Archive for the rock album reviews Category

The Black Keys ‘El Camino’ – An El Boring Listen Into What’s Already Been Done In Rock ‘N Roll

Posted in alternative rock, Hard Rock, rock album reviews, rock albums, rock bands, rock music, rock music news with tags , , , , , , on January 6, 2012 by Metal Odyssey

The Black Keys – Yes, I blindly purchased the new CD from The Black Keys (nonesuch) and it’s for some reason titled El Camino. I pay dearly sometimes for making a “blind purchase” when it comes to music. To sum it up, this El Camino CD is boring. It sounds as if Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney are not just huge fans of 70’s Rock… they obviously are both stuck in the “it’s been done already” school of Rock ‘N Roll and are a long way from graduating.

A fuzzy guitar sound with raw and unnecessary fuzzy production is pure nonsense when it comes to this genre of Rock in 2012. The Psychedelic, Stoner, Doom and Black Metal genres can utilize the “fuzz” in their respective sound brilliantly, only a Rock group like The Black Keys should stick to some clarity in their presentation of sound and maybe they won’t come across like a 1977 garage band playing to just their cousins.

Too numerous are the moments on El Camino where I recognize that IT HAS BEEN DONE BEFORE! The Black Keys are not pushing the Rock ‘N Roll envelope here folks and that’s what makes this CD such a waste of time. Where’s the relevance? Listening to this band is like listening to a severely slow-paced Wolfmother with a hangover. The worst song on El Camino is hands down: Little Black Submarines. This song is so annoying, that upon my first listen I wanted to break down and cry, fearing that it made me constipated.

The one and only “bright spot” on El Camino is Sister. This song rocks like there is no tomorrow. Mind Eraser ends this CD on a cool note, still it’s too late. If only The Black Keys stuck to this Rockin’ blueprint of Sister and Mind Eraser throughout all 11 songs… and they didn’t. The digipak and liner notes are equally repetitive and humdrum as the music. Do we really need to waste paper like this? The liner notes are 16 pages which dedicate 15 of these pages to photos of what else? El Caminos. The digipak is a four-fold that features… 8 more photos of… El Caminos! Laugh out loud and Metal be thy name!

By now you realize I’m not a fan of what The Black Keys are trying to accomplish with their Rock sound. If you’re looking for a memorable and original sounding Rock CD you are better off picking up the newest CD from The Trews. Trust me, a thorough listen into Hope & Ruin from The Trews is a quantum leap forward compared to El Camino. The Black Keys surely won’t care about anyone who doesn’t dig their music. Why? They made the cover of Rolling Stone! Life goes on…

El Camino – Track Listing:

Lonely Boy

Dead And Gone

Gold On The Ceiling

Little Black Submarines

Money Maker

Run Right Back

Sister

Hell Of A Season

Stop Stop

Nova Baby

Mind Eraser

Stone.

Los Lonely Boys – Rockpango: A Positive and Feel Good Album of Dynamite Rock Songs

Posted in chicano rock, classic rock, Hard Rock, latin rock, metal odyssey, Music, rock album reviews, rock and roll, rock music, rock music news with tags , , , , , , , , on June 27, 2011 by Metal Odyssey

LOS LONELY BOYS – Are you currently hankering for an album that is: feel-good, easy going, fun, a bit funky, has some Soul and a sliver of Rap, a bit bluesy with Latin flavor and simply Rocks? Well then, that album is Rockpango. I can’t hold back my enthusiastic liking for this new Los Lonely Boys album. Rockpango was released back on March 29th, 2011, on their very own Playing In Traffic/LonelyTone Records. Being an early Spring release, Rockpango has gained some mighty steam as one of my favorite Rock albums of 2011.

This album I’ve been addicted to for over two months now and it’s all about the songs baby… it’s all about the songs. When an album like Rockpango has so many good songs, then it becomes memorable for me. The Garza brothers (Henry, Jojo and Ringo) have a remarkable knack for writing mainstream songs that are still street cool. Maybe it’s the Texican Rock and Roll vibe happening, still, Los Lonely Boys are a band that makes any dreary thoughts evaporate from my Metal mind the very second I listen to their music. That’s feel-good.

My favorite song on Rockpango is Smile. The orchestration is what makes this song standout, with the violin, viola and cello stirring up my infatuation with (my) beloved Electric Light Orchestra. Not to mention the guitar resonates a Classic Rock sound on Smile, bringing a retrospective feel to my listen. The song Rockpango takes a major chapter out of Santana’s Latin Rock groove, coupled with some tasty, bluesy guitar licks. The B3 organ (Riley Osbourn) lends a Classic Rock appeal to the overall recipe that this Rockpango song is all about in sound.

16 Monkeys is a fun listen in both music and lyrics. Los Lonely Boys certainly have their funny side and this song is a throwback to when Rock and Roll really did take aim at the funny bone. “16 monkeys on a chuck wagon rollin’ down the road… uh, huh”. Need I say more about (gasp) fun and Rock and Roll? Porn Star has the Rap, courtesy of Kush and the cuts and scratches are thanks to DJ Beans. Make no mistake, Porn Star does Rock along and the Funk I hear is no junk.

The always constant and harmonious vocals of the Garza brothers on Rockpango is a quality listen in and of itself. There is much to be said about creating positive Rock and Roll and Los Lonely Boys are masters at this craft. Believe, Love In My Veins and American Idle are three songs that deliver the high spirited Rock that’s chock full of genuine messages of kindness. No, Los Lonely Boys aren’t preaching, they’re just three cool dudes that aren’t about spreading hate through their music. Metal be thy name.

An admirable characteristic of Los Lonely Boys is their talented ability to incorporate so many styles of music to their sound, without ever coming across as stretching themselves too thin. Rockpango has turned out to be a highlight listen for me in the Rock category this year and will remain just that for years to come. When I listen to Rockpango, I’m listening to three musicians who just love music… period.

Los Lonely Boys:

Henry Garza – vocals, electric and acoustic guitar

Jojo Garza – vocals and bass guitar

Ringo Garza – vocals, drums and percussion

Track Listing For Rockpango:

American Idle

Fly Away

Love In My Veins

Road To Nowhere

16 Monkeys

Rockpango

Smile

Baby Girl

Change The World

Porn Star

Believe

* For more info on LOS LONELY BOYS, click the link below:

Los Lonely Boys – Official Website

LONG LIVE LOS LONELY BOYS.

Stone.

METAL MASSACRE XIII – 2006 Compilation Of Metal Is All About Extreme!

Posted in extreme music, Heavy Metal, heavy metal music, metal music, metal odyssey, Music, rock album reviews, rock music with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 29, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

METAL MASSACRE – Released on June 13, 2006, Metal Blade Records continued their excellent Metal tradition of delivering a heavy dose of their best signed bands that their label has to offer, with another ear blistering installment to their historic Metal Massacre series – Metal Massacre XII. There are 19 songs on Metal Massacre XIII and that = Metal value. From Bolt Thrower to The Absence, this compilation of Extreme Metal bands never subsides with unmistakable intensity.

Here is a brief and summarized history of the Metal Massacre album series: In 1982, Brian Slagel, the founder and owner of Metal Blade Records, put together and released a compilation of unsigned and underground Metal bands… that first compilation album being aptly titled – Metal Massacre. Onward through the ’80’s and ’90’s, another eleven Metal Massacre compilation albums were released through Metal Blade Records. Back in 1995, Metal Massacre XII was released on Metal Blade Records and was tentatively the last in this incredible series of Metal compilation albums… until eleven years later, in 2006, when Metal Massacre XIII was released!

Admittedly, over the decades and throughout this entire series of Metal Massacre albums, I have been exposed to Metal bands that I was not too familiar with. This still held true with Metal Massacre XIII, with The Absence, The Ocean, Cellador, The Black Dahlia Murder, Gaza and Demiricous being bands that I have pursued with my ears, due to their being featured here. Metal exposure is a good thing… Metal be thy name.

The first band heard on this compilation is Cellador, with Leaving All Behind. Cellador is a Power Metal band from Nebraska… and they are as potently heavy as they are melodic. Leaving All Behind is built around guitar speed that is reminiscent of ’80’s Speed Metal. I’m hoping Cellador carry’s on their Power Metal ways… just an above decent band they are. The Black Dahlia Murder brings on the Extreme with Miasma and it is as punishing as any song they have ever made. Brutal stuff is Miasma… I dig it tremendously.

Six Feet Under is unleashed with Shadow Of The Reaper and it is a Death Metal delight. It’s all about the grooves man… the Death Metal grooves of Six Feet Under! Chris Barnes on vocals ferociously delivers, per usual. The Absence has become a big favorite of mine and From Your Grave is Melodic Death Metal at it’s very finest. A real fine listen on this Metal Massacre album is God Dethroned smashing it down with Sigma Enigma. This song I found to be instantly memorable for it’s hell bent consistency.

Amon Amarth and their song The Pursuit Of Vikings is my favorite song on MMIII. Melodic as all hell, Amon Amarth is a giant of a band. Melodic Death Metal can put me into one super great mood and Amon Amarth never disappoints me. The riffs kick some serious ass on this song, while everything just seems to come together perfectly. Amon Amarth can play my backyard barbecue next Summer… if they liked to. And The Hero Fails definitely provides one meaty dose of Metal Extremity with His Imperial Victory, the same can be said for Gaza with Cult… holy crap I’m telling you all, these two bands are Heeeaaavvvy and Exxxttrreeeeme. ‘Nuff said about that.

You can find Metal Massacre XIII just about anywhere CD’s are sold (online that is). I was able to get my “new” copy a few years back pretty cheap… (around $5 U.S.). Since the inception of Metal Blade Records Metal Massacre I, this is a Metal series well worth diving into with thine ears. Metal Massacre XIII is again, a tremendous value for the money. Plus, you are getting introduced to a bevy of very cool and dynamite Metal bands that your maybe unfamiliar with. I highly recommend, with Metal might, this Metal Massacre XIII to any fan of Metal worldwide… and to all alien Metalheads in outer space too.

