All posts by deKE

Never Gonna Stop The Rock

TRIUMPH: Allied Forces (2021)

Ah, there you have it. One of the finest albums ever to come out of Toronto (well anywhere actually) and that is “Allied Forces” by those fine Canadian Gents known as Triumph!

“Allied Forces” I  purchased back in the fall of ’81 as it was that cover with the iconic Flying V that was calling and telling me as 14 year old that this album will ROCK!

It does indeed ROCK! From album opener “Fool For Your Love” to closing  track “Say Goodbye” there are no dips in the songs. In other words, no skipping of tracks.

You can play this album front to back.

Fast forward to this year…

It was announced back in April that Triumph would be releasing and  limiting a deluxe box set of “Allied Forces”  to only 1200 copies throughout the entire world for “Record Store Day” on June 12th.

June 12th came and they were all scooped up. I tried and no luck but Andy Curran ( whom we were interviewing that day ironically enough as Andy had a major hand in the piecing together this box set))  told myself and Mikey Ladano to sit tight and not pay ridiculous eBay prices which had the box set going for about $400 Canadian.

So we sat tight, waited and some dude commented on Ladano’s page that Rock Paper Merch had copies of this limited set available.

Mikey pounced right away and after a few days I got myself a copy as well and better yet my daughter Lauren said this is my early Birthday  gift!

Wowzers, what a great gift as I had this box set in my hands in four days. Great shipping!

So not only do you get an updated copy of “Allied Forces” (the original studio release) you get a ’10 inch 45 of the boys ripping out a unreleased version of “Magic Power” from Ottawa back in ’82.

The flip side has “Allied Forces 2021” which features Phil X who on guitar who as you all know replaced Rik Emmett back in the early ’90s.

Below is the cover of the 45 which is right in my pal  Teebone’s wheelhouse as he has always been a sucker for ladies on record covers!

Rik Emmett, Mike Levine and Gil Moore did the right thing and let Andy Curran (who did a bunch of the recent RUSH reissue’s) dig through the attics of Metalwork Studios and pull together this magnificent looking box set including a shrunk down version of the tour book from the 1981 Tour!

Also included is a double live show recorded in Cleveland and the stage is where you hear how powerful the Toronto three piece Triumph really was in concert. As well what a stellar set list.

But wait there’s more. Included is an Rik Emmett guitar pic as well as couple of posters.

So take a bow Mr. Curran for taking on an enormous task of researching and putting together piece by piece a box set with the focus of a fans perspective put first.

Thanks to Rik, Gil and Mike for all the killer music included on “Allied Forces!”

Make sure you tune in this upcoming Wednesday night (Oct 20th) at 7pm when myself and Brent Jensen will focus our energies on the Rock N Roll Machine known as TRIUMPH!

 

You can watch live on my Youtube Page….Thunder Bay Arena Rock-Scotch On The Rocks

 

Scotch, Sloan and The Mars Man

Kev hangs out  this week on “Scotch On The Rocks”. You all know Mr Kev from his excellent site “Buried On Mars” and together we tackle that great album back from ’98 which is “Navy Blues” by those fun loving Canucks who call themselves SLOAN!

I really look forward to talking to the MarsMan as we both dig this album and it should be a hoot as if you don’t know much about this album now is the time to learn about it.

To keep it simple “Navy Blues” is a melting pot of 60’s-70’s and a tinge of 80’s rock.  I don’t want to say anymore than that…

Join us this Thursday Night(Oct 14th) at 7pm as  we get to the root of the “Money City Maniacs”!

See ya there…

SCOTCH ON THE ROCKS: Episode Two- A Deep Dive back to 1981 with Special Guest: Muc

Pretty pumped to bring on my pal Dave ‘Muc’ McCulloch who was the first guy I ever hung out at the local record shops in Thunder Bay back in 1981!

40 Friggin Years!

I think were due for a chat about this  as Muc was the guy that on one trip to the local record shop that summer as we had decisions too be made. First time ever seeing an Leppard and Maiden album on display here in town.

Talk about an impact moment as he we are 40 years later and I still remember that moment like it was yesterday!

We will also be talking a bit about another album that dropped  later that year which Muc was the first to get and that was the much maligned KISS “The Elder” release.

Interesting to hear some thoughts on it 40 years later!

Muc, I can tell you  is a great guy and we will tell you all what it was like buying records here in town all those years ago.

Join us  TONIGHT!  at 7pm on the official Youtube page of Thunder Bay Arena Rock- Scotch On the Rocks.

