Gnash Rambler [Explicit]

Gnash Rambler

Gnash Rambler

Freakpuller Records

Release Date: March 31, 2017

Vancouver punk outfit Gnash Rambler’s debut rocks with the tight power of a veteran group.  Maybe it’s because these guys have been around the block already as members of bands such as Betty Kracker, the Pet Fairies and Facepuller.  Their powerful no frills rock pulls influences from notables such as the Misfits, Husker Du, Motorhead, and Canadian kings of punk rock DOA, all of which are displayed proudly.  The quartet serves up twelve songs of aggressive rock that are sure to bring new fans into the fold. 

“No One Gives A Fuck” opens this album with a Misfits style verse that’s reminiscent of the lighter side of the Earth AD album, and smoothly transitions into a Husker Du influenced chorus that would make Bob Mould proud.  The nods to classic punk bands start early, and continue throughout the release.  “Dues and Don’ts” brings to mind DOA and Screeching Weasel.  “Buick Spider/Beyond Our Means” summons the ghosts of the Ramones and Motorhead, with a bit of southern rock flair thrown in.  Rock and alternative influences run through these songs as well, with “Jello Mold” owing a bit of its swagger to Sublime, and “Bad Karma” being a perfect rock track.  Gnash Rambler walks the line between punk rock and post punk rock n’ roll, executing both genres impressively. 

There’s a lot to like on Gnash Rambler’s debut.  Every song is shows an expert execution that belies the album’s status as an initial release.  The vocals are clear and powerful, and the band never lets the energy falter.  While most of the songs mine the best of punk gone by, there is a steady current of straight-ahead rock that flows through every track.  The end result is a riotous set of songs that sound mature, rehearsed, and the perfect mix of punk chaos and slick rock.  Gnash Rambler’s self-titled release is an incredible slab of punk rock that will take the world by storm.

Reviewed by Jim 1340

 

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#GnashRambler #FreakpullerRecords #PunkRock #PostPunk #Jim1340

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Art of Anarchy

The Madness

Century Media

www.CenturyMedia.com

Release Date: March 24, 2017

Formed in 2011, Art of Anarchy got off to a complicated start. Comprised originally of brothers Jon and Vince Votta, Disturbed’s Jon Moyer, and Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal alongside vocalist Scott Weiland, their debut album was met with mixed reaction largely due to Weiland’s public denial of his role in the band. While I initially felt that we had heard the last of this supergroup, they returned with The Madness, and new vocalist Scott Stapp. And what a return. What a return.

The Madness is not at all what I expected. Right from the start, it’s got that huge, crisp sound with just a little bit of edge that I am a total sucker for. Where Weiland took the songs on the first album into darker, more alternative territory, Stapp does exactly the opposite here. Stapp helps these songs rise up into anthems. “Echo of a Scream,” “A Light in Me,” and “Dancing With the Devil” are as anthemic as they come and you can’t help but smile and sing along.

This album is far from a one trick pony though. The brilliant guitar work on “Won’t Let You Down” takes you from technical to riff heavy seamlessly, while “1,000 Degrees” is a heavier-edged stomper with a headbanging chorus.

“Changed Man” and “The Madness” are the highlights here in my opinion though. They are both spectacular lyrically and it makes them really easy to connect with. “Changed Man” is a desperate plea for reconciliation that comes in the form of a big, Creed style, arena rocker. It’s an emotional roller coaster that you’ll say you don’t like and then secretly listen to over and over. Meanwhile, “The Madness” seemingly deals with Stapp’s very public battle with his mental health. It’s a brave tune that is brought to life by some fearless guitar work and a rhythm section that would make the Scorpions jealous.

Everything about this album is inspired sounding, from Stapp’s powerful, perhaps career defining, performance to the musical void the songwriting fills. The Madness is an easy contender for Album of the Year and goes a long way in reminding fans how great of a vocalist Stapp can be and how underutilized Thal was in GNR, among other things. The songs here are very intimate lyrically and the deeper it gets the more the songs soar. If you love anthems then this is an album you do NOT want to miss.   

 

Reviewed by mark1340

#CenturyMedia #ArtofAnarchy #Disturbed #Creed #ScottStapp #Bumblefoot #Mark1340 #1340mag

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Tokyo Motor Fist

Tokyo Motor Fist

Tokyo Motor Fist

Frontiers Records

http://www.frontiers.it/

Release Date: February 24, 2017

Tokyo Motor Fist is the new project from Danger Danger’s Ted Poley and Trixter’s Steve Brown alongside the rhythm section of Chuck Burgi (Rainbow, Blue Oyster Cult, Joe Lynn Turner) and Greg Smith (Ted Nugent, Alice Cooper, Rainbow). If you have ever wondered what a cross between Danger Danger and Trixter might sound like, the answer is right here.

First off, I’d like to note the superb production here. Now, younger fans may disagree with me but the eighties had some really well-recorded albums that sound unique to this day. Production wise, and somewhat in the songs themselves, this is sonically in line with old Bon Jovi, Ratt, and Def Leppard records. It’s got front and center guitars with just enough grit to be legit, huge vocals, and a timekeeping rhythm section giving some backbone to it all. I’m pretty neutral when it comes to production value (different strokes for different folks) so the fact that this makes me drool all over myself says a lot!