* The ultra legendary Metallica were featured on 1982’s Metal Massacre… with their Thrash Classic – Hit The Lights.

Track Listing For Metal Massacre XIII:

CelladorLeaving All Behind

The Black Dahlia MurderMiasma

Six Feet UnderShadow Of The Reaper

Torture Killer Swarm!

DemiricousVagrant Idol

3Alien Angel

Bolt ThrowerThe Killchain

Into The MoatDead Before I Stray

The Red Chord Fixation On Plastics

Fragments Of Unbecoming Sterling Black Icon

Paths Of PossessionBleed The Meek

The Absence From Your Grave

God DethronedSigma Enigma

Amon AmarthThe Pursuit Of Vikings

Machinemade GodKiss Me Now Kill Me Later

The OceanOne With The Ocean

And The Hero FallsHis Imperial Victory

GazaCult

End It All Echo Of Cries

HAPPY HALLOWEEN WEEKEND, METALHEADS!

LONG LIVE METAL.

LONG LIVE METAL BLADE RECORDS.

Stone.

BRET MICHAELS “CUSTOM BUILT” – MAKES FOR A DIVERSE ROCKIN’ LISTEN

Posted in country music, country rock music, Hard Rock, hard rock albums, hard rock music, metal odyssey, Music, rock & roll, rock 'n' roll, rock album reviews, rock and roll, rock music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 8, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

BRET MICHAELS – Bret Michaels did not leave us… thank you God and all the Rock ‘N’ Roll angels for that. Now, Bret Michaels has his brand new solo album Custom Built out, released on July 6, 2010, on Poor Boy Records Inc. and it is built on Rock ‘N’ Roll diversity. Anyone expecting a full-throttle Hard Rock album should prepare for a little bit o’ Country, a little bit o’ Club Mix and some acoustic music from Bret Michaels on Custom Built. Not to worry though… there are a couple of decent Hard Rock moments on this new Bret Michaels album too. Just because Bret Michaels wants to exhibit his fondness for some other music genres shouldn’t make this Custom Built album any less desirable for fans of Bret, Poison and good ol’ Rock ‘N’ Roll.

Am I thrilled by the Club Mix of Go That Far”? (Club Mix by Jason Miller of Godhead). Nope. Not a chance. It’s not my cup o’ Rockin’ tea. With that said, it grooves enough for someone to dance to, wiggle to, or whatever to. At this point in Bret Michaels life, I feel he can basically do whatever he damn well feels like with his music anyways. You only live once. Plus, there are probably gonna be hordes of fans that will dig “Go That Far”. Just because I don’t dig it, doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world.

Open Road is a Country Rock song to relish however. Bret Michaels can really sing Country. He sings Country like it’s his second nature and I’m buying into it. Open Road” has some classic Country lyrics to go along with it too… it’s upbeat in both it’s music and lyrics. Rock’n My Country” is… you guessed it. Country! Hey, if I am to see Bret Michaels live someday and he sings this song, I’m gonna be doin’ my sneaker kickin’ (or is that boot kickin’?) stomp with one hand held high. My other hand shall have a cold one in it. Maybe two cold ones. A fun Country Rock song is “Rock’n My Country”.

“Nothing To Lose (Bret Only Demo)” is an acoustic gem. What a cool and mellow listen this song is. Lyrically moving and yes, inspirational. Is it a kleenex song? Maybe… only I’m too damn tough for that. Excuse me please… while I blow my nose and wipe my eyes now. Yes, yes, yes… the duet version of “Nothing To Lose” with Miley Cyrus is on this album too. Hey, it’s a good song and that’s what writing and playing good music is all about. Plus, Miley Cyrus has come of age in doing this song with Brett Michaels… in my Metal opinion. No, no, no… my eyes are not welling up. Stop it… and leave me alone. Gee whiz. Someone pass me a damn beer. Um, please.

I’d Die For You is a raw and downright non-commercial song that Rocks. It’s the last song on Custom Built and ends this album on a pretty Hard Rockin’ note. Plus, Bret Michaels sounds pretty bad ass singing this song too. Riding Against The Wind is the album opener and it falls somewhere between Hard Rock and Hard Rock Country. It’s a song that lyrically flirts with some patriotism and flourishes with undeniable emotion and reflection. Yes, this song I would raise the horns in the air to with Rockin’ glee.

Lie To Me is the bona fide Hard Rock song on “Custom Built”. Hell yeah… this song is a heavy hitter. Bret Michaels made the right move in adding this song to the mix… plus a psyche-you-out mini guitar solo doesn’t hurt “Lie To Me” either. Wasted Time” is a Hard Rock song that wastes no time in grabbing my attention. This Rocker leans more towards being a tough Power Ballad, as it sounds semi-raw with Bret Michaels adding a sandpapered tone to his vocals, to enhance it’s overall heavy appeal.

My recommendation is buy “Custom Built”, listen to the songs on it and celebrate a musician who loves music. This is an album of songs, regardless if I don’t happen to like any Club Mix or not, it’s a song too… a song for someone else. Bret Michaels isn’t going anywhere anytime soon… there is just too much Rock ‘N’ Roll, Hard Rock and Country in his veins and “Custom Built” proves it.

Track Listing For Bret Michaels – Custom Built:

Riding Against The Wind

Lie To Me

Nothing To Lose (Featuring Miley Cyrus)

Wasted Time

What I Got

Every Rose (Country version featuring Brad Arnold of 3 Doors Down, Chris Cagle, Mark Wills)

Go That Far (Club Mix by Jason Miller of Godhead)

Driven (Rock Mix)

Open Road

Rock’n My Country

Nothing To Lose (Bret only demo)

I’d Die For You

Long Live Bret Michaels! Only… the Club Mix has to go.

Stone.

METAL ODYSSEY’S TOP TEN HARD ROCK ALBUMS OF 2009

Posted in 1970's hard rock, 1970's Rock, 1970's southern rock bands, 1980's hard rock bands, 1990's hard rock bands, Album Review, best of album lists, best of hard rock albums list, best of rock list, classic hard rock bands, classic hard rock music, classic rock, classic rock bands, classic rock music, classic southern rock, cool album covers, current hard rock albums, current hard rock bands, current hard rock music, current hard rock songs, essential hard rock albums, Hard Rock, hard rock album review, hard rock albums 2009, hard rock bands 2009, hard rock music, hard rock music 2009, hard rock songs, hard rock vocalists, heavy metal music, lists, metal odyssey, Music, old school hard rock, rock & roll, rock album reviews, rock and roll, rock music, rock music reviews, top ten album lists, vintage hard rock bands with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 26, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

Welcome to Metal Odyssey’s 1st Annual Top Ten Hard Rock Albums list! This list is for Hard Rock albums released in 2009. These albums are my favorites that I listened to most consistently this past year, while hearing the best in overall musicianship and songs. For sure there are Hard Rock albums released in 2009 that I have passed over, (time and money plays a factor). *Please note the links throughout this list, navigating you to a more detailed review, that I have written for past Metal Odyssey posts during 2009, regarding the respective album.

#10 – CHICKENFOOT – CHICKENFOOT

The more I listened to this Supergroup lineup of Sammy Hagar (lead vocals), Joe Satriani, (lead guitar), Michael Anthony, (bass guitar) and Chad Smith, (drums), the more it dawned on me… I was probably more star struck at the initial release of this album, (June 5, 2009), than I am in December, 2009. Don’t get me wrong, I really, really like Chickenfoot. This album takes me back to the late ’80’s Hard Rock vibe of Van Hagar, uh, Van Halen, plus the songs remind me of good time Summer days. For me not to have these guys in my Top Ten of Hard Rock Albums for 2009 – would be an insult to myself. This Chickenfoot album I will without question, listen to time and again… especially during the Summer months. For more stuff I wrote about Chickenfoot on May 1, 2009, click on the heading below:

Watch out Metal & Hard Rock fans – Chickenfoot is coming!

#9 – MADINA LAKE – ATTICS TO EDEN

Yeah, sure, there is some slight Pop in the music of Madina Lake, with an overlying style of Alternative Rock, still… the hard edge heard inside the inner linings of the songs, on Attics To Eden, is what still lures me in. Madina Lake convinced me, that they give a damn about song writing and lyrics, not caving in to being too hard or too soft at the same time. Call me corny, Madina Lake created one heck of an inspiring album, with Attics To Eden. My detailed review I posted on August 13, 2009, can be yours by clicking you know where – below:

MADINA LAKE – “Attics to Eden” is an Alternative Rock detour to take

#8 – PAPA ROACH – METAMORPHOSIS

Jacoby Shaddix makes this album so appreciable for me, with his vocals not overpowering the band, instead they distinguish the individual songs heard on Metamorphosis. Papa Roach is not a band trying to be something they are not… instead Papa Roach mixes Rock styles into a menagerie of hard and at times, heavy songs on this album. Papa Roach may have given a nod to some decades old, retrospective melodic heaviness, yet still kept the relevancy factor at full throttle. O.k., I’m guilty of calling the most accessible song on Metamorphosis my favorite… Lifeline more than rivets me, it lifts my spirits high. I posted just how much this album thrilled me, on April 7, 2009… click below to see what I blabbed.

Papa Roach “Metamorphosis” – leave your stress behind!

