Category Archives: Collection

CHICKS WITH GUNS – On Your Mind EP

Chicks With Guns – On Your Mind EP (2008, Red Pulse Records)

Track Listing:
1. “Love At First Sight” … 3:14
2. “Bullshit Boulevard” … 3:32
3. “On Your Mind” … 4:39
4. “Love Is A Game” … 3:21

Band:
Karl-Willhelm Arvidsson – Vocals, Guitar
Teddy Skoglund – Guitar
Kristoffer Johnsson – Bass
Linus Fritzon – Drums

Chicks With Guns are another sleaze/glam act from Sweden. The band formed in 2006 and offered up this EP in December of 2008. Though short (it is an EP afterall), Chicks With Guns leave a lasting impression of sleaze, attittude, debauchery, great choruses and just an all around around fun rock ‘n’ roll vibe. I’m really interested in seeing these guys give us a full release because out of the many modern sleaze acts, On Your Mind is one of the best releases I’ve heard.

“On Your Mind” would be my favorite track here and it comes across very much like L.A. Guns, “Love At First Sight” is a close 2nd fave and I can’t complain about “Bullshit Boulevard” or “Love Is A Game” either! All in all, this is an EP that shows a band with a lot of talent and potential. Well worth looking into the Sunset Strip sound is your scene.

Highlight: The whole EP!

www.myspace.com/chickswithgunsonline
www.redpulserecords.com

SALIVA – Every Six Seconds

Saliva – Every Six Seconds (2001, Def Jam/Island Records)

Track Listing:
1. “Superstar” … 4:03
2. “Musta Been Wrong” … 3:33
3. “Click Click Boom” … 4:12
4. “Your Disease” … 4:00
5. “After Me” … 3:52
6. “Greater Than/Less Than” … 4:50
7. “Lackluster” … 5:12
8. “Faultline” … 3:49
9. “Beg” … 3:40
10. “Hollywood” … 3:50
11. “Doperide” … 3:26
12. “My Goodbyes” … 6:29

Band:
Josey Scott – Vocals
Wayne Swinny – Guitar, Banjo, Mandolin, Steel Guitar
Chris D’abaldo – Guitar
Dave Novotny – Bass
Paul Crosby – Drums

Produced by: Bob Marlette

Saliva, I find, is like a lot of new (nu?) metal/hard rock bands… More filler than killer. This isn’t the only Saliva album I own and while I think the singles they release range from decent to good, I’ve always been disappointed after buying one of their albums.

Every Six Seconds is easily their worst outing though. They burst onto the scene in the middle of the nu metal & rap metal craze and fit right in. And that’s NOT a compliment. But…  I will say they were a bit more melodic and old school hard rock than most bands of that time were. That would be a side of the band that would be further explored in future outings. Conveniently, they did that  just as the rap metal scene was fizzling out.

Highlights: “Superstar”, “Click Click Boom”, “Your Disease”, “After Me”, “Greater Than/Less Than”

www.saliva.com
www.myspace.com/saliva

HINDER – Take It to the Limit

Hinder – Take It to the Limit [Deluxe Edition with Best Buy Exclusive Tracks] (2008, Universal Republic Records)

Track Listing:
1. “Use Me” … 3:49
2. “Loaded and Alone” … 4:06
3. “Last Kiss Goodbye” … 3:48
4. “Up All Night” … 3:33
5. “Without You” … 3:52
6. “Take It To The Limit” … 3:11
7. “The Best Is Yet To Come” … 3:22
8. “Heaven Sent” … 3:41
9. “Thing For You” … 3:59
10. “Lost In The Sun” … 3:52
11. “Far From Home” … 4:03
BONUS TRACKS
12. “Heaven Sent (Live)” … 3:42
13. “Loaded and Alone (Acoustic)” … 3:34
14. “Lost in the Sun (Live)” … 3:46
15. “The Best is Yet to Come (Acoustic)” … 3:21
16. “Without You (Acoustic)” … 3:52
17. “Use Me (Live)” … 4:30

DVD:
1. The Making of Take It to the Limit
2. Behind the Scenes at the Photo Shoot

Band:
Austin Winkler – Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals
Joe “Blower” Garvey – Guitar
Mark King – Guitar
Mike Rodden – Bass
Cody Hanson – Drums

Additional Musicians:
Mick Mars – Guitar (“Take It to the Limit”)
Brian Howes – Guitar, Keyboard, Backing Vocals
Paul Laine – Backing Vocals

Produced by: Brian Howes

This band became big with their debut, 2005’s Extreme Behavior. They came off as just another bland modern hard rock band to me at the time, and their big hit, “Lips of an Angel” didn’t appeal to me lyrically at all (it’s about cheating your girlfriend).