Join and hit that subscribe button and don’t miss out on the stories behind the albums!

ZZ TOP Live (October 7th 1990)

 

Crazy to think that as the years pass by so do some  fine musicians who as fans we have been able to have seen live in concert. Dusty Hill may have passed on but he’s certainly not forgotten!

Oct 7th 1990/ZZ TOP-COLIN JAMES- Winnipeg Arena

Me and my best friend TBone were pumped about seeing the two long beards and the moustache  guy from Texas.

I mean rewind seven years prior and Eliminator was all over print media as  the vids were all over tv and that continued right into ’85s Afterburner which too me was sides 3&4 to Eliminator!

So after a few yrs away here comes 1990 as well here comes ZZ Top along with  dEke And TBone to rock the show with the Texas Trio.

ZZ Top was plugging their latest opus “Recycler” except it wasn’t gonna be released  until after the tour started. Recycler hit the Record Shops on Oct. 16th ’90.

The “Recycler Word Tour” started October 2 ’90 in Vancouver and the show we were catching was the fifth show of the tour in the ‘Peg.   Gibbons, Hill and Beard were a serious concert draw as all seven shows of the Canadian Tour were sold out and in arenas. (10,000 plus at each show)

Colin James (the opener) is flying high on the Canuck charts on his current  “Sudden Stop” release. Colin puts on a good show plays the hits including Tbone’s favourite “Voodoo Thing” along with his current big hit “Just Came Back”.

Once Colin wrapped up his well received set from there it’s the waiting game until ZZ hits the stage.

I mean what kind of stage is behind that curtain that stretches across and around the stage? Props? Recycled Legs?? Or just a amps,drums and a light show?….well as it turns out..

The lights went out in the Winnipeg Arena and it’s  pitch black (cue Rock Move 101) and you see two headlights appear in front of the drums with the whole stage draped with a black curtain.

A chain link fence image appears on the curtain,the sound of a car revving and the revving gets louder and along with the motor getting louder you can hear the sounds of a woman getting louder(if u know what I mean) and then bam..curtain drops.

Below is the full show from T.O, four days after  we caught em in Winnipeg. The sound and picture is clear. If anything watch the first 5 minutes including  the conveyer belt! Better yet watch the whole dang thing!

There’s ZZ and they plow right into “Planet Of Women”. I tell ya man that  is one of the best intros I have seen any band take to a stage ever!

Beards drums were on the back of a flatbed and it was like they were playing In a recycled junkyard complete with TV screens and flashing women.

Such a cool setup especially not knowing beforehand what we were going to see.

Billy Gibbons live with that guitar tone was awesome. There are certain guitar players you need to hear in a live setting like of course EVH (if you had the chance), Alex Lifeson, Joe Perry, Slash,  David Gilmour, and of course Rev. Gibbons who has a sound n style all his own.

This was a great show. Glad I caught ’em when they were still doing the arenas.

Setlist: Planet of Women/ Sleeping Bag/ Tell It/ Waitin for the Bus/ Jesus Just Left Chicago/ Ten Foot Pole/ Gimme All Your Lovin /Concrete & Steel/ Manic Mechanic/ Heard It On The X /2000 Blues/ Blue Jean Blues /Just Got Paid /Lovething/ Got Me Under Pressure/ Techno-industrial instrumental/ Sharp Dressed Man/ Give It Up/ Legs/ Tube Snake Boogie/ Jailhouse Rock/ La Grange/ Tush

On a side note I was really surprised ZZ were not playing the stellar track “Double Back” which of course was in the Back To The Future movie. Such a killer chorus. As much as I wanted to hear it I was glad that they did put “Double Back” as the last track on Recycler album so I have to cut Dusty, Frank and Billy some slack on that.

Come to think of it I think I had “Double Back” on a cassette single!!

 

 

 

 

THE OFFSPRING: Let The Bad Times Roll (2021)

I have always been a sucker for some good power punk pop and The Offspring do a great job of delivering 12 tracks that clocks in at just over 33 minutes.

Hit em quick and leave em wanting more might be the concept behind The Offspring in 2021.

I’ll be the first to admit that back in 1994 like many I hoped on board with the album “Smash” as I really dug “Gotta Get Away” and “Self Esteem” as the deal for me was the vocals of Dexter Holland who can…. actually sing.

Power Pop Punk!

My Offspring collection is patchy at best but when I read that the name of Bob Rock is attached to this project you know the album will be decent enough and the sonics will be dialled in.

