus, Slamm!! and clinics is the playing live side of my career. I will be doing gigs during the Summer with Vanilla Fudge.
HRH: That’s pretty cool stuff to be involved with!
CARMINE: It’s very hard to get out and play right now because the economy is bad and the record business is bad. I used to sell six, seven or eight thousand drum books on top of two hundred thousand records. Now, I sell more drum books than records! I released Carmine Appice’s (“Guitar Zeuss”) “Conquering Heroes” double album back in 2009. I had tons of great guitarists on that album with Ted Nugent, Brian May and Mick Mars, for example. Only two thousand units were sold here! Fifty thousand were sold in Europe and forty thousand sold in Japan. A little over one hundred thousand units sold! Business is down.
HRH: King Kobra is such a good times album. Was this all intentional or did it just fall into place this way?
CARMINE: All the positive themes like, “I’m number one”, “don’t get left behind” and “let’s party!” have always been our way with songs. All the songs are about good times. I compare this album to the first King Kobra album (“Ready To Strike”) with it’s energy. “Tear Down The Walls” is a political song. The concept behind “You Make It Easy” is about making a phone call and you’re put on hold by customer service or some Spanish message. So, originally this song was called “It Ain’t Easy”. (laughs).
HRH: (laughs) That’s funny, Carmine.
CARMINE: (laughs) You know how it is, you’re pushing all these prompts all the time to get some service and you’re thinking please make it easy! (laughs). There are lot’s of stuff going on in this song.
HRH: (laughs). I hear you, about waiting on the line for service from a human being!
CARMINE: In comparison to the second album, (“Thrill Of A Lifetime”), the label made us do five singles on one side of that album. The other side was our songs.
HRH: “Live Forever” is my personal favorite on the new album. Is there a story behind this song you can share?
CARMINE: If Bon Jovi did “Live Forever” it would be a number one single!
HRH: I feel “Live Forever” would have been a number one single or at least a top ten single for you back in the late 80’s.
CARMINE: I Want to send this single to Richie Sambora after this album is released and get it in the Bon Jovi camp. Let’s see what happens! (laughs). I guess I’m dreaming right?
HRH: Not really, Carmine. The Bon Jovi camp should be honored you would even take the time to send them over a song.
CARMINE: I guess I do have a track record. (laughs).
HRH: You took the words right out of my mouth, Carmine. (laughs).
Check out this classic video “Take It Off” from King Kobra. This song is from the CD King Kobra III, on which Johnny Edwards was the singer.
Drum legend Carmine Appice (VANILLA FUDGE, ROD STEWART, OZZY OSBOURNE) has been added to the list of artists who appear on the limited-edition EP “Chasing A Cure” from the Christian rock band LIBERTY N’ JUSTICE, due out on May 17. He guests on the track “Ground Zero”.
The track listing for the EP is as follows:
01. Say Uncle
Paul Shortino (QUIET RIOT, ROUGH CUT)
Ron Keel (KEEL)
Eddie Ojeda (TWISTED SISTER)
02. Throwing Stones
Donnie Vie (ENUFF Z’NUFF)
03. Paige’s Song
Philip Bardowell (MAGDALEN,UNRULY CHILD, THE BEACH BOYS)
Tony Palacios (GUARDIAN)
04. Playing God
Terry Ilous (XYZ)
Richard Kendrick (NEAR LIFE EXPERIENCE)
05. Chasing A Cure
Bill Leverty (FIREHOUSE)
06. Black Or White (MICHAEL JACKSON cover)
Terry Ilous (XYZ)
Alton Hood (D.O.C.)
07. Quicksand Jesus (SKID ROW cover)
Kelly Keeling (BATON ROUGE)
08. Snake Eat Snake
David Raymond Reeves
Don Webster (NEON CROSS)
Mark Allen Lanoue (BILOXI)
Joshua Perahia (JOSHUA)
10. When Mullets Ruled The World
Philip Bardowell (MAGDALEN,UNRULY CHILD, THE BEACH BOYS)
11. Ground Zero
Kelly Keeling (Baton Rouge)
Kerry Livgreen (KANSAS/PROTOKAW)
12. Eve (demo)
13. Damascus Road (demo)
This CD will be available for a short time in a very limited quantity of only 500 copies. In addition, the first 100 pre-orders will receive an exclusive LIBERTY N’ JUSTICE guitar pick.
To pre-order the album go to http://roxxproductions.storenvy.com/products/63118-liberty-n-justice-chasing-a-cure-lp-limited-edition
LIBERTY N’ JUSTICE is trying to create awareness of epilepsy and raise money for research to find a cure with this special release.
