SONIC WAVES…..Kiss/Creatures Of The Night

unknown-5

For some this is The best Kiss record. For me I would have to put it up there as well. It was fall time 1982 and I was in grade 10 . Kiss wasn’t cool anymore with a lot of people. A lot of bands were passing em by like Judas Priest,AC-DC,Rush and upstarts like Def Leppard and Iron Maiden! I still followed em like how could I not,it was only three years earlier I had seen them live (1979) that blew my mind so I wasn’t gonna abort ship yet even though The Elder release of 1981 confused the hell out of me and guys like Muc!

So one day at school before first period one of our high school buddies named George came strolling down the hallways of Lakeview(high school) chanting ‘hey,hey,hey ya!!’ I laughed and said what the hell was that? George said that’s the new Kiss song I heard on top 9 at 9 last night on 580 CKPR !! I was like,WHAT!!! I did not even know as a fan that Kiss was doing anything! Let alone George who never talked music with us and he’s chanting Hey Hey Hey Yaaaaa! A new Kiss song??!

So I don’t think I have to tell what I was doing that night at 9pm. I was hunkered by the radio waiting and listening to new songs by Men At Work/Stray Cats/Duran Duran. Was Curious George bullshitting me?? And finally …..I LOVE IT LOUD !!!

Let’s check out the album that restored my faith in em and dumped some more of my  $$$$ in there pockets!

CREATURES OF THE NIGHT- begins with a huge thunderous thud.Guitars and drums are racing and Genes trying to keep up! This is a mean lean Kiss for 1982. Were back kids! The production was so metal sounding so heavy and holy crap listen to that solo? Is Frehley doing speed?? Every fan knows by now that Frehley did not play a note on Creatures but his face is on the cover as I guess he was already out of the band but who knows, guitars were handled by I believe  some guy named Steve Farris along with Vinnie Vincent (who,did the cowriting on some tracks) and Robben Ford.OMG these guys can play but in 1982 I thought it was Ace and well Gene and Paul wanted me to think that too!

SAINT AND SINNER- This over time I think is one of $immons best songs ever! Just love Eric Carrs drumming and Gene sings the song In a chill kinda way. The Chorus is super catchy. Actually The Demon really stepped it up with this record. I think it has some of his best singing on it! So far  so good as Kiss is back and as a 15 yr old at the time. YEAH!

KEEP ME COMIN- the writer of Love Gun is back with Keep Me Comin. This is a straight ahead rocker, no frills Stanley song. You know what your Gettin so keep on Comin! Ah ok…the pre Chorus in this song is super catchy. Starchild,you have done well!

ROCK AND ROLL HELL-Imagine this,I’m 15 and I look the credits and see Simmons wrote Rock and Roll Hell with Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance. Now expecting the worse as Adams Straight From The Heart was all over radio at the time I thought uggggggh could this be the end by track four? Safe to say…nope,not close this is one catchy mid tempo rock tune taking Adams straight to hell and whoever it was who took Adams straight to hell ….I salute you! Great song!

DANGER-is a cranked up fast paced number that ends side one. Stanley once again rocks it out with this one. Eric Carr never  sounded better ( my ears) than on this whole release. I was also glad for the most part that Kiss wasn’t so much chasing after hits on this record as which would come on their albums later on. Paul didn’t make it obvious on this album and for that Mr Stanley I thank you!

I LOVE IT LOUD-Yep Here was the single and a Gene song to boot!! Thanks to George this restored my faith in Kiss once I heard on the radio. Big drums/ chanting/ riffs/ Gene being Gene. Don’t wanna be President shouts the Demon. Ok man I believe you . Cool solo as well on this. Great back bounce from Kiss as a single release. Too bad that aside from their fan base no one cared back than.

I STILL LOVE YOU-now you could say Stanley was writing the power ballad for the hit but this is 1982 no one was doing big hit power ballads except for Journey. So this was kinda ahead of its time by about 5 yrs. Who knows 5 yrs later (1987) Stanley may have had Tawney Kitanen(appears in the Whitesnake vids) slinging around the hood of His car!

