CD Review: Brian Fallon “Sleepwalkers”

Brian Fallon
Island Records
Producer: Ted Hutt
Tracks: 12

Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars

Gaslight Anthem front man Brian Fallon is back with a brand new solo album titled “Sleepwalkers”. The twelve track album is being released via Island Records as was produced by Ted Hutt. As the follow up to Fallon’s 2016 solo debut “Painkillers”, “Sleepwalkers” continues on with the front mans raspy, old timey style long time fans have come to love.

Two parts Dylan and two parts Springsteen is how I like to best describe Brian Fallon’s music. “Sleepwalkers” fits that description perfectly as the albums twelve tracks blend the singer/songwriters love of folk and rock into one unique package. Much like Fallon’s previous works “Sleepwalkers” paints a lyrical picture of classic Americana elements as tracks like “Forget Me Not” and “Neptune” talk about lost love and missed opportunity while being sung against robust, upbeat instrumentation while, tracks like “Etta James” and “See You on the Other Side” feature a more scaled back folk like style which nicely showcases Fallon’s vocal style. Probably my favorite track off the album was the Clash esque “Come Wander with Me” which comes complete with a quasi reggae beat, a catchy chorus and, a line taken from the Clash’s song “Bank Robber” acting as the cherry on top of a proverbial music sundae.

“Sleepwalkers” might not be as strong of a release as its predecessor or when compared to some of Fallon’s previous other works however, the album certainly shows progression. As an artist Brian Fallon is not afraid to brave new ground or try things out of his comfort zone and his latest release is a testament to that. If you are looking for a nice mixture of poppy infused rock with classic folk elements then “Sleepwalkers” is the album for you.

Track Listing:
1.) If Your Prayers Don’t Get to Heaven
2.) Forget Me Not
3.) Come Wander with Me
4.) Etta James
5.) Her Majesty’s Service
6.) Proof of Life
7.) Little Nightmares
8.) Sleepwalkers
9.) My Name Is the Night (Color Me Black)
10.) Neptune
11.) Watson
12.) See You on the Other Side

CD Review: Reggie and the Full Effect “41”

Reggie and the Full Effect
Pure Records
Tracks: 14

Our Score: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Revered punk-rock project Reggie and the Full Effect will release their 7th studio album, “41” on February 23rd 2018 via Pure Noise Records. Serving as the solo project for Get Up Kids keyboardist James Dewees since 1998 Reggie and the Full Effect blend synth infused rhythms with a driving punk rock ferociousness which creates the perfect foundation for Dewees gravely vocal style.

With almost a five year lapse between Reggie’s 2013 release “No Country For Old Musicians” and their latest offering “41” I was quite anxious to hear what Mr. James Dewees had in-store for listeners this time around. Clocking in at 53 minutes “41” is a very deep and heartfelt album that is brimming over with emotion. Tracks like “Broke Down” and “New Years Day” hit hard lyrically as Dewees pulls directly from some very personal experiences. The album has plenty of lighter moments as well including tracks like “Karate School” the interstellar instrumental “Channing Tatum Space Rollerblading Montage Music” and “Trap(ing) Music” an industrial powered behemoth featuring James’ alter ego Klaus and Common Denominator which will surely have you chanting the comical chorus before the end of the song.

From start to finish “41” is the type of album I really enjoy listening to. From light to heavy and touching on all points in between both emotionally and stylistically “41” has something for everyone. Having listened to the album from start to finish several times over before writing this I just couldn’t and still can’t stop playing it. With 2018 just starting do yourself a favor and grab a copy of this album as I think its definitely going to be one of the bright spots in music this year.

Track Listing:
1.) IL Sniffy Incontra
2.) IL Pesce Svedese
3.) Alone Again
4.) Broke Down
5.) Heartbreak
6.) Karate School
7.) The Horrible Year
8.) New Years Day
9.) Maggie
10.) Channing Tatum Space Rollerblading Montage Music (feat: Fluxuation)
11.) You’ve Got Secrets
12.) Trap(ing) Music (feat: Common Denominator)
13.) And Next with Feeling
14.) Off Delaware

Be sure to check out our exclusive interview with James Dewees here for more info on the album.

