We are less than a month away from this year’s M3 music festival. It’s the only festival that revisits all the best from the hair metal days and lets us party like a long lost rock star all weekend long! I really
enjoy the annual Hard Rock Hideout trip to Maryland for this festival and I think 2013 may be our best trip yet.
And while this year’s lineup doesn’t contain much to complain about (how can you complain when WASP, KIX, Jackyl, and Twisted Sister are all on the same bill?), there are a couple of bands missing that I
would really like to see. Perhaps M3 can keep them in mind for 2014.
Stryper got screwed at last year’s festival. They had a lousy time slot, they had to cut their set short due to poor scheduling and they weren’t even allowed to play one additional song despite strong demand
from fans. It does not surprise me that they are not going to be at this year’s M3 after what happened last year. However, they should be there and they should be given a prime slot. Stryper had one of the
best performances in 2012 and had they been allowed to play a little longer, they may have had the performance of the weekend. And while I think that WASP, Twisted Sister, Bret Michaels, and KIX are
all fine headliners, Stryper would fit that bill as well. If Bret Michaels went missing and Stryper took his place, I don’t think anyone would complain. And no, that’s not a knock on Bret, it’s more of a testament
For the love of all that is holy, when are Vito Bratta and Mike Tramp going to make up and get a full on White Lion reunion together? Could it be that hard for these two guys to talk to each other for one tour?
Vito Bratta is one of the greatest guitarists to ever perform in the 80s and I still can’t understand how we haven’t seen him at one of these nostalgic festivals. I don’t think that there is any band that I would
love to see perform at a festival like M3 more than White Lion. I missed them the first time around. I didn’t get to see them tour behind Big Game. So yes, I am being a little selfish here, but White Lion was
a terrific band. If nothing else couldn’t White Lion perform at least one show? How hard would that be to coordinate? It’s not like they have much else going on. Give your fans what they want already!
While they may not have huge, memorable, chart topping hits ala White Lion and Stryper, Vain is an exceptional sleaze metal band that got their start in the 80s. Recently the band released a brand new
album of material titled Enough Rope. It was another solid album from this great band. Yet, with all the fantastic music they’ve recorded, and despite the fact that I saw several Vain T-shirts at M3’s past, Vain
continues to be left off the bill. Now, I don’t know if it’s because the promoters contacted them and Vain is not interested, but I seriously doubt that. Maybe the money isn’t right, but I am only speculating.
I do not know the reason that Vain is not performing at this year’s M3 (or any year’s M3 for that matter),
I just know that they aren’t there. And that is a disappointment. Vain is definitely an act that should be
added to the roster.
Pretty Boy Floyd
Two years ago, Pretty Boy Floyd opened the second stage and put on what I feel is one of the best performances in M3 history. It is still one of my top 5 moments in festival attendance. So why the hell
hasn’t this band been back since? Not only should Pretty Boy Floyd have returned, they should be in a prime slot on the main stage. Perhaps not a headlining slot, but the slot just before that would be good
for this band. They give a solid performance and there is no reason why the fans wouldn’t love them. All of their songs weren’t huge hits, but that doesn’t really matter. Pretty Boy Floyd is so talented as a live
act, fans will love the entire performance by the time it is over, whether they know the songs or not. The only advice that I would have for the band is to make sure they kept copies of their album(s) on hand,
because after dominating the stage, fans would want to scoop them up. Alas, it won’t matter much, because the band is not on the 2013 bill. Again, I reiterate—why the hell not?
Can someone say headliner? M3 is always looking to mix up their headlining acts and bring in bands that will draw fans. Why not reach out to Europe and get them on the bill? The band released a new album
last year and they have plenty of well known, stateside hits that would bring the audience to their feet and leave them screaming for more. “Carrie,” “Superstitious,” “Rock The Night,” and of course, “The
Final Countdown” all qualify this band to be headliners, so why haven’t we seen them at an M3 yet? Warrant has been there. Cinderella has been there. Ratt was there last year. Even Nelson has made it
to the show. Why not Europe? What is it that could be holding them back? Promoters? Demand? Pay? I have no idea, but if M3 really wanted to blow us all away in 2014, they would announce that Europe is
going to be the closer for one of the two nights. Now, I will admit that I’ve never seen the band live and I don’t know how their current live performance is—perhaps it’s not headliner worthy. But, something
tells me that is just not the case.
Those are the missing bands that I think belong at this year’s M3 Festival. What about you? Which bands do you think should be there?
Every year putting together a top 10 list becomes harder and harder. There were so many outstanding releases in 2011, there were far too many to do a top 10 list. Below are my top 20 Hard Rock & Metal Releases of 2011. Agree or disagree? Let us know what you think!
