Tag Archives: Whitesnake

Thunder Bay Arena Rocks Top 10 Music Picks for 2019!

This year I thought I would post my Best of Lists a little early. When I think back to the last 12 months of music it was the year of massive reissues of bands like R.E.M/STP/Whitesnake with 2 Reissues!!/Sloan/Def Leppard/Skid Row and the list goes on and on.

BUT …

Some bands and artists put out some new cool quality stuff so hopefully, you may check out some of these acts and artists to see what I dug in the year 2019. Feel free to post your picks in the comments below!

Here we GO!

1-Tom Keifer-RISE: Well looky, looky here. Is it 1989? No way folk’s it’s 2019 and who saw this coming? Tom Keifer shakes it and doesn’t break it as he delivers a solid blast of  CinderRock over 11 tracks that fuse all the old school elements of Cinderella while cementing a future in a really cool current sound that I hope the Keiferband will continue to follow. My favorite release this year, Congrats Tom! You have no idea who the Hell I am but I dig your album.

2-Big Wreck- …but for the sun: Guitar wizard Ian Thornley is back in a big way Folk’s as he cranked up the amps and cuts loose over the 12 tracks on this album.  Ian’s singing/guitaring and writing on this album is phenomenal as well as the two other fellas who helped him out on this as well! Kudos to Dave MacMillian and Chuck Keepling. Locomotive is one unbelievable track!

3-Rival Sons- Feral Roots: Rival Sons basically took over crap rock radio in Thunder Bay with the single Do Your Worst and on this album, the band, and producer Dave Cobb stepped up and kicked down the walls on this opus. Big Loud Fuzz Guitar Rock! How about the drums on Back In The Woods!

4-Carl Dixon- Unbroken: You want a straight-ahead hard rock album with a throwback sound to the roaring ’80s with some fantastic catchy driven rock. Than Unbroken is for you! 11 songs in the Hard Rock AOR spectrum that are pure Gold! Carl’s the definition of Rock n Roll survivor!

5-Jared James Nichols-Black Magic: Jared showed up one night this past April here in Thunder Bay opening for John5 and sizzled mine and Tbone’s brains into mush! JJN is a must-see live as he nails that heavy blues power trio format to a T. This guy is that good live and Black Magic is a stellar album that features all the fine trimmings that Mr. Nichols possess. Watch for this dude in 2020!

6-Page 38-Burning The Midnight Oil: These 4 young fella’s hail from my hometown Thunder Bay and this 5 song EP kicks serious ass. Page 38 came across my radar when they opened for and kicked to the curb ‘Cranky’ Anvil back in May of this year. I quickly scooped up the EP from iTunes as you should do as well! Love the tune Mama June! Click the video below and support our local Boy’s.

‘At Mama Junes, back door liquor store
She got what you want, couldn’t ask for more
Knock three times, 20 under the door, forget what you know
At Mama Junes, back door liquor store ‘

7-Whitesnake- Flesh and Blood: An album I had zero interest in until Ladano and John Snow got into my noggin about how good it was. They were right. Coverdale wrote a batch of tunes with Reb Beach and together they slid out 14 good rock tracks especially Hey You (You Make Me Rock) Plus add the two reissues this year of Slide It In and Slip of the Tongue.  Cov has been one busy dude! All hail the old guy!

8-Sammy Hagar & The Circle- The Space Between: Speaking of an old guy. Crazy to think that Sammy is 71 and has been doing the Rock thing for 5 Decades! That’s longevity in the truest sense. Sammy  with his good pal Micheal Anthony along with Vic Johnson and a drummer whose last name is Bonham released a pretty decent rock record in 2019. Concept album none the less about Greed and Corruption. Trust Fund Baby is a great track and as well the production on this album is old school sounding. No Polish and that’s a good thing.

9-Motley Crue- The Dirt: Never been big on soundtracks but The Dirt soundtrack interested me for some reason or maybe I was bored that week it came out. Dunno but when Tricky Sixx and Tommy muster up some new songs with Bob Rock I’m onboard. 4 new songs 3 of which are originals are ok but the cover tune of Madonna? Ummm. Whatever, still though when you dump a bunch of tracks off the first two albums (Too Fast For Love and Shout At The Devil) the sucker in me will always bite!

10-Sean Kelly-Touch Me: All round Great Canadian Fella Sean Kelly when not playing guitar/singing/songwriting in a bunch of bands (Coney Hatch/Alan Frew/Lee Aaron to name but a few) reactivated his old band Crash Kelly and put out a doozie of a track titled Touch Me which is a Glam Rockers delight. Think Cheap Trick mashed up with The Sweet.  This is Ear Candy. I think we need a full album, Mr. Kelly!

Check back here in a couple of days for another Best OF list with a twist!

Old Dude School of Rock!-1981

 

1981 was a real interesting year in my world of music!  Beginning in January 81 I had gone to a local record shop to pick up John Lennons “Double Fantasy” album as the whole world was still shocked after Lennon was assassinated in December 1980!

My intentions were all about getting the Lennon album until I walked into out local Sam The Record Man and seen on the racks these four long-haired guys calling themselves Van Halen that had them posing on the  front cover.  That album was Woman & Childern First and to this day it for me is perhaps the album that most impacted me. All Nine 9 songs on WACF are stellar. I had never heard guitar sound or played like that! I had never heard a singer think he is Tarzan yodeling away at the beginning of Track 2(Everybody Wants Some!) The Drums and Bass on the album  sound like a runaway locomotive about to come off the tracks. The band is on who knows what chemically but whatever keep the party rolling and by golly David Lee Roth/Eddie Van Halen/Alex Van Halen/Micheal Anthony did just that!

Just 3 short months later VH’s Fair Warning came out and was a real score for me as well! Here’s my favourite new band that I just discovered  and another new album? Ed Van Halen by this time solidifies his greatness in my world making him to this day still my numero uno fav-o 6 stringer!

