Udo Dirkschneider’s New Covers Collection Is A Rare Set Worth Hearing

Courtesy: Atomic Fire Records

Udo Dirkschneider is among the most well-known and respected front man in the rock and hard rock communities. That is due to his work with Accept and with his namesake band, U.D.O. Considering everything that Dirkschneider has done over the course of his career — between records recorded with each band and even compilations of the bands’ hits — there is still one item that to this point, Dirkschneider has not checked off from his list. That item is a covers collection. This Friday, he will get to check off that item when he releases his first-ever covers collection, My Way. Running 17 songs deep, the compilation is a unique collection of songs, pulling in takes of hit songs from the likes of Rainbow, Judas Priest, Motorhead, Led Zeppelin, Billy Squier, and even Tina Turner. They and their songs are just some of the notable entries in this presentation. The Led Zeppelin, Billy Squier and Motorhead covers stay largely true to their source material while amping them up slightly. The Tina Turner cover is unique in its own right, building on the original and making it even more interesting. Among the more notable covers featured in the collection is that of The Rolling Stones’ timeless classic, ‘Paint It Black.’ This cover will be discussed shortly. The cover of AC/DC’s ‘T.N.T’ is near perfection. It will be discussed a little later. Any review of Dirkshchneider’s new record would be incomplete without a discussion on the cover of ‘My Way,’ the collection’s title track. It will also be discussed later. All three songs noted here are important in their own way to the whole of My Way. When they are considered with all of the record’s other covers, the whole makes My Way a presentation that rock and hard rock fans will find just as appealing as those of Dirkschneider.

My Way, the first-ever covers collection from veteran hard rock front man Udo Dirkschneider, is quite the unique presentation. It is a work that his fans and casual hard rock and rock fans alike will find appealing. That is proven throughout the record in each and every tribute that Dirkschneider and his fellow musicians pay here. Sadly those fellow musicians are not credited in the streaming copy of the record provided to this critic. If names were provided, those musicians would get their due credit. Getting back on the topic at hand, the record offers audiences plenty of notable songs from acts that are themselves equally notable (and some less notable, making for even more engagement and entertainment). One of the most notable of the covers is that of The Rolling Stones’ ‘Paint It Black.’ The song is known to every rock fan out there. That opening guitar line from Keith Richards and the companion drumming from the late great Charlie Watts are iconic to say the least. Front man Mick Jagger’s slightly gritty vocals add even more to the whole. Where the original song gives audiences an upbeat albeit contemplative work, Dirkschneider and his fellow musicians on the other hand turn the original on its ear by giving it a power metal facelift of sorts. Dirkschneider’s familiar gritty near growling vocal delivery adds its own unique punch to the composition alongside the power metal style and sound presented here. It gives the song a whole new sense that still hits hard in its own fashion while still keeping as true as possible to the source material. It is a take that is sure to impress The Rolling Stones, their fans, and those of Dirkschneider alike. It is just one of the song featured in this set that makes the collection worth hearing. Dirkschneider and company’s take of AC/DC’s ‘T.N.T.’ is another notable addition to the record.

As with the band’s cover of ‘Paint It Black,’ Dirkschneider and company strive to stay true to the source material in its cover of ‘T.N.T.’ while still giving the original song a welcome amped up new treatment. Instead of a power metal approach in this case, the collective instead just gives the song a rich, bluesy almost late 80s hair metal approach (right down to the bombastic guitar solo at the songs’ end) and blends that with the song’s original edge. What’s really interesting here is that Dirkschneider’s trademark vocal delivery style is actually an interesting blend of the vocals of AC/DC’s original front man Bon Scott and his replacement, Brian Johnson. That blend of sounds and styles within his one delivery makes his vocals all the more important to the whole. In turn, it makes the song that much more enjoyable and in turn, the album, too.

As much as the covers of AC/DC’s ‘T.N.T.’ and The Rolling Stones’ ‘Paint It Black’ do to make My Way worth hearing, they are just two of the record’s most notable tracks. No examination of the record would be complete without an examination of the collection’s title track. Originally composed by the team of Jacques Revaux, Gilles Thibaut, and Claude Francois, it was made most popular by American singer Frank Sinatra in 1969 after Paul Anka secured the rights for the song from the group. Ironically it is well-known that Sinatra hated the song the more popular it became because he got tired of having to hear and perform the song. That aside, it still remains a fan favorite to this day among thousands of audiences, apparently including Dirkschneider. One would not think Dirkschneider, a metal head, would find inspiration in Sinatra, but apparently he has some respect for the famed singer and what is one of his most beloved songs. Dirkschneider actually does a surprisingly impressive job here, his more familiar gritty vocal delivery gone in favor of a much more controlled approach and sound. The control that he uses here along with the use of the piano, strings, and subtle time keeping throws directly back to the composition that made Sinatra such a star. Even as the song builds to its peaks in its choruses, Dirkschneider and his fellow musicians exercise so much control, making the song stand out so starkly from all of the other covers featured throughout the record. It honestly serves to create a whole new respect for Dirkschneider in the end because it shows that he is more than just the metal head that so many people think they know. It makes the song a wonderful final accent to this record. When it is considered alongside the other songs examined here and with the rest of the record’s entries, the whole makes the overall presentation a rare covers set that is actually worth hearing if only every occasionally.

My Way, the first ever collection of covers from Udo Dikschneider, is an interesting compilation. It brings together a relatively wide swath of rock and hard rock songs, as well as some more pop oriented content for a while that makes a person rethink what they think they know of the famed former Accept and current U.D.O. front man and his tastes in music. The covers themselves vary in style and sound but still strive to stay as true as possible to their source material. That is made clear through the songs examined here. When those songs are considered along with the rest of the record’s entries, the whole makes My Way a rare covers collection that is actually worth hearing.

My Way is scheduled for release Friday through Atomic Fire Records. More information on the collection is available along with all of Dirkschneider’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.udo-online.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/udoonline

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/udoonline

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Gill Brothers Band’s Debut LP Is A Strong Start For The Band

Courtesy: Slang Church

Up-and-coming southern rock act Gill Brothers Band released its self-titled debut Tuesday through Slang Church. The record is an interesting presentation that fans of said genre will find worth hearing at least once. This is proven in part through its featured musical arrangements, which will be discussed shortly. The lyrical content that accompanies the album’s musical arrangements adds to the record’s appeal in its own right and will be discussed a little later. The record’s production rounds out its most important elements and will also be examined later. Each item noted plays into the album’s engagement and entertainment in its own way. All things considered, they make the album a new addition to this year’s field of independent and rock albums that is worth hearing at least once.

