Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Influenced, Music, My Stories

1976 – Part 3.2: Kiss – Rock N Roll Over

“Rock N Roll Over”

Another album in the same year, something which was common during this period all the way up to 1985. Then bands started to take two years between albums and then three years. The bigger bands took even longer.

I purchased “Love Gun” after “Destroyer” because of the covers and then “Rock N Roll Over”.

Which also has a great cover.

Michael Doret is another artist who should be as big as a rock star. Apart from Kiss, he has done various editorials and logos for companies and sporting teams. If you follow the NBA, you will know the Knicks logo. That’s Doret.

Check out these Time covers as well just to show a small sample of his work.

Brilliant.

I don’t feel this album is mentioned a lot like other Kiss albums. Maybe because it was sandwiched between “Destroyer” and “Love Gun” for studio albums and “Alive” and “Alive II” for live albums. All of this Kiss product in a 24 month period meant that some albums get missed. It still did the same business as “Destroyer” in sales but it’s not in the conversation as often as it should be.

But the album does have quality. Eddie Kramer is producing and his mix is wonderful with every instrument and vocal having its own space.

“I Want You” was so ahead of its time. It’s like the embryo of melodic Metal. Don’t let the acoustic arpeggios fool you, because when the distorted guitars kick in, its metal and its melodic.

“Calling Dr Love” is good but it gets way too repetitive towards the end. Something which Gene does a lot of in his songs.

“Hard Luck Woman” is excellent and Rod Stewart would have killed the vocal if the song ended up making its way to him. But Pete Criss sounds great as well. I reckon he would have downed a packet of ciggies before the take, to get his voice like that.

And while artists of hard rock dabbled with country at the time, it either sounded too countrish or it had too much rock with a bit of country, but, Stanley delivered a song ahead of its time, fusing, country with rock and a crossover pop sensibility.

“Mr Speed” and “Makin’ Love” are good album cuts.

Press play to hear the riffs especially the speed rock of “Makin’ Love”, which a lot of the NWOBHM bands would be using to create tunes with. I wasn’t sure if all the riffs came from Paul Stanley on these cuts or from Sean Delaney, but when I checked Delaney’s solo album on Wikipedia, his credited as a vocals and keyboards on his own solo album, so Stanley again delivers the goods in the riff department on these two songs.

Ace Frehley is missing in the song writing department for this album, (you just need to read a few bios to understand why, plus the quick turnaround between albums didn’t really give him much free time to write songs and whatever free time he had, was put to other use), but his leads are there to inspire a generation of guitarists.

Finally, Paul Stanley.

He plays all the riffs on the album and it’s important to mention what an accomplished guitarist he is.

In the 80’s, and if you watched most Kiss video clips, the guitar spent more time hanging behind his back then in his hands, so people might think differently about his guitar abilities, but make no mistake, the dude can play and play well.

Crank it and enjoy.

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1986 – Part 3.6: Fastway – Waiting For The Roar

“Waiting for the Roar” is the third album from Fastway and an album in which “Fast” Eddie Clarke didn’t write a song on this album. For a band which carries part of his name, it’s confusing how that can be.

However he did allow the other members to flex their song writing chops or the label flexed their chops at getting the other members to deliver a radio friendly melodic rock album.

The band is Dave King on lead vocals, ‘Fast’ Eddie Clarke on lead/rhythm guitars, Shane Carroll on rhythm guitar, Paul Reid on bass guitar and Alan Connor on drums.

Production is handled by Terry Manning.

The majority of the songs are written by the other band members with producer Terry Manning who also plays the synth.

I read some reviews of this recently, which called it a misstep and pop metal and a commercial failure.

I like melodic rock music regardless of who does it.

If you are a fan of Fast Eddie and his Motorhead output and that’s all you want to hear from him, then this will disappoint you greatly.

For starters, vocalist Dave King has a decent range in his voice, so he will always come across melodically. It’s strange how critics were not kind to him however those same critics did embrace Mark Slaughter which is confusing as they sound very similar.

But if you want to listen to a melodic rock album, slickly produced with production sounds borrowed from Mr Mister, Tears For Fears and Cutting Crew albums, then this album is a good listen.

Waiting For The Roar

Arpeggios and a lot of midi sample triggers.

Check out the main guitar riff, it’s like Bad Company, with elements of the blues and a whole lotta hard rock.

The World Waits For You

It has a Chorus that reminds me of “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” from Tears For Fears.

At 7 minutes long, it has an orchestra added to the last 2 minutes which sounds very much like symphonic Metal.

Little By Little

The verse riff is sleazy and bluesy and Dave King delivers another melodic rock gem with his vocal melodies. At times I thought that Mark Slaughter made an appearance on this as the sound of the vocals can be interchanged.