#7 – DOMMIN – EP

Sure, this is just an EP from DOMMIN, subsequently titled – EP, nonetheless, it had such an impact on me that it made my Top Ten Hard Rock Album List. Kristofer Dommin has quite the vocals and can write some catchy, moody and dark songs. There are four songs on EP, in my Metal opinion they are dynamite. I am really looking forward to the complete studio album from DOMMIN, Love Is Gone, to be released on February 10, 2009. On October 19, 2009, I let everyone in the world know, just how thrilled I am about EP… check out what I ranted and raved about by clicking below:

DOMMIN – “E.P.” Has Me Hooked

#6 – FOREIGNER – CAN’T SLOW DOWN

The album title for this 2009 version of Foreigner is extremely fitting for founding member Mick Jones. Kudos to Mick for not slowing down at all. The Foreigner brand and band is at the top of their Hard Rock game musically, making an album that should not only catapult this current Foreigner lineup but spotlight the Hard Rock history of this band as well. Foreigner has been a mainstay band for me since the late 1970’s, following my heart is not what I am doing here… this is a very good album. Kelly Hansen fits right in with Foreigner, he even sings the bands classics like they were intended for him. I could never compare him to Lou Gramm, there forever will only be one Lou Gramm. It doesn’t hurt that Jeff Pilson is the bass guitarist with Foreigner either. I definitely recommend this album, Foreigner 2009 is not an anomaly, they are for real… just as they ever were.

#5- WOLFMOTHER – COSMIC EGG

Yes, I am a Wolfmother believer, one who could not wait for them to release their sophomore album. Cosmic Egg is NOT a carbon copy of the debut Wolfmother album, instead the songs take on a more melodic and streamlined sound. There is definitely MORE happening on this second album from Wolfmother, with song structure and production seeming to take on a prominent role. The songs on Cosmic Egg sound beefier than that of it’s predecessor. Wolfmother carries on with their psychedelic whomp on Cosmic Egg, carrying over the Old School riffs and chops that remind me of the early to mid 1970’s Hard Rock world. I may never know for sure, if there are those Old School Hard Rock influences coming into play with Wolfmother, regardless, this album never ceases to send sensory shock waves of heavy glee through me, with each listen. Simply, a super all around Hard Rock album.

#4 – THE MARS VOLTA – OCTAHEDRON

Call it my insatiable appetite for Progressive Music… Progressive Hard Rock 101 = The Mars Volta. There are layers and whirlwinds of musical innuendo to be heard on Octahedron. Could anyone familiar with The Mars Volta have expected anything substandard? Never. It will most likely take me another fifty listens to this album, to finally come close in hearing every piece of music, that radiates from within it’s unreal great core. The Mars Volta could go into a time machine and make relevant Rock and Roll, Rock or Hard Rock in any of the past six decades. Octahedron is not math Rock… it is genius and Progressive Hard Rock. The Mars Volta have done their homework in Progressive Rock history and appreciation, now I am forever appreciating this band and Octahedron. Oh, yeah, I did praise The Mars Volta up and down, on July 7, 2009. Just do a quick click below to read what I mean:

The Mars Volta “Octahedron” – A Progressive Hard Rock mind pill

#3 – CHEAP TRICK – THE LATEST

Cheap Trick. I became a lifelong fan of this band a long time ago, in a very expensive state called Connecticut, far, far, away. The album opener Sleep Forever is what grabbed me emotionally from the onset, a somber intro/prelude to a Cheap Trick bevy of Rock and Roll delight. Cheap Trick has maintained their elite status in the history of Rock Music… for me and I’m convinced many others as well. The Latest is just that – the latest great blend of Rock and Hard Rock Music from a band that DESERVES TO BE IN THE ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME. On July 26, 2009, I was blogging away as to how enormously great this new Cheap Trick album is… lookie below and click away to read it!

Cheap Trick “The Latest” is their latest great album

#2 – CKY – CARVER CITY

During the early half of 2009, I found it easy to slap the Metal label on CKY. Then, upon my listening to Carver City on numerous occasions, I decided this band is in fact, a Hard Rock Band to my ears. I never professed to be a music genre genius… just a music genre blabber. Yes, CKY can and has proven the excellent ability to play very, very, heavy, (Old Carver’s Bones, for example), yet songs such as A #1 Roller Rager and The Era Of An End solidifies my belief as CKY being Hard Rock. Carver City is as muscular with great songs and invitingly macabre as any album I could possibly wish for. I willingly became a CKY fan in 2009, prompted by this unreal great album. I really laid it on thick as to why CKY and Carver City made me so ecstatic… yes I did… on May 21, 2009 and if you want to, check out the details I blabbed by… uh, huh… clicking the heading below.

CKY “Carver City” is diverse, macabre Metal at it’s finest

Here is the front cover to CKY – CARVER CITY… spooky scene there, one of my favorite covers of 2009.

Here is the back cover of CKY – CARVER CITY… again, very spooky, this stuff I can’t get enough of.

#1 – LYNYRD SKYNYRD – GOD & GUNS

Upon my very first listen to Lynyrd SkynyrdGod & Guns, I realized I was listening to something very special. An American Rock Music icon… survivors, Southern Rock legends… Lynyrd Skynyrd. When choosing a #1 album, for me, it is all about total song quality. ALL 12 songs are a journey into a world of Southern Hard Rock musicianship at it’s upmost finest. Yes, this album does dabble in Country Rock with Unwrite That Song and That Ain’t My America… and why shouldn’t Lynyrd Skynyrd go in that direction if they so choose? This great band is deserving of creating any damn song they want, they have earned it. Trust me, this is an album that will be appreciated by skeptics and critics more for it’s total sum than it’s parts… ten, maybe twenty years from now. The Hard Rock parts are all there to be heard, with Southern Rock and Country Rock roots swirled into the mix. God & Guns is patriotic and I am proud to be an American. Long live Lynyrd Skynyrd. Metal Odyssey applauds this band for creating God & Guns.

Don’t hesitate to read my fully detailed review on God & Guns, I bellowed through my blog just how much this album means to me on October 2, 2009:

LYNYRD SKYNYRD – “GOD & GUNS” IS ALREADY A SOUTHERN ROCK CLASSIC

Thank you for visiting Metal Odyssey and checking out my Top Ten Hard Rock Album List for 2009!

*Be sure to also check out these fellow Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Music blogs for their Best Of Lists for 2009, they are fabulous blogs all… believe me, it is worth the time, plus it’s darn good fun:

Heavy Metal Addiction — http://heavymetaladdiction.com/

All Metal Resource — http://allmetalresource.com/

Bring Back Glam — http://bringbackglam.squarespace.com/

Hair Metal Mansion — http://hairbangersradio.ning.com/

Hard Rock Hideout — http://hardrockhideout.com/

Heavy Metal Time Machine — http://metalmark.blogspot.com/

Imagine Echoes — http://www.imagineechoes.com/

Layla’s Classic Rock — http://laylasclassicrock.blogspot.com/

Metal Excess — http://metalexcess.com/

The Metal Minute — http://rayvanhornjr.blogspot.com/

Rock Of Ages — http://rockofages.wordpress.com/

The Ripple Effect — http://www.ripplemusic.blogspot.com/



LYNYRD SKYNYRD – “GOD & GUNS” IS ALREADY A SOUTHERN ROCK CLASSIC

Posted in 1970's classic rock bands, 1970's hard rock bands, 1970's southern rock music, 1970's classic rock music, 1970's rock music, 1980's classic rock bands, 1980's southern rock music, 1980's classic rock, 1980's classic rock music, 1980's rock bands, 1980's southern rock, 1990's classic rock music, 1990's southern rock music, Album Review, classic hard rock, classic hard rock bands, classic hard rock music, classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock bands, classic rock music, classic rock songs, cool album covers, current rock albums 2009, essential rock albums, essential southern rock albums, hard rock albums 2009, hard rock music, Music, old school southern rock music, rock & roll, rock album review, rock album reviews, rock and roll, rock and roll hall of fame inductees, rock music, southern hard rock, southern hard rock albums, southern rock, southern rock albums, southern rock music, southern rock music legends with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 2, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

Lynyrd Skynyrd "God & Guns" small album picLynyrd Skynyrd are Southern Rock Legends and Rock and Roll Hall of Famers. What more does Lynyrd Skynyrd have to prove? What keeps the motivation meter running with this band? In my Metal opinion, it is a combination of many things… the Skynyrd Nation and the fact that this band has never lost touch with their roots are two quick examples. Southern Music roots… family roots… old school values, these three attributes come out Southern Rockin’ loud and clear on God & Guns, (released on RoadRunner Records, September 29, 2009). My interpretation of the lyrics found on God & Guns, leads me to believe that Lynyrd Skynyrd are not about to change their beliefs, (both political and social), for no man. Lynyrd Skynyrd has never and is not about to sway or teeter on the fence with their lyrics and music, a quality that I tremendously admire of this legendary band. As the decades have passed and the Lynyrd Skynyrd lineup has unquestionably changed, none of what I have previously touched upon with this band has wavered… and the quality of the musicianship inevitably carries forward this Southern Rock icon to 2009. With God & Guns, a new Southern Rock Classic has instantly been born and I would not have expected any less from Lynyrd Skynyrd. Each of the twelve songs on this new album bestow the trademark Southern Rock shades of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s past, while combining a thrust of relevant Hard Rock vigor, making for an unforgettable listen the first time around. Johnny Van Zant sounds great on vocals and founding member and guitarist Gary Rossington, along with the entire band should be proud of this album.

Still Unbroken opens up God & Guns, it is heavy and hard, a statement that the rest of this album to follow is going to be one hell of a cool ride. Skynyrd Nation is a song overflowing with Southern Rock/Lynyrd Skynyrd pride. I am just waiting for the right moment to crank up this song to the max, with my car window down. Skynyrd Nation is the ultimate Southern Rock anthem for this band, a powerful song. Simple Life is a cry out for the way things used to be as only Lynyrd Skynyrd can convey. Here is where the old school values of life comes into play… eating dinner with your kids, not having to lock up the doors to your house, going fishing and helping out a stranger. This song may sound like preaching to some, however, the lyrics make total sense to me. Unwrite That Song is the ballad on God & Guns that provides a moment to chill, kick back and revel at the change in Southern Rock shift… this song acts as the anchor between the song list, giving me one more reason to call this album a new classic. Floyd is the song that provides the creepy moment on God & Guns. This song tells a story about a man named Floyd who mysteriously disappears after two law dogs got in his way – Southern Rock spookiness in the vein of Molly Hatchet’s classic song The Creeper.