CD Review: Power Trip “Nightmare Logic”

“Nightmare Logic”
Power Trip
Southern Lord Recordings
Tracks: 8

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Texas thrash band Power Trip is back with an all new angst filled album titled “Nightmare Logic”. As the follow-up to the band’s debut 2013 album “Manifest Decimation” the 8 track sophomore effort is being released via Southern Lord Recordings and continues on where its predecessor left off as a reincarnated version of the 80’s thrash sound.

Having caught these guys one night opening for Lamb of God I was instantly hooked as the band’s sound and energy commanded your attention as it was straight up thrash ala early Overkill and Anthrax. The group’s latest album “Nightmare Logic” continues on in that vein but with an injection of modern metal flare and accoutrements. Opening up the album is the lurching “Soul Sacrifice” a track which starts of being reminiscent of early Pantera before catapulting you head first in to the thrash sonisphere. The track then gives way for probably my favorite track from the album “Executioner’s Tax (Swing of the Axe). An infectious number with a chorus that quickly gets logged in your ear drums and with have you singing the line “Swing of the Axe” over and over again. As the album quickly progresses tracks like “Waiting Around To Die” and “If Not Us Then Who” all leave an undeniable stain on your senses as both songs feature the near perfect amount of vintage thrash DNA.

If you are a fan of the big four of thrash (Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer and Anthrax) and want to recapture the energy those bands provided with their earlier albums but, with a fresh/modern spin then the latest offering from Power Trip is sure to do the trick. First time listeners will also appreciate “Nightmare Logic” as the album is chocked full of great guitar riffs, tongue and cheek lyrics and slamming drum beats which offer repeated opportunities for solid head banging.

Track Listing:
1.) Soul Sacrifice
2.) Executioner’s Tax (Swing of the Axe)
3.) Firing Squad
4.) Nightmare Logic
5.) Waiting Around To Die
6.) Ruination
7.) If Not Us Then Who
8.) Crucifixation

CD Review: Cannibal Corpse “Red Before Black”

“Red Before Black”
Cannibal Corpse
Metal Blade Records
Producer: Erik Rutan
Tracks: 12

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Cannibal Corpse returns with their 14th full-length studio album titled “Red Before Black” an album which clearly shows the soon-to-be thirty-year death metal veterans are unstoppable! The album serves to not only to reiterate this but to once more raise the stakes, making it very clear who sets the standards when it comes to compelling music this is equally brutal and complex. With 2017 seeing a slew of stunning new releases from death metal’s old guard “Red Before Black” stands strong and is a fitting statement for a band whose career spans almost three decades.

Not for the faint of heart “Red Before Black” is the latest offering from death metal heavy weights Cannibal Corpse and much like previous releases from the Buffalo, NY natives the band burst out of the gate going directly for your face! Tracks like album opener “Only One Will Die” and “Heads Shoveled Off” feature bombastic blast beats and thunderous double bass courtesy of Mr. Paul Mazurkiewicz while tracks like “Code of the Slashers” and “Shedding My Human Skin” feature some of the most guttural, demon summoning growls by George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher. With the guitars and bass acting as the proverbial cherry on top of each of the albums 12 tracks “Red Before Black” is one of the bands strongest releases in the past 5 years.

Chances are if you are already reading this then you what Cannibal Corpse is about and are familiar with their sound. If not but, you are looking for some balls to the wall death metal then do yourself a favor and grab a copy of “Red Before Black”! As a band progresses through their career often times sounds and styles change but in the case of Cannibal Corpse the band’s latest offering is equally if not more aggressive than the band’s debut, proving that just because a band gets older doesn’t mean they have to slow down or soften up.

Track Listing:
1.) Only One Will Die
2.) Red Before Black
3.) Code of the Slashers
4.) Shedding My Human Skin
5.) Remaimed
6.) Firestorm Vengeance
7.) Heads Shoveled Off
8.) Corpus Delicti
9.) Scavenger Consuming Death
10.) In The Midst of Ruin
11.) Destroyed Without a Trace
12.) Hideous Ichor

CD Review: Motorhead “Under Cover”

“Under Cover”
Motorhead Music
Tracks: 11

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Despite the departure of founding member/front man Lemmy Kilmister in 2015 the legacy of the “Worlds Loudest Band” still remains. “Under Cover” the latest postmortem release from Motorhead Music is an 11 track collection of some of the bands best covers recorded between 1992 and 2015. “Under Cover” is signature Motorhead through and through with the same loud, raucous, raging rock ‘n’ roll sound that was synonymous with the band over the course of its 40 year existence.

