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!

Motley Crue:The Dirt (Soundtrack)- 2019

 

So to go along with the biopic movie on NETFLIX comes Motley Crue with a soundtrack of all your fav-o Crue tunes from the past and four new tunes,well three new tunes and a fourth which is a cover tune(keep reading friends!)!

Track List-
01. The Dirt (Est. 1981) feat. Machine Gun Kelly
02. Red Hot
03. On With The Show
04. Live Wire
05. Merry-Go-Round
06. Take Me To The Top
07. Piece Of Your Action
08. Shout At The Devil
09. Looks That Kill
10. Too Young To Fall In Love
11. Home Sweet Home
12. Girls, Girls, Girls
13. Same Ol’ Situation (S.O.S.)
14. Kickstart My Heart
15. Dr. Feelgood
16. Ride With The Devil
17. Crash And Burn
18. Like A Virgin

Pretty decent mish mash of Crue tunes and you can see how important a Soundtrack can be in promoting a movie, In other words look no further than what Queen did with the Bohemian Rhapsody soundtrack which in my mind is the best movie soundtrack of all time in the Rock Field!

Motley does there best of course with a 14 pack of the Sleazeball Rock that took em from the Gutter Bars to the Arenas in the roaring storming 80’s! As an added  feature is the four new tracks written and recorded for this album  pushing the track total up to 18 songs!

I get it Nikki Sixx wants to put the big tunes from the Glory Days to entice the casual music buyer  to purchase this  that may not be the biggest CrueHead in existence but one who knows the Crue Hits from yesteryear via video’s or even todays satellite radio!

I will give Sixx credit as he went five songs deep from Motleys sizzling debut Too Fast For Love. Four tracks deep from 1984’s Shout at the Devil and another three pack of hits from 1989’s Dr Feelgood.

Only one track appears from each 1985’s Theatre of Pain and 1987’s Girls Girls Girls release so I guess that tells you where Motley Crue themselves would rate these albums….

Than the true selling feature for me was in purchasing the four (one being a cover tune) new songs that piqued my curiosity level in wanting to purchase this is for those tracks.

So without further adieu  here’s my 2 cents worth of babble on what Nikki/Vince/Mick and Tommy have been up to in the studio!

First of all smart move bringing Bob Rock to produce these tunes as you know the sounds will be there!

The Dirt (Est. 1981) feat. Machine Gun Kelly- Is the first song on the Soundtrack and the first new song these guys have recorded since i dunno when! At first when I seen the name Machine Gun Kelly I thought aargh whats the Rap guy doing on here! (Kelly plays Tommy Lee in the movie) but you know this tune works well with Mr Machine Gun blitzing a bunch of words at hyper speed while the Crue lays down some law on the instruments. Vince sounds good vocally but then again anyone does in the studio right? Still though it’s good to hear Vinnie sing a full song while it’s a total pleasure to hear Mick Mars riff about as well.

Ride With The Devil opens with Tommy smacking those drums and for added pleasure there’s some cowbell being smacked about! Pretty wicked groove that this tune has going for it actually as Mars plays some mean slide guitar throughout it  as well!

Crash And Burn in my opinion is the best of the bunch. Just a slick cool rock track which really ramps up during the chorus. Mars like he does on all these new tracks keeps his solo’s short n sweet but Mick is the glue that holds these tunes together!

There’s a running theme of the use of the word DIRT multiple times on the three new studio tracks which is kinda silly but  It’s Motley’s deal so Dirt is the word!

Just like how I thought the Crue lost there marbles letting a rap guy sing on a Motley tune comes the cover of Madonna’s Like A Virgin which I first I dismissed without listening to it. Course I had to cue it up and listen to it and guess what? It’s a decent spin on it musically. Whatever Sixx did to the verses of the tune works well actually real well. Vince singing the chorus as a 60 year old guy is friggin borderline creepy but that’s the Crue doing something to create a buzz whether it be a good buzz or bad buzz but a buzz never the less!

The three Motley originals are pretty good actually. A different sound, maybe more Generation Swine than Dr Feelgood but this band is a way different beast than the broke band that recorded the first two classic albums of their career.

Basically this is a pretty decent Compilation/Greatest Hits set to go along with flick!

Bottom line is I’m digging it!

