Welcome back to the land that never stops rocking.
Yet another tribute album lands, this time called Re-Machined, which is a tribute to Deep Purple’s album Machine Head. For the most part the covers on here are not that bad. You do get two songs twice to pad out the album. And one of those doubles is the worst cover version of anything I have ever heard. The Flaming Lips’ putrid version of “Smoke on the Water” should have been left to the last track and not stuck in the middle to ruin the flow of this album. The other double is “Space Truckin’.” To be honest, this one is for completists only.
Dare have released Calm before the Storm 2 and it is as good as its name-sake. In fact, according to Darren Warren, Dare’s mainman, and sometime/current Thin Lizzy keyboardist, it is better than original because it was recorded as he wanted. Possibly only the true fan will notice the difference, but it does include tracks in the form of “Precious” and “Cold Wind Will Blow”. Call it a slight tweak on a classic AOR release.
Pride of Lions are back with an album called Immortal that just oozes class and quality. Like House of Lords, this bunch churn out melodic AOR with ease. The songs are catchy and a tiny bit cheesy, but no less enjoyable. If you want something that is damn good, but not too in your face, then check this album out. I defy you not to be singing along on the second listen through.
Kix’s Live in Baltimore is the latest release from this vastly overrated band. They were rubbish live back in the day and this shows it in its glory. “Blow My Fuse” is just as dumb as it always was, but no less catchy and crude. And their “hit” ballad “Don’t Close Your Eyes” doesn’t stand the test of time as well as similar songs of the day. Krokus always did similar stuff so much better than these guys. A release for fans only.
Dokken’s new release Broken Bones is a surprising return to form. Don Dokken’s voice sounds as good if not better than it has ever been. The album hints at the band’s heyday without merely cloning their hits as an excuse to tour. The songwriting on here is first rate and there are tracks that clearly stack up to their best. Those thinking the lack of George Lynch in the band would hurt the quality of the tracks are proven wrong. A must for fans of the band and anyone who ever liked Dokken. A welcome and pleasant return for this LA band.
Downspirit come at us with Bulletproof? and it ain’t a bad affair. While it drifts into Nickelback territory on some tracks, overall it is just a decent hard rock album. The songwriting is probably not where it should be yet and the tracks can sound a bit samey. There is something there that is hard to ignore. Certainly a band to watch as they evolve into something really good.
Well that is your melodic lot for this week. Rockgards to you all and stay safe.