Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

2021 – Released Too Late In The Year To Listen To Properly

These albums came out at a time which is too close to the end of the year to be properly assessed for any EOY list.

Especially when they are up against albums which came out in the first four months of the year and those albums have became part of my fabric.

Volbeat – Servant Of The Mind

The pre releases single “Shotgun Blues” is a great classic Metal song.

It’s on my “On Repeat” playlist from Spotify which is basically designed to help the user keep track of what they’ve been playing most over the past 30 days.

And the “Shotgun Blues” single dropped in September and it’s still on the playlist.

The album dropped on December 3 and on purposely I’ve not listened to it as I’m waiting for my break to happen so I can sink my ears into it.

Black Label Society – Doom Crew Inc.

It dropped in November 26.

But I’ve been heaps busy to devote the time I want to this album.

And Zakk Wylde has earned the respect for people to devote proper time to his music and if they play guitar, to put in some woodshedding to learn some of his riffs.

Crazy Lixx – Street Lethal

The album dropped on November 5.

The pre-release singles all connected with me but I haven’t had the time to fully digest the album. It’s going to happen soon.

They are a Swedish Metal band formed in 2002, who bring back the 80’s Sunset Strip with the aggression of the San Francisco Bay Area Thrash scene and the defiance of Twisted Sister.

And once you add the Brit bands to the mix, it’s a whirlpool of creativity.

Their first album came out in 2007 and since 2010, they’ve been on the Frontiers label, releasing albums on a two year cycle.

If you’ve heard these albums drop your thoughts in the comments.

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Music, My Stories

2021 – Not As Good As I Expected

It’s always unpopular to have an opinion on an album that isn’t favorable.

Liquid Tension Experiment – III

John Petrucci delivered a great solo album in 2020, but when LTE reformed with Petrucci, Portnoy, Ruddess and Levin, the “III” album didn’t have the same impact as the first two LTE albums which I saw as ground breaking instrumental albums.

The first two albums were released in the late 90s and they came out at a time when most instrumental artists brought in an industrial sound to their albums because that sound is what was popular however LTE didn’t conform to what was popular.

Songs like “Acid Rain”, “Paradigm Shift” and my favourite “Universal Mind” which Petrucci borrowed from for “Happy Song” are instrumental masterpieces.

And the deeper you dig into the first two albums you’ll hear other awesome tracks like “Kindred Spirits”, “Freedom Of Speech” and “When The Water Breaks”.

But if you do want to press play on a track from this album, then “Blink Of An Eye” is the one. It’s got this groove that it’s intoxicating and it sets the foundation.

Trivium – In The Court of The Dragon

I’m a big fan of Trivium and in April 2020 just when lockdowns started around the world, they dropped the excellent “What The Dead Men Say”.

And they couldn’t tour behind it. Matt Heafy did a side project and the band got together and wrote another album.

Which didn’t have the same impact as “What The Dead Men Say”.

Dream Theater – A View From The Top Of The World

I will buy it as a Dream Theater fan so I can have it in my collection but it didn’t connect with me.

But like previous releases there are some nice instrumental sections.

I’m also not a fan of riffs created on the super heavy gauge of an 8 string guitar. It’s too low and muddled for my ears.

Black Veil Brides – The Phantom Tomorrow

It’s their third rock opera.

I really want to like it, but I couldn’t wait for each song to finish.

Bullet For My Valentine – Bullet For My Valentine

We fall in and out with our favorite artists.

At the moment I’m out with BFMV who I think are suffering an identity crisis.

George Lynch – Seamless

I purchased it as I have all of his recordings and while it was okay, I was expecting something else.

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2021 – The 50/50 List I’m Still Investing Time In

Sometimes albums don’t capture me in their entirety but there is something there that keeps me going back.

Tremonti – Marching In Time

The debut album, “All I Was” from 2012 caught me by surprise because of its slant towards Classic Heavy Metal and Speed Metal.

“Dust” and “Cauterize” from 2016 and 2015 are my favorite albums, especially the song “Dust”, it’s a masterpiece.