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MAX THE AXE: Status Electric(2018)

While Kitchener Ontario’s fav-o Blogger Micheal Ladano morphs into Doc McGhee promoting local bands (which is great thing).  Mikey also writes and  gives these guy’s exposure via his blog/social media! Doc Ladano  should be commended!

Atta Boy Sir!

One of those bands that Mikey has championed the cause is Kitcheners own Max The Axe. Don’t be fooled by the name folks this isn’t some over the top Thrash Metal Act. No sir or Mam for that matter!

If you had a Music Blender and dumped some old school Sabbath/Headstones/Buggles and added  a shot of Danko Jones with a shot of BTO added into the mix as well out would spew Max The Axe!

A little later on I will explain the Music Blender which I’m sure you’re going  Sabbath? Headstones? Danko? BTO????????? Buggles????????????

Ha, well my review my ears! Anyways back a ways before Christmas this past year Mikey sent me a bunch of Max Webster CD’s along with Max The Axe which took me forever to get around to in which I apologize as the computer I have all my music on pooched and it was just recently I got it fixed up. Got my music back and now I’m backlogged on a bunch of stuff including this CD.

My apologies to the Max Fella’s but now its the time to toss down some thoughts on this…

First of all I’ll tell ya all right of the bat that this is a Pretty  Damn Good CD! Now you may go “Yeah sure Deke, your just being a nice guy” In other words just Kissing Ass!

About that Kissing Ass comment. If this was a bad CD I would not review it as perhaps it’s not my cup of tea but perhaps to others it would be as I am not the be all end all so I would politely add it to my collection and move on but seriously this kinda of Rock is up my alley for the most part.

Speaking of reviews..Mikey I’m still waiting for that Four By Fate post to drop…hahaha(inside joke folk’s)

Status Electric is the name of the disc.

Opener River Grand is a great opener. More of the Sludgy Sabbath live groove especially when the guitars of Mike Koutis and the Bass of Tom Cole lock up in the solo. Tom does that Geezer Butler Bass walk among the fretboard on this song which is real cool slick move. Koutis has no problems at all inner channelling Tony Iommi. Very good guitar player as well as a songwriter!

Next Plane to Vegas has Uncle Meat tossing down some attitude which this track could have easily squeezed on the Headstones debut Picture of Health easily… Winner Winner Getting Chicken Dinner…Love this stuff..

Uncle Meat has a pretty slick rock voice as  I almost hear that King of Leon’s singer in his voice at times after a few downed Bourbons!

Randy is another Sabby like menacing stomp of a track that goes off into a different spin at times. Max the Axe can change the tempo of a tune like that. Bam! Done!

Call of the Wild has some  fine picking from Koutis as Uncle Meat makes the song work lyrically especially the mashing up with the background vocals during the chorus!

Love the punchy kick of Sick of Living which should be the soundtrack to Monday Mornings. How about that chorus. ‘ You Make Sick Sick of Living Tired Tired Weak Weak Cheat Cheat! Actually i just really dig the fist to your face attitude of this song. Great Job!

Nice slam of the drums by Dr Dave Haslam on The Other Side which I really dig as the tune goes from a stomp to another tempo change as the drums/bass/guitar dive headfirst into another deep groove.

Gods On The Radio has Uncle Meat sounding like Trevor Horn from the Buggles doing that Video Killed the Radio Star like vibe vocally during the verses. But when Meat tells you to turn it up louder you better or else… Scott Baio and Phil Collins would be impressed!

Uptite Friday Night is a great title and this is the tune I hear BTO! Yeah man I do. Listen to that rhythm guitar that sounds to me shades of Randy Bachman! But these guys speed the fuck out of it…Uncle Meat makes you believe that he is heading out and it will be alright!

Scales of Justice is the end of album 6  minute plus track. Pretty cool tune as it shows the chops of the band musically and vocally. Impressive for a 6 minute song to be placed at the end of the album. But yeah, Mad Max can pull it off… Click the song that I posted below and you can hear Scales of Justice for yourself! Axe Attack!

Best thing I can say about this album is there is no need to  skip tracks. It’s really cool to hear this disc (finally) and get some thoughts out on it.

Please do support local/independent bands like Max The Axe as every little bit helps. If your interested in these guys just ask me or get in touch with Doc Mchgee (Ladano) and he will hook ya up!