Can Con started to make a dent in my listening habits as well as Triumph put out the super cool Allied Forces. Triumph were a Canadian 3 piece that featured two lead singers and a freaky dude on Bass! Triumph meant business back in 81. I mean it was about Allied Forces and Rock Troops. Magic Power/Fight The Good Fight and real classic wallop to the head opening track Fool For Your Love. Man Triumph were a lean mean fighting machine back than…

Judas Priest put out for what myself and Tbone could easily call our favourite Priest album and that would be  Point of Entry, Love the sonic’s of this album with just straightforward Rock tracks like Heading Out To The Highway/Desert Plains and the very brilliant very underrated Turning Circles!

Rush made a double dent in my listening habits with both Moving Pictures and Exit Stage Left!  My first foray into the term Prog Rock! Seriously these guys are singing about Honey Dew/Hash and Trees? Course Rush played at a level that was seriously sick I mean who the fuck plays drums like that? Neil Peart does Bitches that’s who!

Another huge game changer was Iron Maiden ‘Killers’. Maiden opened Killers with a musical only number Ides of March that segued way into Wrathchild and I had never heard Metal like this! It was brilliant as the guitars of Davey Murray/Adrian Smith just wailed like no one’s business and what the hell the Bass Player writes all the tunes?? Steve Harris was and is still the deal! Paul Di’anno had a great set of pipes back than and I think took it for granted his situation in Maiden that cost him his spot…

Those ol Horndogs AC/DC released For Those About To Rock(We Salute You) and Tbone was the first one to get this album. We stared at that gatefold pic of the live shot for hours while we listened to Brian Johnson once again sing about the birds and bee’s! We all  bought into the program folks and so did you!

Whitesnake with the live Ain’t No Love In The Heart of the City was my first time dabbling with a Snake album. Whitesnake circa 1981 featured three ex members of Deep Purple laying down that old school Hammond B3 old blues rock vibe 6 years before that Crazy Bird slid all over the hood of the Cov’s Jaguar in those Snake Vid’s!

Aerosmith Live Bootleg made such a huge impact on my listening habits in that it was the first live  album I had ever heard where the band sounded blasted and in another zone yet what was in the grooves  was so good/so classic/so stoned!

Last not least as KISS release The Elder which has KISS wanting to write a concept record! Fair enough but when your 14 and you have heavy hitters like Maiden/Priest/VH/Rush/Triumph putting out hard hitting slabs of rock! Why the F**k am I hearing a flute  on a KISS album?

 

 

Whitesnake/Evolutions(2017)

 

Whitesnake and more importantly David Coverdale has  been in the press lately promoting the huge mega selling 1987 album that featured the classic Still of the Night single amongst others!

This reissue intrigued me as to Dave went the extra mile and added bonus tracks that were not on the Canadian version originally along with a live show from 1988(more thoughts on that below) and as fellow blogger Destroyer of Harmony states the real ticket here are the demos that were finally made available 30 years later to hear how these tunes were constructed!

This is a monster reissue  with 44 tracks, clocking in at 3 hours and 57 minutes!

The Demos as of right now I cannot stop listening too.

What you get is Coverdale and John Sykes creating the songs we have heard a million times over yet at their earliest stages with just Dave and John jamming with Dave jibber jabbing words trying to make sense and add words to the guitar riffing of Sykes.

You can hear as the song progresses from its earliest stages as Coverdale has basically dubbed in as the song goes along to the actual demo form with the whole band playing. Basically the evolution as the title implies.

The 11 songs that make up the demo portion are as Destroyer stated are GOLD!

Sykes is a fuckin monster on these demos! His playing is ferocious on these demos! He alone is worth the listen as you hear him figure stuff out and as the song progresses to the solo sections he takes off!

Beyond a doubt he is brilliant!

Still of The Night begins and you can hear Dave figuring out words and John noodling around. Whats even cooler you hear an actual telephone ring in the background  and Dave adds “he hears the bells ringing” Amazing stuff with  Coverdale clapping along to keep a beat as Sykes riffs and before too long you hear the song advancing to the actual demo stage and the solo is magic!

Bad Boys has a drum machine and at the beginning is in slow mo but as the song progresses you hear them speed up to the point that its faster than the studio version that we all have heard!

Straight from the Heart has a whole different chorus as Dave sings Love Drives You Crazy. I cannot believe these stayed buried for 30 years! Dave noodles around on a keyboard while John and him fool around with vocal lines.

Crying In The Rain is an absolute monster on the demo. Sykes destroys the six string during his solo as drummer Anysely Dunbar and bassist  Neil Murray hold down the fort!

Listen to the song posted above which is Is This Love where Sykes blazes a huge solo at the end of the demo. So friggin good!

Children of the Night in its earliest form is a great track. I have always loved this tune. Sykes just cranking out huge riff after riff….

I never understood Coverdale’s motive for firing John Sykes/ Anysley Dunbar/ Neil Murray and producer Mike Stone as soon as their parts were done but after listening to these demos I see why!

Sykes is the deal here and it sounds like Coverdale wanted all the fame which is what he got but don’t forget the dude who wrote the riff’s!

Sykes though was smart. To this day he collects 50 percent of the publishing off of this album and perhaps thats why he doesn’t do too much publicly!

After Sykes was booted Coverdale hit the road with a whole new version of Whitesnake which featured Vivian Campbell/Rudy Sarzo/Tommy Aldridge/Adrian Vandenberg.  Added on to this deluxe 87 album  is a live show from Tokyo from 1988.

This audio show is ok to say the least as its heavy on the 1987 and Slide It In albums but the guitar work especially during the solos are disappointing to say the least as neither Vandenberg or Campbell have the firepower that Sykes brought to the table!

Basically Adrian and Vivian took these solos to the shop! A butcher’s shop that is. I don’t get it as Vandenberg on his own solo material is awesome as was Campbell in DIO/Def Leppard but in Whitesnake its a different sloppy ball game. Maybe a bad night in Tokyo? Too much hairspray? Too much Tawny?

