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!

John Corabi:Live 94(One Night in Nashville) 2018

 

Hey Folks since Nikki Sixx has buried his head in the ground like an ostrich in regards to ignoring the Wicked Super Awesome self titled Motley Crue album from 1994. Ex lead vocalist  John Corabi  has taken it upon himself to record and release the 94 classic album played in its entirely from start to finish and let me tell you all’s its a brilliant release…

I can’t stop listening to Motley Corabi…..

Recorded live in Nashville back in late 2015! No overdubs Rock N Raw!

John enlisted some local dudes and that would be Jeremy Asbrook(guitar) Tommy Daley(guitar) Topher Nolan(bass) as well as John’s son Ian Corabi who does a fantastic job playing the drums!

Now before you all say cover blah band blah blah. Ummm Nope! The thing is John sings this album like its 94 again which is phenomenal and the backing dudes deliver this album musically in spades…

Opening  track Power To The Music  sets the table as once you hear these updated versions it takes you right back to when Motley originally released the self titled.

For me though second track in Uncle Jack is one of the best tracks on this album. Yeah Uncle Jack is fucking creepy but give these guys credit as the cheese was chased out of the Vince Neil fronted Crue in regards to this track. Love it when John shifts gears vocally from the verse to the chorus.  Basically Johns vocals are wicked. It’s like he’s gargling razor blades and chasing it down with Tequila! Bam make no mistake, distinctive comes to mind….

Hooligans Holiday the lead off single from the self titled 94 rings true to a blast from the past. Love the whole Motley Grunge thing they were going for and It’s always a great debate on why the 94 tanked quick off the charts. (still went Gold) Timing? Singer Change? Perhaps. Who knows though as that Crue album over the course of the last 24 years has over time next to the Too Fast For Love album I would have to say is the next best Crue album.

Just saying….

Misunderstood is a 8 minute build up of all things down the sonic highway. Chill verse which ramps up during the chorus and lets for a second think if the Crue had recorded an 8 minute track with Vince? Ok… wait! Let’s not go there!

Always loved the short n sweet acoustic Zeppelin workout on a track called Loveshine.  Thats the thing with this album is Motley was trying to go for different atmospheric sounds on the album. I will give them full credit for that move. At the time I thought they where chasing the Grunger Dudes that were selling records. I think there is an underlying theme that these songs can draw you in and boot you right in the Ass!

Did someone chirp the word Cowbell?? Yup here’s Hammered and this is a great driving hard rock track. This tune is a wicked jam song that rocks with a wicked groove and credit John’s son Ian on the drums. The young fella does a fantastic job throughout this whole shebang. Wonder when the last time Thomas Lee Bass listened to this album?

I always dug Til Death Do Us Part. Cool off beat rhythms followed by a huge ripping guitar solo proves that this album/song showed the band had chops and I wonder if even Crue themselves if they could would be able to pull this thing live off?

Great backing vocals along with John’s Lead Vocals deliver Welcome to the Numb which almost has a Aerosmith vibe to it. Smooth n Groove. This song just clips at a decent pace.

Let John sing the tale of the Reefer in Smoke The Sky

‘Smoke my hoochie, you say that I’m the Devil, really T.H.C.

“Marco Polo hailed it heaven, Socrates inhaled it, too.
Mister President, tell the truth.
You’re the great exaggerators since 1932.
Telling evils of the reefer, but all through time we’ve smoked the sky.”

Check out the video posted. It’s not from this album but it’s from the same time frame that John was doing the album in full.

From the first time I heard this track this was serious Crue. I know Nikki Sixx has dissed John saying he didn’t do much but I’m tending to disagree with the multi millionaire as up till 94 Motley never wrote Lyrics that made this much sense! I mean how do you go from tunes lyrically like She Goes Down and Sticky Sweet to Smoke The Sky? Exactly you inject new Blood and Corabi delivers in spade vocally and lyrically!