The disease hits very close to home for LIBERTY N’ JUSTICE mainman Justin Murr and his family.Justin‘s oldest daughter, Trinity Paige Murr, was diagnosed with epilepsy at age seven. For the past five years she has battled through daily medication, hospital stays, cluster seizures, induced comas, three weeks in the ICU — and finally even undergoing brain surgery.
All of these artists donated their talent and time for this EP. The cover artwork was created and contributed by Rex Zachary and the CD layout and design will be contributed by Scott Waters.
Frontiers Records is excited to announce the release of the Self-Titled come back album from KING KOBRA on April 15th in Europe and May 5th in North America.
Formed in 1984 by legendary drummer Carmine Appice (Vanilla Fudge, Rod Stewart, Ozzy Osbourne), Los Angeles heavy metal outfit King Kobra recorded two critically acclaimed albums for Capitol Records – the 1985 release ‘Ready to Strike’ and 1986’s ‘Thrill of a Lifetime’.
Along with Carmine, the band featured four relatively unknown musicians at the time – David Michael-Philips and Mick Sweda on guitar, Johnny Rod on bass and Mark Free on lead vocals. King Kobra toured the U.S., Canada, Europe and Mexico playing shows with Kiss, Iron Maiden, Quiet Riot, Ted Nugent, Queensryche and Autograph.
The band was featured regularly on MTV and performed the theme song for the #1 1986 motion picture “Iron Eagle“. After disbanding in 1988, each member continued his career in other successful major-label groups – Carmine to Blue Murder (Geffen), Mark Free to Unruly Child (Interscope), Mick Sweda to the BulletBoys (Warner Bros.), Johnny Rod to W.A.S.P. (Capitol/EMI) and David Michael-Philips to Lizzy Borden (Metal Blade).
The year 2010 saw the band reunite the original classic ’85 lineup, replacing original singer Mark Free (now Marcie Free) with veteran lead vocalist Paul Shortino (Rough Cutt, Quiet Riot). “This album captures all the great points we had in the 80’s, but better” says Carmine Appice “The music is more traditional King Kobra music. Great lyrics, kick ass songs with cool hooks and really good playing. A really great hard rock/metal record with lots of energy”. David Michael-Phillips adds “It truly is an all-star album. Paul Shortino is amazing! I can honestly say he is one of the best vocalists in the business along with being one of the nicest and most generous people I have ever met”.
The band is planning to get on some targeted American and European summer festivals this year. Watch out: King Kobra is smokin’ hot, back stronger than ever and “Ready to Strike” once again!
The new album “King Kobra” will include the following tracks: Rock This House, Turn Up The Good (Times), Live Forever, Tear Down The Walls, This Is How We Roll, Midnight Woman, We Got A Fever, Tope Of The World, You Make It Easy, Cryin’ Turns To Rain, Screamin’ For More, Fade Away.
Weblinks: www.frontiers.it / www.myspace.com/frontiersrecords www.myspace.com/officialkingkobra
Surprise Surprise! Blue Murder hasn’t been together since 1994, and now they have VEVO channel on youtube. Could this be a sign of John Sykes resurrecting his old band? Somehow I doubt it, but one can only hope!
Check out my favorite Blue Murder tune, “Valley of the Kings” below.
Legendary drummer from Vanilla Fudge, Cactus, King Kobra, Blue Murder
Carmine Appice will be the special guest on Hard Rock Nights February 5-11. Appice discusses a wide range of topics including many of his former bands, his session work with top names, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame, and the progress of the new King Kobra formation with Paul Shortino on vocals. In addition, the drummer also talks about his Guitar Zeus project and SLAMM!! Appice also touches on the subject of a Blue Murder reunion with John Sykes and where that currently stands. Along with the chat, JT will be spinning several tracks from Appice’s career.
Hard Rock Nights is a weekly syndicated radio program broadcast on a number of rock and metal radio stations. A full list of stations and airtimes can be found at http://hardrocknights.wordpress.com/affiliates.
I must admit that I was pretty excited when I first read about the lineup for the M3 festival in Columbia, Maryland. Unlike Rock Gone Wild, and Rocklahoma, this is a one day festival, cram packed with more classic hard rock acts that you can handle in one day. There was several bands on this festival’s roster that I have not seen before, so it was a complete no-brainer. I made the trek to Columbia, MD Friday night. Sure it took roughly 8 hours each way by car, but it was well worth it, in my opinion.
The weather was perfect for the event. It was hot and sunny all day, and the crowd for M3 filled up the stands pretty quick.