My favorite song on God & Guns is That Ain’t My America. A patriotic song, with strong conservative views, Lynyrd Skynyrd doesn’t just add their two cents here… they reminded me once again, as to how proud I am to be an American. That Ain’t My America makes many points through it’s lyrics, yet it is done with respect and class… the Southern Rock way. Storm and Gifted Hands conclude God & Guns on a high inspirational note and there ain’t nothing wrong with that for me. The lyrics of these last two songs prove that positive lyrics incorporated with the Southern Rock sound of Lynyrd Skynyrd, can easily elevate me to the highest of cool moods. The guitar jamming in Gifted Hands could carry on for hours and I would still listen with gleeful, Southern Rock hungry ears. Aw, damn, I can easily listen to this new Lynyrd Skynyrd classic God & Guns for hours on end… and still want more.

Some extra info on this God & Guns CD:

Within the liner notes of this CD, is a cool concert photo of the late Billy Powell and Ean Evans, shown together. Lynyrd Skynyrd dedicated this new album to both of these gentlemen, along with their respective families. Complete lyrics to every song are in the liner notes. Also found within the liner notes, under the title of Additional Musicians, Rob Zombie and guitarist John 5 are credited. The liner notes do not express which songs they appear on. My Metal ears are astute to so many musicians and their style of play, (this time I am stumped), I cannot pinpoint where Rob Zombie and John 5 do appear… maybe someone out there knows for sure which songs they appear on and can drop the details in a reply.

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THE LAW – Paul Rodgers and Kenney Jones 1991 album revisited

Posted in 1990's hard rock music, 1990's rock music, Album Review, classic hard rock, classic hard rock bands, classic hard rock music, classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock albums 1991, classic rock bands, classic rock music, classic rock songs, classic rock vocalists, collecting classic rock, collecting rock music, everyday experiences, family, feel good stories, Hard Rock, hard rock album review, hard rock drummers, hard rock songs, hard rock vocalists, metal odyssey, Music, old school hard rock, Rock, rock album review, rock album reviews, rock music, rock music vocals, rock vocalists, vintage rock albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 7, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

The Law - small album photoOn Saturday, of this 2009 Labor Day Weekend, I set out on a trip to buy back to school necessities for my daughters. The local mall, which is only minutes away, provides for a cool stroll… an f.y.e. is located inside. (Yessssss!). As my daughters and wife are perusing the kids sneakers, all I kept thinking was… what is currently hiding in the batch of used CD’s over at f.y.e.? The trip to this particular mall proved to be very worthwhile, no sneakers were found that my daughter liked, however, we had some fine pizza slices for lunch while we were there, plus I found The Law. The debut album The Law was nestled within the many used CD titles for sale at f.y.e.. With my f.y.e. Backstage Pass Platinum store card, the final price I paid for The Law used CD was $2.81… amazing. Not a bad price to pay for one of the most underrated Rock/Hard Rock albums I have ever listened to. I really get a kick sometimes out of what I will find in the selection of used CD’s at f.y.e., I have scored some real cool used CD’s at f.y.e. over the past few years. Upon leaving this mall, my wife did not hesitate for a second, in getting The Law into the car’s CD player… the family and I listened to this CD in it’s entirety as we continued on our quest for back to school sneakers.

I bought The Law on cassette tape back in 1991 and still have it to this day, an upgrade to CD was long overdue. The Law was released on March 19, 1991, I instantly knew I would purchase this album back then, due to my admiration for Paul Rodgers with his Rock-cool and legendary vocals. Plus, I always immensely enjoyed Bad Company, Free and The Firm… whatever band Paul Rodgers fronted, I was listening to. My favorite song from this album is Laying Down The Law, it is a solid Hard Rock song that ripples with a tough vibe and reminiscent of Bad Company… in my Metal opinion. Paul Rodgers wrote and even plays the piano on Laying Down The Law. Overall, this is not the greatest album or band/project that Paul Rodgers was a part of, still I like The Law enough to recommend to anyone into quality Rock, Hard Rock or Classic Rock music. This album had it’s share of song writers and guest musicians, yet the end result are eleven songs that possess the Classic Rock sound that hooks me each time I listen. Paul Rodgers on vocals with The Law is the main reason why I like this album. Kenney Jones on drums, (Small FacesFaces and The Who), is another valid reason why I will always look back at this band and album with the upmost respect.

The way I see it, you have to listen to bands and albums that you like, regardless of how successful the respective album was/is on the charts or mainstream radio. Album sales never have determined for me, the quality of a band or album, I shall never be swayed by mainstream Rock critics or here-say. The Law is a prime example of record sales not being impressive and a band short lived. Do I care? No. It’s what I like that matters most and I would not recommend this album if I thought it to be a stinker.

The Law notable guest musicians and/or song writers:

Phil Collen (lead guitarist for Def Leppard), wrote Miss You In A Heartbeat for The Law and later recorded by Def Leppard for their Retrospective album. The ever legendary David Gilmour plays guitar on the song Stone. Chris Rea also plays guitar on the song StoneBryan Adams cowrote and plays guitar on Nature of the Beast.

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MASTERS OF REALITY – “Sunrise On The Sufferbus” album evokes memories of hanging out and chillin’

Posted in 1990's hard rock music, 1990's rock music, 1990's stoner rock music, Album Review, classic hard rock, classic hard rock bands, classic hard rock music, classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock bands, classic rock music, classic rock songs, collecting music, essential classic rock albums, essential hard rock albums, essential rock albums, feel good stories, Hard Rock, hard rock album review, hard rock songs, hard to find rock albums, hard to find rock cd's, Music, old school hard rock, Rock, rock album reviews, rock and roll, rock music, silly album covers, vintage hard rock albums, vintage rock albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 6, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

Masters Of Reality "Sunrise On The Sufferbus" small picMasters Of Reality – Sunrise On The Sufferbus was released back in 1992, on Chrysalis Records. I already owned the 1988 debut album, (self titled), from Masters Of Reality when I jumped on this album back in 1992. The best way I can describe this band is Old School Stoner Rock/Hard Rock, in my Metal opinion. This is a grossly underrated Rock album, the musicianship, songs and total grooviness on Sunrise On The Sufferbus makes this a lifetime keeper, for me. My favorite song on this album is J.B. Witchdance, a non stop bass groove with a semi-haunting overall sound, always seems to put me in a cool mood. My second choice pick from Sunrise On The Sufferbus is She Got Me  (When She Got Her Dress On) – this song as with the entire album, is unbelievably unique, I just never heard a band sound like Masters Of Reality back then, nor do I now. This album is the closest thing to heavy without being so… I know that sounds crazy, I just cannot explain this music any better than that. O.K., maybe I’ll try this… cool under heavy… now that might work. (If you are wincing at the use of words here, just go with Stoner Rock).

My best buddy in the Metal Universe, Scott, well, he and I must have listened to this CD together at least… 250 times, maybe slightly more. I am not exaggerating here with the numbers… we both really locked into Sunrise On The Sufferbus. You see, Scott and I became very fascinated with the Sega Genesis game system back around 1991… so much that we were like anyone else who call themselves gamers, we played Sega Genesis games for very, very, long hours. Of course, during these marathon nights and/or days of  Sega Genesis, we both would listen to Heavy Metal and Hard Rock aplenty. Sunrise On The Sufferbus was just always played, again and again… and again. Speaking for myself here, to this day, I do not know what the hypnotic appeal is to Sunrise On The Sufferbus… all I can say is it stands alone with it’s Rock vibe. Again, I guess that is why I call it Stoner Rock. 

Looking back on those days in 1992 and the few years after, I appreciate the fact my best buddy Scott hung out with me for those endless hours of NHLPA Hockey, John Madden Football and Tony LaRussa Baseball. I really mastered those Sega Genesis games back then… Scott was not too shabby either, however, he never could keep up with my patented swoop move to the goalie, on the NHLPA Hockey game. Hanging out and chillin’ with my best buddy Scott so many years ago, when there were no major bills to pay, no deadlines to meet, just marathon rounds of Sega Genesis game playing and listening to Sunrise On The Sufferbus are memories I will never forget. We really did have a good time talking Metal, and listening to Metal and Hard Rock… hours at a time. (We listened to so much music during these marathon games, heck, Garth Brooks was even put into the CD rotation too). The Sega Genesis game system with all of those cool games, I gave to my nephew some years back. However, Sunrise On The Sufferbus is still in my CD collection and it is a pretty difficult Masters Of Reality CD to track down. The last time I checked, Sunrise On The Sufferbus is out of print. I can’t see myself parting with Sunrise On The Sufferbus for at least another 100 years or so.

Masters Of Reality, as they appeared on Sunrise On The Sufferbus: Chris Goss on lead vocals, guitars and keyboards, Googe on bass guitar and backing vocals and the legendary Ginger Baker on drums and backing vocals.