Droppin Like Flies just steam rolls along the Corabi highway at full throttle. Love the total groove and speed this tune just drives at. Great drums as well propel this tune forward. I must also add that this album you have to admit has the coolest song titles anywhere. Course a great album with cool song titles must have the tunes to back it up and this album does that…think I said something like that earlier!

Once again another gear change and that’s Driftaway which ends the 94 album. More acoustic Zep like rock that had Motley ditching the big typical Power Ballad formula and trying different things that actually succeed..

10,000 Miles Away is actually a bonus track that is added to the end of the album. Guess back in 94 Each Crue guy did a track on their own and it came out on a 4 song EP called Quartenery but 10,000 Miles Away is the Japanese Bonus Track version which will make Mr Ladano happy! This is a great track as I had never heard it before.

Kudos for Mr Corabi for giving us Fan Boys want we wanted which is the Motley 94 album played front to back. No change ups or mash-ups but delivered LIVE!

Seriously though Sixx has always dismissed this album which is unfair but thats the choice he made. To call it Motley Crue and not include anything off of it on many Crue compilations is a BullShit move.

Nothing officially live was documented during the 94 Crue tour so its good to see that John all these years later took it upon himself to do something about it!

Case you’re wondering I purchased this off of iTunes for $9.99. Amazon.ca has it for about $14 bucks on CD. Either way ….

GET THIS!

 

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Riot/Born In America(1983)

 

 

1983 was a great year in Metal as all the bIg shots had records out and in my world some of the  biggest were Def Leppard with Pyromania/Iron Maiden with Piece Of Mind along with AC/DC with Flick Of The Switch!

Bubbling under were many and Riot man put out a great record here but no one noticed except myself and my buddy Muc!

Riot though suffered for some reason and never cranked it to the next level. So many sap acts did but the money/fame and success alluded these guys and well….

It was good to see Great Rock Writer Martin Popoff write a definitive history on Riot in his  awesome book Swords and Tequila. I reviewed the book last year as a great read as Martin had a ton of info that I could never find as a teen on these guys yet Popoff did his homework and 3 Decade’s later I finally got to read the Riot Story!

The sad thing is that Lead Guitarist Mark Reale passed away about 5 years ago from Crohn’s. Guy Speranza as well passed away back in 2003 and Rhett Forrester was murdered in an apparent car jacking back in 1994.

Though they are no longer with us. These three cats have left us with the Gift of Hard Rock…..

Riot though delivers on all fronts with this record. Speaking of which the other three members of Riot are Guitarist Rick Ventura/ Bassist Kip Lemming and Drummer Sandy Slavin.

Opener Born In America opens the album and the band has a big rock sound for this album and Rhett is laying down the vocal law right off the bat. I posted the video at the top and yup that was the lame-o album cover that was used(a different cover was reissued at the back-end of the 80’s) That is the only negative thing about this album and that’s the cover.

You Burn In Me would have been  great single back in 84 and even though it’s has single written all over it. Riot though especially with Slavin’s drums kick it in the ass and keeps the song from lagging. Pretty cool axe work as well.

Now this is where the album ramps up and that’s Wings Of Fire that once again feature Slavin’s drums and Forrester’s singing. Popoff’s explains in his book that Rhett is rock n roll and lived the style so if that is the case (I believe Martin) than I guess you could say that Wings Of Fire is Rhett N Roll! Real slick hard rock chorus as well!

Running From The Law is a straight ahead no frills rock track but for some reason this works as it’s ok for Riot to chill out and have a little Quiet of a Riot (ok that was pathetic) but you can’t be going balls out all the time or can you?

Devil Woman is the tune made famous by HMO’s Uncle, Cliff Richard. Not a bad cover actually but lot’s of acts  in 83/84 were covering tunes.

Vigilante Killer is just that. Riot mixed up with some bad apples and this is just straight ahead street rock. No frills  here folks.

Rhett hollers on Heavy Metal Machine. Slavin drives this song with his drums. Reale and Ventrua play some hot rod rocking riff’s! This tune makes you wanna break things…hahaha!