KILLER-Gene basically kicks the crap out of Stanley for doing a love song and ramps it back up with Killer. She’s the Killer Demon. Pretty cool stuff Gene was writing he was total street back than with his sound! Genes sound disappeared for about a good decade after Creatures until the Revenge record(1992) and then disappeared again for another two decades until Monster(2012)

WAR MACHINE- Adams/Vallance once again hook up with Gene and crush out War Machine. The opening riff in this song is huge. The whole song is huge. Simmons basically lays waste to everything in sight cause he’s the War Machine!! Good for You Genie! Kicking ass with your dragon boots and taking names later and not writing stuff like Living In Sin At The Holiday Inn. Wow what an end for some that was a comeback album for Kiss

IN CONCLUSION- Chips were down on Kiss and they came back and kicked some serious ass with this album! It’s just too bad like I said earlier that except for their fan base no one really cared at the time about Creatures. I guess they were still sinking at the time by losing yet another original memeber(Ace) but they soldiered on. Give them there due.

Of course the Creatures tour and album nose dived and a year later off came the war paint to renew interest! But as you can see in the video they could still pull a crowd in Rio back in 1983.

Advertisements

Cool Lil Numbers….Bruce Dickinson/Trumpets Of Jericho

Wow man when I checked my email this morning and seen that Mikey ladano sent a email saying that THE best metal vocalist ever is battling Cancer (full recovery is expected says Maidens website)I was like stunned! I mean just last week I posted on the site about how Maiden destroyed Cadott Wisconsin on the 2012 Tour and there’s Mr Dickinson running/working the crowd/vocals soaring and the dude DOES NOT USE A TELEPROMPTER(like so many do use!) for 10 minute tunes like Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son and Phantom Of The Opera!

Heres a tune from Dickinsons Chemical Wedding solo album(a classic) called Trumpets Of Jericho from Brazil with his sidekick from Maiden Adrian Smith riffing on guitar…..

Crank It For The Air Raid Siren!

Cool Lil Numbers….Living Colour/ Glamour Boys

Oh yeah man! Summer of 1988, me and Tbone jacked Glamour Boys In his car for all of Tbay to hear! Also on our playlist that summer was Aerosmiths Permanent Vacation(full album except Angel like c’mon?!)/Beatles Revolution and Van Halens Fair Warning (full album) Man,Glamour Boys by Living Colour from there very good debut Vivid album is a classic! I Ain’t No Glamour Boys(I’m fierce…ha)

Corey Glover/Vernon Reid/Muzz Skillings and Will Calhoun drop down a real cool hard rock n funk song that kicks!  These cats rocked it loud enough for the 21 year old me at the time to stand up and take notice! Hey man even Ol Mick Jagger dug EM as he played harmonica on Vivid and had Living Colour open for the Stones on there Steel Wheels tour of 1989! That’s using your connections kids!

As you know my deal with albums I really love songs that are buried at the back end of the record and Glamour Boys is one em! Track 9 out of 11 on Vivid! So there Ya go and man oh man these cats can play and Corey can sing! These dudes got the chops!Love the happy feel good picking and than the power riff along with the drumming slamming head first to rock out the chorus!

In case your wondering yeah these are the dudes that layed waste in the song Cult Of Personality!……

Crank Glamour Boys! Wooooooooo Whooooooooooooo!

Cool Lil Numbers….Keith Richards/Take It So Hard

Special thank to ‘J’ at Resurrection Songs for reviewing Richards Talk Is Cheap album and triggering my OL noggin on this great track…..let me explain to Ya!

1988 and Keef Don’t like Mick,Mick don’t like Keef case in point Keef in Rolling Stone magazine calls Jagger’s touring solo musicians  ‘Jerk Off Band”while Mick goes and sells out the Tokyo Dome in Japan and plays Stones and Jagger’s own solo stuff(yawn)

Keef decides to finally cut a solo record and boom Take It So Hard is the lead single and man if there was a definition in the dictionary for the term Cool  Ass Kicker,Take It So Hard is a Cool Ass Kicker of a track!

