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CD/DVD Review: Def Leppard / Viva! Hysteria

51fkTCs345L._SX215_Def Leppard
Viva! Hysteria
Reviewed by: Roger Scales

I have been hoping for something like this for so long now.  So many bands are taking classic albums and playing them in their entirety both to provide something different for the diehard fan and an added incentive for casual fans to see the band live for the first time.  When it comes to Def Leppard, the choice for some might be Pyromania (1983) or even High ‘n’ Dry ( 1981) but there is no denying that Hysteria (1987) was really their landmark album selling over 20 million copies worldwide.  Read more

CD Review: Maxx Explosion / Forever

November 11, 2013 by  
Filed under 80s Guy For The Modern Eye, CD Reviews

Maxx Explosion
Kivel Rec
Reviewed by: Roger Scales

Anyone who has seen House of Lords over the past few tours have experienced all what James Christian has to offer in terms of keeping the legacy of a legendary hard rock act from the late 80’s/early 90’s alive and actually kicking it up a notch with a modern day sound.  Well maybe rock’s best kept secret is the House of Lords rhythm section composed of guitarist Jimi Bell, Bj Zampa on drums and Chris McCarvill on bass.  What was once was classified information to the average rock fan is now a visible top notch band known as Maxx Explosion.  Their debut album released on Kivel Records Forever is a 13 song collection of power, melodic hard driving rock tunes that “Rival” any band Kivel has currently on its Kamp roster.  What surprised me the most about the record was the vocal style and range coming from Chris McCarvill who truly shines in his debut lead vocal duties. Read more

CD Review: James Christian / Lay It all On Me

July 6, 2013 by  
Filed under CD Reviews, Daily Music News

james-christian-coverJames Christian
Lay It all On Me
Frontiers Records
Reviewed by: Roger Scales

It’s been nine years since James Christian released his second solo album Meet The Man and I wasn’t sure what to expect from him since he’s been busy writing, recording and producing House of Lords, Robin Beck and Fiona Flanagan – all full time projects that have also toured throughout Europe with some sporadic US dates sprinkled in as well.  Read more

CD Review: Queensrÿche / Queensrÿche

June 24, 2013 by  
Filed under CD Reviews, Daily Music News

Century Media Records
Reviewed by: Roger Scales

In order to avoid confusion based on information I have already written about very recently and for the sake of this review I need to make the obvious distinction that this is “Toddryche,” rock fans.  The much anticipated new album featuring vocalist Todd La Torre does in many ways give back what many older Queensryche fans have been wanting for years, a return to the core of what made this band so great to begin with: metal guitars and high harmonies.  It’s a simple formula but one that has been sorely lacking from the last few Queensryche records like American Soldier and Dedicated to Chaos.  I don’t think that original Ryche members Scott Rockenfield, Eddie Jackson and Michael Wilton along with guitarist Parker Lundgren could have picked a better frontman to take Queensryche in this direction moving forward.  Read more

CD Review: Queensryche / Frequency Unknown

Queensryche2Frequency Unknown
Reviewed by: Roger Scales

I want to address the ongoing debate/issue concerning the fact that there are two versions of the same band that exist currently in the world of Queensryche.  This is not unchartered waters nor will it be something that goes away anytime soon.  Unfortunately for the fans,  Rock n’ Roll is a business and in the old days when Joe Perry and Brad Whitford left Aerosmith (for example) there became The Joe Perry Project.  No problem.  New name, new identity, no harm done.  Today with the branding being so identifiable within the rock community there are now legal battles to see who rightfully owns and gets to use the name –  both for recording purposes and touring.  RATT, L.A. Guns, Great White, Grand Funk Railroad, Black Sabbath – the list goes on of popular bands that shift band members and fight over ownership of the logo and identity.  I have always looked at it as more music, more shows, more reasons to get excited about hearing a new or slightly different take on a band or sound that I found pleasing.  Have I liked all of the different versions of the bands?  NO.  Corabi replaces Vince Neil and they put an album called Motley Crue..did I like It? Yes.  Did it bomb?  Yes.  Who cares? Whether Geoff Tate’s  version of Queensryche ultimately gets ownership of the name or the camp featuring Todd LaTorre  wins out..I win as the fan because I can enjoy both for what they each offer.  Read more