Gunfighter is one of my fav’s off of this album…just watch and listen below…Great catchy chorus!

Promised Land is one of those end of albums jam tunes built by the riffs of Reale and Ventura. Good end of the album send off…

Riot under go the Lead Singer change and kept slugging away even opening for KISS on the Lick It Up Tour.  Due to losing record company deals and some bad deals that ended this band and  Riot just called it a day.

In 1988 Reale resurrected Riot got a record deal and recorded a new album called ThunderSteel. I bought it of course on name alone but this was a different Riot. No original dudes and I just couldn’t get into it! No Rhett/No Guy/No Deke…

Having said this if you come across any Riot albums pre 83 check em out!

Dokken: Live From The Sun(2000)

 

Dokken released this pretty decent Live album back in 2000. It features 3/4’s of the original lineup of 80’s dudes that being Don Dokken/Jeff Pilson & Mick Brown.  On guitar though is Reb Beach (Winger/Whitesnake)  as original Guitar Guy George Lynch is nowhere to be found.

11 songs are featured on Live From The Sun and there’s a good smattering of vintage Dokken tunes and a couple of newbie tracks that with one which I thought was a real cool addition. More on that later…

Dokken I bought all their stuff back in the 80’s and even as once  they imploded I bought(in 1990) the debut Lynch Mob record Wicked Sensation and the ridiculously fantastic Don Dokken ‘Up From The Ashes” discs.

Course in 1995 Dokken regrouped with the four original guys and blasted out the very good Dysfunctional album with Lynch in tow and than once again they  imploded under Dapper Don and Curious George not getting along and basically “Pissy Pants’ between the two once again derailed Dokken.

Dokken though kept plugging away with different string benders like John Norum and on this album with Beach manning the fretboard.

This live album was recorded in Anaheim(on both video and audio) and has Dokken in pretty decent form. The selling point for me was plain and simple  The Hunter was one of the tracks that for some reason Dokken had never recorded live before. It’s such a huge track and this song features all the trimmings of 80’s Dokken that I dig. Decent groove/Good vocals and a real slick guitar solo.

Course the typical Dokken Nuggets are scattered throughout. Kiss of Death has Beach flexing his guitar muscle throughout the track. Into The Fire/Breaking The Chains/It’s Not Love/Tooth and Nail are all blasted out at a decent clip and of course the biggie power ballad Alone Again is featured which is ok as this tune sold the Tooth and Nail album and propelled Dokken into the big league.

One of the real decent tracks is Too High To Fly which is a 13 minute stomper of a track and is one of the better songs released by Dokken  in the 90’s. Great hooky chorus plows this track forward.

Overall this is a good Dokken album. The production is real good and the Bass sounds wicked on these tracks.  Don was still sounding decent and even though this style of music was no where selling millions like it was 10 years earlier (1990) good on bands like Dokken that were still out their plying their trade…..

 

Queen: Innuendo(1991)

My Queen collection is patchy at best! Having said that Queen Rocks Montreal and especially 1980’s The Game are albums I love but it was cool to get into Innuendo as both myself and my daughter Lexie both love it.

Speaking of which I really like this cover and colour scheme used…

Speaking of Lexie it was along with her twin sister Lauren who were both in the High School Production of We Will Rock You that I hadn’t  heard tracks from this album in a long  time! The title track Innuendo and Headlong were both featured in the play. This of course piqued my curiosity!

So this past Christmas(2017) there was Innuendo under the tree and it was a quick trip to the turntable…..

Queen in 1991 had signed a new record deal and things were on the up an up but of course behind the scenes Lead Singer Freddie Mercury was very sick but by his vocal performance here you would have never known!

Innuendo the title track opens the album and it’s what you would expect from these guys! This is a Queen and Zeppelin Mashup of Kashmir. Big drums/Epic Guitars and Fred delivers it in spades as you know he would! This song is easily one of my fav’s in the Queen catalogue as here is Queen almost all but forgotten in North America as the early 90s rolled in but Fred/Brian May/John Deacon/Roger Taylor put a stamp er I mean STOMP and set off with this epic over 6 minute track.

