The KISS Album Focus Volumes, 1 – 4 [Book Review]

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 The KISS Album Focus, Volume 1: Kings of the Night Time World (1972 – 1982)
The KISS Album Focus, Volume 2: Hell or High Water (1983 – 1996)
The KISS Album Focus, Volume 3: Roar of Greasepaint (1997 – 2006)
The KISS Album Focus, Volume 4: Never Enough (2006 – 2013)
by Julian Gill
KISSFAQ.com Publishing

For many years, the website KISSFAQ.com (not affiliated with or endorsed by the band KISS) was the source of a lot of great info on the band. What I found most entertaining and informative was the website’s “KISS Album Focus” series where the band’s recording history was broken down into detail. These considerably lengthy articles were all posted and available for free. Eventually, he Album Focus articles were pulled from the site and were slowly released in book format starting in 2002 (with updated editions being published at various points). As of this writing, the series covers the band beginnings all the way up to 2013.

In addition to KISS albums, these books also focus on what every band member was up to pre- & post-KISS. Various editions of albums and singles are discussed as well.

I’ve read a lot of KISS books over the years and these are some of the best. While this isn’t technically a biography of the band, it does cover every album the band has released (including compilations and live albums) and talks about events during and leading up those releases.

I started with Volume 2 because it covers my favorite era of the band. I think KISS’ run during the ’80s and early ’90s is much more interesting than the classic period. We’ve heard all the stories from the band’s 1970s heyday a million times. so my eyes and ears always perk up when I get to read about what went on post-originals/pre-reunion.

Next I purchased volumes three and four. Volume 3 was interesting because it focuses on the reunion and while I already knew that Psycho Circus wasn’t a true reunion album, I didn’t realize how much of a mess relations were in the band from the get-go. Volume 4 covers the shortest amount of time out of all the books and according has the least amount of pages. I was a bit disappointed with this one because I felt surely there’d be much more to say with the band kick-starting their creatives juices with the releases of Sonic Boom and Monster.

Finally, I picked up Volume 1. I almost bought the $5 Kindle version because the paperback was listed as being out of print and prices on copies of it skyrocketed up around $40. Just a few days earlier the paperback was in stock and had been listed at around $17 or so. I mulled over whether I wanted an e-book to complete the set but after doing that for a few weeks, Amazon got more paperback copies in, so everything turned out okay.

My biggest complaint about this series is that Julian Gill really could’ve used an editor (or a spell-check/grammar check program). Words are omitted, words are misspelled, entire paragraphs are repeated but worded differently… This happens throughout the entire series but seems to happen the most in Volume 1.

I wouldn’t recommend these books to a casual KISS fan that may only pick up a Gene Simmons book for a quick read, but all hardcore KISS fans should read and love this series. These are books I’ll be referring to and re-reading certain chapters for many more years to come!

Drew’s Famous presents Haunted Horrors: Classical Halloween Music [Album Review]

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Drew’s Famous presents Haunted Horrors: Classical Halloween Music
2014, Drew’s Entertainment/TUTM Entertainment

1. Also Sprach Zarathustra (2001: A Space Odssey)
2. Ride of the Valkyries
3. Toccata and Fugue in D Minor
4. Night On Bald Mountain
5. Chiller
6. Crypt-O-Night
7. A.K.A.
8. Fur Elise
9. Moonlight Sonata (Piano Sonata No. 14 in C# Minor)
10. Danse Macabre
11. Funeral March of a Marionette (from Alfred Hitchcock Presents)
12. Bolero (Short Version)
13. Funeral (From “Barry Lyndon”)
14. Fantasia In E Flat
15. Funeral Mach
16. Petrified
17. The Monsters Are Here
18. The Cryptkeeper
19. Don’t Move
20. Final Steps
21. Scary Movie
22. Virtual Insanity
23. Vanished
24. Close Your Eyes
25. The End

Figured I would mention this one just because I’m in such a fervor over Halloween and I picked this one up at a Walmart for $3. I’m a big fan of listening to dark classical music around Halloween and having been using Spotify to listen to some of these classical numbers already, I figured it would be nice to own them on a CD as well.

