Tag Archives: 2016 Albums

Billy Idol/ BFI-Live(2016)

 

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Billy Idol….. What can you say? The spiked hair Rocker has been around for decades now and is still out there touring and recording! Give it up for him!

Idol took over the video and  airwaves here in Canada back in 1984 when the Classic Rebel Yell album was released and it featured of course the songs that have stood the test of time like the title track of course while Eyes Without A Face, Catch My Fall,Blue Highway(My personal fav of Billy’s) made this an instant win for me to purchase. Course it helps when you have a Guitar Motley Looking Dude named Steve Stevens who brought a huge guitar rock sound to Billy’s Punk Edge.

But after that for some reason as quick as I got into the Rebel Yell I also got off of it after I heard 1986’s Whiplash Smile  with the single To Be A Lover for some reason never took off with me. I seen the video to To Be A Lover with Billy and Stevie bouncing around in a Boxing ring  just was kinda goofy while the drums sounded programmed.

Course shortly after Stevie quit Idol’s band Idol  himself almost died in a motorcycle accident and of course Billy  was medicated and what not but he somehow managed to pull himself together and  reunite  with Stevie (Steve’s 1988 solo album Atomic Playboys record stiffed  quickly and disappeared)again and back to business with making music and touring.

So once I seen this on iTunes I do love live albums  I had to check out how Billy is sounding 33 years later…

The Tunes…. BFI first was released on vinyl so all you collectors out there ….Take Notice!

Side 1:
Postcards From The Past
Cradle Of Love
Can’t Break Me Down
Side 2:
Dancing With Myself
Flesh For Fantasy
Save Me Now
LP DISC 2
Side 1:
Ready Steady Go
Sweet Sixteen
Eyes Without A Face
Side 2:
L.A. Woman
Dementia (Steve Stevens guitar solo)
Whiskey And Pills
LP DISC 3
Side 1:
Blue Highway
Rebel Yell
Side 2:
White Wedding
Mony Mony

The album I guess would be a good cross-section of his career. You can see by this track listing  that it has a ton of singles even if your  not the hardcore Idol fan like myself you have heard these tunes.

Dancing With Myself is a great track live. The only knock I have is there is a steady sampled hand claps triggered to the beat of the drums that gets kinda annoying but  Stevens on guitar raunching it up a notch  I can live with it.

Billy’s vocals of course have aged but he still sings with sneer and growl so he has that edge. Stevens is the real deal here. They could have cranked him a bit more up in the mix but that’s my deal.

Billy does The Door’s L.A Woman justice but then again I’m not the biggest Doors fan as well but  the playing and singing is good on it and of course Billy was in the 1991 Door’s Movie so there may be that connection.

For myself Steve Stevens is wicked  on the 6 string as he oozes 80’s cool with the dive bombs/finger taps while adding some crunch to the songs when needed. I recall back in high school (1984-ish)at some point when both Rebel Yell and Motley’s Shout At The Devil  were high up on the charts and the conversation at various points was what if Stevens was the Crue’s guitarist? It was a fair point as Stevens had the rock look down whereas Crue Guitarist Mick Mars was sporting the Count Chocula look…. Not knocking Mars playing it was a lot about image as well back in 84!

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The album itself is good but the mix sounds too good not to many rough around the edge live moments. Doctored a bit in the studio perhaps? Dunno but if so it still rocks….

 

Metallica/Toronto Canada Nov 29 2016

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Metallica! You have to hand it to them as they know how to do things right!

Case in point…For the promo tour of their  fantastic Hardwired…To Self Destruct  Metallica played  a few cities world-wide promoting said release and as per Metallica protocol they record all their live shows and a few days later are offered on there website for sale.

What a great idea and you know with them putting out live product they cannot  go the KISS route and monkey around with the performances in the studio! Plus doing it this way you know Metallica is bring ing their A Game every night!

Metallica rolled into Toronto on November 29th 2016 and played at the Opera House and once it was added to their website for $10.95 Canadian it was a no brainer add to my collection!

We already know these guys….

James Hetfield – vocals, rhythm guitar
Kirk Hammett – lead guitar
Robert Trujillo – bass, backing vocals
Lars Ulrich – drums

MetallaTrackz…

Breadfan
Creeping Death
Battery
Sad But True
Fade to Black
Atlas, Rise!
Harvester of Sorrow
Moth Into Flame
One
Master of Puppets
For Whom the Bell Tolls
Enter Sandman
Whiskey in the Jar
Hardwired
Seek & Destroy

Crazy that these dudes are in there early 50’s and are playing at such a high level. It boggles my mind as since about 1991 I have read garbage that Lars has lost a step in his drumming? Umm….WTF??! Listen to Battery. Losing a step? Whatever…the furiousness that they play Battery just boggles whats left of my Torn and Frayed Mind!