Change

It’s a ballad. 6 minutes in length. If they were going for radio songs, the length of the songs would require heavy edits.

Synth chords and bluesy melodic lines start the song. The bass sounds like many of the Brit Pop bands at the time. The drums are heavily processed with midi triggers so the sounds could be manipulated.

And I like it. The mood it sets gets me and the idea to include the orchestra in the final minutes of the songs is excellent.

Rock On

It wouldn’t be an 80’s album without a song title that didn’t include the word “Rock”.

That’s probably why the movement known as “Thrash” metal really took off during this period.

Tired Of Your Love

It’s catchy and it sounds like the melodic rock tracks that Slaughter would write in a few years’ time.

Move Over

A Janis Joplin cover. A synth with a flanger like effect just hums along while the vocal melody is delivered. When the Jethro Tull inspired riff kicks in, the foot is tapping and I like it.

Kill Me With Your Heart

It’s Chorus is Jim Steinman worthy like the work he did with Bonnie Tyler and an orchestra again enters for the last minute of the song.

Girl

Very synth heavy, which is no surprise as the song is written just by vocalist Dave King and producer Terry Manning.

At the 50 second mark, the guitars make an appearance but they are buried behind the synths and the Tears For Fears bass sound.

The guitar is basically used the way keyboards are used in some other bands, as an instrument that is heard from time to time and hidden more in the background, instead of being the instrument that carries the song.

The chorus is catchy, with its “Girl” chant, however corny the lyrics sound.

And the lead break is full of blues playing, however it is buried

Back Door Man

Janet Jackson would have a hit called “Black Cat” in 1989, with a guitar riff very similar to this.

Everything is judged on sales, especially in 1986 and this didn’t sell as expected. Then again, Fastway albums were never seen as big sellers and from memory I don’t recall any certifications on em either.

While a section of fans of heavy metal and blues rock embraced Melodic Rock, there were also fans who didn’t, choosing to remain within their blues rock and metal worlds. A lot of bands suffered from this splintering in styles.

But all was not lost as one of my favourite Fastway albums is coming up next, with the soundtrack to the “Trick Or Treat” movie, also released in the same year.

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1986 – Part 3.2: Queensryche – Rage For Order

“Rage for Order” is the second album by Queensrÿche, released on June 27, 1986.

The Queensryche Cyber Army are really good at keeping the bands Wikipedia pages up to date and super detailed. Everything that can be found on the a internet is included along with print media and newspaper articles.

Go to the Wikipedia page on this album and you’ll get heaps of information.

MTV was becoming a huge promotions vehicle for artists and 1986 was clearly becoming the last year that bands would experiment with the songwriting. After 1986, albums would become very MTV Friendly because all the artists wanted a piece of that pie.

Musically it’s an excellent album. Each song has a riff or a vocal melody that I like. From a song point of view, “Walk In The Shadows” is close to perfect.

Lyrically the album touches on subject matters I’m interested in, like government intrusion and corruption, technology and social issues.

Management and the Label must have felt threatened at the experimental progressive album delivered by the band, so it’s no surprise that there is a cover song, which then became the lead single.

And no one knew how to handle Queensryche.

They had opening spots with Ratt and Bon Jovi (seriously, what the….), AC/DC (good gig to have if you play similar styles but they are very different styles) and maybe the most compatible one in relation to “Metal”, Ozzy Osbourne.

The Tri-Ryche logo makes it’s first appearance as well.

I never understood how this album was ever labeled as a “glam metal” album, but the label had to make them fit somewhere along with some questionable clothing and hairspray.

Queensrÿche is the classic line up of Geoff Tate on vocals, Chris DeGarmo and Michael Wilton on guitars, Eddie Jackson on bass and Scott Rockenfield on drums.

Neil Kernon is Producing, Engineering and Mixing. Man of many hats.

Walk In The Shadows

Written by Chris DeGarmo, Geoff Tate and Michael Wilton.

It’s as good as anything that came from “Operation Mindcrime” and “Empire”.

I’m a big fan of the Intro riff (it’s great to play) and that Chorus is massive.

I Dream in Infrared

Written by Tate and Wilton.

It reminds me of Rush in the Intro and I feel like Crimson Glory took this song and used it as a foundation to build on.

But you need to press play on this for the acoustic guitar arpeggios and the haunting vocal melody from Tate in the verses.

Is it just me or does this track remind you of “Breaking the Silence” and “Waiting for 22” from the “Mindcrime” album?

The Whisper

Written solely by DeGarmo and the Celtic inspired Intro definitely gets me interested. Something that Maiden would use a lot in the Dickinson Part 2 era.

The whole song is what Metal should sound like.