Gill Brothers Band, the debut record from its namesake act, is a presentation that will appeal to fans of the southern rock realm. That is due in large part to its featured musical arrangements. From start to end, the 35-minute album, the arrangements exhibit influences from a wide range of southern rock acts whose own music also shows clear blues influence. Speaking more specifically, a song, such as ‘Small Block’ (which comes late in the album’s run) presents not only a southern rock sound, but a stylistic similarity to AC/DC and Lynyrd Skynyrd, what with the chromatic riffs and the distinct vocal style in the verses. Interestingly enough, the song’s choruses lend themselves to comparison to works from Foo Fighters, making for quite the intriguing duality. Even with that being the case, the overall arrangement is well-balanced and makes itself stand out among the rest of the record’s arrangements.

On another note, ‘Rest In Piece’ actually has a very subtle tribute to a well-known Metallica song in its secondary guitar line and steady bass drum beat. Whether that similarity was intentional is known only by the band. Regardless, that great tribute (subtle as it is) alongside the arrangement’s more southern rock leanings gives this arrangement its own unique identity separate from that in ‘Small Block’ and from the rest of the album’s arrangements. It further shows the importance of the record’s overall musical arrangements to the album’s overall presentation.

As if everything noted is not enough, the arrangement featured in ‘Nobody’s Fool’ does its own share to continue showing the variety in the record’s arrangements. In the case of this arrangement, one cannot help but make the slightest comparison to works from the J. Geils Band in the song’s verses. The choruses meanwhile lean more in the noted familiar southern rock sense. Maybe the J. Geils Band comparison is just in this critic’s ears and mind, but even if that is the case, then so be it. This critic does hear it. The blend of those two distinctly different styles and sounds once again makes clear the variety of the musical content featured throughout the album, and the importance thereof. When it and the other arrangements examined here are considered along with the rest of the album’s arrangements (which exhibit influences of Black Crowes, Zac Brown Band, and Lynyrd Skynyrd) the whole makes clear just how important the album’s overall musical content is to the record’s presentation.

While the musical arrangements featured throughout Gill Brothers Band unquestionably do a lot to make the record worth hearing, they are just part of what makes the record work as well as it does. The lyrical themes that accompany the album’s musical content add to the noted appeal. Case in point is the lyrical theme featured in ‘By Your Side.’ In the case of this song, it is another ode to a former romantic interest. That is made clear in the song’s lead verse, which states, “If I had the money/I’d buy you a boat/We’d take it out on the clear lake/Oh how we’d float/But money isn’t the answer/At least that’s the way it should be/I swear we used to laugh/So easily/Is it wrong/To mourn for love/Makes me sick/To sing this song I’m thinking of/Now the memory/It stays with me/And the feeling passes by/Down that highway/If I’d had it my way/I’d still be by your side/Would it be alright/Could I stay by your side?” The song’s second verse continues in similar fashion, with mentions of wishing for closure along the way. It is a familiar topic that is made more interesting when it is considered alongside the song’s musical arrangement. That is because the mood set through the Reckless Kelly style musical arrangement is not as melancholy as one might think. Rather it is more semi celebratory as it recalls the happier times.

‘Rock and Roll,’ which is one of the album’s singles, is yet another example of the importance of its lyrical content. In the case of this song, it finds the song’s subject wondering if the path that he took in life was the right choice. This is inferred in the song’s lead verse and chorus, which state, “The property is going to s***/It’s a hit/Do you think you’ll stick around next time you’re down/I tell you what, buddy/I’m short on your money/Hold up/Get down/I’m turning licks into honey/I just can’t decide/Did rock and ruin ruin or save my life?/And I just can’t decide/Did rock and roll ruin or save my life?” The second verse adds to that sense as it states, “I’m running out of steam/I can’t remember the dream/The Gisbon’s in the case/And I’m watching TV/Pick up the slack/Could you please run it back?/I’m riding alone/I’m riding right off the tracks.” In other words, this is someone who is headed in the wrong direction. It’s a familiar topic, though not overly familiar anywhere in the music industry. Again, considering the song’s musical arrangement, this theme becomes even more interesting, considering the theme’s contemplative nature. Keeping all of this in mind, the song’s lyrical theme continues to show, in its own way, the importance of the album’s lyrical content. It is its own theme that stands apart from the others featured throughout the album that will engage and entertain audiences in its own way.

‘Nobody’s Fool’ is yet another example of the important role that Gill Brothers Band‘s lyrical content plays in its overall picture. In the case of this song, its lyrics come across as a statement of someone who is looking forward as he looks to the past, determined to make changes. This is inferred in the song’s chorus, which states, “When I get off this mountain/Tell you what I’m going to do/Take the things that made me stronger/And give them all right back to you/When I get up off my a**/And do the things that I should do/I’ll see the things around me changing/Seeing me and you change, too.” The mountain is a metaphor for life, and how the song’s subject is having to “climb” it. It is another familiar topic presented in a unique fashion that is also accessible to audiences. When it is considered along with the equally relatable themes examined here and with the rest of the album’s themes, the whole leaves no question about the importance of the album’s lyrical themes. When the album’s musical and lyrical content is collectively considered, that whole makes the album all the more engaging and entertaining. It is collectively just part of what makes the album stand out. The record’s production rounds out its most important elements.

The production that went into the album’s presentation is important to note because of its role in the album’s general effect. The production ensures that the best is brought out of each song, expertly balancing the instrumentation and vocals within each track. That balance makes the listening experience that much more enjoyable, too. In turn, it ensures listeners will find themselves paying more attention to each arrangement and each lyrical theme, thus immersing themselves into the record that much more. Keeping all of this in mind, Gill Brothers Band proves itself a positive start for the up-and-coming country/southern rock act.

Gill Brothers Band’s self-titled debut album is a mostly successful offering from the up-and-coming country/southern rock band. That is proven in part through its featured musical arrangements. The arrangements are each familiar in their approach and sound, but still boast unique minutiae that makes them all the more engaging and entertaining. The album’s lyrical themes are just as accessible as its musical arrangements. Audiences will connect with that aspect of the album as much as the record’s musical content. The album’s production produces a welcoming general effect that ensures audiences’ engagement and entertainment just as much as the record’s content. Each item examined is important in its own way to the whole of the album’s presentation. All things considered, they make the album an overall welcome addition to this year’s field of new independent albums.

Gill Brothers Band is available now through Slang Church. More information on the album is available along with all of the band’s latest news at https://www.facebook.com/gillbrosband.

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Gunshine Debuts ‘Wall Said To Call’ Video

Courtesy: O’Donnell Media Group

Independent rock band Gunshine unveiled the video for its latest single this week.