Drew’s Famous is a surprisingly popular line of soundtracks designed to be used at parties. Seriously, there are a number of Drew’s Famous albums that have gone gold or platinum. The Drew’s line doesn’t only focus on Halloween or holidays but I think this is their third or fourth Halloween-themed album. All of the tracks are credited to “The Hit Crew” (I think this is the same for all other Drew’s Famous releases). This album features the some of the quintessential dark classical pieces like “Night on Bald Mountain”, “Ride of the Valkyries”, “Toccata and Fugue in D Minor”, “Fur Elise” and “Moonlight Sonata”. Those songs alone easily make it worth the $3 to finally have them on CD and the last two are probably my favorite classical pieces of all time. I’ve never considered “Also Sprach Zarathustra” to be something that should be used around Halloween though.

Filling up the second half of the album are original sound effects tracks (usually around a minute in length) featuring evil laughing, women screaming, clanging gates, dogs barking and other kinds of creepy noises.

This is a fun album to listen to around Halloween but would be best enjoyed if you put it on a shuffle so you get a mix of the classical music and creepy sound effects.

Sixx:AM – Modern Vintage [Review]

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 Sixx:A.M. – Modern Vintage
2014, Eleven Seven Music
Buy the album

1. “Stars”
2. “Gotta Get It Right”
3. “Relief”
4. “Get Ya Some”
5. “Let’s Go”
6. “Drive”
7. “Give Me a Love”
8. “Hyperventilate”
9. “High on the Music”
10. “Miracle”
11. “Before It’s Over”

Band:
James Michael – Vocals, Keyboards
DJ Ashba – Guitar
Nikki Sixx – Bass

Additional Musicians:
Jeff Fabb – Drums

Producer: James Michael

This is the third release from what was originally intended to be a Nikki Sixx side-project that I now hope will become a full blown touring/recording band once Motley Crue finally wraps up their concert days. Going back to the band’s debut, they always had a knack for writing big choruses and catchy melodies although given the nature of lyrical content, the music was a bit more ugly and harder edged. This Is Gonna Hurt featured the band spreading their wings and writing hook after hook and chorus after chorus. It’s one of my favorite albums of all time and still receives play from me to this day.

With Modern Vintage, it seems like the band is experimenting with styles a bit. This Is Gonna Hurt definitely had some pop moments that would’ve have sounded out of place on a Kelly Clarkson album but now it seems like the band is trying out what I basically think is dance rock with a song like “Miracle”. Then there’s “High on the Music” which comes across as a reworking of Imagine Dragon’s “Ready to Rock You”. Then there’s a pretty straightforward cover of The Car’s “Drive” that seems pretty pointless.

“Before It’s Over” is kind of an odd one in that it’s a bouncy tune featuring trumpets. It’s strange and sounds like something that could’ve been from The Heroin Diaries Soundtrack. I hated it when I first heard it but it’s growing on me just because it’s quirky. I’m glad it closes the album though. It would’ve completely ruined the album had it been stuck somewhere in the middle.”Get Ya Some” sounds like it could’ve come from the debut as well.

Sixx:A.M. has always written catchy music but it seems like they are making an effort with some songs to become a bit more mainstream. This isn’t necessarily bad but songs like “Miracle” and “High on the Music” seem to get their inspiration from music scenes I couldn’t care less about. On the flip side, “Stars” and “Gotta Get It Right” are stone-cold classics and sound like they could’ve come from This Is Gonna Hurt, which was a great album from top to bottom with zero filler.

Modern Vintage is a good release that’s better than their debut but a step down from This Is Gonna Hurt. Perhaps the band would’ve been better off releasing an EP as I’m finding half the album to essentially be filler.

