Category Archives: SONIC WAVES…Album Reviews

Occasionally I will throw down some reviews of albums that I thought were and still are cool to me…..hope you likey!

Ozzy Osbourne Patient Number 9 (2022)

Rock ain’t dead folks as the latest recording from the Ozzman has debuted at #1 on the Canadian Charts.

“Patient Number 9” has Ozzy teaming up with a bunch of iconic six stringers and also featuring a rhythm section of all stars as well.

I have to add that this is a very good Ozzy record. My 2 cents though as I read what people are commenting on the socials and I don’t feed into any of that horseshit as people are way to judgey with there opinion’s so I’m not wasting my time commenting.

But I will spout off here…

Funny thing though if and when Ozzy stops making records those same people will be crying about that..

Life is too short folks! Chill the fuck out and be happy that a young 73 year old Oz is still kicking ass or just don’t buy the damn thing!

As I mentioned already Ozzy with his co-producer Andrew Watt have enlisted a who’s who of mega talent on this record. Tony Iommi, Jeff Beck, Zakk Wylde, Mike McCready, Duff McKagan, Robert Trujillo, Chad Smith and the late Taylor Hawkins.

The best thing I can honestly say about this album is I can listen to it  front to back with no skipping of tracks.

Some of the highlights for me are the two Iommi tracks (“Degradation Rules” and “No Escape from Now”) which to my ears Ozzy and Tony lay down a Sabbath like sludge like vibe that harkens back to yesteryear. Bonus points for Ozzy nailing down some harp on a couple of tracks as well.

“Dead And Gone” is one of those end of the album songs that I consider GEMS! Love that chorus, man it’s so catchy.

Really crazy to hear Eric Clapton find his volume knob on his amp and lay down some Cream like licks on “One of Those Days”. Jeff Beck is also on the albums title track as well.

Speaking of the title track. “Patient #9” opens the album on Apple Music yet on the vinyl the opening track is the Mike McCready tune “Immortal”. Weird move as the title track is more of an opener but maybe there was issues somewhere or maybe someone screwed up at the printing plant.

Zaki Wylde not only plays lead on four tracks but also contributes keyboards and organ on the album. I have to add that Zakk as well tosses down some serious riffage and adds a ton of rhythm guitar as well..

To be honest here I dug Ozzy’s last album “Ordinary Man” which had some good moments as well but for my dollars spent Patient #9 is far better spin. If Ozzy calls it day after this record fair enough as the Prince of Darkness has earned that right!

deKe’s Vinyl Score of Patient #9- 8.5/10

 

 

OASIS: Be Here Now (1997)

 

I love at times big overproduced  stuffy rock records that are so full of pre-release hype that once the record drops people are confused and are dismissive about it.

“Be Here Now” from those wacky fun loving brothers Liam and Noel did just that.

Oasis back in ’97 were mega coming off of there first two records the hype on these guys was massive.

If my memory was correct it wasn’t til sometime in 96 that I took the plunge and bought the first two Oasis on CD. I immediately liked em as they were rock records but I also dug that wall of sound that the guitars had which sounded massive.

In the summer of ’97 Oasis dropped the first single and video which was the album opener “Do You Know What I Mean”. When I saw the videoI was hooked as this tune had all those trimmings that I love especially on a opening track. You can hear the helicopter flying around and the video sold me as there they are playing in what looks like some war torn city.

I was down in Minneapolis at the time to see Aerosmith that summer and I scoured a few record shops as I wanted this album STAT! No luck as at one shop I came across an add for it and it was still a few weeks away..

Back home in Thunder Bay when “Be Here Now” hit the shops I pounced.

“Be Here Now” is my favourite Oasis studio album. Plain and simple. I love the debauchery on that front cover which reminds me of Keith Moon once I saw the Rolls Royce in the swimming pool. Plus the fact that Oasis basically looked like bunch of hooligans coming out of a soccer game or maybe they were looking like  factory workers. They did not care whatsoever about fashion.