20. The Poodles – Performocracy
Can anyone take a band seriously with the name, The Poodles? Maybe, not, but the band’s latest album Performocracy
is cram packed with excellent hard & melodic rock tunes that you should take notice of.
19. Five Finger Death Punch – American Capitalist
Five Finger Death Punch may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but this heavy metal band has been putting out some of the best
new music from a newer metal band. Their third effort American Capitalist does not disappoint in the least.
18. Anvil – Juggernaut of Justice
Anvil’s Juggernaut of Justice came as somewhat of a surprise to me. I never expect to enjoy an Anvil CD so much, and JOJ is easily
one of Anvil’s best releases yet.
17. Chickenfoot – III
Sammy Hagar & company turned in another outstanding CD with their sophomore effort III. This CD is much better than the band’s debut.
16. Alex Beyrodt’s Voodoo Circle – Broken Heart Syndrome
Sinner/Primal Fear/Voodoo Circle guitarist Alex Beyrodt has released a killer CD with classic influences that include
Whitesnake & Rainbow. Every hard rock fan needs to give Broken Heart Syndrome a listen.
15. King Kobra – S/T
For King Kobra to come in at position 15 tells you just how good the music is in front of it. King Kobra’s reunion
effort, with Paul Shortino on vocals, is easily one of the best in King Kobra’s catalog.
14. Emphatic – Damage
I am not a huge modern rock fan, but every year there are some outstanding releases that deserve attention. Emphatic
simply outdid their Peers (Nickelback, Theory of a Deadman, Pop Evil) with their debut effort Damage.
13. Tora Tora – Revolution Day
It seems like every year a long-lost CD that was buried due to record company politics, finally gets a proper release.
Tora Tora’s third CD Revolution Day was released by FNA Records, and carries on the excellent bluesy hard rock
that Tora Tora is known for.
12. Coldspell – Out From the Cold
Coldspell has already released two outstanding CD’s with Infinite Stargaze & Out From The Cold. I can’t wait to hear
the next set of tunes from Coldspell. Out From The Cold should not be missed.
11. Havok – Time is Up
Havok is one of the new bands leading the Retro-Thrash Metal movement. Time is Up is their second effort and easily their
best. If you are a thrash metal fan, you need to seek out Time is Up now!
10. Michael Monroe – Sensory Overdrive
I have been a Michael Monroe fan forever but I never expected one of his solo CD’s to be THIS good. Sensory Overdrive is easily
the best Michael Monroe CD since 1989’s Not Fakin It.
09. Warrant – Rockaholic
Warrant’s Rockaholic is easily my favorite Warrant CD since the band’s 1992 effort, Dog Eat Dog. The late Jani Lane will always
be missed, but Robert Mason is an outstanding singer, and he may be the best vocalist Warrant has ever had. Rockaholic will
make people take notice of Warrant again.
08. Sixx A.M. – This is Gonna Hurt
With the recent news from the Motley Crue camp as of late, it sounds like a farewell tour may be coming from the band soon. If this
is truly the case, Nikki Sixx can carry on his band Sixx A.M. This is Gonna Hurt took a while to grow on me, but it has become a favorite of mine
over the last few months.
07. Black Country Communion – 2
Out of all of the supergroups, Black Country Communion outdid them all with their second effort 2. 60-year-old Glenn Hughes could (and probably
should) give a clinic to young rockers, on how to rock. He is still getting it done.
06. Anthrax – Worship Music
You would think that Joey Belladonna returning to Antrax would be create a major amount of excitement, and it has. Belladonna’s vocals are
not the high point of Worship Music. This is easily Anthrax’s best CD from a musical standpoint, and the best thrash metal CD of 2011.
05. Whitesnake – Forevermore
If Doug Aldrich & Reb Beach keep helping David Coverdale put out CD’s like Good To Be Band and Forevermore, folks may forget about the
band’s monster hits from the 80’s. Forevermore is another outstanding effort from the Whitesnake camp.
04. Mr. Big – What If…
Mr. Big’s reunion CD What If is the band’s best CD since 1993’s Bump Ahead. You SHOULD NOT miss What If…!
03. Alice Cooper – Welcome 2 My Nightmare
Alice Cooper’s reunion with producer Bob Ezrin was a very good one. Welcome 2 My Nightmare is an outstanding sequel that should not be missed.
02. Vain – Enough Rope
I can not say enough good things about Vain’s latest CD, Enough Rope.If you liked Vain’s debut, No Regrets, you need to seek out the band’s latest
effort Enough Rope. It is quality all the way through, and easily to my ears one of 2011’s best.
01. Electric Boys – And Them Boys Done Swang
I never would have thought The Electric Boys could have outdone their debut, but with And Them Boys Done Swang, they have done just that.