 

 

Cheap Trick: Heaven Tonight(1978)

 

Folk’s! Since I’m smashing out some KISS reviews this month. How about a review from the opening act on the KISS Can/Am 1977 North American Tour the one and only the  friggin brilliant  ‘Cheap Trick’!

If you want to talk about stellar albums look no further than Cheap Trick’s  1978 release ‘Heaven Tonight.’

This album is chock full of all kinds of Hooks N Classics! Look no further than this track listing!

Heaven Tonight:
1. Surrender
2. On Top of the World
3. California Man
4. High Roller
5. Auf Wiedersehen
6. Takin’ Me Back
7. On the Radio
8. Heaven Tonight
9. Stiff Competition
10. How Are You?
11. Oh Claire

This being the Third album, CT continue the path of what has no become Classic Rock Nuggets! I mean look no further than opener Surrender which has a ton of power pop included to kick the Trick Party off in style!

The 5 Songs that makeup Side 1 are all brilliant! Not a Dud among them and how about Tom Petersson and that Killer 4 or 8 or 12 String Bass that makes up Auf Wiedersehen! (Posted a killer live clip from 78 of Trick laying waste to Auf! Hmmm wonder where Rick got that guitar from??)

What an opening and belter of a track as Lead Vocalist Robin Zander proving without a doubt that if it makes the song that much better he will toss up a lung if he has too! Gotta love Bun E Carlos straight ahead driving drums that propel this track into orbit!

Side 2 is no dip whatsoever in the album. Perhaps not as rocking as Side 1 but these tunes hold their own as give the band credit as the title track is basically a psychedelic slow groove about drug use and how high can ya go?! Zander goes from almost losing his lungs at the end of Side 1 to digesting a huge Chill pill on the title track!

Rick Nielsen who had a hand in 10 of the 11 tracks (California Man being a cover tune written by Roy Wood) steps his writing game up 10 fold and man  what a writing binge that had Rick going on from the self titled debut in 1977 to basically 1982 and the One on One album before the wheels came of creatively  for a while…

Heaven Tonight is huge Rock Record which didn’t really start to sell in North America until after 1979’s Budokan! Better late than never right?!

But back in 78 you knew these Guys were going places…..

 

The Police:Ghost In The Machine(1981)

Been slowly collecting The Police’s excellent  studio output of material from 1978- 1983 when Crabby- Pants Sting (does this guy ever smile or laugh?)  and his two other hombres were starting to dominate the Charts and selling out  Arena Shows!

I admit it wasn’t until 1983’s mega Synchronicity that I really gave the Police a listen. Synchronicity is a stellar Top 15 album for me easy! But that’s another review for another time …..

Course in 1981 I was aware of Ghost In The Machine as local radio pounced on  opening two tracks which were Spirits In The Material World and Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic.

The Police as we all know were a trio and like many a trio around that time were excellent musicians as all three of the Police Fella’s knew there instruments inside out.

Sting – Bass, Keyboards, Saxophone, Lead Vocals
Andy Summers – Guitars, Synths, Backing Vocals
Stewart Copeland – Drums, Percussion, Backing Vocals

These 3 Cat’s could make their  albums sound HUGE like they were a 10 piece band. Plus you have to hand it to them in the production department as there records always sounded ahead of their time  and still do excellent today courtesy of Hugh Padgham. Take a bow Sir!

You can tell by this album which is Number Four in the Police studio catalogue that unlike the First Three Police albums Ghost In The Machine features more synths/horns which almost at time buries Andy Summers guitar throughout. I’m sure their was a ton of scrapping about  between Sting and Andy. Copeland as well I’m sure would join in and argue along just for the sake of arguing as you always heard his Drums!.  Come to think of it I think none of these guys liked each other but they somehow made it work and after 5 albums and HUGE success they divorced and of course reunited many years later!

Sting wrote all the tunes except for 3 songs. A  co write with Copeland (Rehumanize Yourself)  as well as Stewart delivered the puzzling end of the album synth tune  Darkness. Andy’s lone writing contribution is with Omegaman  in which you hear guitar!

Ghost In The Machine I came across on one of my  Record Store Jaunts and once I seen Ghost sitting in the racks for $5 Canadian it was no brainer Grab N Purchase!