Hands down, my favorite track here is “Put Me To Shame.” It’s got screaming guitar work, a spectacular vocal performance, and a great Rock and Roll hook. It’s got the same kind of edge that made Def Leppard’s pre-Hysteria records so amazing. Listening to it makes me feel like it’s 1986 again, and honestly, I could feel that way forever. “Done To Me” follows it up with another edgy rocker that focuses on explosive vocals, an arena style rhythm section performance, and big ol’ guitar riffs that make you want to dust off your air guitar. “Shameless” is another highlight in my opinion. It shows a little bit of the more radio-ready aspect of the band with a big, bright riff, positive lyrics, and a chorus that will stick with you long after the song is done. Folks, they don’t make many like this anymore.

I truly dig this record. I enjoy Trixter and Danger Danger both, but this is a whole other level for these guys. Ted Poley really takes Steve Brown’s riffs over the top and I can’t help but compare it to pre- New Jersey Bon Jovi, pre-Hysteria Def Leppard, and the last couple Ratt records. Everything is just big, bright, and absolutely pristine- from production to performance. If you hate/hated the eighties then this is not for you, fortunately for the rest of us Tokyo Motor Fist is exactly what we didn’t know we needed!

Reviewed by mark1340

 

 #EightiesStillRule #TokyoMotorFist #DangerDanger #Trixter #FrontiersMusic

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Unruly Child

Can’t Go Home

Frontiers Records

http://www.frontiers.it/

Release Date: February 24, 2017

Unruly Child were one of those bands that came along towards the end of the eighties Radio Rock era. Despite their talent, they really didn’t have the success of the band’s that came just before them. Still they held on throughout the nineties with various lineups before disbanding. Since re-emerging in 2010, the band have been putting out some quality material and their latest album, Can’t Go Home, is a great big slab of Radio Rock that will remind you of better days.

So this album starts out on a much lighter note than I was expecting with “The Only One,” which boasts a big, slick eighties flare. I like the song but I was hoping for an immediate punch. Much of the album is big keyboards, smooth harmonies, and great guitar work. I will admit that it took me a couple of listens before it really sunk into my psyche. The subtle brilliance of songs like “Driving Into the Future” and “See If She Floats,” are evident on repeated listens. You have to wade a little through the airy keyboards and tight harmonies, but once you settle in the masterful guitar work and stunning vocals start to really shine, especially on “See If She Floats.” “Point of View” is probably my favorite moment here, reeling you in like all great anthems do while allowing the guitars to get a little dirtier and a lot more prominent without losing its radio friendly grandeur. Vocally, Marcie Free has outdone herself here, reminding me of how versatile and professional singers used to have to be.

Overall this is an excellent ride if you love bands like Harem Scarem, Toto, Survivor, and the like. Can’t Go Home is full of low-key anthems, pristine production, and impressive musicianship and will certainly appeal the most to fans of radio-friendly vibes. 

Reviewed by mark1340

#UnrulyChild #RadioFriendly #FrontiersMusic

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Danko Jones

Wild Cat

AFM Records

Release Date: March 3, 2017

www.DankoJones.com

Living in Buffalo, NY from 1997-2003 was a great musical experience for me. One of those reasons was the close proximity to Toronto, ON. The Canadian music scene has always been full of great Rock bands and during this time there were few bigger Northeastern bands than Barenaked Ladies, Our Lady Peace, Tragically Hip, The Tea Party, and, of course, Danko Jones. While BNL and Our Lady Peace went on to sell millions, the others continued to be some of the most popular bands in the Northeast. Danko Jones were always one of my personal favorites and they have only gotten better with age.

Wild Cat is about as true blue Rock and Roll as they come, the perfect blend of nineties Metallica and seventies Thin Lizzy. For example, the title track is a bombastic ode to the Thin Lizzy sound with a distinctly Danko Jones spin. It’s got a barroom bounce to it and a big ol’ chorus that makes the boys shake their fists, and the girls bounce their chests, to the beat. “You Are My Woman” is a desperate sounding love song that turns into a Classic Rock anthem with Rick Springfield riffs and sing-along choruses. “Revolution (But Then We Make Love)” and “Success in Bed” (which includes the plea “Don’t stress! Undress!”) have a heavier edge to them with giant riffs and gritty vocals that are pleasurable reminders that down and dirty Rock and Roll’s future is in very capable hands.  

I always enjoy what this band serves up but Wild Cat is a particularly energizing record. It’s all killer, no filler as we used to say. Wild Cat doesn’t let up from the first note to the last and I honestly can’t recall the last time I heard an album that played like that (but it was probably a Motorhead record). If musically satisfying, irreverent, Rock and Roll is what you are looking for then you need Danko Jones’ Wild Cat in your music collection.

Reviewed by mark1340

 

 #AFM #DankoJones #mark1340

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