Tom Keifer – ‘Rise’ – Album Review

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.

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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.

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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.

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Friday New Releases – September 13th

Welcome to Friday new releases on this Friday the 13th.  And let me tell you this is a lucky Friday…no bad news here.  There are an abundance of releases this week that I am excited about and it might be the best week in quite a long time or even all year.  There are over 25 on this list and maybe 1/2 I am interested in at listening to once. How long is that going to take…it could be next September.  My choices will be highlighted in Blue.  Let me know what you see that you like and what I might be missing (could there be anything???).  Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend!

The most important…

  • 717mqiZN3dL._SX522_  The Defiants – Zokusho – (Frontiers Records):  Man, I am super excited about this one.  Paul Laine and the Danger Danger boys are back with their second release and if it is half as good as the debut, then we are in for a treat.  The first 3 songs they have previewed are sensational!!  So expectations are HIGH!!  I don’t usually listen to songs that are previewed on albums I am anxious about, but I could wait.  If you like 80’s brand rock with modern productions, you will be in for a treat.

  • A1EaP+943DL._SX522_.jpg  Tom Keifer – Rise – (Cleopatra Music): The voice of Cinderella is back with his 2nd solo album.  His first was fantastic and nothing less is expected on this one.  His blues rock and the gravely voice is just what the doctor ordered so grab a copy and crank it up.  A great weekend is ahead.

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Friday New Releases – October 20th

October is flying by and there are a bunch of new ones available this week…even Christmas albums if you are so inclined.  There are some brand new bands, some old favorites and some fabulous reissues/deluxe editions.  My choices are highlighted in Blue.  Let me know which ones you are interested in with a comment below.  Thanks and have a great weekend.

  • 61tzU2GB7VL._AC_US160_  Sons of Apollo – Pyschotic Symphony – (Inside Out Music):  Another supergroup and another one featuring Billy Sheehan and Mike Portnoy.  If you liked in The Winery Dogs, this is not the Winery Dogs.  This is a much heavier band with Jeff Scott Soto on lead vocals rather than Richie Kotzen.  Also on the record is Bumblefoot on guitar and Derek Sherinian that make this a massive group with a massive sound.  Can’t wait to dive into this one.

  • 51TQWYRXviL._AC_US218_  Europe – Walk the Earth – (Silver Lining Music):  Europe is still putting out quality albums after 35+ years in the business.  The took most of the 90’s off, but came roar back in the 2000’s and have been non-stop ever since.  I have held off from listening to anything on this one yet as I want to take it in all at once.

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