James Hetfield plays super-duper rhythm guitar  and has become a great frontman/singer. Crazy that I like Metallica more now in 2016 than I did back in 1986! James with his stage banter calling it Oprah’s House gets a few chuckles along with telling the crowd to help him with he lyrics as he’s still  trying to remember them.

They have progressed from album to album but yet never forget the roots of their past as they always feature at least a couple of tracks from there earlier recorded works along with cover songs like Breadfan and wickedly awesome version of Whiskey In the Jar. Metallica fuses it up like a Metallica Irish Jig!

I posted below the video Fade To Black from the  actual show. This song still blows my mind as they were writing this stuff back in there early 20’s…. Love it at the 4 minute 40 mark when James shifts gears and the song just roars into another whole direction! Kudos to Kirk for the real slick lead he peels off at the end!

Props has to be given to guitarist Kirk Hammmett who during the guitar solo starts off with a tribute to Toronto act Rush by incorporating the beginning of Rush’s Working Man at the start of his solo and bookending it with Working Man. A real cool solo and the fact that he keeps it under 2 minutes is a bonus so it doesn’t become a total 6 String Wank Fest!

Robert Trujillo lays down some serious bottom end on the bass and locks in a real cool groove especially that crazy assed bass ripping at the beginning of For Whom The Bell Tolls. Right before One is played Robert even lays done a real cool Bass solo thats not all flash but has some real cool intricate playing.

Lars man is simply classic. Classic drumming and his end of the set yammering into the mic is always classic as he talks about playing “Toronto back in 1985 at the Concert Hall than onto Maple Leaf Gardens and the ACC and also at the Fuck Off Dome or whatever its    called.” Haha…

The new song’s played that night in T.0  like Atlas Rise!, Moth Into A Flame  and Hardwired come across real good. IF these guys put out a live album of just this album played front to back I would purchase  it as well! No questions  asked!

Make no mistake this set and I’m sure the other live sets that are available for purchase are awesome performances. What you hear is what you get!

Also since it was  recorded in Toronto it has some  CanCon to keep reader HMO happy!

 

Alter Bridge/ The Last Hero(2016)

 

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New Release…

Alter Bridges  newest studio release The  Last Hero  crushes with Massive Riff’s along with  a Huge Dose of Melody with a Side Order of  Catchy Hooks tossed in!

Alter Bridge is….
Myles Kennedy – lead vocals, rhythm and lead guitar
Mark Tremonti – lead guitar, backing vocals
Brian Marshall – bass guitar
Scott Phillips – drums, percussion

Myles Kennedy I would say is the Best Rock Vocalist out there! This dude can sing underneath a massive eruption of volcanic riffs originating  from Mark Tremonti’s Guitar and Myles  does not sound ever like he’s gonna toss a lung in doing so! Speaking of guitar,Myles can handle himself on the guitar as well. When he’s singing in Slash’s solo deal Myles is just the singer but in AB he doubles up on guitar and this cat can play as he burns up a ton of catchy riffs most notably at the beginning of the opening track Show Me A Leader.

Tremonti is a beast on the 6 string! He has elements of all the Greats in his playing most notably bits and bites of Ed Van Halen with a smattering of Zakk Wylde thrown into the mix. Mark has a wicked deep backing vocal like tone that’s right in sync with Myles vocals.

How many bands can have two fantastic guitar players with one of them doubling as the Lead Vocalist? AB that’s who!

Don’t forget the Rhythm dudes supporting these two guys as well! Drummer Scott Phillips plays Heavy all over the map drums and they sound huge on this album and he floats the AB Ship with Brian Marshall who provides the bottom end and Beef’s up the sound with his Bass Playing.

The Song’s…

1. “Show Me a Leader” 5:05
2. “The Writing On the Wall” 4:28
3. “The Other Side” 5:55
4. “My Champion” 4:41
5. “Poison In Your Veins” 4:19
6. “Cradle To the Grave” 5:41
7. “Losing Patience” 4:10
8. “This Side of Fate” 6:48
9. “You Will Be Remembered” 4:42
10. “Crows On a Wire” 4:27
11. “Twilight” 4:15
12. “Island of Fools” 5:01
13. “The Last Hero”  

Case you’re wondering it’s 65 Plus minutes of Bombastic Rock the Kind of stuff I love…

Shall I decipher a few tracks for ya’s?!

Opener Show Me A Leader sets the pace and you have to hand it to these guys who start off in chill mode but ramp up pretty damn quick  and Show Me A Leader just crunches and sets the pace for the rest of the album! In other words you want Bombastic Power Riffs? Check! How about a dose of in your face drums? Check Check! How about a Singer who can sing over a complete Wall Of Sound? Triple Check! Full props must be made out to producer Elvis Baskette who has been working AB for a while now and captures their sound brilliantly! While you’re at click the video posted below and you will know what I mean!

Writing On The Wall begins with a relentless sound of Sonic Fury with all instruments mashed up with a Bell and once again were off and the thing is the Verses on this album are no doubt Heavy but at times AB toss in a real catchy riff or tempo change and then when the Chorus hits here comes the Melody! Yes these tunes are that good! Writing On The Wall is one of them as Myles vocals soar during the chorus. Dude is Vocal Gold!