I did like Winkler’s voice though and while I’m not sure how Extreme Behavior sounds, this album absolutely rocks. There’s a movement going on in rock right now where the bands are actually (GASP!) having fun and incorporating the fun and party style of the 80s hard rock scene and I think that’s great. Hinder actually reminds me a lot of Buckcherry with this release. They aren’t *as* 80s sleazy as Buckcherry is, but the influence is definitely here. The album pretty much only about one thing: sex. Breaking it down further, it’s about having sex and getting cheated on.

The use of “gang vocals” and catchy glam-inspired guitar work makes this album a winner. I bought the deluxe CD/DVD edition, but because I bought it at Best Buy, I also got six exclusive Best Buys tracks with it (with are live & acoustic takes of some of the album’s songs). I’m not sure how much work was done on those live cuts, but the band sounds great.

And the album packaging? Nothing but a total winner. I was very surprised to open up the flaps and see some absolutely gorgeous naked women (Playboy Playmates!) and breasts so up close. The deluxe edition even includes some “photo cards” done up to look like Polaroids that feature the band with even more naked girls. The booklet has EVEN more naked girls laying about while the band parties on. This is one the greatest album packaging jobs EVER! 1o out of 10! This is what 80s hair bands *wish* their labels would’ve let them done. If you’re still not convinced of Hinder’s dedication to L.A. strip excess, the managed to snag Motley Crue’s Mick Mars for some guitar work and even ex-Danger Danger lead singer Paul Laine to help with the backing vocals.

The DVD ‘Making of’ feature is actually pretty cool. It walks you through (DUH!) the making of the album and the band walks you around the studio, their living spaces during the recording and just generally goofing around. They also mention the success of Extreme Behavior allowed them more freedom with this release and they were able to use their 80s influences more in writing and recording the songs. So there ya go, I guess Take It to the Limit *is* different sounding from their debut. The photo shoot portion is, obviously, very cool and it’s full of “hot-ass fuckin’ chicks” as bassist Mike Rodden says.

If I had heard this album in 2008, it probably would’ve made my Top 10. That just how good I think it is. I’m definitely converted now and would love to see these guys in concert. Modern sleaze metal is big in Europe, but Hinder gives me hope for the good ol’ USA. Watching the DVD, it’s obvious they are starting to make the kind of music they like and are determined to bring fun back to rock.

Just a great release that I can’t stop listening to.

Highlights: “Use Me”, “Loaded and Alone”, “The Last Kiss Goodbye”, “Up All Night”, “Take It to the Limit”, “Without You”, Heaven Sent”, “Far From Home”, “Loaded and Alone (Acoustic)”, “Use Me (Live)”

www.hindermusic.com
www.myspace.com/hindermusic

SCORPIONS – Unbreakable

Scorpions – Unbreakable (2004, Sanctuary Records)

Track Listing:
1. “New Generation” … 5:51
2. “Love ‘Em Or Leave ‘Em” … 4:03
3. “Deep And Dark” … 3:37
4. “Borderline” … 4:53
5. “Blood Too Hot” … 4:15
6. “Maybe I Maybe You” … 3:30
7. “Someday Is Now” … 3:23
8. “My City My Town” … 4:55
9. “Through My Eyes” … 5:23
10. “Can You Feel It” … 3:47
11. “This Time” … 3:34
12. “She Said” … 4:32
13. “Remember The Good Times [Retro Garage Mix]” … 4:24

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

Additional Musicians:
Barry Sparks – Bass
Ingo Powitzer – Bass

Produced by: Erwin Musper & Scorpions

No more techno pop, no more symphonies, no more acoustic sets! Scorpions are back with a vengeance bringing their 80s heyday into the new millennium. Unbreakable is an album done in the classic Scorpions style and it fits right in with all of their 80s material. Had it been released between 1984’s Love at First Sting and 1988’s Savage Amusement, it would’ve been a big hit.

