Friday, November 30, 2012

Welcome To the Nightmare - An All Star Salute To Alice Cooper

If you saw an Alice Cooper tribute album with names like Slash, Dave Mustaine, Bruce Dickinson, Dee Snyder, Zakk Wylde, and Ronnie Jame Dio, you'd do the same thing I did and pick up the album. Then you'll have a similar experience to what I went through, which is a mix between disappointment and pleasant surprise.

There are two versions of this CD that I've owned over the years. The original release, which only contained eleven tracks, and I found to be a bit a of a let down. Then there's the special deluxe edition, which is what I'm calling it, that contains fourteen songs, cooler packaging, and is much better.

Welcome To My Nightmare kicks off the album, with Ronnie Jame Dio handling the vocals, which is really cool. But, not as cool as you'd hope. It's like he opted to play it mellow instead of doing his normal Dio wildness. Musically I find the song sounds kind of rushed, and not in a cool sped up tempo kind of way. It's more like a "Let's get this done and over with." However, the song itself is done well and is enjoyable.

When this tribute was originally released it was all individual artists getting together on various tracks, and you can tell most of them were recorded separately. When the new edition came out, the three added tracks were performed by actual bands. The first one to appear on the album is Iced Earth, which perform my favourite Alice track, Dead Babies. If they had fucked this up, I would have hunted them down and fucked them up. That's not the case though. Iced Earth performed the classic, as it was meant to be performed. The only problem with this cover is that it's not Alice. So, I tip my hat to these guys.

Dave Mustaine, Marty Friedman, Eric Singer, and Bob Daisley all got together to do School's Out, which means it should be totally bitchin'. After all we're talking about half of Megadeth, which did an awesome job of covering No More Mr. Nice Guy in the past. Then there's one of Alice's official drummers, and one of Ozzy's bassists. It all sounds great on paper, but something went wrong with the song. Don't get me wrong, it's not a bad cover, but I really expected more. I was expecting it to sound a bit more metal, and less like a knock off. Basically it's just another Scholl's Out cover by another group of guys.

When this album was originally released there were only two tracks that really stood out. The first one was Black Widow, which is performed by Bruce Dickinson (which also performs the Vincent Price speech), Adrian Smith, Tommy Aldridge and Derek Sherinian. They don't only do this song well, but they hit it out of the park. Let's start with Metal's best living vocalist, and also one of Metal's most overlooked guitarists. Tommy is a keyboardist, that's played with everyone, including Alice, and Tommy is a drummer that has also played with everyone. Between the four of them, they perfect this song.

Now the next track is a bit of a weird spot for me. I'm not a fan of the Trash album, and there's only a couple of songs on the album that I full out like, Bed Of Nails is not one of them. I'm also not a fan of Black/Death Metal, which means that Children Of Bodom do nothing for me. Now take that song, mix it with that band, and you get a really cool take on that song. Say what? Seriously, I can't complain about this cover, except for the two complaints already listed. Well, that's not entirely true. After the 3:30 marker the song gets a bit silly for me.

The second track I was impressed with on the original release of this album was Go To Hell. Basically Zakk Wylde and Dee Snyder hit this one out of the park, but it's Frankie Banali's percussion that helped make this song. It's one of the biggest parts of this song, and the Quiet Riot drummer got it spot on. The production on this track is another thing that helps make it awesome. This song was done just so well, that not a fault can be found, and I've tried. This track, along with Black Widow, are good enough reasons to pick up the original release, but this track alone is what's worth the price of admission.

The very first Alice Cooper album I owned, that was mine and only mine, was Raise Your Fist And Yell. That album had me falling in love with a song called Roses On White Lace when I was nine years old. That is a song that I still worship to this day. It is Metal, to the fullest meaning of Metal. When I saw that it was included on this updated release I had to get it. Eventhough I was probably setting myself up to go on a killing spree. If Icarus Witch (The performing group) had fucked this one up, they all would have been dead. I would have had every last fucker executed and hung out on display for the world to see. Thankfully for all involved, that wasn't the case. Not only did they get the song right, they did it exceptionally well. This song flies out of the speakers like an angel of death, just like the original, and that is fucking awesome. This song could have easily been fucked up, but instead they got it right, put their own touches on it, and made it amazing. Icarus Witch I salute you.

From this point on, it's one surprising fuck up after another, with the exception of one track.

When I saw that Mick Mars and Vince Neil were performing Cold Ethyl I was totally excited. However, they fucked up my second favourite Alice Cooper song, and that's not cool. I mean, it's an okay cover, and not a bad enough let down to bring up homicidal urges, but it really falls flat. The flair, excitement and passion of the original just isn't found here. When Alice performed this song, it was easy to believe he was into necrophelia, where as Vince sounds like he's just singing a song. Shame on you vince.

Def Leppard performing Alice Cooper actually sounds pretty good on paper, but when Joe Elliot and Phil Collen take on Under My Wheels they fail to make it their own. It's a well done cover, and the fact that they made damn sure to put the sax in is exceptional, but it wasn't as lively as I had expected. Once again, it sounds more like it's being sung, and not performed. You don't sing Alice. You perform Alice. That's one of the biggest make or breaks on this album.

Duff McKagen can't sing, but he can perform, and that is why his version of Elected is cool. He, along with Billy Duffy, Matt Sorum and Steve Jones (Sex Pistols) rock this one out, in a bad ass Punk attitude. Thus they captured the song right. This song is exactly what I'm talking about when I say perform. They work the mics, work the instruments, and give it one hundred percent. You believe these guys want to be elected.

Roger Daltrey and Slash performing No More Mr. Nice Guy should have been much better than it was. This was the only track from this album that got any radio play that I know of, and this is why the album didn't do better commercially. But to be fair I'm blaming it all on the production of this song. You can tell it was all recorded separately, and it really hurts a track that should have been much better. What makes it even worse is the fact that Mike Inez and Carmine Appice were also on this track. But, the only people really standing out are Roger and Slash, and Roger was the one that got all the production attention.

The only nice thing I'm going to say about the version of Billion Dollar Babies on this album is that it was done well, especially the drums. Vinnie Colaiuta got them pretty much right, which is very impressive. As for the rest of the song, it's okay, but Phil Lewis did a shit job on the vocals. The biggest turn off to this song is those vocals.

You can skip the last two tracks. Eighteen falls flat on it's face, and I always suggest skipping Only Women Bleed.

Eighteen was turned into an 80's Glam Metal track, which isn't cool. I just wasn't impressed with this version. I would suggest checking out the Creed version of this song instead, and that says something.

I have no clue why the fuck they finished off this album with Only Women Bleed, I'm hoping it was so people would get to it. It's just a crappy song to start with, as far as I'm concerned, and this version only makes it worse.

Five out of the fourteen songs on this album are worth owning, Dead Babies, Black Widow, Go To Hell, Roses On White Lace and Elected. After that it's all about personal preferences, and tastes. I would suggest that buyer beware on this album, but if you are going to pick it up, make sure you get the version with fourteen tracks, because if it has less, it is less of an album.

6/10 - content

6/10 - production

7/10 - personal bias

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Metallic Attack - The Ultimate Tribute

Bob Kulick has helped produce a lot of tribute albums, and I own a few of them. Metallic Attack: The Ultimate Tribute pays homage to Metallica, and it's about as good as every other one he's done. Which is to say, that it's okay, but nothing really special. The album relies more on names for selling power, and less on the the actual tribute to the band. However, there are parts to this album that are really kick ass.

The first thing I must admit about this album, is that I over paid for it. I bought it in the hype of the names of the performers, and I paid at least twenty bucks for an album that should have only been ten. The problem is when you see the names of some of your favourite musicians, and they are performing some kick ass songs, you just can't help yourself. This has been the most expensive of those albums, because there have been a few of these instances.

There are two things I find that usually wreck these tributes that Bob Kulick is involved with. The first is that it's too many musicians that just come in and lay tracks down. There isn't that proper coherence you get from a band. Then there's also the bands that don't actually put the effort in that they should. This album suffers from both of those problems, but this album suffers from something else as well. These guys are trying to cover Metallica, and not the cheap easy stuff either. This album is kind of like it was made by hardcore fans.

Now, there is only one band in the world that can take a Metallica track and do it better, and that band kicks of this album. Motorhead leads of this album with Whiplash, and that was the worst mistake on this album. It was all down hill after this. Lemmy is the baddest mother to play four strings of thunder. His voice is so bad ass that James Hetfield still isn't even close to being in the same league on his own song. This is also the Motorhead line-up of Lemmy Kilmister, Phil Campbell and Mikkey Dee, which is a bitchin' combo. This really should have been the last track on the album. This is a track you must own, and I don't care how you get it. It is so worth having.

I like when you see those funny little things on albums, like Flotsam & Jetsam performing Damage Inc. If you don't understand the humour of this one, let me explain. Jason Newstead, Metallica's most under-utalized bassist, left Flotsam & Jetsam to go to Metallica. Also, if you are wondering why I say "under-utalized", well that's simple. Bob Rock has more writing credits than he does, and Jason deserved better than that. He's damn good at what he does. This song, has neither Jason on bass, nor the production it deserves. It sounds as if Metallica had recorded it during Kill 'Em All, but not that cool.

Enter Sandman is allowed to be on here, because they played with it a little, so I'm not being subjected to the same commercial bullshit we all already know and loathe. This is a thrown together ensemble of Prong's Tommy Victor, Extreme's Nuno Bettencourt, Armored Saint's Joey Vera and Judas Priest's Scott Travis, but they actually pull it off. It's still very much Enter Sandman, but they give it a different vibe, it's a bit more ominous and spooky. I actually kind of dig it. Death Angel performs Trapped Under Ice, and it's not bad. They pretty much nail the song down perfectly, but the production is shitty, and I don't care for the vocalist. He's not bad. He's just not my thing.

