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All reviews - Music (10)

Wednesday 13 - Transylvania 90210

Posted : 13 years, 11 months ago on 29 October 2008 02:20 (A review of Wednesday 90210)

If you're into artists such as Alice Cooper, Motley Crue, Twisted Sister and of course Murderdolls, you will probably find yourself reluctantly enjoying this album! Right from first track, "Look What The Bats Dragged In" Wednesday and his gruesome gang deliver the catchiest of guitar riffs and tongue in cheek horror film inspired vocals, and they come together to form what is these days sadly a rarity- a genuinely good rock n roll album. Great music, showing ghoulish charm from Wednesday 13. The album gives out a great vibe when you listen to it and you won't be able to stop! Sing along anthems such as "Bad Things", "The Ghost Of Vincent Price" and "I Walked With A Zombie" hark back to a better time, reminiscent of classic Alice Cooper or Motley Crue. This is feel good rock at its best, something we need a lot more of these days!

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Judas Priest - Screaming for Vengeance

Posted : 13 years, 11 months ago on 29 October 2008 02:18 (A review of Screaming for Vengeance)

Judas Priest released a hot streak of classic album releases between the years 1976 and 1982 which secured their place in the Heavy Metal history books. "Screaming For Vengeance" was the best of the bunch to me, probably largely due to the fact that it's release coincided with the time that I left school and started to experience the freedom of the grown-up world. Opening the album is the classic pairing of "The Hellion"/"Electric Eye". Unbeatable as a live show opener, and featuring a killer guitar solo by Glenn Tipton. "Electric Eye" then leads seamlessly into "Riding On the Wind". Listening to the guitar trade off in this song, you can hear an incredible difference between Glenn and K.K.'s guitars. Both are on top form, creating a truly unique and great listening experience. "Bloodstone", "Take These Chains", "Fever", and the title track, which features another fantastic dual guitar solo, are all equally excellent songs. Widely different from one another, but all fully representative of the Priest sound. A classic album which Priest never bettered in my opinion. Although their 2005 comeback album "Angel Of Retribution" does come temptingly close.

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Motley Crue - Dr Feelgood

Posted : 13 years, 11 months ago on 29 October 2008 02:16 (A review of Dr. Feelgood)

"Dr. Feelgood" belongs in the same category as AC/DC's "Back in Black". It's commercially appealing, yet tough enough and unique enough to stand out as a real gem in the metal band genre. Motley Crue were at their best on this album. Every song here is excellent. The title track and "Kickstart My Heart" were clearly two of the best metal songs made to date. "Don't Go Away Mad (Just Go Away) is a a hard-edged, melodic anthem which any modern rock band would be proud to have written. The Crue danced that fine line of not being too glam and not being too pop with just the right amount of excessive metal injected in to the music. This is a commercial masterpiece. A notable thing about this album is that it was the first album the Crue did after they sobered up. Commercial success and genre cred can be a result of cleaning up your act. Aerosmith did the same thing. The best night of my life was spent in The NEC at Birmingham watching the Crue performing these songs on the Dr Feelgood tour.

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Queen - A Night at the Opera

Posted : 13 years, 11 months ago on 29 October 2008 02:10 (A review of A Night At The Opera)

During the 70s Queen were one of the biggest bands around. With their shameless theatrical bombast and equal propensity for blistering hard rock and vaudevillian camp, not to mention their instrumental prowess and Freddy Mercury's otherworldly voice.. If you wanted a blueprint for a great rock band, Queen would be it. And 1975's "A Night at the Opera" was their crowning moment. The album's defining characteristic is its lofty operatic pretensions. This is most obvious and comes to a head in that overwrought masterpiece "Bohemian Rhapsody", but even in heavier ("like Death on Two Legs", the scathing opener) and lighter (such as the short-but-sweet "Lazing on a Sunday Afternoon") the operatic aspirations are evident. The songwriting itself is uniformly impressive as well. Freddie Mercury takes the spotlight with his vocal acrobatics and as the prime instigator of the album's bombast, holding the bulk of its song credits. But my favourite track is"'39", which is Brian May's baby. After "Bohemian Rhapsody" has faded away the album closes out with a histrionic, tongue-in-cheek performance of the British national anthem "God Save the Queen", and that about says it for the album, and for Queen themselves. "A Night at the Opera" is a masterwork of ostentation and an absolute classic.

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Rush - A Farewell to Kings

Posted : 13 years, 11 months ago on 29 October 2008 02:09 (A review of A Farewell to Kings)

Between 1976 and 1981 Rush released what were arguably their finest recordings. Starting with "2112" and ending with "Moving Pictures", Rush released music that was quite simply untouchable. The quality of the musicianship has to be heard to be believed and it was quite obvious that the group were giving everything in an attempt to create something special. Choosing the best of these albums is a hard task, but I choose "A Farewell To Kings". Intricate solos and amazing inventiveness that sound as fresh as ever 25 years on. The album starts off with the beautifully crafted title track, that shows what an underrated guitar talent Alex Lifeson is. Beginning with classical guitar, then progressing into a solid piece of trademark Rush, complete with thumping, Geddy Lee intricate bass lines and precision percussion from Neil Peart which is perfectly intertwined with the virtuoso guitar work. "Closer To The Heart" is classic song, that is still a mainstay of the live show, with a beautifully phrased classical guitar intro, that bursts into an intelligent anthem, which is both excellent and timeless. The musicianship and unit solidarity was in full flow on this epic masterpiece of an album.