The album was an effort to win back fans after their last few lackluster albums which strayed from the rock sound they were best known for. Klaus Meine also said they purposefully set out to do this album just to prove that they still *could* do an album like this. And many times, when a band tries to return to their “roots”, it comes across as forced and not up to snuff, but this album delivers. The band sounds inspired, Klaus is in top form, and the songs and choruses are infectious. “Borderline” and “Someday Is Now” are some really great catchy rockers.

The only song I really don’t care for is “Maybe I Maybe You”, which is starts off as a pretty lame ballad, but builds to more of a rocker, but still can’t be saved.

A must have for Scorpions fans and easily their best release since Crazy World. It was a wondrous return to form, but funny enough, after proving they could still rock us like a hurricane, their next album, Humanity: Hour I, would take a step into the modern era…

Highlights: “New Generation”, “Love’Em Or Leave’Em”, “Deep and Dark”, “Borderline”, “Someday Is Now”, “My City, My Town”, “Can You Feel It”, “Remember The Good Times [Retro Garage Mix]”

www.the-scorpions.com
www.myspace.com/officialscorpions

SCORPIONS – Humanity: Hour I


Scorpions – Humanity: Hour I (2007, Sony BMG Music)

Track Listing:
1. “Hour 1” .. 3:26
2. “The Game of Life” … 4:04
3. “We Were Born to Fly” … 3:59
4. “The Future Never Dies” … 4:03
5. “You’re Lovin’ Me to Death ” … 3:15
6. “321” … 3:53
7. “Love Will Keep Us Alive” … 4:32
8. “We Will Rise Again” … 3:49
9. “Your Last Song” … 3:44
10. “Love Is War” … 3:20
11. “The Cross” … 4:29
12. “Humanity” … 5:34
BONUS TRACK
13. “Cold” … 3:52

Band:
Klaus Meine: Vocals
Matthias Jabs: Lead and Rhythm Guitar
Rudolf Schenker: Rhythm and Lead Guitar
Paweł Mąciwoda: Bass
James Kottak: Drums

Additional Musicians:
Billy Corgan – Vocals (“The Cross”)
John 5 – Guitar (“Hour I”)
Eric Bazilian – Guitar (“Love Will Keep Us Alive”)
Russ Irwin – Piano (“The Future Never Dies”)
Desmond Child – Backing Vocals
James Michael – Backing Vocals
Jeanette Olsson – Backing Vocals
Jason Paige – Backing Vocals

Produced by: Desmond Child & James Michael

This was my favorite release of 2007. Scorpions are one of my favorite bands, and after 2004’s awesome Unbreakable, I was pumped up for this one. Then I heard the samples online. It’s a bit of a departure from the typical Scorpions sound. A lot of the songs are slow (well, slower than what I was expecting) and plodding, but ended up growing on me.

Unbreakable brought the band’s sound back to their glorious 80s heyday, but Humanity: Hour 1 gives the band a bit of a modern hard rock/metal sound. It’s still Scorpions though. Yeah, the songs are a little darker and lyric matter is different (no more sex songs, says Klaus Meine!), but Klaus doesn’t try to change his singing to fit with the times and songs like “The Game of Life”, “We Were Born to Fly”, You’re Lovin’ Me to Death” and “321” should make most Scorpions fans happy.

This album got pretty good reviews, but I’ve seen a lot of Scorpions fan tear it down because of the band’s attempt to get more serious and grow. I don’t have a problem with the “serious” Scorpions or the silly perverted version. I applaud them for going in a different direction and for making it work.

I waited for MONTHS to get this CD. I’m not an import kinda guy and any album is readily available online for free if you know where to look, but I liked to support bands I’m a fan of so I waited. And waited. And waited. I couldn’t really get a confirmed US release, because I think it was initially May/June, but that turned out to only be the Europe release. FINALLY, the US got it at the end of August and I picked it up at Best Buy. The Best Buy exclusive track, “Cold”, is actually one of my favorites from the album.

