CD Review: Stryper “No More Hell to Pay”

“No More Hell to Pay”
Producer: Michael Sweet
Tracks: 12

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Dust off those bibles and stretch out that black and yellow spandex because the boys in Stryper are back with a brand new album titled “No More Hell to Pay”. The new album which is the bands 9th studio album was produced by Stryper front man Michael Sweet and features 12 hard rocking, progressive tracks that are being released via Frontier Records.

When bands from the era of hyper color shirts, stone washed jeans and aqua net are still rocking some 30 years later I have to give it to them. With Stryper they are not only still rocking but they are putting out new material that pretty killer. Vocalist Michael Sweet has only gotten better with age and this is proven on tracks like “Saved by Love” and “Legacy” which features several Rob Halford type screams which could rival that of the man himself. Guitarist Oz Fox does a great job laying down some pretty intricate solos which only add to the progressive rock feel of the album. For those wanting something a little more familiar included on the album is a great updated rendition of the song “Jesus Is Just Alright” which was originally written by Arthur Reid Reynolds and made famous by The Byrds.

Having grown up in the 1980’s I am a sucker for anything that originated from that time period. Good or bad it doesn’t matter I still have to check it out. I was pleasantly surprised during my review of “No More Hell to Pay” because it had elements of a vintage 80’s record but was infused with modern day styling which I found quite appealing. Yes I could have done without some of the over the top biblical references but when you are listening to a band who used to throw out bibles during their live stage shows then it is to be expected somewhat. If you find yourself trolling the isles of your local record store (if it hasn’t closed down yet) or are surfing through iTunes and you want checkout a solid rock record then give the latest from Stryper a listen.

Track Listing:
1. Revelation
2. No More Hell to Pay
3. Saved by Love
4. Jesus Is Just Alright
5. The One
6. Legacy
7. Marching Into Battle
8. Te Amo
9. Sticks & Stones
10. Water Into Wine
11. Sympathy
12. Renewed

DVD Review “Crime Does Not Pay: The Complete Shorts Collection”

Directors: Zion Myers, Jules White
Number of discs: 6
Distributed by: Warner Archive
Release Date: July 6, 2012
Running Time: 1010 minutes

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

This release from Warner Archive comes with over 50 shorts running over 1000 minutes for the original MGM “Crime Does Not Pay” series. It is really a wonderful set and something that could have only been made by MGM in its heyday. The complete collection includes shorts from 1935-1947.  They are very unique and represent a very specific time in film history and in MGM’s history.  It also short showcases within in short with various different situations proving that in fact “Crime Does Not Pay”!

These B&W shorts looks fantastic on DVD, especially for their age.  Warner  Archive did a fantastic job of restoring and releasing this shorts to the public finally.  They are presented in full screen with an aspect ratio of 1.37:1. There is one bonus short included within the 50 called “Eyes of the Navy”. It is from 1940 and though not a “Crime Does Not Pay” short, it was released by MGM in theaters as part of the series.  Overall if you are a fan of classic shorts from Hollywood’s early days, this is something that you would not want to miss for sure.

The 50 shorts included are: Buried Loot Alibi Racket Desert Death Thrill for Thelma, A Hit and Run Driver Perfect Setup, The Fool Proof Public Pays Torture Money It May Happen to You Soak the Poor Give Till It Hurts Behind the Criminal What Price Safety Miracle Money Come Across Criminal is Born, A They’re Always Caught Think It Over Wrong Way Out, The Money to Loan While America Sleeps Help Wanted Think First Drunk Driving Pound Foolish Know Your Money Jackpot Women in Hiding Buyer Beware Soak the Old You, the People Respect the Law Forbidden Passage Coffins on Wheels Sucker List Don’t Talk For the Common Defense Keep ‘Em Sailing Plan for Destruction Patrolling the Ether Easy Life Dark Shadows Fall Guy, The Last Installment, The Phantoms, Inc. Gun in His Hand, A Purity Squad Luckiest Guy in the World, The EC: Eyes of the Navy.