The band premiered the video Friday, a week after debuting the single by itself. The brand new video features the band in an intimate club setting as it performs its new single, surrounded by plenty of beautiful women to help illustrate the song’s obvious lyrical theme.

Listening closely through the lyrics, it is clear that the song is about a man who is about a man who is quite interested in a woman. The very title is a reference to the old practice of putting a woman’s phone number on the wall of a stall in a men’s bathroom, as the song’s lyrics point out.

The song boasts a musical arrangement whose driving guitars, powerhouse vocals and overall instrumentation immediately makes the song comparable to works from the band’s fellow “New Wave of Classic Rock” bands, such as Greta Van Fleet and South of Eden. There are also moments in the blues-based rocker that make the arrangement similar in sound and style to classic works from the likes of AC/DC.

More information on Gunshine’s new single is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://gunshineband.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/Gunshineband

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/gunshineband

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Gunshine Debuts New Single, ‘Wall Said To Call’

Courtesy: O’Donnell Media Group

Independent rock band Gunshine is working to make a place for itself in the neo-classic rock community.

The up-and-coming band premiered its new single, ‘Wall Said To Call‘ Friday. The song boasts a musical arrangement whose driving guitars, powerhouse vocals and overall instrumentation immediately makes the song comparable to works from the band’s fellow “New Wave of Classic Rock” bands, such as Greta Van Fleet and South of Eden. There are also moments in the blues-based rocker that make the arrangement similar in sound and style to classic works from the likes of AC/DC.

No information was provided about the song’s lyrical theme in the press release announcing the song’s debut. No lyrics are provided with the song’s visualizer, either. Listening closely through the lyrics, it would seem that the song is about a man who is about a man who is quite interested in a woman. The very title is a reference to the old practice of putting a woman’s phone number on the wall of a stall in a men’s bathroom, as the song’s lyrics point out.

More information on Gunshine’s new single is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Website: https://gunshineband.com

Facebook: https://Gunshineband

Twitter: https://twitter.com/gunshineband

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

‘Game Over’ Will Leave Audiences Hoping The Album Is Not The End Game For U.D.O.

Courtesy: AFM Records

Veteran hard rock band U.D.O. is scheduled to release its latest album Friday in the form of Game Over.  The band’s 18th album, its title is a reference to everything going on in the world today. That is according to information made available about the record. This album is everything that audiences have come to expect from the group.  That is exhibited clearly through the record’s musical arrangement, which will be addressed shortly.  The lyrical themes that accompany the record’s musical content does just as much to prove the noted statement.  They will be discussed a little later.  The sequencing of that collective content rounds out the most important of the record’s elements.  It will also be examined later.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the album’s presentation.  All things considered, they make Game Over a record that hopefully is not the end game for U.D.O.

U.D.O.’s forthcoming  album, Game Over, is a powerful new offering from the band that will appeal equally to the band’s established audiences and to hard rock fans alike.  That is proven clearly in part through its featured musical arrangements.  The arrangements in question exhibit more of the band’s familiar power metal presentations from beginning to end.  The comparisons to works from the likes of the band’s fellow power/hard rock acts Judas Priest and Saxon are unavoidable.  At the same time, the arrangement featured in the album’s single, ‘Kids and Guns’ is just as easily compared to works from AC/DC.  ‘Empty Eyes’ meanwhile offers audiences something with a little more of a modern hard rock edge while still incorporating the band’s more familiar sound and stylistic approach.  Meanwhile, a song, such as ‘Like A Beast’ immediately conjures thoughts of front man Udo Dirckschneider’s time with Accept with its fiery guitar riffs, solid time keeping, rich bass work and vocals from Dirkschneider himself.  Simply put, the musical content featured throughout Game Over offers plenty for audiences to enjoy because of its diversity.  There’s something old and something new.  There’s even something “blue” (so to speak) in ‘Don’t Wanna Say Goodbye.’  Yes, that awful pun was intended, but it is blue in its mood.  So to that point, there is some truth there, all joking aside.  Again, this all does well to help exhibit the diversity featured throughout the record’s musical body.  That diversity is just a part of what makes the album stand out.  The lyrical themes that accompany the album’s musical content add their own appeal to the presentation, too.

The lyrical themes featured throughout Game Over are almost as diverse as the record’s musical arrangements.  Audiences get an all too familiar arena anthem in the album’s lead single, ‘Metal Never Dies.’  As the song’s title infers, this is a defiant anthem about the immortality of metal.  It is right up there alongside AC/DC’s famed anthem, ‘Rock ‘N Roll Will Never Die.’  Dirkschneider even goes so far as to sing that line in the song’s chorus after noting in the lead verse, “Back when I took my first breath/The days were dark and gray/No belief/No hope/OR had nothing to say/Then came the days of changes/I realized the truth/Woke me up/Taught me how to fight/Breaking chains/Let heavy thunder through the night/Look up/See the sign/’Cause metal never dies/Stand in line/’Cause metal never dies.”  This is a straight forward to the power of metal in making life better for its fans.  He goes on in the song’s second verse to note his travels around the world because of the world and that “I believed/I had something to say…It was my dream come true.”  This proud tribute to metal and hard rock is a wonderful addition to the album, lyrically speaking, that is certain to become a fan favorite.  It is just one example of the powerful role of the album’s lyrical content.  Dirkschneider and company get socially conscious in ‘Kids and Guns’ and in ‘Time Control.’  The prior is a commentary about the dangers of letting young people get access to guns (the daily headlines since 1999 are proof of that danger).  The latter is a familiar commentary about taking better care of the planet.  This is a theme that was just as prominent in the band’s most recent album, We Are One (2020).  He pointed out during a recent interview that caring better for the planet is not limited to environmentalism, but to the need for peace, too.  That is all presented in ‘Time Control.’  That theme seems to be exhibited in ‘Empty Eyes’ just as much.  It is just another way in which the diversity in the album’s lyrical themes shows itself.  Between these songs and the others that make up the rest of the record’s body, it should be clear at this point that the lyrical themes featured in this record and their diversity are just as important to the album’s presentation as their equally diverse musical arrangements.  Keeping in mind the overall diversity of the album’s content, the sequencing thereof puts the finishing touch to the presentation.

Game Over’s sequencing is so important to note because on one level, it ensures that the energy in the album’s arrangements keeps flowing solidly from beginning to end.  There is one breakpoint just past the album’s midpoint in the form of ‘Don’t Wanna Say Goodbye.’  It makes a good chance for listeners to catch their breath before the energy picks right back up after that point and on to the album’s end.  On another level, the sequencing ensures that the noted diversity in the arrangements is just as evident even in the subtle ways in which the arrangements change in their stylistic approaches.  Those items collectively show that time and thought went into the sequencing in this way to ensure listeners’ engagement and entertainment.  Similarly, the sequencing also ensures the lyrical themes change up from one to the next just enough, too.  That noted change ensures – along with the changes in the album’s musical arrangements – listeners’ engagement and entertainment just as much.  All things considered here, this content shows even more, how much time and thought went into the album’s sequencing.  Keeping that in mind along with the importance of the content itself, the whole leaves Game Over another solid presentation from U.D.O. and one more of the year’s top new hard rock and metal albums.

