Monday, December 28, 2015

Zero - From Zero to Hero (1995)

Country: Switzerland
Year: 1995
Line-up: Claudio Schiliro (vocals), Angi Schiliro (guitars), Enzo Butta (bass), David Pisano (keyboards), Diego Rapachietti (drums)

Track listing:
1.  Zerock  5:20
2.  Last of the Teenage Idol  4:16
3.  Waiting for Your Love  5:11
4.  Cryin' Out for Mercy  4:48
5.  No Time for Lyin'  4:44
6.  Space Shuffle  6:03
7.  The One and Only  4:48
8.  Breathless  3:53
9.  Billy Boy  4:29
10.  Eternally Yours  4:45
11.  I Still Want You  6:22
12.  Is This the End  2:59
13.  Cryin' Out for Mercy (Acoustic) (Bonus track)  7:52
14.  Johnny's On the Run (Acoustic) (Bonus track)  5:01
15.  Eternally Yours (Acoustic) (Bonus track)  5:13

Fletchanator's comment: Although formed in Switzerland, Zero was fronted by the Italian Schiliro brothers. This was their only album under the name Zero, but a year prior this line-up had recorded the second of guitar hero Angi Schiliro's solo albums, White Lady 2. A car accident involving singer Claudio Schiliro spelt the end of Zero, which is a damn shame because these guys are awesome! They play a very polished style of melodic hard rock, along the lines of Fair Warning, Jaded Heart and 1987-era Whitesnake, while their catchy ballads sound a lot like Journey. Claudio has a powerful voice and Angi shreds on guitar. Highly recommended!


Sunday, December 27, 2015

Physical media collection update #2

Here are some physical media pick ups from the month of December - all are vinyl and all were bought online.

Photo #1 - 33rpm albums:

Alaska - Heart of the Storm (1984)
- Second album by this AOR band, which featured ex-Whitesnake guitarist Bernie Marsden and ex-Deep Purple keyboardist Don Airey.

Jet Red - Jet Red (1989)
- Debut album by this American band. Excellent pop-edged melodic hard rock in the vein of Firehouse, Trixter etc.

Saraya - When the Blackbird Sings (1991)
- Second album by one of the better female-fronted hard rock bands.

DJ Burns - DJ Burns (1988)
- The band name sounds like it's some kind of techno house music, but it's actually really good melodic hard rock (the name comes from frontman Darin Burns).

Photo #2 - 45rpm singles:

Def Leppard - Love Bites (1988)
- The big ballad off Hysteria, backed with a live version of Billy's Got a Gun.

Warrant - Down Boys (1989)
- My favourite Warrant song hands down and their debut single. Backed with Cold Sweat.

Warrant - Heaven (1989)
- The hit ballad from Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinking Rich. Backed with In The Sticks.

The Angels - We Gotta Get Out of This Place (1986)
- Cover of the Animals hit by this Australian hard rock band. Backed with I Just Wanna Be With You.

Robin Beck - Don't Lose Any Sleep (1989)
- Female AOR ballad, written by John Waite (Bad English/The Babys). Backed with Sleeping With the Enemy. BLIND BUY.

De Mont - Close to the Edge (1989)
- First single by Australian melodic hard rockers. Backed with Too Late. BLIND BUY.

Heartline - Gentlemen Agreement (1991)

Country: Germany
Year: 1991
Line-up: Jojo (vocals), Michael (guitar), Sergio (guitar), Heiko (bass), Rabin (drums).

Track listing:

1.  Balls Have To Roll  
2.  Listen  
3.  Living On A Frontline  
4.  Takin' Water To The Sea  
5.  Too Late  
6.  Need You More  
7.  Young Heart  
8.  Don't Taste The Fire  

Fletchanator's comment: This one's a bit of a rarity and goes for decent money on ebay (two up for grabs for $50 and $65 right now). From the information I've been able to gather, this is the only release by German five-piece Heartline. The songs are nothing too special and the production value is average, but this one will appeal to fans of heavier-edged hard rock with high-pitched vocals, ala Dirty Looks, Heavy Pettin' and Warrior. Not as good as any of those bands IMHO, but still a good listen and pretty damn rare, so this should be a welcome addition to any collection.