A definite bonus in my books is their use of nicknames that you can see below in Exhibit A!

So when I received a Amazon gift card from my pals at work this was a quick click to order as this is the 25th Anniversary edition of “Be Here Now” on silver vinyl.  See below Exhibit B.

This is one album I can listen too front to back. It’s that good and even some dismissed this record I sure as hell didn’t.  Sure its a big sounding over produced rock record but for me thats the charm.

Listen to that opening feedback from Noel’s guitar at the start of “My Big Mouth”. Perhaps my all time favourite song from these guys and what a perfect title of a song for Liam to sing!

The title track as well is another great tune. Love that driving tempo and what a belter of a chorus.

“Magic Pie” and “The Girl In A Dirty Shirt” are keepers as well.

Sure Oasis lifted their idea’s from some other bands that came before them  but who friggin cares man. It’s only rock n roll and I like it!

deKe’s Vinyl Score of “Be Here Now” – 9/10. (8.5 for the album and .5 added for the use of nicknames for band members in the credits)

 

ZZ Top: RAW (2022)

Frigg yeah. Now this is one fine recorded live off the floor release  (without an audience) that every blues/hard rock fan needs in there collection.

“That Little Ol Band From Texas” being ZZ TOP have released “RAW” which is the sound track to the documentary by Canuck’s Banger Films which by the way is an excellent watch.

The soundtrack to this record is phenomenal as listen to the three amigos that being Billy Gibbons, Frank Beard and the late Dusty Hill get down in dirty blues with a side order of slippery greasy rock and deliver gem after gem on this twelve song release.

So good in fact that this should have been a double vinyl release with added tracks but hey beggars can’t be choosers!

The sound is indeed “RAW”.  Just cue up “Heard It On The X” which today as I write this is my favourite track on this record but that can change easily.

So many standout tracks and I can honestly tell ya all there is no skippers on here.

This is ZZ in a strip back sound hitting ya right between the eyes.

Do yourself a favour and add “RAW” to your collection in any format NOW!

deKe’s Vinyl Score of “RAW”- 10/10

RUSH: A SHOW OF HANDS (1989)

Focusing on there early to late 80s output RUSH in early 1989 dropped the double live “A Show of Hands” for the masses.

What’s there to say about a live RUSH album that hasn’t been said? Geddy, Alex and Neil blast through 14 tracks recorded at a few stops along their ’86 “Power Windows” Tour and ’88’s “Hold Your Fire” Tour.

Lot’s of great tracks on here and how about that opening number “Big Money”? Sure, for some or maybe many RUSH got bogged down into the synths and technical wizardry of what a studio would offer but when Alex tears into the solo on “Big Money” it takes you back right to that power trio format as Geddy and Neil hold down that bottom end like there the boss!

Since it was really 1981 I got into RUSH I always enjoyed the band’s 80s output. From “Permanent Waves- Moving Pictures- Exit Stage Left- Signals- Grace Under Pressure- Power Window onto Hold Your Fire” there are a lot of gold nuggets on those albums.

RUSH themselves did a good job at picking out songs for this album. I do have one complaint, well a minor one at that is I bought the VHS copy of this tour “Prime Mover” which is one of my favourite tunes from “Hold  Your Fire” is on the VHS copy but not on the vinyl copy. Sure I’m being ornery but my post my rules right? lol

Other than that the playing it top notch as the album is recorded and mixed well. Lot’s of highlights though as well like “Subdivisions” as well as songs RUSH has not performed that much live since this time period. “Marathon”, “Turn The Page,” “Mission”, “Time Stand Still” so for that this record is worth the price of admission.

Yes there is of course “The Rhythm Method” where Mr. Peart goes off on his drums for about 4 minutes and proving without a doubt he is one of the best.

A definite add to anyone’s music collection.