The next track has me saying things that should never be said. I don't mind this version of Nothing Else Matters, and I think it's better than the original. Let me start by listing off the members of the band. Gregg Bissonette is the drummer. He's played with Steve Vai and David Lee Roth. No biggy. Then there's bassist Tony Franklin and he's played with Roy Harper, and The Firm. Still not much going on there. And on this song that's fine. Now we move on to Bob Kulick and he's worked with Meat Loaf and W.A.S.P., and helped produce this album. He's the rhythm guitarist. Then there's his brother, and the more well known Kulick. Bruce Kulick from Kiss and Grand Funk Railroad fame, handles the lead guitar. The two guitarists turn this song into a monster Arena Power Ballad the likes of Metallica never would have dreamed. Then it's all topped off with Joe Lynn Turner performing the vocals. He's been a vocalist for Rainbow, Yngwie Malmsteen and Deep Purple, because he has the giant high Rock God kind of voice. So when you mix it all together, and throw in some 80's Hair Metal production you get a song, as it should have been done originally. A song Hetfield should have just handed off, to someone else, because it wasn't right for him.

Motorbreath is done by an interesting mix of Metal musicians. Page Hamilton of Helmet, Scott Ian of Anthrax, Blasko of Rob Zombie, and Ryan Yerdon who's listed as being from Gavin Rossdale, and I only found an instance of his being in Puddle Of Mudd. He's also listed as being on the previous track, but I think that was an error. As for the song itself, it's okay. Not bad, but not Metallica.

I'm impressed that Holier Than Thou was on here. However, it's more one name that caught my eye. Eric Singer is the drummer. This is the only drummer I both love and hate. I love him because he's Alice Cooper's best drummer after Neil Smith. I hate him because every time I've seen Alice live, Eric's been on tour with Kiss instead. It makes me want to bitch slap him. However, he easily proves how over rated Lars is as a drummer. You can hear that he's not even breaking a sweat. Other than that, this is pretty much a cranked up Black Metal version of a track that sounds like everyone was recorded separately. Still not bad, though.

Master Of Puppets, has an interesting mix of musicians. Whitfield Crane of Ugly Kid Joe, Rocky George from Suicidal Tendencies (this is after Rob went to Metallica), Randy Castillo drummer for Ozzy Osbourne. Also, Ozzy's bassist at the time (2004) Mike Inez is on this track. But, he may be better known from Alice In Chains. I will say that I was impressed by this cover, and I like that they sound like they were all together working on this track, and not just sessioned out, which I'm sure is still what happened.

Impresseviely Eye Of The Beholder is on here too. Not exactly on my list of songs I would expect other bands to cover. As for how it sounds. Well picture Megadeth circa Cryptic Writings covering this song, and it sounds pretty much just like that. Which is really cool on one hand, and "meh" on the other.

Dark Angel closes the album with their version of Creeping Death, which is faithfully covered by a band that sounds like their name would suggest. It's basically a Death Metalish growling style with early 80's styled production. If you can find this CD for ten dollars or less, pick it up. It's worth that. Anymore than that, you better really like the Motorhead cover of Whiplash.

6/10 - content

6/10 - production

7/10 - personal bias

Monday, November 26, 2012

Merry Axemas

So it's the jolliest, most miserably suicidal, commercial time of the year, and all you want to do is get your Rock on. But, you're surrounded by a bunch of old school facsists, and it looks like the suffering will only get worse. My answer for you is Merry Axemas. It's eleven tracks of guitar happy Christmas jamming, that even my born again conservative mother was able to enjoy. Before I introduced her TSO, but that's another story.

The first track on the album is a rockin' rendition of Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer, provided courtesy of Kenny Wayne Shepherd. It's exactly what Rudolph should be, fun, playful, energetic, and a delight to behold. Also the jamming/solo in the middle is really cool, if you're into guitar.

Eric Johnson's The First Nowell follows that up, and it's fantastic. It's spiritually faithful to the original. Sure it's guitar masterbation, but you can clearly tell that it's the song that it is. A song I normally don't care for, but this version makes it all cool.

I love the song Amazing Grace. It's a beautiful, timeless classic. End of mother fuckin' story. So when I read that Jeff Beck is performing it on this album you know that I'm already wet in my pants. He uses a Hawaiin sounding guitar mixed with an Ahhh chorus, which was actually sung, so you know it's going to be pretty. The Brian Setzer Orchestra performs Jingle Bells and it sounds exactly as you would imagine, which is perfectly fantastic.

We get Silent Night/Holy Night Jam from Joe Satriani, which is very faithful and authentic to the original. That's great for the people that need it. I like when the Jam part breaks out. The music stays within the flavour of the original song, and even has a Middle Eastern vibe relevant to what one may have heard in Bethlehem. Other than that, this is six minutes of major guitar masterbation surrounded by a minute and twenty of boring Christmas religious standard.

Steve Morse is one of those guys you really only know if you are a guitar guy. He's a guitaist's guitarist as it were. His version of Joy To The World is very well done and interpreted, which is cool, but on the whole I'm just not a fan of the song. Christmas Time Is Here follows that. I'm not sure why Steve Vai opted to take a Jazz lounge approach to the song, but it works in it's way. If I'm not in the right mood I often consider this a weak performance, given the name attached. However, when I'm in the right frame of mind I see it for the song that it really is. As I'm writing this, I'm in the right mood.

I love the fact that Joe Perry contributed Blue Christmas to this album. I love that is sounds so faithful to the original. I love that there's a "modern" song on here. This is a great track, and the best part is, like the rest of this album, there's no real vocals. This song has a chorus of males doing the Ahhhs, but that's it. I also love that those points only make up the first two minutes. The second half of the song is a great upbeat danceable number that would have had Elvis shaking his hips. Thank you Joe Perry!

One of my favourite jokes about this album, and there have been made many made over the years, is that The Little Drummer Boy is on here. If you need that explained to you, please go ask someone else, I'd just want to smack the stupid out of you. Now, once you've stopped laughing, you can understand the humour, if you know anything about Alex Lifeson. His performance of this song is top notch, and I am so glad he's included on here.

Ritchie Sambora is one of those guitarists that I will agree is under rated. The man understands how to make a guitar sing. His version of Cantique De Noel (O' Holy Night) is fantastic, beautiful, and makes me think of how Christmas Eve mass should have sounded.

I will admit that I don't know Hotei, except by read reputation. However, his version of Happy Xmas (War Is Over) is awesome. I love that there is no real singing, and that he is very faithful to the original, while still letting the guitar do it's thing, and sounding uber pretty the entire time. It's almost enough to make you forget how many times you have heard this song, on those commercials for the starving children.

If you want Christmas music that's actually enjoyable for everyone, but especially your bad ass rockin' self, I suggest you get this album. If you are tired of the same boring versions of these songs, that just make you want to pull the trigger on the gun next to your head, put on this album instead. This album was meant to be played in every house, but you can still enjoy it yourself.

The biggest thing to remember is that this is a serious album, by serious musicians.

8/10 - content

7/10 - production

8/10 - personal bias

Friday, November 23, 2012

Nazareth - The Anthology

Nazareth is one of those bands that also came from my dad, but not until I was in my teens. Sure I knew Hair of the dog before that, but that's it.

The album opens with Razamanaz which is a great tune. Very upbeat, with a kicking get down and boogie kind of feel. This also helps set up the sound you can expect to hear for most of the first disc, and a good chunk of the second.

After that comes Bad Bad Boy, and by this point you start wondering who the hell this AC/DC rip off bad is. However, that's not the case since the first four songs on this collection, which includes my favourite Nazareth song, come from their first album Razamanaz which was released in 1973. As for the song Bad Bad Boy itself, it's a really good, and fun track.

Broken Down Angel is a sweet song lyrically, while musically having a nice solid Rock groove and vibe. It's not a soft ballad, like the title may suggest. It's not a heavy song either. The best way to describe this song would be 1950's Rock.

My absolutely favourite Nazareth song is Woke Up This Morning. First off, I am a sucker for Blues styled slide guitar. When you add a bitchin' guitar riff to that it become all kinds of fun. Then there are the lyrics, which I understand too well. "Woke up this morning / My dog was dead / Someone disliked him / And shot him through the head / I woke up this morning / And my cat had died / I'm gonna miss her / Sat down and cried / Came home this evening / My hog was gone / The people here don't like me / I think I'll soon move on / And now somethin's happened / That would make a saint frown / I turned my back and / My house burned down / Woke up this morning / My dog was dead / Someone disliked him / And shot him through the head / I woke up this morning / And my cat had died / Don't you know I'm / gonna miss her / Sat down and cried". I've never had these exact experiences, but I've had my fair share of these kind of wake ups.

Now, I must say that my only Nazareth album for a good fifteen years was Greatest Hits released in 1975. It's a good collection, but it didn't have seven of the tracks included just on the first disc of this set. The first of those I came across is Go Down Fighting. This is a pretty basic Rock track, but it's fun and full of pep and vigor.

I've never been very big on Turn On Your Receiver. It's an okay song, but it's bit dated to me. I will say that it does have a cool Surf Rock sound to it, though. Which is really interesting for a band from Scotland.