Hardline - Double Eclipse (1992)

Country: USA
Year: 1992
Line-up: Johnny Gioeli (vocals), Neal Schon (lead guitar), Joey Gioeli (rhythm guitar), Todd Jensen (bass), Deen Castronovo (drums).

Track listing:

1.  Life's a Bitch  4:12
2.  Dr. Love  5:31
3.  Rhythm From a Red Car  3:40
4.  Change of Heart  4:42
5.  Everything  3:55
6.  Takin' Me Down  3:35
7.  Hot Cherie  4:47
8.  Bad Taste  4:23
9.  Can't Find My Way  5:28
10.  I'll be There  4:36
11.  31-91  1:33
12.  In the Hands of Time  6:16

Requested by: Geno

Fletchanator's comment: Hardline is most well-known for containing Neal Schon and Deen Castronovo, who had just left the supergroup Bad English, and who would join a reformed Journey (of which Schon is a founding member) a few years after this. This is rockier than the AOR-heavy Bad English and Journey, with Schon probably enjoying some freedom away from Jonathon Cain's sappy balladry in those other bands. Here he really gets to rock out, while singer Johnny Gioeli (earlier of Brunette, lately of Axel Rudi Pell's band) has an excellent voice. The result is a fantastic melodic hard rock band, one of the very best to come out of the early 90s. Highly recommended!


Saturday, December 26, 2015

Wicked Teaze - Wicked Teaze (1988)

Country: USA
Year: 1988
Line-up: Shawn Albro (vocals), Scott Wallace (guitars), Blake Arle (bass), Tommy Craig (drums)

Track listing:

1.  I Want Your Love  
2.  She Likes It On Top  
3.  Lady On My Mind  
4.  In The Dark Tonite  
5.  Diamond  
6.  When Night Falls

Requested by: Geno

Fletchanator's comment: This six-track EP comprises the entirity of Florida-based Wicked Teaze's recording output. Like a lot of Sunset Strip-sounding hard rock bands they split in the mid-90s, and this album was re-released by Retrospect Records in 2005. In terms of sound, Wicked Teaze are heavy-edged glam metal - recommended for fans of early Motley Crue, WASP, Nitro and Keel. Singer Albro's voice reminds me of Blackie Lawless from WASP, with less of the gravel and more high notes, while Wallace does some serious shredding. Good stuff.


Thursday, December 24, 2015

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Hawk - Hawk (1986)

Country: USA
Year: 1986
Line-up: David Fefolt (vocals), Doug Marks (guitars, bass), Matt Sorum (drums), Dave Tolley (keyboards)

Track listing:
1.  Tell the Truth  
2.  Fades So Fast  
3.  Into the Sky  
4.  Victims  
5.  Witches Burning  
6.  Battle Zone  
7.  The Dream  
8.  Rules The Night  
9.  Can't Fall in Love  
10.  Perfect Day

Requested by: Geno

Fletchanator's comment: Hawk were one of the many LA-based bands, and were led by guitarist Doug Marks, who went on build a fortune in learn-at-home guitar instructional videos. Earlier versions of the band included Scott Travis (Judas Priest) and Lonnie Vincent (BulletBoys). By 1986 he had assembled a new line-up of hired guns including future The Cult/GNR/Velvet Revolver drummer Matt Sorum.
Despite their glam appearance, Hawk were melodic heavy metal in the style of Dio (singer Fefolt has a great Ronnie James-esque voice), with Marks taking centre-stage with his kickass shredding.