The Other Side is another great track and I’m gonna let my Good Pal’s Myles and Mark explain it in under 2 Minutes! …Click the Video Below!

My Champion slows down somewhat and pushes a good message across about Good People doing Good Things. Thats the thing on this album is AB can incorporate even Acoustic Guitars without futzing out and going down Commercial Avenue and making it obvious. Sure this song may capture that somewhat and it would sound good on Rock Radio but who cares a Great Track is a Great Track!

Show Me A Leader just gets stronger and the material does not dip as the album heads to the finish line.

Crows On A Wire is one of those end of the album Gems that you always hear me go on about and that basically tells you the listener that there is No Filler Whatsoever! Crows On A Wire features a ton of epic power chords/smashing drums/thumping bass and a clever well written chorus delivered vocally by Myles! Some of the tracks even feature a synth buried somewhat under the mix of the guitars/bass/drums which only enhances the overall AB Experience!

Actually the last three songs on the album Twilight/Island OF Fools and the title track The Last Hero are all solid Gem Like tracks! Speaking of The Last Hero being the title track. I always love it when bands make this move by sticking the title track smack dab at the end of the album! Slick Solid Move!

AB has totally stepped up and blew my away with  this record! I have mentioned in a few other posts that I can only handle about 5 New bands that are currently out there playing hard rock. AB is at the top of the heap and its crazy to think that this is there 5th studio album. 5 albums in and they are getting stronger with more wicked material! The musical chops these guys posses is crazy good and what can you say about Myles Kennedy that already hasn’t been said? Love this Dude’s voice …..

One of the best New Releases I have heard this year!

Gojira/Magma(2016)

New Release….

You want Metal kicked up a notch! Time for some new Gojira Kids!

Special Thanks to my Good Pal Metal Todd who got me a copy of this album and come to think of it he’s going to see Gojira in Vancouver this upcoming October! Take cover Metal Todd….

Here’s the Gojira Boy’s that created this piece of Metal…

Joe Duplantier − lead vocals, rhythm guitar
Mario Duplantier − drums, percussion
Christian Andreu − lead guitar
Jean-Michel Labadie − bass

“The Shooting Star” 5:42
2. “Silvera” 3:33
3. “The Cell” 3:18
4. “Stranded” 4:29
5. “Yellow Stone” 1:19
6. “Magma” 6:42
7. “Pray” 5:14
8. “Only Pain” 4:00
9. “Low Lands” 6:04
10. “Liberation”

Upon first listen I noticed right away that the singing is clean in some spots in other words this old noggin of mine can understand what Joe’s going on about vocally. The Shooting Star is a great opener almost a sweeping Pink Floyd like vocal track that doesn’t pound your senses into the asphalt(don’t worry that comes later) Music is heavy in a slow meandering kind of way and  at the start you notice the production is going to be rock solid!

The thing is with these guys is their Musical Muscle is strong the dudes can play and like I wrote when I reviewed L’ Enfant Sauvage Mario absolutely destroys his drums and it boggles that’s what  left of my mind that Mario can play this quick!

The vocals on Magma are like I said a little more “singing like” and when Joe puts his throat to it he has a whole different vibe to what’s out there with other act’s that’s for sure…

Silvera  and The  Cell  are the tunes that I would expect from these guy’s! Heavy playing and just check out the drumming at the beginning of The Cell! The drums played by Mario are absolutely nuts and such speed and precision but give the other dudes credit as they don’t let Mario get too crazy. The Cell is a great track.

Thats the thing with Gojira! I don’t want to Pigeon Hole them as a Metallica soundalike (musically) that is but it just gives you the reader an idea of what I’m trying to get across. Gojira though shift gears a bunch of times with different musical tempo’s,musical landscapes that sweep across at a speed that stays intact and is dare I say Catchy? Don’t beat my Ass with that last comment! Only Pain proves this point as the drums propel the track while the guitars do some quick pick action and Joe is Raging just like the good old daze but it’s a controlled Rage!

It’s just not all Bone Crushing Skull Metal though…Lowlands has a different kind of crushing one that is almost like Alice In Chains jacked up on Speed especially the vocals maybe overall the sound of the singing is more Alice In Chains than Pink Floyd when it comes to the vocal delivery.

Album closer Liberation is a whole different  ball of wax in the Gojira arsenal as it just features classical guitar and a bit of percussion a vocal less track kind of sombre moment that ends the album.

 

 

ZZ Top/ Live-Greatest Hits(2016)

New Release…..

ZZ Top has just released their newest album which as you know by the title is Live and the Two Long Beards(Billy Gibbons/Dusty Hill) and  Stache (Frank Beard)  are telling all that will listen(Moi) that this is the followup up live album to 1975’s Fandango album which was half studio and half live! Course ZZ in recent years has released a few Live DVDs and such but hey it’s their deal so they can say what they wanna say!