Gonna Get Close to You

A Dalbello cover, although I didn’t know it at the time.

To cover a song from outside the genre you are classified in, is a sign of respect to the artist who wrote it.

Many years later, Lisa Dalbello would do guest vocals on Alex Lifeson’s “Victor” album.

Check out the way the verses are constructed, it feels ominous.

The Killing Words

Written by DeGarmo and Tate.

The keyboard Intro gives way to the guitar, before it goes into a soundtrack like verse. It’s very Marillion like and the vocals remind me of Fish and I like it.

But you’ll be pressing play to this song, for the section when Tate sings “Over”.

Surgical Strike

Written by DeGarmo and Wilton it feels more like a cut from “The Warning”.

And there are sections here which remind of “Speak” and “The Needle Lies”.

Press play for the Outro that begins from 2.40. You won’t be disappointed.

Neue Regel

Written by DeGarmo and Tate.

When I heard “A Perfect Circle” for the first time, I thought of this song. It has all of those atmospheric elements and outside the box sounds and composition elements.

This is how progressive music should sound like and it’s the embryo of what the “Promised Land” album would be.

But press play on this just to hear the power of Geoff Tate.

Chemical Youth (We Are Rebellion)

Written by Tate and Wilton, who brings the heavy metal riffs to the rebellion.

It’s put together in a progressive way as it doesn’t just follow the standard verse and chorus narrative.

London

Written by DeGarmo, Tate and Wilton and it reminds me of the “Mindcrime” album musically and the song “I Don’t Believe In Love”.

It’s got a great Chorus, so press play to hear “London” sound like “Young Boy”.

And then hang around for the harmonies and individual lead breaks.

Screaming in Digital

Written by DeGarmo, Tate and Wilton, musically it also reminds me of different songs from the “Mindcrime” album.

The electronic synths are dominant and Tate is very Peter Gabriel like in the verses.

But press play for the vocal melodies from 2.15 to 2.40 and stick around for the guitar hero lead breaks. And then those unbelievable vocal melodies come back.

I Will Remember

Written by DeGarmo, it has some nice acoustic playing from DeGarmo, a sign of things to come.

It was Certified Gold in the U.S.

To this Australian, it’s a criminally underrated jewel that was way ahead of its time and no one really knew what to do with it.

And I’m not sure if Marillion was an influence to the band at this point in time but goddamn this album reminds me so much of “Script for a Jester’s Tear”. Maybe it’s the similarities in vocal styles between Fish and Tate.

Anyway press play and let the sounds of love, politics and technology wash over you.

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The Week In Destroyer Of Harmony History – September 27 to October 2

4 Years Ago (2017)

RESULTS

Someone said to me “Nothing matters except the result”.

Remember a time when a music business executive would say to an artist, nothing matters except the sales.

Shallow thinking.

Because the connection a fan makes with the music and the artist didn’t matter to them. The community built around the artist and their songs doesn’t matter. The community built around a scene doesn’t matter. The time spent away from loved ones doesn’t matter. The support of other artists, songwriters and families doesn’t matter. All the hours the artist spent in the dark to get to the light doesn’t matter.

Rather than treating the artist as an asset that companies should invest in, artists are seen as costs that should be minimised.

FORGOTTEN 80’S

I covered “Out On The Streets” and “King Of The Fools” from the “Come Out And Play” album by Twisted Sister.

“Fight For Your Rights” by Motley Crue got a mention. It made me wonder how a band with so many addictions could get it together to churn out an album. “Theater of Pain” has a reputation as a “filler” album. But the album does have some “unfinished” deep cuts, like this song.

Who wrote the Bible?Who set the laws?

“Waiting For Darkness” from Ozzy Osbourne’s “Bark At The Moon” was mentioned.

“That’s The Way I Wanna Rock ‘ N’ Roll” from AC/DC’s much maligned 1988 album “Blow Up Your Video” got a write up. It was released as a single, however “Heatseeker” was doing a decent job taking the limelight, that this little ditty was ignored.

“Young Lust” from Aerosmith is a favorite from the monster “Pump” album. Some monster songs stole all the glory like “Love In The Elevator”, “Janie’s Got A Gun”, “The Other Side” and “What It Takes”. So it’s easy for songs like “Young Lust” to be lost.

Check out Joey Kramer as he goes to town on the drums, with his double kick underpinning the groove and tempo of the song.

The controversial “One In A Million” from Guns N Roses got a write up.

I covered “Mine All Mine” from Van Halen. I know it was a single, but since the singles from “5150” were still on the airwaves along with “Jump” and “Panama”, it meant “Mine All Mine” just percolated outside the Van Hagar Halen hit factory.

The drumming is frantic, making a clichéd keyboard riff sound heavy as hell and how good is the guitar solo from EVH?

I covered some “forgotten” Whitesnake cuts from the “Slide It In” and “Slip Of The Tongue” album like “Standing In The Shadow”, “Guilty Of Love”, “Kittens Got Claws” and “Wings Of The Storm”.

“Rock Me To The Top” and “Before My Eyes” from Tesla got mentioned.

And Kiss has a lot of forgotten cuts like “Tomorrow”, “Naked City”, “Exciter”, “I’ve Had Enough”, “King Of The Mountain”, “My Way” and “Silver Spoon”.

“Had Enough” by Mr Big, “What’s It Gonna Be” from Ratt,Rock And Roll’s Gonna Save The World” by Y&T are included.

“Gutter Ballet”, “When The Crowds Are Gone”, “Hounds” and “Summer’s Rain” from Savatage are forgotten.

Does anyone remember “Metal Heart” from Accept?

“Downhearted”, “Reckless – Don’t Be So” and “The Boys Light Up” from Australian Crawl round out the list.

8 Years Ago (2013)

40 WORD REVIEWS

I was experimenting with 40 word reviews on bands like Cervello, Lizzard, Jeerk, Love And Death, Nonpoint, Machina, Protest The Hero, The Black Rain, Redline, Rain, Prime Circle and Alter Bridge.

And Roxy Blue. I was late to the party on that one.
And I liked it as the songs are great blends of the best that hard rock had to offer back then.

QUOTES

Some people get into this business for the attention, they want the babes or the money or the Porsche, but when we first got together we didn’t know that this was going to become a business. We were just friends who wanted to jam.” – Chris DeGarmo (Queensryche founder, ex guitarist and main songwriter)

Be in it for the right reasons.

The hell with the rules. If it sounds right, then it is.” – Eddie Van Halen

To this day I don’t have a guitar idol. I have people who are my favorites.”– Randy Rhoads (RIP) Guitarist

Be influenced by many. Progress is derivative.

And that’s another wrap for another week.

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The Record Vault: Daughtry – Leave This Town (B Sides)

“Leave This Town: The B-Sides” is an EP released on March 15, 2010, to iTunes.

Listening to these six tracks, it’s hard to believe they were left off. The quality is there.

The personnel is Chris Daughtry on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, Josh Steely on lead guitar,
Brian Craddock on rhythm guitar, Josh Paul on bass guitar and Robin Diaz on drums.

“Long Way”

Written by Chris Daughtry and Jason Wade from Lifehouse.

It’s got that Lifehouse vibe, but Daughtry’s voice is so unique.

Having a stable band behind Daughtry’s voice, makes all of the songs sound genuine and not over-produced, regardless of the money and time spent in studios to over produce em.

“One Last Chance”

Written by Daughtry, Mitch Allan and David Hodges.

Its too similar to “Life After You” in the verses and is probably a reason why it wasn’t included. But its still a worthy track, with a Chorus that reminds me of “Learn My Lesson” just a bit more aggressive.

And there is a harmony solo.

“Get Me Through”

Written by Daughtry and rhythm guitarist Brian Craddock and it’s in the alt-rock dropped D arena vibe.

Check out the Bridge vocal melody.

“What Have We Become”

Written by a songwriting committee of Daughtry, rhythm guitarist Craddock, ex-drummer Joey Barnes, bassist Josh Paul, guitiarist Josh Steely and songwriter/bassist Tommy Henriksen.

It’s basically a mid-tempo heavy rocker with a Chorus riff that reminds me of “Pour Some Sugar To Me” and a worthy guitar lead.

“On the Inside”

Another mid-tempo rocker written by Daughtry, Richard Marx and Chad Kroeger.

Flip a coin and let it land in your hand
Heads you gonna stay but its tails

Taking a chance is easier said than done. Writing out a plan is easy, actioning the plan is a different story altogether.

“Traffic Light”

Written by Daughtry and rhtynm guitarist Craddock.

This one is a favourite, another mid-tempo rocker which is a cross between “September”, “Tennesse Line” and “Supernatural”.

Man that Chorus.

Wow, so catchy for a B- Side.

“Back Again”

This is a great rock track, written by Daughtry and Adam Gontier from Three Days Grace at the time and two of the greatest hard rock voices to come out in the 2000’s.

The Chorus is Arena rock.

But you will be listening and saving this song because of the bridge, when Daughtry starts singing, “we’ve been down this road before”.

It’s that good it comes “back again” for the outro.

These B-sides are A-sides to me.

Their not on Spotify but YouTube has em so check em out.

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The Record Vault: Disturbed – Believe

Album number 2, released in September 2002. David Draiman is on vocals, Dan Donegan is on guitar and keyboards, Steve “Fuzz” Kmak is on bass and Mike Wengren is on drums. It’s also the last album to feature original “Fuzz” before he was booted from the band in 2003.

It’s also produced by Johnny K and the band members. And the mix from Andy Wallace is excellent.

The lyrical focus is different this time around. While “The Sickness” dealt with violence, “Believe” is more of a spiritual album.

Prayer

As soon as the opening staccato riff for “Prayer” starts off, in syncopation with the kick drum, I was hooked.

One thing that was clear to me when I played it, was the anthemic melodic rock Chorus in which Draiman soars, and this vocal style would appear across all of the songs on the album.

Liberate

It could have come from the first album as the verses follow the staccato singing with the catchcry of “liberate your mind, motherfucker you’re so narrow minded, narrow minded”.

The Pre-Chorus has Draiman doing fast spoken vocals on one track and on another he’s doing middle eastern ohhhs and ahhhs.

But the Chorus. Anthemic.

Wengren on the drums deserves special mention here. Its percussive and frantic.

Awaken

It’s a heavy rock song with a foot stomping groove and as Wikipedia tells me, it deals with America’s never-ending obsession with “wallpaper music”. I didn’t get that impression from the lyrics but…

The vocal style from “The Sickness” is prevalent here as he spits out the words like a machine gun.

Check out the outro riffing and how the bass drum is in unison with it.

Believe

Another staccato style riff in the vein of “Prayer”.

The Chorus. Brilliant.

All your belief cannot absolve your sin

Check out Donegan’s multi-layered guitar parts after the second Chorus.

At 2.36 it goes into a Tool/Deftones style groove. Instead of head banging, you sway.

Remember

One of the best Disturbed songs. The opening riff grooves and man its heavy.

And vocally, David Draiman really announces himself here as a force to be reckoned with.

The Chorus you don’t get to hear until half way through as the song goes, Verse, Pre, Verse, Pre and then the Chorus. But when it comes in, it explodes out of the speakers and totally worth the wait.

Wikipedia tells me that “Remember” delves into the cutthroat nature of the music industry as well as Draiman’s resistance to indulgent partying. But I don’t get that view by looking at the lyrics.

Check out the multi-layered guitar parts in the last Chorus.

Intoxication

It’s more of the same style from the debut album, with the vocal line and guitar line and bass drum pattern all syncopated in unison.

The Chorus is massive and it rhymes vilify with sanctify and I like it.

Rise

The intro riff is metal at its best.

There is another riff in the song which I always called the Chorus riff, but I think it’s played just after the Chorus.

Mistress

The riffs are cool to jam on.

At 2.09, a change of groove comes in, with slightly distorted arpeggios. It percolates before it crashes back in to the main riff.

Breathe

The intro/verse riff is a great riff to jam to. And checkout the bass riff which compliments it.

At 2.56, this Tool “Schism” like groove kicks in and I’m jamming it.

Bound

A flanged/phased wah riff kicks off the song, before the effects are taken off and its good old distortion cranking through.

You can call this a relationship song.

At 2.33, the song goes into a few grooves which they use for an interlude. No solos are allowed on Johnny K produced albums.

Devour

Great riffs in this song, especially the riff just before the anthemic Chorus.

At 2.35, a simple riff kicks in which they build back up into the Chorus.

Darkness

And for the fans who said Disturbed sold out with their cover of “The Sound Of Silence” must have forgotten about this song, which is just acoustic guitar, piano and strings. And one of their best.

In Australia and Canada, it went Platinum. In the U.S it went 2x Platinum. In New Zealand and the U.K it went Gold.

Crank it and believe.

I guess the word “motherfucker” was too much for the censors, so they felt the need to sticker it.
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Australian Method Series: Teramaze – I Wonder

From Australia. Advertised as Progressive Metal but it’s more like hard alternative rock with some progressive grooves on this album. And I like it.

“I Wonder” came out in October 2020 and I was surprised to learn that it’s their seventh album but my first time listening to them.

For this album Teramaze is Dean Wells on Guitars and Vocals, Andrew Cameron on Bass, Nick Ross on Drums and Chris Zoupa on Guitar.

The term Progressive Rock has a bad concoction these days, associated with a million notes over complex chord changes or in Tool’s case, long laboured grooves that move in and out of time signatures or polyrhythms. But there are a lot of bands that can take it all and make it sound easy, not complex and not too long.

Teramaze is one such band.

“Ocean Floor”

Kids noises are heard over an ominous synth riff and then the band crashes in with the lyrics “Children pray, from the ocean floor / Are we too late, to save their lives”.

The lyrics are based on a true story of children gone missing and their bodies been discovered at the bottom of the ocean.

It’s powerful and you need to listen to it.

Especially that “Interstellar” soundtrack influence from 3.17 to 4.06.

“Only Daylight”

The way the songs starts off with the heavy groove riff, just gets the head banging.

By the time the verses come in, it’s slower but still powerful.

The lead break is excellent, emotive.

There’s this section after the solo which has the lyrics “No one will find me, no one will see me / From up above, I’m down below / They watch as they dance around me”. The way it is sung over the music is haunting as it carries the song for the last 2 minutes.

“Lake 401”

The clean tone arpeggio riff makes me pick up the guitar to learn it.

And the way the Chorus vocal melody with the words “Its so hard to know / If she’ll be waiting forever” is delivered is excellent.

And for styles, it’s more rock than anything else.

“A Deep State of Awake”

The synths start it off before an “Enter Sandman” style groove kicks in with the drums, bass and then guitar.

There are some leads which has the keys and guitar in harmony and it reminds me of Dream Theater “Images And Words” era.

Lyrically I see it as two voices within the same person. One part is delivered aggressively and the other is delivered melodically.

“Here to Watch You”

The Chorus.

Especially when Wells sings “The Fearless will construct / Our way all the world will know now”.

“Sleeping Man”

My favorite track.

The “Sleeping Man” has a chorus hook of “I’ve awoken the sleeping man inside”. It’s catchy, its hard rock and its perfect.

The keyboard hooks under the melodies are also memorable.

Check out the guitar solo.

“Run”

Man, this song for the first 90 seconds reminds me of those piano and vocal songs that Evergrey do so well.

After that it becomes a melodic rock song with excellent guitar playing

“Idle Hands / The Devil’s Workshop”

9 minutes long.

Musically and melodically the section in which Wells sings “We spent the time, and wasted it all most every year / And there is nothing left to follow” is excellent.

At 3.30, a lead break kicks in. It’s emotive and one of the best I’ve heard recently.

The section after it with the lyrics; “You never run it together / You never stopped the war / If only you could’ve chosen me / What life would have in store” is almost Daughtry like in delivery.

At 5.12 it’s just piano, playing the chords and vocal melody.

Then the vocals come in with the acoustic guitar. It builds up again to the “You never run it together / You never stopped the war” part again.

The last 90 seconds has double kick, fast melodic guitar leads and the only thing I can do is press play again and devote another 9 minutes of my time to the song.

“This Is Not a Drill”

Musically this song reminds of bands like Haken and Tesseract.

I see the world has changed
Theres nothing left to gather now
I feel the world has fallen
Tomorrow, may never come again..

We’re waiting for the cure
Assured it’s on the horizon
Pandemic fabrication
The lies insure well never know again..

I wonder what they’re singing about. And for everyone the world did change. People died, relationships ended, how we did things changed, flying and travel ceased and a lot of careers ceased to be.

At the 5 minute mark, the section that comes in reminds me of “Home” by Dream Theater.

To find someone to love, whatever.

That’s all we want in the end.

At 8 minutes and 40 seconds it never got dull or boring.

“I Wonder”

The closer.

The way this song builds and is constructed is excellent.

Check out the Chorus with its symphonic and anthemic melody, especially when Wells is singing “We’re here tonight, you’re never gonna see me alone / we feel alive, I’m never gone make it”.

The “I watch them killing you slowly” section reminds me of Muse.

At about 5.10 some intricate playing happens but it’s all still accessible and sing along like.

And the lead break is excellent.

By the end of it, each track left something behind with me.

And from reading some of the reviews, this is the first album in a while which features lead vocals from band leader and guitarist Dean Wells. And I’m like, “why didn’t he sing on all the albums?”. His voice needs to be heard.

Check it out.

And don’t let the progressive tag turn you off some great Rock and Metal.

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Joel Hoekstra 13 – Running Games

I was interested to hear this but I didn’t think I would have liked it as much as I did.

It’s excellent.

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 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.

The musicians for the album 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.

It feels like the 70s ethos, when you see so many guys from different bands jamming together and releasing music.

I was reading some of the interviews Hoekstra did when the album come out and fuck there are some shit interviewers out there, who just do the simple Wikipedia style of interview without even listening to the album.

But the one at “The Rock Pit” is what an interview is about. The interviewer actually listened to the album, liked it and wanted to know more about it. And you get exactly that.

“Finish Line”

“We Rock” from Dio is merged with “I’ll See The Light Tonight” from Malmsteen for the Intro riff and I’m all in.

And that Chorus. Wow. What a hook!

Make sure to check out the lead break as Hoekstra is doing his eight finger tapping.

“I’m Gonna Lose It”

I like the Intro lead. It reminds me of Thin Lizzy.

And just before the Chorus, there is a little snippet of a riff that gets me thinking of “A Touch Of Madness” from Night Ranger.

The lead break again. Wow.

Over at Glide Magazine, Hoekstra said He came up with the song out at Hook City at the Whitesnake studio.

“Hard To Say Goodbye”

The Chorus feels like a Joe Lynn Turner Rainbow Chorus.

“How Do You”

It’s slower and groovy, more in the vein of Adrenaline Mob in the verses with a Euro classical inspired Chorus.

“Heart Attack”

It is a bluesy groovy cut.

“Fantasy”

It feels like ZZ Top added some Metal to their sound in the Intro, and the verses are massive, Kashmir like.

Their is a keyboard solo and then Hoekstra breaks loose.

“Lonely Days”

What a melodic rock Chorus. I’m a sucker for these.

“Reach For the Sky”

Cliched and overused song title.

In an interview over at The Rock Pit, Hoekstra mentions how he wrote the riff on the Whitesnake Tour Bus. Inspiration strikes all the time.

“Cried Enough For You”

It feels like a Y&T cut from the “Black Tiger” album in the acoustic sections before it moves to an Iron Maiden like old school groove.

“Take What’s Mine”

The fast guitar lead and machine gun riff to start off the song gets me to pay attention, but it’s the verse riff that makes me pick up the guitar and bang my head to.

And there’s another anthemic Chorus.

“Running Games”

It feels like a Toto cut.

“Lay Down Your Love”

It feels like ZZ Top has come to town.

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

Check it out.

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Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

Australian Method Series: Jimmy Barnes – Two Fires

“I’d been caught between two fires for a long time. One was the inferno that I had built with my success and addictions. The other was the fire that burned for my family”

It’s how Chapter 33 called “out of control like a bushfire” started from the “Working Class Man” book.

“Two Fires” is his fourth studio album released in 1990 and his first United States release for Atlantic Records.

This was the last proper attempt to break Barnes to the U.S market, as previous label partnerships with Elektra and Geffen for the earlier records fell apart due to various reasons.

It was also the first step away from the AOR sounding “Freight Train Heart”. Most of the song writing credits this time are shared by the band and unknown writers instead of Desmond Child, Jonathan Cain and Diane Warren.

“Lay Down Your Guns”

The album gave Barnesy a chance to work with some great players like Brian Setzer from The Stray Cats who plays guitar on this.

A sinister crime noir “Peter Gunn” style riff kicks it off. The song is written by Jimmy Barnes and Rick Nowels.

Nowels was still in his early days of becoming a huge songwriter. His credits now include Adele, Lana Del Rey and many more. Just go to his Wikipedia page.

Lay down your guns and surrender

“Let’s Make It Last All Night”

Very Foreigner sounding, the Chorus is massive as you would expect from a song written by Barnes, Diane Warren and Desmond Child.

It was also a hit in Australia and it’s a staple of his live show.

Let’s make it last all night
This could be the last time I make love to you

“Little Darling”

A Barnes composition with Setzer on guitar again bringing some rockabilly to a soul rock tune.

Well I get to your house
Like the rest of the band
But somehow these things don’t always turn out as planned
You called me a cab and yeah I walked out that door

Barnesy talks about this event in his book. he thought he messed up his chance with his future wife.

“Love Is Enough”

It’s got a feel like “Every Breath You Take” in the verses, just more rockier.

“Hardline”

It’s a hard rock track and one of the best on the album.

Well it’s late at night something just ain’t right
I can tell by the look in your eye
You don’t say two words
You got a stare that burns
It’s gonna be a long long night

“One of a Kind”

Another rocker with hard rock lyrics.

Tight skirts, like a flirt
She don’t stop till it starts to hurt
She’s sweet, what a treat
Got to get her into my back seat

Mmmm. Flirt with skirt with hurt and sweet with treat and backseat. Overused terms but I would not have it any other way.

“Sister Mercy”

Cause a woman’s got the power
To take control of me
Well she can wrap me round her finger
And make a damn fool of me

The blues songs from the 1930s had lyrics like this. That’s how much staying power the blues medium had.

“When Your Love is Gone”

A great ballad. The sound is dated as it uses a lot of 80s sounding midis.

Well, I missed all the signs, never read between lines

And the Barnesy kids make an appearance in the outro.

“Between Two Fires”

A track written by Barnes and Holly Knight.

As you would expect, it’s anthemic and melodic rock.

The Intro and verses riff remind me of “Rocking In The Free World”. And the Chorus soars.

Caught between two fires
Losing control since I first met you

“Fade to Black”

This is a great rock song. Forgotten behind the hits.

When day fades to black
I won’t look back, of that I’m certain

When you just want to escape the rat race for the night.

I wanna get of this one way street
Don’t want to be among the faceless

“Hold On”

It sounds like a track from “Out Of This World” by Europe. With a bit of Led Zeppelin thrown in.

Like most albums of the time, the labels held the power, so they made artists write and write and write.

Barnes wrote over 30 tracks for the album with a lot of em still unreleased and some as B-sides to the singles.

And the fans rallied behind him once again, sending the album to number 1 on two separate occasions and making it 6x Platinum.

And that elusive break through into the US market still remained elusive.

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Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

1986 – Part 2.1: Yngwie Malmsteen – Trilogy

A guitarist in a band I was in, worshipped Yngwie. And he sort of pissed me off, strutting around like he was elite, making fun of all others who didn’t like Yngwie and because of him, I hated Yngwie to start off. I wouldn’t give in and say anything positive about Yngwie to him.

It wasn’t until I left the band, that I gave Yngwie some time. And when I heard the albums “Marching Out” and “Trilogy” I was hooked. Good music is good music and good riffs are good riffs.

And “Trilogy” is full of good riffs and good leads and I still class “Marching Out” as one of “the” metal albums of the 80’s.

It would become a normal thing for each Yngwie release, but I was pretty bummed when the singer from the “Marching Out” record, Jeff Scott Soto was out, replaced by Mark Boals. Then I was bummed when Boals was replaced by Joe Lynn Turner and bummed again when Turner was replaced by an unknown Swede called Goran Edman.

I guess the singer problem is solved now, as Yngwie can’t really fire himself.

Malmsteen gets a lot of praise here, but let’s not forget Boals on vocals, a cross between Ronnie James Dio and Ian Gillian.

“You Don’t Remember, I’ll Never Forget”

A great opener.

The riff is simple and the keys give it a melodic rock tone.

For me the piece d resistance is the G# diminished arpeggio lead between the verse and the chorus. Its so fun to play and it connects the two sections.

And the lead break is one of Yngwie’s best. He shreds but it’s perfect for the song as he doesn’t overplay, full of melody, scalar runs and sweeps.

At 3.20, just after the solo, it goes into a slow breakdown and it builds up again into the Chorus.

And while the chorus melody keeps going, Malmsteen is wailing away in the background.

“Liar”

It’s a very Euro sounding riff. Early Europe had songs like this.

It’s more like Uli Jon Roth Scorpions merged with Blackmore’s “Speed King” and “Highway Star”.

In the verses and chorus, Malmsteen jams on a pedal point, embellishing it with scalar runs on the 4th or 8th bar of the riff, while the keys and bass outline a chord progression.

“Queen In Love”

The intro riff immediately got me to grab my guitar and attempt to learn it. It’s a great head banging riff in Em to jam to.

The sweep-picked diminished arpeggios before the main solo are excellent and fun (also frustrating) to learn. And the main solo is also one of his best.

“Crying”

An instrumental.

There is an acoustic guitar which outlines a sad rhythm, guitar track, while another acoustic guitar plays a classical like lead over it.

Eventually it morphs into an electric lead break but it wasn’t needed.

“Fury”

Who would have known that Malmsteen would utter these words many years later while intoxicated on an airplane?

This isn’t a favourite but it is fun to jam to.

“Fire”

The intro is great to play. It feels like it came from the fingers of EVH as its got this major key vibe, sort of like “Dance The Night Away” but don’t think the songs sound alike, they don’t.

Actually the way it moves from A to E, G to D and F to C, the hand placements are more “All Right Now” than anything else.

“Magic Mirror”

The intro.

Its head banging stuff. Malmsteen nailed the combo of metal riffs and keyboard embellishments in this song.

“Everyone is searching for the meaning of our life”.

We still are searching.

“Dark Ages”

Sweden’s Melodic Death Metallers would be proud of this.

Its doomy, heavy and ready to sink wooden ships, in a time when darkness ruled.

“Trilogy Suite Op:5”

I didn’t get why it needed to have Suite Op:5 added.

An instrumental.

While the first part is all shred like and fast classical arpeggios, it’s the middle section which hooked me.

From the 3 minute mark.

You need to hear that movement. Its classical music at its best and Malmsteen showcases his acoustic guitar skills.

Then when the distortion kicks in, it goes into a Uli Jon Roth style of groove, which is the foundation for more shred and a keyboard solo.

Finally, my Metallica and Slayer loving friends, couldn’t get past the album credits which state; “Produced and Conducted by Yngwie Malmsteen”.

Yes that one world, “conducted” was enough to make people not listen to Malmsteen. But if you want to hear some great melodic metal, very Rainbow like, then crank it.

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