All posts by deKE

Never Gonna Stop The Rock

Dokken: Under Lock And Key (1985)

 

One of the albums that I have been on the hunt for a very long time is Dokken’s 1985 all time classic hard rock delight “Under Lock And Key”.

Sure there are copies out in the wild so to speak but very pricey. My pal Probie was vinyl hunting the other day and scored me a copy that ended up in a local pawn shop.

I was pretty psyched to get my hands on this release as Dokken was one of those 80s acts that had a ton of inner band drama yet they somehow pulled it together and put out four stellar studio and one double live album that still hold up realyl well in the year 2022.

How about those threads the Dokken boys are wearing on the cover?

I’m not going to get into the whole Don Dokken and George Lynch pissy pants drama they had between them yet they somehow took that pettiness between them and made it work and along with Jeff Pilson and Mick Brown put out not one single dud of an album in 80’s!

This record out of the Dokken albums has more sonic gloss than the first couple of releases (“Breaking The Chains” and “Tooth And Nail”) and the production by Neil Kernon and Micheal Wagner added a little more texture which for intent and purposes works on this one.

The first three tracks that open the album “Unchain The Night”, “The Hunter” and “In My Dreams” are bonafide Dokken classics.  “The Hunter” especially as Curious George lays down a fantastic solo as the groove and swing of this tune is wicked.

“It’s Not Love” was another biggie from this record which got a bunch of play on MuchMusic here in Canada.

With Dokken they knew how to toe the line  quote, unquote in regards to the Power Ballad as “Alone Again” from 84’s “Tooth And Nail” put them in the public eye for good.

“Slippin Away” is a good tune but not “Alone Again” great. Still though you knew that with these guys they liked to dabble on that side of the fence at least once on their albums and as an 18 year old back in ’85 I was ok with that.

The rest of this release is chocked full of rockers as in “Lightening Strikes Again” and “Til The Livin End” which has Lynch, Pilson and Brown flexing there musical muscle.

I have to add that the track “Don’t Lie To Me” is one those sleeper Dokken tracks that no one talks about  yet they should as it fuses that sound of hard/melodic rock in one track brilliantly..

After all these years its great to get this one on vinyl and I have Probie to thank for that as I’m one record away from completing my Dokken vinyl collection which  comes down to that  “Breaking The Chains” release which is the only one I need to get.

More vinyl digging will be coming up or should it be The Hunter scouring for vinyl?

dEke’s Vinyl Score: 8.5/10

 

KISS: OFF THE SOUNDBOARD-Donington (1996)

Say what you want about KISS nowadays but I have to tell you I have been enjoying these officially released ‘Off The Soundboard’ series albums that have been coming out it seems every three to four months.

The latest release from the band is from the ’96 reunion tour when it touched down at Donington that year with the original four members.

When you look at the track listing of the show below one glaring omission is “Beth” and too be honest with you all I’m glad its left off of here or did they not even play it that night?

Who knows but thought the albums seventeen tracks you get a band that was rolling in a ton of dough at that time, selling out shows everywhere which for Stanley and Simmons was a relief as the previous tour (Revenge in ’92) was a miss as Grunge and Cobain’s Tattered Cardigan was the musical choice of millions that year.

Not that Gene and Paul would ever admit it (something to do with ego I’m sure) but when Peter Criss and Ace Frehley returned it was all bets off and no going back to the non makeup days as this is where the cash was too be made.

For a live listen this is great as from the get go once “Deuce” kicks in Simmons Bass is cranked which is a good thing and give the Demon some respect on that four string as he nails out some crafty bass lines which no one ever talks about.

The great thing is this triple vinyl set is LIVE! Yeah you get those silly Stanley raps and Paul’s voice sounds really good whereas Gene sounds a little hoarse but hey man it’s live!

Having Ace and Peter back in the fold helped as well as they were in tip top form as I have to say if I was handing out an MVP award on this album it would go to Criss as there’s something about the Catman’s drumming that cannot be beat. Pete has that cool kind of swing behind the kit that can’t be beat. One word “Black Diamond”

Same with Ace as he has those catchy short burst of solo’s that are filled throughout  this record and of course the Spaceman dials it in with his own original song “Shock Me”.

Perhaps it’s the chemistry between the original four. I dunno but still  this is a great setlist as KISS gives it there all.