41 years between actual Live Album releases! I would say it’s time! In case you’re wondering Tbone bought this on cassette  about 30 years ago so Tbone has been Fandango’n for 3 decades now! Whatever the Hell that means. Sounded cool……

ZZ Top ‘Greatest Hits Live’ Track Listing
1. “Got Me Under Pressure”
2. “Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers”
3. “Cheap Sunglasses”
4. “Waitin’ for the Bus”
5. “Jesus Just Left Chicago”
6. “Legs”
7. “Sharp Dressed Man”
8. “Rough Boy” (with Jeff Beck)
9. “Pincushion”
10. “La Grange”
11. “I’m Bad, I’m Nationwide”
12. “Tube Snake Boogie”
13. “Gimme All Your Lovin’”
14. “Tush”
15. “Sixteen Tons” (with Jeff Beck)

Well, for starters that’s a cool 15 pack of tracks and even as you can see Jeff Beck slings some ax with Billy Gibbons on two tracks!(Rough Boy and a cover of Sixteen Tons)

If you recall from a few weeks back when I reviewed Twisted Sisters Metal Meltdown release I made a point saying I really dug the fact that I enjoyed the rawness associated with the production. Almost a Bootleg like feel to it.

ZZ to my ears anyways has gone the same route. Each of these tracks are recorded in a bunch of different cities(13 different cities with London England being the city with two tracks as those are the shows that Beck appears at) The great city of Vancouver B.C is represented on here as well!(I’m Bad,I’m Nationwide)

ZZ strips back the sound. They don’t gloss up the production and once you wrap your head around the sonics of Frank Beards drums on the opening track Got Me Under Pressure were off to the ZZ Saloon downing  a bunch of  tequila shots with quick dabs of brilliance emulating from Gibbons guitar! What a freakin tone the Man possesses! Must also mention Gibbon’s lead vocals are First Chill Class all the way! Speaking of vocals! How about a round of Hot Sauce and Thumbs up to Dusty Hill  for always delivering the song Tush with a good Ass Texan Kicking…..!

You want a Guitar Extravaganza  Record in how to play real cool licks without sounding like  a Hot Dog. Check out this album for that!

Each song sounds different  I guess as it depended on the sound from where the tracks were recorded from. Audience fades out after every song just as well as some crowds are louder than others.

These guys could have made this a 30 song album easy but putting tunes like Pincushion(great track)Tube Snake Boogie and Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers I was sold and preordered it from iTunes.

I love this album man it’s great to hear the boys(Gibbons and Hill) trade-off vocal lines on certain tracks like Got Me Under Pressure. I mean I always crack up on how cool Gibbons sounds  singing the line “she likes Cocaineee” and adds to it his little magic powdery like riff on the guitar….It’s little things like that bring so much to a track…

They even have someone playing Harmonica(no digital booklet with iTunes purchase so I don’t know who’s playing harp) on a couple of tracks as well and this enhances that Sleazy ZZ feel on numbers like Waitin’ For The Bus & Jesus Just Left Chicago.

Kinda wish some stuff from Recycler/ Rhythmeen would have been added as well tracks from the  fantastic La Futura . But what can ya do? Maybe down the road Fella’s? While were at it how about cueing up and adding Woke Up With Wood to the next ZZ Live Meal Deal?

This is a Low Down Dirty Drippin Blues Fused Texas Taco Rock Album. My  first thought “Yup! Another Live Album!” But the fact these guys went and didn’t tweak the crap out of it in the studio makes it a worthwhile purchase.

 

 

 

KISS Rocks Vegas(2016)

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New Release……

First of all I have teamed up with Fellow Rocker Blogger Mikey Ladano and we did a Double Shot of KISS Rocks Vegas! Two spins on it …..click the link below for some fine writing….

https://mikeladano.com

Silly Demon and Silly Starchild and more importantly Silly Deke’s! Why you ask? Thanks for asking and I will tell you all why right now!

So when  KISS as they always do in the Hype Department  were plugging their latest release KISS Rocks Vegas  I scoffed at it!  Seriously though another album with the Same OL Same OL?!

We all know by now that Kiss Live albums are  fixed and stitched up in the studio than sent out to the shops where Deke’s will split with his hard-earned cash and drop yet another dollar sum into Gene and Paul’s Bank Of Zillion’s! (Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer are on the payroll so they aren’t gonna make any trouble whatsoever!)

So with that here comes KISS Rocks Vegas and  well Shocker! It wasn’t available on the music(audio) side of iTunes? Whut? Yeah of course I checked. I’m basically a 48-year-old KISS CrackHead. Whatever Gene and Paul stuff in the KISS pipe I will inhale the Kiss Smoke and do as they say!

I had to put on my thinking cap as to how I was gonna get the audio side only. Do I actually go to a store and buy the DVD and CD combo package for $24.99? GAH! I would watch the video maybe once. I just want audio!

