Adrenaline Mob’s second full-length studio release Men Of Honor is a solid work from start to finish. The eleven track, fifty-one minute record boasts a solid balance of full throttle, blue collar hard rock tunes and ballads that will entertain every listener. Whether it be for the songs’ lyrical side or their musical side, the songs that comprise Men of Honor prove it to be another record well worth the listen by any true-blooded rocker. The band proves this right off the top in its balls to the walls, working man’s anthem ‘Mob is Back.’ ‘Let It Go’ will impress listeners just as much with its indictment of those that refuse to let go of the past and let it eat them alive. And for those looking for something at least a little bit softer, there’s the introspective semi-ballad that is ‘Crystal Clear’ in which front man Russell Allen considers what might have been with a lost love. These songs are just a few examples of what makes Men of Honor an album that any true-blooded rocker will appreciate. The remaining eight tracks that make up the band’s sophomore record each offer their own enjoyment. Together with the songs noted here, the whole thing proves in the end to be a solid hard rock record that will impress any fan of Hellyeah, Kill Devil Hill, and others of that ilk.
Adrenaline Mob made quite the splash back in 2012 with its debut full-length album Omerta. Now with its sophomore LP the band has proven that the success of that album and its followup EP Coverta was no fluke. MOH’s opener ‘Mob Is Back’ is proof of that. This blue collar hard rock anthem will have listeners proudly putting their horns high and singing along proudly from open to end. Front man Russell Allen sings in this song, “I’m tired of getting s^&* on, pissed on/I’m feelin’ like a loaded gun, yeah/I’ve been smacked down, throw ’round/I’m feelin’ like a bastard son, yeah…I’m workin’ all day, s^&* pay/bustin’ it from nine to five, yeah/I’m gettin’ no sleep, six feet under/Feelin’ buried alive, yeah.” These are lyrics that will reach any average American. Who out there hasn’t felt the feelings described here? The musical energy and fire behind these lyrics makes them hit hard and serves to make them fully relatable for audiences. He and his band mates–Mike Orlando (guitar), AJ Pero (drums), Erik Leonhardt (bass)–make the song even more relatable and enjoyable as they show that “the mob is back” in full celebratory fashion with Allen singing, “So turn up the lights/We’re all here tonight/We came to throw down/Yeah, the mob’s back in town, oh yeah!” It’s a statement loud and clear that not only is Adrenaline Mob back in full force but that the band’s return is a shining light making the rigors of the work week worth dealing with. Keeping that in mind, it proves this song to be the perfect choice to open Men of Honor and an equally great addition to the album in whole.
‘Mob Is Back’ was the perfect choice to open Men of Honor. It is a no nonsense, balls to the walls blu collar rock anthem that celebrates not just the return of Adrenaline Mob in its sophomore album but the positives of hard rock as a break from the rigors of the work week. It didn’t come right out and say that. But it couldeasily be argued. It proves in the end to be not just a great opener for the band’s new album but an equally great addition to the album in whole. ‘Let It Go’ is another great addition to Men of Honor. The song comes across as a damning indictment of those that choose to live in the past, wallowing in their own anger and feelings of hurt, rather than moving on with life. As Allen sings in the song’s opening verse, “Why can’t you ever just let anything go/Don’t you know that the past is the past/You fight your feeling/You heat your blood up/You Heat your blood up/Don’t you know that you can’t go back?” As with ‘Mob Is Back,’ this song instantly proves to be one to which every listener can relate. Anyone that hasn’t come in contact with one of those people described here. Allen sings in response to those people in the song’s chorus, “So just take all your demons/Don’t give them a reason/Don’t let them control your mind/Cause they are the problem/So what will it take/What will it take for you/To just let it go?” The song’s forceful energy is a near direct contrast to its lyrics. It would have been so easy for Allen and company to take a much softer, more emotional route with this song, musically speaking. But they took a much moredirect approach instead. The result of that direct approach is a song with more punch and that is much more hard-hitting. And as with ‘Mob Is Back,’ that approach makes it one more great addition to Men of Honor as it really lives up to the album’s title just as much as the album’s other songs.
Both ‘Mob Is Back’ and ‘Let It Go’ are key examples of what makes Adrenaline Mob’s new album Men of Honor such a solid new recording. They are just a couple of the heavier moments that make this album work as well as it does. For all of the doses of heavy that are injected into the album, Adrenaline Mob also includes some slightly softer (slightly being the key word here) songs at points, too. One of those “softer” moments comes in the form of the semi-ballad style ‘Crystal Clear.’ The obviously introspective song is centered on the standard subject of a broken relationship. This is made clear as Allen sings, “Despite all of the reasons/Despite all of the pain/I know you were always there/Through all the changing seasons/Through all the good and bad/I knew you were always there/I just couldn’t see it/Now it’s crystal clear.” It’s pretty obvious what Allen is singing about. Here is a man who has lost some special to him. But it isn’t until that someone is gone that the subject of the song realizes it. It’s that classic “you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone” sort of message. The message is made even clearer as Allen sings, “So I lay awake hope and pray/The emptiness I feel inside would just go away/But it’s plain to see what’s killing me/I realized how much I needed you.” As pained as these lyrics are, the song’s musical side is almost a slight contradiction. It doesn’t have that full on oh-woe-is-me feeling. Yet it does a good job of illustrating the emotional pain felt by the song’s figure. That combination of music and lyrics together makes this song the best example of how the album’s “softer” side makes it work just as well as its heavier side. Those two sides together show with full clarity why Men of Honor deserves at least an honorable mention on any critic’s list of 2014’s best new hard rock and metal albums.
‘Mob Is Back,’ ‘Let It Go,’ and ‘Crystal Clear’ are all prime examples of what makes Men of Honor work as well as it does. They are collectively just part of what makes this album a good listen for fans of the likes of Hellyeah, Kill Devil Hill and others of that ilk. The eight other songs that make up the rest of this album each present their own reason for audiences to enjoy this record. Those songs together with the pieces discussed here make Men of Honor an album that deserves its own share of honor within the hard rock community. It is available now in stores and online. While the band currently has no tour dates scheduled, audiences can keep up with the latest chances to hear its music live when they “Like” the band on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/adrenalinemob. Fans can also keep up with all of the latest tour updates and news from the band via its official website at http://adrenalinemob.com.
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