Teenage Nervous Breakdown is the first song to appear on this collection that was penned by someone not in the band. Which is a shame, because this song has a great boogie vibe to it, and although the lyrics are a bit simple, I find them totally enjoyable. "Well, some contend that this rocknroll / Is bad for the body, bad for the soul / Bad for the heart, bad for the mind / Bad for the deaf and bad for the blind / It makes some men crazy and then they talk like fools / It makes some men crazy and then they start to drool / Unscrupulous operators could confuse / Could exploit and deceive / The conditional reflex theories / Change the probabilities, I said its a / Crass and raucous crackass place / With a pavlov on the human race / Its a terrible illness, a terrible case / And usually permanent when it takes place / Its a teenage nervous breakdown / Its a teenage nervous breakdown / Its a teenage nervous breakdown."

I never noticed until I checked the liner notes for the song above that This Flight Tonight, not only isn't a Nazareth song, but it was written by Folk hero Joni Mitchell. Which is pretty cool. Although I'm willing to bet ten to one that her version doesn't have music that sounds as cool as this one does.

Sunshine is very Folk influenced, and you'd almost think that this was the song written by Joni Mitchell. I don't mind this track, but it's not one of those ones that I would listen to on my own. But, I don't feel a need to skip it either. It's a ballad, but a decent one that can be respected.

Shanghai's In Shanghai is one of those songs that's pretty damn good, eventhough the lyrics are a bit odd in a very fun way. "Standing on a corner in downtown L.A. / Waiting for the man to come along / She comes up to me and says "too bad, too sad" / You know that he's been dead and gone. / L.A. lady, kinda shady / She picked him up and took him home / I woke up groggy my sight was smoggy / And I knew that it had been blown / Early in the morning sitting in a hotel / Moscow's looking fine through the wine / Spaced out I crashed out / When the K.G.B. came on the line. / It's a cold one, bein' sent down / It's gotta be fifty below / Mama here's a postcard to let you know / I'm in a saltmine and looking for coal / Shanghai'd in Shanghai / Stood on in Tuscon / Ripped off and kicked right out the bed / Flyin' across the desert from Texas to Tuscon / But we're headed for a southern star / The captain says it's fine in Havana / This dude behind me needs a cigar. / He's a big one, he's got a big gun / I guess we better go along / Mister we've got a gig in Arizona / Second billing to the Rolling Stones / Shanghai'd in Shanghai / Stood on in Tuscon / Ripped off and kicked right out the bed / Shanghai'd in Shanghai / Laid low in 'Frisco / Done in and left behind for dead". I enjoy this song much more now than I ever did when I was a kid.

Which brings us to the most popular Nazareth song of all time, and if you think I'm talking about Love Hurts, please go walk out into traffic right now and have a city bus knock some sense into you. Hair Of The Dog is the song. It's not my favourite song from this band, I've already covered that, but it is one of the greatest Rock songs of all time. I'm a bit saddened I only ever got to play part of it live once with my buddy Matt. It was a great little impromtu jam on the song, but there's just something about singing "Now you're messing with a / Now you're messing with a sonofabitch".

Which brings us to Love Hurts, and I will sum up with, "Stupid. Fucking. Ballad." The only real bright side is that the band didn't actually write this one. They also didn't write My White Bicycle which follows that. I don't mind this track, but it's a little too Queen sounding, which is fine when it's Queen, not so cool when it's anyone else. But, don't go thinking this is a bad song, it's just not my thing.

Musically I'm not very big on Holy Roller. However, it's the lyrics behind this song that are totally awesome. "Holy roller, lookin' down / Where you think you know / All the answers / Arrogance and pride....are sin / Better look to your, own chances / Holy roller can you save your own soul / Can you save your own soul / Holy roller". That's only the first verse and chorus, but it's enough to show how much people of the Christian faith have a major tendancy to be complete hypocrits.

Telegram was brand new to me when I picked up this collection on the weekend that just passed (Nov. 16/2012), and I'm already in love with it. This song has punch, bite, and a whole lot of heart and soul. This is one of those songs that just sounds so fucking bad ass. Also, for a track from 1976 it's odd that it contains sampling, but it totally works. This is also the longest song on the album clocking in at 7:49. However, when it hits just before the six minute marker it turns into almost a completely different song. Which has a great fun chanting chorus kind of feel.

The band goes a little Disco vibed with the track Expect No Mercy, and if Disco had been this bad ass I would be more inclined to support it. Think AC/DC Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, but with a Disco back beat shuffle. It's really kickin'. After that we go Rockabilly with the same Disco back beat shuffle as the last track. However, this is not one of their's originally, so it makes sense that it has that Country vibe, without the Blues vibe found in the band's original material.

Place In Your Heart is also not their's, and if I were putting this collection together I would have left this one out. It's okay, but not my thing.

No Mean City finishes off the first disc, and the only thing I have to say is that this band should have included a lot less covers. This song is really good, and has that great big bad attitude. I mean these guys really sound like Bon Scott era AC/DC right down to the vocalist, but Nazareth came first. However, you can also hear a lot of that killer ZZ Top like Blues. Then there's the fact that this song runs 6:31 and is evil and sadistic sounding most of the way through. This song is the dark alley at night.

Now I've mentioned AC\DC a lot when talking about this band, but don't go thinking that all the songs sound the same. Just Get Into It kicks off the second disc and it reminds me of The Yardbirds, but only because it has me thinking of Aerosmith's Train Kept A Rollin', but I felt the need to credit the right group. I really don't pay attention to the lyrics all that much, but this is a crusin' tune and the words don't matter.

May The Sunshine is a pretty groovy (as in a hippy saying it) tune. There's this great uplifting folky chorus that just keeps repeating, but in a good way. Then there's this bitchin' electric guitar adding some killer flair and punctuation to the song. I find it an awesomely spiritual experience while listening to this one. Whatever You Want Babe is not a Nazareth penned song, but I really like it. There's a great vibe and feel that bounces the whole way along. It's fantastic.

Holiday is one of those songs that you just have to listen to for yourself. It's one of those songs that's pretty much about trying to get away from being a rock star. But it's decent, within it's cheese.

I don't care for Heart's Grown Cold. It's a little too down home sounding for me. There is some really cool guitar in the song, but over all it dosen't work for me. At this point I sould mention I don't care for the second disc as much as the first one. There are too many slower tracks on the second disc and that's what it makes it all do. So, I suggest skipping the last song and Moonlight Eyes. It's a snooze fest.

There's only one live track on this collection and it's a cover. The song opens up real nice and slow. There's such a beautiful tone and vibe that just sets my heart a flutter. Then the song breaks down into the cool reggae-esque riffing, and once the music kicks in you finally realize this is a cover of the Clapton classic. I'm a huge fan of the original. I think it's one of the greatest songs of all time. This cover goes in a completely different direction, but yet stays within the borders of the original music.

Now for some reason the band started using electric drums in the studio in 1981, which is where Little Part Of You came from. If it wasn't for these stupid drums, or the very early 80's Pop/Rock production I may have found this song more enjoyable. It has me thinking Rick Springfield.

You can skip Dream On. It's boring and not a cover, and while you are at it you might as well keep going past Where Are You Now as well. Unless you are into Scandinavian Power Pop sounding bands.

Now it's time for a cover of The Rolling Stones Ruby Tuesday. The electric drums killed this one, and the production didn't help either. If you can overlook those, then it's an okay cover.

This Month's Messiah suffers from electric drums on a track that could have been really good. This one sounds like No Mean City from the first disc, but with those souless drums. I would love to hear a version of this song done with only real instruments, none of that digital shit. Maybe a little better production as well. Once again a classic song is covered into a Power Pop song. However, I don't mind the way Piece Of My Heart was done. It still has those dumb electric drums, which sucks, and the production isn't overly cool either, but the vocals are done in a cool way.

You'd think by 1989 the band would have busted up, or imploded under the stress of releasing too much of this digital tripe, but that's not the case at all. Instead they just kept pushing on releasing shitty power ballads like Winner On The Night. It doesn't get much better with Every Time It Rains, except that the accoustic guitar sounds nice. Drums still suck.

The last four tracks on the second disc help save this album. Thinkin' Man's Nightmare is from the same album as the last track, which is 1991's No Jive. But unlike the last track, I'll listen to this one and not mind so much. It's a little more like the bad ass stuff from the previous disc.

I have no clue why they were still using that fucking digital drum crap in 1994, but for some reason they were. Also if I've been calling the drums digital all this time and I find out they aren't I'm sorry, but they seriously sound like electric crap. They screw up really kicking songs like Steamroller. This is another song where the drums prevent it from being awesome.

I'm not sure if the 1998 track When The Lights Come Down have electric drums, but they sound a little more natural. Which I'm very thankful for, because this is a pretty damn good track. The production is still kind of shit, but if you can over look that, it's pretty damn good.

The album ends with Goin' Loco, which was released originally in 2008. This song ends the collection right. This song is modern era bad assery. I'm still not found of the production, but it's the best sounding song on the second disc after Whatever You Want Babe. But forget all the stuff I've been bitching about for a while now. This song has Blues, Funk, Rock, and a whole lot of attitude and I'm glad they opted to end it this way, because it helps preserve the legacy of what they once did. Also this would make a bitchin' cover.

Now, I know I spent a lot of time running down the second disc, which is not exactly great, but it's not horrible. However, I enjoy both discs mixed into my CD player, but I'd have no issue just putting in the first disc. Either way, the eight dollars I dropped on these two discs, brand new from a certain major music store chain, was totally worth it.

7/10 - content

6/10 - production

8/10 - personal bias

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Jethro Tull - Aqualung

One of three responses always come from mentioning the name Jethro Tull. The first is, "Who?" The second is "I love Aqualung," which is often followed with, "I don't know any of his other songs." The third, and more rare is, "You mean that British guy that invented the plow?"

Let me start by saying that Jethro Tull is a band, not an artist, much like Billy Talent. Also Aqualung, while being one of the coolest songs I have ever heard, is not the only song that this band has ever released. They are not one hit wonders, and they can still out play pretty much any other Prog band (except Rush) that is still making music.

