View Full Version : Album of the Day - Review

02-13-2011, 09:38 AM
Figured since we have a song of the day and we always post about new albums coming out, why not have a thread of it's own for older stuff, catalog stuff that we may not know about or possibly forgotten about. There's a lot of good stuff out there be it any genre.

To start it off... I came up with this little ditty.

Child's Play - Rat Race

WOW is this one word that I can think of to sum up Child's Play's debut album Rat Race. How often do you encounter a record that you listen too by sheer coincidence or accidentally and it happens to be insanely good? Rat Race was the first record by Baltimore, MD based sleaze rockers. When people think of "sleaze" rock LA Guns, Faster Pussycat, Dogs D'Amour or even going more centemporary, Vains of Jenna usually come to mind. What seems to distinguish Child's Play from the rest of the late '80s/early '90s sleaze rock sound that was popular at the time is their technical ability especially of the drummer John Allen who you may know from SR71 or Charm City Devils (another Baltimore based band). Allen reminds me of Vikki Foxx (Enuff Z'nuff, Vince Neil) but without the over the top glam look. The other thing that makes this band stand out from the pack are their lyrics, which are really well written, ballsy, and handled perfectly by singer Brian Jack. Songs like "Rat Race", "Evicted", "When Hell Freezes Over" and "Capricorn/Bang Bang" (which starts with a pretty bad ass drum solo) are really great rock tunes that could give Skid Row's first album a run for its money.
Child's Play was born in late 1983 but it's really a shame that they didn't get anything released until 1990 since a few short years later, grunge started to move "glam" out. These guys struggled, and even released a sophomore effort on an independent label, but broke up when they saw that hitting it big would be impossible during the grunge years. It's too bad, because albums like Rat Race not only make you feel like partying, pumping your fist in the air and racing down the highway, but also leave you with a sense of nostalgia of times when music was fun... and nothing less. Fun is actually another word that comes to my mind along with "wow" when I try to describe Rat Race. We may be 20 years late but get this CD, you won't regret it.

01. Good Ol' Rock And Roll
02. Day After Night
03. My Bottle
04. Rat Race
05. Wind
06. Evicted
07. Knock Me Out
08. Girl Like You
09. Capricorn/Bang Bang
10. Pay Your Dues
11. Damned If I Do
12. When Hell Freezes Over

02-14-2011, 12:40 AM

Whatever you like to call it -- folk, alt-country, Americana, etc. -- this is about as good as it gets. A short 7-song, 27 minute EP that was lyrically inspired by Cormac McCarthy's novel, "Blood Meridian." The songs are sparsely arranged -- just Nichols' gravelly voice accompanied by guitar, accordion, pedal steel and piano. I've never read the McCarthy novel, but the lyrics here are powerful and vivid. I never tire of listening to this album.

03-11-2011, 10:04 PM
Here's one for ya.

Who's Got Mine? is studio album number six from the boys in Rhino Bucket. If you're already a fan you'll know exactly what to expect -- and if you're not, shame on you, because this is in-your-face three-chord driven AC/DC inspired rock n' roll. Or it was...
What happened here? Who's Got Mine? sounds like Rhino Bucket, it looks like Rhino Bucket, it rocks like Rhino Bucket... actually that last part is wrong. Rhino Bucket went soft! This CD misses the raw, gritty and dirty sound of the band's previous heights. Not that Who's Got Mine? is a bad album, it's very far from being bad, it just sounds very... clean.
The disc gets off to a good start with the head-nodder "Message In A Bottle", then "Lifeline" follows and sounds really great until the rawhide, yeehaw solo. The relaxing "Back To Nowhere" slows down the pace, and while it's not a bad number it's just off the pace of what this band has set before. The excellent "Drive Thru Liquor" follows and picks up the energy/pace and has an absolutely catchy little riff playing throughout contrasted beautifully by some low driving power chords.
Now we're off and running and the title track continues us onwards -- it is a nice number, though not great, and again has a slower change of pace. Next up is a fast number, "Her Way", which begins to get me excited again as the solo explodes out of nowhere and is enough to lift the song above average. "Joke's On You" is a steady and solid number and then we have another fast paced track "Chase The Case" -- with a good riff and lots of energy, this smacks of 'Rhino Bucketness'! Then we run into "Hollywood And Wine" which improves as it goes on, which is fortunate as it starts off really poorly. "Something For Nothing" is another catchy tune before the disc closes with "Rare Beauty" -- a decent enough track, but it doesn't hit the home run you want when closing an album.
The problem with Who's Got Mine? is that it's just too nice. When it came to writing songs maybe Rhino Bucket were too ecstatic when their fans helped fund this album through a successful 'Kickstarter' album project. Also, whoever decided to 'clean' up the sound needs shot, because if this CD sounded rawer it would be right up there with The Hardest Town -- but it isn't by a distance. Who's Got Mine? is a decent album... however when your 'decent' is better than most of the other stuff floating around these days you know it's worth a shot.


