We had another good month here at 2 Loud 2 Old Music and the collection keeps growing, both the vinyl and the CD collection as well as now even the cassette collection. I found some more stuff to add to the ever growing Kiss collection, the Needtobreathe collection, the Matt Nathanson collection and even the Ratt and Whitesnake collections.
First thing that came in was something that was bought months ago, but the vinyl had been delayed. It finally arrived and it is the new Matt Nathanson album ‘Boston Accent’ which now completes my vinyl collection for Matt…well until he releases something else of course…
Then I bought a bunch of things this month from the internet including some new releases as well as filling out my The Poodles collection, Eclipse, Wig Wam and H.E.A.T. The Wig Wam can be counted as new too along with The Winery Dogs…
W.E.T. includes Robert Sall of the band Work of Art (The “W”); Erik Martensson of the band Eclipses (The “E”) and Jeff Scott Soto of the band Talisman (The “T”). All three bands are Swedish bands and all on Frontiers so it made it easy to bring these three guys together. They were originally going to be a one-off project, never tour and never do another album. Well, they did a small tour and here we are now reviewing their 2nd album, ‘Rise’. And this time, they are giving more credit to Robben Black and Magnus Henriksson as full time members. Both guys are also from the band Eclipse along with Erik.
The album came out on Frontiers Records since it was all Serafino Perugino’s idea anyway. It was released on February 22, 2013 and was actually produced by Mr. Erik Martennsson himself. Along with the songwriting, guitar playing, bass playing, keyboards, he was rather busy on this album. But Erik wasn’t alone on the songwriting as Robert Sal was heavily involved as well as Jeff Scott Soto and Magnus Henriksson. Come to think of it, everyone who did songwriting on the debut, pretty much contributed here as well. The sound on this album didn’t change, it is pure 80’s melodic rock or AOR if you want. Think Journey, Bon Jovi and the like and you pretty much have an idea of what this album will sound like.
The album opens with “Walk Away”, a lusciously sounding lick and then some heavy drums goes right in to a groove that brings it all together. Soto’s vocals are so smooth and slick you are transported to another era. With a hook that has you singing along as you ride down the rode with this beautiful melodic rock extravaganza.
Then we get the delicious “Learn to Live Again” which is a duet between Erik and Jeff and it is nothing short of delightful. You get more of the same hummable, singable magic as they figure, if it ain’t broke, why fix it. Jeff, again, sounds fantastic with his almost falsetto singing at times, and with this wicked riffs and a killer solo backing him up, it is more greatness.
For My Sunday Song #339, we are going to discuss the song “Like a Stone” by Audioslave. The song is another off this debut self-titled 2002 album. The song was written by the everyone including Chris Cornell, Tim Commerford, Brad Wilk and Tom Morello (well, at least they all got credit for it). The song was the second single off the album and went to #1 on the Mainstream Rock Charts and made the Top 40 going to #31. Those chart positions helped it go Gold selling over 500,000 copies! The music video for this song has over 1 Billion Views!! That is crazy.
The song is about pondering the afterlife. How you can work so hard and be a good person and yet still go to hell anyway. Despite how well you treated others, how good you tried to be, it still wasn’t enough to save you. Because we all know what it takes to be saved, don’t we. It’s lyrics are so so sad and full of regret and really makes you wonder what was really going through Cornell’s mind when he wrote those lyrics. It was a dark place for sure.
The music matched that sadness as the guitar parts from Tom Morello had a tone that was so full of melancholy and at times it sounded like it was crying heartbreaking tears during that wicked guitar solo. That drum beat by Brad Wilk with Tim Commerford’s bass kept a groove that was as morose as it comes. All together it was as close to perfection as you can get with music matching the lyrics and vocal tone. Hauntingly beautiful I must say!
Come check out the show tonight at 7pm. See what goodies we have to show off tonight!!
There has been a heck of a lot going on here lately. We need reset the show back to basics, back to the original intent. That always was just hanging out with no plan! So that’s what we’re doing. Showing off whatever music they have lying around will be Harrison, Tim Durling, John Snow, and new arrival Jex Russell! You might be familiar with the Friendly Frenchman from his stints on Scotch on the Rocks and Tim’s Vinyl Confessions. Tonight he’ll grab a stack of rack with us and have a good time doing it!
Happy Friday! And any Friday with new releases should be a happy one, no doubt. This week we have around 50 new releases for you and a wide range of genres. There should be something for everyone this week and if not, well, I don’t know what else I can do for you. I only have one I’m really interested in hearing and that is Adam Lambert. He’s such an amazing singer and his stuff is usually quite interesting. I might dive in to a few others, but this is really what I’ll spin today (or stream since I don’t actually have a copy). Let me know what you want to hear this week and if we missed anything. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!!