Highlights: “Stars”, “Gotta Get It Right”, “Relief”, “Give Me a Love”, “Hyperventilate”, “Before It’s Over”

Michael Sweet – I’m Not Your Suicide [Review]

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Michael Sweet – I’m Not Your Suicide
2014, Big3 Records
Buy the album

1. Taking On the World Tonight
2. All That’s Left (For Me To Prove)
3. The Cause
4. This Time
5. I’m Not Your Suicide
6. Coming Home
7. Miles Away
8. Strong
9. How To Live
10. Heart of Gold
11. Anybody Else
12. Unsuspecting
13. Heart of Gold (Duet with Electra Mustaine)

Musicians:
Michael Sweet – lead vocals, lead guitar
Kenny Aronoff – drums
John O’Boyle – Bass
Paul McNamara – Piano, B3, Moog, Keyboards
Pete Adams – Steel guitar

Guest Musicians:
Tony Harnell – Vocals (“Taking on the World Tonight”)
Kevin Max – Vocals (“This Time”)
Electra Mustaine – Vocals (“Heart of Gold”)
Chris Jericho – Vocals (“Anybody Else”)
Doug Aldrich – Guitar (“Anybody Else”)
Robert Sweet – Backing Vocals (“How to Live”)
Tim Gaines – Backing Vocals (“How to Live”)

I don’t know how Michael Sweet gets any rest. Stryper is constantly releasing albums (not that I’m complaining), he has a side-project with George Lynch and he continues to also pursue a solo career as evidenced by the release of I’m Not Your Suicide. Sweet’s powerful vocals are pretty recognizable so it’s hard to hear his voice and not think this is Stryper. The truth is that many of these songs could’ve ended up on a Stryper album. Sure, there’s nothing here that’s anywhere near as heavy as No More Hell to Pay but a good number of these tracks would fit in with Stryper’s typical style melodic rock. Michael even branches out a bit with a song like “Coming Home”, which sounds like an obvious play for the country stations. The result? Eh. The least liked song on the album for me. One of my favorite tracks is “This Time”, which I can’t help but getting a feeling of Electric Light Orchestra from.

There’s a number of interesting appearances on this album such as TNT’s Tony Harnell, Fozzy vocalist/WWE wrestler Chris Jericho, ex-Whitesnake guitarist Doug Aldrich and Electra Mustaine, Dave Mustaine’s daughter (How’d that come about about?).

The first half of the album is very strong. I found a lot of the second half didn’t strike the same chord with me that the first half did but overall this is a very good melodic rock/pop album that really wouldn’t sound too out of place as a part of the Stryper discography. Michael Sweet continues to show that he is one of the most gifted songwriters and vocalists in the world of rock today.

Highlights: “Taking On the World Tonight”, “All That’s Left (For Me to Prove)”, “The Cause”, “This Time”, “I’m Not Your Suicide”, “Miles Away”

Midnight Syndicate – Halloween Music Collection [Review]

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Midnight Syndicate – Halloween Music Collection
2010, Linfaldia Records
Buy the album

Dark ambient, neoclassical, dark wave, Gothic, orchestral, symphonic, “soundtracks for the imagination”… It doesn’t matter how you want to categorize or describe Midnight Syndicate’s music. What matters is whether you’re a fan of fantasy & horror because if you can’t check off those boxes then the music of Midnight Syndicate is not for you.

Based out of Ohio and founded in 1996 by composer/filmmaker Edward Douglas, Midnight Syndicate basically creates what I would describe as soundtracks or scores for horror/thriller/mystery movies that don’t exist (and some that do). They’ve also done an officially licensed soundtrack for the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game. The group’s music is mostly instrumental with the rare occurrence of a voice or sound effects being used. Some songs are big and bombastic while others a low-key and haunting.