I’m Going Slightly Mad shifts gears and it’s almost new wavy 80’s synth n slide which is an exact opposite of the bombastic opener of Innuendo but then again Queen never played by the rules now did they. This tune sounds like programmed drums but does feature a real cool slide guitar solo by Brian May.

Headlong is a quick hit a run number as when Fred opens his mouth your hooked by the catchiness of his voice. The music just takes it to another level. Real cool power riffs courtesy of May! Great harmonies it’s all here in this track!

Back to a mid 80’s like vibe with I Can’t Live With You. Mid tempo track. May as he does on many Queen tracks lifts off with the solo along with some nifty keyboard work as well.

Ride The Wild Wind to me sounds like electric drums playing in double time. The sound of this track reminds  me of that TV Show Miami Vice!?? I just has that vibe of a mid 80’s TV song but the solo on this track is wicked good. So for all the techno trappings Queen at times would immerse themselves Brian May would deliver knockout solo’s!

Big time Choir like vocals are featured on All God’s People and is once again a different sounding tune. Too be honest a little to left field for me. It’s an interesting  song to say the least.

These are the Days of our Lives is chill like Queen and the quiet music vibe with Fred’s voice carries this song.

Ha …Fred sings about the joys of his life and that’s his cat named Delilah. I did read there was some arm bending by some to get this song on this album. Its Quirky Queen perhaps showing a side of them that everything doesn’t need to be taken seriously all the friggin time…

Don’t Try So Hard is your Queen prototype ballad track. Start slow and build it up and have the big dynamic chorus or in these guys case the word Bombastic needs to be applied here.

Love this next song and watch yourself as The Hitman  wants your life! Queen digs into a  deep sleaze like riff but it features a few breakdowns and a few ramps up with an added dose of those big vocals. Tons of riffing and Queen smashing around all kinds of sonics and Frigg thanks Fred for still kicking ass as your health wasn’t the best.

After the Hitman takes you out it’s onto Bijou which is very mellow but what fantastic guitar riffing throughout this song.

Innuendo ends with a big sonic sendoff and that would be The Show Must Go Own. I hate to use the term ballad with these guys as Queen changed there dynamics around so much that ‘Ballad’ doesnt need not apply here.  Kind of a fitting send off after what would happen in November of 1991.

Why the Hell did it take me 26 years to get into Innuendo?  Thanks to my daughters play and the opening tune being Innuendo it had me hooked. Another reason would be as I had stated earlier that my purchasing curve was scattered throughout Queens tenure. After the brilliant The Game I did not buy another Queen album  till 1988’s The Miracle on cassette no less! The Miracle I purchased on the strength of the song I Want It All and  that song hooked me in with May’s power chords and catchy chorus. To be honest I actually like to this day  Khashoggi’s Ship better than I Want It All. Still though it must be said that Fred battling Aids and being sick still put out a wicked effort vocally on this album. The Show Indeed does go on!

 

 

Whitesnake: The Purple Tour(2018)

Las Vegas oddsmakers are betting that Ladano purchases all formats of The Purple Tour by this upcoming  March!

Old Bones David Coverdale keeps the Whitesnake Train chugging down the Money Tracks and releases yet another live album!

Too be totally honest when Fellow Blogging pal John T Snow mentioned this album in his weekly Friday New Releases section. I Kinda dismissed this album in the comments on what Coverdale is still doing as this band for myself ended the day John Sykes got canned after recording the incredible  Whitesnake 87 album….

Saying that John T said he still digs this stuff and whatever Coverdale puts out he will support and buy it…

I thought for a few days about that last comment. Pondered Life for a bit. Pondered Whitesnake for a bit. Pondered that Crazy Cougar Chick that slinked around the hood of that car in the old Snake videos for a bit…..