Dunno…..

I wonder if Sykes has ever heard this live show? If so he is probably laughing and he must have really laughed when on the 1988 MTV Music Awards (I think it was) when Vandenberg used a violin bow during their performance of Still of the Night!**

No wonder Robert Plant went bat shit crazy when he seen that!

** I checked and watched  Vandenberg as he does indeed use the violin bow during the Snakes appearance on the 87 MTV Awards! Watching it gave me a chuckle how Coverdale took what he and Sykes created and flushed it down the crapper by this performance just to sell a few more million copies!

I miss the 80’s!

HAHAHA!

Darr’s Top 20 Albums OF All Time(2016 Edition)

Darr I have known for about as long as I have known Tbone and there’s a simple explanation  for that and the answer would be that Darr is TBones younger brother( not by much though!)

Darr growing up got the knowledge of all good things Rock from myself and Tbone! Basically it worked like this. I would buy the product. Than pass it on to Tbone and from the inner sanctum of Tbones Basement Bedroom Darr would hear and be and be captivated by the Sonics Of Rock ….

Like what I did to Tbone I loaded up a syringe of Roth Era Van Halen and shot Darr up ! From there he gathered up all things  Rock(1987-88 or so) and found his own path. Digging around buying stuff and I would occasionally check in to see his growing Cassette Collection growing by leaps and bounds. After a short while I knew my work with Darr was done!

So here we are almost 30 years later and when I posted my Top 20 Albums on Facebook Darr delivered and real Super Duper List like along with his old brother as like all good friends do to another  I called them out publicly!

After Darr posted to my FaceCrack page his Top 20 and we bantered a bit I knew I had to yammer  about his selections.

Time To Dissect…..See Darr’s Top 20 Below….

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The Cult Electric and Guns N Destruction just like Tbones and my list made the cut! 1987 Babee……

Aerosmiths Pump(1989) makes an appearance and why wouldn’t  it? Its SoberAero but it still reeks some sleaze ball like slickness that is a classic for sure and just like the Aero albums of Toys In The Attic and Rocks. Steve-o and Joe put the ballad right at the end of the album and I’m real fuckin good with this move! Not a dud on this album and as we had all seen this tour in Winnipeg(March 1990) that may have swayed Darr somewhat but make no bones about Pump! It’s  a bonfide classic!

Like his older brother,Darr selected ZZ Tops Eliminator and this little Texas Nugget rocks bad ass! ZZ Nation is alive and well with the brothers in Tbay!

Heres  something that Darr pulled out of the Rule box and was a pure genius move! He selected Two Van Halen Albums! Now the rules were you couldn’t  pick two albums by the same band so Darr picked the Van Halen debut(1978) with Dave Roth singing and For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge (1991)with Sammy Hagar singing. True its the same band in name but two different animals in the studio! Van Halens debut is the juggernaut of Guitar Brilliance and the Vocal Shenanigans of Roth while F.U.C.K is Sam fueled with his own spin on tunes like the immortal  Poundcake,Right Now and how could we forget Spank! HA!  Not to be outdone Darr even selected Dave’s Eat Em And Smile  as a Top 20 ….Well Played Darr….

Whitesnake before that Crazy Cougar slid all over hoods of cars made Darr’s list with Slide It In!(1984) Great add Darr as the late great Cozy Powell slams those drums and you have John Sykes( playing chill before he’s let loose a few years later on the 1987 album) along with others like Jon Lord and David Coverdale singing about everything Sex,Sex and more Sex! Hey Sex sells so Slide It In!

AC/DC take Darr on the Highway To Hell(1979) and He’s not coming back folks! Night Prowler,Get It Hot are some Gems there that never get discussed and they should! I need to review that bad boy someday!

Bryan Adams with Into The Fire resonated with Darr and this is another great surprise! This album at the time when released in 1987 kinda stalled publicly as it wasn’t Reckless Part Deux! Adams served up a change ball to us and for Darr he took the pitch! Atta Boy! Hearts On Fire from this album is one of the best tunes I think Adams ever wrote!

Bono and U2 make the grade and you can read my thoughts on TBones post about Achtung Baby(1991).

But a real  deadly pick was The Black Crowes with Shake Your Money Maker(1990) Holeee Fudge Darr! This is easily a piece of Rock Gold! Those two wacky Robinson Brothers nailed this one out of the park and into the next decade,make that two and half decades and the album still cooks! Thick N Thin I just love ..no we love it all!

Like on a few lists Def Leppard shows up and for Darr Its pyro rock n roll with Pyromania (1983). What can I say about a  album launching sonics into another stratosphere ….Man Oh MAN……

Darr does not leave the Canadian Rock behind and picks Rushs debut from 1974 with John Rutsey on the drums and Darr must have taken a shine to the throwback sound of the debut. Why Not? This little debut cooks quicker than Tbone frying Finnish Pancakes in the morning after a hard nights Drinkin!

Tragically Hip show up 20 years later after Rushs debut with Day For  A Night(1994) and compared to my fav of the Hip Road Apples  Day For Night is darker more moodier than Apples kinda like as if the Hip were to take a sledgehammer to a bag of Apples! Day For Night would come to fruition! Mopey Hip but it works! Grace Too is a beauty of a opener!

‘Here I Am I’m On The Scene’ so says Gordie Johnson and Big Sugar are here with 1998s Heated a mash-up of ZZ Top  and Bob Marley with a huge dose  of fuzzed up reggae like tones! Even Randy Bachman plays on Let it Ride and old BTO nugget that Bachman wrote…Sweet add as well….

Rest In Peace! Cupids Dead! Yup that would be Three Sides To Every Story(Yours, Mine And The Truth)  by Extreme and can you once again say Shock A Roo! Darr dug deep into his Sonic LunchBook and Wowzers Nuno and Gary would be pleased to see this! Pretty impressive that back in Grunge 92 these boys could toss out a solid rock record and still have it sell….somewhat!

