Archive for hard rock album reviews

SAIGON KICK – “THE LIZARD” 1992 ALBUM REVISITED!

Posted in hard rock albums, hard rock bands, hard rock music, Heavy Metal, heavy metal albums, heavy metal bands, heavy metal music, metal odyssey, Music, rock & roll, rock and roll, rock music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 10, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

SAIGON KICK – Back in 1992, I did not buy this Saigon Kick album. Nor did I buy it in 2002 either. Instead, 19 years after it’s release, I bought The Lizard CD used at an indoor antiques market. The price set me back 3 dollars (American). I have always been familiar with the huge hit single/ballad – Love Is On The Way, it’s a good song, even though it’s still a ballad! The lyrics are positive and inspirational, so it’s not one of those ballads that makes me feel like the end is near and no one loves me.

For those who have no idea what Saigon Kick sounds like, this was a band that captured Rock, Hard Rock and mainstream Heavy Metal styles, while stitching in a bit of modern sound for their time. Mr. Big and Extreme are two bands that come to mind, when comparing Saigon Kick to any of their peers of the day. Extreme added plenty of funk to their hard & heavy sound back in the 90’s, yet Extreme also had the mainstream appeal and a smash hit ballad too with More Than Words, (1991). Mr. Big could play the hard & heavy songs too, while they also had the mellow ballad with To Be With You, (1991). Similarities sure, all three unique bands just the same.

The one song on The Lizard that I don’t quite understand is My Dog. This song is extremely short, (probably under one minute, I did not time it). My Dog has a heavy flair, still it tends to be out of place within The Lizard. Maybe My Dog meant something to lead vocalist/lyricist Matt Kramer or to guitarist Jason Bieler, who wrote the music. It would be interesting to find out the story behind the song… My Dog.

There are 16 songs on The Lizard, which is a commendable amount for a full studio album. The opening track – Cruelty, is an instrumental, filled with atmospherics of distant shouts. Cruelty also has a groovy guitar lead that makes for an interesting intro for this album. Sleep is also an instrumental, at track #11, acting as almost a necessary intro to All I Want. Another positive song lyrically, All I Want was another popular song from Saigon Kick, heard just about everywhere back around 1992.

Saigon Kick does let loose the hard and heavy with songs such as: The Lizard, All Alright, Miss Jones and Body Bags. All Alright and Body Bags happens to be my two favorite songs on this album, they both just “hit” me the right way! These four songs exemplify why Saigon Kick could be included in 1990’s Heavy Metal conversations. The Lizard is an album that definitely exhibits the versatility of Saigon Kick, this surely is an album from them I recommend to Rock, Hard Rock and 1990’s Arena Rock and 1990’s mainstream Heavy Metal fans. (Gee Metal whiz, did I cover enough genres there?). Truly, the musical diversity of this Saigon Kick album – The Lizard, is appreciated by this music nut.

This Saigon Kick lineup emitted a bounty of musical talent, in my Metal opinion. Jason Bieler on guitar is standout, (to my ears), providing plenty of melodic moments throughout The Lizard. Jason’s soft and heavy guitar playing compliments each and every song I hear on The Lizard. Matt Kramer on vocals never goes over the top, my ears enjoy listening to his voice… he really can sing. The Lizard, one fine album.

We live in an era of band reunions, if this Saigon Kick lineup reunited to create a new album, it would probably sound pretty damn good… and diverse too. What possibly could be wrong with that?

* The Lizard was released in 1992 on Third Stone/Atlantic Records.

Saigon Kick, as they appeared on The Lizard:

Matt Kramer – lead vocals

Jason Bieler – guitar

Tom Defile – bass

Phil Varone – drums

Track Listing For The Lizard:

Cruelty

Hostile Youth

Feel The Same Way

Freedom

God Of 42nd Street

My Dog

Peppermint Tribe

Love Is On The Way

The Lizard

All Alright

Sleep

All I Want

Body Bags

Miss Jones

World Goes Round

Chanel

Stone.

