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The Winery Dogs
Loud & Proud
Release date: October 2, 2015
Most of the “super groups” that are assembled are only together long enough to record an album and then they are all on to different projects. The Winery Dogs are an exception to that philosophy, seeing as how they have just released their sophomore album Hot Streak. Consisting of Richie Kotzen (Poison), Billy Sheehan (Mr Big, Talas, David Lee Roth, Steve Vai) and Mike Portnoy (Dream Theatre, Metal Allegiance) they have taken what they started with and have added so much more. This effort definitely shows just how diversified as musicians The Winery Dogs really are.
The First track “Oblivion” has a very familiar feel to it. Mr Big comes to mind with almost an “Addicted To That Rush” feel, and showcases some amazing guitar and bass cross play. Do not however think that this song sets the mood for the rest of the album. “Captain Love” is a big, hooky AC/DC style rocker and Richie Kotzens voice (which is almost a Sammy Hagar/Bono mix) definitely accelerates the pulse. “How Long” starts off with an explosive bass riff-fest courtesy of Billy Sheehan and then morphs into a Stevie Ray Vaughn style blues riff. It is an exceptional song for anybody that enjoys blues or progressive rock. The intro to “Empire” will definitely take you back to the days of “Shaft” but don’t fast forward through this as it morphs into a no excuse rocker with a catchy as hell chorus.
“Fire” is not what I expected. After all the faster rockers this track starts off with piano and acoustic guitar. It is very laid back and an amazing showcase of Richie’s virtuosity. The gypsy inspired guitar lines stand out and make this one of the best tracks on this album in my opinion. “Devil You Know” again is a hard, fast paced rocker with an eighties feel. It’s a good example of what rock and roll is supposed to be. This album closes with “The Lamb” which start off with a 70’s/ gospel feel and then morphs into an upbeat, mid-paced rocker with and exceptional use of odd meters. The chorus is again hooky as hell and will keep you singing it long after you have turned the song off.
The sophomore jinx is definitely not present with The Winery Dogs. This album is just as strong as the first and really, with all the talent that the three members possess, who would expect anything less. This is a nice refresher course on how to write some great songs and how to properly use hooks to make them memorable. It’s a very strong outing and beyond a shadow of a doubt this album will appeal to a wide demographic. To sum it up, one listen to The Winery Dogs and you’ll be hooked.
Reviewed by Dave 1340