The credits are pretty impressive. It’s good to see Desmond Child co-writing/producing this album. I’ve always been a fan of his hard rock collaborations. Also, co-producing (with the occasional writing credit) is SIXX:AM vocalist James Michael (who I’m starting to have a lot of respect for with his legit rock credentials). John 5 and Billy Corgan even lended their talents to this album.

Highlights: It’s not my top pick of 2007 for no reason at all. I can’t find any filler here.

www.the-scorpions.com
www.myspace.com/officialscorpions

PAUL STANLEY – Live to Win

Paul Stanley – Live to Win (2006, Universal Music Group/New Door Records)

Track Listing:
1. “Live to Win” … 3:08
2. “Lift” … 4:01
3. “Wake up Screaming” … 3:00
4. “Everytime I See You Around” … 3:28
5. “Bulletproof” … 3:01
6. “All About You” … 3:16
7. “Second to None” … 3:35
8. “It’s Not Me” … 3:19
9. “Loving You Without You Now” … 3:16
10. “Where Angels Dare” … 3:22

Band:
Paul Stanley – Lead Vocals, Guitar, Percussion, Backing Vocals

Additional Musicians:
Bruce Kulick – Bass
John 5 – Guitar
Corky James – Guitar, Bass
Brad Fernquist – Guitar
Tommy Denander – Guitar
Andreas Carlsson – Guitar, Backing vocals
Sean Hurley – Bass
Victor Indrizzo – Drums
Greg Kurstin – Piano
Zac Rae – Piano
Harry Somerdahl – Keyboard
Russ Irwin – Keyboard
CC White – Backing vocals
John Shanks – Backing vocals

Produced by: Paul Stanley

28 years after his first solo effort (1978’s Paul Stanley, which was part of the ‘KISS Goes Solo’ stunt), Paul is back! And the results? Well, it’s not KISS, but it’s still good. The album is very slick with modern rock/pop sound. Essentially, it’s what I expected a solo Paul Stanley album to sound like in the new millennium. I like it and listened to it over and over when it was first released and Paul’s voice still sounds great.

It got knocked by a lot of people for being too soft, but it’s PAUL STANLEY. You know… Starchild? You were expecting a heavy metal album? This is just a modern take on all of the pop rock songs Paul has been writing in KISS for decades, though it does retain it’s own identity. This is not Paul trying his best to sound like KISS, it’s Paul being Paul and that’s good enough for me.

Hopefully, we won’t have to wait another three decades until his next solo release.

Highlights: “Live to Win”, “Lift”, “Wake Up Screaming”, “Bulletproof”, “All About You”, “Second to None”, “It’s Not Me”, “Where Angels Dare”

www.paulstanley.com

BRIDES OF DESTRUCTION – Runaway Brides

Brides of Destruction – Runaway Brides (2005, Shrapnel Records)

Track Listing:
1. “Aunt Biente” [Instrumental] … 1:09
2. “Lord Of The Mind” … 4:22
3. “Dead Man’s Ruin” … 3:01
4. “Criminal” … 4:12
5. “This Time Around” … 4:02
6. “White Trash” … 3:46
7. “Brothers” … 3:27
8. “Never Say Never” … 5:14
9. “Blown Away” … 2:56
10. “Porcelain Queen” … 4:23
11. “White Horse” … 3:14
12. “Tunnel Of Love” … 4:39
13. “Dimes In Heaven” … 5:11

Band:
London LeGrand – Lead Vocals
Tracii Guns – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Scott Sorry – Bass, Backing Vocals
Scot Coogan – Drums, Backing Vocals

Produced by: Andy Johns

One year into B.O.D.’s existence, Tracii Guns was left without the support of Sanctuary Records and Nikki Sixx, who was co-captain (and co-writer) of the Good Ship B.O.D.

Tracii decided to continue with the group while Nikki rushe back to the Motley Crue reunion and this album is definitely hurt by the lack of Nikki’s presence (though he does hold a few co-writing credits here and there). The album is much more serious, darker, and takes on a much more modern rock/metal sound than Here Come the Brides did. It just isn’t as catchy and throws out some of the 80s L.A. Strip sound the previous album had. The haunting instrumental opener “Aunt Biente” sets the mood for the rest of the album and is a good indicator and where they were heading.