“A Dying Machine” from 2019 brought a concept story to the mix and now we have “Marching In Time”. In between Mark Tremonti also did Alter Bridge, so no one can question his work ethic.

I listened to this a lot the week it came out and while each song has a section or a riff which floors me, I only press “like” on four songs, “A World Away”, “Now And Forever”, “Under The Sun” and “Marching In Time”.

It doesn’t mean the other songs are crap.

Far from it. I just need to find the connection.

KK’s Priest – Sermons Of The Sinner

I heard it once and I was impressed.

KK Downing is still a beast on the guitar and we all know that Tim Ripper Owens has an awesome set of pipes on him and is technically better than a lot of the vocalists doing the rounds including his idols.

Before all the JP fans tear me apart, this isn’t meant to be a slight on Halford at all, it’s just progression that people surpass their idols in technicality. Halford is still the “Metal God”.

I remember a Bruce Dickinson interview in which he said, he was floored when he heard Ian Gillian signing “Child In Time” and he started practicing like crazy in his bedroom to mimic what Gillian did on the recording, without knowing that Gillian’s vocals were dubbed in and recut a lot of times and heavily delayed. But Bruce was doing it all naturally. Progression.

For a bit of backstory, K. K. Downing got the idea of forming KK’s Priest after doing a one-off show billed as MegaPriest in 2019 with David Ellefson (my, my, how far has he fallen since his sex scandal) on Bass. As a band, KK’s Priest is somewhere between a solo project of Downing and a reunion with his former Judas Priest bandmates Tim “Ripper” Owens and Les Binks. However, Binks left the band just before the making of “Sermons of the Sinner” because of health issues.

So joining K.K Downing and Tim “Ripper” Owens is A.J. Mills on Guitars, Tony Newton on Bass and Sean Elg on Drums.

And I was a fan without even hearing a track.

My favourite track from JP is “The Sentinel” and when I saw that the last track is called “Return Of The Sentinel” I was sold. Even though the songs sound nothing alike, the nod to a classic sealed the deal.

Blacktop Mojo – Blacktop Mojo

They won a competition to open up for Bon Jovi who at the time were picking local acts from each city to open for them. Thats how they came to my attention.

And they do a mean cover of “Dream On” from Aerosmith and a drunken YouTube cover of “In The Air Tonight” from Phil Collins.

From Texas, so they have this blues southern rock vibe happening but there’s also a Soundgarden and Alice In Chains vibe as well.

Actually Black Stone Cherry comes to mind here as well.

This is album number 4 and it’s slowly growing on me.

Check it out.

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Notable Mentions 2021

All of this were close to being in the Top 10 list.

Architects – For Those That Wish To Exist

I’ve heard the name but never really listened.

And they started to come into my life circa 2018 with the “Holy Hell” album, which I liked some songs on, but when “For Those That Wish To Exist” came out in 2021, I was liking a lot more songs.

I was even half way through a review, before I got side tracked with other posts and never went back to finish.

It’s album number 9 which goes to show that artists will never know which album makes a person a fan. They just need to be in the game, a lifer, producing music.

If charts still matter these days, then this album did great business around the world, hitting the number 1 position in Australia and the UK, while achieving Top 10 positions in Austria, Germany, Scotland, Sweden, Switzerland and the Billboard Hard Rock Charts.

While the band was known as a metalcore act when they started out, this album is not. It’s a stadium rock album with elements of all different kinds of metal thrown in and orchestral electronics.

Lord – Undercovers

An Aussie Metal band.

How can you knock back a covers album that has metal re-imaginings of songs like “To the Moon and Back” from Savage Garden, “Message In A Bottle” from The Police, “Playing to Win” from Little River Band/John Farnham. “(I Just) Died in Your Arms” from Cutting Crew, “The Sun Always Shines on TV” from A-ha, “On a Night Like This” from Kylie Minogue, “Break the Ice” from John Farnham, “Send Me an Angel” from Real Life and “Touch the Fire” from Icehouse.

And to top it off there are sizzling metal and rock covers of “Hard to Love” from Harem Scarem, “Reckless” from Judas Priest, “Wild Child” from W.A.S.P and “Runaway” from Bon Jovi.