 

 

ZZ TOP: Rhythmeem(1996)

It only takes Billy Gibbons two verses in on 1996’s title track Rhythmeem  to tell us the listener where we are headed!

“Can’t get enough of that special sauce
The backbeat’s the big boss
Here comes another dope fiend
Trading up for Rhythmeen”

There ya have it folks! The song  that kicks off what I would consider in my all Time Top 3 ZZ Album’s as voted by the Law Firm  of Deke/Derek and Stephen!

Yeah man I’m serious this album cooks up a hot batch of Sleazy  Style Blues wrangling around in some seedy shady sketched out Five and Dime watering hole in the backwoods of ZZ County!

Speaking of 1996. It was a funny year for new releases in the Old School Rock Field!

Judas Priest was Ripping around with a New Singer while Iron Maiden were trying to Blaze a new path with their New Lead Singer.  Van Halen meanwhile  were hyping us with some Roth n Roll to plug a new Greatest Hits set!

But at least one-act was still intact ….

So the Two LongBeards and Stache deliver a scorcher of a 12 pack of Rock! I mean look at this track listing…

1. Rhythmeen
2. Bang Bang
3. Black Fly
4. What’s Up With That
5. Vincent Price Blues
6. Zipper Job
7. Hairdresser
8. She’s Just Killing Me
9. My Mind Is Gone
10. Loaded
11. Prettyhead
12. Humbucking, Part 2

Those are just plain cool song titles if anything but of course the music does indeed do the talking!

The sound of this album is phenomenal. Raw Bluesy Rock as the mix of the drums sound excellent and this album is produced (by Joe Hardy) but yet doesn’t sound overproduced but keeping it simple.

Gibbons and his Guitar shine on this album. Every track is a Guitar Extravaganza and Billy doesn’t  over do it with the playing. Just listen to the track below to get an idea what I’m going on about…

Vincent Price Blues what a friggin brilliant track! Did ya listen to all 6 minutes of Blues Rock done right? I sure as Hell hope so!

This album is fantastic. Better yet there is two end of the album GEMS as I call em which are She’s Just Killing Me  followed by My Mind  Is Gone are brilliant as Billy-Dusty- Frank just strip the sound back to the basics as a trio and deal away with the ZZ Synth and just blast full tacos of  ZZ Rock…

Actually the whole album is basically down to a three-piece whether Billy did it all himself or not who knows as the other two guys are credited of course but you never know with these guys as Billy wrote all the songs but at least you know Dusty showed up one day to the studio to lay down the lead vocal of Loaded so…..

I’m sure ZZ’s Record Company lost their marbles over the fact that there were no real fancy selling tracks on Rhythmeem except for the Hard Blues Driven Harmonica squealing Whats Up With That. 

Come to think of it  after 1990’s Recycler album ZZ were free agents in regards as a band with no label and of course  all the labels tossed a ton of dough at acts that were free agents in the Music Biz like Motley Crue/R.E.M and Aerosmith who got huge money deals…

In the Top’s case…from 1994..

ZZ Top will become the latest pop act to jump on the recording industry’s mega-deal bandwagon when RCA Records officially announces the signing of a five-album pact–valued at more than $30 million….

Good news for ZZ Top but man the sales of albums after Recycler just hit bottom.  We all know Motley’s deal. Sign the new Contract/Fire the Lead Singer and watch your sales plummet..

Aerosmith signed their new recording deal with money in hand to their new company Sony back in 1991 when they owed Geffen one more album at the time (Get A Grip which came out in 1993!) and Aero laughed all the way to the tune of $25 million to the bank!

R.E.M signed a $80 Million deal and ummmm ..yeah…. Hey I’m not knocking R.E.M I dig them (Disturbance at the Heron House is a Great Track!) but 80 Mill???

I’m sure in all these cases some heads rolled at the Music Company HQ’s  after these signings when the sales of the 90’s did not come close to the sales of these bands 90’s output!

Ok…sorry to get off track but what I’m getting at is even though these albums by the Juggernaut acts of the 80’s didn’t sell anywhere near the numbers in the 90’s there were some fantastic releases that went ignored..

Rythmeem was one of em!

Seek It Out!

Quiet Riot: One Night In Milan(2019)

So I guess if you’re signed to an Italian Record Label(Frontiers) it is written in your contract to record and release a Live Album from Milan!

