When Eddie Trunk brought Jake E. Lee on That Metal Show in 2013, I couldn’t have been more excited. Mr. Lee has been noticeably absent from the hard rock world for a few years, and I greatly missed him. When Jake mentioned his new band Red Dragon Cartel, I was ecstatic that Jake was returning to make new music. I have longed to hear him play in a band since the last Badlands CD Dusk from ’98.
Well Red Dragon Cartel is finally here, and I couldn’t be happier. The new music is great, and has me super excited to see the band live later in 2014.
The opening track “Deceiver” is an awesome stadium anthem that easily states that JAKE E. LEE IS BACK! The riffs on this song sound like they could have easily been off of the Ozzy Osbourne Ultimate Sin album. I can’t get enough of this song.
The song “Shout It Out” has more of a modern flair to it, but it a good song, and one of my favorites on the album.
“Feeder” features Cheap Trick’s Robin Zander on vocals, and as always Zander does a terrific job. This guy could sing names out of the phone book and make it sound good. Jake E. Lee’s riffs are pretty awesome too. Something about the intro on this song reminds me of the opening music on the animated series Batman Beyond, but it is very cool.
“Fall From The Sky (Seagull)” is a slower tune that has a cool alternative vibe too it. I really dig this track. It sounds great loud too!
If there is one weak track on the Red Dragon Cartel album, It is “Wasted”. While I like Paul Di’Anno, I don’t think his voice has aged well, and this song to me would have been better with Darren Smith on vocals. I like the music, but the vocals kill it for me.
“Slave” is another cool rocker with some killer riffs from Jake E. Lee. This hard driving tune really gets your blood pumping.
I am sure some folks were shocked when they heard “Big Mouth” with Maria Brink on vocals. This is unlike anything Jake E. Lee has ever done. It is a modern hard rocker, which isn’t too far off from what In This Moment plays. I like In This Moment and Maria Brink so I have really been enjoying this tune. I am hoping In This Moment will play this live at some point.
The song “War Machine” is doom-laden Black Sabbath like metal opus that gets better every time I listen to it. What a cool tune!
I was surprised to find that Jake E. Lee locked in Sass Jordan to sing a song on the album. I love Sass Jordan, especially on her recent release S.U.N. – Something Unto Nothing. She is a powerful bluesy singer. She does a killer job on “Redeem Me”.
“Exquisite Tenderness” is the first song that Jake E. Lee ever wrote. This is a piano based instrumental that shows that Mr. Lee has a great musical talent beyond his guitar (but please don’t give up that six string Jake!).
If you buy the special Best Buy Edition of the Red Dragon Cartel CD, you will get a bonus track “American Dream”. Is it worth it? I think so. This is a cool rocker that should not be missed.
Overall, I have been enjoying Red Dragon Cartel. It has easily been my favorite hard rock CD of 2014 so far. Some of my peers have not been so kind to Red Dragon Cartel singer Darren Smith, but I will go on record that I like his voice a lot. He reminds of a cross between John Corabi and Rod Jackson. I like both of those singers and I like Darren too. I can’t wait to hear him sing these songs live.
Red Dragon Cartel’s debut is a solid album all the way through, and most importantly it brings Jake E. Lee back to the limelight, and live stages all across the world. Welcome back Jake! I am glad you and Red Dragon Cartel are here!
02. Shout It Out
03. Feeder (Robin Zander)
04. Fall From The Sky (Seagull)
05. Wasted (Paul Di’Anno)
07. Big Mouth (Maria Brink)
08. War Machine
09. Redeem Me
10. Exquisite Tenderness
11. American Dream (Bonus Track)
Red Dragon Cartel is:
Jake E. Lee – Guitars
Ronnie Mancuso – Bass
D.J Smith – Vocals
Jonas Fairley – Drums
New Album by Band Comprised of Former Ozzy Osbourne/Badlands Guitar Legend Jake E. Lee, Bassist Ronnie Mancuso, Vocalist D.J. Smith and Drummer Jonas Fairley Set for Release in January
The newest band ready to take aim at the creative void in the hard rock world, Red Dragon Cartel, are set to release their debut album via Frontiers Records. The self-titled debut by the band made up of guitar legend Jake E. Lee, bassist Ronnie Mancuso, singer D.J. Smith and drummer Jonas Fairley is set for release on January 24th in Europe and January 28th in North America.
