Blog Archives

Need some new rock in your life?

LA Guns The Missing Peace

The Missing Peace, the brand new LA Guns album just dropped today, featuring the first new music from Phil Lewis and Tracii Guns in fifteen years. Johnny Martin, Shane Fitzgibbon, and Michael Grant join Phil and Tracii on this trip back to the Sunset Strip. It’s not just nostalgia, though—these songs are actually good! If you love the “hair metal” scene, this record will put you back where you belong. Hands-down, the best reunion album from a group of that era. There are some objectionable lyrics, as there is with much from the rock world, but there are some great clean songs as well. The musicianship is top-notch. I like Stacey Blades, but Tracii Guns is LA Guns. The Missing Peace shows how much we have missed in the past 15 years while Phil and Tracii were at odds. I am so glad they have buried the hatchet and have given us this new music. Phil and Tracii are good individually, but together they make great music.

Michael Grant adds quite a bit to the mix as well. Grant’s former band, Endeverafter, toured with Poison and Cinderella, and released one of the best hair metal-esque albums ten years ago, but went largely unnoticed due to poor promotion and a general distaste for the genre at the time. I highly recommend adding Kiss or Kill to your collection (after The Missing Peace, of course).

The Missing Peace is available on CD or vinyl, or can be downloaded in MP3 format.

Tracklist:
1. All the Same to Me
2. Speed
3. Drop of Bleach
4. Sticky Fingers
5. Christine
6. Baby Gotta Fever
7. Kill It or Die
8. Knife to a Gunfight
9. The Flood’s the Fault of the Rain
10. The Devil Made Me Do It
11. The Missing Peace
12. Gave It All Away

Advertisements

Goodbye, Kenny Kanowski

(1964 – August, 2017)

Former Steelheart guitarist Kenny Kanowski passed away a few days ago. The cause of death has not been announced. Kanowski appeared on the 1996 Steelheart album, Wait, co-writing many of the songs. Among his credits was “We All Die Young,” featured in the 2001 Mark Wahlberg movie, Rockstar. Zakk Wylde played the guitar parts in the movie version of the track.

King Kobra Thrill of a Lifetime (remastered 2017)

king kobra

King Kobra
Thrill of a Lifetime
Collector’s Edition Remastered & Reloaded
Rock Candy Records, 2017

Everything that King Kobra did right on their debut, they did wrong on their follow-up, at least for the first half of the record. Capitol Records pressured them for a more radio-friendly sound, claiming the debut was too heavy. Carmine Appice and the band acquiesced to the label’s demands and delivered Thrill of a Lifetime in 1986, an album half-filled with lackluster, synthesizer-heavy pop rock songs.

The first five songs, including the Russ Ballard-penned “Dream On,” are easily skippable. Even the theme song for the awesome Iron Eagle movie, if divorced from the movie, is a ho-hum AOR affair. The song is good when considered alongside other movie anthems of the 1980s, but when measured up against King Kobra’s own material, especially the first album, it falls short. Of course, the label decided to release “Dream On” and “Iron Eagle (Never Say Die)” as singles.

Guitarist David Michael-Philips revealed that eighty percent of the record was recorded using drum machines, despite Appice’s reputation “as one of the best drummers in the world.” Appice was only “fully involved” on three songs: “Raise Your Hands to Rock,” “Party Animal,” and “This Raging Fire,” which was only included on the record as it was released in France, and is not included on this remastered version.

“Home Street Home” is an interesting rock/rap hybrid, and is a fun listen, but doesn’t hold up very well over the past thirty years. “Overnight Sensation,” despite using the drum machine, is more of a rocker and would have fit in well on Ready To Strike. “Raise Your Hands to Rock” and “Party Animal” are also hard rockers that help the album finish strong. A bonus track, “Home Street Home (Street Mix)” is also included, and again is interesting but does not add much to the final product.

The remastered compact disc comes with a 16-page booklet, featuring a 4000-word essay on the recording of the album and the demise of the original King Kobra after Thrill of a Lifetime was released.

Tracklist
1. Second Time Around
2. Dream On
3. Feel the Heat
4. Thrill of a Lifetime
5. Only the Strong Will Survive
6. Iron Eagle (Never Say Die)
7. Home Street Home
8. Overnight Sensation
9. Raise Your Hands to Rock
10. Party Animal
11. Home Street Home (Street Mix) [bonus track]

King Kobra
Mark Free (lead & backing vocals)
David Michael-Philips (lead & rhythm guitar/backing vocals/guitar synthesizer)
Mick Sweda (lead & rhythm guitar/backing vocals/guitar synthesizer)
Johnny Rod (bass guitar/backing vocals)
Carmine Appice (drums/electric & acoustic percussion/backing vocals)

Purchase King Kobra’s Thrill of a Lifetime Collector’s Edition Remastered & Reloaded.