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HARDLINE – “DOUBLE ECLIPSE” 1992 DEBUT ALBUM REIGNS WITH HARD ROCK RELEVANCY

Posted in 1990's heavy metal albums, 1990's rock bands, 1990's rock guitarists, 1990's rock music, 1990's hard rock albums, 1990's hard rock bands, 1990's hard rock videos, 1990's heavy metal music, 1990's rock albums, Album Review, hard rock album review, hard rock albums 1992, hard rock bands, hard rock guitarists, hard rock music, hard rock songs, hard rock vocalists, heavy metal albums, heavy metal albums 1992, heavy metal bands, heavy metal history, heavy metal music, heavy metal videos, metal odyssey, Music, rock music, rock music history with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 31, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

Best Metal buddy Scott Coverdale landed me another album, that flew under my Hard Rock radar many years ago. Here is how the phone conversation went, (after many, many moments of trying to guess what band Scott was quizzing me on): Dude, have you ever heard of Hardline? Neal Schon, man! Whoa… this band Rocks! This is one unbelievable album! The praise Hardline – Double Eclipse was getting from Scott went on and on. I don’t recall one microscopic fault that Scott could find with this album. Some excitable F bombs were probably dropped around in his praise as well, from what I recall. Metal truth be told, I informed Scott that I vaguely remember the Gioeli brothers being involved in a band… however, I never listened to them, ever. Connecting Neal Schon to Hardline was not in my Metal memory… that is why Scott is a Metal Odyssey – Metal Researcher. (I remember vividly Neal Schon being a key member of HSAS, with Sammy Hagar, back in ’84. I always liked the HSAS album Through The Fire a whole lot. Throw in the Metal facts that I revere Neal Schon for his accomplishments as a Rock/Hard Rock guitarist and my adoration for Journey, (and not all the Journey ballads)… well, Hardline – Double Eclipse needed to be finally heard by me!!

I do agree with Scott that Double Eclipse is a great album, it has many hard and heavy moments. I do differ on one key musical aspect of Double Eclipse… the ballads. Oh, they are present… oh yeah. Can’t Find My Way is as annoying to me as a long line at the gas pumps. Lead vocalist Johnny Gioeli is fabulous on Double Eclipse, it’s just that dreaded sappy emotion of Can’t Find My Way that ruins it for me. I’ll Be There is much more upbeat, both with the believably emotional vocals of Johnny Gioeli and the up-tempo of the entire song. Still, it’s a ballad. Change Of Heart brings on that love is in the air feeling… ugh. Understand, I have never embraced ballads in Hard Rock and Heavy Metal my entire life… I am very finicky about them. Ballads have their place… only why interrupt the Hard Rock flow of an album with them? Bad Taste rocks the F’n house down… and it is a song right before Can’t Find My Way! I got all pumped up, psyched out, only to get bummed out immediately after with sappy silliness.

Alright, enough with ballads, why I despise most of them and onward with the songs on Double Eclipse – that rage with the hard and heavy! Takin’ Me Down, (see music video below), takes me down a Hard Rock colliding with Heavy Metal path that I don’t mind taking. Neal Schon is scorching on guitar throughout the non-ballads of Double Eclipse, he really takes it to the top on Takin’ Me Down. The vintage guitar tone of Neal Schon never screams louder than on Hot Cherie… just a damn great Hard Rock song. Everything is a song that sounds like a ballad that was modified to become a more edgier and harder song at the very end, a memorable song for my anti-ballad ears.

Life’s A Bitch, Dr. Love and Rhythm From A Red Car are the first three songs on Double Eclipse, it’s a shame that the entire album could not have followed the Hard and Heavy blueprint of them. These first three songs are what Hard Rock meshing with Heavy Metal is all about! At the end of my Metal day, I will listen to Double Eclipse again… and again. My personal distaste for ballads is just that… personal. I will state, that the ballads heard on Double Eclipse are fantastic for what they are, especially if you are into Rock/Hard Rock ballads!