This brings me to this album's title track. Of all the songs I remember from my time in the car driving around with my dad, Aqualung is the one that brings about the fondest memories. I can remember singing/yelling the opening line, but that only begins to cover it. These lyrics are are just amazing when you understand how to take them. "Sitting on a park bench / eyeing little girls with bad intent. / Snot running down his nose / greasy fingers smearing shabby clothes. / Drying in the cold sun / Watching as the frilly panties run. / Feeling like a dead duck / spitting out pieces of his broken luck. / Sun streaking cold / an old man wandering lonely. / Taking time / the only way he knows. / Leg hurting bad, / as he bends to pick a dog-end/ he goes down to the bog / and warms his feet. / Feeling alone / the army's up the rode / salvation à la mode and / a cup of tea. / Aqualung my friend / don't start away uneasy / you poor old sod, you see, it's only me. / Do you still remember / December's foggy freeze / when the ice that / clings on to your beard is / screaming agony. / And you snatch your rattling last breaths / with deep-sea-diver sounds, / and the flowers bloom like / madness in the spring." That's only the tip of the iceberg. The music on this song is an amazing mix of electric and accoustic guitars, and for a song that runs 6:33, it doesn't even seem close to that long.

Next is Cross-Eyed Mary, which opens with a killer flute riffing on the trills. Yes you read that right. Then it goes into this killer track that is so bad ass that Iron Maiden covered it ten years later for either the Flight Of Icarus, or The Trooper, single's B-Side.

Cheap Day Return is a great little filler running 1:23. It's not anything special, but it flows perfectly into Mother Goose. "As I did walk by Hampstead Fair / I came upon Mother Goose - so I turned her loose / she was screaming. / And a foreign student said to me / was it really true there are elephants and lions too / in Piccadilly Circus? / Walked down by the bathing pond / to try and catch some sun. / Saw at least a hundred schoolgirls sobbing / into hankerchiefs as one. / I don't believe they knew / I was a schoolboy. / And a bearded lady said to me / if you start your raving and your misbehaving / you'll be sorry. / Then the chicken-fancier came to play / with his long red beard (and his sister's weird: / she drives a lorry). / Laughed down by the putting green / I popped `em in their holes. / Four and twenty labourers were labouring / digging up their gold. / I don't believe they knew / that I was Long John Silver. / Saw Johnny Scarecrow make his rounds / in his jet-black mac (which he won't give back) / stole it from a snow man." There are two things that can be taken from these lyrics. The first is that Ian Anderson (vocalist/flute) knows how to write a really good story. The second is that he has no clue how to write a chorus. I don't mean that in a bad way either, but if you look at most Tull liner notes you don't really find too many of those, and I like that. It's more poetic that way.

After that it's on to Wond'ring Aloud. Which is also a bit of a shorter track. This one is basically an accoustic with some string sounding arrangements in the background. It's nice and pretty.

Up To Me finishes up the Aqualung side of the album. "Take you to the cinema / and leave you in a Wimpy Bar / you tell me that we've gone to far / come running up to me. / Make the scene at Cousin Jack's / leave him put the bottles back / mends his glasses that I cracked / well that one's up to me. / Buy a silver cloud to ride / pack the tennis club inside / trouser cuffs hung far too wide / well it was up to me. / Tyres down on your bicicle / your nose feels like an icicle / the yellow fingered smoky girl / is looking up to me. / Well I'm a common working man / with a half of bitter - bread and jam / and if it pleases me I'll put one on you man / when the copper fades away. / The rainy season comes to pass / the day-glo pirate sinks at last / and if I laughed a bit to fast. / Well it was up to me. " While these lyrics are decent it's the music that makes this song. It's a little whimsical, a bit playful, and totally rockin'. It's the type of song that lets you know what's what, and how it's going to be.

The second part of the album is referred to as My God, which is also the lead off track's name. It starts off slow, and kind of creepy. Then around the two minute marker it kicks up a whole lot of attitude and gets right in your face. Also the constant themes referring to God and religion through out this entire album has always lead people into believing that this is a concept album, and I get that. But, it's not. It's just a really smart man writing about things on his mind at the time. In fact Ian Anderson used the band's next album Thick As A Brick to show the world what a real concept album is.

Hymn 43 is total balls to the wall, kick ass rock. Martin Barre's guitar work on this track is the stuff that real ledgends are made of. Also, as an interesting note, this was the only song on the album that was released as a single.

That's followed by another nice little ditty called Slipstream. This is antoher great mix of guitar, vocals, and strings. It even has a little extra playing effect on the strings just to make it interesting.

I will say that Aqualung is my favourite song on this album, but the last two tracks are almost as amazing, if not just as mind blowing.

First up is Locomotive Breath, which if it had been released in 1988, would have deserved to kick Metallica's ass for the first Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Grammy, flute or not. This song is heavy, mean, and reaks of a so much bad assery that Ian Anderson shows that his tights wearing, Shakespeare wannabe look could still kick James Hetfield's ass, while playing a flute solo. It's like Black Sabbath's The Wizard, instead there's a flute instead of a harmonica.

The last track on the album is Wind-Up. This song has always been about the lyrics for me, especially growing up in a Catholic family. "When I was young and they packed me off to school / and taught me how not to play the game, / I didn't mind if they groomed me for success, / or if they said that I was a fool. / So I left there in the morning / with their God tucked underneath my arm / their half-assed smiles and the book of rules. / So I asked this God a question / and by way of firm reply, / He said - I'm not the kind you have to wind up on Sundays. / So to my old headmaster (and to anyone who cares): / before I'm through I'd like to say my prayers / I don't believe you: / you had the whole damn thing all wrong / He's not the kind you have to wind up on Sundays. / Well you can excomunicate me on my way to Sunday school / and have all the bishops harmonize these lines". Then the song get's all kinds of heavy before continuing with "how do you dare tell me that I'm my Father's son / when that was just an accident of Birth. / I'd rather look around me - compose a better song / `cos that's the honest measure of my worth. / In your pomp and all your glory you're a poorer man than me, / as you lick the boots of death born out of fear. / I don't believe you: / you had the whole damn thing all wrong / He's not the kind you have to wind up on Sundays." Then it goes back to the mellower beginning feeling to finish off by repeating various lines in slightly altered presentations.

At the end of this album I'm always left feeling emotionally and spiritually drained, but not in a bad way. This is like a fourty-three minute audio orgasm that leaves you not only asking for more (Andria: "What do you have to flip it over now?" Me: "Naw, that's all of it.") but it also leaves you feeling very content and satisfied. This album should be in any serious musician's collection. Also, it is a must for any Classic Rock fan. If you don't own this album already, you need to go buy it now. End of story.

9/10 - content

7/10 - production

10/10 - personal bias

Monday, November 19, 2012

Full Metal Garage - The Songs That Drove Metallica

I've mentioned more than once how much I love a good cover album, and my clear favourite album to fall into that category is Metallica's Garage Inc. Then one day I'm casually scanning around Dr. Disc and stumble across Full Metal Garage: The Songs That Drove Metallica. It's the exact opposite of Garage Inc. It's all the original songs, by the original artsits, laid out in the exact same format as the Metallica cover album.

To be totally fair, in which I feel that I must, this album is not exactly like Garage Inc. There are only two Motorhead tracks, instead of four, and there are four tracks never found on an official Metallica album. Those are stuffed in on the end of the second disc. Also, the Mercyful Fate medley clearly can't be included, so we got two separate tracks instead. Also Bob Seger's version of Turn The Page has been left off Full Metal Garage as well. I'm okay with all of these changes, and in some cases they make this album better.

Now I know I normally do songs in the order that they appear on the CD, cassette, or vinyl, but never on the eight track. That's forgotten technology. However, in the case of this double disc collection I'm going to change things up a bit, since I've reviewed a fair amount of these songs already. So, let me first present you the track list, which will be followed by all songs I haven't reviewed, and then those will be followed by songs I have already covered. I'm also going to cheap out a bit and use most of the original writings for those songs.

As I've mentioned they laid this out just like Garage Inc. which means Discharge's Free Speech For The Dumb kicks off the album. This song is fast, furious, and wicked bitchin'. It also only contains one line which is slightly mod'd on repeat, "Free speech for the dumb".

Then it's a Diamond Head tune (you can read below), followed by Sabbra Cadabra. This is not one of Black Sabbath's more popular songs, unless you are a Sabbath fan, and I am. They are number two, right behind Alice Cooper, and Metallica follows them. When it comes to this song, not only does it get me wet, but it mellows me right the fuck out. I especially love when the song hits the two minute marker. Then all this kick ass Jazz inspired trippy stuff kicks in and the song becomes so beautiful. Metallica opted to inject a section from Spiral Architect in here instead, which was also really awesome, but I'll stick with the original.

Track four on Garage Inc. is Turn The Page, on here instead we get The Misfits Die Die My Darling. This makes me very happy. I'm cool with the first song, but not that cool with it. Die Die My Darling is another story all together. If you read my review for Danzig III you'll know about a Tim McCready helping introduce me to Danzig, but that included Samhein and The Misfits as well. Which means I've been a fan of this killer Punk classic for a very long time. However, it was the bassist from the same band that Tim was in that actually hooked me up with The Misfits. Ian Clary sold me a copy of The Misfits' first collection, which was how I spent years blasting this song before having this collection.