Adam Lambert – High Drama – (More is More LLC / BMG Rights Mgmt)
And all the rest…
Godsmack – Lighting Up the Sky – (BMG Rights Mgmt)
We are now on to the 15th Studio album from the Scorpions called ‘Unbreakable’. It had been 5 years since their last studio album, ‘Eye II Eye’, which was not a success. The band had some success with their live albums ‘Moment of Glory’ and ‘Acoustica’ and after some touring, the guys were ready to go at it again. They went to the studio in late March or early April and recorded 16 demos. Not a bad start…but…they scrapped every single one and started over. They tried again in June 2003 and nothing much from that one either. Finally after another short tour, they went back in to the studio a third time in September 2003 and did another 20 songs and finally they felt they could pull an album from those tracks.
They shopped for a producer and they had a number of people on the list that they sent the demos to in hopes of hiring a producer. They wooed Bob Rock, Max Martin, Rick Parasher, Erwin Musper and even old time producer Dieter Dierks. In the end they ended up using Erwin Musper and he did a pretty good job. But that wasn’t all they were shopping for as they also needed a bass player. The courted Jeff Pilson (Dokken) and Jimmy Bain (Rainbow/Dio), but they wound up with Paweł Mąciwoda who was able to play on about 10 of the 13 tracks.
After recording from October 2003 to January 2004, the album was finally complete. It saw the light of day on May 3, 2004 and I have to say after the last two albums were a departure from what we expect from Scorpions, this one brought the band back to form. They brought back the heavy riffs, the great bombastic choruses and even modernized it all a little. This is the album that reminded me that Scorpions still had the goods to deliver what the fans like best. Solid guitar rock. I think a lot of what I like about this one is due to the fact of there was so much I didn’t like about the last two. This probably elevates this one a little as a result, but still so much goodness.
It all starts with the killer opening track “New Generation” which starts out with a slow build that keeps getting grander as you go and then the song really kicks in slamming it home. The hypnotic guitar riff is stellar and the song sounds so modern yet so like classic Scorpions at the same time. A brilliant track that reminds a lot of the opening tracks from a lot of bands in the 80’s as it has that grand feel and runs close to 6 minutes. Love it!!
For my last You Pick It vote, I had a tie between Queensryche’s ‘Hear in the Now Frontier’ and with Saigon Kick’s ‘The Lizard’. Last week reviewed Queensryche and this week, as promised, we have Saigon Kick. Mike Ladano from MikeLadano.com agreed to tag team with me here and he is also reviewing this album so go check it out as it came out today as well. Go to Mike’s Lizard Review here.
Saigon Kick had a problem in 1992. Mis-labeling was their problem. Due to their massive power ballad hit, “Love is On the Way”, they got dumped in to the 80’s Glam Rock scene (or Hair Metal) when in fact, they were not even close to anything that sounded like that. People who bought this thinking it was the next Danger Danger, Trixter or maybe even Bon Jovi were surprised at what they heard. They weren’t Grunge either so they were a band that had no real marketable identity at the time. They were alternative, but to melodic for them and not metal enough for the glam. What a weird place to be. The timing sucked for them as well with the Glam scene dying at an alarmingly fast rate and Grunge taking over, just where did this band fit in the mold.
Saigon Kick’s sophomore album, ‘The Lizard’, was a diverse collection of rock songs that defied classification. The songs were so well crafted, so mature and unlike anything else at the time. The closest band I would say would be Extreme as they were also had a diverse, eclectic set of songs and because of their ballads also got lumped in to the Hair scene, unfairly as well I might add. The band was Matt Kramer (Vocals), Jason Bieler (Guitar, keyboard), Tom DeFile (Bass) and Phil Varone Drums). The bands second album saw Jason step up and produce the album and do most of the heavy lifting with the songwriting as he wrote all the music and had his hand in all but three of the songs on the lyrics. The album was released on June 2, 1992 and sold well, going to #1 on the Heatseekers Album Chart and #80 on the Billboard 200 chart. It did get certified Gold selling over 500,000 copies some time around 1996 though.
I was a fan of that ballad I mentioned earlier, but back in the day, I didn’t buy this album. I didn’t buy it until last year after I saw Jeff Scott Soto and Jason Bieler in concert together. They played mostly Saigon Kick songs and I had forgotten how great those songs were so I ran out and bought the band’s first three albums off Rock Candy. This version of the album has massive liner notes all new for this reissue and a bonus track. To top it off, thanks to the clout of The LeBrain Train show, I was able to snag Jason Bieler for an interview and Mike Ladano and I interviewed him for that show. It was a lot of fun and great diving in to his career.