Jake E. Lee is best known for his work in Badlands and as guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne on Bark at the Moon and The Ultimate Sin albums. Red Dragon Cartel also features various guest appearances from some of music’s most notable faces including legendary Cheap Trick vocalist Robin Zander, original Iron Maiden vocalist Paul Di’Anno, Kill Devil Hill/Pantera bassist Rex Brown, Slash’s Conspirators Todd Kearns and Brent Fitz and In This Moment front woman Maria Brink. The album was produced by Ronnie Mancuso and Jake E. Lee and was executive produced, mixed and mastered by Kevin Churko (In This Moment, Ozzy Osbourne, Five Finger Death Punch).
From the opening riff of “Deceived” to final sustained piano chord of “Exquisite Tenderness,” it is clear Red Dragon Cartel has created an album that stands amongst some of the greatest hard rock albums of all time. Infectious songs such as “Shout It Out,” “Wasted” and “Slave” showcase the band’s ability to write memorable hooks and vocal melodies. Robin Zander of Cheap Trick lends his voice to the track “Feeder” and a lyric video for the song can be seen below.
Maria Brink of In This Moment lends her unique vocals to the track “Big Mouth.” Paul Di’Anno and Sass Jordan also lend their talents to the band’s debut. Jake E. Lee’s trademark playing style instantly shines through and picks up right where he left off. The album is available for pre-order on Amazon.com at http://amzn.to/1aYjMng or digitally on iTunes at http://smarturl.it/reddragoncartel that comes with an instant download of “Deceived.”
The track listing for Red Dragon Cartel is:
2. Shout It Out
3. Feeder with Robin Zander
4. Fall From The Sky (Seagull)
5. Wasted with Paul Di’Anno
7. Big Mouth with Maria Brink
8. War Machine
9. Redeem Me with Sass Jordan
10. Exquisite Tenderness
The band will be bringing these new powerhouse songs on the road playing a handful of dates in the US before embarking on a full tour in 2014. Tickets are currently on-sale and all information can be found on the band’s website.
December 12th – Los Angeles, CA – Whisky A Go Go
December 14th – Tempe, AZ – Marquee Theater (Support of Queensryche)
December 15th – San Diego, CA – Brick By Brick
December 20th – Las Vegas, NV – Count’s Vamp’d
Red Dragon Cartel – Official Website: http://reddragoncartel.com
Official Facebook: www.facebook.com/reddragoncartel
Official Twitter: https://twitter.com/reddragoncartel
ICARUS WITCH w/ Paul Di’anno:
2/08/2010 Limelight – Nashville, TN
2/09/2010 Vino’s Brewpub – Little Rock, AR
2/10/2010 Red Eyed Fly – Austin, TX
2/11/2010 Smokin Aces – Mission, TX
2/12/2010 Zeros Hard Rock Club – Corpus Christi, TX
2/13/2010 Cadillac Bar- San Antonio, TX [*NEW VENUE]
2/14/2010 The Loft at The Palladium – Dallas, TX
2/17/2010 Brixton – Redondo Beach, CA
2/18/2010 New Oasis – Sparks, NV
2/19/2010 Ramona Mainstage – Ramona, CA
2/20/2010 Galaxy Theater – Santa Ana, CA
2/21/2010 Voodoo Lounge – San Jose, CA
2/25/2010 Reggies Rock Club – Chicago, IL
2/26/2010 Radmaker’s Rock n Roll Tavern – Tolono, IL
2/27/2010 Emerald Theater – Mt. Clemens, MI
2/28/2010 Station 4 – St. Paul, MN
2/26/2010 Warriors of Metal III Open Air Fest – Chillicothe, Ohio