My first introduction to Nick Cave was through the song Loverman, on Garage Inc. The original version on this collection is a million times better than the cover. The production is not only amazing, but vocal performance is phenomenal. I enjoyed this song so much that I ended up borrowing various Nick Cave CD's off my buddy Ben Denes so I could absorb more. The funny thing is that it was the same Ian mentioned above that introduced Ben to Nick Cave, if memory serves. Now when it comes to this song my favourite part is the way he whispers "I'll say it again / L is for LOVE, baby / O is for O yes I do / V is for VIRTUE, so I ain't gonna hurt you / E is for EVEN if you want me to / R is for RENDER unto me, baby / M is for that which is MINE / A is for ANY old how, darling / N is for ANY old time." This is so sexy and scary, and everything that I love in music, including that epic feel. Oddly the Metallica version does not give me the same vibe.

Earlier I wrote about how we got to Merciful Fate tracks on this colelction, because they clearly couldn't give us the medley that Metallica performed. I love that medley. I love that medley so much that's it's the song I play the most on Guitar Hero Metallica. However, if it were not for the production value on the original tracks I would say that they are just as good, if not better than the cover mix. Well, that and the vocals. I like James' growl on these tracks much more than King Diamond's high pitched wail.

The two tracks Cruse Of The Pharaohs and Evil are both amazing, and you can see how this band was an influence on Metallica, especially in the early days. The speed, the attack, the skill, the talent, the Metal, it's all there. The tempo it a bit slower in feel than the Metallica mix, but I think a lot of that has to do with the production I've already complained about. Also, I should mention that these two songs are on here, because of the four songs that make up the medley, these two are almost entirely played, while the other two are used more for fillers and bridges.

I've been into Blue Oyster Cult for a very long time. In fact I was a fan of BOC before I was a fan of Metallica. However, I never knew about this beautiful piano track. At least that's how it starts off, and I'm not talking about some stupid keyboard sounding crap either. I mean a real piano that has just the perfect amount of reverb on it. However, once that piano stops the Metallica cover becomes a lot better. It's amazing how much production can have an effect on a song. If this song had been re-recorded by the original group in the modern age I think it would be just as heavy, if not heavier than the Metallica version. After all this is the same band that gave us Godzilla and Don't Fear The Reaper.

My dad had me listening to Thin Lizzy when I was a kid. I remember that Jailbreak album cover very well, and when I think about it it saddens me that I never got to hear that actual vinyl spin. My mother was a ball busting bitch that couldn't handle Rock being cranked on the home stereo, so it was only in the car with dubbed cassettes that I got to experience the album with my dad. Whiskey In The Jar was not on that album, I didn't discover that tune until I bought Wild One: The Very Best of Thin Lizzy. I can't remember if I bought this album, right before or right after Garage Inc. came out, so I don't remember which one I heard first. I can say that I enjoy both equally, but the Metallica version is the cover that holds the place in my heart. You can't beat an Irish drinking song.

The first album ends with another Discharge cover, as it should. The More I See, much like Free Speech For The Dumb contains a basic line that keeps being altered. "The more I see / The less, the less I believe". There are some other lines in there as well, but they sound like fun little adlibs. I can see why Metallica covered these guys twice on the same collection. The riffs are fun, fast, and furious, while the lyrics are simple and don't require much care or attention. It's the perfect song to nail down real quick and enjoy while doing it. Also you could play this one live every night and not care about how you may start getting bored of it.

The second disc starts off with Diamond Head's Helpless, which you can read about a little bit below, before it kicks into Holocaust's The Small Hours. If you are familiar with Metallica's version of this song, then you might think that they screwed up and put that version on here instead, or that Metallica didn't actually record a version and just put the original on Garage Days Re-Revisited. They both sound pretty much exactly the same, right down to vocal effects and guitar tone. However, the subtle differences have me leaning toward the original as being the better version. It's just that much more creepy and omin0us. It's almost Proto-Goth, and it is my favourite song on the second disc.

Killing Joke's The Wait is fantastic. It's fast, furious, and rips it up like no one's business. I love James Hetfield's vocals much better than the ones on the original, but that's the only point where I feel a need to say anything about the differences. This song is really just totally killer, and I can see why Metallica covered it. I would too.

Budgie was the very first band I ever went searching for after hearing a Metallica cover version. I had stumbled across a couple CD's of theirs, neither containing one of the two songs I know. I never looked for another Budgie CD again. If I had had this collection prior to that point I never would have started looking in the first place. Both Crash Course In Brain Surgery, and Breadfan are much better as Metallica covers. The originals are decent enough, but they don't have the punch, kick, or power of the versions I knew first.

Blitzkrieg, by the group with the same name as the song, is okay, but it doesn't do much for me. I've always found this song pretty stock sounding. There are some cool parts to it, but for the most part I just skip this one, no matter which version it is.

After that is Breadfan, which I've already mentioned my views on. I love the Metallica version of this song. Really not so big on the original. It's still really good, but the vocalist is the big turn off for me on this track.

If there is any song I have come to love just based on the pure vulgarity it's Anti Nowhere League's So What. I have played this song live, and will always play it live with any band that will let me. I love howling lines like "Well I've fucked a sheep / And I've fucked a goat / I've had my cock right down its throat / So what, so what / So what, so what you boring little cunt / Well who cares, who cares what you do / Who cares, who cares about you / You, you, you, you". Musically, it's a just a fast punk song.

The only song on this collection that isn't an original recording is Sweet Savage's Killing Time. This is the version recorded in 1996. I can't remember off the top of my head if this was due to losing the original recording, or the fact that they just wanted a better sounding version. However, I will say that this song is where I think Lars got the idea to turn the snare off for the St. Anger album.

The last four songs on the second disc are songs that have never technically been Metallica covers, however two of the four versions are performed by Metallica. The first one is Savage's Let It Loose. The only version I knew prior to buying this CD was a really poor quality bootleg from Metallica's early days. I'm much happier to have this version now, because it sounds a million times better, but it doesn't really peak my interest all that much. Most of the time it comes on I kind of ignore it.

The other bootleg cover I have is Sucking My Love, which you can read a little lower down the page.

They opted to put another Savage track on here call Dirty Money, which I had never mentioned prior to this. I'm not sure if Metallica would have personally included this song themselves, but I know I wouldn't have. They should have included Motorhead's Stone Dead Forever, which was covered by Metallica, instead. Jaguar's Stormchild sounds a lot like a Deep Purple track. In fact I often think it is. It's not a bad tune, but yet again I would have picked something else instead. It's not an overly impressive song to me.

And now for all the songs I've written about before.

It's Electric is a good song, but the production on the intro sucks ass. It sounds like they didn't quite cue the tape right and the first half second is spliced in wrong. I will say that the Metallica cover is much better than this version, but I think it's because this song needs to sound thicker than the production this album has to offer.

I hate Lynyrd Skynyrd's Tuesday's Gone. This song is ass. I don't like this version. I don't like Metallica's cover. I don't like this song. It's like they decided to take a great idea, slower, more soulful sourthern music, and then totally fuck up the formula. I love songs like Free Bird and Simple Man, which are great songs that take their time to reach epicness. But, it's good epicness and not this slow sissy ballad shit. Quit your fucking whining.

Helpless is a great song. I think that it's the perfect lead off track instead in this collection. This is a track where I think the thin production hurts the song a bit. For the time it was fantastic, and the music is phenomenal, but it could have sounded better, and would have today.

The most popular Diamond Head song, Am I Evil, is great. You know it, as it is performed by Metallica, or at least you should. It was on the CD release of Kill 'Em All until 1995 or '96. It's played live at almost every Metallica show as well. In fact most common people would argue this is more a Metallica song than a Diamond Head song. Those people are morons and shouldn't be allowed to speak. If they have ever listened to this original version, they would hear that Metallica did a really good job of covering a spectacular song. However, this version is better.

Just so we are clear, I don't like The Prince. I don't like Metallica's version. I don't like Diamond Head's version. I just don't care for the song. I don't have a good reason, and that will just have to be good enough for you, because I don't have anything better. I think this song is weaker than the next one, and the next one is either about vampires or oral sex, depending on the day of the week you ask certain members of the band.

Overkill is one of the heaviest, hardest, thundering songs I have ever heard. It is the perfect mix of Hard/Metal/Punk. This song makes Thrash Metal it's bitch, after snorting a line of coke and sodomizing anything that musically resembles Deathklok, has to offer. Oh yeah, the song doesn't have just one fake ending. It comes back to skull fuck you twice with bone rattling fury. It's the perfect overkill. Also Motorhead is the band that can cover a Metallica song, and do it better than the original, and as good as Metallica covers this band, James is no Lemmy, and Lemmy is God.

Too Late Too Late, does nothing for me. It was a b-side because it wasn't good enough to make the album. That's how I see it anyway.

"Over and under, do you go down to the sea / Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah / Sweet and timely caress, dear babe fulfillin' me / I can feel her heart, it is beating down inside / Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah / Tasty, tasty, tasty, tasty / Into her valley, all her charms taste of love / Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah / Fragrance of my dreams, yeah go down, take my love / Oh yeah, yeah / Taste my bitter wine, cos there's something boiling up inside / Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah / Tasty, tasty, tasty, tasty / / Make me go..... / Shoot me / Faster, faster / Love, sucking my love / Oh Lord, sucking my love / Oh Lord, sucking my love". These are the words that make up Sucking My Love, the only song Metallica has covered from Diamond Head, but never officially released. I can understand why, but at the same time I think it's a great song musically. At least it's better than The Prince. It has a great guitar riff, the bass is doing what bass is supposed to do, and the vocals are full of echo for dramatic effect. There's also a bunch of improved moans in those lyrics as well, which help set the tone for this song even better. Also the wind chimes add that magical touch this song needs as well.