04-18-2011, 07:53 PM

In the summer of 2009, after main 'Snake and front man David Coverdale blew out his voice, his future was seriously up in the air. It was gut wrenching to watch the footage of Lord Coverdale being reduced to mere mortal status -- but David went home and vowed to be back.
Whitesnake's last effort, 2008's triumphant return called Good To Be Bad, was a strong and well written effort that featured material that was akin to their late '80s glory. On Forevermore, Coverdale once again put together a group of highly skilled musicians that includes the returning guitar duo of Doug Aldrich and Reb beach. Like much of Whitesnake's storied career however, there is a revolving door policy -- as the band is joined by new recruits Michael Devin (Lynch Mob and Kenny Wayne Shepherd) and Brian Tichey (Billy Idol, Pride & Glory, Foreigner and Lynch Mob). As with previous line-ups, Coverdale has once again reloaded Whitesnake with talent, and the new rhythm section has taken the band to another level.
Forevermore picks up where the band left of on Good To Be Bad, while simultaneously retracing its roots. On the new album we find David Coverdale and Doug Aldrich digging deep and returning with vintage Whitesnake blues-riffs and a grittier and harder sound. To say that on Forevermore Coverdale and Aldrich collectively borrowed the best elements from each Whitesnake era of the band's illustrious 34 year career isn't a stretch by any means.
Coverdale himself sounds stronger than ever on this album, of course there will be doubters until he does it live. Forevermore is a strong effort from beginning to end -- the highlights include the stompin' "Steal You Heart Away", the ultra catchy lead single "Love Will Set you Free", the Rolling Stones influenced "I Need You (Shine A Light)", the '87 sounding "Dogs In The Street", the absolutely beautiful ballad "Fare Thee Well", the bluesy "Whipping Boy Blues" and "All Out Of Luck" which reeks of the band's '80s excess.
Forevermore, thus far, is the rock album of the year... bar none.

06-11-2011, 07:50 PM
Hollywood Killerz - Dead On Arrival

Inspired by life, sex and death, Hollywood Killerz combine a variety of sounds that are refreshingly dissimilar into a brew of hard rock and punk for good measure. Sleazy, dirty and hateful -- imagine Dead Boys jamming with Faster Pussycat, and soon after partying with Motley Crue... You get the picture. Hollywood Killerz always hit the stage hard, playing hi-voltage, lo-school, IQ-barbeque live shows. If you want pure loud glam punk, you got it.

The band's album 'Dead On Arrival' was recorded between March and November 2009 at Nr.8 Studios. It contains 13 tracks, unveiling Hollywood Killerz' different sides: from the glam punk attack of "700.000" and "Lovecrash" to the hard-rock-meets-disco-beat of "Over & Over" -- from the obscure melodies of "Through the Sand" and "Luxury Depression" to the punky-edged "Our Memories May Be Right" and "Girls R Dead", slowing down in the moody "How (Could I)" and "More Than It Hurts You".

YouTube - ‪Hollywood Killerz - 700.000‬‏

Definite a like if you like straight up raw in your face rock.

06-13-2011, 07:54 AM
Dream Theater - Scenes From a Memory

Possibly the greatest album ever made. Its a concept album revolving primarily around love and the betrayal so often associated with it. It tells the story of a man named Nicholas haunted by a vision of a girl, who finally sees a shrink about it. With his help hes able to see his vision with enough clarity to determine the girl is his soul's previous body, and sets out to understand what shes trying to tell him. The story is phenomenal, engaging, and brilliantly told. It has twists like a Hollywood drama and the end is satisfying and unpredictable.

Musically, its among the industry's most sparkling gems, IMO. The band is absolutely on fire all around, taking their first small steps towards an overall heavier sound. John Petrucci truly wakes up and establishes himself as the band's dominant presence through both his guitar playing and songwriting. The Rudess vs Petrucci keyboard vs guitar (respectively) duel ending in a simultaneous musical orgasm between the two is introduced and implemented in countless tracks thereafter. Portnoy plays drums to the legendary standard he had already set for himself. Factor in typically superb bass from Myung and LaBries' strongest vocal performance yet, and the leap in maturity in their music becomes dramatic. I personally prefer Images and Words for the sheer fact that I love the jazz and funk influences, but Scenes From a Memory is definitely the pinnacle of Dream Theater's musical career and the strongest testament to their greatness out there.

YouTube - ‪Dream Theater - Home (1/2) - The Sleeper‬‏