CD/DVD Review: Whitesnake / Made in Japan

WSMade in Japan
Frontiers Records
Reviewed by: Roger Scales

When Forevermore was released back in 2011 my initial thoughts were “Coverdale was able to bring back vintage Snake while still sounding fresh and current”.  A ton of credit must go to Doug Aldrich whose contributions to the songwriting stood out even more here than on 2008’s “Good To Be Bad”.  Tracks like “Love Will Set You Free” and “Steal Your Heart Away” are some of the strongest Snake tracks ever.  Aldrich is able to pick up the mantle passed down from Micky Moody, John Sykes, Adrian Vandenberg, Vivian Campbell, Steve Vai and leave his indelible mark on the legacy of one of rocks classic acts.  Read more

CD Review – Tom Keifer / The Way Life Goes

April 24, 2013 by  
Filed under CD Reviews, Daily Music News

tThe Way Life Goes
Tom Keifer
Merovee Records

Reviewed by: Roger Scales

Wow, can you imagine that 1994 was the last time we heard any new original material from Cinderella with Still Climbing?  Well Mr. Keifer, the 19 year break was well worth the wait with The Way Life Goes.  On his new solo release, Tom takes the listener on a journey through all of what made Cinderella great – whisky soaked vocals, crunching guitars, bluesy hard rock, and  kick-ass menacing anthems aimed to please.  Tom took his best shot and hit the target with a resounding BULLYSEYE.  The songs are so strong it truly rivals anything on Night Songs or Long Cold Winter – two classics in my collection.  Keifer has come up with some his most memorable lyrics, really painting a picture with each track while keeping me tapping my best air drums at the same time with a solid backing band. Read more

Book Review: Sex, Drugs, RATT & Roll: My Life in Rock by Stephen Pearcy

71pUz7i9zKL._SL1000_Sex, Drugs, RATT & Roll: My Life in Rock
Stephen Pearcy
Release Date: May 7, 2013

Reviewed by: Roger Scales

Stephen Pearcy is a survivor.  That best describes his personal life as not only battling through years of substance abuse but also his musical career as a whole. Constantly fighting his inner demons ultimately landed him in rehab in 2009 for a booze/pills/weed and heroin addiction that almost ended his life. Subsequently, his career has had as many twists and turns and ups and downs as any organized car race that Pearcy may have driven in or been a part of since he attended his first race back in his teens.   Read more

CD Review: Left Hand Does/Encounter Safety

December 4, 2012 by  
Filed under CD Reviews, Daily Music News

Left Hand Does
Encounter Safety
Reviewed by: Dorise Gruber

Luke Sullivan has had his hands in a lot of creative pots.  He’s mastered the albums of many artists/bands that we’ve featured here on TWRY in the last year: Daniel Harris, The Doctors FoxSchool for Robots, and has also worked with Bryan Murphy of The Shills.  He’d been playing as drummer for the locally lauded band Night Fruit, but has now turned his attentions toward Left Hand Does, where he and his pint-sized sister Jean Sullivan are the project’s top brass.  Read more

CD Review: Wilderun / Olden Tales & Deathly Trails

November 26, 2012 by  
Filed under CD Reviews, Daily Music News

Olden Tales & Deathly Trails
Reviewed by: B. Cross

Boston’s own Wilderun stand apart from their folk metal contemporaries due to their adherence to American folk tales rather than the much more common European legends. Their debut record Olden Tales & Deathly Trails encapsulates this both in terms of melody and lyrics; many of their themes are lifted from early American folk songs and naval legends. Read more

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