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BOSTON – “Don’t Look Back” sealed album provides a very cool Classic Rock find

Posted in 1970's classic rock albums, 1970's classic rock albums sealed, 1970's classic rock bands, 1970's classic rock songs, 1970's hard rock bands, 1970's classic rock music, 1970's hard rock, 1970's Rock, 1970's rock music, 1980's classic rock bands, 1980's rock music, 1980's classic rock music, 1980's hard rock, Album Review, classic hard rock, classic hard rock bands, classic hard rock music, classic rock, classic rock 1978, classic rock album finds, classic rock albums, classic rock bands, classic rock music, classic rock songs, collecting classic rock, collecting music, collecting rock music, cool album covers, essential classic rock albums, essential hard rock albums, essential rock albums, everyday experiences, flea market finds, Hard Rock, hard rock album review, hard rock guitarists, hard rock songs, hard rock vocalists, Music, old school hard rock, Rock, rock & roll, rock album reviews, rock and roll, rock and roll memorabilia, rock music, rock music vocals, rock vocalists, thrift store finds, thrift store rock music finds, vintage hard rock albums, vintage rock album finds, vintage rock albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 25, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

main-150On one of my recent Hard Rock/Heavy Metal hunts via the second hand route, I came across a true Classic Rock album that I grabbed ahold of within milliseconds of spotting it… Boston “Don’t Look Back”. As a Metal bonus, this great album is also – still factory sealed. That is so right, this vintage Boston album which was released on August 2, 1978, has still, it’s original plastic wrapping protecting it for thirty one years. I never owned “Don’t Look Back” on album before, finding a mint copy of it now, in 2009, is so fine. Sure, I have Boston on CD, yet landing one of my favorite Classic Rock bands on sealed vinyl, on a trip to a thrift store unleashes a cool high for me… every time. I realize this price always gets mentioned when I write about my vintage album finds, it is the truth when reveal it only cost fifty cents. Yikes, that is cheaper than most of the plastic prizes my daughters pay for at the (what I still call) bubble gum machines in front of the grocery stores.

I just can’t say enough about the song writing found on “Don’t Look Back”, the music and lyrics are just prime examples of what Classic Rock and Hard Rock is about. This is an album where the two biggest hits are my favorite two hits as well. Going on decades now, the guitar leads on the song “Don’t Look Back” still sends me into a Hard Rock high. If “A Man I’ll Never Be” has gone down in Rock Music history as a ballad, then so be it. Musically, it really cannot be disputed as a ballad… so I just consider this song as my second favorite ballad of all time. (My favorite ballad ever is “Home Sweet Home” by Motley Crue, which I posted on this Metal Odyssey blog in recent weeks). As I stop to ponder, Boston was/is in a Hard Rock class of their own… what other band out there really sounds like them, musically or vocally? Orion The Hunter comes to mind, with their one album, (released on May 9, 1984). Realistically, Orion The Hunter sounded like Boston due to the band members being: Boston guitarist Barry Goudreau, lead singer Fran Cosmo (who became the vocalist for Boston in the 1990’s) and the late Brad Delp who provided background vocals on the “Orion The Hunter” album. Honestly, can a spinoff  band of Boston count when trying to name another band that has that legendary Boston sound?

This is what makes hunting for Hard Rock and Heavy Metal music so interesting… once I land a find, I begin to seek out further the history and Rock Music family tree of the band and album I find. All of this Hard Rock happiness and it only cost fifty cents. I am not too interested in opening the sealed plastic wrap that has protected this album for so long… I am quite content to just stare at it and keep it as a Classic Rock collectible for now. In the end, looking for Hard Rock and Heavy Metal finds can be an educational trip into Rock History. Plus, paying fifty cents for a Boston album that is originally sealed, is extremely more frugal and genuine than paying fifty thousand dollars to rent out twenty eight acres of fun, for one week, on Martha’s Vineyard.

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FOREIGNER “Double Vision” – a Classic Hard Rock album revisited

Posted in 1970's classic rock albums, 1970's classic rock bands, 1970's classic rock songs, 1970's hard rock bands, 1970's classic rock music, 1970's hard rock, 1970's Rock, 1970's rock music, 1980's classic rock bands, 1980's rock music, 1980's classic rock music, Album Review, classic hard rock, classic hard rock bands, classic hard rock music, classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock bands, classic rock music, essential classic rock albums, essential hard rock albums, essential rock albums, Hard Rock, hard rock songs, hard rock vocalists, Music, old school hard rock, Rock, rock album reviews, rock and roll, rock music, rock vocalists, vintage hard rock albums, vintage rock albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 24, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

main-150Foreigner, a Hard Rock band that opened the doors to the world of Heavy Music for me. Double Vision”, an album that I consider to be one of the greatest Rock or Hard Rock albums ever created. On June 20, 1978, “Double Vision” was released. On January 26, 1979, I received this revered album as a birthday gift from my late mother. I was able to choose an album, just one album, on a trip to the Caldor department store… Foreigner “Double Vision” was my choice, on that birthday. Each year that passes by, these fond memories only grow stronger. Man, if I was to say I have listened to this album more times than any other album, it would not be a stretch. Back in 1979, I was only listening to a handful of Hard Rock bands that would eventually guide me into evolving into the Metal Music loyalist that I am today. I was thirteen years old and completely blown away by this album and band… I listened to every lyric, every chord, every note, that erupted from these songs. Foreigner was actually teaching me, at this very young age, that Hard Rock music this enormous could and would make my life enjoyable. I continue to reflect, to revisit often, the bands and albums that molded my heavy music tastes. 

From the very first listen to “Double Vision” until this very day, I honestly would choose “Blue Morning, Blue Day” as my favorite song from this album. I completely reject any notion that this song is a ballad. In my Metal opinion, Lou Gramm was at his most impeccable, vocally, on this song. My second favorite song from this classic album is a clear choice… the instrumental “Tramontane”. Whoa, when I first listened to “Tramontane”, it was my introduction to what a Rock instrumental really was and really sounded like. I realized then, at thirteen years old, that Rock and Hard Rock music did not always need lyrics to sound amazing. “Hot Blooded” and “Double Vision” are the two super hit singles from this album that literally sent psyched up – shock waves throughout my entire body. Here I was, only a few years removed from listening to a dozen or so 45 rpm’s that were my mom’s from her teen years… I went from Buddy Holly and The Everly Brothers, straight to the Hard Rock strength of Foreigner. Back in 1979, at age thirteen, this was one thrilling Rock Music leap for me. In 1979, Foreigner joined Kiss and Cheap Trick to round out my big three heavy bands that I was so ecstatic over. Queen and Bad Company were right behind them… trust me when I say that once 1980 rolled around, I was in a Hard Rock and Heavy Metal whirlwind of wonder.

Once “Double Vision” was locked into my system, I needed more Foreigner… so I delved into their debut album by buying it in the Summer of 1979. “Head Games” was released in 1979, with “4” coming out in 1981, both of these Foreigner classics I took to as well. When it was all said and done, my winner was and always will be “Double Vision”. The albums Foreigner released after “4” seemed to take off into a different Rock direction, I never could grasp onto any Foreigner ballads. I was already too spoiled by the first two Foreigner albums to really embrace any Pop Music ballads that they made so hugely popular in the mid to late 1980’s. As I look back now, it is the “Double Vision” album that is really Foreigner, this is one of the albums that took hold of a thirteen year old back in 1979 and set him straight on a life long path of Heavy Music listening bliss. I have absolutely no regrets, just a ton of Metal gratitude to Foreigner.

Foreigner, as they appeared on “Double Vision”: Mick Jones on guitar, Lou Gramm on lead vocals, Ian McDonald on guitar & keyboard, Al Greenwood on synthesizer & keyboard, Ed Gagliardi on bass and Dennis Elliott on drums.

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JOURNEY – “Arrival” is a 2001 album I finally bought in 2009

Posted in 1970's classic rock bands, 1980's classic rock bands, 1980's rock albums, 1980's rock music, 1980's hard rock, 1990's hard rock music, Album Review, classic hard rock, classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock bands, classic rock music, essential classic rock albums, essential rock albums, Hard Rock, hard rock album review, hard rock guitarists, hard rock songs, hard rock vocalists, Music, old school hard rock, Rock, rock album reviews, rock music, rock music vocals, rock vocalists, vintage rock albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 20, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

main-150When it comes to Rock and Hard Rock Music, I always have put Journey on my listening rotation. I am guilty of not keeping up with the purchases of new CD’s over the years from Journey, “Arrival” is a perfect example of this. After the 1986 album “Raised On Radio”, I never picked up “Trial By Fire”, “Arrival” (until now) or “Generations”. You betcha I did grab a copy of “Revelation”… the Walmart 2 CD/1 DVD version too. It is not as if I totally forgot about Journey, these albums are just victims of the hordes of releases out there I have always wanted to buy… financially it is impossible to buy everything. Man, I am impressed by this Journey album… more than that, I cannot believe it took me this long to land “Arrival” into my music collection. I guess after each listen to “Arrival”, all I can really say to myself is what was I waiting for and thinking?  (I should have just bought this album years ago and stop worrying about how much money I spend on music!). I can’t comprehend how this album has not sold over a million copies? What gives? If “Arrival” was fronted by the legendary Steve Perry and released back in the 1980’s, it surely would have been multi platinum… wouldn’t it? Who knows, we shall never know, it is all make believe speculation on my part. All I do know is that “Arrival” is chock full of Rock and Hard Rock songs that are premium quality, in my Metal opinion. The song writing on “Arrival” is so outrageously good, I shake my head and thank the fact Journey is still around Rocking today.

Neal Schon is tremendous on guitar, (as usual), especially on “Livin’ To Do”… a choice favorite song of mine from this album. “Higher Place” is the opening song, the one and only song I was familiar with before I bought “Arrival”. “Higher Place” is the perfect table setter for this album, it has all things Journey about it happening. “I Got A Reason” is another song that really stands out for me, the lyrics and upbeat melody delivers plenty of highs here.  Steve Augeri on lead vocals does sound extremely close to Steve Perry… yet I will always state – there is only one Steve Perry, only one. With that off my chest, Steve Augeri does a smash up job on lead vocals, this guy can sing. On “With Your Love”, Steve Augeri makes me really like a ballad for a change. Neal Schon again, on guitar, adds the strength to this ballad that makes it rise up with musical emotion. I cannot hesitate to recommend “Arrival” to any fan of Classic Rock and Hard Rock, of any generation. Walmart has this CD in their retail store… that is where I found “Arrival”, plus it was an even five dollars. Five dollars, for a sealed (not used) CD… there are many times the Walmart CD aisles Rock.

