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!

Metallica: 72 Seasons (2023)

“72 Seasons” have passed and Lars Ulrich still hasn’t stopped talking in that amount of time with that toothpick flapping around his lips….

“72 Seasons” isn’t about that? Well, what it is the new Metallica album which is the first one in seven years according to the diehards.

Too be honest I had preordered this on Amazon a few months again and then for some reason I cancelled it. I had no idea why.

Dan the local owner of “Spins Records” texted me a day before “72 Seasons” was about to drop the day before and asked me if I was interested in a vinyl copy as he got them in.

It’s about supporting local business so what the hell I figured. Pull me back a copy and I will be in the next day.

Once I was in the shop Dan told us that he put 14 copies of 72 Seasons on the shelf and within two hours of opening he sold 10 copies at $52 Canuck bucks a pop on record.

When this album dropped a few of my blogging pals reviewed “72 Seasons” and did fantastic jobs on it and to be honest I feel lazy right now so I’d rather like the experts handle it. Click the links below …

Metallica – 72 Seasons

Album Review: Metallica – 72 Seasons

Metallica – 72 Seasons

My 2 cents is I like this album and in fact its got lots of solid tune’s and  when I get out for my walks I can stream it and you can really do a deep dive into it as a listener.

I like the short stuff as in the title track and “Lux Eterna” but also I have to add that the last tune on the album “Inamorata” is beyond brilliant as its long with a real cool tempo change that almost is Sabbath like (to my ears that is).

For the hardcore fanatics I have read the “same ol same ol” blah, blah, blah but c’mon these guys are in there early 60’s. Do they have another tune like “Battery” in them to write? Nope, and why would they as since ’91 they have locked into more of a heavy slower groove  deal that I personally dig, so good on ’em!

deKe’s Vinyl Score of 72 Seasons- 8.5/10




Vinyl Purchases April 2023

Johnny Snow is the master of posting his monthly purchases as no one comes close to that guy. I thought what the hell I had a pretty decent month myself on the few albums that I purchased so let’s go..

In this 4 pack of rock posted above the only title that came from Amazon was the KISS “OFF THE SOUNDBOARD” release from Poughkeepsie NY from 84. It’s a great listen as you get schooled in the short KISStory of one Mark St John who only played 3 shows with the band and it was released 39 years later!  The next three came from our local record store Spins. Aerosmith’s  “Pump” was one I need to add so now I have all Aero records from 1971 through to 1990 and of course “Nine Lives” (97) which I got a few months ago as well.

I have to add that copy of “Reload” came from Dan the owner of Spins who knew of my health issues and gifted me that record or as he called it “it’s on the house”. A lot of people could learn how to run a business from Dan. Thank you kindly Sir! You have given me Fuel and Fire for the Vinyl I desire!

Speaking of Dan and Spins which hosted it first ever RSD event and it was a huge success. When I arrived along with the other crew known as The Old Man Record Club (OMRC) at about 7:15am we were already about the 15th peeps standing in line. Thunder Bay showed up as the doors didn’t open til 8am which the line grew close to 40 people easy.

As you can see posted above I grabbed two double live albums. Pearl Jam “Give Away” which is a live show from Melbourne back in ’98 with Jack Irons on the drums. This is my first live PJ purchase so I was due to get one at some point.

DIO “Live in Fresno ’83” I had my eye on it as soon as Dan posted pictures of his titles that were coming in for the day. This is my favourite lineup of DIO as Vivian Campbell scorches his fretboard on this release which features not only DIO’s “Holy Diver” material but also a couple of tracks from Ronnie’s time in Rainbow and Sabbath!

The day after RSD there was a record fair at a Downtown location and I think there were about seven different sellers of records which they called Record Roundup!

Pictured above are my vinyl scores from that Record Roundup. The Pursuit of Happiness (TPOH) with the classic Todd Rundgren produced “Love Junk” which is a classic album of Power Pop with crunchier guitars (Hello Mr Max Badfinger) which was a great score.

Tesla with the debut “Mechanical Resonance” is one I have been on the hunt for so another fine purchase. All hail Tommy Skeoch!

I have a very beat up copy of Ozzy’s “Ultimate Sin” so I was beyond psyched when I saw this mint copy for $10! I couldn’t believe my luck on it. The only thing missing is the inside sleeve for whatever reason as the vinyl is in mint condition. Funny enough both copies of “The Ultimate Sin” I got both have no inside sleeves!!

Finally what may be my ultimate score is the fourth album from the brilliant Cinderella which is “Still Climbing”. This was an sealed unofficial release but I don’t care as this now completes my collection on vinyl of the Cinderella’s!