Sure there are lots of cover albums out there but, is there a covers album done completely by Motorhead? Not until now! Taken from recordings made during the latter half of the bands career “Under Cover” is a gritty, grimy beast made up of some of rocks most notable songs performed the only way Motorhead knew how. Loud! From Judas Priest’s “Breaking the Law” and Ted Nugent’s “Cat Scratch Fever” to the unreleased version of David Bowies “Heroes” and a take no prisoners version of Metallica’s “Whiplash”. Over the course of 11 tracks listeners get an album that not only showcases Motorhead’s versatility and musicianship but listeners will also enjoy how the band added their own style while not straying too far from the originality of each track.

It doesn’t matter if you are a Motorhead fan or not as the group’s latest release is the kind of album you can throw on at a party and please just about everyone. At the core of “Under Cover” is a solid selection of songs that you can tell just by listening that the band really enjoyed. Go one louder with this release! Your ears will thank you.

Track Listing:
1.) Breaking the Law
2.) God Save the Queen
3.) Heroes
4.) Starstruck
5.) Cat Scratch Fever
6.) Jumpin’ Jack Flash
7.) Sympathy for the Devil
8.) Hellraiser
9.) Rockaway Beach
10.) Shoot’Em Down
11.) Whiplash

CD Review: Brendon Small’s “Galaktikon II: Become The Storm”

“Galaktikon II: Become The Storm”
Brendon Small
Megaforce Records
Producer: Brendon Small/Ulrich Wild
Tracks: 11

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Dethklok mastermind Brendon Small returns with part two of his interstellar space saga titled “Galaktikon II: Become the Storm”. Continuing on with the space-age themes of 2012’s original “Galaktikon” album, “Become the Storm” is a heavier, darker and more brutal sound. In addition to Brendon Small and Grammy-nominated producer/engineer Ulrich Wild “Galaktikon II: Become The Storm” features the distinct rhythmic powers of drum legend Gene Hoglan and bassist extraordinaire Bryan Beller. With uncapped time and creativity on their side, the aforementioned artists have created a heavy metal opus that Dethklok fanatics will covet and newcomers will add to the top of their playlists.

After a five year wait fans of Dethklok creator Brendon Small have something new to fill their ear holes. “Galaktikon II: Become the Storm” instantly pickups up where the albums predecessor left off. From the thunderous attack of the opening track “Some Days Are For Dying” to the hauntingly eerie “The Ocean Galaktik” which features Small’s departure from his signature gritty growls to an almost crooning like style which certainly adds to the tracks uniqueness. Closing out the album were probably my two favourite tracks from the release. “Could This Be The End” is a blending of heavy metal styles which almost sums up the creators musical range in one singular track and the instrumental “Rebuilding A Planet” which is very much in the progressive style of Steve Vai or Joe Satriani but with Small’s own unique approach making for a really enjoyable listen.

“Galaktikon II: Become the Storm” is a fitting follow-up to its predecessor. The album contains ample amounts of signature Small and his assembled crew of musicians as they traverse deeper into the “Galaktikon” universe. You never know where the next track will take you as it twists and turns over the fictional universe which makes for an exciting listen defiantly worth checking out.

Track Listing:
1.) Some Days Are For Dying
2.) Icarus Six Sixty Six
3.) The Agenda
4.) The Ocean Galaktik
5.) My Name Is Murder
6.) Become The Storm
7.) Nightmare
8.) Could This Be The End
9.) To Kill A God
10.) Exitus
11.) Rebuilding A Planet

CD Review: “Live at Wacken 2016: 27 Years Faster: Harder: Louder”

“Live at Wacken 2016: 27 Years Faster: Harder: Louder”
Silver Lining
4 Discs
Runtime: 271 minutes

Our score:  CD 2.5 out of 5 stars
BluRay/DVD 3.5 our of 5 stars

The ultimate heavy metal event-in-a-box is now available for fans to enjoy in the comfort of their very own home. “Live at Wacken 2016: 27 Years Faster: Harder: Louder” is a collection of some of the best performances from the 2016 Wacken Open Air festival held in Germany each yr. The double disc CD and DVD/BluRay features music from over 30 artists including Arch Enemy, Saxon and Bullet for My Valentine all packaged nicely in multi fold digipack.