Sure, some of the lyrics are somewhat cheesy, but the band has every bit of the Funk that was found in their debut.
The Japanese edition has some excellent bonus tracks which pushes this one over the top.
Rival Sons – Pressure & Time
Black Stone Cherry – Between the Devil & The Deep Blue Sea
Megadeth – Th1rt3en
Badmouth – Heavy Metal Parking Lot
Motorhead – The World is Yours
Riot – Immortal Soul
House of Lords – Big Money
The Answer – Revival
Pop Evil – War of Angels
Beggars & Thieves – We Are The Broken Hearted
George Lynch – Kill All Control
Michael Schenker – Temple of Rock
Want more Top 10 lists? You can find them at the following websites:
All Metal Resource — http://allmetalresource.com/
Bring Back Glam — http://bringbackglam.squarespace.com/
The Crash Pad of Ray Van Horn, Jr. – http://www.rayvanhornjr2.blogspot.com/
Hair Metal Mansion — http://hairbangersradio.ning.com/
Hard Rock Nights — http://hardrocknights.com
Heavy Metal Addiction — http://heavymetaladdiction.com/
Heavy Metal Time Machine — http://metalmark.blogspot.com/
Imagine Echoes — http://www.imagineechoes.com/
Layla’s Classic Rock — http://laylasclassicrock.blogspot.com/
Metal Excess — http://metalexcess.com/
Metal Odyssey — http://metalodyssey.wordpress.com/
The Ripple Effect — http://www.ripplemusic.blogspot.com/
This week at Hard Rock Hideout, we have our Best of 2011 picks by HRH Staff Writers Ryo Vie, Stone and Rob Rockitt. Check out Ryo Vie’s Top 10 Best Hard Rock Albums of 2011 below!
Another year has passed us by, which means we’ve gone through another year of some great music releases. While I still think that 2010 was a stronger year overall, 2011 did have its share of fantastic releases and magnificent surprises. From an unexpected release by Vain to a mind blowing album from Megadeth, 2011 delivered some real gems. Here now are my picks for the ten best of 2011.
10. Hurtsmile – Hurtsmile
Early in the year, Gary Cherone and his brother Mark released the debut album from their newly formed band, Hurtsmile. The result was spectacular. Taking the funked up, jazz infused hard rock sound of Extreme, and blending it with snippets of modern era music made for an incredible experience. Hurtsmile is unto a class themselves. The disc combined elements of Extreme, Gary’s days in Van Halen, and his more recent solo albums, and combined all the ingredients into an identity that was unique and fun. Hard rocking and filled with gems, Hurtsmile is an album that Gary Cherone fans are bound to love.
9. Foo Fighters – Wasting Light
I’m almost positive that it was the last song, “Walk,” that hooked me on the new Foo Fighters record. I’ve never been a huge fan of the band. I’ve enjoyed their music over the years, and the heavier singles, but I would never call myself a “fan.” However, when the movie THOR came out this past spring, it featured the song “Walk” from Wasting Light. As a huge fan of the movie Thor this song resonated with me the first time I heard it. It was the perfect song for the ending sequence. Sometimes songs can leave lasting images in the brain when associated with something that produced great feelings. That song compelled me to check out their latest record. I must admit that I am very glad I did. Wasting Light is chock full of enjoyable gems, hard rockers, and even a ballad or two. The Foo Fighters may be a band that I have to pay more attention to in 2012.
8. Vain – Enough Rope
Once, they were close to being the next darlings of hair metal. Unfortunately, bad timing cost them their chance at superstardom. Now, many years later, Vain has returned with a disc full of spectacular new songs that shows why they could have conquered the metal world more than 20 years ago. Enough Rope is a magnificent album that fans of hard rocking hair metal are going to love. Being able to hear such great guitar licks and the amazing vocals of Davy Vain after all the time that has passed is a real treat. It’s sad that Vain was a victim of bad timing. If you love 80s metal, or any metal, you should definitely pick up a copy of Vain’s Enough Rope. It is one of the greatest records released this year.
7. Bullet – Highway Pirates
Swedish metal act, Bullet, released their sophomore effort, Highway Pirates, this year to the delight of many hard rock fans. Highway Pirates is hard rocking, head banging, guitar shredding, heavy metal mayhem at its finest. The one thing I’ve always liked most about Bullet is lead singer’s Dag Hofer’s voice. He has power and range and can really unleash a metal scream as he does often on Highway Pirates. Packed with exceptional guitar solos and all the metal madness you can handle, Highway Pirates was a phenomenal album and certainly one of 2011’s best.