King Kobra Ready To Strike (remastered, 2017)

King Kobra

King Kobra
Ready To Strike
Collector’s Edition Remastered & Reloaded
Rock Candy Records, 2017

Capitol Records initially released King Kobra’s debut album, Ready To Strike, in 1985. Dark-haired drummer extraordinaire Carmine Appice recruited a handful of blonde musicians to join him after he was fired from Ozzy Osbourne’s band. He liked the appearance of Mötley Crüe, with one blonde-haired and three dark-haired members, and wanted to do the opposite with his band. Spencer Proffer, the producer of Quiet Riot’s Metal Health, produced King Kobra’s debut album at his Pasha Music House.

The record is full of hard rockers, from the title track to the ear-wormy “Breakin’ Out.” The only single released from the album was “Hunger,” a song written by Kick Axe and later recorded by them and released on The Transformers: The Movie soundtrack under the name Spectre General. Before King Kobra was fully formed, the song was shopped to Black Sabbath as well, when Ron Keel was auditioning for the band. That fell through, and so did a Sabbath version of “Hunger.” King Kobra also recorded another song written by Kick Axe, “Piece of the Rock,” at the urging of Proffer.

This remastered compact disc by Rock Candy Records comes with a 16-page booklet, complete with a newly-written 4000-word essay by Malcolm Dome which recounts the formation of the band and the recording of the album, along with the difficulties King Kobra had with the record label and the lack of promotion from Capitol Records. Also included in the booklet are several full-color photographs of the band, both promotional shots as well as concert photos.

King Kobra’s debut album is right up your alley if you enjoy bands like Ratt and early Mötley Crüe. After just a few listens, you’ll be raisin’ your fists to the power chords and singing along to this long-overlooked band.

Tracklist
1. Ready to Strike
2. Hunger
3. Shadow Rider
4. Shake Up
5. Attention
6. Breakin’ out
7. Tough Guys
8. Dancing with Desire
9. Second Thoughts
10. Piece of the Rock

King Kobra is:
Mark Free (lead & backing vocals)
David Michael-Philips (lead & rhythm guitar/backing vocals/guitar synthesizer)
Mick Sweda (lead & rhythm guitar/backing vocals/guitar synthesizer)
Johnny Rod (bass guitar/backing vocals)
Carmine Appice (drums/electric & acoustic percussion/backing vocals)

Purchase King Kobra’s Ready To Strike Collector’s Edition Remastered & Reloaded.

King Kobra’s classic first two releases set for reissue

kobra

During the 1980s the music scene was exploding with an abundance of great rock bands—including multi-platinum sellers such as Mötley Crüe, Quiet Riot, and RATT—but there was always room for talented new contenders. For King Kobra this was an invitation to launch onto a landscape that was primed for killer hard rock, enormous sales, and unlimited airplay.

It comes as no surprise then, that respected re-issue label Rock Candy Records has turned a spotlight on their first two classic albums, Ready To Strike and Thrill Of A Lifetime. Both titles are set to be reissued on February 10th having been fully remastered with enhanced 16-page booklets featuring rare photos, new interviews, and a 4,000 word essay penned by Malcolm Dome.

Formed in California in 1984, by seasoned drummer Carmine Appice (Cactus, Beck Bogart & Appice, Ozzy Osbourne) and featuring vocalist Mark Free (Unruly Child), guitarists John Michael Philips & Mick Sweda (Bulletboys) and bassist Johnny Rod (WASP), the band won instant attention for their unique look—four blondes and one brunette. Produced by Spencer Proffer (Quiet Riot, WASP, Cheap Trick) and signed to Capitol Records, the band’s debut album, originally issued in 1985, won them the attention of fans and critics alike by delivering one of the year’s best records. Tracks such as “Hunger,” “Tough Guys,” “Piece Of The Rock,” and the title track itself are pivotal examples of some of the best mid 80’s hard rock.

Thrill Of A Lifetime, their sophomore album, originally issued in 1986, saw the band shift gear, modernizing their sound and focusing on more accessible songs, perhaps modeled on the chart success of artists like Bon Jovi and Cinderella. The material was spearheaded by the hugely infectious “Iron Eagle (Never Say Die),” a track that was included on the hit movie Iron Eagle. Elsewhere there’s “Feel The Heat,” “Raise Your Hands To Rock,” and “Dream On” for further proof of their hard rocking credentials.