Cheers to Tbone, Darr and Rugg who gifted me a  Sunrise gift card. Thanks Boys!

deKe’s Vinyl score of “A SHOW OF HANDS”- 8.5/10

 

The Who: Who’s Next (1971)

How many albums can you think of that start off with a classic song  and bookend the record with another all time classic?

“Who’s Next” is that record. Crazy to think that this recording is 51 years old yet Pete Townsend was ahead of the curve and tapped into sonics that still sound relevant today.

A few weeks back I was fortunate to come across a seller at a local Vinyl Fair who was selling “Who’s Next” sealed for a great price.

Have to add I love this cover….

I never have owned a copy of this all time great as I only had a taped copy on cassette tape and that was about 40 years ago!

Every single song on this record is stellar.  Opening with the synth and keyboard driven “Baba O’ Riley”, Townsend was at an all time high creatively and of course having a lead vocalist named Roger Daltry only helps to get the message across lyrically and vocally.

This album is deep with not a dud track on here.  “Bargain” which is one of my faves as Keith Moon is all over the map on his drums, The mid tempo like vibe of  “Love Ain’t For Keeping”, John Entwistle and his Bass drive home the Ox written song “My Wife” which is quite a funny tune lyrically and I’m sure is autobiographical.

Ending Side 1 is the classic “Song Is Over” which is ballad like yet Pete doesn’t make it sappy like and Roger delivers a killer vocal.

Side 2 keeps it going with “Getting In Tune” which is followed by another classic (which never gets talked about) “Going Mobile” (sung by Townsend) and by this point of the album The Who are firing on all 4 cylinders!

As a rock fan who doesn’t love that opening chill vibe of “Behind Blue Eyes” until Moon and The Ox lift off  and this one just tears the roof off until the song ends on how it begins….Chill!

What can you say about the album closer “Won’t Get Fooled Again” that hasn’t been said. This song has been used by many a band as the battle cry to leading a band to the stage (KISS and Def Leppard are two that come to my mind right away that have used this song). How about that scream that Daltry lays down after Moon goes bonkers on his drums.

Holy Moly what a corker of a record!

Once again crazy to think that this album is 51 years young but all the boxes are checked off as Who’s Next is an absolute classic!

deKe’s Vinyl score of Who’s Next…10/10

W.A.S.P-W.A.S.P (1984)

 

“Nostalgia is a hell of a drug” my pal Brent Jensen once said and he’s right.

One of those Nostalgia like drugs for myself is the debut album by W.A.S.P. that hit the streets back in 1984.

Blackie Lawless grabbed my attention as 16 year old back then when he grabbed me by the throat and basically had W.A.S.P filling in for me what KISS had moved on from which was the makeup and the theatrics. By ’84 KISS ditched the makeup to give their own career a boost which worked.

Lawless was clever I tell ya. He knew the shock value that Alice Cooper and KISS had provided and decided to go for it and record a 38 minute debut that at times is still pretty damn good and still holds up relatively decent in 2022.

Too be honest I really had no clue I was about to pick this album up until I went to a recent Vinyl Fair and seen this sitting in the bins. I guess it was calling me to grab this one and of course I obliged and did just that. For anyone keeping score this is an original pressing from 1984.

When you drop the needle on this album and the first song “I Wanna Be Somebody” kicks in its all about the anthem track back then right?

Twisted Sister had “We’re Not Gonna Take” It and “I Wanna Rock” while Quiet Riot had the year before (’83) “Metal Health”.

Big rock anthems with catchy choruses and even though this W.A.S.P track didn’t set the world on fire, for the fanbase of this band it is the anthem. Pretty well written track with a decent enough guitar solo.

Blackie you gotta love that raw voice definitely not radio material but he gets the job done on this album.

Pretty good stuff on here even the tacky “L.O.V.E Machine” where drummer Tony Richards lays down a pretty decent groove with Lawless and his bass. Say what you want but damn it that is one catchy chorus.

