Tom Keifer brings us his second solo album and pretty much let’s you know that he means business. Now known as the Keifer Band, the album has that band feel. They are tight and solid and they blow your freaking ears off. This album is loud, it is raucous, it is dirty, it is gritty, it is out and out nasty at times and all in a good way. The band is Tony Higbee (lead guitar), Billy Mercer (bass), Jarred Pope (drums), Kory Myers (keyboards) and Kendra Chantelle and his wife Savannah Keifer (backing vocals).
The thing I noticed most about this release is the guitar sound. Tony Higbee is a beast and tears it up song after song. His guitar has that dirty blues rock guitar sound that hits you in the gut in a way that knocks your breathe away and is satisfying all at the same time. That gut wrenching, distorted sound is the masterpiece of this release next to Keifer’s songwriting and vocals which is why we are in the first place.
Tom Keifer puts to rest any thoughts of a Cinderella reunion because after you hear this you realize you could care less to go back and revisit after such an outstanding release. You get two opening tracks that are heavy and badass with “Touching the Devine” and “The Death In Me” and then he slows it down with the well-written “Waiting on the Demons” before getting slapped in the face again with “Hype” and Higbee’s killer guitar sound.
The coolest and best song for me on this album is “Untitled” as it has this eerie guitar opening riff that turns in to a nasty blues riff and Keifer comes in with a deeper vocal before hitting that signature high pitch vocal we all know and love. Tom slows it down again with the epic sounding “Rise” which is exactly what he has done. He has had vocal issues, legal issues and health issues and like the phoenix, Tom has risen to give us one of the best albums he has ever done.
“All Amped Up” is exactly as it sounds. A return to the heavy and the good times. And then we get to the only two songs I wasn’t overly thrilled with “Breaking Down” and “Taste for the Pain” as they both were a little dull and felt like filler. But don’t be disheartened as “Life Was Here” brings the energy back and Tom delivers another great track. The album closes with the acoustic track “You Believe in Me” which is only a guitar and Tom’s vocals. It is quite beautiful and a nice way to go out.
I have loved this album and has been on almost non-stop since its release. Tom Keifer brings his roots and influences full force with one of the best Hard Rock Blues album I have heard in a long time. Like a fine wine, Tom keeps getting better with age and shows no signs of slowing down. The production and songwriting were top-notch and that guitar sound was the most killer part of the whole package. For all of those things, I give it a 4.5 out of 5.0 Stars with a Track Score of 82% (9 out of 11) since there were only 2 out of 11 songs I didn’t care for. An incredible release that will certainly make my Top Rock Albums of 2019 list at the end of the year.