Classic Rock Bottom

by "I, uh......" Jon

Big Wreck--Grace Street (February 2017)

1. Tomorrow Down

2. Useless

3. Motionless

4. The Receiving End

5. The Arborist

Black Star Riders--Heavy Fire (February 2017)

1. When The Night Comes In

2. Who Rides The Tiger

3. Testify Or Say Goodbye

4. True Blue Kid

5. Letting Go Of Me

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BIG WRECK - Only heard this once, but I'm a bit dissapointed. It sounds like a B-version of the last album. Maybe it'll grow on me, but usually there're 2 or 3 albums per year, that impresses me. This probably won't be one of them.

BSR - And neither will this, but still it's better than I'd expected. Some nice guitar-work on this album (I haven't heard the last 3 songs yet, though). It still annoys me a bit, the way the singer tries to sound like Lynnott, but not as much as it annoyed me on their first album. I will give this album 1 more "spin" to see, how much I like it.

I always like fresh album-releases in the new year.

I held off on both of these anticipating this exact post.  Ghost and The Killer Instinct are truly fine albums (ya, I still call them that!) but I was not confident enough that these new albums would sound much different than their respective predecessors..  Time to find out... 

I have both of these.  They are my first new release purchases of the year.  Like Scott said on FB, I plan on being more judicial this year with the new release pick ups.  I was last year.  I dropped to 41 new release purchases last year, down from 78 in 2015.  So I succeeded in cutting my expenditures almost in half.  We'll see how I do this year.  But that being said, there is no way I would pass up these two bands.  I've enjoyed them too much lately.  I don't see, on the whole, how any band can really sound all that different from release to release.  Unless they change singers or something like that. But bands generally sound similar.  That being said...

Big Wreck - I will withhold any judgement on this release until I've listened to it at least three or four times straight through.  Based on the bits and pieces I've heard so far, it feels quite laid back.  That second track is an instantly good song.  Hard not to like that one.  Motionless doesn't really sound like it would have fit on Ghosts.  Basically, the last song pulls it a bit from laid back status, but time will tell on this release.

BSR - Same here, reserving judgement until several full listens have been completed.  These first two tracks are big-time rockers, especially Who Rides The Tiger.  Testify or Say Goodbye is a killer song, straight up!  I think it's the song with Pearl Aday on backing vocals.  I think it's a cool song lyrically. One thing that stands out to me so far is that at least a couple of the choruses are somewhat weak.  Again, it's gonna take some time to see if that feeling sticks or works itself out.  Still, I dig Warwick's lyrics and singing style. I'll be listening to this a lot over the next few weeks.

BIG WRECK ...  Two Thumbs laid back and listening for a guitars!

Like that first track well enough but then this slows way down and feel more like a ballads/acoustic album than the rocker I'd hoped for.  Ghosts is so full of lush guitars and the solos are great, where is that here?  Don't get me wrong the songs are interesting, but there's some diversity missing in this sampling that's present on Ghost, are the missing tracks key to addressing this?  So far this is good, but not purchase good...

That's exactly how I felt about Ghosts.  It's taken best as a full listen, you miss too much otherwise.

Let me know how you feel about it when you're ready, it sorta feels like it could grow on you...

Will do.  BSR is already growing.  I just listened to the whole album a little bit ago.  Ready to hear it in the truck where I can really turn it up!

BLACK STAR RIDERS... Two Thumbs digging the snot out of this one!

Totally get RJ's comment on trying to sound like Lynott, like it but by the third album its time to diversify and develop your own distinct contribution to the legacy vocally, much like all the guitarists that came in and out of Lizzy did.  Opening track feels very much like anything on the first two albums, but I will admit its very catchy and the background vocals are a nice addition!  Who Rides The Tiger, nice! precisely what I was looking to hear and kinda/sorta feels like they are stretching in the right direction.  The guitar break was fantastic! More of that!  MORE OF THAT!!!!  Third track sound great as well and continues some of the growth I like to hear, that keyboard ambiance (whatever you call it) was a real nice addition to this Lizzy sounding song!  4th track makes it 4 for 4, love that wocka-wocka stuff!  Gorham is so underrated, technically sound and can shred - just wish they would go for the jamming more often and for longer than the required 30 second break!  and lets just knock out with a 5 for 5, another cool riff and guitar break really blows this up nicely!  I'm going to look into this one further but it looks like I need to add this one...

Eh...I mentioned Lynott, and last I looked in the mirror, I didn't look like RJ.

Actually, Bw is growing on me. It's probably a good album after all.

Interesting... would like to hear your final verdict if you get to that point

Final verdict: This album is a big dissapointment!!


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