6. Mr. Big – What If…
One of the best hard rock treats of 2011 was a fully reunited Mr. Big releasing an album of brand new material. The last time the four original members of Mr. Big recorded a new record was in 1996. It was quite a wait for fans to hear new music from this astonishing quartet. Thankfully, 2011 finally saw the wait come to an end, and Mr. Big delivered a rock solid record in What If… From the funk/slap/sensational bass antics of Billy Sheehan to the incredible vocals of Eric Martin, this disc really had it all. Why the album would have sold on nostalgia alone, it was the band’s commitment to deliver something worthy of the Mr. Big moniker that pushed it over the top. You’d be hard pressed to find another record that is so much fun to listen to.
5. Sebastian Bach – Kicking And Screaming
With a brilliant young axe wizard in the mix, Sebastian Bach released a solo album worthy of your hard earned dollars. Before hearing this record, I had no expectations of what it would be. I thought that it might be a decent record, but I didn’t have high hopes. The past couple of years Bach has not shown much, so I figured his new album would be watered down rock. Boy was I wrong! Wrong in a HUGE way! Kicking and Screaming is one of the most superb albums of 2011. Not only does young guitar wizard, Nick Sterling, light up the songs with his astounding fret work, but Bach’s voice has never sounded stronger. Kicking and Screaming is a collection of greatness that blew me away. This is truly Sebastian Bach at his best.
4. Whitesnake – Forevermore
Even after rocking the world for over 30 years, David Coverdale can still put together music with meaning that fans will care about. This year’s Forevermore was a treat for the ears that was highly unexpected. Sure, I figured that Whitesnake was going to release a solid album in Forevermore, I just didn’t realize how amazing it was going to be. From the moment I played the record for the first time this past March, I knew this was going to be included on my top 10 albums of the year. The beauty of Forevermore is how the songs hit the listener immediately and with such definition. It’s like the band never went away.
3. Megadeth – Th1rte3n
Megadeth unleashed an absolutely astounding album earlier this year in the form of Th1rte3n. A whirlwind of fun, heavy metal, thunderous tunes, Dave Mustaine and company have put together a truly grand record that shines as bright as albums from the bands early days. Th1rte3n is one of Megadeth’s strongest albums to date and serves as a reminder to all metal fans what great hard rock sounds like. The glory of the album is the return of the guitar solo. While other bands are forgetting what guitar solos are and how they make a song grow into something much stronger, Megadeth is taking solos to the next level. The blazing speed and intensity of the guitars is featured mightily on this record and it’s all for the better. Simply stated, Th1rte3n is metal done right.
2. Anthrax – Worship Music
Prior to the release of Worship Music, Anthrax claimed that this was the best album the band had ever recorded. While that was a bold statement, after listening to the album just once, I realized that they may be right. After multiple listens, I am sure of it. Worship Music is not only an incredible Anthrax record it is an incredible rock record. It’s been 20 years since the band recorded with Joey Belladonna and after hearing Worship Music all I could think was “what the hell took them so long?” It’s not that Anthrax released bad albums with their other singers, it’s just that they never released an album this great. From the intense, heart pounding, hard rocking “The Devil You Know” to the Maiden-esque “In The End,” Anthrax has served up a serious record. There are very few metal records that could even come close to being this grand. Not just for 2011, but for all time. If Anthrax continues to create music in this capacity, they will spend the next 20 years of their career celebrating with a lot of gold and platinum.
1. Pop Evil – War of Angels
Between magnificent power ballads, hard rocking openers, and good old fashioned fun rock and roll, Pop Evil’s War of Angels is a record that should be added to any hard rock fans collection. I have waxed poetic about this band for a while now, and their latest release only proves that I should continue to sing the band’s high praises. Yes, perhaps I have a man-crush on lead singer Leigh Kakaty, but that’s all right. Beyond my envy, the man is a talented singer and a hell of a front man. Packed with memorable ballads such as “Purple” and “”Open Your Eyes,” in addition to hard core rockers like “Last Man Standing,” War of Angels contains nothing but songs you will be singing for years to come. Give them a few more years, and Pop Evil will be the darlings of hard rock radio. They are a cut above most of the new breed of rockers that are out there. Nickleback, Theory, even Hinder, can’t hold a candle to what Pop Evil is doing. War of Angels is the best rock record I’ve heard this year… the others don’t even come close.
And there they are…my choices for the best in rock, 2011.
Nelson – Lightning Strikes Twice
Sinner – One Bullet Left
VAIN fans have a new reason to be excited in 2011!! Davy Vain and company are back with a brand new hard rockin’ album, Enough Rope. Fans of the No Respect era of VAIN are definitely going to enjoy the band’s latest effort.
