Since the holidays are upon us and many of us will be getting some gift cards, etc. to spend on ourselves, here are a few cds worth checking out....
A new band that I just caught on to this year is Valient Thorr. If you know someone who's into something along the lines of Punk meets Motorhead done up Redneck style, then I highly suggest you pick up one or both of their cds. TOTAL UNIVERSE MAN was released in 2005 and their new release is LEGEND OF THE WORLD. I would start with their first one if you had to make a choice. www.valientthorr.com
The ever youthful looking Joan Jett's new cd SINNER is definately worth checking out. The first 7 songs on the release are keepers and for the first time in her career, Joan has tackled the theme of politics on a couple of songs. Joan's one of the original snotty punk rockers out there and the Godmother of punk pulls no punches on SINNER. Joan can still deliver the goods after 4 decades of rocking out. Snag this cd and crank it!
Gov't Mule's new cd HIGH AND MIGHTY makes for a perfect gift to yourself as well. The first song on the cd "High and Mighty" might very well be the best blues based rock song of the year that has more balls than a field full of bulls! ...it's that big of a song!
For the 70's glam fans, you can't go wrong with Crash Kelly's ELECTRIC FRANKENSTEIN. The cd is a good listen from beginning to end and it was written and sonically recorded as a tribute to the original shock rocker - Alice Cooper.
Rob Zombie's EDUCATED HORSES is another stomping riff monster of a release. The first song (after the intro) "American Witch" makes this one a keeper with it's slam in the face rhythm that will keep you hitting the repeat button. The release does lose a little steam the further you get into it, but still doesn't take anything away from it being a cd worthy of being in your collection.
Out now on DRT Entertainment is Lynam's SLAVE TO THE MACHINE. If you're into a punk attitude that gives a nod to the hard rock sound of the late 80's, then SLAVE TO THE MACHINE is for you.
One cd that I was curious about was the New Cars IT'S ALIVE release. Ric Ocasek would be such a hard vocalist to replace and I thought that the integrity of the band might suffer with only 2 original members left. New frontman Todd Rundgren pulled off a respectable performance in this live cd where the band runs through the hits. There are 3 new studio recordings at the end of the cd, but unfortunately the new songs can't live up to the hits the Cars cranked out before they pulled over for an almost 20 year break. The new Cars are back and well oiled to keep their past alive and IT'S ALIVE is proof that they can pull it off with a new singer behind the steering wheel.
On the country side of things, Confederate Railroad's Cody McCarver has ventured out on his own and in 2006 released his PEACE, LOVE, & COONDAWGS release on Aspirion Records. The cd has a strong Southern Rock flavor to it and if you checked out the Van Zant cd from last year, then you won't be disappointed in PEACE, LOVE, & COONDAWGS - it is right up there with the Van Zant cd.
Warrant has become BORN AGAIN with their cd that bears that title. Gone is Jani Lane and in stepping up to the plate to fill his shoes is Jaime St. James of Black N Blue fame. This cd surprised me. Wasn't expecting much out of it - maybe a few songs here and there would be good. Wow. I was wrong. BORN AGAIN rocks out hard. Jaime St. James and the return of guitarist Joey Allen and drummer Steven Sweet lit a fire under the ass of Warrant. The cd is far and away their best cd of their career.
I really love the mixed sound of female vocals over some progressive metal and no other band mixes melody with the heavy material better than Lacuna Coil. Throw in the male vocals and their new cd KARMACODE swaggers in and out of different musical structures that really keeps you captivated by the music. If you haven't checked out Lacuna Coil yet, what are you waiting for? Check out KARMACODE and then dig into their back catalog! You won't be diappointed.
More to come.....