I went to the movie side of iTunes and there it was the actual Kiss Rocks Vegas for $9.99 SD OR $12.99 HD. I figure I could buy the live video as the tracks are separated into chapters and its like having the audio ( as well the video is playing )but its on my iPod so I’m not watching the video as I’m on my bike or walking. Plus the thought of Old Man Stanley shaking his arse doesn’t do it for me…Audio it is…..

Speaking of Stanley love how he always disses The Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame in the press but yet on the Vegas clip he tells the crowd “That they’re looking at a band in the Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame” Haha.. You gotta love those Stanley raps between the song’s “Let’s Get Started!” Too give Paul his due he keeps the yapping to a bare minimum and I’m good with it..

I took yet another hit off the KISS PIPE! I pushed click and bought the damn thing!

‘Kiss Rocks Vegas’ Track Listing:
1. “Detroit Rock City”
2. “Creatures of the Night”
3. “Psycho Circus”
4. “Parasite”
5. “War Machine”
6. “Tears are Falling”
7. “Deuce”
8. “Lick it Up”
9. “I Love it Loud”
10. “Hell or Hallelujah”
11. “God of Thunder”
12. “Do You Love Me?”
13. “Love Gun”
14. “Black Diamond”
15. “Shout it Out Loud”
16. “Rock and Roll All Night

Yeah Kinda the same ol same ol as I said! (Detroit Rock City/Deuce/Love Gun/Black Diamond/Rock N Roll All Night)

Of course Kiss opens with Detroit Rock City and were off. It’s a good version but I still like the version from Alive 2  better as  the Alive 2 version of Detroit Rock City was live or not is open for debate but that was when KISS was flying on all cylinders(1977). Something to do with it being my first ever purchase live album when I was 11 also has something to do with it.

Second track Creatures Of The Night kicks ass and it’s so good the tempo Stanleys voice seems like it’s in good shape a little wear and tear but man KISS is on fire here. Cool Drum action by Singer.

Psycho Circus/Parasite/War Machine and especially Tears Are Falling are played at  a top-notch level. Well……. by Kiss’ standards of top-notch! Tommy Thayer plays some decent licks throughout the show! Dude has his shit together and it shows. Thayer of course keeps the Ace sounding solos sounding like Ace but before everyone goes nutso remember  there are more than a few KISS studio tracks out there that everyone thought it was Ace but it really wasn’t! (Hired Guns to play like Ace,get paid and  to keep your mouth shut)

I Love It Loud/Lick It Up(with a snippet  The Who’s Won’t Get Fooled tossed in for good measure)/God Of Thunder ( played at a slower lumbering pace which suits it fine is exceptional! )are also performed well. It’s hard to say if KISS actually fixed this thing up or left it alone. I’m tending to think they did not monkey round too much in the studio as at times Stanley’s voice drops a bit while Simmons sounds a little strained at times making it sound like an warts n all live album! Actually the production has a little rawness/bit of an edge to it! That is unheard of on KISS live albums!

To be totally honest I can’t really listen to yet another live version of Rock N Roll All Night of course I know the deal that IT has to be played but for a fan like myself who’s been listening to KISS for almost 40 years!( Holeeeeee Sheeeeeit) I just don’t want to hear it ..

Thank Goodness Gene and Paul didn’t put Singer doing Beth on the live version I mean I see if you buy the deluxe Rocks Vegas on the acoustic portion which is an added bonus( I didn’t get it so I can’t comment on the performance in case you’re wondering) Beth is done acoustically which come on guys Beth is Peter Criss’ track. (KISS did the same move back in 1988 when they got Eric Carr(RIP) to sing Beth on the Smashes/Thrashes/Hits compilation which was a total cheap shot towards the X drummer. Poor Carr man he had too or else….) Now I see on this latest 2016 tour Singer is out in front singing Beth…..

I must add that Simmons plays some real decent bass licks on this release (check out his Bass riffing on Hell Or Hallelujah )as people are more enamoured in the fact that Gene spits blood/firebreathes but the OL Demon Buzzard steps up here man….Give him his due!

KISS Rocks Vegas is a good buy. As for the Fan boy in me when I see tunes like WarMachine/Creatures Of The Night/Parasite/God Of Thunder and Tears Are Falling added I will take a KISS hit and Exhale!

 

 

 

Tesla/Mechanical Resonance Live(2016)

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New Release….

Smart move by Tesla to release a Live Album saluting their debut from 1986!(all the songs from the 1986 studio album are given the live treatment 30 years later)  I first heard of these guys back at the time of the original studio album when I used to watch on a local Tv station a show from Detroit hosted by Doug Powell. The name of the show I can’t recall but was on late Fridays. (Thunder Back than got U.S stations from Detroit and Duluth! )

One episode they played Tesla’s leadoff single Modern Day Cowboy and I was hooked instantly as the vocals by Jeff Keith were real good and also the dual lead guitars of Frank Hannon and Tommy Skeoch we’re very solid as well. Plus the fact that smack dab in Hairmetal Hairspray Land(1986) bands were becoming the norm but  here’s Tesla in T-shirts and jeans plying their own brand of Tesla Rock!