“The Flame” a song I have not heard since umm 84-85 is another solid winner which shocked me as here we are three tracks in and I can’t believe I’m digging this one as much as I thought I would. This is crazy…

The guitars of Chris Holmes and Randy Piper are good throughout the record as they knew their deal and the solos stay in the confines of the tunes and that is a plus.

“On Your Knees” and “Hellion” are a couple of Side Two ass kickers that I did remember especially “On Your Knees” which is a great one as well.

“Tormentor” was one also that is real heavy as if you need a shot of adrenalin “Tormentor” will fill the void.

Rewinding back to the mid 80s I did buy at the time the followup to this debut which was “The Last Command” and that one to me sounded like a Quiet Riot album as producer Spencer Proffer had a hand in the Quiet Riot albums and “The Last Command”  which at the time was step back for Blackie and company. My two cents …

By the time “Inside The Electric Circus” had dropped in 86 I was done but I  did return in ’89 when Blackie upped his game with “The Headless Children”  especially once I saw the video for The Who cover of “The Real Me”. Actually that one I wouldn’t mind picking up at some point some day …

deKe’s Vinyl Score of W.A.S.P -W.A.S.P…8/10

Fastway: Fastway (1983)

I bought my original copy of Fastway on cassette tape way back in ’83 and it wasn’t until about two months ago I grabbed this on vinyl which for me was a total score.

Fastway was formed by Fast Eddie (Motörhead) and Pete Way (UFO) which if you ask me was a great band name. It’s all in the branding folks. (case in point, look at the cover as its simple yet very effective)

When it came time to record the Fastway debut Pete Way pulled a fast one and bolted to Ozzy Osbourne’s band leaving the band in a pinch so a fellow named Mark Feat handled the bass duties but is uncredited on the album.

Rounding out Fastway was drummer Jerry Shirley (Humble Pie) and vocalist Dave King.

King though is the wild card on this album as at the time being an unknown who stepped in vocally and at times sounds like  a young Robert Plant. Trust me folks thats not a dig but a compliment.

Opener ‘Easy Livin’ is a killer opener that sets the tone. Think of it as a quick little Zeppelin vibe kick to the gut. Songs such as ‘Feel Me Touch Me’, ‘Heft’, ‘Say You Will’ deliver at a decent clip and you can hear more of the Zeppelin influence even in the sound of the album courtesy of Eddie Kramer. Kramer dials it in perfectly at keeping the album sounding loose with a jam like vibe which still sonically holds up well in 2022!

Actually the whole album flat out rocks as there is not a ballad on here just some straight ahead old school hard rock.

Fastway did some decent business on the charts as well back in 83 as the debut charted at #31 in the U.S and got to #70 in Canada.

Fastway had a hand in the good chart showing as they were the opener on Iron Maiden’s World Piece Tour so playing to arena sized crowds I’m sure helped the cause.

Unfortunately both Fast Eddie and Pete Way have gone to that great gig in the sky but the music here still does the talkin’

Funny thing is after this debut and digging it so much I never bothered to pick up the following ‘All Fired Up’ and ‘Trick Or Treat’ releases. One reason was there was so much music coming out at that time that I could not keep up….

Maybe it’s time to check those one’s out now.

deKe’s Vinyl Score of Fastway- Fastway: 8.5/10

 

 

Y&T : Mean Streak (1983)

Back in 1983 it was great discovering new bands and one of those was San Fran’s finest that being Y&T who released the classic “Mean Streak” album.

My pal in High school, John Young had this record lying around one day and being 16 at the time, album covers made a very impressionable impact on my young mind back then and this cover was one of ’em! (kudos to artist John Taylor)

As soon as John Y dropped the needle on the first track which was the title track I was hooked. What a song. ‘Mean Streak’ is a song any dude could relate to back in ’83 or even now in 2022! Singer-songwriter-lead guitarist Dave Meniketti knew the fine art of crafting catchy hook laden rock tracks and this album is full of them. Not a dud amongst the albums nine tracks and the rockers just keep coming.