Dazed And Confused a soundtrack that features amongst others a whose who of Classic Rock! Sabbath,Kiss,Foghat,Cooper,Sweet! There all here…..crank it,drink it,snort it whatever it may be! Added bonus points to Mr Darr for this being the first Soundtrack on any list I seen! A round of Kudos please!

Darrs last couple of picks that I’m gonna talk about are real cool one of which I’m familiar with and one I’m not with…

Jack Whites  Lazaretto just was released two years ago(2014) Too be honest my old buzzard mind has no idea about anything about this release but if Darr included It Lazaretto must be a Solid Ball Of  Rock! Great pick and perhaps one I should seek out myself and Darr can load up the Sonic Syringe and shoot me up with a dose of Jack Rock!

Beastie Boys Paul Boutique came out in 1989 and I even bought this on cassette and it was a huge departure as for myself I was weened on Fight For Your Right To Party from 1986 but man The Beasties change-up the sonic atmosphere and well how about a round of applause for “Shake Yo Rump” Ha…love that tune Mega Pumping Bass! Darr not only stepped out of the box on these two albums but he kicked the snot out of the box! Well done Son!

Actually out of Darr’s  Top 20 list I have only reviewed  4 of these 20 picks.  So I hope you’s all dug it!

 

All My Favourite People Are Broken/Brent Jensen

All I'm Going To Say Here Is...GET THIS!
All I’m Going To Say Here Is…GET THIS!

Back in late 2012, I was surfing the net as they say and I landed on Bravewords.com. There I noticed a blurb about a book that was coming out called No Sleep Til Sudbury: Adventures In 80s  Hard Rock And Metal Deconstruction.

WHUT!?? The article mentioned that the author Brent Jensen had written a book about growing up in Sudbury during the 80s and how hard rock had shaped his growing up as a teen.

Double WHUT!!? I grew up in the 80s(well some would say that’s open for debate today that I grew up at all) and music ruled my life so before I headed to Amazon.ca I knew I was purchasing this book!

No Sleep was quickly ordered and once I received the book I could not put the friggin thing down! I was hooked. I blasted through the novel like a Downtown Hustler looking for change on a Saturday Night! No Sleep was that fantastic of a read! It was a quick reread if you’re keeping score!

Brent wrote  No Sleep about himself but the book could have been about me growing up in Thunder Bay! It totally resonated with me on a personal level. Not just the great musical stories but just life stories along the way with various friends of Brent!

Having said that I did not have a friend who tried to outrun Fire! Haha! (The dude lost!)  The book was more than music it was a way of  80s life!

I was blown away! This was the book I’ve been waiting for! Sure Chuck Klosterman wrote Fargo Rock City which is a great read as well but Brent’s book spoke to me!

So I went on Brent’s website and dropped him an email and told him what a fantastic read and excellent job he did on the book.  Brent wrote back and said he appreciated the positive comments that I put forward. I was kinda relieved Brent returned correspondence as when he read my email for the first time  I probably babbled on like some kind of Fruit Loop!

From there I would occasionally ask Brent “when’s the next book coming?”  Yeah, Stalker comes to mind but I wanted another fix. I needed more books dude!

In early 2015 I secured a copy of Brent’s second book release that he titled Leftover People. Instead of me recapping the story you can read my blog about it from a little over a year ago. Click here….https://superdekes.wordpress.com/2015/01/21/rock-101-leftover-people-by-brent-jensen/

So there Ya be! I stayed in touch with Brent to keep me posted about when his third book was coming! Also in the meantime, I would pick his brain on life, music, concerts, albums etc!

April 1st, 2016 and Mr. Jensen has released All My Favourite People Are Broken. If you have noticed from my other book reviews I don’t like to give out too much info as I want you the reader to check this stuff out but I will go on record here and state “Brent! You have hit another one(this book) out of the park!”

All My Favourite  People Are Broken details Brent hooking up with his long time friend Garvey out in Western Canada with as they say tunes, beers, and various party treats and set their iPods on play and talk about whatever songs come up! No artist is left behind.  Nothing was preplanned!

Brent and Garvey dissect each song on what made it good/bad. Sure they talk about Hard Rock/Metal (Garvey’s description of Tawny Kitaen and her involvement in the Whitesnake video is a hoot! Well said, Sir!) Other genres of music are discussed as well. Pop,Rap, Country, Alt Rock! Alison Moyet anyone? Al Green? Go-Gos?  Guns N Roses are talked about and as crazy as it sounds and I’m not saying who said it in the book but on page 75 the comment of “I would like to hear Axl Rose sing some AC/DC before I die ” is stated!

Triple WHUT!!! Ha! Someone became a prophet at that Cabin Lodge that weekend especially since it’s being reported that Axl is going to be fronting AC/DC for 10 shows at some point this year.

Brent writes with a style and flair of his own and he knows how to keep the reader engaged with one eye on keeping the book moving forward in a quick fashion while adding some comedic like stories so as a reader you don’t get bored! Case in point Chapter 13 titled LA LA! Did someone say Party Treats?

There are a lot of Music Lovers out there and we all have talked music. Brent took it a step further documented it and wrote a Fantastic Book about it.

This is my third Jensen Book I have devoured and I will tell ya they are three books you should all take the time to seek out and purchase!

Evilyn Strange/Evilution(2016)

Evilyn Strange are a three-piece  band out of Europe that are making some noise over on this side of the pond by releasing a 5 song E.P that I purchased for $2.99 on iTunes! Seriously where else nowadays can you buy anything for cheap? Yeah exactly, not to many places that’s for sure!

Evilyn Strange consist of Phillip Strange(vocals), Mikael Johannesson(guitars and bass) and The Ghost(drums). Ummm maybe The Ghost is real or maybe he’s a Ghost player? Ha! Good on them for monkeying around as the promo pics of the band just  feature Phillip and Mikael! Hmmmmm…

Anyway’s it’s the music that matters! Let The Music Do The Talking!