U.D.O.’s forthcoming album, Game Over is an impressive new offering from the veteran hard rock band.  Its success comes in part through its musical arrangements.  The arrangements offer audiences plenty of familiar sounds and stylistic approaches.  They also give audiences something a little more modern here and there.  The whole makes the album’s musical arrangements well worth hearing.  The lyrical content that accompanies the album’s musical arrangements is just as important as that musical content.  That is because it is just as diverse as the musical arrangements.  The themes are also just as accessible as the record’s musical arrangements.  The sequencing of the collective content rounds out the album’s most important elements.  That is because it brings together the diversity in the overall content.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of Game Over.  All things considered, they will leave audiences glad to know that the album is not the end game for U.D.O.

Game Over is scheduled for release Friday through AFM Records. More information on the album is available along with all of U.D.O.’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.udo-online.de

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/udoonline

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Nick Perri Talks Nirvana In New “Episode” Of Premiere Guitar’s ‘Hooked’

Nick Perri, front man and namesake of Nick Perri & The Underground Thieves talked about Nirvana’s role in his life and in American culture in a new “episode” of Premiere Guitar‘s “Hooked” video series.

Perri said in the nearly six-minute video that he became a fan of Nirvana thanks in part to a member of his extended family. Who that family member is will be left for audiences to find out on their own. Additionally, Perri talked about the role the Nirvana’s ‘Come As You Are’ played in his early development as a guitarist during the video.

Courtesy: Premiere Guitar/Nick Perri

In other news, the band announced on July 28, a new series of live dates. The band’s new tour schedule, which is in support of its album, Sun Via, is slated to launch Sept. 7 in the nation’s capitol. It is scheduled to run through Sept. 19 in Des Moines, IA, with dates in cities, such as Chicago, IL; Philadelphia PA and St. Pail, MN along the way.

The tour’s schedule is noted below. Tickets are available here.

Sept 7th – Lincoln Theatre – Washington D.C.
Sept 9th – Stone Pony Summer Stage – Asbury Park, NJ
Sept 10th – The Mann Center – Philadelphia, PA
Sept 11th – Capitol Theatre – Port Chester, NY
Sept 12th – Stage AE – Pittsburgh, PA
Sept 14th – Riviera Theatre – Chicago, IL
Sept 18th – Palace Theatre – St Paul, MN
Sept 19th – Vel Air Ballroom – Des Moines, IA

The band debuted the video for its latest single, ‘I Want You’ May 20 through American Songwriter. The premiere came approximately nine months after the band debuted the album’s lead single, ‘Feeling Good.’

Sun Via is available now.  More information on the album is available along with all of the group’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://nickperrimusic.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/nickperrimusic

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/nickperri

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Dirty Honey’s Self-Titled Debut LP Succeeds Because Of Its Fully Accessible Musical, Lyrical Content

Courtesy: Dirt Records

Independent rock and roll act Dirty Honey will release Friday, what is one of 2021’s most  welcome and best new pure guitar rock albums in its self-titled album.  The eight-song record has been the subject of a lot of hype since 2019, and it can be said that the album lives up to that hype and then some.  That is evidenced clearly through the 28-minute album’s musical arrangements and lyrical themes, all of which are fully accessible.  One of the songs featured in the album that serves to support the noted statements comes halfway through its nearly half-hour run time in the form of ‘Hold My Hand.’  This song will be discussed shortly.  ‘Another Last Time,’ which closes out the album, is another example of how its musical and lyrical content comes together to make the album so engaging and entertaining.  It will be discussed a little later.   ‘The Wire,’ one of the album’s early entries, is yet another example of the importance of the album’s collective content.  It will also be discussed later.  All three songs examined here are important in their own way to the success of Dirty Honey’s self-titled debut album.  When they are considered along with the rest of the album’s songs, the whole makes Dirty Honey a work that every guitar rock purist will enjoy.

Dirty Honey’s self-titled debut album is a strong start for the up-and-coming neo-classic rock quartet.  The album’s success comes collectively through its musical arrangements and lyrical themes.  One of the songs that most notably exemplifies the noted statements comes halfway through the album in the form of ‘Take My Hand.’  The musical arrangement in this song is the polar opposite of that in the album’s lead single, ‘California Dreamin’’.  Not to get too far off topic, but ‘California Dreamin’ is not to be confused with the song made popular by The Mamas and the Papas way back in 1965.  rather, this song is its own, original composition.  Getting back on the matter at hand, the musical arrangement featured in ‘Take My Hand’ immediately lends itself to comparison to works from the likes of Small Town Titans and Audioslave.  The Audioslave comparison should come as no surprise considering that Dirty Honey worked with producer Nick DiDia on this album.  DiDia worked with Tom Morello and his band mates in Rage Against the Machine (whose members eventually formed Audioslave after a split with front man Zach De La Rocha in 2000).  Clearly DiDia’s own creative influence came into play here, considering that history.  The guitar arrangement, the drums and bass all immediately mirror works from Audioslave.  Front man Marc LaBelle’s vocal fiery vocal delivery style and sound is itself even comparable to that of the late, great Chris Cornell here, making the Audioslave comparison even clearer.  For all that the song’s musical arrangement does to make it stand out, it is just a portion of what makes the song (and album) work.  The lyrical content that accompanies the song’s musical content also plays into that success.

The lyrical content featured in ‘Take My Hand’ stands out because of the discussion that it will generate.  It would seem that, in listening closely, the song’s lyrical content presents a message about letting go of the past and just moving forward in life.  This is inferred in the song’s lead verse, in which Labelle sings, “No time to change/The mistakes you made/And if I carry the weight/It’s the price I have to pay/But I wanted all your love/And I needed all your love…take my hand/You’ll understand/I’m just a sinner, too/There’s no way out/We’re headed south/I’m lonely just like you.”  This alone would seem to hint at someone telling another person that he/she knows about the other person’s past but that said person needs to just leave the past in the past because things in the present are what they are and that other person is not alone in his/her situation.  The seeming message continues in the song’s second verse, with LaBelle singing, “Hide in the light/Stories that you told/Paying no mind/To your wicked ways of old/When I wanted all your love/And I needed all your love/It drove me out of my mind/Take my hand/You might understand/I’m just a sinner, too/There’s no way out/We’re headed south/Don’t play me for a fool.”  Again, here is that seeming message of just letting go of the past, not letting it weigh one down mentally and emotionally.  LaBelle does not just come out and make clear if the overall lyrical theme has anything to do with perhaps a couple in a relationship or if this is just a general statement made from one person to another.  Regardless, the seeming message is relatively clear.  When it is paired with the song’s infectious musical arrangement, the whole makes the song a clear example of what makes the album’s musical and lyrical content so important to the album’s overall presentation.  ‘Another Last Time,’ which closes out the album, is another example of what makes Dirty Honey a successful presentation.

