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CD Review: Tango Down / Charming Devil

index CD Review: Tango Down / Charming DevilTango Down
Charming Devil

Reviewed by: Roger Scales

Two years ago when Tango Down released Identity Crisis, I called it my favorite album of 2012 in my review. It was full of everything that puts a smile on my face and it exceeded the standards of what I call the “Three H” method when judging a record: harmonies, hooks, holding power.   That record still gets heavy rotation on this “80’s Guy’s” Listening Machine. ,24 months later, Tango Down is back with Charming Devil and I read a quote from Scott “Rif” Miller that TD has once again “raised the bar” and an expectation level from TD fans waiting to hear if the band can surpass 2012’s monster release. Did they indeed put on the jet packs and head even higher than they ever have before? “Charming Devil” has done just that with a 10 song selection of well written, well produced melodic gems full of harmonic flavor, a dash of metal and a smattering of memorable guitar riffs that just may put Mr. Miller on my personal pedestal of current guitar gods. Read more

Book Review: Rocks: My Life In and Out of Aerosmith

October 2, 2014 by  
Filed under CD Reviews, Daily Music News

perry Book Review: Rocks: My Life In and Out of AerosmithRocks: My Life In and Out of Aerosmith
Simon & Schuster
Joe Perry with David Ritz

Reviewed by: Roger Scales

Back in 1997 Stephen Davis wrote Walk This Way: The Autobiography of Aerosmith and I remember reading it and being mildly shocked, somewhat amused, largely enlightened, very informed and never bored. This was a big deal at the time because many rumors had persisted for years about who said what to whom and at what point did the relationship between Joe Perry and the rest of the band deteriorate to where Joe left the band in 1979 half way through recording Nut In The Ruts. Was it just a rift between Joe and Steven? Why did he through a glass of milk at Tom Hamilton’s wife in Cleveland Ohio? We got the answers and then some. Read more

CD Review: Hurtsmile / Retrogrenade

September 20, 2014 by  
Filed under CD Reviews, Daily Music News

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Retrogrenade

Reviewed by: Roger Scales
It’s been three years since the release of the 2011 debut album from Hurtsmile that introduced to the rock world the first ever Cherone brothers (Gary –Vocals and Mark-Lead Guitar) musical compilation of straight up rock ‘n’ roll diverse in its musical content and ambitious in its lyrical approach. Add in a world class rhythm section with Joe Pessia (Tantric, DramaGods) on bass guitar and Dana Spellman on drums and Hurtsmile is all set to pick up where they left off. Read more

Book Review: ‘The Big Book of Hair Metal’ by Martin Popoff

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Author: Martin Popoff

Reviewed by: Roger Scales

Yes, this review will be 100% biased because its subject matter is near and dear to my “80’s Guy” heart but no it was not written for me, dedicated to me nor did I have any involvement in the creation of it whatsoever. However that’s not to say that I couldn’t have been added as a creative consultant or at the very least quoted in it somewhere! The Big Book of Hair Metal The Illustrated Oral History of Heavy Metal’s Debauched Decade is candid, funny, informative and is really one of the first truly year by year breakdown of the 80’s hair band genre in written form. The detail is what’s most encouraging about Martin Popoff’s take on this era in music of which he boosts in the book’s introduction that hair metal makes him “happy’. Why shouldn’t it? If you had a pulse from 1980-1991 (prior to Nirvana changing the culture within the industry) than you more than likely had just as many happy moments along the way listening to bands like Quiet Riot, Motley Crue, Bon Jovi and Dokken, as Martin did. Read more

EP Review: Troy Marks / Illumino

August 14, 2014 by  
Filed under CD Reviews, Daily Music News

images EP Review: Troy Marks / Illumino Troy Marks
Illumino

Reviewed by: Roger Scales

Every once in a while you stumble upon an album, band or solo artist simply by being in the right place at the right time. Shortly after interviewing Steve Blaze from Lillian Axe I got a request to listen to an EP (on Steve’s recommendation) coming from solo artist Troy Marks called Illumino. Read more

CD Review: Tesla / Simplicity

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Simplicity
Tesla Electric Company