Before most folks made into the festival, they were greeted by the heavy beats of Carmine Appice’s SLAMM. I only caught the tail end of their performance, but it seemed pretty cool for the most part. This wasn’t SLAMM’s scheduled set time, as they played later on in the festival. Their early performance helped to generate excitement amongst the large crowd filing into the venue.
The festival kicked off with former Guns N’ Roses and Kill for Thrills Guitarist, Gilby Clarke. Gilby’s set was short, but he fired off some of my favorite songs of his including “Tijiuana Jail“ and “Cure Me or Kill Me“. He even threw in “Be Yourself” from the Rockstar: Supernova CD. Imagine That! I never expected to hear a song from this CD again. I think Gilby handled it better than Lukas Rossi.
After Clarke’s set, I had to pick and choose which bands I wanted to see play live because several of the set times over lapped. I HATED this part of the festival. I genuinely like every band on the bill, and wanted the chance to see every band perform. This was not possible, so I had to sacrifice one band over another several times throughout the day. I don’t think this was fair to the bands, or to the fans who paid to see them.
The first choice was Y&T vs. XYZ. Y&T beat out XYZ in the battle of the alphabet bands,and rightly so. Y&T is celebrating their 35th anniversary in 2009, and I wasn’t budging from my seat. This band doesn’t know where Cincinnati, Ohio is on the map (they never play in my hometown), so I couldn’t wait to see them play. Dave Meniketti and company blasted out a rocking set of tunes that spanned over their vast career including, “Dirty Girl”, “Black Tiger”, “Mean Streak”, and “Summertime Girls”. My only complaint is that their set was too short. I would have loved to have heard some more Y&T songs. Some friends of mine were at the XYZ stage, and said XYZ put on a hell of a show as well. I guess you win some and you lose some. I enjoyed Y&T and I hope the rock gods will be kind enough to offer me another chance to see this band, when they can play a full show.
The next band dilemna after Y&T was Slaughter vs. Jetboy. I like Slaughter, but this was no competition for me at all. I immediately ran over to the second stage to check out Jetboy’s set. I got there early, and was front and center for the show.
Jetboy guitarist Billy Rowe was having some sound issues to start the show, but the crew got him fixed up pretty quickly. Jetboy rocked the crowd hard, and put on an extremely tight set of tunes. Out of all of the bands at M3, I would say Jetboy was in the top 2 as far as the performance they gave. These guys should have played on the main stage for sure. Mickey Finn’s vocals were great, and his bright green Mohawk made him one of the most photogenic rockers of the day. The whole band was on fire during this set. Fernie Rod and Billy Rowe’s playing was great. I didn’t know who to keep an eye on. Billy was blasting away on the slide guitar, and Fernie was adding in his awesome licks. Michael Butler is a pretty fun bass player to watch as well. This guy knows how to get a crowd going. New drummer Doug Hovan didn’t miss a beat. Those that hung out for Jetboy’s set got treated to some classic Jetboy tunes including “Feel The Shake”, and “Heavy Chevy”. They also a played a few new unreleased songs that were nothing short of A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!. I can’t wait to see what fans reactions are when they hear these songs. Prepare to be blown away!!
Next up on the main stage was Jani Lane and his new solo band featuring Kerri Kelli from Alice Cooper on Guitar. Jani’s set consisted primarily of Warrant tunes (no surprise there), and a brand new unreleased track. Jani’s voice sounded good, as did his band. Jani has always managed to attract some pretty good guitar players, and Kerri Kelli is definitely one of the better ones. I like Jani Lane and I wanted to stay for more songs, but he is coming to my hometown in a couple of months, and I will definitely be going to see him then. I hung out for 3 or 4 songs, and ran back to stage two for the Bulletboys.
Marq Torien might be the only original member left of the Bulletboys, but this band does not rock any less. I didn’t make it over for the start of their set, but I did catch three or four of their songs before I had to depart for my Jetboy interview. I was disappointed that I didn’t get to hear “Smooth Up In Ya”, but I will definitely catch the Bulletboys on their tour with Faster Pussycat later this year.
I met up with Fernie Rod and Billy Rowe, for a really cool sit down interview, which I will post at HRH later this week. By the time our interview was done, Dokken was finishing up their set. They sounded ok from where I was standing, and I was able to catch Jon Levin wailing away on those infamous George Lynch solos.
I quickly ran back up to stage two to catch Steel Panther perform. I didn’t expect much from these guys, but you know what…. I loved their set. Their songs are a really good hair metal parody, but they are so good at what they do, you can’t help but like them. I must admit that the only songs that I knew were “Death To All But Metal” and “Fat Girl”, but I liked all of the tunes they performed. I will certainly pick up their CD when it becomes available. I couldn’t stay for Steel Panther’s entire set either, as I didn’t want to miss one minute of Kix’s set. I ran back down the hill to stage one and got there right before Kix took the Stage.