‘Hang ‘Em High’, ‘Breaking Away’, ‘Straight Thru The Heart’ or the semi-ballad ‘Midnight In Tokyo’ we’re all exceptional Y&T songs that still sound incredible in this day and age.

Full props to producer Chris Tsangarides who dialled in the sonic barrage perfectly. Crystal clear yet not over produced.

What Y&T did also was keep this album exempt from playing the game of having a single in other words the Power Ballad. Sure they took the pedal off the gas on a song like “Lonely Side of Town” but it still has a good kick to it. Well of course a few years later they did play that game with the syrupy ‘Summertime Girls’ but thats a story for another time! (My pal Destroyer of Harmony knows all about this)

Good old misprint on the second side when track two should be ‘Hang ’em High’ not ‘Hand ’em High’.

Speaking of Side Two, the band doesn’t let up and the good time hard rock continues with ‘Breaking Away’ and album closer the classic ‘Down And Dirty.’

Y&T were also a band of strengths at this point as these cats could play. Not only was Dave the lead singer but he was also the lead guitarist. Joey Alves played a steady rhythm guitar and speaking of rhythm bassist Phil Kennemore and drummer Leonard Haze laid dow some serious law in keeping the beat moving forward!

Sadly Dave Meneketti is the last man standing as the other three members have passed on but what a great hard rock album to finally own on vinyl.

I bought it on cassette back in the mid ’80s, as when Tbone and Jack Loaf were falling all over themselves with the ‘Down For The Count’ release I was going back a few years and getting into ‘Black Tiger’ and this all time Gem known as ‘Mean Streak’.

Cannot believe that ‘Mean Streak’ only got to #103 on the Billboard charts which is a shame as another album from ’83 that should have done better sales wise was Coney Hatch with ‘Outta Hand’.

Finicky music fans I tell ya…

deKe’s Vinyl Score of Mean Streak: 9/10

 

THE WHO: Hooligans (1981)

First things first!

What a great  title for a Greatest Hits set. “Hooligans” put out by The Who way back in 1981 (been out of print for decades) and  I was beyond psyched too find it here in Thunder Bay for $10!

Holy Moly…

Back in the early 80s when I first discovered The Who thanks to my pal John Young (missing in action since 1992) he had this on vinyl and of course I have never been big on these record company cash grabs due to contractual obligations or what not, but for some reason I’m really good with this one.

When I got my hands on this copy the first guy I sent a pic to was my pal Max down in Nashville( who is one of the biggest Who and Beatles fan I know) and he  commented on the fact that I scored the “Holy Grail of Greatest Hits” sets!

Click the link below to Max’s blog and give him a follow if you haven’t already!

https://powerpop.blog

“Hooligans” came out in September 1981 and was eventually certified Gold in the U.S back in ’83 so this one actually sold and of course The Who have a hundred of compilations which kinda get’s silly but the charm of this one is not only the songs but the packaging!

Double vinyl along with a gatefold and including lyrics this is a well done package plus I love the cover with the ditched TV set with a pic of The Who in it. Lot’s of TV’s were demolished by these guys in the 60’s and 70’s so it’s rather fitting isn’t it?

Even the back cover is cool with each side being marked by ‘Hooligans’ and even The Who list themselves as the 5th bunch of Hooligans.

For the hardcore Who fans there’s a few hard to find singles on here those being “I Can’t Explain”, “Let’s See Action”, “The Relay”and “Join Together.”

Each side of the album is pretty much stuffed with 20 minutes of music so you’re getting more value bang for your buck.

The songs range from 1965 all the way to 1978 with the focus being on The Who’s 70’s output which as you can see is stellar as considering chaos always followed these guys (thanks to Keith Moon) as Pete Townsend can and did craft some classic rock tracks that all still hold up today. Kinda weird in 2022 not to see “Won’t Get Fooled Again” on here but maybe that was due to the length of the all time great song.