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Rainbow - Rising

Posted : 13 years, 11 months ago on 29 October 2008 02:07 (A review of Rising)

"Rising" was probably Ritchie Blackmore's finest creation. But Ronnie James Dio's contribution to this album cannot be denied, with his extraordinary power and range demonstrated at it's best on tracks such "A Light In The Black" and "Tarot Woman". And if there is a better 15 minutes or so of heavy rock ever recorded that the "Stargazer"/"Light in the Black" combination I have yet to hear it. "Rising" is six tracks of classics never again to be matched by post-Dio lineups. Despite the hit singles with Bonnet and Turner, every true Rainbow fan knows the power this mark 2 lineup had and if there ever is a reunion of Rainbow this (with the exception of Cozy Powell - RIP) can be the only line-up of Rainbow we want to see. My cat jumped onto my turntable when "Tarot Woman" was playing after I came home from school one day, making a scratch across the keyboard intro. The CD version does not sound complete without the regular 'crack' sound that this created!

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Alice Cooper - Welcome to MY Nightmare

Posted : 13 years, 11 months ago on 29 October 2008 02:06 (A review of Welcome to My Nightmare)

This was the first Alice Cooper solo album and undoubtably his best. All eleven tracks are flawless and it's an album that just gets better and better with age. The title track is the perfect opening number, then Vincent Price works his horror magic on the track "Devil's Food" which segues brilliantly into "Black Widow". Track four is the jazz rocker "Some Folks" which delves into cannibalism while "Only Women Bleed" is a beautiful ballad that deals with spousal abuse. "Department of Youth" is an anthemic rocker which is essentially about rebellion. The black humour of "Cold Ethyl" deals with necrophilia while the "Steven" trilogy ("Years Ago", "Steven" and "The Awakening") is fittingly creepy. Brilliantly weird throughout. I was hooked on this from the moment I saw Alice performing the title track on the Muppet Show!

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Thin Lizzy - Black Rose

Posted : 13 years, 11 months ago on 29 October 2008 02:03 (A review of Black Rose: A Rock Legend)

Black Rose stands alone as a Lizzy album, being the only one that features Gary Moore on every track. Moore had just replaced Brian Robertson on lead guitar and his presence instils a more 'metallic' edge in their music than in previous recordings. "Do Anything You Want To" is the anthemic opening track with that memorable kettle-drum beat. "Waiting For An Alibi" is a classic rocker and "S&M" is a funk-laden satirical piece on you know what. After the mild ballad "Sarah", Lizzy crank it up again with the sadly autobiographical (for Lynott) anti-drug/drink song, "Got To Give It Up", the punkish "Get Out Of Here", the smooth "With Love" and finally, the multi-layered title track which was heavily influenced by Lynott's Irish roots. This was Lizzy's highest selling album, and the first one that I bought. Several years ago, I quit a job due to the boss being a complete arse. As I drove away, "Do anything you want to" aptly came on my car stereo. "Hey you... You're not their puppet on a string, you can do anything". Pure class!

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Deep Purple - In Rock

Posted : 13 years, 11 months ago on 29 October 2008 02:02 (A review of In Rock: 25th anniversary)

This is where it all began. In the early days of heavy rock, three bands took loud electric blues as their starting point and then went in three rather different directions. Black Sabbath took the "dark path" and arguably invented the grungy, occult obsessed side of metal. Led Zeppelin transcended the blues and became the fab four of the genre, inventing stoner rock. Deep Purple on the other hand were the jazzier bunch. They were the better musicians and this album proves it. Lord was formally trained, Paice had more swing than Bonham and Gillan was a more versatile vocalist than Plant. The interplay between the band members on "In Rock" is ferocious and their dexterity is outstanding. This album serves as a great reminder of just how talented a guitarist Ritchie Blackmore is (was?). His fret speed is a direct precursor to Van Halen's blistering finger work, and influenced many of the great rock guitarists that emerged in the 70's. This album deserves recognition for the way its stunning power, volume and energy completely blew away practically anything people had heard at the time, and perhaps even more so for the fact that you can play it to modern metal/hard rock fans and they will often be still be blown away by the same qualities.

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Appetite for Destruction

Posted : 13 years, 11 months ago on 29 October 2008 02:00 (A review of Appetite for Destruction)

Never before or since has there been a more complete album than "Appetite for Destruction". Every track is highlighted with the incredible talents of Slash, as well as the many tones of the talented but troubled Axl Rose. From beginning to end this album rocks, and you want to hear every song over and over again. Not a weak song in the bunch. "Appetite for Destruction" is possibly the best album ever released, and certainly the best debut album ever. It's difficult to understand how this bunch of drugged up drunken tramps managed to come up with this magic, but they did it somehow! This is two-fisted, in your face rock'n'roll that ranks up with any album song for song, lyric for lyric, distaste for distaste. This is rock 'n roll. Too bad the Boys tasted success and forgot how to be a rock band. This album reeks of Jack Daniels and brings back memories of many a drunken party night!

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