Last month, I did a post on the Best & Worst songs from every Judas Priest album. I really enjoyed doing that so I thought I would continue that process and this time we would go through every Cheap Trick album and see what is the best song and the worst one off each album as well. Cheap Trick has 20 studio albums to go through so sit back and take it all in. Now, let’s preface this with the fact that these are my choices and not necessarily yours as we can have different opinions. If you watched the show you will see that sometimes my worst song was their favorite so you never know what people like and we all like different things or this would be a very dull world. I hope you enjoy!!
CHEAP TRICK (1977)
BEST SONG – “ELO KIDDIES”: The song is telling kids to fuck school and go out and be nuts. It is a blast of a track with a catchy ass chorus and a Rick Riff that is memorable and you’re able to singalong and that is a good riff if you can do that. What teenage kid doesn’t think that school is a waste, but only Cheap Trick has the balls to tell you it’s true. This to me is a pure punk attitude.
WORST SONG – “MANDOCELLO”: The song sucks the energy right out of the album. With a heavy bass line and and slowed down tempo, the song drags along while Robin’s angelic singing style doesn’t actually breathe any life in to the song. The chorus though feels like the Beatles with the harmonies and is almost a saving grace but not quite.
IN COLOR (1977)
BEST SONG – “SOUTHERN GIRLS”: This album is perfect and so hard to pick a favorite or a worst for that matter as there isn’t any. But I had to pick a favorite and this was my choice. Now, this isn’t about “Southern” girls from the deep South in the U.S. Nope! This is Canadian Southern Girls. Didn’t know there was any such thing. The beat is perfect for hand clapping as it bounces along and feels you with joy. It is pure pop fun with a little gritty guitar work thrown in for good measure along with some playful piano fills.
It had been 3 years since Jeff’s last solo album, 2009’s ‘Beautiful Mess’. That album was good, but a lot of people didn’t like it’s direction as it wasn’t the hard, melodic rock that fans of Jeff love. And I get it, but let’s be honest, Jeff should be able to make whatever music he wants to make. I wasn’t a massive fan of that album, but it had some great moments for sure. ‘Damage Control’ sees Jeff listening to his fans and giving them what he they want. He is always good about that. And I wonder if the title is in reference to that fan reaction from the prior album. It seems pretty tongue-in-cheek if you ask me.
I want to say the album dropped around January 6th, 2012, but I could be mistaken. But before that release date, Jeff put in a lot of work on this album and he worked with a ton of writers and a ton of musicians (and sometimes both). Some of the writers were old friends such as Jamie Borger (Talisman) and Gary Schutt (solo band) and then there were names we hadn’t heard yet in his career like Joel Hoekstra (Whitesnake/TSO). Jeff has known Joel for awhile and Jeff would return the favor a couple years down the road (which we will review as well.
Jeff had a total of 21 songs ready for the album, but they needed to dwindle it down to 11 which somehow he did. The songs were recorded all over the world on three different continents including Europe as well as North & South America. The album wound up on Frontiers due to the long standing relationship he has had with Serafino Perungino. They agreed to do a Deluxe Edition where Jeff could actually include 14 of the 21 songs as long as there was a DVD with an EPK (Electronic Press Kit) and some music videos and that is the copy I have and will review.
The album kicks off with “Give a Little More” and it is nasty piece of a rock with that gritty guitar riff, the heaviness of the bass the drums. Jeff attacks the vocals with in equal intensity. An almost anthemic, melodic rock song that is proof that Jeff can still deliver the heavy rock like fans complained about. This song is a statement and the guitar solo by Leo Mancini is the exclamation point on that statement.
For My Sunday Song #348, we are going deep in to “Nearly Forgot My Broken Heart” by Chris Cornell. The song was written by Chris and is off his 2015 album ‘Higher Truth’. The song was the only single off the album and went to #7 US Rock Airplay Billboard Chart and #1 in Canada on their Rock Chart.
Chris has spoken on this one where he came up with the title and it immediately made him think what the song was going to be about. It is about when you find someone or maybe even something new in your life that you forget about everything else including the fact you had given up on life and that your heart was broken. It is actually a tremendously sad thing if you think about it. But when we are so broken, maybe something new in our life is really what we needed in the first place. However, this person he is talking about seems to bring him a lot of misery as it sounds so tumultuous in nature. The time spent dealing with this person and the awfulness they bring to him has consumed he forgets that the relationship is breaking his heart more than it already was.
The song starts off with a mandolin it the sounds is so full of melancholy. When Chris comes in with the first verse you can hear a sadness to the voice. Musically, there is a lot going on there and so many bits of beauty in it as well. By the second verse, the tempo picks up and it feels like a happier song despite the sorrow in those lyrics. I like that dichotomy.