Search for the Hidden Gem (2013 – vol# 8)

Written by on November 22, 2013 in CD / DVD Releases, Music and DVD Reviews, Music Reviews, November 21, 2013 - Comments Off on Search for the Hidden Gem (2013 – vol# 8)

Oh fantasy football why do you have to treat me so badly?  I thought we were buds.

Louna “Behind the Mask”
Style (Rock / Metal)

This Russian band has an interesting concept at work with their new CD.  For starters this CD from Louna is essentially a re-release containing 10 tracks from their previous two CD’s with two key differences.  First, the songs were translated from Russian into English with the help of American producer and lyricist Travis Leake.  And second, the production mix was reworked in part by producer/engineer Dan Korneff (Breaking Benjamin, Papa Roach, My Chemical Romance, and Paramore).   Playing through the CD I’d put Louna sound somewhere between Godsmack and the first Disturbed CD.  Each of these 10 tracks is intense energy highlighted by powerfully expressive vocals from female vocalist (Lousine Gevorkian) who belts it out in a combat boot sexy aggressive style.  Not to be overlooked though is the gritty rough edge guitar work adding a tasty portion of gristle around a pounding bass and drum beat to complete the whole package.  A job well done by all involved reworking these songs to appeal to a much broader musical market.

Rating 4 ½ (Hidden Gem!!  This stuff sounds good cranked up in my truck) The Krypton Monkey

Style (Rock)

Had I gone into the record store and plopped down my paper route money I earned delivering The Washington Post at 4:30AM in 15 degree temperature in the winter freezing my ass for this CD because the artwork depicting Planet of the Apes battle armored warriors in the blood lust of war looked cool, and it does look cool, only to have my ears perplexingly shattered by an insipid classic rock coagulation I would have cussed you out Krypton Monkey and wrote your fan club a really, really nasty letter.  Here I thought the years had calmed the anger I felt when I bought a Molly Hatchet album because the artwork looked so cool only to be snake bitten by music nowhere resembling the artwork.  At least Iron Maiden is honest and true.  Sadly Krypton Monkey’s new CD brought back all those raw emotions and I’m still pissed off.  Ok, these guys do an acceptable job playing their classic rock style of music but the musical prowess compared to the CD artwork is about as exciting as a stuffed brassier on prom night.  Thankfully I don’t buy CD’s anymore and that paper route is long since gone.

Rating 2 (not too bad for classic rock)

Jimmy Gee “Rock Your Town”
Style (Rock)

I’m onboard with the rock and roll grooves and the nostalgic screaming high notes the singer hits ala 80’s metal in the title track “Rock Your Town.”  I also dig the change of pace track 6 “Arabian Girl” brings to the table with a slower, slightly dark vibe, and descent guitar work.  And I’ll give props to the short guitar solo in “Groupie Girl” but if it weren’t for the solo this song would really be lame.  However there’s just too much hunt and peck for my taste with this CD.  Plus the so called rock ballads and slow tempo songs are wasted filler and leave a terrible residue behind.  By the way Jimmy Gee, if the crappy bonus track stinks up the joint just end the damn CD, we’re good.

Rating 2 (I like more than I hated but the way it ended sucks dog balls)

 Seventh Tower “Self titled”
Style (Rock / Alternative)

In keeping with my rule about reviewing EP’s that strike a nerve (good or painfully bad) I’m gonna say I like what I hear from Seventh Tower.  These guys aren’t sticking their necks out being musical innovators in this genre but I like the intensity and strength of these five songs.  The songs are catchy without being filled with superficial hooks.  Seventh Tower’s sound has weightier balls and wants to rock, unlike Linkin’ Park, Blink 182, and their poser protégés .

Rating 3 (great job!)

Amaranthe “The Nexus”
Style (rock)

Thankfully airfare and extra bag fees are high and Amaranthe is booked solidly into next year playing gigs in Europe.  For now our borders and airwaves are safe from this Swedish bands juxtaposition fusing of pop with whatever melodic hard core metal they’re referring too on their website.  However we can’t let down our guard.  We must stay vigilant.  We must prepare and we must stock up on a few key essentials:  earplugs, BOSE noise canceling headphones, No Doz and Trader Joe frozen meatballs just in case our worst fears are realized – “The Final Countdown 2014!”  Yes, you read this warning correctly.  Both Amaranthe and Europe are from Sweden.  If this information falls into the wrong hands no IKEA grand opening will be safe from the parking lot tour.  Moms and Dads this is what happens when youngsters follow their karaoke dreams and end up missing out on going to trade school.

Rating 1