All in all I am beyond happy that I bought this collection. The way it introduced me to bands that I now know are worth checking out helps make it all worth wild. But, the fact that I'm able to hear that there are bands out there that to this day no one can properly replicate, or are just amazing musicians for me to discover gets me off in very unique ways. If you can find this set, don't think twice, just buy it. The only down side to this album is the old production, which you can really hear on some tracks.

8/10 - content

7/10 - production

9/10 - personal bias

Friday, November 16, 2012

Sex Pistols - Never Mind The Bollocks

I would never call myself a Sex Pistols fan. They are the reason Punk became stupid. Every dumbass negative stereotype about punk comes from this band, and mainly because of the most useless member of the band. Sid Vicious isn't even the real bassist behind Never Mind The Bollocks, which is the only official studio album the band ever released. Guitarist Steve Jones is the one playing Guitar and Bass on all the tracks except for Bodies (Sid) and Anarchy In The U.K. (Glen Matlock).

Windsor, Ontario, has pretty much only had one stable used/new record store for as long as I can remember, Dr. Disc. Which is where I picked up this little Punk classic, used for ten bucks. I would never pay more than that for this very basic album. Once again I'm not a Pistols fan, and I'm a bit upset I had to pay that much. Now, I'm not going to go into the deep meaning or overly complicated explanations that have been given for all these songs. If you want all that smoke blown up your ass there's enough video material out there you can watch. I would suggest VH1's Classic Albums.

The album opens with Holidays In The Sun. I'll be honest, this is a wicked awesome track musically. I love the large thundering chords at the beginning, and how they fall into a more pulled back rapid fire riffing while Rotten screams out over top. I'll be honest, Rotten is one of the reasons I can't stand the Pistols. I don't care for his voice most of the time, and it's the only thing that brings this song down for me. However his delivery is cool.

You can tell Sid is playing bass on Bodies. It's very loose, barely played, and sounds totally sloppy. I swear bringing him into the band was the dumbest thing they ever did. For the most part I'm not that big of a fan of this song. I do understand why others are, though. It's a really good angry punk song, with it's "Fuck this / And Fuck that".

One thing I find really funny about this album is that only three out of twelve songs are under three minutes. No Feelings is the first one, clocking in at 2:51. Musically I dig this song, you can see how they were influenced but American Punk bands. Since Iggy and The Stooges, and the Ramones came out years before these British Punk rockers. For the most part I consider this song a filler, all be it a decent one.

Liar is a bit of a snoozer. However, I find it has some of the better lyrics on this album. "How I wanna know know know know / I wanna know why you never look me / In the face / Broke a confidence just to please / Your ego / Should've realised / You know what I know / You're in suspension / You're a liar / I know where you go everybody you know / I know everything that you do or say / So when you tell lies / I'll always be in your way / I'm nobody's fool / And I know all 'cos I know / What I know / You're in suspension / You're a liar you're a liar you're a liar / A lie lie lie lie lie lie lie lie lie".

I knew Problems first as a cover by Megadeth. I didn't like it much, and I can say that I feel the exact same way about this one. The Megadeth cover was faithful beyond belief, but being faithful to a skip it track isn't all that impressive. Just not a fan of this one. The worst part for me is that this is the second longest track on the album, and only because it's so bloody repetitive.

Most people know the Sex Pistols for two songs, and the first one to appear on this album is God Save The Queen. I don't mind this original version, but I think the Motorhead cover is better. Then again everything is better with Lemme. However, I digress.

God Save The Queen is a true reflection of the mood and attitude of the working class in England in 1977 and prior. An attitude which still could be found for almost a decade after as well. "Oh God save history / God save your mad parade / Oh Lord God have mercy / All crimes are paid / When there's no future / How can there be sin / We're the flowers in the dustbin / We're the poison in your human machine / We're the future, your future / God save the queen / We mean it man / We love our queen / God saves / God save the queen / We mean it man / And there is no future / In England's dreaming / No future, no future, /No future for you / No future, no future, / No future for me".

Seventeen is the shortest song on the album at 2:03. Liar was the other track under three minutes. I feel that you can skip this one. It feels longer than it is, and on a Punk song that's horrible. The only cool part about this song is maybe the last minute, and that's stretching it.

Anarachy In The U.K. is seriously one of my favourite songs of all time. However, I think the Pistols version is fucking shitty. I karaoke the hell out of this bitch, and even get all British when I do it, because it just feels right. However, I can list off a few covers I like better than this original, starting with the obvious Megadeth and Motley Crue covers. And if you want to have some fun check out a cover by Glitz Machine. Totally screwed trippy. The problem with the Pistols version is it's too fucking mellow. Later Live versions are much better.

The longest song on the album is Sub-Mission at 4:13. This is a bitchin' tune. It's mellow and a bit laid back, but it's total Rock N' Roll. Steve Jones' guitar work isn't fancy in anyway, but he works this song amazingly. Also I know the lyrics read a bit cheesy, but I think they are some of the smarter ones on this album. "I'm on a submarine mission for you baby / I feel the way you were going / I picked you up on my tv screen / I feel your undercurrent flowing / Submission going down down / Dragging me down submission / I can't tell ya what I've found / You've got me pretty deep baby / I can't figure out your watery love / I gotta solve your mystery / You're sitting it out in heaven above / Submission going down down / Dragging me down submission / I can't tell you what I've found / For there's a mystery / Under the sea in the water / Come and share it / Submission going down down / Dragging me down submission / I can't tell ya what I've found / 'Cause it's a secret /Under the water in the sea / Octopus Rock / Got me pretty deep baby / I can't figure out your watery love /I gotta solve your mystery / You're sitting it out in heaven above / Submission going down down / Dragging me down submission / I can't tell ya what I've found / Submission Submission / Going down down under the sea / I wanna drown drown under the water / Going down down under the sea".

My favourite Sex Pistols track is Pretty Vacant. I love singing the chorus on this one, and cranking it up even more. I wasn't one of those kids that cranked their Punk to piss off their parents. Instead I crank this bitch to piss off todays children. You want to talk about pretty vacant. Also this song has the biggest snear you'll ever hear in Johnny Rotten's voice.

New York has a bit of a cool bad ass sound to the music, but for the most part I'm not a fan of this tune.

EMI finishes off the album. Every band has to have a song where they rage out in a way that only people tired of getting fucked by a system understand. My first exposure to a song of this type was Guns N' Roses Get In The Ring. I didn't know about EMI until years later. However, with lyrics like "And you thought that we were faking / That we were all just money making / You do not believe we're for real / Or you would lose your cheap appeal? / Don't judge a book just by the cover / Unless you cover just another / And blind acceptance is a sign / Of stupid fools who stand in line / Like / E.M.I E.M.I E.M.I". All that aside though, and this is still an okay song, but I would have closed the album with something else.

All in all this is really a decent album. Chris Thomas and Bill Price could have done a better job on the production, but that's my only real big complaint. I think it's the production that hurts this album for me. Well, that and the fact that I only really like half of the songs. Holiday In The Sun, God Save The Queen, Anarchy In the U.K., Sub-Mission and Pretty Vacant are the only tracks from the Sex Pistols I listen to, and two of those I generally listen to the covers before the originals. The Pistols have their place in history and it's kind of deserved because of this album, which really gets overlooked in the grand mythos of this band.

7/10 - content

5/10 - production

6/10 - personal bias

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Guns N' Roses - Lies

Way back in the day, when Guns N' Roses was still a relatively new band, they had released four albums of original material (sort of) and one of covers. Appetite For Destruction was the first album they released, and I owned. This was followed by the band's release of Lies, which was either the last album I picked up from the band, or it may have been the second last. I'm not really sure if I owned this album before or after Spaghetti Incident. I do know I owned both Illusions before Lies, though. In fact I know I was in grade nine, and heard this album for the first time by borrowing it from a buddy by the name of Ryan Mason. Actually it was also Ryan that helped introduce me to Pink Floyd as well, but that's another story.

Lies is really cool if you remember to keep certain things in perspective. The first thing to remember is that this is a "stall for time album". After Appetite For Destruction came out G'N'R exploded into the stratosphere. This led to drummer Steve Adler becoming a completely useless heroine junky. Something that's been well documented on the reality series Celebrity Rehab. In the meantime the band had to release something before they disappeared from the spotlight forever.

So, out comes Lies which is made up of two sections. There's side one (or 1986) which has four live tracks, and side two (or 1988) which has four accoustic numbers. I also make sure to specify sides as well as sections, because this was Guns N' Roses last album recorded with vinyl in mind.

This is one of those albums that can barely be considered a real album. It only passes the EP marker by about five minutes, which is my first complaint. The second complaint would come easier if I were listening to the vinyl or cassette instead of the CD. Which is, that the sides aren't balanced. The live half is also around five minutes shorter than the accoustic side. If this were a cassette that would mean extra rewinding or fast forwarding to cue up side two. That annoyed the shit out of me with other albums. They should have stuffed one more live track on here, for time balance, instead of track balance.

The album opens with Reckless Life. Which is the first of four songs to appear on here, that were actually on the EP Live ?!*@ Like a Suicide, which was considered more of demo than an actual album. This is an okay track, but not one that I go out of my way to listen to. However, it's a great kick off to the album.

Nice Boys is a cover from a band called Rose Tattoo. Once again, it's a decent enough song, but not exactly my thing. I do enjoy it a bit more than Reckless Life though.

Move To The City is where this album begins for me, but I have to say that I like the live version of this track on Live Era '87-'93 much better. This sadly sounds like the demo that it is. I really would have liked to have heard a real studio recording of this track, but there's something to be said about songs that are "only live tracks".

Guns N' Roses started off as the next Aerosmith, and you can hear that on the three tracks that lead up to the cover of Mama Kin. I even think there's a sweet little taste of irony in the fact that the sound quality on this recording is just about as shitty as the original Aerosmith recording. That's made even funnier by the fact that this may be one of Aerosmith's best songs ever released. It's just got great boogie, and energy.