The first time I caught Tesla Live was 1990 on Motley Crue’s Dr Feelgood Tour when it touched down in Winnipeg(review is on this site) Tesla were awesome that night! They opened with Cover Queen which blew mine and Tbone’s minds like…..Whut? But it worked.

I was fortunate to have seen them headline in 1992 on the Psychotic Supper Tour in Duluth(review of this show is on this site as well) and again in 2006 when Tesla showed up in Tbay and jammed out a 700 seater and did a whole acoustic set(one day I will get around to reviewing that show)and Man they were so good!

Shortly after Tommy Skoech split Tesla and was replaced by Dave Rude as he joined original dudes Keith/Hannon/ Troy Lucketta and Brian Wheat.

Tesla  also had a real good run of 4 albums( 1986-1994 which included Mechanical Resonance/Great Radio Controversy/Psychotic Supper and Bust A Nut) and to this day they still put out occasional albums as they tour none stop.

So here we are 2016 and Here’s the Live Album …

“Mechanical Resonance Live!” track listing:

01. Rock Me to the Top (live)
02. Ez Come Ez Go (live)
03. Gettin’ Better (live)
04. Comin’ Atcha Live (live)
05. Changes (live)
06. Before My Eyes (live)
07. 2 Late 4 Love (live)
08. We’re No Good Together (live)
09. Love Me (live)
10. Cover Queen (live)
11. Lil’ Suzie (live)
12. Modern Day Cowboy (live)
13. Save That Goodness (bonus studio track) (written/produced by Phil Collen)

Boom! So the running order of the Live album is different from the studio one of course and even though the crowd is included in between tracks you can hear a quick change of crowd noise as I think these songs may be have been pulled from other shows and tossed together.

I’m cool with this as it’s live and I have said it before that at times Jeff Keith can wail like a male Janis Joplin. Always dug the man’s voice and why not as here we are 30 years later with his voice still intact. The boys behind him can play. The one thing I did notice is Tesla misses the Loose Cannon style  Riff Rock Guitaring of Tommy Skeoch. Make no mistake new boy Dave Rude can play and he plays’s Tommy’s parts but it’s a little more refined whereas Tommy was the renegade on the 6 string. Not a fault to anyone just a different style to my ear’s….

Real cool to hear some of these tracks live(some were on Replugged Live From 2000 but others like Love Me  and especially Cover Queen are real good especially during the groovy verses ramping up into the chorus.

Must also mention opener Rock Me To The Top is areal good ass kicker of an opener as Hannon and Rude drive the song with the guitars and I always have and still to this day dig this track!

Save That Goodness is a new studio track produced and co written with Phil Collen (Def Leppard)  and its the last track and for Tesla 2016 it’s a good song and its neat to see the boy’s moving forward with a real cool opening like riff that carries the tune. It would be interesting to hear a whole album produced by Collen mixed with Tesla.

Hey maybe they could call it Modern Day Hysteria!

This is a worthy purchase…..

 

 

 

 

The Rolling Stones/Totally Stripped(2016)

You gotta love The Stones  even though they too have a ton of compilations,greatest hits sets,live albums they can always make it interesting.

Case in point. Totally Stripped is The Stones rocking it still and even though it’s the Stones stripping back on a lot of bells and whistles and rocking out these 14 tracks.  These tracks are not snooze ville renditions! No Way Jose! It’s the Stones playing with a ferocity a hard swift boot in the ass that makes this album real enjoyable!

Mick Jagger/Keef/Ronnie Wood/Charlie Watts/Daryl Jones/Chuck Leavell/Bobby Keys/Bernard Fowler and Lisa Fisher Lay down the Stones Juggernaut Sonically!

Check out these 14 Bad Boys….

“Not Fade Away” – Amsterdam
“Honky Tonk Women” – Paris
“Dead Flowers” – Amsterdam
“Faraway Eyes” – London
“Shine A Light” – Amsterdam
“I Go Wild” – Paris
“Miss You” – London
“Like A Rolling Stone” – Amsterdam
“Brown Sugar” – Paris
“Midnight Rambler” – London
“Jumpin’ Jack Flash” – Paris
“Gimme Shelter” – Amsterdam
“Rip This Joint” – Amsterdam
“Street Fighting Man” – Amsterdam

First of all these recordings are from 1995 so their  2 plus decades old! No biggie as the Stones were firing on all 4 cylinders during the Voodoo Lounge Tour..

1995 The Stones released Stripped which features some of these tunes but these songs on Totally Stripped are recorded on  different nights (except for Street Fighting Man)  than what was heard on Stripped!

Cool idea and to be honest once I read that I was onboard!

Neat that I Go Wild from the Voodoo Lounge album is featured here in a rocked up jam out version and I will tell you that Mick N Keef are strong here while Ronnie bends and flicks some neat riffs..

Faraway Eyes is featured and is rarely played so thats a bonus as it’s a great track. A slower paced Stones track…..

The real deal for me on this album is Midnight Rambler. Always have and always will love this track. This is the song for me that makes The Stones great! Ron and Keef lock horns on the guitars while Charlie drives the tune from behind his drum kit! Everyone talks about Jagger and his deal as one of the best frontman in rock but no one talks about his harmonica playing. Mick gives er on the Gob Iron. Midnight Rambler is one of those songs you don’t want to end and what is most impressive is how the Stones slow the tune right down and then on cue ramp it up without falling all over themselves as they crank it back up! Total Gem!

Gimmie Shelter….is another song built around that guitar riff and the backing vocal of Fisher who Grand Slams it out of the park with her singing! I always think of the movie Casino and Coke  when I hear this song! Ha! Another all time great..what can be said about it?

A real nice addition here is the inclusion of Rip This Joint. The boys start it and Mick kinda drifts and then Bam it stops within the first few bars! The band rock it back up and are off! It’s good to see them leave mistakes on here as it shows they can still be a bar band at heart and be sloppy yet they can mop up their mistake and continue without missing a beat! This is what makes em great!

Glad this album came out as don’t be fooled by the title as you may think its a whole unplugged deal…

Nope its the Stones…an all out Barroom Boogie Assault!

Rival Sons/Hollow Bones(2016)

 

June 6th 2016 and  Rival Sons drop yet another Fantastic Slab O Rock! As  you readers of Stick It In Your Ear  already know how much I dig these Fella’s as it takes this Ol Buzzard a lot to stand up and take notice to new Sonics Of Rock!

Well stand up and notice I did and this album to put it bluntly is Brilliant! Producer Dave Cobb has magically weaved the Sonic Wand from the 70s and has given Rival Sons the  production to keep it sounding retro like, yet with an eye on the current and future!

Smart play I say and why not. This is indeed an album made by a band that like a few others out there that are not going to make the same album twice or three times in a row!

The Dudes that created this Epic Piece of Rock are..

Jay Buchanan — vocals
Scott Holiday — guitar, string arrangement
Dave Beste — bass guitar
Michael Miley — drums

The songs from the album are below….

Writer(s) Length
1. “Hollow Bones Pt. 1” Scott Holiday, Jay Buchanan, Michael Miley, Dave Cobb 2:52
2. “Tied Up” David Beste, Buchanan, Holiday 3:27
3. “Thundering Voices” Holiday, Buchanan, Cobb, Miley 2:53
4. “Baby Boy” Buchanan, Holiday 3:37
5. “Pretty Face” Buchanan, Holiday 3:23
6. “Fade Out” Holiday, Buchanan 4:50
7. “Black Coffee” Ike Turner, Tina Turner 5:34
8. “Hollow Bones Pt. 2” Buchanan, Holiday, Miley, Beste 6:50
9. “All That I Want” Buchanan 3:39
Total length:
37:06

Don’t you just love it!  Just under 38 Minutes  long enough  for everyone not  to lose their attention span especially mine!

The songs are brilliantly crafted. Hollow Bones PT 1 squashes your brains within  the opening 10 seconds of the song  as Miley/Beste and Holiday crush it and Cobb adds the winning touches sonically while Jay throws it down vocally. Seriously he is the real deal vocally while Holiday on guitar is a genius with his Riffs O Rock. Scott is not a showboater on the 6 string as he knows his place in the Sons and this is what makes them unique. As a whole there all equals as no one is trying to show the other guy up!

Tied Up features Miley playing a Zep Bonzo like groove and take about a real cool fade out at the end of the track as the boys go off into Jam Land. I do not as a listener want it to end!

Many of these tracks are like that built up from jams and Black Coffee being the cover tune on the album but by the way the Sons do it you think they wrote it!

Other Gems like Baby Boy are straight ahead Rival Rock Tracks with Miley keeping the beat moving while Holiday zips in and zips out with his Riffing Bolts Of brilliance!

Fade Out is perhaps my fav track at the moment! It continuously builds up and Jay lays down one of the many great vocal tracks throughout this album, The shift of the gears of the band at the end is just so brilliant! Holiday is soooo good on this track……

All That I Want features Holiday on acoustic and the smooth vocal delivery of one Mr Buchanan! The Sons just strip it down to the bare essentials here folks!

Jay/Scott/Dave and Michael go beyond the call of duty in their writing and arranging on this album while Dave Cobb delivers the final touches at the recording and mixing console!

Hollow Bones continues the path of the Rival Sons of moving forward yet staying true to their roots!

I cannot stop listening to this album……

Rainbow/Boston 1981(2016)

 

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A few weeks back I read that a new/old Rainbow Live Album would be surfacing and as per protocol around these parts my curiosity level peaked!