Word on the street is that KISS will be releasing another “Off The Soundboard” this upcoming September going back to the 1977 “Love Gun” Tour!

Sign me up!

 

 

Scotch On The Rocks Season 1 Finale with Greg Fraser & Special Guest

 

Well Season One of Scotch On The Rocks is in the books and what better way to go out than to have Storm Force Guitarist- Songwriter Greg Fraser to come on to talk not only about what is currently going on with Storm Force as well as doing a bit of dive into the debut Van Halen record from 1978!

Fraze not only being a musician also had the good fortune of seeing VH on that debut 78 Tour so some stellar conversation happened  and better yet a “Surprise Guest” hoped on  as well to give his insight on the impact of EVH and that record.

“Surprise Guest” told the story about buying the debut VH on cassette tape at a truck stop back in 1979!

I’ve been lucky that the guests I have had on have had fantastic stories and Fraze delivered..

Want to hear what it was like for a 15 year old to witness VH live back in the summer of 78.

How about hearing a tune from VH 2 that same night a good year before it came out at that same show as Fraze talks about how VH demolished  headliner Black Sabbath.

One of my favourite stories is that time Brighton Rock had a Rod Stewart impersonator open for them.

One hour and 10 minutes flew by as it seemed like 15 minutes!

Click and have a watch …

Thanks for the support folks and see ya in the Fall!

Cheap Trick: One On One (1982)

 

From 1977 to 1982 Cheap Trick released some fine records and “One On One” when it dropped into the shops back in early 82 it would be what I would consider Cheap Tricks last decent album until 17 years later when the self titled CT release would restore my faith.

Funny enough though through those lean years that followed “One On One” I still always bought the bands output just hoping it would a classic sounding Cheap Trick record but I always was tricked so to speak.
Yet, “One On One” has a lot of stuff I dig and what I would consider some real good material. Jon Brandt was the new fella on Bass who replaced Pete Comita ( who was in the band for about as long as one’s lunch break) who had replaced Tom Petersson.
Guitarist, sweater and bow tie guy Rick Nielsen slammed out a bunch of tracks (along with a few contributions from vocalist Robin Zander and drummer Bun E. Carlos) and by all intent purposes delivered especially on the first Side of the record where Cheap Trick always excelled on with there brand of hard hitting pop rock.
“I Want You”, “One On One” and especially “Lookin Out For Number 1” deliver that fist to the face quirkiness that I always loved about these guys.
Side 2 for the most part carries on that tradition in the form of “She’s Tight” where Zander delivers a great vocal (than again he always did and still does). While Side 1 is pretty rock solid Side 2 kinda slides a bit as the album goes into a bizarro sense of 80’s synth on some of the tracks like “Saturday At Midnight”, “Loves Got A Hold On Me” and the goofy tilted “I Want Be Man.”
The band does redeem itself on the last track “For Letter Word” which could have easily slid on the second side of the “Dream Police” record.
Even though the band snagged Queen producer Roy Thomas Baker for this one the album only crawled up to #39 on the  Canadian Charts and has never been officially certified here which is a shame as more people who dig CT should check it out.
“One On One” served its purpose and its great to get it on vinyl recently for a decent price which took me back to the mid 80’s when I originally bought this one on cassette tape!
Hit up my pal Snowman who is in the process of finishing up a massive Cheap Trick series where he’s reviewed every CT album along with each song which is amazing as Johnny Snow had to get though albums like “The Doctor” which is impressive. Check out the dude’s fantastic writing below if you are already not following him…

Scotch On The Rocks With Alex Huard

 

Alex Huard is a big supporter of Canadian independent artists so much so that Alex has his own podcast doing just that which is called “New Release Day Series”. Not only that but Alex has teamed up with Brent Jensen on a project that they have called “Thursday Night Record Club” (on YouTube) which has Brent picking an album by an artist or band (VH-Bowie-Zep to name a few) as they discuss each album track by track.

It was a great chat with Alex as we chatted about The Black Crowes, Van Halen and of course Ron’s Camaro and while you’re at it throw down a follow for Mr. Huard on his Release Day Series on Apple/Spotify as well you can find Alex on all the socials as well!

Deep Dive With Andy Curran Into ENVY OF NONE- Alex Lifeson-DareDevils Incorporated!

It still boggles my mind that a little over a year ago I reached out to Andy through his rep Chip at “Chipster PR & Consulting”  and from that initial email I have had the pleasure to chat with Andy about 5 or 6 times now.