Journey, as they appeared on “Arrival”: Neal Schon on guitar & backing vocals, Steve Augeri on lead vocals, Jonathan Cain on keyboards & backing vocals, Ross Valory on bass guitar & backing vocals and Deen Castronovo on drums & backing vocals. “Arrival” was released on April 3, 2001.

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DEEP PURPLE – “Deepest Purple” is a Space Truckin’ ride back to the ’70’s

Posted in 1970's classic rock albums, 1970's classic rock songs, 1970's hard rock bands, 1970's classic rock music, 1970's hard rock, 1970's Rock, 1970's rock music, 1980's hard rock, Album Review, classic hard rock, classic hard rock bands, classic hard rock music, classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock bands, classic rock music, cool album covers, essential classic rock albums, essential hard rock albums, essential rock albums, Hard Rock, hard rock album review, hard rock drummers, hard rock guitarists, hard rock music this decade, hard rock songs, hard rock vocalists, heavy metal music, Music, old school hard rock, Rock, rock album reviews, rock keyboard musicians, rock music, rock vocalists, vintage hard rock albums, vintage rock albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 16, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

main-150Is it just me thinking this way? Deep Purple “Deepest Purple”, (subtitled “The Very Best of Deep Purple”), is the epitome of what a Rock/Hard Rock Greatest Hits album is supposed to be. These Deep Purple classics are hands down, sensational and historical Rock Music. Gimme a break, how can any generation not want to embrace these songs? These Deep Purple songs are perfect examples of just how amazing the song writing was in Rock and Hard Rock, back in the 1970’s. Could Deep Purple have been ahead of their time? I certainly think so, by at least a decade. The hardness, forget about the heaviness for a second, is what drives these Deep Purple songs to the top tier of  Rock and Hard Rock history, in my Metal opinion. Just stop to think about this, for a Metal second… how many new Rock or Hard Rock bands out there today, could actually put out a Greatest Hits album, down the road, with such impeccable and recognizable songs? “Smoke On The Water” and “Highway Star” are two Hard Rock songs alone, that represent a generation of Rock and Hard Rock music and the decade of the 1970’s. “Fireball” and “Child In Time” are just the icing on the Hard Rock cake here.

Certainly, I am not going to argue the clear fact that we had genre and decade defining Rock and Hard Rock groups during the 1970’s such as The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Queen, ELO, Yes, Boston, Moody Blues, The Doors, Molly Hatchet, Bad Company, Kansas, Aerosmith, ZZ Top, Pink Floyd, AC/DC (Bon Scott era), Lynyrd Skynyrd and Ted Nugent. The list of iconic Rock and Hard Rock bands from the 1970’s is huge. You betcha. Of course I missed mentioning some well deserved bands and solo musicians here… this post would be gigantic if I was to make a master list. My point I am making is this… there was Deep Purple, man, and they rocked liked no tomorrow during the decade of the ’70’s – “Deepest Purple” is sound Rock and Hard Rock proof of that. If a time machine really did exist and I could rent one, (I am certain that I would not be able to afford to buy one), I would get on that Rock and Roll mother ship and take a ride to a vintage Deep Purple concert back in the 1970’s. (I am positive that Connecticut would have one hefty and major time machine tax, Senator Christopher Dodd would be all over that one – if a time machine existed).

Back to Deep Purple… I could not complain about which lead singer would be fronting this legendary band… if I was to go back in time to see them in concert, it is pick ’em at lead singer  –  for all I care! David Coverdale, Ian Gillain, Glenn Hughes or Tommy Bolin as lead singer… it would not matter, I would be cheering on this 1970’s version of Deep Purple like a psyched out, Hard Rockin’, “Space Truckin” fan! Aw heck, throw in the late 1960’s lead singer Rod Evans for good measure too, he counts. I am not by any shape or form, taking away the great Hard Rock achievements of the Deep Purple lineups of the 1980’s through present day, no way. This Deep Purple music dynasty is special, an undisputed Hard Rockin’ franchise. I just have that Rock and Roll fantasy once in awhile, this whole time machine journey to see Deep Purple in the ’70’s is one. So, the next time you hear, “Woman From Tokyo”, “Burn” and “Stormbringer”, not to mention the other great hits of Deep Purple, earlier mentioned, just remember when they were written… these songs epitomize the label of – timeless. “Space Truckin'”… ’nuff said.

I tip my Metal Music hat to all the past and present musicians of Deep Purple, especially Ritchie Blackmore on guitar, Jon Lord on keyboards, Roger Glover on bass guitar, Joe Lynn Turner on lead vocals, Nick Simper on bass guitar, Joe Satriani on lead guitar and Ian Paice on drums. I thank Don Airey on keyboards and Steve Morse on guitar for keeping the Deep Purple – Hard Rock machine turnin’ and churnin’ to this day. If it wasn’t for Deep Purple, Metal Music as we know it today, probably would not sound so cool. That… is my Metal opinion.

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Cheap Trick “The Latest” is their latest great album

Posted in 1970's rock music, 1980's rock music, Album Review, classic hard rock music, classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock bands, classic rock music, cool album covers, current rock albums 2009, essential rock albums, hard rock album review, hard rock albums 2009, hard rock guitarists, hard rock music this decade, hard rock vocalists, Music, new hard rock album, Rock, rock album reviews, rock music, silly album covers with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 26, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

main-150Cheap Trick, “The Latest” may just very well be the album that proves this band has elevated themselves beyond the Rock Legends status. It is in my Metal opinion, Cheap Trick has become deserving of being called – Music Legends. Once again, Cheap Trick has not tried to reinvent themselves, instead they have created thirteen new songs that justifies their Rock and Roll existence and legendary status. What Cheap Trick has proven to me, with “The Latest”, is that I can marvel at this band and also learn a valuable lesson about life… the lesson of never giving into complacency. The last three Cheap Trick studio albums including “The Latest” is as strong a Rock Music achievement as I could ever hear. This band is just knocking out some of the greatest albums of their career, this decade alone.

The mindset to create a complete album of memorable songs, has not seemed to wane, from the Cheap Trick – bag of Rock Music tricks. “The Latest” begins with the song “Sleep Forever”, at 1:37 long. This song with it’s limited and heartfelt lyrics, coupled with a somber musical atmosphere and mood, took me off guard upon my first listen. My interpretation of this song, is saying goodbye to a loved one, someone that is cherished, after this loved one passes away. My beautiful Mother, someone I always and forever will cherish and love in my heart, passed away on July 10, 2009. I first listened to this album and “Sleep Forever” on July 21, 2009… I felt as if everything around me went still while my thoughts and feelings instantly gravitated towards my late Mother. The timing of my hearing this song for the first time, so close to the day my Mother passed away, became an emotional moment that I never anticipated from “The Latest” Cheap Trick album. I will say this… Cheap Trick has made one beautiful little song with “Sleep Forever”, a remarkable testament to this bands articulate musical diversity.

“Sleep Forever” is perfect being the first song on this album, for the remaining twelve songs are balanced with upbeat, Rock, Hard Rock and many dashes and dollops of that vintage Cheap Trick sound. In my Metal opinion, if this song was to be the last track to hear, instead of it being the first, well, it would be ending this great album on a sad note. This is a song that is perfect where it is, as song number one, let the emotions flow… then it is time to Rock the rest of the way through “The Latest”. Let it be known from me, that the remaining twelve songs on this album are as Rock inspiring as one could ever wish for. “California Girl” is classic Cheap Trick, with the Rock pace and lyrics resembling the roots of this prolific band. “Miracle” and “Times Of Our Lives” are two songs that signify the essence of how Cheap Trick taps into humanity as subject matter – all the while, in an uplifting, Rock spirit kind of way.

Fans of Cheap Trick are going to buy or already have this album. It is the casual Cheap Trick fan, the fan of Classic Rock and/or Hard Rock that I really recommend this album to. Cheap Trick, for me, have not lost their Rock edge, they have gained an edge with this new album. “The Latest” may have given me an emotional start with “Sleep Forever” at the onset, yet I thank Cheap Trick for that. This is a prime example of just how a song can keep me grounded, then the remaining album carries me off into Cheap Trick’s land of addicting Rock and Roll cool.

Cheap Trick: Rick Nielsen on guitars, background vocals & keyboards, Robin Zander on vocals, guitar & keyboards, Tom Petersson on bass, background vocals & guitar and Bun E. Carlos on drums & background vocals

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Journey “Evolution” – a delicacy of a Classic Rock Album

Posted in 1970's classic rock albums, 1970's classic rock songs, 1970's classic rock music, 1970's hard rock, 1970's Rock, 1970's rock music, Album Review, classic hard rock, classic hard rock music, classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock music, cool album covers, essential classic rock albums, essential hard rock albums, essential rock albums, hard rock album review, Music, Rock, rock album reviews, rock music, rock vocalists, vintage hard rock albums, vintage rock albums, Vocals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 21, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

main-150Journey, the Rock icon of a band. Journey “Evolution”, an album that is now referred to as a Classic Rock masterpiece… by me anyways. What else can one say about this incredible Rock album? Quite a bit can actually be said, this album established Journey, solidified them atop the Rock Music world for many, many, years. There could never be another Steve Perry, his vocals alone gave Journey their signature sound. In my opinion, there are lead singers that have vocals so breathtaking, they are the most important musical instrument in their respective band. I had felt this way about Steve Perry, with his years with Journey. Steve Perry’s vocals can never be duplicated, nor will he ever be forgotten by me as the lead singer for Journey. I will always appreciate Journey as the band they are today too. With that said, this is an article where I am celebrating the brilliance of a moment in time, one that can be listened to time and again, that moment was Journey’s “Evolution”, (released in 1979).

Neal Schon, the lead guitarist to this very day for Journey, is an impeccable musician as well. His song writing on “Evolution” alongside Steve Perry, Gregg Rolie and Ross Valory could very well be interpreted as a – how to write Rock Music handbook. I can remember appreciating and being thrilled by the Rock and Hard Rock songs on “Evolution” back in the day. Now, it is 2009 and I only appreciate this Journey album all the more. Yes, for me, this is a Rock album where I can honestly say, they don’t make Rock albums like this anymore. (Please excuse that cliche). If someone who has never heard a single song from this album was to ask me, which songs are standout, cool or great… my  answer would be all of them. “Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’” is certainly the undisputed hit single from “Evolution”, plus “Just The Same Way” received it’s justifiable FM radio airplay for decades as well. Gregg Rolie sings lead on “Just The Same Way”, I have forever been impressed with his vocals on this song.

From the opening instrumental intro of “Majestic” to the very last song “Lady Luck”, you are hard pressed to find the commercial Rock Music that would years later, catapult Journey into the superstar stratosphere. This is what makes “Evolution” so important and favorable to me, that this was a Journey album that caught on with popularity for it’s Rock Music whole. It never hurt either, that the musical talent, creativity and skill with all the musicians of Journey were in sync on this album, thus, this made for the equalizer – where great Rock songs do not always become hit singles. Instead, as it holds true to this very day, great Rock songs become the building blocks of legendary Rock albums. “Evolution” draws it’s Rock Music strength from collective collaboration of the elite musicianship, with the end result being a revered/legendary Rock album of songs, not a greatest hits.

Journey, as they appeared on “Evolution”: Steve Perry on lead vocals, Neal Schon on lead guitar, Ross Valory on bass guitar, Gregg Rolie on keyboards and Steve Smith on drums.

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38 Special “Rockin’ Into The Night” – 1980 album keeps Rockin’

Posted in 1970's southern rock music, 1970's hard rock, 1970's Rock, Album Review, classic hard rock, classic hard rock music, classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock music, classic southern rock, cool album covers, essential hard rock albums, essential southern rock albums, hard rock vocalists, Music, old school southern rock music, Rock, rock album reviews, rock music, rock music vocals, rock vocalists, southern hard rock, southern hard rock albums, southern rock, southern rock 1979, southern rock albums, southern rock music, southern rock music legends, vintage rock albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 19, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

main-150Back in 1980, I was enthralled by 38 Special. That year, I went to the Caldor Department Store and bought the 45 rpm of the hit single – “Rockin’ Into The Night”. I was in eighth grade with not too much cash in my pocket, still I always held onto enough dough to buy my 45’s. My parents were on an extremely fixed budget, therefore, I could not coax too many higher priced albums from them back then. That was fine, I was always grateful for what my parents could afford to give me. Besides, I more often than not, earned my records from doing yard work and cleaning up the house. That 38 Special 45 rpm was played by me continuously. “Rockin’ Into The Night” was my song back in 1980, no one else’s, (or so I thought). The truth of the day is, I did not buy the actual album “Rockin’ Into The Night” until decades later. Man, what was I thinking? The 45 rpm I had from 1980 had been worn down from repeated play, eventually tossed away. Yet, as I write this post, this Classic Southern Hard Rock album, (really it is a CD now), is a permanent fixture in my music collection. 

To call this album a gem is not adequate enough. “Rockin’ Into The Night” is a Southern Hard Rock accomplishment that in my opinion, (excuse the clique’), stood the test of time. This is an album that did not even need to have a hit single, all nine songs are true Southern Rock, played hard, with a determined grit and emotion by 38 Special. The liner notes for this album says it all… “This One’s For You Ronnie!”. Ronnie Van Zant, the founder and lead singer for Lynyrd Skynyrd, had passed away in a plane crash, (on October 20, 1977) and 38 Special had dedicated this album to him. Donnie Van Zant is the younger brother of Ronnie, his vocals have always gone straight through me, especially on this album. I always sensed, no matter how many times I listen to this album, that Donnie sang with extra vigor and emotion in dedication to his brother. (This is my interpretation anyways). After all of these years… decades… I still come to the conclusion that “Rockin’ Into The Night” Rocks just as bad ass as it did in 1980. 

You would probably think that “Rockin’ Into The Night” is my favorite song off of this album. Would it be a shock to admit to all, that it is not? After the years have gone by, well, “Turn It On” is actually my favorite track off of this album, with “Rockin’ Into The Night” being a very close second. “Turn It On” just has that right beat that rivets me, the song is upbeat and true Southern Rock. The Southern Rock piano does have a substantial influence over me, especially when it is heard on “Turn It On”.  “Stone Cold Believer”, “Take Me Through The Night” and “You Got The Deal” are for me, as consistent you will ever hear, when it comes to top tier Southern Hard Rock. “Robin Hood” is the instrumental song on this album, I do consider this song as a centerpiece, if you will, for it plays out as one of the finest examples of Southern Rock music as you could ever ask for. “Money Honey” is a song that I have hit the repeat button for without hesitation. This song is just a good old Southern Rocker that spills over with Southern Rock vibe and goodness.

I always like to write about the albums, songs and the bands that create them. I also write about the bands that have made my life memorable, both past and present. 38 Special is one of those bands that has instilled in me, the appreciation for both the quality of the song and quality of the musicianship. 38 Special introduced to me, in 1980, a song that has been with me now for the majority of my life. “Rockin’ Into The Night” will be enjoyed by me for the rest of my years as well. My nine year old twin daughters have given their thumbs up to this album, this solidifies the importance of passing along great music, from legendary bands of the past, to younger generations to enjoy. It makes me feel darn cool and good, when my young twin daughters say they like 38 Special and their upbeat music.

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Seether – “Finding Beauty In Negative Spaces” is awe inspiring Hard Rock

Posted in Album Review, cool album covers, current hard rock albums, current hard rock music, current hard rock songs, essential hard rock albums, essential rock albums, Hard Rock, hard rock album review, hard rock albums 2007, hard rock drummers, hard rock guitarists, hard rock music 2007, hard rock music this decade, hard rock songs, hard rock vocalists, Music, Rock, rock album reviews, rock music, rock music vocals, rock vocalists, seether rock band, Vocals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 3, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

main-150Seether is a Hard Rock band that does not need any plastic Hollywood music awards to be told they are damn great. The fans know. The music of Seether tells the whole story… of just how sensational Hard Rock songs are written. “Finding Beauty In Negative Spaces” is an album that should be a required musical manual for any up and coming Hard Rock band. Seether has proven to me, that lyrics are very, very, important in Heavy Music. Shaun Morgan, in my Metal opinion, encompasses many musical gifts… his vocals, guitar skills and the song writing that leaves me in awe. Lyrically, this is one of the best albums I have ever listened to in my lifetime. Couple these tremendously inspiring lyrics with Hard Rock music that is maximized by it’s hardness and mesmerizing grooves, well, you have yourself an instant classic. Shaun Morgan for me, is a vocalist that I listen to so intently, that the music at times becomes a backdrop. (This is by no means, an insult, it is just that Shaun Morgan’s vocals are so searing, they take hold of my attention and leave me zoned out on his voice and lyrics). I have to listen to Seether and say to myself, o.k., I am going to pay more attention to the music this time around, when I do it is like a double dose of Hard Rock music and Hard Rock vocal exhilaration. 

“Rise Above This” is a song that has hit me in such a right way. I lost my sister four years ago, man do I miss her. Since this song came into my life, well, It just seems to say exactly how I feel about missing her. My sister left to go to heaven at age 43, there was way too much more that I wanted to do with her and say to her. I never had a chance to say goodbye to her, this is my song that encourages me it is alright. I am ecstatic that there is a band like Seether and a vocalist/lyricist like Shaun Morgan that can combine Hard Rock with real lyrics recognizing true humanity. “No Jesus Christ” is probably the heaviest song on this album, it basically calls a deceitful person out, a song that just about anyone who is not a backstabbing, evil entity, can relate to. “Fake It” is the single greatest song to commemorate all of the scum bag, plastic people of this world, who cannot find their own identity and try their best to be nothing but despicable chameleons. I raise my fist and say hooray to Seether and Shaun Morgan for knowing that crappy people make great subject matter for Hard Rock songs! “Six Gun Quota” is a song about self inflicted destruction – of both body and soul. This song rocks, despite the honest to goodness gray subject matter.

The popularity and record sales of Seether are for a measurable reason. This band connects to me, it is only logical Seether connects to an unknown many others. Fans of Seether already know this, yet I need to tell new, prospective fans, that “Finding Beauty In Negative Spaces” is not your run of the mill Hard Rock album written with the premise to just party hard and pick up chicks. The music found here is of substance and quality Hard Rock, it is also story telling that mixes in a menagerie of human emotions and trials. 

Seether as they appear on “Finding Beauty In Negative Spaces”: Shaun Morgan on guitar & lead vocals, Dale Stewart on bass guitar & backing vocals and John Humphrey on drums.

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Army Of Anyone – A Hard Rock Band this credible has to make a return

Posted in 1990's hard rock music, Album Review, essential hard rock albums, essential rock albums, Hard Rock, hard rock album review, hard rock drummers, hard rock guitarists, hard rock music 2006, hard rock music this decade, hard rock songs, hard rock vocalists, Music, progressive hard rock music, progressive rock, progressive rock music, Rock, rock album reviews, rock music, rock vocalists with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 29, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

Army Of Anyone band picture

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Army Of Anyone, the supergroup made up of Dean DeLeo (guitar) and Robert DeLeo (bass, backing vocals) from Stone Temple Pilots, Richard Patrick (lead vocals) from Filter and Ray Luzier (drums) from the David Lee Roth band released a Hard Rock winner, back on November 14, 2006. In my Metal opinion, I wish this band would have stayed together to release many, many, more albums. I purchased the debut CD, self titled “Army Of Anyone”, the first week of it’s release… I have frequently reminded myself that I constantly listen to this band, buy why? Oh, how a Hard Rock album will sound when skillful musicians are at the top of their game, creating a bounty of melodies, mixed together with creatively inspired chords and lead vocals, all fastened together with a rhythm section so tight that the grooves it manifests serves to magnify the progressive musical energy around it. In essence, I really enjoy listening to the Hard Rock music from Army Of Anyone.