First and foremost, Davy Vain sounds exactly the same as he did back on the band’s ’89 debut. I always thought he had one of the more unique voices of the late 80’s, and he sounds incredible on Enough Rope. Not only does Davy sound great, but the whole band is in fine form. VAIN has put together another great album. This is easily VAIN’s most rockin’ release since No Respect.
The songs “Triple X”, “Cindy”, “Solid Gold” and the title track “Enough Rope” are easily as good as anything VAIN has ever recorded. “Greener” is a pretty good song to start the album off with. You can almost hear the smoke coming off of the instruments on “Triple X”. This up tempo rocker is going to be a favorite of mine for a long long time. There isn’t a bad song to be found on Enough Rope, and the majority of the songs are quite deserving of radio airplay.
I loved the long-delayed, All Those Strangers which received an official release last year I believe Enough Rope is even better than that disc, and amongst the best songs VAIN has ever recorded.
Enough Rope will be released on October 28th in Europe. Hopefully, a record label will be smart enough to give this CD a proper U.S. release. You won’t want to miss out on “Enough Rope”!
Rating: Out of 10
2. Triple X
3. Hot Stage Lights
4. Stray Kitten Burns
6. Treasure Girl
7. Enough Rope
8. Solid Gold
9. Distance of Love
11. Worship You
Davy Vain – Vocals, Guitars
Jamie Scott – Guitars
Ashley Mitchell – Bass
Tommy Rickard – Drums
Danny West – Guitars
Louie Senor – Drums
Fraser Lunney – Bass
|26.March||IT||Romagnano Sesia||Rock ‘n’ Roll Arena|
|27.March||IT||Bologna||Sottotetto Sound Club|
|08.April||BEL||Roeselare||De Verlichte Geest|
|12.April||SWE||Stockholm||Harry B James|
Glam fans rejoice! One of the better hair metal bands of the 80s (although they weren’t as well known as the big names) has released the follow up to their exceptional debut CD some 20 years later, All Those Strangers. This album is everything that a growing (or well seasoned) metal fan needs in their collection.
On All Those Strangers, Vain make it sound like the late 80s all over again. The reason for that? This follow up disc to their superb debut album was recorded in 1991. It is finally getting to see the light of day thanks to Jackie Rainbow Records who dug it out of the vaults and decided to give it a shot. I am extremely grateful that they did.
Vain was a band that never got enough recognition. Lead singer Davy Vain has the ultimate glam voice, sounding like a cross between Taime Down (Faster Pussycat) and David Roach (Junkyard). Davy Vain is a master behind the microphone. His ability to hit the right key and the precise inflection at the perfect moment is impeccable. On songs like “Shooting Star”, “Love Drug”, and “Here Comes Lonely”, Vain shows his power and ability by sounding like a leader from the L.A. Strip circa 1988.
Exceptional vocals aren’t the only thing that All Those Strangers is blessed with. The guitar playing is incredible, highlighted by Danny West’s killer solos and James Scott enchanting rhythm. All Those Strangers has a lot of fast paced, bluesy moments, which only helps to catapult it to the upper echelon of greatness. It has a sound similar to early LA Guns and a touch of White Lion.
Every song on this disc is great. All Those Strangers is one of those rare records where you want to hear the next song as badly as you want to replay the last one. It’s that strong. Why this band never gained more attention remains a mystery to me. You can blame grunge and the death of the Hollywood Strip scene all you want, but these guys should have made a comeback a lot sooner.
The best song on the disc (by far) is also the power ballad of the record and it an amazing one at that. “Shouldn’t Cry” is the epitome of what late 80s rock aspired to be. If you slap on the headphones, put this song on, and sit in a darkened room with your eyes closed, there is no doubt you will be whisked back to high school days, thinking about your girl and wondering what tomorrow is going to bring. I’ve never heard a song that can transport me back instantaneously the way “Shouldn’t Cry” does. It’s magical.
Blessed with the ability to capture the sound of hair metal at the height of its fame, All Those Strangers is a glam fans dream come true. A must own for your collection, this disc will not disappoint, but it may make you yearn for the easier days of yesteryear. That’s a small price to pay for a collection of exceptional rock and roll.
Rating: Out of 10
- Love Drug
- Planets Turning
- Shooting Star
- Too Bad
- Far Away
- Wake Up
- Freak Flag
- Here Comes Lonely
- Shouldn’t Cry
- Do You Sleep With Strangers?
- Looking Glass
Davy Vain – Vocals
Danny West – Guitar
James Scott – Guitar
Ashley Mitchell – Bass
Tom Rickard – Drums
DOKKEN are confirmed to perform at Rocklahoma 2008 which is taking place July 10th – 13th in Pryor, Oklahoma – they will perform on the 10th.