The Offspring – Let The Bad Times Roll tracklisting

1. This Is Not Utopia
2. Let The Bad Times Roll
3. Behind Your Walls
4. Army Of One
5. Breaking These Bones
6. Coming For You
7. We Never Have Sex Anymore
8. In The Hall Of The Mountain
9. The Opioid Diaries
10. Hassan Chop
11. Gone Away Requiem
12. Lullaby

 

“Let The Bad Times Roll” gets off to a great start as “This Is Not Utopia” just smacks you over the head with the drums and percussion of Pete Parada.

I have to add that these songs race at a decent clip and for all intent and purposes thats fine by me as this album needs to be cranked loud on your headphones as its just one of those records that needs to be heard that way.

“Coming For You” is a great track featuring another driving drum beat (handclaps included) and one stellar chorus. You have to hand it to guitarist Noodles as he knows his place in the songs. If it needs a solo than a solo it is, if not all good as well.

The title track and “We Never Have Sex Anymore” of course have that flair for radio play but so what. A good catchy track is a good catchy track.

So take that!

When I first listened to this on Apple Music I had to chuckle as there is “In The Hall of the Mountain” being played musically at 100 mph and clocks in at exactly a minute!

Those funny punkers.

The album closes on a chill out vibe with the piano drive “Gone Away Requiem” and “Lullaby” which are ok but to be honest I like the original amplified “Gone Away” much better but if Dexter and Noodles want it this way than I suppose thats the way it should be than.

“Let The Bad Times Roll” is a fun spin in a world that could use fun as thats what punk n roll is about…

deKe’s Stream O Rater Rating….7/10

Iron Maiden: Senjutsu (2021)

 

 

If I’m going to be totally honest with you all, I wasn’t going to post anything about the latest Maiden release “Senjutsu” as Ladano and Mr. Books as they do smash out reviews within hours of Maiden releasing new music.

Case in Point: Part 1-When Maiden released the epic “Book of Souls” back in 2015 both Mikey and Books hammered out reviews before I even heard the whole album. In other words the day the album came out so did the reviews.

I can’t roll like that.

Case in Point: Part 2- When AC/DC released “Power Up” last November everyone was knocking out reviews quicker than you could scream “Vaccine” so I waited it out and just a few days ago finally got around to writing it up kinda…

This isn’t really going to be a review per se as there are a lot of Senjutsu reviews popping up on a daily basis currently but I will add a few of my words of wisdom( insert laughter here).

This is my 40th year being an Iron Maiden fan and I still get psyched whenever any kind of music from these guys drops whether it’s a new studio or live album.

In regards to live albums. Maiden has a few of them and I’m glad as the stage is where the band excels and trust me folks there will come a day when people will be bitching when the live albums stop coming.

Same with the studio records. Since Bruce and Adrian returned back in 1999 and beginning with there return record in 2000 that being “Brave New World”, Maiden has been on a new mission releasing studio album after album pushing the envelope in new sounds and epic journeys and not looking for a rehash of the ’80s albums that put them on the map.

Smart move and of course some will always compare the Bruce Mach 2 version of Maiden (2000-currently)  to the Mach 1 version of Bruce (1982-1993) which I find quite humorous if we are being honest.

As a fan I’m glad they have pushed into new territories and just not rewriting “Two Minutes To Midnight”.

First of all the packaging is stellar. The artwork by Mark Wilkerson is brilliant and for myself when it comes to Maiden these need to be owned on vinyl.  The artwork s shrunk down on CD. That’s all I need to say about that.

Check out the triple gatefold below.

“Senjutsu”. The title track which is the opener is such a great song. Adrian and Steve Harris slam one out the park and how about those tribal drums of Nicko’s carrying the  8 minute tune throughout.

The record is 82 minutes long so there is a ton of music to digest and as my buddy Metal Todd (whom I caught Maiden with back in 2019 in Vancouver) mentioned the fact at the show that Bruce said “Iron Maiden was making new music” yet what Bruce didn’t let onto was the fact that the new music was already done and it would be a double album!

Getting your money’s worth thats for sure.

I’m not going to do a track by track breakdown of each song. Instead I can tell you it’s a mega album that has a ton of music with a bunch of different tempo changes that keep things interesting.

Amazing that the last three songs on the album (“Death of The Celts”, “The Parchment” and “Hell On Earth”) are lone Harris compositions  with the three combined tracks clocking in at over 30 minutes along.

