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!

KISS: Dressed To Kill(1975)

Dressed To Kill is one of those funny KISS albums that I always dug but never owned on vinyl! I originally bought it decades ago on cassette and as the late 80’s approached and Record Companies were putting out anything remotely on CD to make a buck I bought Dressed To Kill on CD. Course back than no liner notes in the CD just a quick throw together by the suits to cash grab suckers like me! There plan worked!

Well if wasn’t for good ol fashion plain luck when my daughter Lauren and myself spent an  early October Saturday afternoon hitting pawn shops  and up on the rack at one of the shops was a sealed copy of Dressed To Kill for $10! The 2014 reissue  180 gram copy of this record. The original price in marker on the outside cover was $27.95 while a smaller sticker had the number 10!

I asked the fella behind the counter if it was actually $10 bucks! He said ‘You Bet’ I said ‘Sold!’

So that night for the first time in many years perhaps a few decades I listened to Dressed To Kill from opening track ‘Room Service to closing track ‘Rock N Roll ALL Night’.

 Dressed To Kill is an album that succeeds on all levels! It seriously does. Look at the time line for this album! 1975. KISS is making headway on the concert scene but the records this being the third album (after the self titled debut and Hotter Than Hell) didn’t really catch on sales wise.

It took the live version of ‘Rock N Roll All Night’ from late 1975 KISS Alive for KISS records to finally start moving out the door!

The great thing about Dressed To Kill is KISS was broke at the time, No money means no funny they say and look at KISS on the cover wearing suits all belonging to their manager Bill Aucoin as drummer Peter Criss was the only one who owned a suit at the time!

Neil Bogart the President and Owner of Casablanca Records produced the album as the Record Company was about to go bankrupt so they couldn’t even afford a producer for this record!

See where I’m going with this Folk’s! A band with Nothin to Lose and everything to gain. 

Love the fact that its just the four KISS guys that are on this album. No studio guitarists/drummers/outside songwriters to dilute and pollute an evolving sound!

10 Song’s=30 minutes! 

The songs featured are classics that many of you have heard many times over  so instead of going track by track I’ll just talk about each KISS Guy’s contribution!

Peter Criss- Believe it or not the Catman plays some brilliant drums on this album. Petey knows his place and provides a straight ahead beat keeping everyone in line. Criss always had a raspy Rod Stewart like vocal vibe with his singing and on this album Peter sings his ass off on ‘Getaway’. Give it up for Peter Criss and say what you want about him but read the official KISS Book Nothin To Lose: The Making of KISS(1972-1975) and hear about the fact that Pete’s drums are the only recorded Live instrument on KISS ALIVE! Yeah…No Shit!

Ace Frehley- Man his solos on here are brilliant! Not your usual flash n pan wank fest. These solos sound like Ace just pulled them out of his back pocket when the red light for recording went off in the studio! Ace actually wrote ‘Getaway'(speaking of broke just read the lyrics to Getaway)and co wrote ‘Rock Bottom’. Must mention that throughout the album you can hear acoustic guitars mixed under the electrics! Give it up for the SpaceMan who doesn’t have to play a million miles per hour to make his guitar work memorable! Considering Ace was juiced up here on whatever was floating around for him to consume the solo’s are downright timeless gigantic riffs!

Gene SimmonsI always like Mean Gene the Demon’s voice on these earlier albums as he sang with a chill like vibe that even though he doesn’t do drugs you think he was hitting weed quicker than Cheech can say Chong! Gene sings what he knows best and that topic is surprise surprise …. Women! ‘Ladies In Waiting’ ‘Two Timer’and what could possibly be the Greatest Tune about Hookers that the Demon  wrote called ‘SHE’. I dig that part of ‘She’ where the Bass  grumbles and Drums hook up before Space Ace lifts off the solo.I have to add that Simmons is a great Bass Player as he never gets credit for as everyone was  focused back than on the fire-breathing and the blood like crap dripping from his mouth!  Course Genie Gene also co wrote the biggie track which would become the biggest track ‘Rock N Roll All Night’. 