The best performance of the day, easily goes to Kix. They were absolutely fantastic. Maryland obviously has a strong appreciation for their band, and rightfully so. Kix’s excellent set included the following songs (in no certain order): “Midnight Dynamite”, “Itch”, “Get It White It’s Hot”, “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah” , “Cold Blood”, “Blow My Fuse”, “Girl Money” and a bunch more. Singer Steve Whiteman is every bit as good as the day he started this band. Ronnie Younkins and Brian Forsythe have to be one of the most under appreciated guitar tandems in rock today. Kix’s set was so good, they could have closed this show, and everyone would have been happy. Luckily, there was plenty of rock left on this day. I ran back up the hill to stage two to catch L.A. Guns.
This L.A. Guns is the version with Phil Lewis, Steve Riley, Scotty Griffin and Stacey Blades. The same lineup has been together for quite a few years now and sound great. Stacey Blades might not be Tracii Guns, but he is a damn good guitarist, and does a great job on these classic L.A. Guns tunes. Phil Lewis made this rock fan feel old by mentioning that 2009 was the 20th anniversary of the Cocked & Loaded CD. Good Grief…has it been 20 years already? I enjoyed their short set.
Extreme’s set over lapped with L.A. Guns so I missed the beginning of their show. I really wanted to stay for the whole Extreme set too, but the end of their set overlapped with KEEL’s. From what I could tell, Gary Cherone sounded exactly the same, and Nuno Bettencourt was amazing as always. I enjoyed the few songs that I got to hear.
I quickly ran back up the hill (are you seeing a pattern here) to catch the start of KEEL’s set. Judging from what I could tell from KEEL, I should have stayed to watch Extreme. I don’t know what the deal was, but something was missing in KEEL’s performance. I think Ron Keel may have been having some sound issues as his voice did not seem very loud in a few songs. He was using a wireless microphone, and this could have been oen of the problems. I thought his voice was a lot smoother, and no where near as coarse as it was back in the 80’s. It was this coarseness that gave KEEL such a cool metal sound, and I didn’t hear it during their set. They played songs from all of their albums which was cool, but I kept feeling like this was a phone in perfomance. Some of the songs from the KEEL set list was (in no order): “Cherry Lane”, “The Right to Rock”, “Speed Demon”, “Because The Night” and a few more. I hope I get the chance to see KEEL again. I love their music, and they definitely deserve a second chance. I had high expectations for KEEL at M3, and the band didn’t meet them.
I headed back down the hill one final time for RATT & Twisted Sister. I wanted to see Carmine Appice’s SLAMM, but I was ready to see two full sets of music before I called it a day.
RATT was up next, and they did not disappoint me. Pearcy’s voice sounded pretty good for the most part, and Warren DeMartini was awesome. He has been one of my favorite guitarists for a long time, and he did not disappoint. My seat for the main stage event was on the far right hand side of the stage, and the sight line wasn’t the greatest. I immediately realised that the rhythm guitarist was not Carlos Cavazo, but appeared to be John Corabi. His hair was a little different since the last time I saw him, and I almost didn’t recognize him. The one thing I have noticed the last couple of times that I have seen RATT is that Corabi kind of stands off to the side and lets the rest of the band do their thing. I don’t know if there is bad blood there, or what the deal is. Corabi is a terrific musician and singer, but I wonder how happy he is in RATT. Aside from that, I enjoyed RATT’s set. Their set list included: “Lay It Down”, “You’re In Love”, “Back For More”, “Wanted Man” and much to my surprise and enjoyment, “Nobody Rides For Free’ (From the Point Break Movie soundtrack).
Twisted Sister took the stage around 9:30, and immediately was experiencing sound issues. JJ French did not have any sound to start the show, and it took quite a while for the Twisted Sister crew to get him fixed up. After the inital snafu’s at the beginning of their set. Twister Sister kicked some major ass to close out the M3 festival. This was my first experience seeing Twisted Sister and a couple of things surprised me. These guys talk a lot during their shows. Dee Snider was pretty funny, but did he really need to continue to advertise his House of Hair Radio show during Twisted Sister’s set? Was JJ French’s rant about American Idol really necessary? Twisted Sister needs to play more and talk less during their shows, in my opinion. Aside from too much talking, I loved Twisted Sister. Their set was high energy, hair flinging fun, and the band really does try to put on the best show possible. Their set list included the following songs: “Under the Blade”, ‘Horror-teria”, “We’re Not Gonna Take It”, “Burn in Hell”, “The Price”, and I Wanna Rock”. Twisted Sister’s set was a great ending to an amazing day at Merriweather Post Pavillion. I hope they make this an annual event. If they do, I will be back!!
