Former Hanoi Rocks front man Michael Monroe is back with his sixth solo album, Sensory Overdrive.
On his latest CD, Michael has assembled an all-star band to help craft his new tunes. The lineup on this CD features Ginger from the Wildhearts on Guitar, Sammi Yaffa from Hanoi Rocks, Jetboy and the New York Dolls on bass, and Steve Conte from the New York Dolls on guitar. He also has a couple of cool guest stars with Lucinda Williams and Lemmy Kilmister adding some vocals too.
Sensory Overdrive is a little short in length. The eleven songs on Sensory Overdrive clock in just shy of 33 minutes. For most releases that would be a problem, but on this CD you get a bunch of short rockin’ tunes that never fail to entertain.
I don’t if Ginger’s song writing help inspire Michael Monroe on this album, but the songs on this CD are mostly upbeat, and overall, a lot of fun to listen to.
Chances are you have heard the first single “’78” by now. (If not check it out in the video below). This song is an extremely catchy number that is going please the legion of Michael Monroe & Hanoi Rocks fans out there.
I don’t know what it is about “Got Blood?” that makes me think it would be a good T.V. Show theme song. It is a good tune, but it has that kind of vibe.
“Superpowered Superfly” sounds pretty ridiculous lyrically, but this song is pretty infectious.
“Modern Day Miracle” with its chorus, “Shut up, Stop Talking, Shut up, Stop Talking, You’re Giving Me A Headache” is such a fun tune. I would love to sing this song to some people I know. :)
“Gone Baby Gone” with Lucinda Williams has a country rock feel to it, in the vein of the Eagles. This song works well, and is one of the many highlights on Sensory Overdrive
You would think Michael Monroe’s punk edge rock would be a very good fit for Lemmy Kilmister’s voice, but the marriage of Michael Monroe’s voice with Lemmy’s on “Debauchery As a Fine Art” just doesn’t work for me. It isn’t a bad tune, it is actually pretty fun, but it is nowhere near as good as the rest of the material on Sensory Overdrive.
I have been blasting Sensory Overdrive in my car for nearly a month before writing this review, and it was all I could do to get myself to pull it out of my player. I have been enjoying this disc immensely! This CD will be one of the mainstays of my play list all summer long.
Sensory Overdrive is easily one of the best releases of 2011, and should be sought out by everyone.
Rating: Out of 10
1. Trick Of The Wrist
3. Got Blood?
4. Superpowered Superfly
5. Modern Day Miracle
6. Bombs Away
7. All You Need
8. Later Won’t Wait
9. Gone Baby Gone
10. Center Of Your Heart
11. Debauchery As A Fine Art
Michael Monroe – Vocals
Ginger – Guitars
Steve Conte – Guitars
Sami Yaffa – Bass
Karl Rockfist – 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