Paul Stanley- Opens Dressed To Kill with ‘Room Service’ which is a great fun rocking track! Stanley knew how to write straight ahead  simple but very catchy rock tracks. Those being the co write in ‘Rock Bottom’ and the co write in ‘Rock N Roll All Night’. Where Starchild excels is in the songs he wrote himself. ‘Love Her All I Can’ the excellent ‘C’mon and Love Me’ and especially ‘Anything for my Baby’ which should have been a single as the  first time I heard Dressed To Kill I was drawn especially to this track! Paul knows his deal and thats writing tunes with Hooks! Hooks indeed!

I love writing KISS reviews as they have been part of my listening habits for basically 40 years now! Why not as everyone has a opinon of KISS wether it be good or bad but an opinion no less!

Sure KISS has recently announced there 3 year Farewell Tour which to be honest I couldn’t care less about as it’s hard for me to keep wrapping my head around the replacement guys acting like  the original guys and basically doing the whole schtick that has been done to death already. 


If you catch KISS ten times on their Farewell Tour and write about it you can bet your KISS Cassette  Tape Collection I’ll read about it. Even if they doled out a new studio record  I would buy it as there last studio album back in 2012 ‘Monster’was quite good.. Kinda of a mixed bag of thoughts when it comes to what Gene and Paul are doing with the KISS brand nowadays but they deserve and have earned it to do what they want…

Good on em! Having said that….

 What a great reconnection with ‘Dressed To Kill’ as I really do love broke and poor KISS. 

If you’re a reader of this Blog thanks for reading and as you would have read by now my Top 3 KISS studio albums over the years have been…‘Rock N Roll Over’ Creatures of the Night’ and ‘Alive’.

But in the last year knocking on the door of my Top 3 would be ‘Lick It Up’and now ‘Dressed To Kill‘…

Better make it a Top 5 from now on!



Jet: ‘Get Born Live'(2018)


Sometimes those albums that were mega hits years ago just slip under your musical radar. You know the ones where you say to yourself ” Yeah I will get around to picking this one up later!”

Australian act Jet would fall under this category not intentionally as back in 2004 Jet was all over radio with their debut album Get Born and the singles that I still hear even on our local crap radio today that being Are You Going To Be My Girl and Cold Heart Bitch.


I know Tbone’s brother Darr was into Jet and why not. We were all suckers for a straight ahead rock sound. Jet kept putting out records than disbanded of course but now we are in 2018 and hello “Reunion”.

Over at John T Snow’s Blog every  Friday he let’s us all know what the new release’s are for that week! Back on  Friday May 25th  I noticed he posted a pic and a writeup about this new Jet Live album.

Wowzer’s! Say what??! New Live Release??!

Over to iTunes and there it was Jet-Get Born Live the whole album played from to back with a couple of cover tunes. (14 Tracks Total)

Click…bought and delivered to my iPod! Thanks again Mr Snow for the Tip! You could say about time I bought this album as well….

Jet Get Born Live is from back in 2004 recorded in the Melbourne.

It’s a great listen through from opening track Get What You Need to the end of set closer a cover of That’s Alright Mama.

Considering I don’t own any Jet material. This is a good one to own!

Jet comes across sloppy cool as the guitars sound like a cross between AC/DC and the Georgia Satellites!

If these Aussie’s ever strolled into Tbay I would go for sure…

A fun good time listen!

Y&T: Contagious(1987)


So after the 1985 Tbone*  approved ‘Down For The Count’ in which I didn’t approve Y&T still went about their business and in doing so retooled their sound, signed a new deal with Geffen records and released in September of 1987 ‘Contagious’.

I thought I would give Y&T the benefit of the doubt and purchased ‘Contagious’ on cassette for the Walkman that was in overdrive at the time  and to be honest I never ever even thought of buying this on Album.

POP QUIZ QUESTION: When you think back to 1987 what huge hard rock album ruled supreme on the charts well into 1988 and was also on Geffen records?

No cheating folk’s…Got your Guess? Ok scroll down….

POP QUIZ ANSWER: Whitesnake  or as I call it the John Sykes Guitar Exhibition  with the 1987 album would be the answer! Whitesykes ruled video and radio time back than. If you guessed another Geffen act ‘Guns N Roses’ good one but Whitesnake came out in April of 87. Guns ‘Appetite for Destruction’ was released in July of 87 but ‘Appetite’ didn’t really take off until the summer of 88…

Why the Pop Question you ask?