READY TO STRIKE TRACKLISTING:
1. Ready to Strike
2. Hunger
3. Shadow Rider
4. Shake up
5. Attention
6. Breakin’ Out
7. Tough Guys
8. Danching with Desire
9. Second Thoughts
10. Piece of the Rock

THRILL OF A LIFETIME TRACKLISTING:
1. Second Time Around
2. Dream On
3. Feel the Heat
4. Thrill of a Lifetime
5. Only the Strong Will Survive
6. Iron Eagle (Never Say Die)
7. Home Street Home
8. Overnight Sensation
9. Raise Your Hands to Rock
10. Part Animal
11. Home Sweet Home (Street Mix) [bonus track]

For more information, please visit rockcandyrecords.com.

Purchase Ready To Strike and Thrill of a Lifetime by King Kobra.

Lita Ford to release new album Time Capsule April 15 via SPV/Steamhammer

Lita Ford Time Capsule

Album Features Guest Appearances From Gene Simmons, Billy Sheehan, Jeff Scott Soto, Dave Navarro & Rick Nielsen

American vocalist/guitarist Lita Ford is set to release her latest album Time Capsule on SPV/Steamhammer on April 15, 2016. The very special and unusual recording turns back the clock to a time when honest, down-to-earth rock music was still handmade and recorded without digital tricks and contraptions. Time Capsule is a “throwback” record that boasts identifiable voices and brilliant players jamming without any planning or pressure. Some of the album`s highlights: Billy Sheehan (bass), Rodger Carter (drums), Dave Navarro (mandolin), Jeff Scott Soto (vocals), Rick Nielsen and Robin Zander (backing vocals) and Gene Simmons (bass).

“There was a (ton) of these 24-track analog tapes in the closet in my house (in the islands),” Ford recalls. “This is some of the best work I`ve ever done and it was sitting there. I grabbed two suitcases and took them back to the United States.” Imagine Ford dragging a pair of suitcases full of analog tapes through the Caribbean dirt back to Los Angeles. “If you just put them on the reel, they would flake. I was chewing my fingernails, thinking, ´Please work! ` And they did!”

Time Capsule contains ten songs plus an intro and will be available as a digipak as well as an LP version and download. It`s Ford`s gift to fans who love the ´80s, when thrilling vocal performances, raunchy riffs, and loud, growling guitars were as essential as oxygen. Time Capsule is available for pre-order HERE.

Track Listing:
1. Intro 1:35
2. Where Will I Find My Heart Tonight 04:47
3. Killing Kind 04:49
4. War Of The Angels 05:44
5. Black Leather Heart 03:33
6. Rotten To The Core 04:21
7. Little Wing 03:01
8. On The Fast Track 03:41
9. King Of The Wild Wind 05:04
10. Mr. Corruption 04:15
11. Anything For The Thrill 03:25

LITA FORD Live 2016

US/Canada
2/12: Houston,TX – BFE Rock Club
2/13: Tyler,TX – Rock N´Valentines Festival
2/14: Fort Worth,TX – The Rail Club
2/20: Enoch,AB – River Cree Resort
3/5: Beverly Hills,CA – Saban Theatre
3/19: Toledo,OH – Savage Arena
4/24: Ladson,SC – 98 Rock Fest

Europe
08.-11.06. SE-Sölvesborg – Sweden Rock Festival
13.-14.08.B-Kortijk – Alcatraz Festival

More dates will be added soon

For More Info Visit:

litafordonline.com
facebook.com/litaofficial
facebook.com/steamhammerofficial

Elefanté by BulletBoys (2015)

BULLETBOYS ELEFANTE

Elefanté
by BulletBoys
Cleopatra/Deadline Records, 2015
40 minutes

Hard rock bands come and go, but there are a few names that consistently reappear from time to time. Though Marq Torien is the only original member left in the band, BulletBoys are back with a new record to the delight of hair metal freaks everywhere, even if it sounds little like the “Smooth Up In Ya” era. Torien enlists superb musicians on Elefanté: Nick Rozz (The Tattooed Millionaires) on guitar, Chad MacDonald (Jani Lane, Kevin Dubrow) on bass, and Shawn Duncan (Odin, DC4) on drums.

Together they have created a solid record that hearkens back to the glory days while updating the sound for a modern audience. For the most part Elefanté sounds more in line with a Hinder record than Poison, but it rocks just the same. The record opens with a dark guitar riff on “Rollover,” setting the stage for a barrage of hard rock perfect for those hungry for a heavy (but not too heavy) sound.

The best tracks are the rockers “Rollover” and “Symphony” and the ballad “Kin Folk.” “Drop Your Weapon” has an awesome groove that will have you singing along by the second chorus; unfortunately it is ruined by a couple of f-bombs near the end. Hearing the group cover another artist’s song is no surprise; other than “Smooth Up In Ya,” the BulletBoys’ most memorable songs from their early career were cover songs. Here, the Elton John cover is performed well, but a better song could have certainly been chosen. Those are the two songs that disappoint the most on Elefanté.