The songs that make up Evilution are European/Hard Rock and shall we take a gander at said product!!

By the way check out Mike’s site and Aaron’s site as well as they have reviewed this EP as well! That’s right folks a triple header!

LET IT RAIN-Slamming double bass drums lead the charge forward and thing is that Phillips vocals to me come across as a pre 1987 David Coverdale type vibe mixed with a shot of Fin’s vocals. Fin?? Whose that Deke?  Well readers, Fin was the lead singer of Waysted back in the day and for further listening check out Waysted’s Vices and maybe it’s just me but I hear some of Ol Fin in the singing at certain times throughout. The verse along with the chorus are catchy and I dig how Phillip drops like  an octave and just says “Let It Rain” and then Mikael takes off with a rip n roar solo! Parts John Norum,parts Micheal Schenker and the fella can play but he solos with style not doing all the dippy doodle burn the fretboard spiel that Yngwie J is known for! Great start!

INVISIBLE MAN-Wowzers this is a great track. It builds up think later day Europe like sounding albums (War Of The Worlds) that’s the Invisible Man! Dig the chorus and the solo. Give this song a listen as its posted! I won’t say no more just listen with your ears!

STORM CLOUDS-Some way over the top drumming leads off Storm Clouds. Think PainKiller on speed by Judas Priest. To be quite frank with everyone this song is a little to over the top for me. Fast, faster drumming tons of guitaring albeit very impressive but it’s just not my deal. For others though I’m sure it is!

NEVER-Never would have been one of the better tracks off of Whitesnakes Slip Of The Tongue album. Easily could have fit on side two right after Slow Poke Music! Never stomps along at a post Coverdale late night party bash after the booze and party treats are consumed up. Mikael nails down a decent sweep on the six string. The guy has some decent chops in his  catalogue of riffs!

STAY-A good well written track that ends the EP on a slower pace and one that to be honest I wasn’t expecting! Well played boys. You fooled  this Old Goat! Nice lead vocal by Phillip and a decent attempt at covering more musical bases than just four on the floor riff rock.

FINAL YAMMER-Considering this is a new band its a pretty good crack at Ol school hard Rock with an updated modern-day sound. Give these a guys a spin on iTunes I mean for $2.99 for 5 tracks buy some new music and support these guys.

 

SONIC WAVES….Revolution Saints/Revolution Saints

 

Who woulda thunk it that my first purchase of a new release from 2015 would be a band featuring a dude from Journey(Deen Castronovo) a fellow from Whitesnake(Doug Aldrich ) and a chap from one of Tbones 80s Guilty pleasures Nightranger(Jack Blades) .

One of my blog pals from Sweden Jon who writes his own great stuff at Festival and Music Guide gave these guys a 9/10 review of there debut. Too be honest  with ya’s the thought of put together bands with outside writers just wants to make me puke and I kinda alluded to this fact on Jons Facebook page.

Years past I have dabbled with supergroups and they have been a let down I mean one of the biggest musical car crashes was that Contraband band record from 1991! Remember that one on paper it looked good it had Micheal Schenker/Bobby Blotzer/Traci Guns/some chic from Vixen on bass and Richard Black a vocalist from a band called Shark Island(who were good) but man Contraband I bought and man what a pile of Vinyl Poo! Listened to It once and heaved it somewhere….Utter crapola!

Since I troll music sites daily like Blabbermouth and Bravewords I knew of Revolution Saints and seen as they were getting the press etc but I dunno I thought oh yeah here we go yada yada but Jon  said give it a try and his great review sold me on it so I preorderd it on iTunes and well …..good call Jon….this is a classic piece of well done AOR ROCK!

You Can Still Rock N America …..even if it’s 2015!

BACK ON MY TRAIL-this opener reminds me of a juiced up Nightranger track. It’s a fast rocker and well man the  question becomes apparent pretty quick why is Castronovo the Journey drummer and not the lead vocalist? My question is yeah he has some style reminiscent of Steve Perry but not a actual copycat of Perry! Who knows man but Deen has a smooth as silk AOR delivery and holy hell he can play some slick drums and of course with Jack Blades nailing down the 4 string and ok let’s talk about the guitar guy Doug Aldrich I guess he split from Whitesnake last year and he’s a great guitar player as it shows in this tune! Too be honest I guess he cowrote two Whitesnake records with Ol Dave Coverdale(Forevermore and Good To Be Bad) so the dude can hold his own but man he rips a pretty decent solo and so far track 1 is a winner !

TURN BACK TIME-Aldrich starts off with a nice opening riff and Deen and Jack share co lead vocals on this track! The other thing is if these guys ever go live there gonna have to drag a keyboard guy with them that’s for sure! Now I kinda get nauseated when I think of AOR and keyboards but these are mixed below Aldrichs guitar and for that SALUTE! This being a rock record I mean this thing is full of singles and this is another one for sure!

YOUR NOT ALONE- speaking of keys piano it is at the start of this track and well Arniel Pineda Yep the lead vocalist from Journey does the singing and I see why the record company wants to sell records so let’s bring in the current Journey vocalist! I get it I get it but man let The Saints forge there own identity and do it themselves but I don’t pay the bills so …. But seriously this is a great written track the chorus it breathes with Power chords and man Yep it’s not a balls out rocker but a good song here at Arena Rock is a good song! If this was 1990 this song woulda chugged easily into the top 10!

LOCKED OUT OF PARADISE-more straight ahead rock from The Saints! These guys Aldrich/Blades and Castronovo know the deal stick with what Ya know and it’s what they know which is there chops and the Aldrich pulls of some Van Halen Balance like playing! Love how the keyboard sounds like UFO like. Castronovo also plays some good drums on this record I mean the guy followed Steve Smith in Journey for Gods sake so he has to have it right ? Well I can say here he does! The solo is wickedly good here and man the solo and ending riff is deadly!  A  big boot of AOR up the back side!(currently my fav on here)

WAY TO THE SUN- this track features Deens boss from Journey and that’s Neil Schon. Hey and not since the fantastic Hardline Total Eclipse album of 1992 that Schon was on can I hear him rock the guitar! Geezus he still has it! Now this is the Neil Schon I wanna hear! Not the watered down sap a roo mix job that is done on Journey releases! This is a epic track that has all the trimming of late 70s early 80s Pomp Rock! Acoustic guitar/electric guitar/keys/Drums/Huge vocals! It’s all hear it’s basically wrapped in a package tighter than a Snickers Chocolate Bar!

DREAM ON- big time happy go lucky driving song I mean these are feel good tunes! This one is tailored made for radio! Man I hear Styx in this tune if Styx was playing at 190 mphs! Big chorus and the Saints know the deal. Don’t bore us get to the chorus and oh yeah the Aldrich solo! He steps up and drives the song and man the cat knows his deal don’t solo forever keeping it short and simple is no big deal!

DONT WALK AWAY- piano and man this song is good the verse is mellow and the song well this is a power ballad and so the chorus amps up a bit and the solo is smoking good…

HERE FOREVER- piano once again starts this song and it has more oomph than Don’t Walk Away but I think I woulda kept these two apart(my gripe) but still it’s good! I mean once again it’s down to the guitaring …

STRANGERS TO THIS LIFE- back to AOR Rock! The pre chorus is good,love the use of the Hammond organ on some of these tunes. I hear Whitesnake 1987 style in this tune and no not Slip Of The Tongue Whitesnake ….Geez seriously I guess I had to note that to my friends (readers out there)out there.

BETTER WORLD- umm you might think I’m on something but a part of this I hear Ozzys Shot In The Dark in the  chorus. The song shifts speeds and piano plays a part I mean it’s commercial Rock! I still can’t get that few bars of Shot  In The Dark out of my noggin! Hahahaha….great solo….shit man Aldrich is taking this record and carrying it on his shoulders to keep the hard rocker in me happy! Bravo Dougie boy!

HOW TO MEND A BROKEN HEART- cool rocker of a track! Deener pounds the skins and the vocals and this song will go over live well. The band is firing on its cylinders here. Man I guess I gotta give some props to Jack Blades as he carries the bottom end through out the record,knows his place and doesn’t overplay but than again if he did Aldrich would drown him out!

IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER(Fernandos Song) -piano once again paces this track and it’s a power ballad but Deen drives the tune forward with his drums (thanks a bunch) and it’s a fitting finale to a rock record.

IN CONCLUSION-ha…this is a very good record! I purposely tried to stay away from Journeyisms on this review and why not these guys should be commended for doing there own deal and if they could have have kept the two Journey handlers off this record it would have been better but like I said it’s about paying bills! Doug Aldrich holy shit the guys playing on here is just plain awesome! He plays at speeds when he has to,and can slow down when he has to! In other word he plays to the song and  not all over the fuckin place to make it a shred fest to give this old man(me) a headache!

Kudos to Aldrich/Castronovo and Blades and Jon for reviewing it!(good job chap)…..

 

 

3/4’s Filler….Whitesnake/Slip Of The Tongue

Oh oh here comes Nov 1989 and Whitesnake are striking while the iron is hot! What would a new Whitesnake be without a whole new lineup on the new studio album! Of course the whole 1987 album band is canned and gone and Coverdale pretty much keeps the touring band from the 1987 tour intact (Sarzo /Aldridge/Vandenberg) Vivian Campbell is gone so he carries the  WS tradition of getting your ass fired! So what does Dave Coverdale do? He goes after Steve Vai he layed down some serious guitar action with Dave Roth on the Eat Em And Smile and Skyscraper albums and man his guitar suited Roths voice so when I heard he had joined Whitesnake I was like ?….??….??? I mean I had a hard time wrapping my head around Vai’s Wang Bar  7 String Sting Ibanez Workout Extravaganza!

But with all  big band releases I was a first week buyer of Slip Of a The Tongue! I dunno I had a hard time taking this album serious and I will explain why….

First of all Adrian Vandenberg wrote with OL Cov all the tunes on this album but than he fucked up his arm and Coverdale waits for no one so he enlisted Vai who did all the guitars on Slip Of The Tongue! Now don’t get me wrong here people Vai is very good but not in Whitenake 1990! His playing is just over the top nuts at times on some of these songs and I will review quickly my thoughts on a few tunes!

SLIP OF THE TONGUE- bam this is the opener and it’s pretty good it almost sounds like a tune that could have maybe just  maybe fit on the 1987 album.  Tommy Aldridge plays some serious double bass drums and Dave is already screeching like his nutsack is being squeezed by that crazy chick on the previous albums videos! Oh wait a minute she was doing that to him! Ha! Seriously though Vai is restrained on this tune ….he’s setting a guitar trap!

CHEAP AN NASTY- now this has some cowbell and it kicks along with a pretty cool chorus but man the Vai solo just goes into Eat Em And Smile territory which is fine and dandy but not here in Whitesnake hard blues which has turned into arena c*%k rock 101!

NOW YOURE GONE- I dunno these guys are now writing for the radio! I understand it’s the game to be played but c’mon Cov don’t make it so obvious now.

KITTENS GOT CLAWS-next…..

JUDGEMENT DAY- now we’re talking! The Snakes pull of some big bombastic Zep riffs and it works! Jimmy Page must have been listening to this one as a few years later him and Coverdale did the fantastic Coverdale /Page album! Man that was a good one! So yep this is a great Whitesnake song…..

SLOW POKE MUSIC-this is another good song and it fits Whitesnakes style but the lyrics well are kinda goofy but hey it’s 1990! It’s time for some Slow Poke followed by  some Cherry Pie along with some Poison ( take your pick of any Poison song!)

SAILING SHIPS- this totally could have fit on any Vandenberg record and it’s well played and it’s got some great acoustic work on it!

