A few years back former Ozzy and Badlands Guitarist Jake E Lee came out of whatever it was that he was doing which to me was some kind of sabbatical (not sure though) and released a solo album which I was interested to hear as it featured a bunch of Guest Singers on the songs. Jake had the Great Robin Zander on a track and the biggest shock a roo was Paul Di’anno who sang on a track.
But I tired man really tried to get into the songs but they just didn’t stick. I mean let’s face it as Jake set the bar high with the two Ozzy records he did(Bark at the Moon/The Ultimate Sin) and the bar was set even higher especially with those two Badlands albums(Badlands and Voodoo Highway).
So I moved on…Until …
Early this month John T Snow at his site on his Weekly Friday New Release Post wrote that Jake’s Red Dragon Cartel (great friggin name I might add)had a new album coming out called Patina.
I wasn’t interested and said so to John and was sticking to my guns until…
A few days ago I clicked YouTube and seen RDC had a new video out called ‘Bitter’ and I was sold when I watched it! Went back to Johns site and told John “Umm may have dissed this album a little too premature” as Bitter had that ol throwback Badlands vibe and it won this old Buzzard (me) over!
3. “Crooked Man”
4. “The Luxury of Breathing”
6. “Chasing Ghosts”
7. “A Painted Heart”
8. “Punchclown” (bonus track)
9. “My Beautiful Mess”
10. “Ink & Water”
I have to say I’m blown away by this record! Jake has dug deep and has put out an album as close to those two Badlands albums as one could do without it being a blatant rip off! Than again Jake wrote those monster riffs in Badlands so he could be forgiven if he was to go that route but Jake hasn’t!
The thing that makes Patina work is that it’s a band effort which features some real good lead vocals courtesy of Darren Smith who not only fronts RDC but us Canucks know him as the drummer in Can Rock outfit Harem Scarem. Speaking of which I seen Darren years ago here in Thunder Bay playing guitar in Helix. Dude is versatile….
The rest of RDC are no slouches either with Phil Varone(drums) and Bassist Anthony Esposito who lay down a wicked rhythm hard rock blues sound while Jake lifts off during his solo’s! If you’re looking for Ozzy like rock from this band it’s not really there as to my ears it has a sound like that big old Hard Rock Blues of 70’s Arena Rock! Kudos to Jake/Anthony and Max Norman for keeping the album raw sounding. No real polish!
Give it up for Jake in 2018! Get out there and buy the Cartel or stream it or do what you gotta do but get a copy of Patina! You won’t be disappointed!