Monday, December 21, 2015

Maximum - Just for Kicks (1989)

Country: USA
Year: 1989
Line-up: Jim Gray (vocals), Danny Kopko (guitars), Craig Lapointe (bass), John Blout (drums)

Track listing:
1.  Just for Kicks  
2.  Strictly Sexual  
3.  Candie Sweet  
4.  Lil' Liar  
5.  Dancer  
6.  Pennies from Heaven  
7.  Live It Up  
8.  Missing You  
9.  One More Shot  
10.  Here Come Those Tears  
11.  Baby Stay  
12.  Skin to Skin  
13.  Mistake  
14.  Paint Me a Picture
Fletchanator's comment: Maximum might have been from New England (Boston to be precise) but their sound was pure LA Sunset Strip sleaze. Unfortunately this, their only album, was shelved when their label, Enigma, went bankrupt, waiting until 2002 to be released on CD by German label Sunset Records. It's a shame, because this is great stuff - rocking song after glam-infused song. Recommended for fans of bands like Pretty Boy Floyd and early Poison.


Saturday, December 12, 2015

Trash Broadway - Trash Broadway (1989)

Country: USA
Year: 1989
Line-up: David Allyn Steel (vocals), Joe Stump (guitar), Nick Noieux (bass), Jay Gate (drums)

Track listing:

1.  China Blue  
2.  Bite The Hand  
3.  Eyes On You  
4.  Mankiller  
5.  Headchopper's Ball  
6.  Showdown  
7.  Victim Of Love  
8.  Dangerous  
9.  Wild Heart  

Fletchanator's comment: I don't know too much background on this one. It appears that Trash Broadway were another "one-and-done" band from the late 80s, based out of Boston. Guitarist Joe Stump went on to become a successful solo artist in the style of Yngwie Malmsteen, and his axe-work is the definite highlight on this album. The singing, song-writing and overall sound are solid but not spectacular - it's easy to see why they got lost in the shuffle. But Stump's shredding makes this one stand out from the pack - download it if you're a fan of hard rock with superior guitar-work, ala Dokken or Extreme.


Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Madam X - We Reserve the Right (1984)

Country: USA
Year: 1984
Line-up: Bret Kaiser (vocals), Maxine Petrucci (guitars), Chris Doliber (bass), Roxy Petrucci (drums)

Track listing:
1. High in High School (3:36)
2. Come One, Come All (3:06)
3. She's Hot Tonight (3:18)
4. Dirty Girls (2:56)
5. Max Volume (1:35)
6. Metal in My Veins (2:46)
7. Reserve the Right to Rock (3:12)
8. Good With Figures (3:44)
9. Cat's Got Your Tongue (3:33)
10. We Want Rock (2:56)
11. Stand Up and Fight (3:40)

Fletchanator's comment: There were plenty of glam metal bands with female lead singers, but it was far more rare to find one with a male lead singer and a female lead guitarist. Well, Madam X had that, as well as a female drummer and male bassist! And on top of that, they seriously rock!
The name Madam X is mainly known in hard rock circles as the band that Sebastian Bach was in immediately prior to joining Skid Row (they didn't release an album with that line-up), but before that Bret Kaiser was the front man, sounding a lot like a glammier version of Rob Halford. Today he's an Elvis impersonator and reunited with this line-up of Madam X in 2014 for a reunion concert and new single.
The female portion of Madam X is made up of the smoking-hot Petrucci sisters. Maxine went on to form her own band, Maxine, while Roxy gained the most fame of the four, forming the all-girl glam metal band Vixen.
Madam X is excellent glammy party rock in the style of early Motley Crue and Quiet Riot. Highly recommended!


Sunday, December 6, 2015

Backseat Romeo - Backseat Romeo (1993)

Country: USA
Year: 1993
Line-up: DR Rydher (vocals), CJ Tyler (guitars), Johnny Heart (bass), Bobby Quik (drums).

