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CLASSIC ROCK – Back in the Saddle

Classic RockĀ  – Back in the Saddle (September 2009, Future Publishing)

1. Alice In Chains – “A Looking in View” … 7:05
2. The Wildhearts – “John of Violence” … 3:51
3. Mott the Hoople – “One of the Boys” … 4:10
4. The Jokers – “The Big Rock and Roll Show” … 4:17
5. The Union – “Watch the River Flow” … 4:24
6. Cowboy Prostitutes – “Outrageous” … 3:36
7. The Black Crowes – “I Ain’t Hiding” … 5:58
8. Saigon Hookers – “Devil to Win” … 2:10
9. Cheap Trick – “Sick Man of Europe” … 2:10
10. Lynyrd Skynyrd – “Simple Life” … 3:17
11. Porcupine Tree – “Time Flies (Edit)” … 5:23
12. We Will Have Victory – “Heretics in Vietnam” … 3:37
13. Black Spiders – “Meadow” … 6:21
14. Federal Black 40 – “The One” … 3:16
15. Emerald – “Live Forever” … 5:16

Another month, another CD insert from the UK Classic Rock magazine (the best rock magazine ever, IMO). This time the focus is on “returning heroes” (Alice In Chains, Cheap Trick, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Mott the Hoople, etc.) and “young gods” (Black Spiders, We Will Have Victory, The Union, etc.). I was surprised they didn’t include KISS’ “Modern Day Delilah”, but come to find out, that’s included on the October CD from Classic Rock‘s sister publication Metal Hammer.

Typically for a collection like this, the style of rock and quality of it is all over the place. A few notes:

-Alice In Chains, despite the absence of the late Layne Staley, still sound like Alice In Chains. “A Looking in View” is plodding and dark. Good stuff, doesn’t compare to some of AIC’s better known songs though.
-The Wildhearts turn in a pretty good number that is probably one of the better songs I’ve ever heard from them.
-That Black Crowes song is just weird coming from them. It’s like some funky Fall Out Boy kind of song.
-Cheap Trick delivers with the crunch of “Sick Man of Europe”. They played this live on the Def Leppard/Poison tour this summer, I liked it then and I like it now.
-As I figured would be the case, after finally hearing them, Porcupine Tree is really boring.
-We Will Have Victory is a pretty good mix and old and new hard rock. The singer reminds me of Josh Todd.
-Emerald sounds like a band that would not have been out of place on The New Wave of Traditional Metal compilation Classic Rock issued a few months ago.

Highlights: “A Looking in View”, “John of Violence”, “Sick Man of Europe”, “Heretics in Vietnam”, “Live Forever”


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

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”

THE WILDHEARTS – Riff After Riff

The Wildhearts – Riff After Riff (2003, Gearhead Records)

Track Listing:
1. “Stormy in the North, Karma in the South” … 2:48
2. “Putting It On” … 4:20
3. “Looking for the One” … 3:48
4. “Lake of Piss” … 5:33
5. “Better Than Cable” … 3:17
6. “If I Decide” … 4:21
7. “Bang!” … 5:07
8. “Action Panzer” … 3:00
9. “The People That Life Forgot” … 3:45
10. “Move On” … 3:53
11. “O.C.D” … 4:58
12. “Return to Zero” … 4:05
13. “Let’s Go” … 3:58

Ginger – Lead Vocals, Guitar
C.J. – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Danny McCormack – Bass, Backing Vocals
Stidi – Drums

Produced by: Ginger, Simon Efemey, Gordon Raphael, Russ “Risky Russ” Russell

The Wildhearts were a band I had never heard of until the early-2000s when the then-relevant Metal Sludge site constantly gave them nothing but praise. I had heard “Vanilla Radio”, which apparently as a huge comeback hit for the band in their homeland of the UK and loved it. All Wildhearts albums were either out of print in the US or import, and thus I couldn’t bring myself to spend $30-40 on one CD, so I was ecstatic when I found out Riff After Riff was going to be a US release.

This album, a collection B-sides that were recorded around the same time of “Vanilla Radio”, was originally released in Japan in 2002 as an EP called Riff After Riff After Motherfucking Riff, but the US release has left off “Vanilla Radio” and has added on an extra six songs. As catchy as “Vanilla Radio” is, there isn’t anything that even comes close to that song here, IMO. Granted, these are B-sides, so you can’t expect too much, but there are a few tunes here worth checking out.

Curiously, Gut Records (a sister label to Gearhead Records) would release 21-track complete collection of The Wildhearts’ B-sides the year after this release with an album called Coupled With.

I love the cover though, great stuff that would’ve been a cool logo for legendary wrestler Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart!

Highlights: “Stormy in the North, Karma in the South”, “Putting It On”, “Looking for the One”, “Return to Zero”, “Let’s Go”

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