Overall April was a pretty decent month. Thanks to Dan and Spins for making a lot of this happen for us VinylHeads here in Thunder Bay.

Deep Purple: The House of Blue Light (1987)

Funny thing was I bought this back on CD perhaps mid 1988 when I was snapping up disc’s at a quicker rate than Tbone pounding back beer.

MuchMusic was where I saw the debut single/video from Deep Purples’s  The House of Blue Light ( was the followup to the brilliant Perfect Strangers from ’84) which was Bad Attitude.

What a killer track and the rest of the album must be as well..

Well sort of ….

I have seen this sitting in the bins at my local record shop Spins for the last while so I figured I need to give this record a good home!

“Bad Attitude” if it had been on “Perfect Strangers”  that to me would have been the ultimate Purple album. Wait a minute “Perfect Strangers” is the ultimate Purple album to my ears anyways with or without  “Bad Attitude”!

I am no way an expert in anything Purple but I enjoy there stuff yet this album is like Side’s 3 and 4 to “Perfect Strangers” as you can’t really blame them for trying to repeat the success.

“Call of the Wild”,  “Mad Dog” and “Black And White” (with some cool harp) are straight ahead 80s rockers, so you can’t fault these old geezers at the time trying to fit in with the Cinderella’s/Dokken’s and all the hard rock bands at the time that were dominating the charts.

Side 2 lifts of with “Hard Drivin’ Woman” which is another straight head no nonsense rocker even “Spanish Archer” is neat as to me that track doesn’t sound Purple like but hey I could be wrong. I like Blackmore’s playing on this tune.

“Dead Or Alive” wraps things up and is a decent enough ending.

To be honest with you I have not listened to this  since 1989 or so..

Not bad …not great ..

deKe’s Vinyl Score of House of Blue Light …7/10


W.A.S.P: First Blood Last Cuts(1993)

W.A.S.P was always one of those bands where I liked some stuff (self titled debut) and at other times I  had a hard time getting into some of these other albums at all (“Inside The Electric Circus) Had no idea this compilation has been out since 1993!

Sorry Blackie ,wasn’t my attention at all to snub ya….

When I came across this vinyl copy of which is basically a  Greatest Hits set I was intrigued as I’m normally not big on these things but when I looked at the track listing of it I purchased it. Look at that opening track the all time classic “Animal”! How could I not buy this?!! For the record my pal Deano has the original EP of “Animal” which he has had since 1984 so if anyone has deep pockets maybe he will part with it!

Side Three is what sold me on this album as “The Headless Children” record I always liked and at some point will track down on vinyl as the late Frankie Banali is a beast on that album. The cover of The Who’s “Real Me” is a solid ass kicker!

For myself this is a great addition as the second album “Last Command” features two tracks on here which are “Wild Child” and “Blind In Texas” which are the only two I actually remember from said album.

As far as the packaging goes its a gatefold which is cool with the credits on who played on what tracks but it’s kinda slim pickings after that.

I suppose in the end its really the music that matters and its a pretty decent cross section of material from W.A.S.P’s mid to late 80’s hey day!

deKe’s Vinyl Score …..8.5/10


KISS: OFF THE SOUNDBOARD-Poughkeepsie NY (1984)

Cool that KISS is cranking these soundboard’s out at a decent clip. No frills packaging which is no biggie as it’s what’s on the inside that matters.

So here come’s the fifth authorized soundboard bootleg that being a show recorded back on November 28th 1984 in Poughkeepsie NY. The real kicker here is its one of the few shows that Vinnie Vincent’s replacement Mark St. John played with the band.

Now before I go any further I have to add that shows like this one were recorded back than that were probably not to be released yet here we are 39 years later and Gene and Paul should be applauded at putting out a historical piece of KISStory!

It’s been about 45 years or so since  I joined the KISS ARMY  and I have seen the good, the bad and the ugly with these guys yet at times they still amaze me that they can put stuff out like this show that keeps me interested.

Good to see some Eric Carr live shows coming out after the “Creatures” box set from last year and now this one.

Now for the sound. I have been reading out there people are nit picking it along with the performances and the tempos. Who cares folks, be happy as KISS ’84 was a different animal live. KISS was trying to keep up with the young metal bands (Def Leppard) at the time and perhaps the heavier bands at the time(Judas Priest).

Even Paul Stanley was trying to be badass frontman back in 84 dropping F-Bombs and  going on about the usual KISS on stage banter that being the topics of bras and Love Guns. Still though this album for me is a charm for two reasons.