‘Another Last Time’ presents a musical arrangement that will itself find quite the interesting comparison.  The song’s opening bars lend themselves to comparison to Pearl Jam’s hit 1992 b-side, ‘Yellow Ledbetter.’  That comparison is brief, but is there.  From there, listeners will notice a sound and stylistic approach that is more akin to works from the Black Crowes, what with the combined use of the keyboard, choral type backing vocals, guitar, and drums.  It is a work that will appeal to any southern rock fan.  The tone in the song’s arrangement, that sense of melancholy, does well to help illustrate the familiar story featured in the song’s lyrical content.  The story in question comes across as being that familiar tale of the breakup of a romantic relationship, with the “last time” being metaphorical language for the one last go-round.

The breakup story is made even more as LaBelle’s subject adds in the song’s chorus, “Tell me what it takes/’Til you find your way back to me/And we’ll say/One last time/Another last time/Another go round and we say goodbye.”  That the song’s subject compares the woman in question to whiskey and rain, stating, “Lord knows when I’ll see her face again” in the song’s lead verse adds even more to the clear story.  He even notes that the woman has “Got me wondering/Why I’m holding on to this,” making even clearer, the noted statement.  This is a mournful, melancholy song about a relationship’s end, thus the lyrical and musical content.  The thing is that it is more of an introspective and retrospective look at that relationship.  This is something to which many listeners will relate, proving its accessibility.  When it is paired with the song’s equally accessible southern rock stylistic approach and sound, the whole continues to prove the role of the musical and lyrical content featured in Dirty Honey’s self-titled debut album.  It is just one more example of that importance, too.  ‘The Wire,’ which comes early in the album’s body, is one more example of what makes the album’s collective content so important to its success.

‘The Wire’ presents a musical arrangement that is one of the most unique of the album’s compositions.  The song’s arrangement immediately exhibits influences from the likes of AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, and even the aforementioned Black Crowes.  Even with so many distinctly different influences presented here, the band still manages to craft a song that is unique and that boasts its own identity.  The energy exuded by the song’s musical arrangement is important to examine because it helps to translate the message presented through the song’s lyrical content.

The message presented in ‘The Wire’ is that of a man who knows he needs to get away from a woman who is not good for him, but he can’t help but keep going back to her.  That is evidenced as LaBelle sings, “This wasn’t part of the plan/I  never wanted to see you again/I’m a fool for you/And those things that you do/Can’t get this picture of you out of my head…I’ve been walking the wire/And I’ve been walking your wire for too long…turn and walk away.”  This is just the song’s lead verse, but it makes relatively clear the noted inference.  The song’s second verse continues the statement as LaBelle sings, “Thought it would get better with time/But your kisses, baby/They still blow my mind/I’m a fool for you/And those things that you do/The way that you love me is such a crime.”  That last statement about the mistreatment in the relationship is the most telling.  Again, this is someone who knows he is in a bad situation, but can’t bring himself to just walk away.  He keeps getting drawn back into the toxic situation because “your kisses, baby/They still blow my mind.”  While the song is sung from the vantage point of a man, women could relate just as much.  That is because they get into the same situations.  To that end, the song’s lyrical theme proves its accessibility even more.  The energy exhibited through the song’s musical arrangement does well to help illustrate the subject’s mixed mindset.  Together, the two elements join to make this song another standout addition to Dirty Honey, showing once more why the record’s musical and lyrical content collectively makes it such a successful offering.  When this song and the other examined here are considered along with the rest of the album’s songs, the whole leaves no question about the engagement and entertainment that the record offers.  All things considered, it leaves no doubt that the album is one of this year’s top new independent and rock albums.

Dirty Honey’s self-titled debut album is a strong first offering from the up-and-coming rock band.  It succeeds as much as it does because of its combined musical and lyrical content.  The record’s musical arrangements exhibit influences of some of the most talented and respected bands past and present throughout.  Even with those influences noted, the arrangements still boast their own unique, engaging, and enjoyable identities.  They are fully accessible and enjoyable compositions from one to the next.  The lyrical themes featured in the album’s featured songs are just as engaging and accessible as their musical counterparts.  All three of the songs examined here more than support the noted statements.  When they are considered alongside the rest of the songs featured in this record, the whole makes Dirty Honey a standout addition to this year’s field of new rock and independent albums.  Dirty Honey is scheduled for release Friday through Dirt Records.

More information on Dirty Honey’s new record is available along with the group’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.dirtyhoney.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/DirtyHoneyMusic

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/dirtyhoneyband

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Christopher Shayne’s New EP Will Appeal Widely To Southern, Country Rock Fans

Courtesy: Carry On Music

Independent rocker Christopher Shayne is helping southern rock fans start off the new year on a good note.  The up-and-coming singer-songwriter is giving the noted audiences reason to be happy as 2021 opens with his new forthcoming EP Ten High.  Scheduled for release Friday through Carry On Music, the seven-song record offers audiences something to like in its musical arrangements.  They will be discussed shortly.  The lyrical content that accompanies the EP’s musical arrangement offers its own appeal for listeners, too.  It will be discussed a little later.  The sequencing of the noted content rounds out the record’s most important elements, bringing everything together, completing the EP’s presentation.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of Ten High.  All things considered, they make Christopher Shayne’s new EP a record that guarantees its appeal to its target audiences.

Christopher Shayne’s forthcoming EP Ten High is a presentation that is certain to appeal to Shayne’s specifically targeted audiences from start to end of its 24-inute run time.  That is proven in part through the record’s featured musical arrangements.  The arrangements in question all present a distinct southern rock approach and sound.  While each arrangement displays the same kind of approach and sound, the arrangements in whole do at least give audiences something unique from one song to the next.  Case in point is a comparison between maybe ‘Any Given Sunday’ to the album’s title track.  ’10 High’ gives audiences plenty of the noted southern rock sensibility at points throughout the song.  At the same time, the verses in this song present a clear AC/DC style influence.  The contrast of those two styles gives audiences something interesting in itself.  Meanwhile ‘Any Given Sunday’ presents more of a southern/country rock style approach.  Shayne’s own unique composition adds subtle influences from the likes of Lynyrd Skynyrd and maybe Josh Turner.  Again, the influence is so subtle, but it is noticeable through a close listen.  When that whole is compared to the whole of the EP’s title track, it leads to more appreciation for the record’s musical arrangement. 

