Artist: Scorpions Title: “Humanity Hour 1” Label: New Door Records Release Date: 8/28/2007 Genre: Hard Rock Rating: 4/5
Hard Rock concept albums are nothing new these days so why shouldn’t the venerated Scorpions give us their own take on the format with their newest album “Humanity Hour 1”. According to what I have read, the album’s premise tells of humans and androids in an do or die struggle for Earth and while I was incredibly intrigued by the subject matter being a diehard Science Fiction fan for many years, I admit a level of surprise by the lack of lyrics to read which could actually explain the tale to me as the music played. We get simple phrases from each song as opposed to the entire script along with some photos that show the Scorpions looking far younger than most of their audience. I quickly forgave them about this oversight when I realized that this was not the Scorpions that I had slowly grown complacent with over the last couple of albums as they instead presented one melodic rocker after another. Now let’s understand that there is nothing similar to “No One Like You” or even a “Rock You Like A Hurricane” in terms of hit potential on this album, but there is some really great stuff here that shows a band who is aging gracefully along with their long time fans. There is a heavy number in “You’re Lovin’ Me To Death” and this is also perhaps the quickest paced tune but its no “Coming Home”. Continue reading “Humanity Hour 1” by Scorpions→
Paul Stanley is the legendary front man of my favorite band in the world KISS and he delivered a rock solid solo performance at Irving Plaza which was discussed in full on THIS LINK. Now please enjoy the full photo gallery that was captured during the permitted time.
Artist: Paul Stanley Venue: Irving Plaza (New York, NY) Opener: Slunt Date: 10/28/2006 Label: New Door/Universal Music
Tonight was a night that KISS fans have been waiting for since 1989, as it has been that long since Paul Stanley had performed on a solo tour. He would choose Irving Plaza in New York City which guaranteed a level of intimacy to the attending and long sold-out crowd. Paul would be showcasing his first solo album in two decades “Live To Win” and choose as his band the members of the House Band for the hit television series “Rockstar: INXS & Supernova”. The opener for the set would be Slunt and together all of this combined would surely be a night to remember. Here is what an excited venue full of KISS fans got to experience.
I remembered catching Slunt as the opener for Motorhead sometime last year and at the time I felt that it was a badly matched pairing. The band had talent and a look – but to me could not generate the level of excitement needed for a Hard Rock Metal group like Motorhead. Yet tonight I would find myself feeling different, as the band led by Abby Gennet, a Rock & Roll siren if there ever was one, would truly impress me with their brand of high-energy Rock & Roll. The band features Pat Harrington (guitar), Chris Ruggiero (drums) and Jhen Kobran (bass) and all of them work perfectly with the kind of music Paul would be delivering tonight. They rock when it comes down to it, and they all look like they are having a great time onstage which is always what one should display during lively music. Their performance would focus on music from their debut “Get A Load Of This” and a sneak peek at some stuff on the forthcoming effort “One Night Stand”. Some people might remember Gennet from before, as she was a former MTV2 VJ. She simply decided that talking about Rock & Roll was not as fun as doing it. The group showed a great amount of personality onstage and we would find them after their set mingling with the audience at the merchandise booth and posing for pictures. This was a good mix of music and they are set to do most of the dates on Paul’s tour – it should help with sales of their new record I am certain.
Artist: Paul Stanley Title: “Live To Win” Label: New Door Records/Universal Music Release Date: 10/24/2006 Genre: Hard Rock Rating: 4/5
Paul Stanley of KISS is a man who needs no introduction as for over 30 years he has been the Starchild, a front man without peer, a legendary performer and the epitome of the words “Rock Star”. Paul is truly a man who has done it all and now to the delight of his millions of fans he has recorded and released his second solo album of totally new songs. Fans of KISS need not worry about this being a cloned record of his career highlights or a revisit to the killer solo album he released in tandem to the other KISS members in 1978, but instead will find a tasty and well-produced Hard Rock recording. Entitled “Live To Win”, the album starts off with a positive message on how to handle ones life and it is a classic sounding rocker. The album itself is full of mixed feels and this is probably because of the various writers Paul had helping him. The presence of Desmond Child, a long time writing partner of Paul’s is there and that is fine by me but I was left wondering why he felt the need to use other song-writers who are more geared to the contemporary Pop scene than to that of a classic Hard Rocker like Paul. Fans will not find the same impact on this recording like the old 1978 album, but this is because time and musical climate has changed since then. Songs like “Lift” sounds like something you would expect to find Evanescence doing but Paul’s pure and powerful voice makes this style work. “Bulletproof” and “Where Angels Dare” have some KISS-like vibe ala their “Crazy Nights” or “Smashes, Thrashes, Hits” years with a sleek and polished drive and highly catchy lyrical content. The key that all listeners must be aware of is the fact that this is NOT a KISS record, and just new music from Paul. His band is largely studio players but he also has former KISS band mate Bruce Kulick and John 5 handling some guitar. On the coming tour Paul will have the “House Band” from the hit television series Rock Star: INXS & Supernova. That should be exciting since those guys could play. Continue reading “Live To Win” by Paul Stanley→
Artist: Styx Title: “Big Bang Theory” Label: New Door Records Release Date: 5/10/2005 Genre: Rock Rating: 7.5
Styx is definitely one of the greatest arena rock bands of all time. I remember when I first heard tracks like “Lorelei” and “Come Sail Away”; these classic rockers were comparable to Progressive Rock before the term was widely used. In any case they really kicked it up a notch for Rock and Roll and their material has withstood the tests of time with some of it sounding fresh as if it were recorded today. Over the years the lineup has had some changes with lead singer & keyboardist Dennis DeYoung leaving several years ago. Drummer John Panozzo passed away while illness eventually kept bassist Chuck Panozzo from the rigors of touring. This left the band with Tommy Shaw and James Young as the only original members of the lineup. However, the two guitarists were not to let Styx and their music fall by the wayside as they filled in the spaces with some incredibly talented people. On drums came Todd Sucherman while bass would be handled by Ricky Phillips. Lead vocals and keyboards was now the task of Lawrence Gowan who is a capable man indeed in both of these areas. Continue reading “Big Bang Theory” by Styx→