The rest of the songs I never really took a liking to them. This album was the end of the line for me and Whitesnake. I got tired of all the personal upheaval and band member changes like geez Dave just call your your band Coverdale or Coversnake or Fire Yer Ass! …just don’t call it a band when it ain’t. The other thing to me was OL Cov it seemed would just run and gun with whoever was in his band and once he used up there creativity …..Now Your Gone(Hahahaha) seriously though he’s written some great albums but by 1990 times were a changing…….

KINDA IN CONCLUSION- perhaps I’m being harsh here folks but seriously by 1990 Whitesnake was a brand name in North America. I mean look at the vids I have posted for all 4 Blogs. You can see the transformation from 1980 – 1990 in sound and look and yep it worked for a album or two. I think Dave should have called this Coverdale/Vai instead of  Whitesnake and I may have skipped on this on the 3/4’s Filler column! Vai is a gifted guitarist (check out my Roth review of Eat Em And Smile) but for Whitesnake he was just playing way over the top crazy for my liking at the time. Of course Ol Cov shut down the Snake  in 1990 perhaps he knew the tide was turning and perhaps that was due to some of the turnouts in North America.

Case in point…….

Tbone and myself when we were in Winnipeg to see Motley Crüe in June of 1990. We were talking to some guy in the hotel lobby who went and seen Whitesnake/ Bad English when they played the Peg 4 days before the Crüe show!  I asked him how was Whitesnake. The dude told me they were good but only 2,000 people were there whereas when the Crüe played 4 days later 12,000 were there…. I don’t know what shocked me more. The fact that there were only 2,000 people at the show or the fact that that Tbone came 4 days from snagging that elusive Bad English Tour Shirt!

Damn,a missed opportunity ……

SONIC WAVES….Whitesnake/Slide It In

Who here by a show of hands has heard Slide It In the song?? Hahahaha…we all have but let me tell ya now in 2014 you  can snicker,hoot and howl but back in 84 this was a classic piece of hard Blues Rock and I’m gonna tell ya all about it!

Some background history with this release this is the album that got the Snake a foothold in North America. Gone is Bernie Marsden,Gone is Micky Moody,Gone is Mel Galley(r.i.p)Gone are both Jon Lord(r.i.p) and Ian Paice back to the reunited Deep Purple,returning is Neil Murray on bass and say hello to hot shot new guitar dude John Sykes,he of later day Thin Lizzy fame! And the great Cozy Powell on drums(r.i.p)Got it?

As you can see form the vid above this is the band with Lord( who went back to Purple shortly after this show)) playing Gambler in a hotel bar in Sweden?? These guys kick ass and from all accounts The Snakes blew off headliners Quiet Riot on there North American tour nightly.

So the deal is this, Cov I guess recorded a British version with a different mix for the faithfull diehards but in North America more specifically my house we got the North American remix but at the time I did not know this bit of tiny info but now 30 years later we may just get some debate going on this subject! In the European Version Corner we have Scottish blogger HMO and representing the North American side is Captain Canuck,Mr Ladano. Gentlemen let it rip in print !! Seriously,though these tunes especially the first three songs received a ton of vid play and still do!

But with me as always its the other songs like the vid for Gambler that I really dug and hey this my blog so enjoy the video..Hahahaha ….my rules!

Lets check on Coverdale before he bought fast cars and had that crazy ol wing nut slipping and sliding on the hood of his car 3 years later In 1987!

SLIDE IT IN- some neat guitar and bam Cozys drums kick in and man Cozy kicks ass and drives the Coverdale ship into tough seas on this and hey these lyrics have 1980s written all over em! But at the time I’m like who cares “I’m gonna slide it in right to the top! Slide it in I ain’t ever gonna stop,” seriously does it get any better than this? Cool solo now it could be Sykes,or is it Mel Galley or is it Bernie Marsden? I guess the story goes is Sykes is on the North American release as the others by this time were booted. Who the hell knows but I dig it!

SLOW AN EASY- some sleazy old school slide guitar starts off with Cov crooning and gasping for air and Cozy slams into heavy action on the drums …da da bam..dada bam..you know what I’m talking about you’ve heard this song a million times! Cool solo once again and the Snake has totally stepped up in to the big leagues with this album! 2 tracks in a were already into sleazeyville with  Mr Coverdale and his cronies!

LOVE AINT NO STRANGER- Jon Lord opens the song with his magical keys and he’s joined by Coverdale and Sykes and boom here comes Cozy kicking the song from becoming a sap ass power ballad and giving me hope and well that’s three songs in and three songs with Cozy Kickin ass! Coverdale could have used Cozy on those sappy tracks like Now Your Gone on the Slip Of The Tongue record but than again Cozy would have probably puked in his bass drum at the thought!

ALL OR NOTHING – this is a slammer of a hammer tune! Basically it’s Coverdale and his Snakes picking up a crowbar and crackin ya in the noggin and telling ya to listen up! You know the trick. Coverdale says ‘your gonna burn’ and bam were into a Jon Lord big ass sounding Hammond B3 rip snortin solo! Along with Cozy and Sykes driving the song! F’n Bravo !

GAMBLER- Shit I just love this tune and this was the tour opener for the Slide It In Tour if your keeping score! Great time changes,great solo and love the lyrics on this. It’s a tune about standing on the outside lookin at love! Ramblin,Gamblin Man Ol Coverdale was….

GUILTY OF LOVE – is the Whitesnake Xpress headed for destruction at break neck speed! You want a fast bluesy rocker. We’ll sign yourself up man and hop aboard the bus! Great synch of the keys and guitars and Coverdale gives it all on the pipes while Cozy slams those Yamaha drums into submission!

HUNGRY FOR LOVE- basically this tune is the Whitesnake Xpress slowing down due to construction ahead and it’s a different kind of groove! Love the drum mix on this record by Martin Birch! Man I miss those 1984 sounding records! But Hungry For Love  is just that! Cool I don’t need a University education to figure this stuff out! Thanks Dave!

