Search for the Hidden Gem (2010 – vol# 10)

Written by on December 9, 2010 in December 9, 2010, Music and DVD Reviews, Music Reviews - Comments Off on Search for the Hidden Gem (2010 – vol# 10)

Load up the buckshot it’s turkey season!!

Herman Ze German

“Take It As It Comes”
Style (Rock)

Look out, train wreck ahead!!  I thought the latest solo CD from Joe Perry was awful enough but I have found a successor and may have to start a subcategory for veteran artist’s solo projects that should have been scrapped before they begun.  There are so many things horribly wrong with this CD it’s best just to jump in.  First off, where is the vampire motif cover art coming from because there’s absolutely nothing within the music or lyrics remotely befitting this persona?  I smell a Twilight fan.  Same applies to the black gothic moody persona Rarebell is modeling, which too doesn’t fit the music.  We all know being fashionable can help sell the music but this is completely misguided packaging from a musician with 20 years experience playing with the Scorpions.  Next up for the Gong Show buzzer is the mid-high pitch scratchy vocal style coming from Stefan Erz who sounds like the high pitch Bud Light Real Men of Genius singer after a hard night of drinking, doing blow, and chain smoking a couple packs.  Erz’s vocals are so unpleasant to listen to I’d really like to hear the karaoke lounge singers who didn’t make the cut.  But thankfully Rarebell decided to provide his joyously stunning spoken word vocals on three tracks to make this an all around example of what not to do with the vocals.  Luckily there are a couple instrumentals on the CD to provide a respite from the vocal nightmare.  But I can’t quite call off the dogs yet because Rarebell saw fit to include a remake of the classic Scorpions hit “Rock You Like a Hurricane,” which is just an absolute abysmal destruction of a killer rock song.  Shouldn’t a veteran musician know better, or am I expecting too much?

Rating 1 (Going by Herman Ze German ain’t gettin’ it done)

Taddy Porter

Self titled
Style (Southern / Blues / Rock)

I love how the first track, “Whatever Haunts You,” races out of the block, but am disappointed how the CD looses steam after the fourth track and doesn’t leave enough in the tank to finish strong.  With its killer blues rock groove, sleazy grinding guitars, driving beat, and scratchy vocals, the first track really got my attention, but with the exception of track 3, “Shake Me,” the rest of the tracks just lay there not doing much for me.  Having said this though, I’m not ready to write this band off yet because past experience has taught me this style of music is built for the stage.  But since these guys aren’t on call jamming in my living room I’m left to loading only two songs onto my iPod.

Rating 2 ½ (some potential)

Red Line * Chemistry

“Dying For a Living”
Style (Alt / Indie / Rock)

I hear a whole lot of STP and Alice in Chains in this band’s sound, which is great if that appeals to you, but it’s a real tough sell for a band not related to their famous brethren unless moonlighting as a tribute band (Stoned Alice).  In these 11 songs I can hear that Red Line Chemistry wrote music with depth, muscular rhythms, nice riffs, and a strong beat, but commercially I’m not hearing the necessary hooks needed to move merchandise and garner radio support.  But what I really despise is the accompanying misguided rambling bio entitled “An Anecdotal History” that has me shaking my head asking WTF.  Give it to us straight with formulated progressing sentences ending in a specific point, and not in muddled paragraphs desperately requiring focus and a rewrite.

Rating 2 (keep the RV gassed up because we’re not stopping here)

Danko Jones

“Below The Belt”
Style (Rock / Indie)

These 11 songs have a killer groove!! Each track is straightforward, in your face with plenty of piss and vinegar attitude, sex appeal, booty shaking rhythms, and sing out loud choruses.  What I’m really diggin’ is how each song is so intensely driven by the belted out punk style vocals and matter of fact lyrics; a brash masculinity that’s often missing from rock and roll these days.  Jones’ song writing represents someone with a monster size chip on his shoulder and he’s going to shove his point down your throat whether you like it or not.  Many songwriters have something to prove but to write music with killer lyrics that stick in your head is a true talent.  Some things to look forward to: the first track, “I Think Bad Thoughts,” kicks down the door and pushes the stereo to 11, “(I Can’t Handle) Moderation” has the party jumping around, and “Like Dynamite” and “Active Volcanoes” get the panties off.  And who doesn’t like cowbell?  We need more cowbell – Christopher Walken!

Rating 4

Equal Loudness Curve

“Let it Roll”
Style (Indie / Rock / Alt)

This has the characteristic and feel of a garage rock band determined to be different and stay out of the mainstream remaining true to their blues roots.  The sound is raw, unpolished, unfiltered, thin in the bottom end, and reminds me of stereoized audio converted from a mono mix.  In a picture there’s a vintage Fender amp that I hope isn’t just for show because the classic rough grinding guitar quality from that amp, along with the Billy Corgan esq style vocals of Trevor Knox Millar, are the backbone to this band’s bluesy characteristics.  Though the song writing doesn’t reflect commercialism, track 6 “Don’t Waste Your Time” I feel is the band’s most commercial song.  But what I’m drawn to is the vintage bare bones roughness and I would love to hear how Equal Loudness Curve sounds live.

Rating 3 (not diggin’ the band name)