Yeah you get the gist of it right?

So I seen The Purple Tour album on iTunes for $9.99 and took the plunge with a click! Would this be a regret? Dunno man I’m not giving it away so keep reading….

So I suppose the Snake crew wanted to add some of Davids past tunes with Deep Purple and viola a few years back came the Purple Studio album where Cov redid all his Purple tunes with his 80’s Hot Shot Guitar Duo of Reb Beach and Joel Hoekstra. 

So now comes the Live Portion …

Burn opens the album and each guy shows off as Cov intro’s them throughout their Hot Dog and A Shake Super Licks routine. No doubt these cats can sing and play and the music sounds quite live especially the mix of Tommy Aldridge’s drums. One part of it that doesn’t sound live is the backing vocals as they sound way to clean and crisp for a live setting. Now onto Dave’s voice well it has changed over the years and after smoking what 2 million Marlboros in his life  time I’m sure that doesn’t help matters but I recall back in 2009 when a whole  Snake tour was scrapped as Dave’s voice went kaput so perhaps he’s learned his lesson. He sounds different from that of the 80’s heyday but then again I don’t sing so perhaps I should shut the F@*K up about it…

There is a heavy dose of the Millions upon Millions selling 1987 Snake albums. 5 tracks out of the 13 songs from this album are on Purple live. Actually 5.5 tracks if you count the little added treat of Children of the Night dropped in the middle of Bad Boys. Give Me All Your Love and the monster tracks that propelled this album into superstardom those being Here I Go Again/Is This Love and the real mega meal deal of Still of the Night are here. The players here play em well. Not knocking em but man John Sykes and Coverdale need to work it out and Sykes can show these dudes the way the songs needed to be hard and that’s his way. What I mean by that well just listen to the 87 Evolutions Demos and hear Sykes and company lay down the law on the demos. I cannot get Sykes demo solo’s out of my head as the Fella was on fire…

But Deke its 2018 not 1987!

Correct a mondo but considering Sykes and Cov never performed these tunes ever together live and Cov’s 87-88 touring band kinda torpedoed and half assed their way through that Tokyo show.(included in the 87 Deluxe Edition) I got issues with that band man ….

Hey my right as I have paid dough for Snake stuff so I will spout off….

Back to the current as there is nothing wrong with these versions its just kinda like a real good Coverband doing Coverdales stuff…

Easy Folks …..

Here I Go Again is a crowd singalong tune and you really notice Cov’s voice make over on this one. The Music is good and what not but the pace is kinda weird….

I actually on this release did enjoy the Purple tunes that Dave recorded back decades ago when he was fronting Deep Purple as I don’t own any of this stuff.

Mistreated and You Fool No One are great tunes and Snake even tone it down for Soldier of Fortune. Interesting spin considering this album is full of Guitar stuff and noodling whatnot it’s at times like this that it’s cool for the 80’s Metal Shredders to take a few minutes of downtime!

Course some ol school pre 1984 MTV driven Snake is included in the form of the great track Ain’t No Love In The Heart of the City and Wowzer’s  “Ere’s a song for ya!” hollers Dave and wham bam thank you mam right into Fool For Your Loving. Course ‘Fool” is played like the 80’s Steve Vai guitar doodle workout as opposed to the Micky Moody/Bernie Marsden blues workout of the late 70’s early 80’s version of Snake…

Overall a decent purchase I suppose. The  David PurpleDale stuff for me is worth the purchase but the 87 tunes I dunno as these Hired Guns can play them great but …

Ah Fuck bring back Sykes/Dunbar/Murray and let it be 1987 again!

 

 

 

 

Random Listening 2.0

Now this is COOL! If you recall back a few weeks ago I posted my Top 10 Live and Studio albums for the World to see!
Fellow Blogger Pal “Destroyer of Harmony” from Australia posted his thoughts on my Top 10 Studio albums…
Check it out and while your at it follow ‘Destroyers” Blog as its a great Friggin read!

destroyerofharmony

A few of the people I follow on WordPress had their 2017 lists up and it got me interested to check out the music which made their lists.