It’s not a bad album by any means, it just fails to live up to the potential the band showed with their debut. Again, I think Nikki leaving the band hurt this album and I really would have to liked to have seen Brides at least put on hold for whenever the next Motley down time came up. I don’t blame Nikki though because what would YOU rather do, play clubs or play arenas?

In 2006, the band was put on hold when Tracii Guns (VERY temporarily) joined Quiet Riot. Since then, Tracii has gone on to form his own version of L.A. Guns to compete with the legit Phil Lewis version.

Is the band done? I hope not, but I fear so. I’d like to see them continue in some form, though with the success of SIXX:AM and the revitalized Motley Crue, I highly doubt B.O.D. is of any concern to Nikki. Maybe Tracii can snap out of his current fake L.A. Guns band mindset and decide to do give us something new again and bring London along as well.

The curse of B.O.D. struck again: The Wildhearts‘ Ginger had joined the band as guitarist, even co-writing a handful of songs for this album, but had left by the time recording started.

Highlights: “Aunt Biente”, “Criminal”, “This Time Around”, “Never Say Never”, “Porcelain Queen”, “Dimes in Heaven”

www.myspace.com/bridesofdestruction

BRIDES OF DESTRUCTION – Here Come the Brides

Brides of Destruction – Here Come the Brides (2004, Sanctuary Records)

Track Listing:
1. “Shut the F*ck Up” … 3:03
2. “I Don’t Care” … 3:21
3. “I Got a Gun” … 3:48
4. “2x Dead” … 5:38
5. “Brace Yourself” … 4:04
6. “Natural Born Killers” … 4:31
7. “Life” … 3:32
8. “Revolution” … 4:37
9. “Only Get So Far” … 5:07

Band:
London LeGrand – Lead Vocals
Tracii Guns – Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals
Nikki Sixx – Bass, Backing Vocals
Scot Coogan – Drums, Backing Vocals

Additional Musicians:
John Corabi – Rhythm Guitar
Kris Kohls – Drums

Produced by: Steve Bruno

Brides of Destruction were a “supergroup”, which was put together by Nikki Sixx (while Motley Crue took one of their many breaks) and L.A. Guns’ Tracii Gun. Ex-Motley Crue singer John Corabi was recruited to play guitar and nu-metal band Adema’s Kris Kohls was to be the drummer, but both were out of the band by the time of this album’s release.

I remember London LeGrand catching a lot of flack before the album was even released, with some of the more negative rock/metal sites saying he “sucked” and was a horrible singer. Just not hearing that here. The guy’s voice is fitting this music perfectly, which is a blend of 80s hard rock, punk, power pop, and modern hard rock. I love London’s performance on “I Got a Gun”.

The band never took off though, even though they did manage to get an appearance on The Tonight Show. They chose “Shut the F*ck Up” as their lead single, which was a mistake because it was heavily edited for radio and received very little play. The band even chose to play that song on The Tonight Show and it sounded horrible without them being able to utter that four-letter word.

I remember as soon as the album was released, Nikki was crowing about how much more material they had and that they would be releasing ANOTHER album in 2004, but it never happened. Eventually, Motley came calling again and Nikki ditched the band, though they soldiered on without him and released Runaway Brides in 2005.

This album shows a lot of promise though, I don’t think there’s any filler here and I’ve often wondered what the follow-up album would’ve sounded like if Nikki had remained fully involved.

“Only Get So Far” was originally written by Nikki with Faith Hill & Tim McGraw in mind, but that didn’t pan out. And if anyone still has complaints about London’s voice, they should check out that song as well.