Well Y&T not only being on the same label as Whitesnake also used Hugh Syme who also designed the cover artwork for Whitesnakes 87 album and Y&T also went for a more hard rock modern approach as well in the tunes! Syme by the way was Rush’s Art Director for basically all of Rush’s albums.

I guess the suits at Geffen were banking on the fact that hopefully some mojo in the form of huge success would finally take Y&T to the next level.

Did it?

For starters Drummer Leaonard Haze(RIP) departed and was replaced by Jimmy Degrasso. Four outside writers were brought in perhaps to get song’s on the radio including the song ‘Bodily Harm’ that Y&T didn’t even have a hand in writing.

Taylor Rhodes a song doctor you could call him had 3 co writes and is the chap responsible for ‘Bodily Harm’.

Suits want. Suits get! Y&T with a new label had to play by the rules!

Acquiring Contagious 31 years later on vinyl is an interesting listen as to be honest outside the title track I couldn’t even recall any of these songs. So do these songs stand the test of time?

The production of the album is very 1987 in hard rock circles. Producer Kevin Beamish  keeps the guitars and drums cranked of course but it’s the late 80’s and big time catchy like hook’s are the choice of many!

The song’s ‘Contagious’ ‘L.A Rocks‘ ‘Armed and Dangerous’ ‘Rhythm or Not’ and especially the non written band track ‘Bodily Harm’ subscribe to this theory of big time ‘Ohh-Ohh-Ohh’s that are used throughout.

Contagious the song is the best out of these with Armed and Dangerous being a close second. Bodily Harm is the one that is a little to obvious for my listening buds now and back than.

Posted the video for Contagious and man you just gotta love those old Metal Vids as in this vid the Geek is  not cool. Hangs with Y&T becomes cool and gets the girl! Shit,this is Tbone’s life in HighSchool except he got a car not Y&T to hang with in his car! Instead he got…Me! haha


The only song on here that really sounds like the old Y&T is the musical only  blues driven tinged ‘I’ll Cry for You’ which closes out the album.

Guitarist/Lead Vocalist Dave Meniketti and Guitarist Joey Alves(R.I.P) play some great guitar and such and I will say Meniketti being the main songwriter of the band must have had a ton of pressure on him to produce songs and to keep the band moving forward.

Contagious is a good not great album by these guys and outside of a few live albums by Y&T throughout the years was the last actual store purchased studio  product that I bought by these guys!

Seriously, like 31 years ago!

Give these guys credit for always trying but like so many acts at the time  always came up a little short!

I will give Dave Meniketti his due that he’s still out there touring the clubs and flying the Flag of Y&T…

Gotta respect em for that!

*-After the ‘Verbal Hazing’ Tbone took after the Down for the Count album I think he avoided Y&T at all costs. Who can blame him really but then again maybe he snuck  a few more of these kind of albums under my radar like the time he thought he could get away with hiding  the ‘Bad English’ debut from me! To his credit Tbone has been great fodder to write about. Better yet it’s all true!



Y&T: Open Fire-Live(1985)

In what has to go down as one of the goofiest live album covers of all-time is rectified by the songs that are inside the album!

Y&T in the early 80’s were slogging it out in the United States playing coast to coast and opening for bands like Motley Crue  who in turn had outsold Y&T by a crazy amount.

The albums like 1982’s ‘Black Tiger’ and 1983’s ‘Meanstreak’ had made a dent on my listening radar,

England had taken to Y&T a lot more quicker than the States and definitely Canada.


Once 1984’s ‘In Rock We Trust’ came out Y&T had finally got that kinda of a hit in ‘Don’t Stop Runnin’ and golly wouldn’t  you know that  even Tbone cracked open his wallet with his hard earned dough from pumping gas at the local Garage and  purchased ‘In Rock We Trust’!

So once 1985 came around Y&T punched out this live seven song album and one new studio track to push the live stuff and that track would be Summertime Girls’. (more on this song later!)

