As you can quite imagine most record companies are winding down about now and are off on their extended debauched holidays. As a result, there is a trickle of stuff coming in to be reviewed. But never fear, I have supplemented my take with a few things I picked up.
Faith & Fire – Acellerator
On paper this should be an excellent collection of tunes from a group consisting of former and current member of RIOT, Queen, and Meatloaf's touring band. As with many of these cases, the sum of all the parts does not necessarily equal the whole.
The first problem with the band is the one dimensional vocals of Tony Moore which are a bit much to take at times, especially when coupled with some of the dire lyrics on here. The first track is so dreadful, I found myself forwarding over it. The same thing goes for "Angel" with its cringe-worthy lyrics, a rarity for me for sure. This is coming from someone who was rather keen on Riot's Army of One release.
There are some good tracks on here like "Breathe" and "Radio Superstar" with its catchy chorus and melody. The musicianship on this CD is first rate but the songs just sound like leftovers that didn't make the first cut. Get the newie from Riot and give this a miss.
HIM – Dark Light
This one got by me when it was originally released, but I am glad I found it. It's more from a great band of pop goth hearthrobs. I am sure "Vampire Love" fills the dancefloor at goth clubs all over the world. Val has got a cracking voice with range and oodles of feeling. Another great track is the title track with its laid back almost A-Ha feel to it.
HIM does a wonderful job keeping their rock cred while releasing great pop-rock records that get the teenage girls swooning in unison. This is what goth pop is meant to be and it is no wonder the band is a worldwide smash.
Tokyo Dragons – Come on Baby (EP)
A seven track EP with three live songs and the video for the title track (amazingly daft and camp but fun nonetheless) is quite an impressive set. And the fact the tracks on here are cracking to a song helps matters quite a bit as well. If you love hair down tongue-in-cheek hard rock, then you will love this lot. The live tracks on here give you a slight sense of what they are like live and the rest of the CD continues to remind the hard rock fan of this lot's talent. Great rock and roll - no messin'.
Jeremy Clarkson – The Good, Bad and the Ugly
While not music, although it does have a good soundtrack, this is certainly heavy metal. Clarkson heads back to the US, a place with which he has a love/loath relationship, to pit some of the best of the European lot (mostly British to be honest) against "the best" of American output. He enjoys taking the piss out of the fact that American cars are not known for handling twisty roads terribly well.
He drives a myriad of American classics from both old and new Vettes, Mustangs, and Dodge's, to the latest Ford GT, and a couple of aftermarket Mustangs. Along the way he destroys a few rubbish Boulevardiers, as well as a Harley ("that is what I called a hog roast" he quips) and a caring and sharing enviro-weenie Toyota Pruis. He has a jolly good time throughout trying to keep his sneering going even when he is having lots of fun.
Clarkson is enjoyable to watch if you don't take him all that seriously. Amusing quips and some damn awesome cars makes for a fun hour plus. Oh, if the music annoys you can have an engine-centric audio version as well.
Well, that is your lot for this week. I have already gotten my first few for next year, a trickle which will pick up quite nicely in a few weeks.
If you can support live music where ever, when ever and what ever it happens to be. As ever, stay safe and rocking.