GIVE ME MORE TIME- this track and the next two after this  are solid tunes as well and man I just love how the album doesn’t let up with this hard rock blues vibe! The Snakes say you can show different aspects of your sound and people will be cool with it like me! Neat guitar solo and solid drums,keys a great track!

SPIT IT OUT- If you don’t like it sez the Cov! Hahaha,30 years later yeah man the lyrics are corney but who the hell cares! I don’t! Back in 84 is no different than 2014 except that I’m balding/I’m broke/ I have a mortgage/ I have bills to pay .Cool catchy chorus even after all these years and Sykes/Murray and Powell drive the song! Hey u wanna be the cool guy whose pushing 50 at your next staff Christmas party! Throw on Spit It Out! Go ahead do it! ( and yeah invite me will ya!)

STANDING IN THE SHADOWS- so we go from Spitting it Out to Standing In The Shadows. This is a great song to end a great record. Cool backing vocals push the tune into super catchy status and I remember back when I received this album from parents at Xmas time 1984 that how it was awesome when bands ended albums on high notes! This is one of em!

IN CONCLUSION- don’t do it man,don’t laugh but this album is a scorcher from start to finish! David Coverdale,John Sykes,Jon Lord,Neil Murray and Cozy Powell made a super deadly slab of vinyl which I really wish i woulda kept cuz the cover of the vinyl did not feature any writing just the girl and the snake slithering down her (ahem) chest! This album is my fav all time Snake album. Also of note the touring unit of this album Powell/Sykes/Murray and Coverdale is my fav…….Next

SONIC WAVES….Whitesnake/ Live…… In The Heart Of The City

Welcome to Whitesnake Week here at Arena Rock Tbay! Now all you early am readers to my blog don’t choke  on your Cheerios but I thought I would try Something different here and talk about 4 albums by Whitesnake this week that run from 1980 to 1989!

The first time I heard Ol Whitesnake was at this dudes house whose name was Darcy. He had a older brother named Stacy so Stacy asked me ( this was around say 1982ish) if I had heard of the band Whitesnake? I had! In Circus magazine they were written about a bit but not much. That day for better or worse I became a follower and my first introduction to the Snake was the live album …..Live In The Heart Of The City. Once I heard it I was hooked I had not heard a band like this before with blazing Hammond B3 organ,crazy drums,bluesy wah wah solos and a singer with a very unique charismatic voice and man I was hooked! Deke,welcome to the world of old school hard blues rock!

Now this album was recorded in 1980 but by the time I got my paws on it it was like I said around 82 or so and man here’s David Coverdale and with him are two cronies from Deep Purple,Ian Paice and Jon Lord(rip),on bass is Neil Murray and guitars Micky Moody and Bernie Marsden. So you knew these guys well the guys from Deep Purple are gonna be laying down some serious hard blues rock and by golly did they ever!

Lets check out what these ol buzzards were doing that one night when the LIVE button was pushed!

COME ON- Are You Ready shouts Dave and ol Cov begins the nights festivities! Come On is a great track! Great lyrics and and a great heavy sound but not so heavy where it drives the track crazy and makes me nauseous! But one that is awesome. OK PEOPLE THIS IS OL SNAKE THERE ARE NO CRAZY CHICKS SLIDING AROUND ON THE HOOD OF CARS WITH THIS INCARNATION OF THE BAND…reason being…THEYRE UGLY! Sorry had to point that out if your looking for that version of the band check back  here on Friday! Cool opening number and I was hooked. Actually of note also is the backing vocals there supreme on this release.

SWEET TALKER-I’m sure Cov was taking home most of the pay with Whitesnake but he would pass around the accolades of others in the band. This song he chirps Micky Moody before the solo (and also before Jon Lord destroys his organ as well on the solo)which would help me the listener at home distinguish who was playing what solo! Cool lyrics as well like…first time I ever heard the phrase….’Bitch is in heat!” Hahaha,sorry ladies!

WALKING IN THE SHADOW OF THE BLUES- Cov tells us all that this song features the other guitar player Bernie Marsden and boom great song. Ian Paice on drums and Neil Murray on bass are locked and loaded on this tune and it rips along at break neck speed. Cov tells us all that he loves the blues in this tune and yep so do I at Whitesnakes volume level which is at 10 !

LOVE HUNTER- is a 10 minute song and it goes without saying that this is one of the best songs on here it features everything,some crazy assed slide guitar by Moody interlocked with Paice on the drums. Myself as a 15 year old never heard crazy jams like this and I guess it’s the Deep Purple coming out of them in Love Hunter(great title) can’t say I blame em.

AINT NO LOVE IN THE HEART OF THE CITY-side two begins with a super slow bluesy number which a lot of it is crowd participation! This is hard slow blues rock driven by Paice on the drums! Super cool tune…..

FOOL FOR YOUR LOVING- No more sez Cov and he introduces it as the song that the British fans put in the top 20 and yep for all you later day Snake fans,ol Cov redid this track on the Slip Of The Tongue record from 1989 which Steve Vai(love him with Roth/ not so much in Whitesnake) basically manhandled his wang dang guitar bar to the point of brutality in a Whitesnake hard rock blues band! Anyways back to 1980 and hey man this is the way this song should be played!

TAKE ME WITH YOU-The Snakes are gonna exit the building and there gonna rock it out big time! This is Whitesnake playing there style at a 100 mph and not easing off the gas pedal! This album and song left me wanting more. This was heavy rock played a different way and for me it was ok !

IN CONCLUSION-for my introduction to Whitesnake this is a pretty damn good spot! Lots of Cov saying “eres a song for ya!” Lots of great musicianship these cats could play. I totally love and rocked to this album and yep the YouTube clip that is posted for Sweet Talker is the cover of the album If your looking for Slip Of The Tongue Whitesnake here, just keep trucking pal,just keep trucking!