Highlights: “Shut the F*ck Up”, “I Got A Gun”, “2x Dead”, “Brace Yourself”, “Life”, “Only Get So Far”

www.myspace.com/bridesofdestruction

THE UNION UNDERGROUND – …An Education in Rebellion

The Union Underground – …An Education in Rebellion (2000, Columbia Records/Portrait Records)

Track Listing:
1. “An Education In Rebellion” [Instrumental] … 1:08
2. “Drivel” … 2:55
3. “South Texas Deathride” … 3:24
4. “Turn Me On ‘Mr. Deadman'” … 2:39
5. “Until You Crack” … 3:28
6. “Killing The Fly” … 3:45
7. “Natural High” … 3:26
8. “Revolution Man” … 3:40
9. “Trip With Jesus” … 3:26
10. “Bitter” … 3:53
11. “The Friend Song” … 2:24

Band:
Bryan Scott – Vocals
Patrick Kennison – Guitar
John Moyer – Bass
Josh Memelo – Drums

Produced by: Bryan Scott, Don Gilmore, Ulrich Wild

The Union Underground were one of two new acts (Mars Electric being the other) that were signed to the revitalized Portrait Records in the late 90s. The John Kalodner-led Portait was mostly set up as a haven for 80s rock & metal acts, in an attempt to copy the success Kalodner had with turning Aerosmith from a tired 70s act to a popular act back again in the 80s.

I LOVE this album. “Turn Me On ‘Mr. Deadman'” was a minor hit and hooked me enough during my experimental phase to give this new band a shot. The truth is, the album still holds up. It’s extremely catchy nu metal/industrial metal. It stays melodic and never crosses too much over into the typical cold industrial sound.

It’s a very dark album though and the use of drugs is commonly mentioned, so it’s not a “feel good” album and I have to be in a special mood to want to hear it.

Sadly, the band didn’t do much after this album (which just fell short of going Gold). They put out a live album after this but, oddly, their most well-known song is probably “Across the Nation”, which was used as the theme song to WWE RAW for a few years and was released on a WWE compilation album.

John Moyer now plays bass for Disturbed.

Highlights: Can’t pick just one, it’s all very good.

www.myspace.com/unionundergroud (pretty sure this was their official MySpace page, hasn’t been updated in a few years)

EXTREME – Pornograffitti

Extreme – Pornograffitti (1990, A&M Records)

Track Listing:
1. “Decadence Dance” … 6:49
2. “Li’l Jack Horny” … 4:51
3. “When I’m President” … 4:21
4. “Get The Funk Out” … 4:24
5. “More Than Words” … 5:34
6. “Money (In God We Trust)” … 4:11
7. “It (‘s a Monster)” … 4:24
8. “Pornograffitti” … 6:15
9. “When I First Kissed You” … 4:00
10. “Suzi (Wants Her All Day What?)” … 3:38
11. “He-Man Woman Hater” … 6:20
12. “Song For Love” … 5:55
13. “Hole Hearted” … 3:39

Band:
Gary Cherone – Lead Vocals
Nuno Bettencourt – Guitar, Piano, Keyboard, Percussion, Backing Vocals
Pat Badger – Bass, Backing Vocals
Paul Geary – Drums, Percussion

Additional Musicians:
Dweezil Zappa – Guitar
Pete Christlieb – Sax
Joel Peskin – Sax
Bob Findley – Trumpet
Chuck Findley – Trumpet
Dick Hyde – Trombone
Bill Watrous – Trombone

Produced by: Michael Wagener

AKA – Extreme II: Pornograffitti. Great album. Extreme were a band I originally had a hard time getting into outside of the mega hits “More Than Words” and “Hole Hearted”. Upon first listen, this album was just too much funk metal for me, but now I’ve seen the error of my ways. Funny enough, I felt the opposite about 2008’s Saudades de Rock… which didn’t have *enough* funk metal!

So besides the two previous mentioned songs (which didn’t really represent the band’s overall style accurately), there’s a number of monsters here. “Get the Funk Out” is probably my favorite Extreme song, it’s so big and bombastic and catchy. I love it.

Check out “He-Man Woman Hater” for some great work from Nuno.

Highlights: “Decadence Dance”, “Li’l Jack Horny”, “Get the Funk Out”, “More than Words”, “Pornograffitti”, When I First Kissed You”, “Suzi (Wants Her All Day What?)”, “He-Man Woman Hater”, “Song for Love”, “Hole Hearted”

www.extreme-band.com
www.myspace.com/extreme

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