Rocklahoma’s lineup on the Main Stage is now as follows:
Thursday, July 10th: (Pre Party for those who have bought three day tickets) BRET MICHAELS, SEBASTIAN BACH, DOKKEN, L.A. GUNS featuring Tracii Guns, ENUFF Z’ NUFF, VAIN, HOUSE OF LORDS and JET BOY.
Friday, July 11th: TRIUMPH, EXTREME, LITA FORD, NIGHT RANGER, LIVING COLOUR, KINGDOM COME, ARMORED SAINT, XYZ.
Saturday, July 12th: CINDERELLA, WARRANT, KIX, LYNCH MOB, TRIXTER, BLACK N BLUE, TORA TORA, EVERY MOTHER’S NIGHTMARE, PRETTY BOY FLOYD
Sunday, July 13tth: TESLA, BEAUTIFUL CREATURES, ZEBRA, AXE and three more acts tba.
Two side stages adjacent to the main stage feature over twenty-eight regional artists on each stage.
The Retrospect Records stage includes the following bands: JESTER, SIDEKIXX, PAIR-A-DICE, FRONT RUNNER, TOMMY HAD A VISION, VALOR, GYPSY BLUE, WHITEFOXX, BLUE TIGER, WILD AUGUST, MESSANG, PAUL SHORTINO, MARIAH, WARRYOR, BAD CANDY, LORRAINE, NASTY NASTY, REAL STEEL, CUTTLASS, VYPER, MASS, BAD CANDY, ONEY, STRIKEFORCE, HERAZZ, RECKLESS, HEARTLESS, RON KEEL, WARRYOR and ALIBI.
On the Tri-Label Group stage has: ASPHALT VALENTINE, AZRAEL’S BANE, BONESHAKER, COCKPIT, DANGEROUS INC., DEATHRIDERS (NEIL TURBIN), DIRTY PENNY, DRIVE A, EXIT 27, GODS OF KANSAS, GYPSY PISTOLEROS, KARNEVIL (DARIO LORINA), KRUCIBLE (featuring Lance King), LIPSTICK MAGAZINE, MINDFLOW, ODIN, ORDER OF NINE, POWND, SACRED DAWN, SEX DPT., SHADOWSIDE, SWEET F.A., THE JAKALS, TEXAS HIPPIE COALITION, WARMACHINE.
Courtesy of Bravewords.com
Way back in 1989, I picked up a copy of Vain’s debut, No Respect on cassette. I recollect not caring for this release very much back then. This was one of the many tapes that was stolen out of my car back in the 80’s, and I never replaced it. The recent announcement of VAIN on the bill at Rocklahoma, had me scurrying to find a new copy of No Respect. This disc was out of print for a while, but it was reissued by Gott Discs in 2004.
I hoped my opinion would change the second time around for this disc, and you know what, it has! No Respect is a lot better than I remember it to be.
Davy Vain‘s vocal style is kind of like a whiny Phil Lewis, but it grows on you, and is different enough to give this disc some appeal. There is no question, that VAIN rooted themselves in the Glam Metal scene. One look at their picture (below) and you can easily tell what era of rock they came from. The cool thing about VAIN, is they really don’t sound much like peers from the hair metal era.
The music is a lot more raw, and less pop than many of the bands of the late 80’s and early 90’s. I would guess that Danny West is influenced by Joe Satriani based on some of his guitar licks on this album. (Listen to his playing in the video Beat the Bullet and you will see what I mean.) The guitar work on this record is quite good, and I have found the songs to be much more to my liking in 2008.
Thanks to Rocklahoma, I am happy to have added this disc back to my collection. I am going to be playing this CD a lot in the coming weeks. If you haven’t ever listened to VAIN before, be sure to check out the videos below. You may find yourself wanting to add this highly under rated disc to your own collection.
For more information on the band check out, their myspace page.
Rating:Out of 10
2. Beat the Bullet
3. Who’s Watching You
4. 1000 Degrees
6. Smoke And Shadows
7. No Respect
8. Laws Against Love
9. Down For the 3rd Time
11. Without You
Davy Vain – Vocals
James Scott – Guitar
Danny West – Guitar
Tom Rickard – Drums
Ashley Mitchell – Bass
Is Rocklahoma 2008 a big music nostalgia fest? Absolutely! Would I want to attend? Yes, without question.
Many of the bands in this 4 day music extravaganza haven’t released any new tunes in years. Would I still want to see them perform? No question about it.
House of Lords
Bret Michaels (headliner)
Looking at the list of acts above, this lineup may not excite a lot of people, but I would still like to see it. I love Tracii Guns, but I make no bones about it, that I prefer the Phil Lewis version of this band. I wouldn’t go out of my way to see their set.