Plus faithful renditions of “Judas be my Guide” from Iron Maiden, “Of Sins and Shadows” from Symphony X, “Shattered” by Pantera, “Someone’s Crying” and “I Want Out” from Helloween, “Creeping Death” by Metallica, “Silent Jealousy” from X Japan and “The Whisper” from Queensryche.

You can read my review here.

Chevelle – Niratias

Otherwise known as “Nothing Is Real And This Is A Simulation” and it’s one of their best albums in the last 10 years, a concept album that deals with interstellar travel, mistrust in leadership, loss and looking back at the past.

It’s more accessible then some of their previous works, with bigger Chorus’s.

Plus there is some great artwork from Boris Vallejo.

Iron Maiden – Senjetsu

It’s great to have Iron Maiden in our lives. The album is a bit bloated but then again, Maiden from the 2000’s onwards have done things their own way and catered to their own creative muses. Which I respect and still purchase.

You can read my review here.

The End Machine – Phase II

The End Machine is listed as a supergroup consisting of guitar player George Lynch, bass player Jeff Pilson, drummer Mick Brown and singer Robert Mason.

Frontiers basically wanted a Dokken sounding album and with 75% of the band being from Dokken plus a singer who worked with Lynch in Lynch Mob, the possibilities of a Dokken sounding album were high.

The self-titled debut came out in 2019 and in 2021, “Phase 2” came out. The difference here was that Mick Brown vacated his drumming gig due to his retirement and his younger brother, Steve Brown took the spot.

I also had a review partially written on this however other posts took my interest and I never went back to it.

But it did have comments like, “’this song reminds me of <insert Dokken song here>.

For example, “Dark Divide” is “The Hunter”. “Blood And Money” reminds me of “Tooth And Nail”. “Crack The Sky” has this “Stop Fighting Love” meets “It’s Not Love” vibe.

And to tell you the truth, I wouldn’t have it any other way, because while Dokken is on hiatus for new music, The End Machine definitely fills the void and Mason’s pipes are in fine form, while Mr Don is struggling a bit.

So if you like classic Dokken, then do yourself a favour and press play on this.

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Top 10 – 2021: Part 3

Times Of Grace – Songs Of Loss and Separation

10 years is a long time between albums.

The debut album “The Hymn Of A Broken Man” came out in 2011.

Have I mentioned that Adam Dutkiewicz is a great riff meister?

All different musical roads lead to here. A combination of country, blues, metal and rock.

For those looking about positive messages, this isn’t the album for you. It’s melancholy lyrics and metal like riffage is music to make you crash your car. You can feel the sadness, a pain at the world, society and the various demons within the mind.

It’s gloom and doom, but inspirational as well.

The album title is indicative of the theme. And having gone through loss recently this album is becoming my companion, riding shotgun with me.

So I press repeat.

Free Spirits Rising

An Australian artist who releases a song every 6 weeks or something like that and plays all the instruments.

Its raw sounding hard rock but the music is melodic and catchy even though the vocals can be hit and miss.

Check out songs like “Outside The Lines”, “It’s OK”, “My Destiny” and “It Starts With Me”.

Soen – Imperial

It’s the kind of metal I like.

Soen is a Swedish progressive metal supergroup consisting of various extreme metal musicians. Their debut album “Cognitive” came out in 2012.

It was like hearing Tool and I was all in.

“Tellurian” came out in 2014 but their rise really started with “Lykaia” in 2017 and “Lotus” in 2019. And in 2021, we have “Imperial”.

And this one is more metal and hard rock with some progressive grooves and textures.

Lumerian

How good is the Intro riff?

And the Chorus, so melodic and haunting.

In the middle, the band introduces its main dynamic, which is heard throughout the album, in which they quieten down the song and rebuild it.

Deceiver

It’s almost Disturbed like from the “Believe” album in the Intro.

Monarch

That Intro riff. So heavy and intricate.

The only thing left to do is to listen to it again.

Durbin – The Beast Awakens

James Durbin’s covers of Judas Priest on American Idol got me interested. The YouTube videos got some traction here in Australia.

His debut album released in 2011, “Memories Of A Beautiful Disaster” rocked hard and I was a fan. “Celebrate” in 2014, lost me as it went way to poppy.

Then he hooked up (surprisingly) with Quiet Riot and he made me a fan again with the very underrated and forgotten “Road Rage” album released in 2018. “Space Cowboys” came out a year later but shit was going down in the Quiet Riot camp, as Durbin left the band before the album was released and drummer Frankie Banali was fighting for his life but we didn’t know it at that point in time.

And here we are with Durbin.

Durbin possesses a great vocal range and his prowess on the guitar is evident on this album. As a songwriter, all songs are written by Durbin.

If this is his first entry into the realms of Metal, then I will eagerly await his next.

Check it out.

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The Week In Destroyer Of Harmony History – December 12 to December 18

4 Years Ago (2017)

I was busy writing my EOY lists during this week.

8 Years Ago (2013)

CITY LIMITS

From “I Am Giant”, released in 2010.

It has this bass intro that reminds me of the song “Comedown” from Bush and the drum beat makes me think of “When The Levee Breaks” from Led Zeppelin. If you want an introduction into the band, then this is the song to start with.

“Are we living?
Or merely killing time?

BOOM.

Then the distorted guitars crash, mimicking the bass riff.

Check it out

BON JOVI – LIVE IN AUSTRALIA

The Buick stage design was a great concept.

It was fitting that they opened up with “That’s What the Water Made Me”, the best song from the “What About Now” album.

And they then went back to 1986 with two classics “You Give Love a Bad Name” and “Raise Your Hands” from the “Slippery When Wet” album.

And the 50,000 plus crowd enjoyed every note as the band went through their catalogue of songs.

JOVI’S GREATEST HITS PACKAGE

The story of the Bon Jovi “Greatest Hits” album goes back to 2007. At that time, Jon was very interested in developing the country rock sound that he experimented with on the unexpected hit single, “Who Says You Can’t Go Home,” which was featured on the 2005 album, “Have A Nice Day”.

The label, Universal Music wasn’t interested in allowing Jon to follow his muse, and instead wanted a “Greatest Hits” package from the band.

In the end, Universal couldn’t stop Jon from going ahead with the album; however the label believed that they would lose a lot of money on it.

So the label made Jon promise that once the country rock album bombs, Jon will deliver a “Greatest Hits” album.

But the“Lost Highway” album and world tour was successful.

After the “Lost Highway” tour, Jon and Richie got together and started writing five songs for the promised “Greatest Hits” package that was to come next.

Then the global financial crisis happened, and according to Richie Sambora, he and Jon just continued writing more than the required amount of songs needed for the “Greatest Hits” package.

Another argument was put forward to the label to release a new album, which in turn would postpone the “Greatest Hits” release again.

From the songs written, most of them would end up on “The Circle” album, with five songs left over for the “Greatest Hits” package.

The “Greatest Hits” was finally released in October 2010, while the band was still touring on “The Circle” album and it gave the band further momentum to hit the road again in 2011.

And I wrote 7000 plus words about the “Greatest Hits” package and the story behind it.

BLOWSIGHT

If you want to read about a Swedish band called Blowsight, then read on.

STILL OF THE NIGHT

It is a well-known fact that Led Zeppelin has borrowed (or stolen depending on how people view this) bits and pieces from other artists however Zeppelin’s influence and reach is vast and if there was no Led Zeppelin, a lot of bands that we love and like today would have not have existed in the form that we know them.

One such band is Whitesnake.

For a lot of people, their first hearing of Whitesnake was in 1987 and a song called “Still of the Night”.

The song is written by lead singer David Coverdale and guitarist John Sykes.

The Led Zeppelin influence is unmistakable.
The vocal delivery over the F#5 power chord in the intro reminds me of Robert Plant from “Black Dog” and “Jailhouse Rock” from Elvis Presley.

When the riff kicks in straight after, the ears are treated to a combination riff based on “Black Dog” and “Immigrant Song”.

Even though it is derivative, it is hard to burn out on the song because it doesn’t sound like anything else.

AVATAR

It’s hard to believe that “Black Waltz” was Avatar’s fourth release. Another band from Sweden and the famous Gothenburg melodic death metal scene.

I was interested to check this band out after the guys from Five Finger Death Punch mentioned in an interview that Avatar’s new album is doing the rounds while they are on tour and that it is influencing them in the riff department.

Avatar has just so many elements in their music.

Industrial rhythms (like Rammstein) – check
Old Time Rock N Roll boogie – check
Swedish melodic death metal scene (like In Flames) – check
Hyperactive metal (like System of A Down) – check
Modern Metal elements (like Disturbed) – check
Technical Metal elements (like Meshuggah, Sikth) – check
Melodic, arena sized choruses – check
And that is what I got from listening to Black Waltz. A bizarre, melodic, psychotic freakshow.

Check em out.

And that’s another wrap for another week.

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Australian Method Series: Jet – Shine On

My first post on Jet was “Shaka Rock”, their third album. Then it was the debut “Get Born”.

And I wrap up their output with their much anticipated second album, “Shine On” released on 30 September 2006, in Australia and on 2–3 October 2006, internationally.

When you Google the album name and review, the Pitchfork review is the first one that Google brings back.

Pitchfork gave the album an 0.0 review and the page had an embedded YouTube video of a monkey peeing in its own mouth. I’m presuming to state it’s a “piss poor” album.

But Aussie’s don’t care about expectations and artists development. We care about fun and Jet just made another fun album rooted in good old fashioned Blues Rock.

Holiday

There’s no way that people can’t like this song.

It has all the trademarks of what Jet is. A hooky riff, dumb lyrics and a fun attitude. There is this small riff between the main riff that reminds me of QOTSA.

Makes no difference what they say
We’re goin’ on holiday

It sounds too good to be true these days. Going on a holiday.

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

If there’s one thing us Aussies like, is a good punt. We’ll bet on anything. But this song isn’t about betting.

It continues the catchy riffs and themes from “Are You Gonna Be My Girl”.

She goes down
Like a setting sun

It leaves little to the imagination.

You can be the sinner and I’ll be the sin

Best lyric in the song.

Bring It On Back

The Beatles (as a byproduct Oasis as well) and Bad Company come to mind here.

For all that you said
Would you take it all back?

Even if it’s taken back, it’s been said and words sting deeper than actions.

That’s All Lies

It’s more Punk Rolling Stones like, in a 12 bar blues sense.

Kings Horses

It’s a country folk rock cut.

In the morning i swear i will tell you the truth
How you receive it, well, that’s up to you

Everyone has their own version of the truth.

Shine On

A tribute to the Cesters’ father, who passed away from cancer while they toured on the “Get Born” album.

Oasis and “Stop Crying Your Heart Out” comes to mind here.

Everything will be okay
We will meet again one day

It’s impossible but people believe it’s possible.

Come On, Come On

It’s very ELO meets Rolling Stones.

If they ask you to stand, well they just want you to kneel

So if you stand based on someone else’s command, then you will kneel when they tell you to kneel.

Stand Up

It’s a basic blues rock song in a Rolling Stones “Sympathy For The Devil” and “Revolution” from The Beatles vibe with the message from the 80s, like “Stand Up And Shout” and “We’re Not Gonna Take It”.

Stand up, you got to live while you can
Stand up, burn up before you fade out
Stand up, don’t you follow the crowd
Stand up, you got to live in the now

Rip It Up

Might as well call it “Wipeout” as it has that 60s Beach feel.

Rip it up, rip it up if your ever gonna make it!

Skin And Bones

It starts off with that “Shooting Star” and “Werewolf In London” riff.

Shiny Magazine

It’s that whole Beatles/Oasis feel.

Eleanor

Strummed acoustics and a campfire “Rubber Soul” feel.

All You Have To Do

And the album ends.

They recorded a shit load of songs for this album and there are so many versions of the album with a lot of bonus tracks and demos.

It didn’t sell anywhere near the debut but that doesn’t mean it’s a crap album.

Check it out.

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Top 10 – 2021: Part 2

And we continue the journey of 2021 releases.

Daughtry – Dearly Beloved

In 2012 Chris Daughtry had a decision to make after “Break The Spell”.

Should he stay with the same sound?

Should he change the sound completely?

Should he stay with the same sound but experiment with a few songs by bringing in different sounds?

“Baptized” came out in in November 2013 on RCA Records and it was an electro synth pop sounding album, a significant departure from the hard rock sound on their first three albums.

Like the previous albums, RCA farmed Chris Daughtry out to work with different writers. But while the writers previously had some rock pedigree, the writers on “Baptized” album specialized in other styles.

There is a song called “Long Live Rock N Roll” and it doesn’t even rock, as it’s more in the vein of “I Wish I Was A Punk Rocker”, an acoustic folk song which tells a story of growing up with a certain type of music.

Then came a “Greatest Hits” album in 2016 with two new songs called “Torches” and “Go Down.

“Torches” is actually a good bridge between the old sound and the “Baptized” sound,

The song “Go Down” has your typical catchy Daughtry vocal melody but it’s instrument sounds are routed in synth pop and electronica. Think of the band “Garbage”.

“Cage To Rattle” came out in 2018. 10 songs that total 38 minutes. RCA again was spending a lot of money for Chris Daughtry to write with so many outside writers in the quest to find hits.

But the record executives failed to understand is that Daughtry’s audience is predominantly made up of rockers. And there is a saying, when you’re chasing hits it don’t mean the hits would come.

Then Daughtry and RCA parted ways.

And Daughtry was back, louder and meaner.

“Dearly Beloved” is a return to form which shows the world that Daughtry still knows how to rock!!

Machine Head – Arrows In Words From The Sky

In October, Machine “Fucking” Head made 30 years! It’s a long time in the business. Music is a lifers game.

In the early 90s, Robb Flynn decided to quit the band he was in, to start Machine “Fucking” Head, so he could call the shots and not have to answer to anyone.

Throughout the years he’s had different versions of the band with “The Blackening” line up being the most favored and then the “Burn My Eyes” line up.

Over the last three years, Robb’s motto is simple. If he has a song, or two, he’s going to get it recorded and released.

In 2019, “Do Or Die” was released.

In February 2020, “Circle The Drain” came out.

In June 2020, the “Civil Unrest” single, featuring the tracks “Bulletproof” and the Jesse Leach collaboration “Stop The Bleeding” came out.

In November 2020, the stand alone “My Hands Are Empty” was released.

And on 11 June 2021, the 3-Song digital single, “Arrows In Words From The Sky” dropped.

In total 8 songs have been released. They could represent an album that came out today, but we all got to spend time with these songs when they came out and make em special at that particular point in time.

Centuries of pain, under a paper sword
Arrows in words from the sky

Check it out.

Joel Hoekstras 13 – Running Games

I am a Russell Allen fan. I knew of Allen long before I heard of Joel Hoekstra. Allen has a voice which can suit power symphonic bands, metal bands, melodic rock bands, hard rock bands, nu-metal bands and blues rock bands.

And I’m also a Jeff Watson fan, so I wasn’t too thrilled with any Night Ranger version without Watson. Then again Watson hasn’t done much being away from the band and I still want to hear new Night Ranger music.

So I still listened to Night Ranger and Hoekstra impressed but I felt he was restrained within that band as Blades and Keagy are the alphas.

And with Whitesnake, Coverdale has two great guitarists to write tunes with but they need to comply with what Coverdale desires.

Which means that Hoekstra 13 is the true Joel Hoekstra.

“Running Games” is album number 2 for his Frontiers label contract.

The band for the album is a supergroup are Russell Allen on vocals, Tony Franklin on bass, Vinny Appice on drums and Derek Sherinian on keyboards with Jeff Scott Soto doing backing vocals. Yep, you read that right, the great JSS is doing backing vocals.

Overall Hoekstra’s songwriting is top level and the performances from the guys are excellent.

Check it out.

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Top 10 – 2021: Part 1

2021 Top Ten

I suppose it’s that time to start providing some EOY lists.

I’ll start with what I see as my favourite ten albums, EP’s or Singles released for the year. And then there will be another posts on my Spotify listening habits for the year.

So here it goes.

Here is Part 1, which features my go to artists with 2021 releases and it’s not an numerical order.

The Night Flight Orchestra – Aeromantic II

“80’s Miami Vice Pop”.

Two of my favourite Kiss albums are “Dynasty” and “Unmasked” because they brought in other styles of music into the Kiss rock sound and somehow Kiss still made it sound like hard rock.

So I wasn’t surprised to hear that “Dynasty” and “Unmasked” are also the favourite albums for the guys in TNFO and how they see the song “Easy As It Seems” as the blueprint for a TNFO song.

And how can you knock back a song called “How Long” which has been described as “90s Deep Purple on cocaine”.

So if you grew up in the 80’s listening to hard rock and melodic rock, then you need to listen to this.

Evergrey – Escape Of The Phoenix

Tom Englund is the mainstay, the founder, the main writer, the vocalist and also one of the guitarists.

Opener and first pre-release single, “Forever Outsider” showcases the power of the band at its metal best, while the second pre-release single “Eternal Nocturnal” showcases the power of the band at its hard rock best with sing-along Choruses and Henrik Danhage stealing the spotlight with his unbelievable, shredalicious and memorable solo spotlight.

“In Absence Of Sun” is heartfelt, melancholic, mournful and emotive while “You From You” has this Michael Schenker ballad like vibe in the intro.

Check it out.

Dee Snider – Leave A Scar

Dee Snider has a voice for heavy metal.

A simple dare from Jamey Jasta, brought forth “For The Love Of Metal” and it caught a lot of people by surprise.

“Leave A Scar” carries forth the metal torch.

With tracks like “I Gotta Rock (Again)” the intro riff from Bellmore is excellent and the drum groove smashes you awake.

Be a lifer til I’m done

But “Silent Battles” is my favorite track on the album.

The guitar riff to kick off the song reminds me of all the good things I like about the 80’s. I’m hearing George Lynch, EVH, a bit of Vito Bratta and Nuno Bettencourt.

Don’t leave your mark, leave a scar

There aren’t a lot of artists in their mid-60’s producing quality music like this. Dee Snider is doing it and he’s making it look very easy.

The Bellmore brothers are underrated talents as songwriters and instrumetalists, on the guitar and drums.

Check em out.

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1996 – Part 4.7: Semisonic – Great Divide

Those 70’s Classic Rock vibes came back in full force in the mid 90’s, rebranded as Alternative Rock.

“Closing Time” in 1998 made them Superstars so I was curious to hear more.

Semisonic is an American rock band formed in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1995.

The band has three members: Dan Wilson (lead vocals, guitar, keyboards), John Munson (bass guitar, keyboards, backing vocals, guitar), and Jacob Slichter (drums, percussion, keyboards, backing vocals).

“Great Divide” is the debut album released on April 9, 1996 by MCA Records. The band had signed a record contract with Elektra Records to record the album. During recording, Bob Krasnow, the president of Elektra Records had quit, and in the changeover to a new president, the Neglektra dropped Semisonic. The band then signed with MCA Records, and finished recording the album.

F.N.T

The main riff is catchy.

If I Run

I like the groove on this and the way the vocal melody sounds.

Delicious

It reminds me of Everclear and that whole power pop and post-grunge scene.

Down In Flames

Very Pearl Jam like and bleak.

Temptation

Press play on this just for the bass groove and the way the guitars and keyboard play the riff.

The sort of falsetto like vocal melody is also different and catchy.

The Prize

Before Creed wrote “Higher” there was “The Prize”.

Brand New Baby

The best song on the album. Press play to hear the Chorus.

Hearing this album so many years after it’s release is a fun trip. A lot of people see this album as better than the second album. Then again, they are labeled as a “one hit wonder”.

Ignore all that and just press play.

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