On another level, ‘Jus Get Drunk,’ which closes out the EP immediately lends itself to comparison to work that Zakk Wylde has composed with his side project Pride & Glory in terms of its acoustic approach and distinct southern rock sound.  Shayne’s vocal delivery style is even right up there with that of Wylde and other powerhouse vocalists.  By comparison, ‘Give A Damn’ is arguably the EP’s most intense arrangement.  It is yet another full-on composition, but there is so much fire and vim in this work.  It is comparable to works from virtually any southern rock outfit out there today.  The subtle addition of the banjo in the song’s opening bars adds its own unique touch to the whole of the song, too.  When one examines this song in comparison not only to ‘Just Get Drunk,’ but also to the rest of the EP’s arrangements, its power becomes even more evident.  What’s more, when all of the songs are considered together, the whole of that content makes for reason in itself for southern rock fans to take in this record.  That foundation is strengthened even more through the EP’s lyrical content.

The lyrical content that is presented in Ten High is just as accessible for listeners as the EP’s musical content.  The record’s opener and closer are both pretty clear in their content.  They center on drinking.  What is interesting to note is that where ‘Pour The Bottle’ presents a man who is having no regrets about just drinking his troubles away and tells the bartender, “I ain’t finished yet/Pour the bottle/I won’t have any regrets.  He even goes on in the song’s second verse to sing about drowning himself “in alcohol.”  So again, this is someone who is just giving that proverbial middle finger to the world, including obviously a woman that has wronged him.  ‘Jut Get Drunk,’ by comparison is the opposite end of that emotion.  This song is that person sitting at the bar, having gotten drunk, he talks about not feeling the same without some whisky and that he’d “rather just get drunk/’Cause I need a little time/To sort what’s in my mind/Just one more and I’ll be fine.”  So again, here are two songs that lyrically tell their own story.  The contrast in those two sides will ensure listeners’ engagement in itself. 

On another hand, ‘Getaway Babe’ changes directions but keeps listeners engaged with its lyrical content.  This song’s lyrical theme is that familiar topic of a man who is crazy for a woman.  He tells her to “come get gone with me” in the song’s chorus, while adding plenty of praise in the verses.  That familiarity and the song’s catchy musical arrangement pair to make the song in whole yet another standout addition to Ten High.  When it is considered along with the equally engaging story presented in ‘Just Get Drunk’ and ‘Pour The Bottle’ and the rest of the EP’s lyrical content, the whole of that content makes for plenty for audiences to enjoy lyrically, too.  The appeal that the EP’s lyrical content provides audiences is just one more part of what makes the EP stand out.  The sequencing of the content puts its own ouch to the record.  The sequencing of the record’s musical and lyrical content puts the finishing touch to its presentation.

The sequencing of Ten High’s overall content brings everything together in this record, to complete the EP’s presentation.  As has already been noted, the EP’s opener and closer certainly seem to work hand in hand even if not intentionally.  That book-ending, generated through the sequencing is sure to present its own appeal.  Along the way, the sequencing changes things up, going from the seeming celebratory title track to the equally familiar topic of a man who is crazy for a woman in ‘Getaway Baby’ to the slightly introspective ‘Any Given Sunday’ and ‘Burn Me Down.’  The rather rowdy ‘Give A Damn’ changes things up even more before the EP closes out in the almost rueful ‘Just Get Drunk.’  The whole of the noted lyrical content ensures in itself shows that plenty of thought was put into the sequencing of this side of the EP.  Just as much thought was put into the sequencing of the EP in regards to its arrangements and their energies.

What more can be said of the sequencing of the EP in regards to its musical arrangements and their energy than it ensures the energy stays high.  The only time when the EP really pulls back is in its closer.  Other than that moment, ‘Burn Me Down’ is the only other point that presents any pull back in the record’s energy.  That pull back is noted in the song’s opening bars.  It only lasts that short time, too.  From those opening bars, things waste little time picking back up.  Overall, the sequencing of Ten High in regards to its energy ensures that aspect keeps listeners remain engaged just as much as that of the lyrical content.  It barely lets up at least until the EP’s finale.  To that end, it will keep listeners fully engaged and entertained.  Keeping this in mind, when this final touch is put to the EP, it brings everything together and completes the record’s presentation.  The result of that completion is that the record will appeal strongly to Christopher Shayne’s target audiences.

Christopher Shayne’s forthcoming EP Ten High is a record of which southern rock and country rock fans will think highly.  That is due in part to its musical arrangements.  The arrangement in question boast some very clear southern and country rock vibes while also making sure the arrangements do not just copycat one another.  There are subtle changes in each song that show a wide range of influences.  That alone helps the EP’s appeal.  The lyrical content that accompanies the EP’s musical arrangements adds its own touch to the EP’s presentation.  That is because the topics presented in the lyrical themes are accessible.  They are familiar topics for any listeners.  The sequencing of that musical and lyrical content brings everything together, completing its presentation.  Each item noted here does its own important part to make Christopher Shayne’s new EP appealing.  All things considered, the EP proves a work that will appeal equally to any southern and country rock fan.  Ten High is scheduled for release Friday through Carry On Music.  More information on the EP is available along with all of Christopher Shayne’s latest news at https://www.facebook.com/christophershaynemusic.

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.  

Ellefson Debuts New Compilation’s Lead Single; Unveils Initial Track Listing

Courtesy: Combat Records

Audiences got their first preview of Megadeth bassist David Ellefson’s new eponymous rock project this week.

The band — Ellefson (bass), Thom Hazaert (vocals), Andy Martongelli (guitar), Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal (guitar), and Paolo Caridi (drums) — released the song ‘Wasted‘ Friday.  The song, a cover of the Def Leppard song, is the lead single from the group’s debut record, No Cover.

Ellefson’s cover of ‘Wasted’ features guest appearances from Frank Hannon (Tesla), Jacob Bunton (Mick Mars, Lynam), and Dave McClain (Ex-Machine Head, Sacred Reich).

The famed names featured on ‘Wasted’ are just some of well-known musicians and performers who make appearances on this record.  Also lending their talents to the album are equally well-known figures, such as Charlie Benante (Anthrax), Al Jourgensen (Ministry) and Gus G. (Firewind).

Along with debuting its lead single, Ellefson has also unveiled the initial track listing for No Cover.  The initial listing opens with a cover of Judas Priest’s timeless hit song ‘Freewheel Burning’ and also features covers of songs such as AC/DC’s ‘Riff Raff,’ Queen’s ‘Sheer Heart Attack’ and Billy Idol’s ‘Rebel Yell.’