Halloween Music Collection is exactly what the title implies — a collection of music for use during the Halloween season. Specifically, this a compilation album that pulls songs from the group’s past efforts. Those songs were specially remixed by the group for this compilation. As a starting point and introduction to the group, you can’t find a better album than this. This album sets the exact tone I want during the Halloween season. Even though I live in the Florida heat, this eerie collection of music whisks me away to a place that actually gets cool autumn weather where I imagine a cool breeze on a dreary day and having a nice seasonal-scented candle (pumpkin!) lit. Each song here conjures up an image whether it be some psycho-killer stalking through a forest, a creaky old dark house, the Phantom of the Opera, some cult about to offer a sacrifice, Hammer horror or a graveyard filled with fog.

 Halloween Music Collection is the perfect Halloween soundtrack to play while having a Halloween get-together or on an evening when you feel like you need an injection of the Halloween spirit. For added spookiness, try listening to this album when you’re alone! This album is definitely a new standard for me when it comes to the Halloween season.

Ace Frehley – Space Invader [Review]

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Ace Frehley – Space Invader
2014, eOne Music

1. Space Invader
2. Gimme A Feelin’ [Radio Edit]
3. I Wanna Hold You
4. Change
5. Toys
6. Immortal Pleasure
7. Inside the Vortex
8. What Every Girl Wants
9. Past the Milky Way
10. Reckless
11. The Joker
12. Starship

Musicians:
Ace Frehley – Vocals, Guitar, Bass
Matt Starr – Drums
Chris Wyse – Bass

Producer: Ace Frehley

There was a sticker on the wrapper that said “Space Ace has out KISSed KISS. This may end up the best KISS album KISS never recorded.” Relax, dude.

Of course, Ace being Ace, you can’t help but pick out the classic KISS sound on a few of these tracks. It’s a part of who he is as a musician. That classic KISS sound couldn’t have existed without Ace playing lead. “Toys” and “Inside the Vortex” have that classic KISS vibe. And “Inside the Vortex” actually sounds like something that fits right alongside “Modern Day Delilah” and “I’m An Animal” from KISS’ Sonic Boom album. “What Every Girl Wants” isn’t a standout track but it has a KISS vibe as well.

It’s the first four tracks that I find to be the best. “Space Invader” is some of Ace’s best guitar work in decades. “Gimme A Feelin'” and “I Wanna Hold You” are kinda like amped up ’50s/’60s rock. Very catchy. Especially “I Wanna Hold You” (which is tied with “Space Invader” as my absolute favorite song from the album). “Change” reminds me of something we might’ve heard from Frehley’s Comet back in the late ’80s.

Maybe it requires further listening but “Restless” strikes me as a bit of filler and Ace’s cover of the Steve Miller Band’s “The Joker” is most unwelcome. Not because of Ace’s performance but because the original song itself is terrible.

Ace closes the album with an instrumental called “Starship”, which is worthy successor to the “Fractured” series of instrumentals and done in the same vein. I would not be mad if any and all future Ace albums continued to feature “Fractured”-like instrumental. It would be nice to have a compilation of all of these instrumentals. I’m sure something like that will pop up on YouTube eventually if it isn’t already there. I would have to listen back to know for sure but off the top of my head the song “Immortal Pleasures” (which is not an instrumental) seems reminiscent of the “Fractured” instrumentals.

I don’t feel bad that Ace is not in KISS anymore. He signed his rights away to the character he created and left the band on at least two different occasions of his own freewill and I think he can be just as much of a flaky, egotistical trash-talker as Gene, Paul and Peter can be. I’m saying this to show that I’m not an Ace fanboy and while I thought Anomaly was good, I was only mildly interested in this CD as I figured Ace probably didn’t have enough in the tank to even match the quality of that album. Boy, was I pleasantly surprised to be wrong! This is a great album and blows Anomaly away. Space Invader easily trumps everything, except Ace’s first solo album way back in 1978.