1- Mark St. John. KISS wanted a shredder and they got one. Sure he’s kinda all over the map at time’s on here but give the guy a break as there he was playing the few shows he did with not only Gene and Paul watching him but off in the distance was his replacement Bruce Kulick.

2- Neat to hear some live stuff from “Lick it Up” (“Young & Wasted”, “Fits Like A Glove”, “Lick It Up”) plus a couple from there current album at the time they were plugging, “Animalize” (“Heaven’s On Fire” and “Under The Gun”).

KISS rips and rolls over these tunes at a fast clip and I’m good with it. This is a warts n all release if there ever was one. As well you get the disclaimer saying that two songs are incomplete which is fine as it’s better than them not being on here….

deKe’s Vinyl Score of OFF The  Soundboard Poughkeepsie….8.5/10

Cheap Trick: Live At The Whiskey 1977 (2023)

I never buy CD’s anymore but when I saw this on Amazon a few months ago I had to get it! I was smart enough to preorder it as you can see by the sticker on the cover only 2,000 copies of this set were manufactured.

These live show’s were  recorded over two days (June 3rd and 4th 1977) at the Whiskey in Los Angeles which  as a listener you realize how great this band was at tearing up bar stages throughout the U.S at this point.

These four shows (two early performances and two late shows) sound awesome as the Trickster’s rip up that Roxy stage as at the time they were in L.A recording what would become their second release “In Color”.

With the four shows included here they mix up each set a little bit as tunes like “Auf Wiedersehen”,”High Roller” and “Southern Girls” which are played on these nights would not be heard until the “Heaven Tonight” release in 1978!

So cool that they were stage testing those three tracks as well. This kind of stuff is brilliant and over the course of these four shows no “I Want You To Want Me” or “Surrender” are played  which to be honest I’m totally ok with! Love em but have heard em way too much over the last 40 plus years.

Trick themselves pull out all the stops on this set as the band is killing it live and even at certain points you hear Robin Zanders voice get a little hoarse but thats to be expected as singing 60 songs over two nights is a mind blower! Ah, to be young again.

A pretty cool story to all of this is I had the privilege of having Cheap Trick historian Robert Dawson on and our half hour chat was all about this release. Robert knows his stuff and shared with me that  time he saw Cheap Trick about a month later in Winnipeg opening for KISS in the summer of ’77!

Give it a watch below and thanks for taking the time!

“Live At The Whiskey 1977” has Cheap Trick rocking over the course of three nights (two of which are recorded for our listening pleasure) and like many live albums from the 70s there is no way this one is fixed up. Also I have to add that as I told Robert that if your looking for Cheap Trick the band that plays “The Flame” you won’t find it here. You will find though the band that wrote “He’s A Whore” to kick you in the ass!

I have to add the packaging is awesome, excellent written liner notes in a booklet and each disc’s insert has each of the fella’s pics on them.

Bravo to Tom, Rick, Bun E and Robin!

deKe’s score of Tricks “Live At The Whiskey”….10/10

AC/DC-Touch Too Much: The Bon Scott Years- Live

You have to love the fact that when you walk into a local record shop (SPINS) here in Thunder Bay and see under the new release rack this classic triple vinyl bootleg set of AC/DC.

Two shows, one from San Fransisco (1977) and the other from Baltimore(1979) have been circulating in various different formats in the bootleg market but this set features both shows.

“The King Biscuit Flower Hour” back in the day would broadcast over radio live concerts by various rock acts of the day. I’m thinking when AC/DC’s show was recorded in Baltimore for  Flower Hour should have changed to Power Hour when Angus and the boys showed up that October night back in 1979!

Spread out over two records AC/DC at this show were on fire! Bon is in great form telling the audience to chill out not to cause a ruckus but then again thats what AC/DC wanted back then a unruly crowd going bonkers.

Touring on the back of there classic “Highway To Hell” record this setlist has them playing only three tracks from the current record.

“Shot Down In Flames”, “Highway To Hell” are two of those tracks from the studio record but for me the real gem is Angus and the boys smashing out “If You Want Blood” (after a little solo from Angus) which rips right into set closer “Let There Be Rock” which is played at such a quick clip like a locomotive coming straight for ya!

Speaking of “Let There Be Rock”, AC/DC were playing more from that record than the one that followed which was “Powerage” which is kinda surprising.

Then again AC/DC was breaking into the North American market so they were basically selling to the crowd their  back catalog which makes sense.

Such a killer show….

The third vinyl is a show from San Fransisco from ’77 which was the Let There Be Rock Tour. The real selling feature is Malcolm and crew were road testing songs from the yet to be released “Powerage” album that would hit the stores a year later in 78.

