We start off with something I received on disc, unusual these days, and it is from Deep Purple. Recorded in Oz on the Abandon tour, it is called Total Abandon Australia ’99. One of the nice things about this release, it still has keyboard legend Jon Lord playing on the tracks. As you would imagine this is a mixture of new and old tracks. Whether you need another live Deep Purple album is entirely up to you, good though this is on its own merits.
There is yet another live release from The Jeff Healey Band called Live in Belgium. This one comes with both a CD and a DVD with the same tracks. It was filmed in 1993 and features all the songs you know and love from the blind guitarist and his band. It ends with a damn good version of George Harrison’s “While My Guitar Gentle Weeps.” This a good addition to the JHB musical collection and worth a listen.
A new supergroup released its debut and boy, is Unisonic good. Then again, on their self-titled Unisonic, we get to hear the talented voice of Mike Kiske who used to front Helloween. He is joined by a current and former member of Pink Cream 69 and this band sounds a heck of a lot like those guys. Of course, the irony is that Helloween pinched Pink Cream 69′s vocalist when Kiske left. Oh, and Kai Hansen, also ex-Helloween, is a member of the band in addition to Mandy Meyer of Krokus fame. If you every wondered what a merger of Helloween, Gamma Ray, and Pink Cream 69 would sound like, this is the band for you. This is a great hard rock album and an absolute pleasure to listen to.
Another band that really got under my skin is Freak Kitchen with their album Land of the Freaks. Imagine Extreme without the Queen posturing. There is a funk vibe to this album but it never gets overpowering. “Hip Hop Hoorah” has got some great jazz funk on it and is very catchy. It is all very listenable and fun. “Sick” is another great track. This album was originally released in 2009 and has been re-released in anticipation of their newest album. It is groove rock at its best and most listenable.
There are a couple of welcome returns to talk about this week. Tyketto and Trixter have both produced damn good albums that retain what we loved about them while still sounding fresh. Trixter, who were always accused of being a pop rock “boy band”, have shown that they have aged well as songwriters and musicians. New Audio Machine is a decent rock album that is worth a listen. Considering this their first collection of original music since 1992, it is big news.
Tyketto, fronted by Danny Vaughn and his great voice, have Dig in Deep up for grabs and it sounds very much like new country. It’s solid American hard rock with not one duff track. Considering they originally hail from New York City, that is quite an accomplishment. Then again, the Vaughn-fronted Tyketto have consistently released good material and deserve to be better known.
Crazy Lixx have released a dumb, fun and full of it album with Riot Avenue. The lead-off statement of attitude is called “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot” after all. The title track is snarly rock at its best. If you miss the days of Faster Pussycat and LA Guns at their prime, then these guys might be your cup of whiskey. Funny thing is they come from Malmö, Sweden, not the sleaze-drenched Sunset Strip.
On that guyliner-fueled note, it is time to wrap this sucker up. Stay safe & rocking out there.