When I first seen the vid for Take It So Hard on Muchmusic I was hooked man ….totally hooked! Watch the video it’s a good video and hard to believe it’s 27 years old it’s kinda futuristic look and Keef and the Winos playing in a post apocalyptic setting and this makes sense as Keef would out live everyone anyways! Dig the leg kicks,head bobs and skull ring….Keef is the deal…..

Take It So Hard has it all in the track …that opening riff is just sick! Now Keef has assembled a backing band including Steve Jordan/ Waddy Wachtel,Ivan Neville and Charlie Drayton a band Keef calls the X Pensive Winos(great name)

Well done Mr Richards on the strength of this single I bought the album and it’s good but man Take It So Hard! Does not get any better than this……and Mick hahaha….sucked it up got back with the Stones and they financially cleaned out  everyone’s wallets with the Steel Wheels album and tour…..

 

 

SONIC WAVES….ZZ Top / Afterburner

2 years after the mega selling Eliminator comes Afterburner in Oct of 1985 and to me it’s sides 3 and 4 to Eliminator. ZZ boys decide if it ain’t broke we ain’t fixing! But along with the no fixin claus someone in the Top Organization decides to jack up the synth,throw down some drum machines and  embrace the musical sounds of the mid 80s hard rock style. Plus the cover was cool as they took the ZZ car and torqued up into a rocket ship looking car! Kudos to ZZ there going into frontiers unknown!

ZZ  stays the course and me for one I’m ok with it kinda as Eliminator was solid top to bottom Afterburner lags a little behind but it’s not  close to 3/4’s Filler material here at Arena Rock!

Billy/Frank and Dusty fire up the Afterburners(Ha) and take off and hey where did that dang drum machine go…….

SLEEPING BAG- cue Frank Beard and the drum machine and some robotic musical patterns and whoosh thank God here comes Billy with his guitar and uhhey this has too be the coolest song ever written about a Sleeping Bag. This is total 80s sound in production trickery. All the bells and whistles are here folks including ,Jesus ? Is Frank Beard even playing drums ? Beats me but man 80s ZZ Top is a different beast than 1970s ZZ Top as Tbone had bought Fandango and man it’s one side live one side studio and them dudes on Fandango don’t sound anything like the slick polished Afterburner dudes !

STAGES- ahh this sounds familiar. This song rocks straight ahead with Gibbon’s guitar driving the tune cool catchy song and was one of the singles that did well for them.

WOKE UP WITH WOOD- what a great title! This is top heavy with the synthy rhythms and beats and shit but man it’s once again like Quirkey Top. I love this tune and still do! The  solo, the outro solo is real good as well! Hey ladies be careful lying next to a piece of wood and no I’m not warning you!! Billy Gibbons/ Frank Beard and Dusty Hill are warning Ya!

ROUGH BOY- ah yes track 4 and it time to slow the brakes down. Just like Eliminator with that track number 4 ( I Need You Tonight) ZZ plays some power spacey blues that I guess it’s as close to a ZZ ballad as any. Well played and Billy, well played guitar as always! Love his sound!

CAN’T STOP ROCKING- Dusty takes over and this is 4/4 ZZ saying hey we can chillax with the Rough Boy but we ain’t staying quiet for too long….

PLANET OF WOMEN- oh yeah…one of my all time fav ZZ tunes! This song rips right out of the gate and Billy tells us he’s a nervous wreck that the girls are everywhere so check it out! Hahahaha….love it man. Super catchy chorus and wickedly good Gibbon’s solo!

I GOT THE MESSAGE- drums drums and more electronic drums Done ZZ Style….this song is pretty much saved by Billy Gibbon’s guitaring which punches in and punches out on this track! It’s pretty amazing listening back to this album after a lot of years that ZZ was firmly entrenched into 1985 musically. I mean man other bands at the time like Duran Duran were using the electronics and basically they made me wanna puke where as When ZZ dialed up 1-800-ZZ-Drums they made it at least sound cool!