Chip Z’Nuff mentioned in the Rocklahoma that a new Enuff Z’nuff album is on the way with Jake E. Lee on guitar. I am not sure if Jake E. Lee will be with them at Rocklahoma, but if so, this is a show not to be missed.
I haven’t ever seen Vain live, but I have heard a lot of good things about them. I would be happy to check them out.
House of Lords is still putting out new music, and has a new CD that will hit stores in a couple of weeks. Their last album, World Upside Down was quite good. James Christian is a very good singer, and the band features the talent of axe slinger Jimi Bell. Count me in!
I had the pleasure of seeing Jetboy live in Columbus (See this article for the concert review with videos). The band was excellent alive. I wouldn’t miss this their set for anything.
Tracii Guns mentioned in the Rocklahoma press conference that he hated opening for these guys, as they used to blow him off the stage. Jetboy was originally signed to MCA, and as with most acts on that label, never got the proper support they deserved. They are going to open up a lot of eyes at Rocklahoma.
Bret Michaels mentioned at the press conference that this will be a big show with pyro etc when he closes out on Thursday night. It sounds as if he wants to make this every bit of fun as a Poison show. He also mentioned that a special area will be set up where you can meet him in person, get an autograph, and a picture, and talk music with him. With Rock of Love being the #1 show on cable televison, there will be a lot of people waiting in line to meet Bret, without question. I don’t know much of his solo music, so I can’t say if his solo set is something I would want to check out. I will likely check out his solo disc that is supposed to hit in June.
Strangely enough, most of the bands on the Friday schedule, I have not seen live. For them to all be on the same bill together is quite cool. I wouldn’t want to miss one band on the Friday night line up.
XYZ was quite similar to Dokken. Terry Ilous said that this will be the first time the band has played together is several years. It should be an interesting set, and it will good to hear some of their tunes again.
Armored Saint is easily the heaviest band on the main stage for the entire 4 day event, and is a no miss act, in my opinion. Their CD, Symbol of Salvation, is still one of my favorites.
Kingdom Come always took a lot of crap for being a Led Zeppelin clone when they first came out. Nonetheless I like their first two CD’s, but I haven’t cared for their more recent material. I am not sure what the lineup will be for this show. I am guessing it will be Lenny Wolf and a bunch of hired hands. I will have to see what I can find out on this one. I have low expectations for this part of the show.
There are plenty of Night Ranger songs that I have enjoyed over the years. They put out a new CD in 2007, which I still haven’t checked out yet. Jack Blades, Brad Gillis and Kelly Keagy are a very talented group. I wouldn’t dare miss this set.
Triumph and Extreme are co-headlining Friday night. This is one of the few appearances that Triumph is making
in 2008. Rik Emmett always puts on a good show. I wouldn’t miss this for anything.
Extreme is back together again with Gary Cherone, Nuno Bettencourt, and Pat Badger. They are working on new
material for a 2008 release. I would be happy to see Nuno play live, in any capacity. I am glad to see him return to the band that made him famous.
There is also one band that has not been announced for Friday. I am not sure who this will be, but the lineup is already a solid one.
The Saturday Lineup has a lot of question marks for me, but could turn out to be a solid day of rock.
Pretty Boy Floyd
Every Mothers Nightmare
Black N Blue
Warrant featuring Jani Lane
My understanding is that Pretty Boy Floyd has completely reunited. This isn’t the watered down version of the band that Steve Summers has been on the road with. If so, then this would be kind of cool to see.
Every Mother’s Nightmare is a complete wild card. The singer, Rick Ruhl, and drummer Jim Phipps are the only remaining members. I like their bluesy Memphis rock, and would like to check them out.
Tora Tora on the other hand is a complete band reunion. I love their two CD’s Surprise Attack, and Wild America.
I have seen them live but it has easily been 18 years ago. They were great then, so I would imagine a solid show by this group. Hopefully their unreleased CD will see the light of day after this.
I never had the opportunity to see Black N’ Blue live, but I have all of their CD’s and would certainly want to check them out. Jamie St. James was pretty good on the last Warrant CD. I don’t know what the lineup will be for this show, but I doubt that Tommy Thayer will be part of it. Gene Simmons owns him now.
I have to admit that I have never been a Trixter fan. I always looked at this band as the New Kids on the Block
with guitars. I thought their music was a little thin back in the day, and seeing them live won’t change my opinion.
I have always liked Kix, and I have seen them live a few times. I have also seen Steve Whiteman’s other band,
Funny Money (which sounds exactly like Kix). It would be cool to hear some Kix tunes live again.
I saw Jani Lane solo in 2007, and he sounded great. I am happy that Warrant is back together again in a full reunion. I have seen them live a few times, and they always put on a good show.