Despite those missteps, Elefanté is a strong hard rock record that BulletBoys fans will appreciate.

You can preview “Rollover” and “Symphony” at BulletBoysOfficial.com.

Tracklist:
1. Rollover
2. Tsunami
3. Symphony
4. The Villain
5. Kin Folk
6. Saving You From Me
7. As Dumb As
8. Superhuman Girl
9. Drop Your Weapon
10. B**** is Back (Elton John cover)
11. Elefanté

Learn more about Cleopatra/Deadline Records.

Learn more about BulletBoys.

Purchase BulletBoys – Elefanté.

R.I.P. Allan Fryer

(d. June 4, 2015)

Singer for Australian hard rock outfit Heaven, Allan Fryer has passed away after a long battle with cancer. Once in the running to take Bon Scott’s position in AC/DC, Fryer and his Heaven bandmates beat Guns N’ Roses to the punch of covering Bob Dylan’s classic “Knocking on Heaven’s Door,” releasing their version in 1985.

Sail Away: Whitesnake’s Fantastic Voyage by Martin Popoff (2015)

sailaway

Sail Away: Whitesnake’s Fantastic Voyage
by Martin Popoff
Soundcheck Books, 2015
224 pages

David Coverdale is a rock icon with a stellar voice that never quite received the respect he deserved. In Sail Away: Whitesnake’s Fantastic Voyage, author Martin Popoff sheds light on the underappreciated singer and his career, starting with Deep Purple in the 1970s, following him through various early incarnations of Whitesnake and the success of Slide It In, Whitesnake (1987), and Slip Of The Tongue. Coverdale’s project with Jimmy Page, solo albums, and the 21st century Whitesnake albums are covered very briefly in an epilogue.

Much of Sail Away reads like an interview, with long quotes from musicians and publicists. Popoff conducted thirty interviews between 1998 and 2014 for this book, and researched a number of publications for additional information, including Circus, Hit Parader, Kerrang!, and Music Express. This is a decidedly British biography, and Popoff has a tendency to editorialize at times while commenting on the records and musicians.

There is quite a bit to do with the process of selecting songs, and the relationships that Coverdale had with the guitarists he employed over the years, including John Sykes, Adrian Vandenberg, and Steve Vai. Not much is written about the backstage antics on tour; the focus is almost entirely on the albums, songs, and relationships.

Sail Away is an interesting read, but not necessarily thrilling. It seems Whitesnake was generally a business-like band that lacked much personality beyond the records themselves. Classic rock and hair metal fans may enjoy learning more about Coverdale, but the book is far from essential reading.

Learn more about Soundcheck Books.

Purchase music by Whitesnake.

Purchase Sail Away: Whitesnake’s Fantastic Voyage by Martin Popoff.

Skid Row Re-Record “18 and Life” and I Don’t Hate It

Listen to it (and download it free and legal) here.

Skid Row Tony Harnell

Skid Row announced last week that former TNT vocalist Tony Harnell had been hired to replace Johnny Solinger behind the mic. Solinger has decided to focus on his solo career, which is geared more toward southern rock and country music than hair metal. With Skid Row since 1999, he recorded two full-length albums (Thickskin and Revolutions Per Minute) and two EPs (United World Rebellion: Chapter One and Rise Of The Damnation Army – United World Rebellion: Chapter Two).

Harnell’s resume with TNT dates back to the mid-1980s, and he has also worked with Starbreaker and Westworld, as well as releasing four solo albums. Now with Skid Row, the first offering is a re-recording of one of the band’s most classic singles, “18 & Life.” I may be in the minority, but I love what the group is doing here. Putting to rest any rumors of a Sebastian Bach reunion by quickly announcing a new singer and releasing a new track—even if it is an old song—shows that the group is moving forward.

Bach has a nice solo career of his own, even if it took forever to start. He left Skid Row in 1996, but it was not until 2007 that a new studio album was released by the singer. That record, Angel Down was all sorts of fantastic. The two albums since then have fallen short, but he continues to tour and draws large crowds (albeit at smaller venues than he used to play).

The new recording of “18 & Life” not only shows that the group is moving on, but that Harnell is up to the task. No, he is not Sebastian Bach. Guess what? Bach ’15 is not Bach ’89 either. This re-recording is faithful to the original and Harnell handles the vocals perfectly. Solinger labored for fifteen years with Skid Row and handled his duites well despite a lack of respect from supposed fans. Hopefully Harnell can be seen as a legitimate replacement and will garner the respect that he deserves.

%d bloggers like this: