Jessie’s Girl 2 (feat Rick Springfield) – Coheed And Cambria
I’ve been a fan from when I was given a CD rip of the “In Keeping Secrets Of Silent Earth” album in 2005 and a few months later I was consuming the brand new “Good Apollo I’m Burning Star IV”.
Their song structures and the riffs got me interested. And the voice of Claude Sanchez got me to commit. That voice rocks out like Geddy Lee, but still sounds unique and different enough.
And the hair. Man that hair. It’s massive.
And to top it off, there is the big SciFi saga about a mystical energy source known as “The Keywork”.
Starting Over – Chris Stapleton
Rock bands used to do ballads like this, an acoustic guitar, a light drum shuffle and lyrics that take you down the sidewalk of life.
Chris Stapleton is a country artist and he came across my radar because my kids were listening to a collaboration he did with Bruno Mars and Ed Sheeran, “BLOW”. And I was interested because it’s a blues rock monster with a wicked guitar riff.
Then I checked out his other songs, like “Parachute” which has over 135 million streams and “Tennessee Whiskey” which has 315+ million streams.
And became a fan.
The Lost Tapes – Dokken
“This was when I was on my own, and I was playing with Juan Croucier [Ratt] on bass. We went to Germany in ‘79 and did a tour, so these were all the demos we did.”
Don Dokken never should have re-recorded some of the songs but he did because the tapes were bad.
But all is not lost. There are some early gems here, without any re-recordings.
So if you have the “Back In The Streets” EP, which I do, you don’t really need to buy “The Lost Tapes”, however, the “Back In The Streets” EP was released as a bootleg, so Don Dokken never got any royalties from the sale of the EP but he will get payment for this release.
So it’s no surprise that my favourite tracks on “The Lost Tapes” are from the “Back In The Streets” EP.
And I heard that Don Dokken used these actual songs (co-written by Lynch and Brown) to get a record deal under the name of Dokken and this started the rift with Lynch.
“Were Going Wrong” is written by Dokken and Lynch. It has a riff that came straight from “Hot N Ready” by UFO and a certain Rainbow track.
“Day After Day” is a brilliant ballad like the 70’s ballads, with a bluesy guitar solo that Don Dokken should be proud off.
“Felony” is a Dokken, Lynch and Brown cut and this song re-appeared on the “Breaking The Chains” album.
“Back In The Streets” is a Dokken and Lynch cut and it’s got that Sunset Strip vibe. “Liar” is a Dokken cut and its recorded live in the late 70’s, and a version of it appears on the “From Conception” album, a live recording of the early days with Lynch and Brown.
For the following cuts I don’t have any info on at all.
“Rainbows” is not on the EP I have and it’s a song I haven’t heard before, but it feels like a re-recording. The intro riff is good. And I don’t know who wrote it.
“Hit And Run” appeared on the “From Conception Live 1981” released in 2007. This song was written for the “Breaking The Chains” album. I’m pretty sure that Lynch is playing on this version and how this song didn’t make the album confuses me.
S&M 2 – Metallica
I thought this was unnecessary.
But when artists suddenly cannot tour because of COVID-19, this album suddenly took on a different meaning to me.
It’s a celebration of Metallica. It’s a celebration of gathering and cramming into a venue to let our hair down and be infected with live music. It’s a celebration of bands performing live and bringing their circus to town. This time with a whole symphony.
And since 1998 they have released other albums, so it was good to hear those tracks get the orchestra treatment.
Songs like “The Day Never Comes”, “Confusion”, “Moth Into Flame”, “Halo On Fire”, “The Unforgiven III” and “All Within My Hands”.
Plus there are two symphonies in “The Iron Foundry” from composer Alexander Mosolov and “Scythian Suite” from composer Sergei Prokofiev.
“The Memory Remains” was a favourite of mine when it came out on “Reload” but over the last 15 years, it’s become one of those powerful singalong concert moments like “For Whom The Bells Toll”.
“The Outlaw Torn” is a favourite from the “Load” album, and it’s also a song which translates well with the whole symphony. Plus that outro groove/riff is essential listening.
And “No Leaf Clover” is always a blast to listen too.
Another World – Gojira
What a journey it’s been for them.
Their style morphed from being a technical death metal band to a heavy metal band and now to a hard rock act.
Regardless of style, it’s the riffage that gets me interested.
And their lyrics deal with society and the environment.
Manhattan Skyline – Ihsahn, Einar Solberg
I’ve been a fan of Ihsahn for a long time.
My cousin was into Black Metal. I never got the industrial vocals part, but the movement did give us blast beats to incorporate into normal metal songs and it also introduced symphonic elements to metal music.
It’s a long way from the Norwegian Black Metal movement he was involved in as the co-founder and guitarist with Emperor.
They wore corpse paint and he didn’t spend any time in prison, while his other Emperor band members committed murder and arson. And his views on Satanism and Christianity always got people talking, even the very open minded Norwegians.
But don’t let the stories detract from listening. Listen with your ears and an open mind as his solo releases just keep pushing the boundaries.
On this song, Einar Solberg from Leprous (or his sister in law) is guesting with him and it feels like the Euro Pop songs from the 80’s. Its catchy and infectious.
Scars – Fates Warning
There will always be a bias towards Fates Warning.
This band has been a part of my life for a long time and I still rate their 2000 album “Disconnect” as a perfect connector between the hard rock and metal prog of their earlier albums with the prog of Tool and Porcupine Tree which relied more on groove and atmospheric textures.
And with “Scars” they continue on their own prog journey, fusing different styles and elements and more emphasis on expression than technicality and even more emphasis on progressive song writing than the standard verse and chorus structure.
Kill The Lights
The album is called “The Sinner” and it’s from a metalcore supergroup band which features members from bands who all had record deals and some success in the past.
Vocalist James Clark (Throw The Fight), guitarist Jordan Whelan (Still Remains), drummer ‘Moose’ Thomas (Bullet For My Valentine) and bassist Travis Montgomery (Threat Signal).
And I had the impression that the album would be screaming verses and melodic Choruses. While that is true for some songs, it’s does have some subtleness.
Stand out songs are “The Faceless”, “Through The Night”, “Tear Me Apart”, “The Enemy”, “Sober”, “Rest” and “Unmoved”.
They worked over the last two and a half years to put the album together and it’s a good mix of songs with different emotions and feelings. Fearless Records signed them after a whole year of negotiations.
“The Enemy” is a great track with a fast guitar opening riff and a foot stomping chorus.
“Through The Night” deals with the anxiety and depression that vocalist James went through. He was diagnosed with cancer in 2010 and that really kicked off his struggles and they kicked in again when his children came into the world.
Adelitas Way and Seether also dropped albums this month, but they will be reviewed in next month’s list.