Track listing:

1.  Shoot 'Em Up  
2.  Gunshy  
3.  Keeps You Rockin'  
4.  Up All Night  
5.  Dreamchaser  
6.  Waiting On An Angel  
7.  Running Wild  
8.  Got It Good  
9.  Sight For Sore Eyes  
10.  Bad Boyz  
11.  Big Trouble  
12.  You Want What I Got  
13.  Dead End Street  

Fletchanator's comment: This Syracuse, New York-based quartet came along just before the grunge apocalypse and put out a pretty rockin' little album (which is pretty tough to find on CD). The production (on indy label Ice Productions) is a little rough around the edges, but the musicianship is tight and frontman DR Rydher (who still sings 80s metal in Syracuse for covers band 3 Inch Fury) has the necessary swagger and vocal stylings. Sound-wise, they remind me of early Bon Jovi, perhaps with a hint of the poppiness of the hair-metal mainstays of the time (Firehouse, Trixter, Warrant etc). Backseat Romeo don't offer anything too flashy, but guitarist CJ Tyler throws in some George Lynch-esque shredding in a few places. Overall a fun album to rock along to.


Saturday, December 5, 2015

Sister Whiskey - Liquor & Poker (1993)

Country: USA
Year: 1993
Line-up: Dennis Lee Duncan (vocals), Tyler Gentile (guitar), Jack Aurora (guitar), Rich Florio (bass), Greg E West (drums).

Track listing:
1.  Simple Man  
2.  Can You Satisfy Me  
3.  Moonshine  
4.  Keep Waitin'  
5.  I'd Lie to You for Your Love  
6.  Excuse Me  
7.  Count Me In  
8.  Sleepin' Your Life Away  
9.  Ain't 'Bout Love  
10.  Edge of the Night  
11.  Cryin' Inside  
12.  Don't Cha Know Ya Need It  
13.  Open Your Heart  

Fletchanator's comment: With lyrics like "We'll get some moonshine, grab a six-pack and head to the hills" you know what you're getting with Sister Whiskey - southern hard rock ala Four Horsemen, Black Crowes, Tesla etc. The sound on this, their only major label release (on Warner Bros, produced by Slaughter's Dana Strum), is upbeat and fun, kind of like if you took the aforementioned bands and mixed them with Trixter or Firehouse. The result is a highly-entertaining album that doesn't take itself too seriously. Good stuff!


Thursday, December 3, 2015

Update on links

As of right now, all of the links on this blog should now be up to date. If I've missed any, please let me know.

Reckless - Reckless (1994)


Country: Sweden
Year: 1994
Line-up: Patrik Axelsson (vocals), Robert Monegrim (guitar), Magnus Ostborg (bass), Johan Romert (keyboards), Stefan Orhamn (drums).

Track listing:

1.  Back in Town  4:05
2.  Mirror  3:15 
3.  Livin' Without You  3:19
4.  Give Me Your Night  3:57
5.  Spirit of the Night  4:00
6.  Stay  3:08  
7.  Got You On My Mind  4:52
8.  Get Excited/Rock the Nation  4:13
9.  Liar  4:07
10.  All Their Needs  3:23
11.  Crimes of Passion  3:48
12.  Give Her a Sign  3:57
13.  Can't Reach the Limit  4:08
14.  Living Without You bonus track  3:14
15.  Hot Sweet Lovin' bonus track  3:08
16.  Sally's Rime Give Her a Sign bonus track  0:26

Fletchanator's comment: The only full-length release by Swedish hard rockers Reckless, who offer a very polished sound. The guitar licks are great - this one definitely rocks, while keyboards add some AOR pomp to proceedings. Singer Axelsson has a voice that at times sounds like your typical hard rock vocalist, hitting all the high notes, but then at other times it has a raspy quality to it. Reckless remind me of a lot of other Swedish bands like Treat, Dalton and 220 Volt, with some Bonfire mixed in.
This CD was released by MTM Classix in 2004 and includes three bonus tracks - which are essentially the band's first EP.