“Rockshocks” by Loudness

Artist: Loudness
Title: “Rockshocks”
Label: Crash Music
Release Date: 3/7/2006
Genre: Heavy Metal/Hard Rock
Rating: 2/5

When the band first appeared on the US Metal Scene I have to say that I was blown away by the power of some of their music for when they released “Thunder In The East” they were surely setting themselves up for musical success on this side of the ocean. Sadly, Loudness only rose so far in the eyes of fans and while they maintained a core fan base it never really escalated past that and to many the band was no longer interesting or being followed. The band formed originally by Akira Takasaki, Minoru Nihara, Masayoshi Yamashita and Munetaka Higuchi were excellent technicians musically, and were also able to deliver quite the catchy number every so often. Being from Japan this could not have been easy in terms of both the creation of such music and getting acceptance for it with an audience that was finding itself in a Heavy Metal surge that was incredible to behold. During the bands first adventures here we were finding Motley Crue holding strong with bands like Whitesnake, Dokken and Poison growing in popularity, and gaining levels of dominance over various sectors of fans. This release itself is a mystery to me for it is almost a greatest hits collection but instead of finding the tracks I remembered I found complete re-do’s of them. To be brutally honest they are less than stellar and it makes one wonder what brings a band to do this kind of stuff in the first place. We saw Twisted Sister do it with “Still Hungry”, the complete revisit to the original “Stay Hungry” since this was “how fans should have heard it in the first place”. After that dismal release I determined that this is probably done due to licensing and rights to the music that made the band the most success. Re-recording it gives the performer control over the music once again but cheats the listener from what they remembered and does not allow them to think back on the times that they first heard it.

There is no reason to redo one’s songs in my humble opinion as the band is older and more seasoned and often does not have the same recording luxuries that they might have been afforded in the past. This album sounds mostly muddy at sections and while Akira’s guitar playing is still the biggest highlight of their music, the whole presentation is lackluster when you examine the full album. I felt Minoru was straining and did not think that the drums kicked as far as their sound went. I have to say I would pass on this and hope for a re-mastered and expanded edition of the classic “Thunder In The East” because the only thing shocking to me on this album is in the level of boredom that I found myself in. Rock and Roll Crazy Night? Hardly.

Song Listing:
1. Loudness
2. Crazy Doctor
3. In The Mirror
4. Crazy Night
5. Esper
6. Like Hell
7. Lonely Player
8. Street Woman
9. Angel Dust
10. Rock Shock
11. The Lines Are Down
12. Milky Way
13. Mr. Yesman

Official Web site: http://www.loudness.jp/

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