Cinderella is also a band that has always put on an excellent show, each and every time I have seen them. Tom Keifer’s voice is the only thing that is a question mark about this show. The band has been off for a couple of years so I am hopeful that Tom’s voice is back to full strength.
The Sunday lineup is interesting, especially with two times slots still opened. One of these slots is heavily rumored to be Motley Crue. I am not sure of the other one, but wouldn’t be shocked to see Danger Danger get the other slot.
I doubt a lot of people are going to know Axe. I know the band, but I wouldn’t go out of my to see them play live. I like their tune Rock and Roll Party In the Streets, but that is about it.
Beautiful Creatures have released a couple of CD’s in this decade which is more than a lot of the bands in this music festival can say. Seeing them on the roster has me getting out my CD’s by them again. I would certainly want to check them out.
Zebra is a darkhorse in this lineup. I haven’t seen them live, but I am quite familiar with their music. This could be a good show.
Lynch Mob now features Oni Logan on vocals, Marco Mendoza on bass, Tommy Aldridge on drums, and of course George Lynch on guitar. I saw half of this band perform with Whitesnake, and would love to see this lineup in action. Tommy Aldridge is an animal on the drums, and George Lynch needs no introductions. I am interested in hearing his new Scorpion Tales album, but this is a Scorpions cover album. This is quite odd, considering that he hasn’t ever been in the band.
Tesla is the must see band on the Sunday bill. I have seen Tesla twice in the last year, and they were excellent both times. They will easily be the best band on the Sunday lineup (amongst those that have been announced so far.)
The side stages at Rocklahoma has a bunch of darkhorses, and bands that may surprise you.
The lineups look like this:
The Retrospect Records stage includes the following bands: Jester, Sidekixx, air-A-Dice, Front Runner, Tommy Had a Vision, Valor, Gypsy Blue, Whitefoxx, Blue Tiger, Wild August, Messang, Paul Shortino, Mariah, Warryor, Bad Candy,
Lorraine, Nasty Nasty, Real Steel, Cuttlass, Vyper, Mass, Bad Candy, Oney, Strikeforce, Herazz, Reckless, Heartless, Ron Keel, Warryor and Alibi.
I am not familar with most of the bands on the Retrospect stage, aside from: Mariah, Mass, Paul Shortino, Ron Keel, Nasty Nasty and Strikeforce. I would certainly like to
check out some of these acts, although none of these were bands were ever considered A-Listers.
The other stage has Texas Hippie Coalition, Karnevil featuring Dario Lorina, Dirty Penny, Crooked X, Gypsy Pistoleros, Sweet FA, Banshee, Gods of Kansas, Lipstick Magazine, Pownd, Shadowside, Mindflow, Warmachine, Asphalt Valentine, and Krucible featuring Lance King.
The interesting thing about Stage 3 is most of these are all up and coming bands.18 year old Dario Lorina is an amazing guitar player. Look him up on you tube and watch this kid play. He is very good. Karnevil is his new band. I don’t know much about them, but with Lorina on the six string, they will be interesting.
Dirty Penny is one of the better new glam bands out there. They aren’t very original, but their new CD is pretty good.
The Gypsy Pistoleros close out Friday Night on stage three, and they are the must see band in Rocklahoma. The Flamenco twist on their upbeat glam tunes is certainly one that I would like to see.
Sweet FA is the late 80’s/early 90’s hard rock band that reunited in 2007. Their new CD, The Lost Tapes is quite good. I have seen this band live, and I know they are pretty good.
Banshee is another must see band on stage three. They are one of the heavier acts on this stage. If you haven’t heard any of their music, I recommend checking them out. They will surprise you for sure.
Gods of Kansas is a newer band that is starting to make some waves. They are currently playing a bunch of live shows all over the U.S.
Pownd is a newer heavy metal band that is located 2.5 hours down the road from me in Richmond, Kentucky.
Their newest CD is highly rated across the web. I will be reviewing this one soon.
Shadowside and Asphalt Valentine are two of Chavis Records newer bands. Shadowside has one cd out, and one
on the way. Asphalt Valentine is a hard rocking band from Atlanta, GA. Their debut will be released within
the next couple of months. (I will also be checking them out locally in two weeks).
I don’t know the other acts on this stage (Crooked X, Lipstick Magazine, Mindflow, Warmachine, and Krucible) but I will be exploring these bands in the months to come.
As a whole….Rocklahoma offers plenty of Nostalgia, but also a slew of NEW bands trying to make it in the music world. The addition of two more stages in 2008 greatly improves this event over the 2007 show.
I can only hope that I will be able to make the trek there for this show. I can’t imagine missing this event!