The album’s initial track listing is noted below.  Two tracks are still TBA. Pre-orders are open now.

 

Tracklist:
1. Freewheel Burning (Judas Priest) ft. Jason McMaster, Gus G, Andy James, Dave McClain
2. Tear It Loose (Twisted Sister) ft. Eddie Ojeda, Dave McClain
3. Love Me Like A Reptile (Motorhead) ft. Doro Pesch, Greg Handevidt, Chuck Behler
4. Holiday in Cambodia (Dead Kennedys) ft. Charlie Benante
5. Rebel Yell (Billy Idol)
6. Wasted (Def Leppard) ft. Frank Hannon, Jacob Bunton, Dave McClain, Bumblefoot
7. Riff Raff (AC/DC) ft. Jason McMaster, Dave Lombardo
8. Nailed To The Gun (Fight) ft. Andrew Freeman, Russ Parrish, Jimmy DeGrasso
9. Not Fragile (Bachman-Turner Overdrive) ft. John Aquilino
10. Say What You Will (Fastway) ft. Troy Lucketta, Mark Slaughter
11. LOVE Machine (W.A.S.P.) ft. Dirk Verbeuren, Dave Alvin
12. Love Hurts (Nazareth) ft. Brandon Yeagley, Chuck Behler, Tyson Leslie
13. Sheer Heart Attack (Queen) ft. Bumblefoot, Doro Pesch, Charlie Benante
14. Sweet FA (Sweet) ft. Todd Kerns, Bumblefoot, Shani Kimelman
15. TBA
16. TBA
17. Auf Wiedersehen (Cheap Trick) ft. Al Jourgensen, Brandon Yeagley, Charlie Benante

Bonus Tracks
18. Eat The Rich (Krokus) ft. Dead By Wednesday

 

No Cover was co-produced by Ellefson, Hazaert, and Martongelli.  The record was engineered by Alessio Garavello, Matt LaPlant (Nonpoint, Lil Jon, Skindred) and John Aquilino.  Alessio and Garavello mixed the album alongside Randy Burns and others.

Ellefson talked about the record’s genesis in a recent interview.

“Before any of us started writing our own songs, we all began playing cover songs by our heroes during our formative years as musicians,” said Ellefson.  “So, it’s fun to go back in time and revisit those songs which helped us to become the artists we are today, especially when, ironically, many of those artists have now become peers and friends. During the process of recording some covers for B-Sides and bonus tracks for the upcoming Ellefson solo LP, Thom and I just said, “This is a blast, let’s just do a whole album of covers!” Literally, within 2 weeks, we had the songs recorded, and began calling our friends to join us, many of whom we had just performed with on the MEGA-Cruise back in October. From there, the album just fell into place.”

“A lot of our buddies have been playing covers and quarantine jams on the Internet during the pandemic, so this is really just an extension of that, but we took it the next level and actually recorded a full studio album,” he added.” We’ve been working remotely anyway, as we’re all over the Globe, so it was easy to incorporate some guests jumping in with some outstanding performances of their own. It’s been a really fun nod to making great music with our friends, who are kick-ass players, and many legends in their own right, which is the whole reason we got into this in the first place!”

Hazert expanded on Ellefson’s comments with his own thoughts.

“It’s all songs and artists that really mutually influenced both myself and David, especially a lot of early “Metal” and harder Classic Rock,” he said. “Some stuff I picked, some stuff he picked, but for the most part is was all artists that we both loved. What’s funny, as there’s a bit of an age gap, we were sometimes more influenced by different eras of the same bands. But it was really him saying, “Let’s do this song”, and me saying, “Yes!!! And let’s do this song.” And before we knew it, we had over 15 songs. And it’s a lot of album tracks, deep cuts, early tracks, stuff people might not expect, which was what was so fun.”

“It was also great that we were able to work in a lot of nods to David’s [Ellefson] history, getting Chuck Behler to play with us, bringing in original Megadeth guitarist Greg Handevidt to play on “Love Me Like A Reptile”, a song they used to play in cover bands together before they moved to LA (which we wrote about in More Life With Deth), and Randy Burns is going to mix a track or two,” added Hazert.  “As a singer, these are literally bands I’ve listened to, and covered all my life, and for me, getting to play with Eddie Ojeda, the Tesla guys, Charlie Benante, Jason McMaster, Mark Slaughter, etc, and sing these songs that mean so much to me. I mean, literally, the entire record is my bucket list of people I’d love to play with, and some of my favorite bands. So, it’s truly an honor to put together something so fun, and really as effortless as this was. It truly is a love letter to Rock N’ Roll, an homage to what made us, musically, who we are today.”

Ellefson resurrected Combat Records in 2017 as part of the EMP Label Group family.

Combat Records was a seminal punk and thrash record label in the 1980s.  Its doors closed in the mid-2000s after its catalog was absorbed by Sony Music.  Combat Records’ official relaunch took place in 2018.

Ellefson said in an interview in 2017, Combat Records would handle only new music because Sony has control of the label’s back catalog.

“…And to clarify, we do not own any rights to the Combat Records back catalog,” Ellefson stressed. “That is owned and controlled by Sony, and they have done a great job of curating it through other imprints. Combat Records will solely focus on new releases under the Combat banner. As always, thank you for your support and stay tuned for more details!”

More information on Combat Records, along with its latest news, is available online now

at:

Websitehttp://www.combatrecs.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/combatrecordsofficial

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/combatrecs

\

Ellefson is scheduled to release its debut full-length studio recording in spring 2021.  More information on Ellefson is available along with all of the group’s latest news at:

 

Websitehttp://davidellefson.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/davidellefson

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/ellefsondavid

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

DiMino’s New LP Shows Sometimes Its A Good Thing That “Old Habits Die Hard”

Courtesy: Frontiers Music Srl

Courtesy: Frontiers Music Srl

Old habits die hard.  It is a simple statement but also a very powerful statement.  For veteran vocalist Frank DiMino it is a statement that is especially true in listening to his new album Old Habits Die Hard.  The eleven-song record exhibits DiMino’s old habits from beginning to end, taking listeners back to the days of big hair and even bigger riffs in every single song.  For fans of 80s rock, with all of its pomp and bombast that is a very good thing because this record has every bit of that beginning with the album’s opener ‘Never Again.’  ‘Sweet Sensation is another one of the album’s offerings that exhibits that classic, over-the-top sound.  The same can be said of ‘Tonight’s The Night.’  All three songs show in their own respective way the sound on which Frank DiMino thrived in the early days of his career.  They are just a few of the songs featured in DiMino’s first solo record that make this musical trip back to the 80s so enjoyable for fans of that age.  Songs such as ‘I Can’t Stop Loving You,’ ‘Rockin In The City,’ and ‘Mad As Hell’ are just as notable in making that statement.  The classic song of love lost is even there in the form of ‘Even Now.’  Whether for those songs, the ones more directly noted here, or any of the album’s other compositions, the record in whole proves that while old habits may die hard, it’s not always a bad thing.