No. Title Length
1. “Open Fire” 4:26
2. “Go for the Throat” 4:51
3. “25 Hours a Day” 4:22
4. “Rescue Me” 5:53
Side two
No. Title Length
5. “Summertime Girls” (Studio Version) 3:30
6. “Forever” 5:55
7. “Barroom Boogie” 4:35
8. “I Believe in You” 8:02

It boggled my mind when I originally purchased this on cassette back   in the Summer of 85 that Y&T had no songs included from the previous  ‘In Rock We Trust’ album. I didn’t get it at the time but perhaps these guys were trying to push the product from there earlier releases as so many people overlooked the early 80’s output.


Who knows what the reasoning was…

The seven live songs featured are great tracks. From opener ‘Open Fire’  Y&T cooked up a real cool batch of rocker tracks as in ‘Go For The Throat’,’25 Hours a Day’,’Baroom Boogie’. Dave Meniketti (lead vocals/lead guitar) had a real good knack at writing excellent catchy hard rock tracks and none is  more evident  than in the song ‘Forever’.

‘Forever’ packs a hard rock punch. Drummer Leonard Haze drives the tune with his drums. Big song for me off this album.

These guys could also show off their melodic rock side and that would be in the form of the songs ‘Rescue Me’ and ‘I Believe in You’. Meniketti who pretty much wrote all the songs himself could dial it down on the slower stuff but not make it so obvious to call it a power ballad!

For that Sir! dEke’s salutes you!


To push the album sales ‘Summertime Girls’ ( or as Mr 1537 calls it ‘Summertime Gill’s) the lone studio track on here  was released and was easily a move to push the more commercial slant of Y&T. I get it but as an 18-year-old in 1985 I wasn’t necessarily drinking the Kool Aide that Y&T was selling!

‘Summertime Girls’ was way to keyboard driven. To much fluff going for the hit, too obvious  even to me..I couldn’t handle it…haha

But the suits wanted hits so ‘SummerTime Girls crept up to #55 on the Single Charts and pushed this album to #70 on the album charts. Did ‘Summertime Girls’ do the trick?

Linked below is my review from about 4 years ago  of the next studio record of Y&T that they released in 1986 titled ‘Down For The Count’ in which you can read for yourself when friends get led down the “Wrong’ path of rock!

Just Click The Link Below!

I still have steered clear of ‘Down For The Count’. I do have to add that even though this album wasn’t my thing. It was for many including my pal Pete from Australia who writes the excellent  ‘Destroyer of Harmony’ Blog! Maybe I’m the noob who missed the boat on ‘DFTC’?

Naaaa…it’s still fun bugging Tbone on it! That will never change!

Basically a real good live album for the times. Crap album cover! But the music inside does indeed do the talking! Well the live material that is!

Just a few weeks back I seen this album along with ‘Contagious’* sitting in the bins and it was a quick grab for both! Don’t worry folk’s the review for Contagious is coming! Thanks for asking! haha..

Too this day Dave Meniketti still has Y&T out on the road and releasing music so the dude has never given up carrying the flag!


Hard to believe that 3/4’s of this band has passed on that being ,Joey Alves/Phil Kennemore /Leonard Haze. R.I.P Boy’s! 

*-I sent Tbone a pic of these two Y&T  records(Open Fire and Contagious) a few weeks back and told him ‘Sorry no Down for the Count’. 

Ha! 33 years later and he’s still getting Chirped about DFTC!





Monster Truck: True Rockers(2018)

A band leading off with a single before the album hits the street can be a tricky move in this day and age with the likes of FaceCrack/Twitter and whatever else people communicate with.

Back in June of this year  Hamilton Ontario Rockers Monster Truck released  their upcoming single from the soon to be released album ‘True Rockers’ a tune called ‘Evolution’.

I listened to the song right away at there FaceCrack page and you could hear  a musical directional change. More of a modern tweaked like rock  sound. Fair enough but upon first listen I was on the fence about it and I shot a message to Mikey Ladano telling hIm that Monster Truck has a new tune out and I’m not  to sure about it.

I wasn’t the only one in that thinking as the publics comments on Evolution were brutal. People were hammering on them for sounding like Nickleback/Shinedown and what not. It was harsh man people were unloading on them big time. Monster Truck on that lazy Sunday June afternoon got lit up quicker than a Christmas Tree!

Freedom of Speech I suppose but you know the band was reading the comments and I’m sure a bit of freak out came from their camp. Think about it for a second.  You craft a bunch of songs for months as everyone was digging your previous release which in the Trucks case was 2016’s brilliant ‘Sittin Heavy’ and you drop a new tune and people go bonkers over the shift in the musical direction!