No need for lengthy international travel or standing in a soggy bog along the European country side as “Live at Wacken 2016: 27 Years Faster: Harder: Louder” allows you to enjoy a majority of the Wacken Open Air festival from the safety and dryness of your own couch or recliner. Get comfortable as with a runtime of over four hours you are definitely in for a long haul especially if you plan to check it out from start to finish. If you want to skip around a little I highly recommend checking out the performances from Eluveitie, Bullet for My Valentine and Dio Disciples as they were easily my favorite. I also enjoyed the video version of this package a little more as it included in most cases a couple songs from each artist.

Invite a few friends over crack open some drinks and thrown on either the DVD/BluRay or the included audio versions of the release. Though a majority of the performances contained on the set are from European acts I wasn’t too familiar with there is still plenty of other material from bands I had heard before. Though I enjoyed seeing bands like Steel Panther and Saxon I think I had more fun checking out the bands who I hadn’t heard of because those performances were fresh and new to me. It’s always great to be exposed to new music and that’s certainly what “Live at Wacken 2016: 27 Years Faster: Harder: Louder” does. I do feel though that if you are a more casual metal fan there might not be enough familiarity included to warrant purchasing the cumbersome four disc set however, If you are a dedicated, die hard metal head that has yearned for the Wacken experience but couldn’t make the trip then this release is certainly for you as it gets you as close as you can be without actually being there.

BluRay/DVD Track Listing: Disc 1

1.) Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons- Big Mouth
2.) Profaner- Killing On Command
3.) Hamatom- Alte Liebe Rostet Nicht
4.) Auan- Pjaning Heillar Bjodar
5.) Saxon- Battering Ram
6.) Saxon- Heavy Metal Thunder
7.) Zombies Ate My Girlfriend- Appropriate Hate Crimes
8.) Vader- Triumph of Death
9.) Tsjuder- Demonic Supremacy
10.) Immolation- Despondent Souls
11.) Therapy? Screamager
12.) Michael Monroe- 78
13.) Orden Ogan- F.E.V.E.R.
14.) Orden Ogan- The Things We Believe In
15.) The Vintage Caravan- Expand Your Mind
16.) Bury Tomorrow- Man On Fire
17.) Entombed A.D.- Dead Dawn
18.) Equilibrium- But Im Auge
19.) Equilibrium- Born To Be Epic
20.) Die Krupps- Fatherland
21.) Axel Rudi Pell- Game Of Sins
22.) Axel Rudi Pell- Rock The Nation
23.) Ektomorf- Holocaust
24.) Girlschool- Take It Like a Band
25.) Lemmy- Born To Lose, Live To Win

Bluray/DVD Track Listing: Disc 2

1.) Torfrock- Trunkenbold
2.) Torfrock- PreBlufthammer B B-Bernhard
3.) Eluveitie- Tegernako
4.) Eluveitie- Havoc
5.) Bullet For My Valentine- Tears Don’t Fall
6.) Bullet For My Valentine- Waking The Demon
7.) Tarja- No Bitter End
8.) 1349- Sculptor Of Flesh
9.) Red Fang- Prehistoric Dog
10.) Unisonic- Unisonic
11.) Caliban- Paralyzed
12.) While She Sleeps- Four Walls
13.) Eskimo Callboy- Muffin Purper-Gurk
14.) Myrkur- Jeg er Guden, I er tjenerne
15.) Borknagar- Colossus
16.) Borknagar- Winter Thrice
17.) Metal Church- Gods Of Second Chance
18.) Therion- Sons Of The Sun
19.) Therion- Sons Of The Staves Of Time
20.) Steel Panther- Asian Hooker
21.) Steel Panther- Community Property
22.) Steak Number Eight- Black Eyed
23.) Triptykon- Morbid Tales
24.) Buffalo Summer- Money
25.) Barb Wire Dolls- Heart Attack
26.) Arch Enemy- War Eternal
27.) Budderside- Pain
28.) Dio Disciples- The Last In Line
29.) Dio Disciples- Stargazer

