Classic Rock Bottom

Okay, I'm ripping TageRyche off for a second time.  Now I owe him twice as much in royalties.  I've started to go back through a bunch of my somewhat new releases and see where they sit with me now.  I'll try to include just a couple of brief thoughts based around a current listen to these albums.   If I've previously done a review I will attempt to weigh my original thoughts against my current thoughts.  They may be the same or they may be different now, we'll see.

Scorpions - Humanity Hour 1 (2007)

I remember really liking this one when I purchased it.  So when Sting In The Tail came out, I purchased it too.  But it was a total let down for me (I think I need to dig that one out and listen to it again as well).  As far as Humanity Hour 1 goes, my opinion has not changed one bit.  I totally dig it.  Really, every song.  Klaus sounds excellent.  I would not say it's overly melodic or a straight up melodic rock album, but there's just enough here to keep me happy.  Desmond Child was involved with production duties, so there is that. 

It's a totally underrated hidden gem.  Standout tracks for me would be Hour 1, You're Lovin' Me To Death, 321 and Humanity.

Rating - 9/10 

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Sixx: A.M. - Prayers For The Damned, Vol. 1 (2016)

Sixx: A.M. is an American rock band.  The band features Nikki Sixx, who of course has a day job in Motley Crue, or maybe since they retired this is now his day job.  Anyway, Prayers For The Damned, Vol. 1 is the first half of a double album, with the second half (Prayers For The Blessed, Vol. 2) being released later in 2016.  I do not have that album.  The band's second release, This Is Gonna Hurt, is the one that got me into the band.  But unfortunately, the follow up (Modern Vintage) did nothing at all for me.  

I can sum this one up pretty quickly.  What I like about the album is it is much more like This Is Gonna Hurt than Modern Vintage.  What I don't like is that it's so much like the former that the songs begin to sound the same.  Personally, I think James Michael is an excellent vocalist.  DJ Ashba is a decent enough guitar player as well.  The songs are pretty good but they are just a tick below This Is Gonna Hurt.

Standout Tracks for me are You Have Come To The Right Place, When We Were Gods and Belly Of The Beast.

Rating - 7/10

Your last royalty payment is quite overdue. LOL

Strange, I had my people send it.

Fire their butts!

Warrant - Rockaholic (2011)

Rockaholic is the eighth studio album for American hard rock band Warrant.  The album was released just a few months prior to former Warrant front man Jani Lane's death.  This album features vocals by Robert Mason (the previous Warrant studio album featured former Black 'N Blue singer Jaime St. James on vocals).  I would imagine many purists would probably say it can't be any good without Lane on vocals.  Personally, I beg to differ.  Robert Mason has a terrific voice.  I'm not saying it's the best Warrant album, I'm just saying that if you've never given it a chance, you may want to do so.  

There is plenty of melodic rock goodness to be found here.  The musicianship is adequate as well.  I can't really find a particularly bad song here, but there are some really nice tracks.  What I did notice tonight is that the CD is going for 30 bucks used on Amazon.  Glad I have my copy already.

Standout tracks are Dusty's Revenge, Show Must Go On and Tears In The City.

Rating - 8/10

UFO - Seven Deadly (2012)

Seven Deadly was really my introduction to UFO.  This is one of the bands that I regret not listening to when I was younger.  But because of this album, I've gone back and bought a lot of UFO albums.  I liked this pretty much from the get go.  And listening to it again today, that opinion hasn't changed.  Mogg's voice sounds gloriously weathered to me.  You can just hear the years on it.  The real MVP though is Vinnie Moore.  His playing on this album is fantastic.  His guitar work is just a pleasure to listen to.  And the album is chock full of really good songs.  This one comes highly recommended by me.

Standout tracks are Fight Night, Angel Station, Burn Your House Down and Waving Good Bye.  Those last two I mentioned are incredible, and I love how they end the album with closer Waving Good Bye.

Rating -  9/10

That one guy who does the Lost album thing on here?  The one who used to be fun and talkative?  Not sure what happened to him, but....  He posted this in an NMC to favorable reviews by everyone except Niels (which we expected as well - lol!)

You mentioned Wave Goodbye in your reply as song of the year, your tastes on this album seem to have not changed at all, maybe grew?  The band followed this up with "A Conspiracy of Stars" which I think is very good as well, but if I had to choose, I'd play Seven Deadly...

I wasn’t as taken with Conspiracy.

Toto - XIV (2015)

I can tell you, this will be a short review.  This is a terrific album.  So melodic.  Great guitar.  Just awesome.  I'm so glad Toto are making music again.  Hopefully we get more.

Standout tracks are Burn, Holy War, Orphan, Unknown Soldier (For Jeffrey), Chinatown and Great Expectations.  

Rating - 9.5/10

If I were to do a Top 10 from this decade this would rank high, come to think of it, this would rank high as a top ten from this millenium!  My favorite tracks are almost opposite of yours, but if you put the two lists together you'd get the entire album.  Yes, its that good!

I have one nit through... I'd really loved to hear the drums come through more on the final mix, they could've been stronger as they are on almost all other Toto albums.  The song writing is stellar and the album feels genuinely like a homage to their entire history while moving the band forward.  Most bands needed a team around them to help lift the songs up, but when you think about Toto, these are the guys that most bands employed to do that for them, so the catchy hooks, deep lyrical themes, and musical chops are all here.  

I play this album a good bit, its still fresh everytime I hear it, just like most of their back catalog!  I hear they are releasing some remasters of their catalog, if the pub around them is true they are going to be as good as the redo of Pages work on the Zep albums!  I know I will be happy to shell out some clams for that!

Skid Row - United World Rebellion: Chapter One (2013)

This EP is the Johnny Solinger fronted version of the band.  According to info I found online, this was intended as the first installment of a trilogy, with this one and the next chapter being EPs and the final chapter being a full length album.  The follow up to this was released in 2014 but to my knowledge, the third part of the trilogy has yet to be released.  And for informational purposes, I did not by Chapter Two.  

Maybe that's because I found nothing here that made me want to buy the next part.  I will say that Let's Go and Stitches are pretty rocking songs, but the balance is pretty forgettable.  I was not impressed over the course of the five songs here.  The guitar playing is pretty stout, but that's about it.  I like the idea of a trilogy, but to pull it off the first installment has to really grab you, and I was not grabbed.

Rating - 4/10

Black Country Communion - Black Country Communion (2010)

Although you likely know this, I'll state it for the record.  Black Country Communion is a rock supergroup comprised of Glenn Hughes (bass/vocals), Joe Bonamassa (guitar/vocals), Derek Sherinian (keyboards) and Jason Bonham (drums).  The band have released four studio albums to date, with this being the debut back in 2010.  Over the course of the last five years, the personalities within the band have done some clashing to an extent, but one thing has been consistent.  The band puts out some good rock music.  Bonamassa is a blues guy, but he can play like crazy and he can sing too.  I like the songs he sings on (lead on Song Of Yesterday and The Revolution In Me) and I also like the change of pace vocals he adds to Sista Jane and Too Late For The Sun.  Hughes still has a very strong voice, but he can tend to over sing from time to time.  The playing all the way around is top notch.  This is not my favorite of their four releases, but it may be second.  I'll have to give the others a listen soon to see exactly where this one sits.  

Standout tracks are One Last Soul, The Great Divide, Song Of Yesterday and The Revolution In Me.  

Rating - 8.5/10

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