Highlights: “Space Invader”, “Gimme A Feelin'”, “I Wanna Hold You”, “Change”, “Inside the Vortex”, “Past the Milky Way”, “Starship”

 

Dio – Live in London: Hammersmith Apollo 1993 [Review]

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Dio – Live in London: Hammersmith Apollo 1993
2014, Eagle Rock Records

Disc 1:
1. Stand Up And Shout
2. Strange Highways
3. Don’t Talk To Strangers
4. Evilution
5. Pain
6. The Mob Rules
7. Children Of The Sea
8. Holy Diver
9. Heaven And Hell
10. Man On The Silver Mountain
11. Drum Solo
12. Heaven And Hell (reprise)

Disc 2:
1. Jesus Mary & The Holy Ghost
2. Hollywood Black
3. The Last In Line
4. Rainbow In The Dark
5. We Rock
6. Here’s To You

Band:
Ronnie James Dio – Lead Vocals
Tracy G – Guitar
Jeff Pilsen – Bass, Backing Vocals
Vinny Appice – Drums
Scott Warren – Keyboards

Live in London was recorded on December 12, 1993 and is the Dio band’s third live release that’s been pulled from the archives since the passing of Ronnie James Dio in 2010. The set list isn’t all that dissimilar from what the Dio band has always played: a mix of their own material plus cuts from Ronnie’s run in Black Sabbath with the occasional Rainbow tune thrown in.

For this album, the band was touring for the release of Strange Highways and the set features no less than six songs from that album. It’s an album I own not but something I was ever too impressed with. The songs really don’t sound too different from the darker and angrier music Ronnie made with Black Sabbath on 1992’s Dehumanizer, just less memorable. In this live setting, I can appreciate the “Strange Highways” track much more. It wouldn’t have sounded out of place on Dehumanizer or even Heaven & Hell’s The Devil You Know.

This was also the era when the controversial Tracy G played guitar in the band. Honestly, I’m not sure why people say he wasn’t a good fit. He looked like your typical metal-head and is obviously a gifted guitarist. I think maybe he caught all of the negativity just because he was the guitarist for two albums (Strange Highways and its follow-up Angry Machines) that were musically and lyrically darker affairs from what Dio usually put out. All you have to do is check out his guitar solo on “Pain” and you’ll know this guy was worthy of following in the footsteps of

Here’s where I would put out that even in 1993, Ronnie James sounds just as powerful as ever, except you can say that for every year he was on the planet up until he started getting ill! The guy was truly the most gifted rock/metal vocalist of all time. Never lost a step no matter the year, no matter the song. Amazing to think he never had to warm-up either. Simply legendary.

If you’ve kept up with the last two Dio live releases, this isn’t essential listening but fans of Strange Highways will probably want to hear songs from that album performed live (or even buy the DVD or Blu-ray of this concert).

Highlights: “Stand Up and Shout”, “Strange Highways”, “Don’t Talk to Strangers”, “The Mob Rules”, “Heaven and Hell”, “Man on the Silver Mountain”, “The Last In Line”, “We Rock”, “Here’s to You”

Skid Row – Rise of the Damnation Army – United World Rebellion: Chapter Two [EP Review]

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Skid Row – Rise of the Damnation Army – United World Rebellion: Chapter Two
2014, Megaforce Records
Buy the album

1. We Are the Damned
2. Give It the Gun
3. Catch Your Fall
4. Damnation Army
5. Zero Day
6. Sheer Heart Attack
7. Rats in the Cellar

Band:
Johnny Solinger – Lead Vocals
Dave “Snake” Sabo – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Scotti Hill – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Rachel Bolan – Bass, Backing Vocals
Rob Hammersmith – Drums

Skid Row is back with the second installment of their United World Rebellion series of EPs, which I think is meant to be a trilogy. Personally, I think this is a great way for bands to go about releasing music — a steady stream of EPs and then maybe do a double or triple disc compilation later down the line.

Not sure why it took these guys seven years before they released new music but a fire has certainly been lit under them. I never bothered with Thickskin or Revolutions Per Minute because both albums were reviewed by mostly everyone as being poor or mediocre, but the United World Rebellion series shows the band still has a snotty punky attitude and continues to show why they were one of the heaviest of the “hair bands” back in the early 1990s. “We are the Damned” is a true headbanger and the best track on the album. Though I enjoyed the first United World Rebellion, I was caught off guard by how good this track is.