CD Track Listing: Disc 1

1.) Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons- Big Mouth
2.) Hamatom- Alte Liebe Rostet Nicht
3.) Saxon- Battering Ram
4.) Vader- Triumph Of Death
5.) Tsjuder- Demonic Supremacy
6.) Immolation- Despondent Souls
7.) Theraphy?- Screamager
8.) Michael Monroe- 78
9.) The Vintage Caravan- Expand Your Mind
10.) Bury Tomorrow- Man On Fire
11.) Entombed A.D.- Dead Dawn
12.) Equilibrium- Born To Be Epic
13.) Die Krupps- Fatherland
14.) Axel Rudi Pell- Rock The Nation
15.) Girlschool- Take It Like a Band
16.) Ektomorf- Holocaust
17.) Torfrock- PreBlufthammer B B-Bernhard
18.) Eluveitie- Havoc

CD Track Listing: Disc 2

1.) Bullet For My Valentine- Tears Don’t Fall
2.) Tarja- No Bitter End
3.) 1349- Sculptor Of Flesh
4.) Red Fang- Prehistoric Dog
5.) Unisonic- Unisonic
6.) Caliban- Paralyzed
7.) Eskimo Callboy- Muffin Purper-Gurk
8.) Borknagar- Colossus
9.) Metal Church- Gods Of Second Chance
10.) Therion- Sons Of The Staves Of Time
11.) Steel Panther- Community Property
12.) Steak Number Eight- Black Eyed
13.) Triptykon- Morbid Tales
14.) Buffalo Summer- Money
15.) Barb Wire Dolls- Heart Attack
16.) Arch Enemy- War Eternal
17.) Budderside- Pain
18.) Dio Disciples- Stargazer

CD Review: Royal Blood “How Did We Get So Dark”

“How Did We Get So Dark”
Royal Blood
Warner Bros.
Tracks: 10

Our score: 2 out of 5 stars

The UK Duo Royal Blood are back with their sophomore release via Warner Bros. Records titled “How Did We Get So Dark”. As the follow up to the bands successful 2010 release “Royal Blood”, the new album features 10 fresh tracks which were produce by the band along with Tom Dalgety and Jolyon Thomas.

Having caught Royal Blood when they opened for the Foo Fighters on their “Sonic Highways” tour I was instantly amazed at the sizeable sound these two guys were able produce. Needless to say I was instantly hooked. The band’s latest offering “How Did We Get So Dark” is a bit of a departure from the group’s self-titled release as I found it lacking the punch and grittiness of its predecessor. Tracks like “How Did We Get So Dark” and “Hole On Your Heart” feature much more robust instrumentation and production which I felt took away from the group’s signature bass, drums sound scape. Thankfully tracks such as “Where Are You Now” and “Hook, Line & Sinker” brought back some of the sound that originally appealed to me.

Though not an outright bad album “How Did We Get So Dark” is not what I consider a good album either. I applaud the band for stretching their legs while trying to expand on the limited possibilities of a two member group however, I think they may have strayed a touch too far from the signature sound that put them on the map making their latest offering one I just couldn’t get in to.

Track Listing:
1.) How Did We Get So Dark
2.) Lights Out
3.) I Only Lie When I Love
4.) She’s Creeping
5.) Look Like You Know
6.) Where Are You Now
7.) Don’t Tell
8.) Hook, Line & Sinker
9.) Hole In Your Heart
10.) Sleep

CD Review: Teenage BottleRocket “Stealing The Covers”

“Stealing The Covers”
Teenage BottleRocket
Fat Wreck Chords
Tracks: 14

Our score: 4 out of 5 stars

Teenage BottleRocket’s brand new album and their return to Fat Wreck Chords is complete! “Stealing The Covers” is the latest offering from the 4 piece punk band hailing from Laramie, Wyoming. Pulled from catalogs of bands TBR has toured with over the last 17 years the groups most recent offering is a unique collection of upbeat, tongue and cheek cover tracks that follow suit with the bands previous releases.