Frank DiMino’s first ever solo record Old Habits Die Hard is a record that any fan of big hair and even bigger riffs should hear.  From beginning to end its songs transport listeners back to the 80s with every element that made “hair metal” so…well…big during its era.  The album’s opener ‘Never Again’ is just one of the songs that serves to take listeners on that musical ride back in time.  Right from the song’s huge opening drum fill to its equally bombastic guitar line, which runs through the song’s five minute-plus run time, the song harkens directly back to the 80s.  The song’s lyrical content, which seems to address a certain woman (or type of woman), is just as familiar as the music that forms the song’s foundation.  The topic in question is hinted at as DiMino sings, “Backdoor lover/Undercover/Slip away into the night/Hands up baby/Drive me crazy/Come and step into the night/Reach out/No doubt/Looking for a lover…”  He goes on in the song’s chorus to sing, “Caught in the grip with my heart in the palm of your hand/It’s the last time I have told you/Never again.”  The song’s final verse is very similar to its lead and second verse stylistically as DiMino again addresses that woman again.  Considering what DiMino has to say about said women in the song’s final verse and in the song’s other verses, that woman is definitely something.  She is good but also good at being bad it would seem.  This is, again, very much the familiar topic for rock acts from the 80s- just as familiar as the song’s huge musical arrangement.  Both elements join here to make the song in whole a clear example of what makes OHDH (as it will henceforth be known) a good fit for any 80s rock aficionado.  It is just one of the songs that serves this end, too.  ‘Sweet Sensation is another one of the album’s offerings that exhibits that classic, over-the-top sound.

‘Never Again’ is a clear example of what makes Frank DiMino’s new solo record OHDH a good fit for any 80s rock fan.  That is due to the mix of its lyrical content and its huge musical arrangement.  Both elements are completely familiar to fans of 80s rock.  It is just one of the songs included in this record that serves to show what makes the record such a good fit for fans of that musical era.  ‘Sweet Sensation’ is another example of what makes the album one that 80s rock fans will appreciate.  Just as with ‘Never Again’ that is due in part to the song’s musical arrangement.  The song’s musical arrangement instantly conjures thoughts of AC/DC with its mid-tempo 4/4 time signature and blues-based guitar line.  Though, the inclusion of a keyboard line as a central element in the song’s chorus also conjures thoughts of Deep Purple among other veteran acts.  Considering those comparisons, the song’s musical arrangement in itself makes the song stand clearly apart from the other songs included in this record.  It is just one part of what makes the song (and ultimately album) stand out.  The song’s lyrical content is just as important to note here as its musical arrangement.  DiMino sings here, “Taking the midnight train home/So turn your lights down low/I can’t get you off my mind/I just lose all sense of time/Every time you come my way/You take the night out of the day/Everything just melts away/You bring the color to my gray/Feels like the first time/Deep down inside/Sweet sensation/You know where it feels so good/Sweet sensation/The only way it really could.”  He continues in similar fashion in the song’s second verse as he sings, “You know the things it takes to please/And bring a grown man to his knees/You can make the sunshine bright/And hide the darkness from the light.”  He keeps going on in exactly the same fashion.  So needless to say, DiMino doesn’t leave much room for guessing if any at all.  It is a classic schmaltzy song lyrically speaking.  What is interesting is that the song’s musical arrangement doesn’t match that schmaltzy lyrical content.  Rather, it gives the song more of a “come hither” type of feel.  This is a guy that is flirting with his subject, not trying to woo her.  Again, it is another familiar showing for hair rock fans.  It still is not the only other example of what makes OHDH a record that any 80s rock fan will appreciate.  ‘Tonight’s The Night’ is yet another example of what makes OHDH a good fit for 80s rock fans.

‘Never Again and ‘Sweet Sensation’ are both key examples of what makes OHDH a good fit for any hair rock aficionado out there.  That is due to the songs’ combination of big rock riffs and equally big lyrics.  They aren’t the only songs that serve to exhibit DiMino’s throwback approach to his new record.  ‘Tonight’s The Night’ is one more example of that throwback sound.  That is most evident in the song’s musical arrangement, which is centered on some Poison style guitar riffs.  Those riffs are, in themselves based richly in the rockabilly sounds of the 1950s.  It’s an interesting juxtaposition, but it still works.  Keeping that in mind, it doesn’t take much imagination to know what DiMino’s subject is singing about here.  Right off the top, he sings, “It’s gonna happen again/Just a matter of time and a matter of when/The night has just begun/We’re gonna have some fun/Cause’ don’t you know that tonight’s the night/Tonight’s the night/I’m gonna set a date…It’s time to cut use/You know there aint’ no use/Cause tonight’s the night.”  He makes note about jumping in the back of his Cadillac, and the heat that can’t be beat.  Considering all of this, the song’s subject is pretty clear.  The song’s musical energy adds to that pretty clear supposition, too.  What’s so interesting is that DiMino doesn’t try to be overly explicit in making the song’s subject so clear.  It shows that a song can still be kind of naughty without being downright nasty.  At the same time, it can still be fun too.  That being the case, both the song’s musical arrangement and its lyrical content work to show clearly why the song is yet another standout addition to OHDH.  Together with ‘Never Again’ and ‘Sweet Sensation,’ all three songs show collectively why OHDH is a record that any 80s aficionado will enjoy.

Old Habits Die Hard is a record that any 80s rock aficionado will appreciate.  That is regardless of listeners’ familiarity with Frank DiMino’s extensive resume.  Songs such as ‘Never Again,’ ‘Sweet Sensation,’ and ‘Tonight’s The Night’ make that crystal clear.  They are hardly the only songs that support that statement.  ‘I Can’t Stop Loving You,’ ‘Rockin’ In The City’ and ‘Mad As Hell’ each could be used to support that statement just as much as could any of the album’s other featured songs.  All things considered, Old Habits Die Hard proves in the long run that sometimes, it’s a good thing that old habits die hard.  Old Habits Die Hard is available now in stores and online.  It can be ordered online direct via Amazon.  More information on Old Habits Die Hard is available online now along with Frank DiMino’s latest news at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.frankdimino.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/FrankDiMinoOfficial

Twitter: http://twitter.com/Frank_DiMino

 

 

 

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