A to Z of Making It, Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, Unsung Heroes

Gene The Werewolf

I just heard the “Rock N Roll Animal” album.

I dig it and I know nothing about them. That is the modern day business model. Back in the Eighties, we got the press releases, the interviews, the promo spots and the musicians appeared larger than life. Today, we just get the music first and then we go back to investigate who the hell created it.

If you are into hard rock, then this is the album for you. If you grew up in the Seventies and enjoyed the British Rock Invasion, then this is the album for you. If you loved what Badlands, Mr Big, Richie Sambora and Lynch Mob did in the late eighties and early nineties then you will love this album as well.

“Wicked Love” channels Led Zeppelin.

“I Only Wanna Rock N Roll” channels AC/DC in a “Long Way To The Top (If You Want To The Rock N Roll)” and “You Shook Me All Night Long” kind of vibe.

“Superhero” reminds me of Kiss seventies era and it’s roots go back to 2009.

“Heart Of Steel” reminds me “Jessies Girl” by Rick Springfield and “Fantasy” from Aldo Nova. Add onto that The Darkness and their break out hit “I Believe In A Thing Called Love”.

“Rock N Roll Animal” has that AC/DC vibe (which is heard across the whole album) however this time it is merged with some vocal melodies from “Bad Medicine” by Bon Jovi and some cool honky-tonk piano.

“I’ve Got The Love” has this Free “All Right Now”, Kiss “Deuce” and Rolling Stones “Start Me Up” vibe. Hell, chuck in “I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead” from Bon Jovi as that song borrows from all.

“Ruffneck Woman” has this Aerosmith meets AC/DC vibe.

“Light Me Up” has this “Kings and Queens” by Aerosmith vibe. The harmony lead break sounds perfect.

“Firecracker” brings back the AC/DC vibe again.

“Give It Up” has this melodic rock vibe that I just can’t put my finger on right now.

“The Ballad Of Gene” reminds me of The Beatles (Let It Be), David Bowie (All The Young Dudes and Ziggy era), Aerosmith (Dream On and Livin On The Edge) and Train (Drops Of Jupiter).

Each song has an arena style chorus and by doing that all songs will translate well into the live show and that is what it is all about. How good are you going to rock live?

The whole album is an example of progress being derivative.

Taking your influences, blending them and the output is your style and your sound. That is what music is all about. The whole album reminds me of “The Night Flight Orchestra” project. It is a fun album to listen to.

I did some searches on Google for them.

Of course they are on Frontiers Records, who seem to be on a roll surrounding themselves with talent. At first hearing, I thought the band came from Sweden as most of the hard rock bands I have been getting into are from there. However, that is not the case. They are from Pittsburgh, USA.

It is the usual lifer story.

All of the members had done time in previous semi-successful bands from the Pittsburgh area. Some of those bands toured nationally and internationally. There is a lot of history there. A super group from Pittsburgh area bands. In a way like “Night Ranger”. A super group of Californian bands.

And it doesn’t end just there.

Another Pittsburgh native, Reb Beach from Winger/Whitesnake has “The Reb Beach Project” band happening and of course, Jon Belin (aka Gene The Werewolf) is singing all the Winger/Whitesnake songs like a pro.

Also another classic touch is the re-use of songs. The current music business is littered with bands releasing new music constantly. There is a very good chance that a lot of those songs just don’t get heard. It’s not because they are bad songs, it’s just there are too many songs out there and so little time.

The first EP released in 2009, had the songs “Superhero”, “Light Me Up”, “I’ve Got The Love” and “Make Love” that all ended up on the “Rock N Roll Animal” album.

Then the “Wicked Love” album that was released in 2011, had the songs “Wicked Love”, “I Only Wanna Rock N Roll”, “Heart Of Steel”, “Rock N Roll Animal”, “Ruffneck Woman”, “Firecracker”, “Give It Up” and “The Ballad Of Gene”.

So in 2012, all of those songs from 2009 to 2011 ended up on the “Rock N Roll Animal” album.

Because you know, traction comes much slower than expected. Even after a band has a deal. As the saying goes, it is all work with very little reward for a very long time. In other words, if you’re not prepared to be a lifer, then don’t be a musician. Because as soon as you open one door, another one looms large.

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