Just because the ballads heard on Double Eclipse don’t move me, does not mean that they should never be praised or enjoyed by others. Across the Metal board, the credibility in the vocals of Johnny Gioeli and the musicianship of each member of Hardline cannot be ignored or disputed. Johnny Gioeli has the quintessential Hard Rock meets Heavy Metal vocals… a standout singer who really seems to feel the songs, something I find most admirable. This 1992 debut album from Hardline holds strong Hard Rock relevance to what’s currently being created in 2010 and arguably better than a noticeable percentage of current Rock/Hard Rock today… ballads included.

Here is the music video for Takin’ Me Down… it’s pretty darn cool, despite the visual being a tad fuzzy:

Hardline – Double Eclipse was released on April 28, 1992, on MCA Records.

Hardline, as they appeared on their debut album – Double Eclipse:

Johnny Gioeli – lead vocalist

Neal Schon – lead guitar

Joey Gioeli – rhythm guitar

Todd Jensen – bass guitar

Deen Castronovo – drums

Track Listing For Hardline – Double Eclipse:

Life’s A Bitch

Dr. Love

Rhythm From A Red Car

Change Of Heart

Everything

Takin’ Me Down

Hot Cherie

Bad Taste

Can’t Find My Way

I’ll Be There

31-91 (Metal Odyssey note: an acoustic guitar instrumental – very mellow, yet good)

In The Hands Of Time

Duff McKagan’s Loaded is loaded with Punk & Hard Rock

Posted in Album Review, Century Media, century media records, current hard rock songs, current heavy metal music, Hard Rock, hard rock album review, hard rock guitarists, hard rock songs, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, Heavy Metal Reviews, heavy metal vocalists, Metal, metal music, Metal Reviews, new hard rock album, new heavy metal album, new punk rock album, Punk rock, Rock, rock music, rock music vocals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 7, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

9252961Duff McKagan, you know, the very famous and former bass player for the legendary Guns N’ Roses and current bass wizard for Velvet Revolver? Yeah, that guy. Well, let me tell you, Duff McKagan has his brand new solo, (if you will), album out right now and it is in my Metal opinion, sensational. Really, these tunes that Duff McKagan provides with Loaded are just that – loaded. Loaded with quality Hard Rock driven tunes. These songs have catchy hooks and an almost unmistakable Punk Rock vibe happening throughout the entire album. Loaded is groove laden and if I am not mistaken, not over-produced! I can honestly say, that I hear a bit of overall polish missing and I love that!!

Duff McKagan handles the lead vocal duties on every song and plays guitar on this album. I will say this without hesitation, Duff McKagan can sing. His vocals are tailored made for Hard Rock, with a whole bunch of Punk Rock attitude to go along with them. Why do I keep bringing up the comparisons with Punk Rock? Well, that is what I honestly hear, Duff Mckagan’s Loaded is all about Hard Rock and Punk Rock meeting each other in the middle. The only song that gets the least of my attention on this album is “Mother’s Day” – the lyrics are depressing. I always stray away from the sad ballads/sad lyrics from any band. However, despite the lyrics on this song, musically it is very listenable.

Once you listen to the first two tracks – “Sick” and “Sleaze Factory”, anyone who appreciates Hard Rock and Punk Rock will realize the fusion of the two are here with Loaded – these two songs set the table for this album. Duff McKagan has proved to me, that he is an extremely well rounded Rock musician, his talents resonate loud and clear on this album. Loaded as a band and Sick the album, are sure fire to achieve commercial and mainstream acceptance and success, I can appreciate that. Loaded as a band deserves all the applause they can muster. When you have the instant and legendary credibility of Duff McKagan carrying the music, broad acceptance is unavoidable, forget being labeled underground. Loaded and this album has become an instant favorite for me, I highly recommend this album to all heavy music fans worldwide. Now, to spotlight the fine musicians that make up Loaded: Duff McKagan on vocals & guitars, Geoff Reading on drums & vocals, Jeff Rouse on bass, vocals and translucent and Mike Squires on guitars and vocals.

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