The second half of the album borders between snooze-fest, humour, and blissful ignorance. If you are a woman you'd probably want to include romantic in there as well.

The lead off track on the studio tracks is Patience. I can't stand this song. It's slow, boring, and lacks any real passion. It pretty much sounds like Slash and Izzy just riffing around on some accoustics while Axel tries to seduce some imaginary woman, more likely his ego, through an overly reverbed microphone. This song is meant purely for the ladies, and the guys trying to get the ladies. I, on the other hand, try to pretend this song doesn't exsist. The music is great, but the lyrics are so fucking typically boring. If you need that much fucking patience I would suggest a shot gun to get things moving. Or better yet, they should have cut this song down by at least two minutes, and get rid of all of Axel's extra whining into the mic, like some type of little bitch.

The most popular story about Used To Love Her is that it's about Axel's dog that had died. When you go by that story, this song isn't as much fun as it sounds. If you go by the alternate version of the story, which is Izzy wrote this as a joke after hearing some whiny ballad on the radio, this song is much more fun. My theory is that this was written while Axel was recording the lyrics to Patience, and Izzy was really taking a shot at the red headed devil.

I'm not sure why they opted to put an accosutic version of You're Crazy on this album. It was only an okay song to start with, and while I do enjoy this accosutic adapation I'm neither here nor there about skipping it. I think of it more as background music.

I will forever defend the lyrical choices within One In A Million, which is technically more offensive than Get In The Ring, especially by today's standards. "Yes I needed some time to get away / I needed some peace of mind / Some peace of mind that'll stay / So I thumbed it. Now it's six in L.A. / Maybe a greyhound could be my way / Police and niggers, that's right / Get outta my way / Don't need to buy none of your / Gold chains today / Now don't need no bracelets / Clamped in front of my back / Just need my ticket 'till then / Won't you cut me some slack / You're one in a million / Yeah that's what you are / You're one in a million babe / You're a shooting star / Maybe some day we'll see you / Before you make us cry / You know we tried to reach you / But you were much to high. / Much too high... / Much too high... / Much too high.../ Immigrants and faggots / They make no sense to me / They come to our country / And think they'll do as they please / Like start some mini-Iran / Or spread some fucking disease / And they talk so many God damn ways / It's all Greek to me / Well some say I'm lazy / And others say that's just me / Some say I'm crazy / I guess I'll always be / But it's been such a long time / Since I knew right from wrong / It's all the means to and end I'm / I keep it moving along / Hey, hey, hey, yeah / You're one in a million / You're a shooting star / You're one in a million babe / You know that you are / Maybe some day we'll see you / Before you make us cry / You know we tried to reach you / But you were much to high / Much too high / Much too high / Radicals and racists / Don't point your finger at me / I'm a small town white boy / Just tryin' to make ends meet / Don't need your religion / Don't watch that much TV / Just makin' my livin' baby / Well that's enough for me / You're one in a million / Yeah that's what you are / You're one in a million babe / You're a shooting star / Maybe some day we'll see you / Before you make us cry / You know we tried to reach you / But you were much too high / Much too high / Much too high". This is one of those songs that it brutal and honest, and straight from the streets. Axel Rose was himself a nigger in every way except for being of African American (by the way stupidest, most racist term I have ever heard and if you ask me I'll explain why), he even pointed it out in the very last verse "I'm a small town white boy / Just tryin' to make ends meet". This shows his ignorance (stupidity) and poverty, both of which are automatically associated with being a nigger. Oh, and when you are signed to a major record label you are also their slave. So, when you take all this into context it has a much different feel than the general public would have you believe. In fact I could break down this entire song to show that anyone actually pointing fingers at this song clearly has no real brain power, and missed the greater meaning.

As for the use of the word faggot, well that was a word of the time, and I do find that one offensive. If I were to personally sing this song today it's the only word I would change in the song, and I would change it to queers instead. Which I find offensive that homosexuals use to describe themselves, because most gay people are not in fact queer. (Once again I'll gladly explain my position on this one too, if asked.)

All in all this isn't a bad album. It's a crappy follow up to Appetite, but it's a great time buyer album, and a fun album for fans, but that's about it. In fact to this day I'm still personally debating which is a worse album, this one or Spaghetti Incident.

6/10 - content

6/10 - production

6/10 - personal bias

Monday, November 12, 2012

Danzig - III How The Gods Kill

Let me start by simply stating that an album title doesn't get much more Metal sounding than How The Gods Kill. I'm also proud to say I come from a High School where I was able to hear this song for the first time by borrowing it from the school's prime minister, who was also the vocalist for Riverside's most popular Punk band. Although some might say that last sentence may be debateable. Now Tim's working with George Stroumboulopoulos, who also helped introduce me to some awesome music.

This is my favourite Danzig Album. Admittedly I haven't listened to anything past Danzig IV, because the band went in a musical direction I wasn't overly impressed with. However, this album is a completely different story.

For starters, the album opens with Godless. This song just comes flying out of the speakers like a bat out of hell, and just releases a giant roar of pure Gothic Metal, before slowing right down. Then rapidly disolving a state of mourning, before returning to full tilt Metal. Glenn Danzig knew what he was doing when he produced this album. Right off the bat you can hear that he was going for an artistry, not just simple songs.

Anything, follows that up with Glenn's absolutely beautiful crooning of the lryics, "anything you want / anything the world has to offer / i can give you / if you just reach out to me / take my hand / everything a kiss cannot bring / i will give you / if you just say you will / and it's freedom / in my arms / and it's freedom in my arms / in my arms / in my arms / in my arms". Then the song just explodes into a fantastic Love Metal track.

I guess I should mention that this album contains styles of music that in retrospect were well ahead of their time. There's Love Metal, which anyone that listens to HIM would get. There's Goth Metal, with such dark and ominous tones throughout the entire album. Then there's the Dark Hard Rock sound which is only found on certain albums by certain older musicians.

Bodies is one of the weaker songs on this album, and I only say that because it just sounds like a jacked up Misfits song. Which is totally cool with me, it just makes the song seem a bit basic and standard. However, this is a killer tune and I wouldn't think twice about cranking it just for fun.

Then it's on to the title track of the album. First off, How The Gods Kill is not only beautiful in it's delivery, but it's also haunting in the soul. This song conveys so much emotion, pain, anger, sadness, and despair. "If you feel alive / In a darkened room / Do you know the name / Of your solitude / If you ain't got the answer / If you don't know the truth / If you want the power / Then let it flow through / Would you let it go / Would let it go / They cannot end this morning / Of my life /Show me /How the gods kill / If you feel alive / If you got no fear / Do you know the name / Of the one you seek / If you want the answer / If you want the truth / Look inside your empty soul / There / You'll find the noose / Would you let it go / Would you let it go / They cannot end this morning / Of my life / Show me / How the gods kill". This is the longest song on the album, at just shy of six minutes and you would never guess it. The feel, flow and dynamics to this song are just spectacular in design and execution; producing an epicness that is so badly lacking in a lot of newer music.

I don't have a favourite track on this album. I was never able to make up my mind, about just one track. However, if it isn't How The Gods Kill, then it must be Dirty Black Summer. It has everything a great Rock song must have. It has a big ass, killer, heavy breathing riff. A wicked chugging tempo. Then finally vocals delivered in a way that gets the girls wet, the boys revved up, and the sins flowing. Although easily understood to be a reference to demonics in the Summer season, I prefer to look at this song as a bit of a raunchy track reeking of death and sex.

Left Hand Black is one of those tracks that also has me thinking Misfits, maybe even Samhain, but with more of a polished hard edge. The music of the song conjures the image of an Obsidian sword in my head. There's just such energy and sexy imagery to this one.

I love a good Blues tune, especially hard rockin' ones, and Heart Of The Devil is one of those kinds of songs. It's a bit cliche in musical performance, and delivery, but when it comes to the Blues that doesn't matter. This is one of those songs that has me thinking of what The Doors may have sounded like if they had come out in the 1990's.

"Take my hand / you'll / never find / another / quite like mine / if you look / you'll / see that I'm / a lonely one / I / lost my soul / deep inside / and it's so / black / and cold / deep inside / sistine smile / you'll / never know / the trap it's set / and if you did / you'll / never look / into / its eyes / the sun don't shine / the wind won't blow / when you go hide / without your love / I'm lonely / deep inside", are the words to the beautiful and pretty Gothic ballroom number Sistinas. I don't know how the hell Danzig was able to release this song and not have the fans want to lynch him. However, Glenn got Love Metal long before there was a Love Metal, and clearly his fans understood it as well. It's easy to picture this song being played during some big dance scene right before the boys go off to war in a movie.

The it's back to your more standard and acceptable Metal with Do You Wear The Mark. This is the only other track on the album I find as much of a let down as Bodies. Which if you are keeping track you'll understand isn't that much of a let down. This song isn't so much Punk sounding as Bodies, but it's not anything special compared to the other tracks that make up this album.

The album ends with another song that I could easily consider my favourite from this album. When The Dying Calls, is one of those great ghost story kind of songs. The last verse and chorus especially give me chills of excitement. "Down / through the ages / from the dawn of time / roam / through the world of dreams / up / drom the black / of the Mississippi mud / calling / out to everything / down / down / down / I'm gonna bring you / down / that's when the dying calls / if I play / in the dark of this world / if I lose / don't mind / that's when the dying calls".

This is one of those albums that will aways be loved as an underground classic of sorts. I know that it got some pretty big mainstream exposure, but considering when it came out, and the other albums much larger at the time bands were releasing, this album could never be considered a major release. I am so thankful for that as well. I would much rather have this album respected by people because of how amazing it is, than have a bunch of false fans making it sound like the next White album, Black album, or whatever else fits the bill.