Each side is stuffed with classics so I could never even say what side of plastic on here would be my favourite.

It’s all killer, no filler!

“Hooligans” is the ultimate starter kits if you are getting into The Who for the first time.

One thing I will add is you can find Hooligans on Discogs and even you can buy it used from Amazon but buyer beware if your purchasing this on CD as it says Double CD but from my understanding it only comes with one disc. (I’m assuming its the whole “Hooligans” set on one disc).

Than again why buy it on CD as the The Who needs to be heard on vinyl!

deKe’s vinyl score of Hooligans-10/10

 

 

GEORGIA SATELLITES: Lightnin’ In A Bottle (2022)

Crazy to think that it’s already been 31 years since Dan Baird fired himself from the Georgia Satellites. His own words not mine!

Even crazier is the fact that it took 34 years for an Official Live Satellites album to hit the streets!!

Better late than never says “I”

This show has been released since March of this year to the streaming sites and CD (gah!). As of July 8th the album is now out on the supreme form of VINYL!

Recorded back in December ’88 in Cleveland this 18 song set ass kicker delivers on all fronts on what I love about these guys. First of all this recording is 110% LIVE!

The guitars are cranked as the bass and drums just steamroll from the start of the album to the finish. Having three guy’s who could sing as well was an added plus as well.

These boys are just straight ahead  barroom boogie rock at it’s finest as they lift off with Jerry Lee Lewis “Whole Lotta Shakin Going On” and from there its a take no prisoners approach in delivering the goods live so to speak.

The real cool selling point is how they would fuse their tunes and sneak in classics  without skipping a beat and thats the charm of these guys.

They can slam you right in the ball sack with “Railroad Steel”(Dan even sings a few lines of “Highway To Hell” at the end) yet shift gears and blast off with “Hippy Hippy Shake” (which came out in ’88 as single thanks to that shitty movie “Cocktail”)

Dan Baird is a crafty lyricist (one of my fav’s actually) as he can tell a story in a tune and you can hear him strumming that telecaster like he’s the Boss.

Speaking of crafty lyrics check out “Down And Down” or “Sheila” for reference points.

Baird’s counterpart on guitar Rick Richards plays some stellar leads and slide as well. Check out “Can’t Stand The Pain”  as Richards not delivers some stellar slide but tosses out a cool lead vocal as well.

Drummer Mauro Magallen keeps the band tight as he pounds those drum skins almost like if Ringo Starr was on speed!

Not to be outdone Rick Price plays a ton of great walking bass lines and can even dial it in on lead vocals at times as Rick does with the Joe South cover of “Games People Play” which ended up on ’89’s “In The Land of Salvation And Sin” album.

These guys knew there strengths and the amazing thing is they could get away with almost half the show of cover tunes as of course there is the HIT as they say in the form of  “Keep Your Hands To Yourself” yet they take it further and jam out The Stones “It’s Only Rock N Roll” and make it  fun.

Crank the vid below…

 

Better yet they even close the show with a one two punch of The Ramones “I Wanna Be Sedated” mixed with a healthy dose of Bill Haley’s “Shake Rattle And Roll” delivered with the amps cranked to 11!

These guys can take the Raunch and make it Roll which you can listen though the grooves on this album as you hear  the  monitor feed backing and being that it was close to Christmas ’88 they smash out Chuck Berry’s “Run Rudolph Run.”

Nothing serious here folk’s…

Now if you have never really checked the guys out before other than just hearing the HIT so too speak then this is a great starting point. If you have one or all three of there studio records than this is a must own!

deKe’s Vinyl Rating- 10/10

Does not get better than this!

“Baby I got my finger right on your pulse
Poundin’ just like a drum
I need a little bit of Coca Cola
I need me a shot of Ron Rico one fifty one”