Having first heard about the possibility of this album during last years Warped Tour I was more than ready to check it out when the opportunity arose. Right off the bat I noticed that this wasn’t going to be just another punk cover album as while looking at the albums track listing a lot of the song titles where foreign to me as were the bands who originally performed them. No matter, I forged ahead and what I ended up finding was a fun, fresh and energetic album worth listening to multiple times over. Tracks like “Back and Forth”, “Robocop Is a Halfbreed Sellout” and, “Gay Parade” had just about I look for in a solid pop-punk tune.

From humorous lyrics and subject matter to catchy sing along choruses played with a Ramones like fury Teenage Bottlerockets “Stealing The Covers” is a great listen. Don’t let the bands decision to choose more obscure tracks cloud your judgment as I found not knowing some of the music only added to the appeal of the record and gave it a freshness other cover albums lack.

Track Listing:
1. The Way I Know (Varsity Weirdos)
2. Back and Forth (Hollywood Blondes)
3. College Town (Juke)
4. Don’t Go (The Scutches)
5. Robocop Is a Halfbreed Sellout (Sprocket Nova)
6. No Hugging No Learning (HEAD)
7. Shit Fuck God Damn (Artimus Maximus)
8. Gay Parade (The Gullibles)
9. It Came from the Radio (The Blendours)
10. Alien Motion Technology (The Mugwumps)
11. Hat Nerd (The Four Eyes)
12. My Very Best (The 20Belows)
13. I Kill Butterflies (Onion Flavored Rings)
14. Why the Big Pause (The Punchlines)

CD Review: M.O.D. “Busted, Broke & American”

“Busted, Broke & American”
M.O.D. (Method of Destruction)
Megaforce Records
Tracks: 12

Our score: 4 out of 5 stars

Legendary hardcore/thrash band M.O.D. are back with a brand new full-length album titled “Busted, Broke & American”. The album (the bands 10th) was 3 years in the making and over that course of time the band helmed by vocalist Billy Milano went through a variety of ups and downs and at the end reunited with Megaforce Records to release what could be considered M.O.D.’s most brash and in your face collection of songs to date.

Put this album on and prepare to be pummeled as NY hardcore staple Billy Milano and company come out with all guns blazing on the band’s latest release “Busted, Broke & American”. The track “The Final Declaration” whose gang vocal filled choruses chant “to war” is a staunch warning of what your ears are in for over the course of the next 11 tracks. As the album progresses listeners are treated to the in your face, pull no punches approach of Mr. Milano. Case in point the aptly titled “You’re A Fucking Dick” and probably my favorite track off the album “Busted, Broke & American” which shoves it finger straight into the chest of today’s society. Other tracks I found to stand out was the heavily punk influenced “Shattered Dreams & Broken Glass” and the shredding instrumental track “All Out of Bubblegum”.

Be ready to jump in the deep end as “Busted, Broke & American” is full on from the word go. Intense, thought provoking lyrics mixed with bombastic instrumentation make up each of the albums 12 tracks. With Milano going on record stating that this could in-fact be M.O.D.’s final record he and the rest of the band certainly gave their all leaving nothing on the table.

Track Listing:
1.) Eisenhower Was Right
2.) The Final Declaration
3.) You’re A Fucking Dick
4.) Busted, Broke & American
5.) Fight
6.) Hooligan
7.) Billy Be Damned
8.) Shattered Dreams & Broken Glass
9.) They
10.) All Out of Bubblegum
11.) Go Go Revolution
12.) Kennedy Speaks

Be sure to check out our exclusive interview with M.O.D. frontman Billy Milano here.

CD Review: Bad Cop Bad Cop “Warriors”

Bad Cop/Bad Cop
Fat Wreck Chords
Tracks: 11

Our score: 4 out of 5 stars

It’s been a hectic few years since Los Angeles punk quartet Bad Cop/Bad Cop dropped their debut full-length, “Not Sorry”. The band spent a huge chunk of their intervening time on the road like many bands do and in that time wound-up discovering some ugly things about themselves. Out of those experiences came a number of tracks which make up the band lasts release titled “Warriors”, the bands third album which features 11 new tracks which are once again being released via Fat Wreck Chords.