I have seen a few of these Live in Milan albums floating about iTunes.  I even purchased the LA Guns which was a pretty decent spin on a bunch of tracks by LA Guns that I had even  forgotten about!

So here’s L.A veterans Quiet Riot chugging out a 15 song set of all your favourite QR Tunes recorded last year…. Course there are the Complimentary Slade tracks tossed in for good measure!

01. ‘Run For Cover’
02. ‘Slick Black Cadillac’
03. ‘Mama Weer All Crazee Now’ (Slade cover)
04. ‘Whatever It Takes’
05. ‘Terrified’
06. ‘Love’s A Bitch’
07. ‘Condition Critical’
08. ‘Thunderbird’
09. ‘Party All Night’
10. ‘Freak Flag’
11. ‘I Can’t Get Enough’
12. ‘Wild & The Young’
13. ‘Let’s Get Crazy’
14. ‘Cum On Feel The Noize’ (Slade cover)
15. ‘Metal Health (Bang Your Head)’

So if you have been following these guys the last few years you know they have had a revolving door of vocalists( carrying on without Kevin Dubrow(RIP) but lately  seem to have settled on this current incarnation of QR..

James Durbin (vocals)
Alex Grossi (guitar)
Chuck Wright (bass)
Frankie Banali (drums)

Basically I bought this for a few reasons!

1- I love Live Albums…..

2- Face the facts Folk’s that back in 1983 if you were my age at the time (16 years young) you HAD a copy of Metal Health! Hell ,even my wife Sue who is not a huge music fan per se but she had a copy of Metal Health on cassette back in 83! Say what you want about it. Metal Health sold millions and was one of those albums that everyone bought even if your weren’t a Headbanger back in 83-84! Huge cross over album as everyone bought it! Metal Health still sounds good today!(especially on vinyl!)

3-Banali gets slammed lot’s in the press for still cruising  around playing shows with QR! Let it go Folk’s. Not worth the time and energy. If he was to bring this version to Thunder Bay I would go and have the past three times QR have rolled into Tbay!

4-It’s basically Greatest Hits set that is played Live so I would rather listen to something that is updated and not some rehash of another Greatest Hits Compilation compiled  by some  Suit at a Record Company who has no idea what he is putting together!

5- This along with Rival Sons latest Feral Roots came out on January 25th 2019 and are a couple of my first purchases this year(along with the Deluxe Edition of Skid Row)! QR especially! I mean who saw that coming??

Verdict….

A pretty damn fine Live Album that does sound Live!  Bootleg sounding. Durbin’s vocals are decent enough as he sings well and tries to get the crowd into it. The crowd is mixed down which when it comes to live records is an ok thing in my book as I cannot handle an overbearing screeching crowd…..

I really like the one-two punch of opener Run For Cover- Slick Black Cadillac. 

Interesting addition of ThunderBird in which Frankie tells the crowd that it’s the first time they are playing it live with a keyboardist! Once ThunderBird ends the band fires up Party All Night and we’re off and running again!

Must mention it was a great move to include some lesser known tunes like Terrified so along with the Hits so to speak QR dig back a little in the time machine to play some of those lesser known tune’s. They even play a couple of songs that they have put out recently as in Freak Flag and Can’t Get Enough. For a new tune Can’t Get Enough is a pretty decent song with a pretty slick driving Bass Line courtesy of Mr Wright!

Another personal fav-o song would be Wild and the Young. Great rock song period! Do u remember the video of this song from 1986? Set in a futuristic state where music is outlawed.. No  Rock N Roll !! No Rock N Roll! Haha..Man I miss the 80’s! Kevin Dubrow’s Lyrics from the Wild And The Young  say it all….

‘Times are changing
Nothing stays the same
For this jukebox generation
Adhere to fashion
Like computer games
Modern day communication’

 

Course the two biggie tracks of the catalogue Cum on Feel The Noise and Metal Health wrap up the show. It’s definitely  Bang Yer Head time! A good time Live Ass Kickin!

Don’t Scoff at this release Folk’s…

A lot of people are always trying to piss down  upon this band and everyone has an opinion but my opinion is Chill the Fuck Out! Just enjoy the Rock!

It’s always cool to be surprised by any kind of release at this point in my life and QR do indeed deliver with a totally live sounding effort!