This latest talk was no exception as Andy always gives great stories as I made this chat a straight deep dive into Andy’s latest project E.O.N.

Alex Lifeson as we all know bends the six strings on the album so it was a real treat hearing Andy’s thoughts about what brought Alex back in as band member.

As Andy always does is he also gives us a little scoop that he is working on a new hard rock project where he does all the singing in a new band tentatively called “Daredevils Incorporated”.

One busy fella that Curran guy is and the fact that he can hang with a stream hack like me shows you his character…

One of the fastest streaming hours ever I have been involved in!

My pal Muk said it best….

“Great interview Deke. One of your best. Bizarre that you’re having a conversation with a guy in a band with the guy that was in a band with Neil Peart”

Truth!

Scotch On The Rocks Presents Andy Curran!

I had the privilege of once again speaking to Andy Curran. This chat was exclusively about Andy’s current band ENVY OF NONE that features of course Alex Lifeson. Andy as alway’s gives a ton of great insight into what went into the songs and how he has had another pinch me moment in the success of the E.O.N album since it hit the streets back on April 8th.

Check it out below….

 

April Scores!

Snowman rules when he posts all his findings in one month. So this morning when I saw John’s post I thought, “Well maybe todays the day I nick John’s idea and run with it, for this month anyway!”

So here’s my findings for the month… Who knows folks I may do this again or it may be a one shot deal!
I was on the hunt for Motley Crue’s Too Fast For Love on vinyl for months at a decent price. About 6 months ago I left my email contact info at Encore Records (Kitchener) as they would notify me if a vinyl copy came in and earlier this month I received that email. Ordered it that morning and Mark at Encore shipped it out that day. Great service.
Watching Thursday Night Record Club with my pal Brent Jensen can be hazardous to my wallet. One episode featured Brent and Alex Huards breakdown of The Black Crowes “Southern Harmony” record. Even though they both rated it a 6/10 I still ordered it from Amazon at a decent price as this was another one of those “must get’s” Love this album and still respect them for actually playing Tbay back in 93 on this tour even though Rich Robinson in a printed article labelled Tbay as a “BumF**K Town” bahaha… One more thing  that I dig is the front/back cover where you have 4 of the Crowes looking well, let’s say a cross between goth and drugged out while Gorman looks like a lawyer! Man I miss 1992/1993!
Found a sealed 180 gram( at one of the few used shops here in town) of one of my favourite KISS studio albums “Rock N Roll Over” which was sealed for $20 and is an upgrade to my original copy.
For myself streaming is a great try before you buy feature and that was the deal in buying my first ever GHOST release on vinyl ( I have purchased the last few straight from itunes). Tobias Forge is a great singer/songwriter. “Impera” is a great rock record as is the packaging which includes a 28 page book.
Andy Curran has released the very excellent “Envy of Non record which has been 4 years in the making. I ordered this online from the E.O.N web store and it was easy peasy.  There will be a chat with Mr. Curran at some point!
I was very fortunate a few weeks back to have book writing machine Martin Popoff hop on Scotch On The Rocks and chat about Judas Priest. I was missing the two books that Martin had written about The Metal Gods but I very quickly rectified that situation by scooping these two books direct from Martin.
I grabbed a couple of T Shirts as well. Casablanca Records, Atlantic Records and a knock off Creatures of The Night Tour Tee from 1983. There are not enough Tee shirts with Vinnie Vincent’s picture on them in Tbay!
One of the most important albums that I have been waiting for is the 5LP set 40th Anniversary Box set of RUSH’s “Moving Pictures”. I preordered this back in February from RUSH’s Backstage Club as they had it for a great price (cheaper than AMAZON) and with free shipping. Unlike the KISS Online shop which was a headache in getting my stuff dealing with the RUSH webstore was way better. They sent out emails keeping me in the loop on when it was coming and also to make sure I received it! That is great business!

Martin Popoff Live Tonight on Scotch On The Rocks!

Tonight live at 6pm I’m joined by Canadian Book author Martin Popoff who is a wizard at cranking out books that are fantastic additions to your Rock Book Library.

One of Martin’s latest books is on Judas Priest which is a visual biography and I can honestly say its fast becoming one of my favs that Martin has  ever written and published.

Get the lowdown on this book and join me on my Youtube page which is of course Scotch On The Rocks.
See ya soon!