If the song titles and lyrics are just a glancing look at what was going on with Bad Cop/Bad Cop over the last few years it’s a miracle this album even happened at all. Thankfully things smoothed out with the four piece as the group’s latest offering “Warriors” is a gritty and searing album brimming over with pop-punk infused goodness making for a fun and enjoyable listen. Tracks like the albums opener “Retrograde” instantly had me moving with its sparkling guitar intro and catchy sing along chorus while songs like “Amputation”, “Wild Me” and the album’s title track “Warriors all hit with similar results.

Bad Cop/Bad Cop are living proof that good can come out of a bad situation and the group’s latest offering “Warriors” is a fitting testament to that statement. The band sounds better than ever and each of the albums 11 tracks has the potential to get stuck in your head for long periods of time. I found myself listening to the album multiple times and with each listen I was able to find something new to enjoy each and every.

Track Listing:
1.) Retrograde
2.) I’m Done
3.) Womanarchist
4.) Why Change A Thing
5.) Victoria
6.) Amputations
7.) Broken
8.) Wild Me
9.) Warriors
10.) Kids
11.) Brain Is For Lovers

CD Review: Doyle II “As We Die”

II“As We Die”
Monsterman Records
Tracks: 13

Our score: 3 out of 5 stars

Former Misfits guitarist Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein is back with a brand new full-length solo album titled II”As We Die”. The album which was initially recorded during the “Abominator” sessions will be the second release from Doyle via his Monsterman Records and once again features Cancerslug’s Alex “Wolfman” Story handling vocal duties over the course of the albums 13 macabre tracks.

Over the course of the last few years Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein or Doyle for short has been on a relentless pace of record, tour and repeat. Throw in a handful of Misfit reunion shows as well and it makes you wonder when the band has had time to sleep let alone put together another full length release. II “As We Die” is the second portion of what was intended to be a double album. Originally recorded during the sessions for “Abominator”, II “As We Die” is the result of those sessions amassing an impressive amount of quality material that the band felt warranted two separate releases. I couldn’t have agreed more with the decision as where “Abominator” sets the stage, II “As We Die” solidifies the band’s sound with darker subject matter and even heavier instrumentation than its predecessor. Tracks such as “Beast Like Me” and “King of the Undead” blast out of the gate kicking and screaming with a bombastic amount of force and energy while tracks like “Darkside” and “Virgin Sacrifice” are reminiscent of Michael Graves era Misfits giving the album an eerie since of familiarity while remaining new and fresh. Though I found the guitar hooks to be less prominent this time around Doyle’s latest offering is still everything you would expect from the annihilator wielding beast.

Track Listing:
1.) Kiss Me As We Die
2.) Beast Like Me
3.) God of Flies
4.) Run For Your Life
5.) Darkside
6.) Witchcraft
7.) King of the Undead
8.) Virgin Sacrifice
9.) We Belong Dead
10.) Show No Mercy
11.) Dark Gods Arise
12.) Blood on the Axes
13.) Night of Sin

CD Review: Alestorm “No Grave But the Sea”

“No Grave But The Sea”
Napalm Records
Tracks: 10

Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars

Ahoy, mateys! Gather ‘round for Alestorm’s 5th full-length album: “No Grave But The Sea”! An adventure filled to the brim with awesome pirate tales and party tunes from this trusted metal band. The album’s 10 new tracks contain a lot of what we know and love from Alestorm, but with some new added flair. There are plenty of great metal jams throughout, with just as many anthems and catchy choruses. The album embraces more use of harsh vocals on some tracks, blending them together with frontman Captain Chris Bowes’ great piratey vocals he’s known for.

Alestorm stays fun with jams like “Mexico”, which has a hilarious video, “Pegleg Potion”, and as to be expected their rager “Alestorm,” which is also a great blend of old and new in the band’s sound. Anthems are also present on songs like the title track and one of my new favorite Alestorm songs: “Treasure Island.” The whole albums leads you to an almost 8 minute long epic pirate metal masterpiece that has to be blowing out your speakers this summer.