The band wraps up the second chapter by superbly covering a few Queen and Aerosmith classics. If you’re looking for something the band to try to recreate the past with some glossy hair metal, you’re not going to find it on these recent EPs but what you will get is good solid heavy metal and hard rock. If this is the type of music the band continues to release, I don’t have any interest in ever seeing them reunited for a nostalgia run with Sebastian Bach (who I happen to like as a solo artist anyway).

Highlights: “We are the Damned”, “Catch Your Fall”, “Zero Day”, “Sheer Heart Attack”, “Rats in the Cellar”

Scorpions – MTV Unplugged [Review]

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 Scorpions – MTV Unplugged
2013, Sony Music
Buy the album

Disc 1:
1. Sting In The Tail
2. Can’t Live Without You
3. Pictured Life
4. Speedy’s Coming
5. Born To Touch Your Feelings
6. The Best Is Yet To Come
7. Dancing With The Moonlight
8. In Trance
9. When You Came Into My Life
10. Delicate Dance
11. Love Is The Answer
12. Follow Your Heart

Disc 2:
1. Send Me An Angel
2. Where The River Flows
3. Passion Rules The Game
4. Rock You Like A Hurricane
5. Hit Between The Eyes
6. Rock ‘N’ Roll Band
7. Blackout
8. Still Loving You
9. Big City Nights
10. Wind Of Change
11. No One Like You
12. When The Smoke Is Going Down

Band:
Klaus Meine – Vocals, Guitar
Rudolf Schenker – Guitar, Vocals
Matthias Jabs – Guitar
Pawel Maciwoda – Bass
James Kottak – Drums

Sometimes referred to as MTV Unplugged: Live in Athens or MTV Unplugged in Athens, the band’s own website refers to this album simply as MTV Unplugged, so that’s what I’m going with. The concert has been released on DVD/Blu-ray as well.

For a band that was retiring the Scorpions have been very active. They’ve been touring for the past 4 years on a “farewell” tour and MTV Unplugged is the band’s second release since 2010’s Sting in the Tail (which was intended to be the “last” Scorpions album) with 2011’s Comeblack being the other release. And like I figured, just a week or two before writing this review, the band announced they were canceling their retirement plans and going to release a new studio album (of re-worked unreleased “classic” era material à la Van Halen’s A Different Kind of Truth) in 2015.

A lot of older metal-heads and classic hard rock fans often cite the band’s early years with Uli Jon Roth as their best. I’ve never felt that was the case. It’s undeniable that the band delivered some classic material with Uli but I prefer the more commercial hard rock approach the band took starting with 1979’s Lovedrive. No matter. Whichever era you feel is best, they are all represented on this album. Okay, maybe they ignored their techno pop/rock Eye II Eye era, but that’s a good thing!

While they can’t pull songs from every album, Scorpions did a solid job of bringing out the typical big hits for this acoustic occasion as well as mixing in numbers from In TranceVirgin KillerFly to the Rainbow and even Pure Instinct (which is represented by two tracks, if you can believe that)! They also found room to slip in two songs from 2010’s Sting in the Tail. What’s criminal is that LovedriveAnimal Magnetism and Humanity: Hour I are not represented here. I would’ve loved to have heard acoustic versions of “Love Will Keep Us Alive”, “Holiday” or “Always Somewhere”. “Steamrock Fever” would’ve also excelled in this acoustic setting.

Five new songs were written for the occasion: “Dancing with the Moonlight” and “Rock ‘n’ Roll Band” are full songs. These songs are okay, but not highlights from the album and may possibly get full electric studio recordings for the new album. Then there is “Delicate Dance” (solo for Matthias Jabs), “Love Is the Answer” (Rudolf Schenker solo) and “Follow Your Heart” (Klaus Meine solo). The last three are mostly instrumentals and could’ve easily been left off the album, if not the concert.