“Up To Neck In You” and “Kicked In The Teeth Again” are played and the cool thing is “Kicked In The Teeth” is played at a different clip tempo wise than the version that ended up on the studio album.

That kind of stuff is GOLD!

“The Jack” gave me a good laugh as Bon is going on about gonorrhoea like only he could go about it making it sound quite funny..  Man, those tours back than must been something else!

Another great score and you can just feel the energy coming from that San Fran stage.

Congrats to whoever put this package together did it right. Triple gatefold (posted above) with the proper spelling of song titles and band members.

How about that slick look of the classic red vinyl and also this set is limited to only 750 copies and I scored 141!

deKe’s Vinyl Score of The Bon Scott Years live- 10/10

Black Sabbath: Live Evil (1983)

What I find amusing currently in the world of rock is the fact that Journey is a band that is suing each other.

Neil Schon and Jon ‘The Preacher’ Cain are there night after night up onstage yet (collecting huge paycheques) they are both being pissy with each other over finances or whatever it is they are haggling over.

I tell you all as an outsider I love reading this stuff as those two guys are millionaires yet they are tweaked sideways with each other for whatever reason.

Old Man Rock Drama… It’s the best!

So now you’re probably going “why is deKe yakking about Journey?” Well, kids its simple as back in  82 a whole lotta  pissy pants rock drama went down with Sabbath while mixing this album.

So the Sabs were riding high with Ronnie James Dio fronting the band and his pal Vinny Appice on the drums along with of course Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler. So it was decided that Sabbath would record some shows (Seattle, Dallas and San Antonio) for a live album titled “Live Evil”(perfect title for a live Sabbath record if you were to ask me).

From what I have read the tensions were building on the “Mob Rules” tour as the and was divided into two camps. Tony/Geezer on one side and Vinny/Ronnie on the other.

Guess things really boiled over when the band was mixing this live record as Tony and Geezer were coked out of there heads and didn’t show up to the studio whereas Ronnie and Vinny did and due to a breakdown in communication the band blew apart before “Live Evil” hit the shops. (you can read about this online its everywhere if you are looking for a more detailed account)

So by January ’83 when the double live record hit store shelves this incarnation of Sabbath was done.

A shame really as I prefer the Dio fronted Sabbath as “Mob Rules” (studio album) was my entry point into their world back in 81.

Love that gatefold and the 14 songs presented here is a great cross section of material during not only Dio’s time in the band but also Ozzy’s time as well.

How much fixing up did this record undergo in the studio? I have no idea and I really don’t care as this is a great time capsule of a band that had put out two stellar studio albums and one live album in under three years and yet they were done.

Dio does the Ozzy tunes justice and in his own style whereas Tony, Geezer and Vinny drive the band with they’re musical muscle chops.

Now in regards to this live album when it hit the stores Tony and Geezer really laid out Ronnie and Vinny under the bus. Look at the credits on the back cover pictured below.

Has there ever been any Dio release (Rainbow or solo) where the credits have the singer listed as Ronnie Dio and no James in the middle?

How about Vinny Appice being listed in smaller print under the “Special Guests” on the album below the Keyboardist (Geoff Nicholls) who was offstage on the tour.


Course the album was produced by Tony and Geezer as well so there’s that issue I’m sure with Dio at the time.

The reason why I brought up Journey drama at the top of the page as it would have made for some great reading if back in ’83 there was social media like Twitter and FaceCrack so these guys could have been verbally been taken cheap shots at each other. But just like the Journey fiasco I could have sat at home and read about the silliness pettiness between millionaires.

In saying all that I have never owned this album in any format until a few weeks ago when I came across it in my local record shop (Spins) for $15! (I had it taped for me on cassette tape back in high school from a fella named Dave Kumas who was a huge Sabbath fan). So for me this album is so worth it now to own on vinyl.

deKe’s Vinyl Score of Live Evil….8.5/10




Holy F**K what just happened here?

Finally a decent record shop in town(Spins) that gets new and used vinyl in as well as the odd import.

So there I was one Saturday morning scouring the new arrivals for the week and staring right back at me was this German pressing reissue of KISS’s much talked about concept album that went no where that being  “The Elder” that has taken a  beating by so many in the fan base over the years….

I was one of them back in the day as “The Elder” when if first came out back in the fall of 81 myself and my pal Muk being 14 at the time we’re confused when Muk bought this record.

I liked some of it, not all of it. I never bought until the early 90’s on CD. Once I got back into buying vinyl back in 2017 I came across a Canadian pressing of it for a cheap price so I grabbed it.