Harris is on top of his game here folks and if you don’t believe me check out “Hell On Earth”. I will go on record and say that it has to be one of the best tracks Steve has ever written (there have been a ton).

“Hell On Earth” is filled with all kinds of trimmings of Hard Rock and how about that tempo change at the 6 minute mark where Nicko puts the breaks on the drums while the guitar solo’s plough forward. Ever time I hear this break it gives me goosebumps! Harris at his best still in 2021.

I thought Harris could have not possibly have written a better tune than the title track from 2015’s “Book of Souls” (co written with Gers) but he has in the form of “Hell On Earth”.

Speaking of “Book of Souls”. I’m not going to get into the debate of is “Senjutsu” a better listen than B.O.S’s as I have read enough reviews and comments about that so all I will say is that it’s good thats its 2021 and Iron Maiden are still delivering the goods!

Up The Hammers!

 

 

 

“Scotch On The Rocks” Episode 1 with Greg Fraser!

Sometimes in life you need that push or perhaps a kick in the ass to get things moving.

Summer of 2020 I thought maybe I should start doing a live stream and the plan was to go live in October 2020.

That was the plan but  it took a back seat as I got comfortable riding shot gun with Mikey at his awesome show “The Lebrain Train”.

In other words I could show up five minutes before show time and not worry about a thing. I could spout off and then split.

We had booked Greg to come on the Lebrain Train but than Mikey’s world went upside down and he wasn’t that sure if he could do the chat with Fraze!

When one door closes (kinda) another one opens….

So I figured I didn’t want to cancel having Fraze on as he was one of the first guys I reached out too last year and agreed to come on Mikey’s show as myself and Mikey had never interviewed an actual ‘Musician’ before.

So with that in mind I said to Mikey. How about I fire up this stream thing I had been talking about for over a year and reach out to Fraze and if he is game (which he was right away) to come on and Mikey could ride shotgun.

Mikey was onboard and from there I set up my own on StreamYard account with help from Mikey. As well the Marsman who helped convert the theme song for the  show to work on Stream Yard, and of course Tbone himself who did and will continue to do the artwork or upcoming shows. (When time frees up for him. He will be on)

It’s truly a team effort.

So last night we went live without a net and survived.

Fraze as always was awesome. Told a ton of great stories about hanging out with guys like Steve Jones (Sex Pistols) and Ronnie James Dio plus we talked about some Brighton Rock along with also finding out some info on the status of the current Storm Force album.

Fraze jokingly said that one of the working titles was called “ClusterFuck” which myself and Mikey jumped on and said to keep it as title!

Better yet as a thank you to Fraze I secretly reached out to two of his pals Andy Curran and Sean Kelly and they both came on and myself and Mikey just let them roll with all the great conversation between them.

Hockey stories, road stories, guitar tones, amps, recording you name it those guys dealt it on Scotch On The Rocks.

I was blown away that it all worked out.

Coming up on the show. All show times are at 7pm

Thursday Oct 7th- My pal David McCulloch joins me as he was the first guy here in Tbay that I bought records with.

Thursday Oct 14th- Kev from Buried On Mars hops on and we will be dsicussing “Sloans Navy Blues” record. Rewinding back to 1998!

Wednesday Oct 20th- Brent Jensen with a topic to be determined.

Thursday Oct 28th- One of the biggest Tragically Hip and Pearl Jam fanboy’s that I know of Probie will join me as we will talk about these bands and more and trust me folks Probie has a ton of stories as the main focus will be on The Hips “Road Apples” album. Basically a deep dive back to ’91!

In November TBA… Geoff Stephen, Robert Dawson…Snowman and more!

Thanks everyone who watched last night and in case you missed it.

Check out last nights show below..

Show starts at the 3 minute mark..

Andy Curran comes on at the 1 hour, 4 minute mark..

Sean Kelly hops on at the 1 hour, 19 minute mark..

 

Scotch On The Rocks Presents Greg Fraser

 

Tonight is the night folk’s that myself and Mikey have a catch up chat with Greg Fraser( Storm Force, Brighton Rock).

Just a little over a year ago we had Fraze on and we did a deep dive into Greg’s years with Brighton Rock right up to his current band Storm Force who released the stellar “Age of Fear” CD back in January 2020.

Tonight we will be about talking rock and seeing what Greg has been up to over the last year.

I’m really looking forward to this so I hope you will check out my You Tube page which is Thunder Bay Arena Rock-Scotch on the Rocks and join in the fun.