Itunes had it.I purchased it! Anyone surprised by that??

Below is the 10 Tracks featured on Boston 1981…..

Spotlight Kid
Love’s No Friend
I Surrender
Man On The Silver Mountain
Catch The Rainbow
Can’t Happen Here
Lost In Hollywood
Difficult To Cure
Long Live Rock N’ Roll
Smoke On The Water

This version of Rainbow features of course founding member Richie Blackmore(guitar) along with  Bobby Rondelli(drums) Don Airey(keys) Roger Glover (bass) and Joe Lynn Turner(vocals)

Joe, man he followed Ronnie James Dio(RIP) and Graham Bonnet in Rainbow and Joe at times got hammered by the press as making Rainbow sound like a British Foreigner. Perhaps, but for my personal listening tastes this is my favourite version of the band as this was the Rainbow I had gotten into.

The Mix on this album is Real Good considering it’s 35 years old and has been Bootlegged numerous times it has a good sound! On the headphones it’s all Richie’s Guitar on the left side! Everything else(vocals,bass,drums,keys and bass) is in the middle on the right! You really get Blasted by Blackmore’s guitar and why not he’s a genius!

Spotlight Kid is a great opener and Turner tosses down a real cool smooth as silk Rock Vocal! Almost a little raspy (road worn?) still it gives you that live feeling like your there! Blackmore is on fire and it’s the opener and the Man In Black doesn’t fool around! I love the interplay between Richie and Don Airey on the keys! Very Deep Purple like. Rainbow rock it out the gate in a quick and orderly fashion!

Love’s No Friend starts off with Ritchie playing a chill riff while Bobby plays his bass drum to keep the beat and full points are awarded here as he smashes the tar out of his Gong(a lost live art!) Love’s No Friend is an interesting second track as it ploughs forward kinda slowly but by the end Ritchie and the Boys ramp it up and it picks up steam as the SS Rainbow heads towards the Rock Dock( yeah that was kinda a lame scenario. It’s all I got!)

Airey begins I Surrender with a throwback keyboard sound and Ritchie joins in and this is awesome stuff as Ritchie plays loose with a  real live feel and with him being totally mixed on the left side when he stops for a second there’s no sound coming out! Ha! So cool gives it a real cool live feel! This song is very catchy and has a pop rock element to it and Turner sings a great track! Actually this whole album Turners voice is real good!

Want to hear a real cool opening riff? Click the video posted above of Man On A Silver Mountain. Even though Dio sang the original Turner sings it well and with respect! This is a wicked awesome track and Rainbow rock this bad boy…Crank it!

Catch The Rainbow is a 14 minute Trippy Prog Rockers Delight! Its like your on a Sonic Rainbow with all of its time changes albeit slow trance like! This must have been a Toker’s Dream at the Rainbow shows of yesteryear! I could picture it now everyone just getting baked out of their minds and drifting elsewhere in a trance like state! Blackmore approved!

Quick! Put the Dope Away as Rainbow rock it to the top with Can’t Happen Here. Love the start of this tune as the drums/bass/keys start it and it sounds like Ritchie’s having technical issues and that’s what I love about actual live albums. Warts N All! Turner and Crew are lock and loaded on this tune and it’s another great straight ahead rock track!

Don Airey  plays a real crazy Keyboard almost spooky like (think the vibe of Ozzy’s Mr Crowley) and Lost In Hollywood (I’m sure there are many a Rainbow tale of Lost Nights Everywhere) The song is another rocker in the Rainbow Arsenal! For good measure toss in a Ritchie guitar solo and from what I listened too it sounds like his Strat took a Shit Kickin that night….

Probably since I work in a Hospital I always dug the Difficult To Cure album cover(Pic of the band in Hospital O.R Gear) and Difficult To Cure is a big epic like Beethoven inspired track. Blackmore and Airey  weave in and out of each others music space and its like Blackmore uses the keys as a second guitar,dual lead solos with the keyboards and such. Man,say what you want about the after show party shenanigans that I’m sure all bands partook in. With Ritchie you had to have your  chops together or he would Fire Yer Ass!

Long Live Rock N Roll is another straight ahead rocker track from the Dio years and Rainbow lay down the law with this song.

Blackmore digs into his previous bands catalogue but teases the crowd with he beginning of Lazy? Ummm nope! Hey there’s the beginning of Woman From Tokyo! Wawazat! So Ritchie messes with the crowd and then launches into the opening riff and its Smoke On The Water and I can see why when Ritchie and Roger were back with Purple they chose Turner to sing for them (1990s Slaves And Masters) . Turner sings Smoke real good and Rainbow pulls it off but like there would be any doubt right?

This is a real good album! Rainbow Boston 1981 is a Live album! No Fixings and Doctering it up in the studio. From What I read this show was a co headline show with Pat Travers and recorded for the King Biscuit Radio Show.

Get This……