Now here we are in 2023 and “The Elder” is staring at me. Do I pull the trigger and grab this? I thought about it told my pals Probie and Scottie about it. Scottie is a huge KISS fan and told me he ordered this pressing of the German “The Elder” last year and said the packaging was really done well as well as the album was in the proper running order.

F**K it! Off to the cash register and well you know the rest….

Lot’s of added stuff in this reissue which adds to the value of it. I like the how Starchild is flexing his rock muscle below while wearing a pink headband. Atta boy Paulie!

Not only that but the lyrics came printed in German as well….

But also in English so I can sing along to those lyrics on “The Oath”.

“Like a blade of a sword I am forged in flame Fiery hot Tempered steel fire-bright to the night I take I fear not Now compelled by something I cannot see I go forth surrendering to history”

See, thats why I was confused as a KISS fan back in 1981. Actually if were being honest I’m still confused about this in 2023! So nothings really changed! HA!

As I said earlier the album in the proper track order. If they had run with the original track order of this album  in 81 it would have been hard to to get past Track 1 and 2 which is “FanFare” and “Just A Boy” whereas “The Oath” led things off on the original pressing.

My preference is how it’s set up now where Side 2 is much stronger in terms of the material. (“Dark Light”, “Escape From The Island”, “The Oath” and “I”).

Look at that pic below. I got there autographs. Even more surprising is Ace got the bigger picture. How did that get past Mean Gene and Pauls radar?

When looking back at things. Sure “The Elder” is not even in my Top 5 KISS records (or maybe it is) but in 2023 this is a worthy upgrade and really is a great reissue.

Love me the Gatefold…

deKe’s Vinyl score of The Elder (German reissue) Songs…8/10

deKe’s packaging score of The Elder (German reissue)..10/10

Black Sabbath: Dehumanizer (1992)

1992 was a weird year in music. I kept buying music from the usual suspects that put out new music (Iron Maiden, KISS, Jovi, Leppard)  but I was also trying to keep up with the joneses on what was the current sound at the time (Nirvana, Alice In Chains, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam).

One band that put out a record was Black Sabbath who were back together with Ronnie James Dio and Vinny Appice for the first time in 10 years or so.

I caught the Sabbath video for “TV Crimes” and I loved it, yet I never took the chance and bought the comeback album from Iommi/Bulter/Appice and Dio. Why? I have no idea.


January 2023…

Thunder Bay finally has a decent locally owned record shop (Spins) which brings both new and used titles in. One of the recent ones they were bringing in sealed was “Dehumanizer” by Black Sabbath.

I was intrigued so when I spoke to Dan and Kurtis about Dehumanizer (as when I went to originally get it there were no copies) they told me they had sold at that point about 10 copies of this one Sabbath album recently.

Huh? Really? Wow…

So I ordered it and they brought it in and what can I tell you all is why did I wait 31 years to get this brilliant piece of Sabbath Sludge Riff Rock?

I have no answer. Better late then never I suppose.

Along with the other DIO fronted Sabbath records (“Heaven And Hell” and “Mob Rules”) “Dehumanizer” got the reissue treatment on double vinyl with a gatefold sleeve to boot with some great liner notes included.

The opening two tracks(“Computer God” and “After All”) are filled with those iconic Sabbath like sludge riffs that build and build the song up.

“Holy father, holy ghostWho’s the one who pays the mostRock the cradle, don’t you cryBuy another lullaby

Jack is nimble, Jack is quickPick your pocket, turn a trickSlow and steady, he’s got timeTo commit another TV crimeTV crime”

“TV Crimes” is such a great song as I love Vinny’s drumming and Ronnie dials in with that perfect catchy chorus(check his lyrics above). Along with “Time Machine” these two  would be the most uptempo tracks on this record.

“Dehumanizer” is the perfect record for ’92 as there sound could have fit in with all the grunge bands of the day. Hell, I can hear the late great Chris Cornell singing some of these tracks back then.

Some great playing and singing as well I have to add but then again it’s Sabbath as these guys are the originals in doing this kind of deal.

I also like the production that producer Mack brought to this record. The drum sound especially as Mack dialled in those big drums for Queen and Billy Squier back in the day.

The first record is the whole studio album whereas the second record is some single edits along with “Time Machine” which is a different version from the “Waynes’s World” movie.

The remaining songs (six in total) are live and what a killer live version of “TV Crimes” and “Neon Knights”. Ah hell, it’s all great.

Great looking package and set at a decent price. ($41 Canuck bucks)

Considering “Dehumanizer” is a 31 year old record to my ears its a brand new record and why it took me son long to hop onboard with this one who knows as I love “Heaven And Hell” and “Mob Rules”. But as they say better late than never.

deKe’s Vinyl Score of Dehumanizer…..9/10