9/10 - content

8/10 - production

9/10 - personal bias

Friday, November 9, 2012

Alice Cooper - Brutal Planet

Lately a good chunk of the selections I've been reviewing have been thanks to The Editor. Brutal Planet is no exception. This is Andria's favourite Alice Cooper album, which makes me laugh my ass off, just because of when it was released, and the content compared to other albums.

Alice is one of those artists that many people don't get. Even more people find his early stuff a bit soft sounding. However, Brutal Planet is a very hard and heavy album, and helped introduce a whole new generation to Alice Cooper. This is by far the most Metal album he has ever released, with the exception of Raise Your Fist And Yell. That's also very metal, just a different type.

The album opens with the title track. Which works as the set up to an album that rumbles like thunder underground. The soothing melodies in the pre-chrous are a fantastic counterpoint to the hard edged attack of the chorus, or the rhythmic militant pounding of the verses. This is a great way to set the tone for this album. It starts real hard and just keeps going from there.

Wicked Young Man follows that up. It's a really well done song. The writing is top notch, and the production on this specific track is very fitting to the content. However, I personally don't care for this one. This is one of those tracks that's meant for the angry malitias, and mosh pit enthusiasts, not so much for the old school fans. It's a different type of shock.

Sanctuary reminds me a lot of Nothings Free on Alice's Last Tempation album. It has more of a spoken word delivery in the verses, which cut to the bone for me at times. "I got a radical place / Got my own private space / It's my sanctuary / It's the castle of doom / I'm the king of my room / Just a Quasimodo / Let the world blow away / This is where I will stay / In my sanctuary / Got my mess on the floor / Got my lock on my door". Then it goes into a great catchy verse.

I really like Blow Me A Kiss, but I'm not totally sure what to make of it. It's almost as if Alice was trying to go for a song that could easily be club mixed. This is another song that has lyical content that I find very cutting. "I'm in my room I'm Dr. Doom / 'Cause I'm not me I'm someone else / Why should you die don't ask me why / You know it, you know it, you know it / Blow me away / I turn the page I am the rage / I'm coming from a darker place / A much darker place / So blow me away / Blow me away / Yeah blow me away / Tell me what you're thinkin' tell me why / Blow me a kiss then blow me away / Yeah blow me away / C'mon and blow me away / Tell me what you're thinkin' tell me why / Blow me a kiss then blow me away".

I love that this album has a lot of a Seven Deadly Sins theme in it. The only song that gets right in your face about it is Eat Some More. Musically I find it one of the less inspired songs, but it's a good middle of the album song. If it had been a vinyl release, it would have made a decent first side closer.

Pick Up The Bones is a slower number. Slow and Bluesy, with beautiful subtle lead guitar parts, but not ballady. This song still has some big ass bark, and vicious bite.

I read an article some time in the last few months in which Alice said his albums are so good because he never releases filler songs. I laughed my balls off. Yes, there are many Alice Cooper albums in which I would say that he has no filler tracks. However, this album is not one of those.

I can't stand the song Pessi-mystic. Musically it's stock, lyrically it's total "meh," and it contains the line "I'm pessimystic / I'm so pissed-off-istic". This is one of the biggest filler tracks I've ever heard stink up an Alice album. I love when he does odd and goofy songs like, I See You Over There Ripping The Sawdust From My Teddy Bear, or Can't Sleep Clowns Will Eat Me. Pessi-mystic is not one of those songs.

Gimme was the only song that was technically a single for this album. It had a nifty, if not a bit cliche, video In which Alice plays the most evil of all villians. He creates and releases a boy band. If you don't know this track, I don't think you are missing much. But give it a look on Youtube for the giggle, you may even enjoy the song. My daughter's half ass singing along with this one, as I write this.

One of my favourite tracks on Brutal Planet is It's The Little Things. "You can burn my house / You can cut my hair / You can make me wrestle naked / With a grizzly bear / You can poison my cat / Baby I don't care / But if you talk in the movies / I'll kill you right there / It's the little things / It's just the little things". It's one of those tracks that's a bit cliche, but at the same time it's rockin', groovin' and there's a whole lot of movin'.

It seems that since Welcome to My Nightmare came out in 1975 every Alice Cooper album has had to have a ballad. There are a few exceptions, but for the most part this rule holds up pretty well. This album's ballad is Take It Like A Woman. As far as ballads that rip off the premise of Only Women Bleed, this is a decent one. I kind of like it a bit better than the other track even. However, it could be lef off the album as far as I'm concerned.

My favourite track on this album is the last one. Cold Machines I swear is totally inspired by the Borg on Star Trek. I can't listen to this song without images of First Contact or Voyager flying through my head. "You don't know my name / You don't know my number / You don't know my face at all / We walk right past each other / Every single day / Like cold machines / We're marching on and on and on and on and on / Got your thumb print always with me / Got your barcode memorized / They came here to electroshock me / But can they erase you from my mind? / I don't wanna be / I don't wanna be / Just a memory / I don't wanna be / I don't wanna be / Gone". I think UPN should have snapped up this track to use for promotional purposes. Musically there's nothing overly special about the track. However, it's another song that has great production value.

This is one of those Alice albums with great replay value. There are only two tracks that I find sub par, and only one of those makes me feel the need to hit the skip button. It's not like one of the classic albums with music quality, but it is very solid, and has some interesting lyrical content. Where I find this album loses some real value is in the age that the content is geared for. This album sounds like it was meant much more for an early twentysomething crowd. Where as in the past albums easily appealed to all ages.

I would still suggest this album to anyone looking to check out some real Metal, with an industrial twist, Alice.

7/10 - content

8/10 - production

7/10 - personal bias

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Whitesnake - Whitesnake

I love to mock Hair Metal, or what some may call Glam, but there are some bands that released some awesome albums in that time. White Snake was one of them and their self titled/untitled album released on Geffen records in 1987 is just fantastic.

There's a certain sound to this album I love. It's like Led Zeppelin III meets Alice Cooper's Raise Your Fist And Yell, or maybe even Constrictor. I mean the drawing the line to Zeppelin is simple. Who hasn't done it in a review of this album, or anything that David Coverdale has sung on? Clearly some one figured out how to clone Robert Plant way back when, for who know's what diabolical purpose. The Alice thing isn't so much an actual Alice thing, but more a very well produced late eighties album. I would have sworn this album had been one of the early albums to be digitally recorded, but I was plesantly surprised to read that it was an analog recording.

I'm not going to say this is one of those perfect albums. It isn't. There are some tracks that I don't care for, and others that I find a bit boring. Also, I do have a small complaint about the amount of electric keyboard on this album too. Now that I've covered all the really bad stuff let's get into the album.

Heavy Rock Blues are always a great way to start an album. Crying In The Rain is thick, a bit slinky in a dirty way, and totally empassioned. The pre and chorus lyrics "The sun is shining / But, it's raining in my heart / No one understands the heartache, / No one feels the pain, / 'Cos no one ever sees the tears / When you're crying in the rain, / When you're crying in the rain, / When you're crying in the rain, / When you're crying in the rain" are delivered with such commitment and energy that you can almost picture Coverdale shedding a tear while singing himself. Then there's the solo, which I think is pretty bitchin'.

Bad Boys follows that up. This is a quick paced number that has a really good kickin' solo, but for the most part I find the song a bit stockish. It's a pretty basic song, that doesn't do anything to stretch the boundries of Rock. Still a good song on the album all the same, that I've never felt a need to skip.

The next two tracks on the album are the most popular songs from Whitesnake. First there's Still Of The Night, which is really cool, although a bit standard sounding in my opinion. It's a great basic format of rockin' and pausin'. In other words there's a great delivery. However, it's the fact that this song sounds a bit like a gimped up version of Led Zeppelin's Whole Lotta Love that turns me off this song the most.

Here I Go Again is another story. Nothing in this song turns me off. It's one of those songs that I hope I'm still hearing twenty years from now, and it better still give me that same sense of self empowerment that this song is able to create twenty-five years after it first came out.

I really dig Give Me All Your Love. There is a bit Kiss, a bit Van Halen, and a bit of Led Zeppelin in this one. It's a fun number that really just moves. Like many songs on this album it has that standard Rock kind of sound to it.

I know there's a lot of people out there that absolutely swear by Is This Love. It may be one of the single greatest Power Ballads to come out of the late 80's. I'm not really a fan. I'm cool with the questioning nature of the song's lyrics, but it's just another boring love song as far as I'm concerned.

Children Of The Night is probably my favourite song on this album, and it's so typically a cheesy song about Rock. It's the attack and delivery of the music that really gets me off though. It's like the band opted to take some of the best tricks and techniques out of Metal songs released between 1980 and '81, and then slammed them all together. It makes for one hell of a rapid fire album.

Straight For The Heart is a really kick ass song in one sense and a complete giant parody of itself in another. This song sounds big and grandious in a way that just seems too big. Especially for a song that's pretty basic and standard. It pretty much sounds like a John Cougar Mellancamp tune cranked up on adrenaline. I have no use for Don't Turn Away. I normally put an end to the album before this track starts. This is one of those tracks that would be used in the end credits in some 80's Rom-Com. Just not my thing.

There is nothing original about this album. It's just a really well written and homaged collection of songs. this is an undeniably 80's album, and it's one of the few that I'm good with. In fact, while listening to this album to do the review I've come to discover that it's been a bit too long since the last time I've listened to it. However, after listening to it twice in one day I may give it a break for a while again.

7/10 - content

8/10 - production

7/10 - personal bias