Fans will love these songs paired with the rest of the band’s back catalog, adding more tales to the metal pirate journey. At some points the pirate tales begin to sound the same, but the band does a great job at really emphasizing on the newer additions. “No Grave But The Sea” is a ton of fun and definitely worth checking out. You can also catch Alestorm on Vans Warped Tour this summer!

Track Listing:
1.) No Grave But The Sea
2.) Mexico
3.) To the End of the World
4.) Alestorm
5.) Bar und Imbiss
6.) Fucked with an Anchor
7.) Pegleg Potion
8.) Man the Pumps
9.) Rage of the Pentahook
10.) Treasure Island

CD Review: Mastodon “Emperor of Sand”

“Emperor of Sand”
Producer: Brendan O’Brien
Tracks: 11

Our score: 4 out of 5 stars

Atlanta, GA rockers Mastodon return with their 7th studio album titled “Emperor of Sand”. The 11 track album is a dark and foreboding piece that revolves around the story of a desert wanderer who has been handed a death sentence. Produce by Brendan O’Brien (AC/DC, Rage Against the Machine) and released via Reprise Records “Emperor of Sand” serves as the follow up to the bands 2013 release “Once More ‘Round the Sun”.

Ever since seeing Mastodon play the second stage of Ozzfest in 2005 the band has always been able to catch my attention. “Emperor of Sand” did that and them some as the album runs the gamut of styles and sounds over the course of its eleven tracks. Tracks like the rawkus “Sultan’s Curse” and the catchy “Show Yourself” featured more straight forward arrangements while songs such as “Clandestiny”, “Scorpion Breath” and “Jaguar God” allow the band to stretch their legs some while showcasing a unique range and diversity through a variety of tones, texture and subject matter.

“Emperor of Sand” is an entertaining album which offers something a little different each time you listen to it. One thing that always seems to surprise me about Mastodon is that despite being only a four piece band they have a very immense sound capable of filling every nook and cranny of your senses. Combined with the members impressive musicality and the groups continued use of unique subject matter “Emperor of Sand” is a must have.

Track Listing:
1.) Sultan’s Curse
2.) Show Yourself
3.) Precious Stones
4.) Steambreather
5.) Roots Remain
6.) Word to the Wise
7.) Ancient Kingdom
8.) Clandestiny
9.) Andromeda
10.) Scorpion Breath
11.) Jaguar God

CD Review: Me First and the Gimme Gimmes “Rake It In: The Greatestest Hits”

“Rake It In: The Greatestest Hits”
Me First and the Gimme Gimmes
Fat Wreck Chords
Tracks: 17

Our score: 3 out of 5 stars

Everyone’s favorite punk rock cover band, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes have compiled 17 tracks spanning their 8 studio albums for their very first greatest hits album. Simply titled “Rake It In: The Greatestest Hits” the album documents the bands 20 years together through a variety of reworked pop, country and R&B hits that will have you immediately singing along singing along.

If you were at all keyed into the mid 90’s revitalized punk scene then you surely at some point came across Me First and the Gimme Gimmes. The band which consists of a variety of members from various Fat Wreck Chords bands including NOFX, Lagwagon and No Use For a Name have been putting their signature spin on pop culture tracks since their first official release in 1997. From John Denver’s American Classic “Country Roads” to Billy Joel’s “Uptown Girl” and Kermit the Frogs “Rainbow Connection” you get a little bit of everything the band has to offer in sleek package.

It was really great revisiting a lot of these renditions as it had been some time since hearing quite a few of these tracks. Each performance serves as a unique and fitting tribute to the originals making for an extremely fun listen. It would have been nice to have included some new material giving those who already have all the albums something more than just a glorified mix tape however, like the title implies why work when you can just sit back and “Rake It In”.

Track Listing:
1.) The Times They Are a-Changin’
2.) Rainbow Connection
3.) City of New Orleans
4.) Summertime
5.) All My Loving
6.) Straight Up
7.) Over the Rainbow
8.) Country Roads
9.) Sloop John B
10.) Jolene
11.) Uptown Girl
12.) Hats Off to Larry
13.) Desperado
14.) Lady
15.) San Francisco
16.) I Believe I Can Fly
17.) End of the Road