So what does Monster Truck do? They go on the Defence and…..

Less than a week later Monster Truck dropped a second single which was the title track of the album called ‘True Rockers’ which has more a traditional Monster Truck vibe to be with the Hammond Organ meshing up with a heavy distorted guitar driven by the drums….

Click the video posted above and crank it! That’s more like it! Heck, ‘True Rockers’ the song even features Dee Snider rapping out a bunch of vocal lines in a Preacher like vibe!

Still though I didn’t take the bait as iTunes  had the album on preorder with Three Songs available upon the preorder. I still didn’t bite.

Until I read last week an interview with Monster Truck Bassist/Vocalist Jon Harvey on the Ultimate Classic Rock webpage in which Jon talks about Evolution and another  track on the album ‘Young City Hearts’…

Here’s what Jon said about these two tracks when asked by Dee Snider himself about taking a commercial slant on two of the albums Eleven Songs.

“We thought we kind of have to do it,” he said. “We have to put this thing out there. … And our fans are like, ‘What the fuck are you guys doing?’ But in my opinion, it’s like, ‘I don’t know. We’re just trying something else’ and we felt like it was time to actually do it. But the rest of the record sounds like a normal Monster Truck record, but we’ve got these two songs and they’re always gonna be there. You know what I mean?”

Honest answer if anything. No sooner did I finish reading that interview with Dee and Jon that fellow blogger Brian’Bop’ Zinger who also hails from Monster Trucks backyard of Hamilton dropped a review a day before the actual street date of the album was available  which was this past Friday (September 14th).

Here’s the Link to Bop’s Review and he reviewed each track so click it and check out some great writing!

Bop’s review sold me on ‘True Rockers’. So Friday morning before I headed out the door to work I zipped onto iTunes and purchased the album which features the songs..

1. True Rocker
2. Thundertruck
3. Evolution
4. Devil Don’t Care
5. Being Cool Is Over
6. Young City Heart
7. Undone
8. In My Own World
9. Denim Danger
10. Hurricane
11. The Howlin’

I have listened to this album more than a few times since its release on Friday and its a Freakin Fantastic  listen!

Kudos to these guys for putting out what I can easily say may be one of the best albums of 2018! It’s right up there with the recent ‘Ghost’ album (Prequelle)  that came out this past June!

Yeah man ‘True Rockers’ is that good! Jon Harvey 
Jeremy Widerman Brandon Bliss Steve Kiely have slammed one out of the park!

The album is chock full of huge blasts of rock especially when they get into that heaviness when the Keys/Guitar/Drums and Bass all collide  together which forms a HUGE Sound!

Hell the album even has harmonica and cowbell at various points! Who the hell doesn’t like Harp and Cowbell on tunes?

More Cowbell? Fuck Yeah!

So yeah you got ‘Bop’ to thank for this review!

The crazy thing is our local radio station 94 Fm like so many artists  plays the same songs  over and over on some kind of loop as it can get nauseating at times…

But over the long haul the track ‘Evolution’ has grown on me and I can tell ya  a good song is a good song.

In the end that’s all that matters right?

‘Don’t Fuck With The Truck’





Triumph: Just A Game(1979)


Triumph made a ton of headway in the United States with 1979’s Just A Game release. Why wouldn’t it as Just A Game comes across at times as a mashup of Styx and Boston  sonically. No fault to Triumph though as you can only travel across Canada so many times without an overexposure  of yourselves and besides I’m sure the U.S is where you gonna make your dough!

Gil Moore/Rik Emmett/Mike Levine basically cooked up a bunch of  different styles of music on this album. From the dubbed in Arena Crowd opening of stellar track Movin On to end of the album closer Suitcase Blues Triumph displayed a knack of flexing a creative muscle.

The eight tracks on the album has Gil Moore penning 3 tracks while Emmett penned 5. Emmett though had the hand in crafting the singles as in Lay It On The Line as well as Hold On which you will still hear even today on rock radio! Rik though can flex his muscle on guitar in many different styles.