So these random listens are from the WordPress site ….THUNDER BAY.

Greta Van Fleet – From The Fires

For the last four months, people have been telling me to check this band out. And when I did, I thought it was Wolfmother, an Aussie band who had a similar 70’s classic rock/metal feel to their music. All I know of them is that they are young. That’s all. How different to before, when we read the interviews in the magazines, saw the advertisements and basically knew how the album was made before we even purchased it or listened to it or dubbed it from a mate.

“Edge Of Darkness” is the song that hooked me. It’s feel and groove, which is…

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Izzy Stradlin & The Ju Ju Hounds(1992)

It’s always a real hoot when you’re rummaging around a Record Shop and you come across an album that you had no idea was out on vinyl!

In this case its the fantastic release from Izzy Stradlin & The Ju Ju Hounds. When this was released back in late 1992 it was CD all the way Baby but here we are in 2018 and Viola as soon as I seen it on vinyl it was an instant keeper.

Course it came with a $50 price tag as it was limited to 1000 copies and comes in an Orange Marble coloured vinyl which is real slick-looking! (It also helped that my daughter Lauren gave me spending cash for Christmas to use on albums…)

When the needle hit the groove we were off….What a great revisit with Izzy and the Hounds. Upon listening to this album now I hear a whole Tom Petty like vibe with this album as Izzy was trying to distance himself from his old band that he quit a year earlier. (We all know that band he was in) Amazing he just walked away and made a record exact opposite of his contributions  to Axl N Roses.

The 10 songs that make up the record are a laid back affair and if you one was looking for the Dust N Bones/14 Years kind of tunes that Izzy had written in Guns just keep moving along folk’s as you know Izzy distance himself so much from that Circus as far as possible!

Opener Somebodys Knocking has more to do with a Keith Richards solo artist vibe than anything. The Ju Ju Hounds are excellent players as well as Izzy roped in ex Georgia Satellites Guitarist Rick Richards which his speciality is that slippery slide guitar stuff that he did oh so well back in the hey day of the Satellites. On Bass is Jimmy Ashurst as well as Charlie Quintana on drums.

Once its apparent that this is no Guns spinoff which as a listener takes you about two minutes of Izzy to realize it out comes Track 2 which is the brilliant Pressure Drop which ramps the pace up to about a 110 miles per hour with a driving Bass line locked in with the drums and Frigg Man it’s so catchy “Pressure Drop Oh Pressure Drop Down On You” the song than all of a sudden goes into left field with a reggae like vibe. Silly Izzy had me going there……Great track!

The first single that dropped from this album Shuffle It All is in my  mind anyway the best track Izzy has ever written along with Ashurst they hit one out of the park as I’m thinking this is a pretty autobiographical as it gets for Izzy. Basically once again packing up your bags and moving on! In other words Adios Axl! Shuffle it all is an excellent mash of the Stones and Petty. Pure Bliss….

Train Tracks is a great rocker track that opens Side 2 with Richards doing his patented slide guitar work. How Will It Go and Cuttin The Rug keep the laid back rock vibe going while Ronnie Wood shows up on his own track that Izzy covers and they bang out Take A Look At The Guy. 

When Izzy released this back in 1992 it was a far away as possible from Bombastic as you could go. Stradlin was smart man as he made a record exact opposite of his previous band(In which he wrote the best songs as far as I’m concerned in that Band)

Speaking of which I read that Geffen put this record out before Izzy signed his contract as he stated “Just get my shit out there!” By out Izzy  meant not into the mainstream which is probably why this record never really took off….

Izzy even though he’s been out of the spotlight he has been productive since 1992 releasing 11 solo albums all on the downlow with no fan fare and still has Richards in tow as his guitarist. Some of these are iTunes only releases so it was a pleasant surprise a few weeks back when I did in fact come across this Gem on vinyl no less!