I own a Sony 5 CD disc changer, (my wife bought it for me way back in 1990), it has become a permanent component for my stereo system going on twenty years now. It plays fantastic to this very day, (knock on Metal), with extensive and constant usage. This Army Of Anyone CD has been almost permanently inside this Sony disc changer going on three years straight. I say almost, for whenever I take this Army Of Anyone CD out of the disc changer, it usually is not for more than a few days… I have reached the point where it does not feel right unless this CD is in place, ready to be played at a moments notice. Army Of Anyone is that good… no, instead, Army Of Anyone is that great. This band is Hard Rock, yes, only they have put to use their Progressive Hard Rock, musical tentacles… reaching out far beyond what current Hard Rock mainstream bands are currently striving for, musically.

I embrace the music of Army Of Anyone far more greater than the music of Stone Temple Pilots or Filter. (You can throw in the David Lee Roth Band too, that is a no brainer). This is only one album from Army Of Anyone and here I am, staking an extremely higher allegiance to them, than compared to STP or Filter. Honestly, there is no comparison, other than the fact of Dean and Robert DeLeo being members of STP, (the real reason why STP is a musically recognized and popular band in the first place). Plus, throw in the fact that STP regrouped and embarked on touring the past year and Richard Patrick has Filter firing on all cylinders, well, Army Of Anyone has become a musically elite supergroup in limbo. The glory, fame, popularity and record sales of the STP past, seem to far outweigh the Progressive Hard Rock brilliance that illuminates from Army Of Anyone. It is a shame. This is a perfect example of how credible and incredible Hard Rock music can get swept under the popularity carpet, due to decisions made that are beyond the fans control. Musicians and astute fans of any music genre know this: great music cannot be judged on record sales, mainstream radio popularity or tickets sold. Nope. Army Of Anyone just needed a massive marketing machine behind them, as well as no STP reunion, then, just maybe, this band could have skyrocketed into the popularity mix. 

Not to ignore the songs from the debut “Army Of Anyone” album, to summarize the lyrics: intelligent, socially conscious, awareness to world politics without becoming abrasive, add into the mix the human experience. Musically, as mentioned earlier, Hard Rock with a progressive edge, yet not as an afterthought. My favorite song on this album: “This Wasn’t Supposed To Happen” – this is hands down, one of the single greatest endings to a Hard Rock album that I have ever heard. It is a mellow tune, yes, a ballad – no. The acoustic arrangement of this song swelters with emotion that I never expected upon my very first listen. Unbelievable, pure music.

I just hope, that Army Of Anyone would consider getting back together, every few years or so and create a new album. They do not have to do a major world tour for recognition and I understand if STP and Filter are of higher importance. What Dean DeLeo, Robert DeLeo and Richard Patrick must understand is that Army Of Anyone is much more enormous than they may realize, a true and real Hard Rock music creation. It is just like the quote from the fantasy baseball movie “Field Of Dreams” – “build it and they will come”… well, the members of Army Of Anyone have built it, if they could only continue, more fans would come. Probably more than they could ever imagine. 

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Shaw Blades – “Influence” pays a solid tribute to Rock Music’s Roots

Posted in 1960's rock & roll, 1960's rock music, 1970's Rock, Album Review, classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock cover songs, classic rock music, cover songs, essential rock albums, folk rock music, Music, Rock, rock & roll, rock album reviews, rock and roll, rock cover songs albums, rock music, rock music vocals, rock vocalists, vintage rock and roll cover songs with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 25, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

8244526After just one listening experience with “Influence” (released March 6, 2007) and you hear and feel the unique musical chemistry, that both Tommy Shaw and Jack Blades have together. The overall up beat vibe throughout “Influence” will have you not putting this disc away for a very long time. What an accomplished set of Classic Rock gems that Shaw-Blades covers! Typically, I always approach cover songs with skeptical tendencies. Usually one or two listens to a cover tune, will be enough of a listen for me to either like it or cherish the original version. With “Influence”, I was taken completely by surprise by how Tommy Shaw and Jack Blades brought new Rock life to these classics. While I listen to this album, I cannot help but go through a Rock and Roll reality check, realizing where the roots of Rock music actually come from. The Mama’s and the Papa’s, Simon and Garfunkel and Seals & Crofts may have their legacies emblazoned in the Rock Folk and Easy Listening genres, yet their lyrics, song structures and melodies can so easily be considered the building blocks of true Classic Rock. Tommy Shaw and Jack Blades took hold of these musical building blocks and ran with it… creating a sensational album of Classic Rock, that breaks down any generational barriers that carry the tags of dated and non-relevant.

I used to never care for “The Sound Of Silence”, now I cannot wait to listen to the Shaw-Blades version. These guys have taken “Summer Breeze” to an entirely different Rock level, making it seem that much more alive and vibrant. Tommy Shaw sings lights out on “California Dreamin”, having the void of not having a female vocal anywhere in this tremendous song, seem totally appropriate. (However, there will always be only one Mama Cass Elliot). “Time Of The Season” gives me the chills no matter how many times I listen to it, the vocal harmonies and overall musical arrangement and tempered up-tempo of this Shaw-Blades version hits home. “Lucky Man” is an abbreviated version of the original, Shaw-Blades treat this masterful song with the upmost respect. “I Am A Rock” is covered here with a dose of more energy than the original, making it sound even more inspirational the second this song begins. I obviously have fallen head over heels for “Influence”, this is one disc that will lift your spirits in a good old fashioned, Classic Rock way.

All fans of Tommy Shaw and Styx, Jack Blades and Night Ranger have to positively, absolutely, add “Influence” to their music collection. Shaw-Blades have proven to me that they are a class act and stand alone musically. If their musical talents on “Influence” do not blow you away, their vocals surely will. It is not the easiest of tasks to take on so many revered Rock and Roll classics and cover them for a sound that rings of relevancy. I always stand up for Rock and Roll, no matter how far back the roots may lie. If it was not for these legendary bands of yesteryear, along with their brilliant songs, where would any of todays Rock genres be? I live by the credo – know your roots and know where you came from… this holds true for the music I love as well. Tommy Shaw and Jack Blades have proven to me over the years they are unique and outstanding musicians. On “Influence” they have done it again, while also upholding the respect and reverence for the history of Rock and Roll.

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Bob Seger “Face The Promise” exhibits Rock Music from the soul

Posted in 1970's hard rock, 1970's Rock, 1980's rock albums, 1980's rock music, 1980's hard rock, Album Review, classic hard rock, classic hard rock music, classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock music, cool album covers, essential rock albums, Metal, Rock, rock & roll, rock & roll hall of fame inductees, rock album reviews, rock and roll, rock and roll hall of fame inductees, rock music, rock music vocals, rock vocalists, Vocals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 21, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

main-150Bob Seger, Rock and Roll Legend and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer. That should be quite enough of an accomplishment to just call it a day, for just about any aging Rock Star, huh? Not the case with Bob Seger, no way. Just because a living Rock Legend goes on a personal hiatus for a number of years, does this mean this Rock Legend is washed up? Has this Rock Legend lost the ability to write and sing music like it was 1980 all over again? In my Metal opinion, Bob Seger has lost no Rock and Roll groove in his music, nor has he forgotten how to write Rock music songs that hit me straight to the heart. “Face The Promise” is a celebration of Rock Music that not only inspires me with all of it’s lyrical content, the Rock and Roll move and groove songs on this album are wrapped up in sincere blue collar grit.

Bob Seger was born with the gift of having a raspy, smoky and sandpapered singing voice. Unique and synonymous with Rock and Roll, that is my take on his vocals. I still here this voice as I described, on “Face The Promise”, (released September 12, 2006). The 12 songs on this album are not thrown together for some flashy, comeback, Rock Star story. These are 12 songs that are sung from the heart of a man who obviously has lived life on his terms, tackling whatever obstacles may come his way. Yeah, sure, it sounds like a cliche’, however, this is a Rock and Roll icon who decided to itemize his life based on importance. How easy it would have been, for Bob Seger to have released an album every four years or so, with the possibility of perhaps becoming just a music machine, catering only to the needs of the fans. My own personal interpretation is derived from the lyrics of these songs, why else would Bob Seger pen such intimate and human spirit filled songs?

“Wreck This Heart” is the opening track, it comes across with the reminder to me, that Bob Seger still connects to the Hard Rock side of his storied musical past. “Real Mean Bottle” has an “Old Time Rock & Roll” energy and air about it… with some cool Rock vocal assistance from Kid Rock. It is always a tasty, Rock treat, to hear the Jerry Lee Lewis style of piano get into the Rock and Roll mix. This is definitely one of the more fun Rock songs Bob Seger has ever created. “The Answer’s In The Question” is a ballad that delves into the human experience, Patty Loveless contributes some very classy vocals on this superb duet. “Face The Promise”, “Wait For Me” and “No Matter Who You Are” all touch on personal inspiration, with the Rock and musical flavor that takes me back to the “Against The Wind” album. “Between” is as fine an example of Bob Seger today, this song flat out scorches with the aura of current Rock sound and ambience.

In a vast world of diverse Rock and Hard Rock genres, there are those times when it just feels good to go home again, home to the roots of Rock and Roll. Bob Seger for me, has always exemplified what it sounds like to revisit old school Rock and Roll, all the while using the human factor as prominent subject matter within the lyrical content of the songs. The end result always has felt like the beginning for me with all of Bob Seger’s albums… these are songs that connect, Rock and last a lifetime within my musical soul.

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