The tracks that stand out most for me are the ones where the audience participates in singing along. Those songs would be “When Passion Rules the Game”, “Send Me an Angel” and “Wind of Change”. Powerful stuff.

The new stuff isn’t all that impressive but the rest of this show is good mix of the band’s output from the 1970s up to today.

Highlights: “Born to Touch Your Feelings”, “The Best Is Yet to Come”, “Send Me An Angel, “Where the River Flows”, “Passion Rules the Game”, “Still Loving You”, “Wind of Change”, “When the Smoke Is Going Down”

Buckcherry – Fuck [EP Review]

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Buckcherry – Fuck
2014, F-Bomb Records
Buy the album

1. Somebody Fucked With Me
2. Say Fuck It
3. The Motherfucker
4. I Don’t Give A Fuck
5. It’s A Fucking Disaster
6. Fist Fuck

Band:
Josh Todd – Lead Vocals
Keith Nelson – Guitar
Stevie D. – Guitar
Kelly LeMieux – Bass
Xavier Muriel – Drums

Fuck is Buckcherry’s first EP and their first release own their own record label, F-Bomb Records. So I guess after being on loan to Century Media Records for the release of Confessions, the band is officially off the Eleven Seven Music label. This album is available at all the usual places but if you donated through the band’s pledge drive on PledgeMusic, you could get the album signed or with a t-shirt or whatever. The band is also doing something exclusively on PledgeMusic called “The Singles Club” where you get six cover songs by the band spread out over six months. I had already pledged for that and then re-pledged to get a signed copy of this EP. I will probably review all “Singles Club” releases at the end of the year once they are all released. I wouldn’t be surprised if those songs end up getting their own commercial EP release at some point.

In regards to Fuck, unfortunately the band indulged in a practice that I hate by offering a bonus track via Best Buy if you buy a physical copy of the EP there. It’s a cover of Aerosmith’s “Mama Kin”. Shouldn’t the people pledging to the band get any bonus content as well? I feel a bit ripped off by that.

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My signed copy

Have you discovered any type of theme here with the album title, song titles and even the name of the band’s record label? Yes, Buckcherry is doing their best “fuck” everything in sight. It’s a gimmick for sure and maybe a bit crass, but as long as the music is good that’s what really matters.

So just how does the music hold up? Well, as you could safely assume, the music is full of the punky rock ‘n’ roll swagger middle-finger attitude that the band has proudly displayed for years. In fact, “Somebody Fucked With Me” calls out everyone (the media, our founding fathers, lawyers, religion, teachers, parents, etc.) as Josh Todd yells “fuck them all!”

“Say Fuck It” is a cover of Icona Pop’s big hit single “I Love It”. It’s been given a major makeover though as the band made some modifications to the song title, lyrics and added in AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck” riff. I had no clue who Icona Pop were or anything about the original song before Buckcherry’s version came out but I’ve read it was gigantic hit. I definitely prefer Buckcherry’s version which makes the original sound pretty lifeless. Didn’t love this cover at first but it’s grown on me.

“The Motherfucker”. Great opening riff which kinda reminds me of Motley Crue. This is a typical Buckcherry rocker (which is to say it’s good) that would fit on any Buckcherry release. “I Don’t Give a Fuck” is a bit more laidback, groovy and funky. Nothing stellar to me but I’ve read other people are really digging it.

“It’s A Fucking Disaster” starts off like a ballad but then rips into a rocker and then continues to go back and forth with the tempo. It’s the most interesting song on the EP and my favorite.

The album closes with the punky “Fist Fuck”. There’s no room for subtlety here. Sounds like something that belongs on their debut release. Sounds like filler to me.

This is a fucking good EP for Buckcherry fans to pick up. It’s only a fucking few bucks so you can’t go fucking wrong by supporting one of the most honest and authentic groups of rock ‘n’ roll motherfuckers around today. If you don’t like it, get fucked.

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