We go live at 7pm..

See ya then!

Thunder Bay Arena Rock- Scotch On The Rocks presents: Greg Fraser Live September 24th @ 7pm!

 

 

Well Folk’s, I have been talking  about starting my own little stream deal and with a ton of action going on in Mikey’s world at the moment I figured now would be a good as time as any to give streaming a shot.

Back in August 2020 we had Brighton Rock-Storm Force guitarist-songwriter Greg Fraser on the “Lebrain Train”.

Fraze was one of the first guys I reached out too to come on the “Train” and he agreed right away.

So a return visit was in order for Fraze to come back on but then Mikey’s world went upside down and lets for a second thank Mikey as every Friday he went live at 7pm but a break is needed for that fella.

So I figured now would be a good as time as any to get this thing rolling.

So next Friday (with Mike riding shotgun with me as a co-host) were bringing Greg to talk RAWK along with of course what else he has been up to.

There will a couple of ways for you to watch.

One is you can find my site on YouTube under the title of ‘Thunder Bay Arena Rock- Scotch On The Rocks’ as well on Facebook under the same heading.

Hit the subscribe button please! (cheap plug)

I have also have been working on bringing in a few other people as well during October and I’m happy to announce that my good pal Brent Jensen  will be joining me in the not too distant future for a discussion that is yet to be determined!

However…

On Thursday October 7th @7pm, I’m psyched to announce that my buddy “Muc” will be joining me as we discuss the year 1981. This was the year myself and Muc discovered two important bands that summer while hanging out in the local record shops!

Plus to keep the whole Thunder Bay vibe going I will also have a good friend of mine named “Probie” (nickname of course) who is going to come on another episode as I can honestly say that he has to be the biggest Tragically Hip fan here in town and he has a few good stores to share. Trust me!

Watch out for them Road Apples!

Also coming up I will have John Snow come aboard as well Robert Lawson will be on with Mikey and myself in November as we will be discussing the 45th Anniversary KISS Destroyer release!

Thunder Bay Arena Rock- Scotch On The Rocks will be different than the Lebrain Train as I will be trying to keep the episodes down to under a hour tops unless we have big names on in which we may go over that allotted time.

And yes I hope that in due time TBone will hop on…

Once again see you all this upcoming Friday at 7pm!

Cheers and thanks for the support!

dEke

 

 

 

 

STYX: CRASH OF THE CROWN (2021)

 

Styx have released what I would consider one of the best releases of ’21 in the form of “Crash of The Crown” which is the bands 17th studio album.

15 tracks clocking in at just over 43 minutes which has Styx firing on all 6 cylinders as after all there are now 6 members in the band, well 7 if you count  producer Will Evankovich who is now touring with the band as a member.

“Crash of the Crown” has that throwback ’70s vibe. The production is killer as it sounds like it was recorded in ’79 and not ’21. Thats one of the best compliments I can say about what Tommy Shaw and JY have decided to do on this record.

The performances are top notch and if you’re looking for the “Babe” version of Styx better to pull out your copy of Cornerstone for that vibe.

The chops on “COTC” are stellar as Styx can blend the use of acoustic guitars with the electrics and we must not forget the vocals and harmonies.

These guys bought the “A-Game” in this release even releasing the vinyl copy in a gatefold as well.

Even the packaging features some morse code on it to decipher the clues. At first I though this was a printing glitch of my record lol, little did I know.

“A Monster” is a stellar track and if you want to hear a sample check that track out as Sucherman’s drums along with with Gowan’s lead vocals lifts this track almost off my turntable. Must also note a real slick guitar solo as well..

Those silly Styx-ster’s fooled me when they included in there tune “Save Us From Ourselves”,  Churchills rallying cry of the “We shall go on to the end” speech you know the one Iron Maiden uses at the start of Ace’s High. For a split second I was like …whut?

The title track is an interesting one as it features all three lead singers (Gowan-Shaw-JY) each taking a verse vocally which I believe is the first in the career of Styx which is now approaching 50  years!

I know there are the original fans want Dennis DeYoung back and quite frankly that isn’t going to happen and if it does it will be totally for the cash.

I can honestly say that after reading JY’s comments in the latest issue of Rock Candy that featured a 16 page cover feature on Styx.

Gowan has elevated this band as the cat can sing and is a fantastic keyboard wizard as well.

COTC is one fine listen and if you are in the mood for a band that gives its all on a record then do yourselves a favour and check this one out.