If you were a fan of the 1987 album by Whitesnake, you should be familiar with the awesome guitar work of John Sykes. Blue Murder is the band started up by Sykes after his departure from Whitesnake. Needless to say, the songs from Blue Murder have a definite Whitesnake like vibe about them, but they stand out on their own merit.
It didn’t hurt his cause that he got two amazing musicians to join him in Blue Murder. The Firm’s fretless bass wonder Tony Franklin and former Ozzy Osbourne drummer Carmine Appice flesh out would could be one of the best hard rock three piece acts of the eighties.
Blue Murder has it all. Great vocals, fantastic guitar work and killer songs. This CD has been one of my favorites over the last 20 years. I still play this one regularly today. I became a fan of John Sykes because of the infamous 1987 Whitesnake album, but it was the Blue Murder disc that solidified him as one of my favorite guitarists of all time.
The Bottom line: Every hard rock and metal fan on the planet ought to own this excellent CD. You can grab your own copy of this disc, at this link.
2. Sex Child
3. Valley Of The Kings
4. Jelly Roll
5. Blue Murder
6. Out Of Love
9. Black-Hearted Woman
Blue Murder is:
John Sykes – Vocals & Lead Guitar
Tony Franklin – Bass
Carmine Appice – Drums
2008 marks the 30th anniversary of the Paul Stanley solo CD (God, that makes me feel old). Ok, if you want to get technical, Paul’s first solo CD didn’t come out until 1997, but the album was out in 1978.
For whatever reason, all four of the KISS solo discs (Gene Simmons, Ace Frehley, Peter Criss, and Paul Stanley) all have KISS on the cover, but it isn’t KISS performing on the discs at all, rather than one member of the band. I guess the KISS name, sells better than their individual names. Anyway, it is hard to listen to this CD, and not compare the songs to KISS, especially with Paul Stanley being the voice of KISS. There are some songs on this record that could have easily been leftover KISS tunes. There are also some songs here that feel like a departure away from the rocking tunes that made KISS famous.
The tunes that are almost KISS like are “Tonight You Belong To Me“, “Move On“, “It’s Alright“, “Love In Chains” ,and “Goodbye“. With no surprise, these are my favorites on this disc. I have always like Stanley’s vocals, and his voices soars on the majority of the tunes. Bob Kulick (older brother of former KISS guitarist, Bruce Kulick) provides some tasty guitar licks on this album.
This album had a minor hit with the ballad, “Hold Me, Touch Me“. It might be my personal taste, but this song sounds dated in 2008, and does not hold up well. This sticky sweet tune sounds like it has more in common with the Doobie Brothers than KISS. I am sure this was a tune used to get couples slow dancing in the local discotheques back in the late 70’s.
To Paul Stanley’s credit, he wrote the majority of the material on this album, with a little bit of help from Mikel Japp. The song writing is pretty good on this record. In my opinion, this release, and the Ace Frehley solo disc, are the best out of the four KISS solo releases from ’78.
If you are a KISS fan, chances are you probably own this. If you don’t, you ought to pick this up.
1. Tonight You Belong To Me
2. Move On
3. Ain’t Quite Right
4. Wouldn’t You Like To Know Me?
5. Take Me Away (Together As One)
6. It’s Alright
7. Hold Me, Touch Me (Think Of Me When We’re Apart)
8. Love In Chains
Musicians on this CD are:
Paul Stanley – Lead Vocals, Background Vocals, Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, E-bows, all guitars on “Hold Me, Touch Me”
Bob Kulick – Lead Guitar, Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar
Richie Fontanta – Drums (“Move On”, Wouldn’t You Like to Know Me”, “Ain’t Quite Right”, “Tonight You Belong To Me”)
Craig Krampf – Drums (“It’s Alright”, “Hold Me,Touch Me”, “Love In Chains”, Goodbye”
Carmine Appice – Drums (“Take Me Away”)
Steve Buslowe – Bass Guitar
Eric Nelson – Bass Guitar
Doug (Gling) Katsaros – Piano
Steve Lacey – Electric Guitar
Pepe Castro, Maaria Vidal, Diana Grasselli, Miriam Naomi Valle – Background Vocals
Last Night on Eddie Trunk Live, Carmen Appice talked about his new project SLAMM, that he hopes to make a full time thing. The percussion heavy, singerless band has been performing to rave reviews, according to Appice.
Check out their NASCAR promo video below. For more information on Slamm, check out CarmineAppice.net.