Reviewed by: Roger Scales

Never has an album cover and title truly described a band at its core. Tesla, although first arriving in 1986 at the height of hair bands and commercial rock, were really never a band about presentation. They never had big hair, stage theatrics, spandex or racy videos filled with vixens. They did however tour with many of these bands and like it or not got lumped into that era, fairly or unfairly. My introduction to the band was from the first time I saw ‘Modern Day Cowboy” on MTV and my first Tesla show was seeing them opening for Def Leppard on the Hysteria tour. I thought they had boundless energy, were fun on stage and wrote memorable classic rock songs that were easy to sing along with. Read more

Book Review: “Honestly: My Life and Stryper Revealed” by Michael Sweet

honestlydetail 01 200x300 Book Review: Honestly: My Life and Stryper Revealed by Michael SweetHonestly: My Life and Stryper Revealed
Michael Sweet
Reviewed by: Roger Scales

When I first heard about this book I basically expected a pretty vanilla offering from a very well known singer/songwriter/guitarist who just so happens to be a very devout Christian while fronting a heavy metal band called Stryper. I have been a very big Stryper fan going back as far as 1985, seeing them play in a small club in Boston and have never missed a single tour since. That being said, I was hoping that Michael’s book Honestly was going to give some insight to a number of questions I have had during the 30-plus year career of my fandom of Michael in Stryper such as who came up with the yellow and black outfit design? Why did Tim leave during the recording of To Hell With The Devil? Whatever happened to his short lived replacement Matt Hurich? Why in more recent years was their obvious reluctance to play songs off In God We Trust? Why did Michael essentially break up Stryper in 1992? Who got the band back together in 1999? Trust me, I got my answers and a whole lot more. Honestly is a no-frills look into the mind and soul of a man who has made mistakes, had musical and personal regrets but at the same time has been a loving husband and father while maintaining his stature as one of the top rock vocalists of his generation. Read more

CD Review: Hour of Penance / Regicide

May 1, 2014 by  
Filed under CD Reviews, Daily Music News

 

regicide CD Review: Hour of Penance / RegicideHour of Penance
Regicide
Prosthetic Records

Reviewed by: B. Cross

Italian death metal stalwarts Hour of Penance have spent their career taking no prisoners, and extremity is assured on their sixth album Regicide. Kicking things off with an intro reminiscent of a dark fantasy film, the band immediately shifts into high gear with “Reforging the Crowns.” From there to album finisher “Theogony,” Hour of Penance have created a solid slab of high-octane death metal that runs at full speed. Read more

CD Review: Winger / Better Days Comin’

April 22, 2014 by  
Filed under CD Reviews, Daily Music News

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Better Days Comin’
Frontiers Records
Reviewed by: Roger Scales

Winger has always been a band structured around songwriting and performance, yet in the early days bassist and founding member Kip Winger could always be found on the cover of a magazine or a staple through his mid section as the centerfold. Too often the band had more articles and photos due to their physical attributes and sex appeal than their actual playing. Nevertheless no one can argue that the first two Winger albums were hugely successful and in spite of the sometimes grotesque overuse of Kip’s “whiter than white” teeth I’m sure the general philosophy was “any press is good press”.

Well thankfully in the 2014 rock world Winger gets press now ONLY for their music, a welcome change for me personally having been a fan since the first time I saw “Madalaine” on Headbanger’s Ball in 1988. Better Days Comin’ picks up right where 2009’s Karma left off with some more heavy rock tunes, complete with signature harmonies and some memorable licks direct from riff master himself Reb Beach on guitar. All of these elements put together will allow Better Days Comin’ to take its rightful place amongst the previous five Winger albums but at the same time contains some individual moments which make it unique. If I were a professor set to study this new Winger album I would title my essay “Superior Time Emergence”. why Winger appeals to my five senses with their past five records and album six gives me added depth with a new sense to be able to predict future events. Better Days Comin’ indeed. Read more

CD Review: Madman’s Lullaby / Unhinged

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Unhinged

Kivel Records
Reviewed by: Roger Scales

It looks like 2014 is getting off to a killer start for Kivel Records with its latest release Unhinged, first from new labelmates Madman’s Lullaby.   Right from the first track “What If” I could hear the influence from some of the late 80’s best hard rock acts such as Tesla and, especially vocally, early Lynch Mob.  This record has tons of groove and some very clever lyrics.  If you’re looking for a feel good kind of album with romantic tunes with everyone in a happy state, turn away! Read more

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