VELCRO FLY-ha….big time lets makie bakie a single and shove it through some electronic gadgets and see what it pukes out! Velcro Fly is upon us! This is one that I did not play much…..I think they have a tuity fruity video of this as well…..c’mon Billy dump some cool ripping guitar will Ya….speaking of the vid …Jesus was that Dusty playing the keyboard in the vid? Single single singles……chasing the hits but can Ya blame em? They had tons o hits on Eliminator so how does that not play in your noggin when your,lazing around eating tacos,drinking tons of Corona and trying to cut 10 tracks for Afterburner?

DIPPING LOW (IN THE LAP OF LUXURY)- pretty catchy harmony vocals in this tune and its a better track than Velcro Fly! Haha…Billy slaps,down some cool guitar and ZZ sees the finish line!

DELIRIOUS- Dusty rocks up with his second lead vocal….this song is pretty good for a ending tracks but ZZ falls thru the trap door with the robotic sounding vocal of Delirious! the vocal of the chorus reminds me of Styxs Mr Roboto…Hahahaha….but at least ZZ goes to the ends with a rocker of a track !

IN CONCLUSION- ZZ doesn’t want the payday to end and neither do we,so millions buy Afterburner including of course myself and Tbone. Afterburner for me is a good record but over time after the 6th song (Planet Of Women )the album kinda lags a little and its one of those albums that I did not find one of those end of album Gems(as I call em) like I did on the previous Top album with If I Could Only Flag Her Down. So for me ZZ still pass I mean, here I am at the time In  1985,17 years old and these Ol Fuzzy Beards write a tune called Woke Up With Wood……hahaha…..classic ….the one big gripe over time is the drums on this album. Too many studioery gadgets and bells and whistles ringing off but man you still got Gibbon’s and his guitar. Plus the dude sings a cool chill vocal…..Dusty and Frank, my question is are you two hombres even on this record?

Cool Lil Numbers ….Sloan/Keep Swinging (Downtown)

This review is for the biggest Sloan fanboy I know and that’s Aaron from KeepsMe Alive. For this past Xmas he graciously bought me a copy of Commonwealth (Sloans latest) I have yet to review the full album but for now check out this great track ……

So Sloan just keep on going and going. When I mentioned that to Aaron that the last studio album I bought of there’s was Navy Blue back in 1998 he told me in no uncertain terms I needed to hear the double album Commonwealth (2014)as each band memeber (Chris Murphy,Jay Ferguson,Andrew Scott and Patrick Pentland) gets there own side of music, kinda like a solo album in a double album for each member! Get it?

From past listening experience I knew that Patrick Pentland was the rock guy in Sloan and let’s be honest here! I’m a rock guy so his songs on the Sloan records always resonated with me as he can write a pretty cool riff and he sings a good lead vocal as well!

So when I spun Commonwealth for the first time this tune Keep On Swinging (Downtown) totally caught my ear. I love how the song starts with Pentlands guitar and man listen to that piano it’s so simple but sometimes simple is all Ya need! I mean I’m a sucker for it it’s kinda like the silly piano that Kiss used on Christine Sixteen(studio version) on there Love Gun album.

The song features some real cool warm fuzzy bass lines from Chris Murphy and the rest of the band with Scott on drums and Ferguson on second guitar drive it along! Love the chord changes and the chorus is friggin catchy as well!

This is a deadly well written piece of good OL Rock !

Crank it……and thanks Aaron!

Cool Lil Numbers….13 Engines/Smoke & Ashes…

How about a quick boot in the ass with this track! 13 Engines mixes all the ingredients of a sweet little ditty of a song including cool guitars,cool singing,cool production and well the video from 1993 is very slick!

Smoke And Ashes came from the 1993 album Perpetual Motion Machine and features John Critchley on vocals/guitars,Mike Robbins/guitar,bassist Jim Hughes and drummer Grant Either.

Amazing that these guys in my opinion nailed a gem in about 2 minutes and 32 seconds! Holy crap that opening guitar riff just sets the tone! Love this song still to this day! It’s a happening little number!

Crank it!

Bonus points awarded for writing the line….You woke up dreaming of Cocaines and Clowns……

Rock Album, Concert Reviews And The Odd Book Review