Case in point Rik  can rip it up on guitar like the Gil Moore driven American Girls. (talk about making in roads into the U.S with that title) or chill out with a ton of nice jazzy riffs like album closer Suitcase Blues!

One of the coolest tunes on here features Rik playing some total blues is a Gil composition called Young Enough To Cry where Rik looks outside the box on rock playing. It truly has some epic playing.

Triumph can still prog out as well as the title track proves. Just A Game starts off as if its finishing if that makes any sense. The song is a Proggy Delight…

The production of this album today still sounds awesome. Has that late 70’s fuzzy warm like vibe and that’s due to Bassist Mike Levine being the producer as Triumph between the writing of this album/production/album concept kept everything in-house!

This is a great album  in which Triumph would go on in a few short years  to release two of my fav’s in the catalogue of the Rock N Roll Machine that being Allied Forces (1981) and Thunder 7(1984).

Full props as well for the single album being a gatefold as well!



Bryan Adams: Into The Fire(1987)



Hey Folks I’m taking a break for a wee bit. Kinda recharge the batteries and what not. I thought what better way than to peace out with some CanCon… 

Ok,so how do you follow-up a mega selling album from 1985 called Reckless? Well if your Bryan Adams you go in the exact opposite direction from it. Kinda that is!

Into The Fire dropped in 1987. People were snapping up copies right off the bat and why wouldn’t they? Tbone and myself were always real suckers for good old hard rock pop! Adams delivered on both fronts as not only could he deliver a batch of catchy cooked up Rock(co written with Jim Vallance). Bryan also had a killer band backing him.

Mickey Curry on drums and especially Keith Scott on guitar are still to this day phenomenal musicians who are still with Adams. Scott is a monster on guitar and always plays his solo’s in the less is more approach! Memorable after Memorable solo’s from Keith. I mean just with the Reckless album alone you can just think about how many solos are still stuck in your noggin from an album that was released 34 years ago!

So with the Stellar Adams band in tow Bryan gets a little more introspective with the lyrics on  this album.

10 songs make up Into The Fire and what a kickoff track with In The Heat of The Night which doesn’t come racing out of the gates but still gets the job done as Curry as he does on many of these tracks keeps the drums moving which in turn keeps the pace going.  Love Scotts guitar work on this one….

Into The Fire keeps the beat and grooving forward. Another straight head Adams Rock track. Victim of Love is the first kinda sorta ballad like  rock track that features some wicked guitar work at the end of the song by Scott.

Another Day has that uptempo like Adams groove where the keys and guitar lock in and Curry keeps the song clipping at a decent pace! Native Son is one of those songs that  has Bryan looking inward and outward on what is going on at the time.  The band really stretches out musically on this tune as it’s a 6 minute number and its great to see that Adams wasn’t looking for airplay on everything and playing the game!

Only The Strong Survive blasts off right off the hop and features a hard pop shuffle with Bryan and Scott’s slide guitar trading off after each line. Real great track and perhaps one of my fav’s of his! Rebel a song written about Tbone I’m sure. haha.  Adams eases of the gas pedal  somewhat and for a track that has a ton of piano in it I’m not annoyed by it!

Remembrance Day a salute to those fallen soldiers is a great track which has some nice Bass work, Adams sings the tale of the soldiers coming together to fight for us on Remembrance Day! Great track! Period!

Yup I will go on record and say that Hearts on Fire is one of my fav-o Adams tune. What a chorus! Easily one of those end of the album GEMS! Great vocal/ Great tempo and fantastic SOLO!

Home Again a nice tidy wrap-up for this record that ends the album on high. Dig the build up of the song into the chorus!

Sure this album did not sell mega like Reckless but still sold well (3 million plus!) But over time I have found new appreciation and liking  this album.

Give Bryan and his Band props. Instead of making Side’s 3 & 4 of Reckless they wrote and recorded an album that was a  little more serious yet still had a ton of catchy choruses and fine musicianship  to keep the party moving ….

On  a side note I have to say it was Tbone’s Brother Darr who when we did our Top 20 albums of all time Darr included Into The Fire which got my thinking on what a great call that was! So a few months back when I seen Reckless and Into The Fire sitting on the shelf at the local record shop it was a no brainer purchase!

Actually come to think of it Mr Books and Mr Stephen as well are big supporters of Into The Fire as well!