Label: Big3 Records
Release Date: 6/6/2006
Cheap Trick has always proved to be a consistent source of quality Rock and Roll and with “Rockford”, they have done it once again. This album would be their third release outside of the major label arena and come to the fans care of Big 3 Records. “Rockford” starts off with “Welcome To The World” and it’s a jumping opener that delivers the same kind of energy that the band gives their fans on the concert stage. “Come On” is one of those quick typical sing along tracks that the guys excelled at and while radio has not seen a Cheap Trick hit since “The Flame” I found “Perfect Stranger” and “If It Takes A Lifetime” would have been perfect material for the medium. The terrestrial radio world is far different from the time it regularly had Cheap Trick music showcased on it and now as a result perhaps the growing Satellite stations and cable music feeds is the best idea for this band going forward. The lineup is again the originals with Robin Zander (vocals), Rick Neilsen (guitar), Tom Petersson (bass) and Bun E. Carlos (drums) – I think it’s fantastic to see that after all these years that the band still delivers and has not been through 10 membership changes. It keeps the vibe that they started long ago running just as fresh and fun as it always had been. There is a cute booklet that features the animated caricatures of the group and despite their music and lyrics being very catchy and easy to remember they did not include lyrics to the songs. I feel this would have locked the piece up for me yet overall it is a very consistent album and for a band around as long as Cheap Trick there is nothing else that I expected of them.
Continue reading “Rockford” by Cheap Trick
Venue: Mulcahy’s (Wantaugh, NY)
Label: Big3 Records
It’s not normal that I head out to see a band once again only a few days after catching them in my immediate vicinity but the chance came up for me to have a ticket for the bands performance that was happening on Long Island that night so I took my friend up on the offer of attending. We started the trek at Penn Station where I grabbed a giant hot pretzel and it was quickly onto the train and off to Wantaugh, NY to the club called Mulcahy’s. By my recollection I had only been here once before and that was for Michael Schenker Group but I did love the place. They have a spacious venue and a great PA system. There is also a little bit more roomy in terms of the stage so the bands can move around a little more. Once the trek out to the venue was completed, and to be honest it is a long ride from NYC, we arrived just in time for what we expected to be another early show. The NYC appearance was at 8:00 with no openers but tonight we would find two opening bands and one was getting ready to start. The band Garlic was interesting and they combined an almost Cheap Trick style with some Beatles harmonies. I found it fun to realize that bassist Randy Gregg who had just completed tours with Thin Lizzy and Angel was among the lineup. Stryper would come up shortly after this bands set and while the audience was nice to Garlic, you just knew who they were here for. There were Stryper jacket paintings and shirts everywhere. I even saw a few people who I had spoken to only days before in the Big Apple and this made sense since they said how Stryper was their favorite band of them all.
Continue reading Stryper @ Mulcahy’s (9/28/2005)
Venue: B.B. King Blues Club – NYC
Label: Big3 Records
The Yellow & Black Attack are back and tonight those Messengers Of The Most High have come to the B.B. King Blues Club in NYC to support their latest studio release “Reborn”. The last time I saw Stryper was on the Reunion tour in 2003 which not only brought the band back together after a long absence but also promoted their greatest hits release entitled “7: The Best Of Stryper”. Since that night at Irving Plaza the band has picked up some reunion steam and was playing to a very nicely crowded venue once again some two years later. However, it was not long after the Reunion tours completion that found the band losing original bassist Tim Gaines. His last recording with Stryper would be the live release of “7 Weeks Live In America”. The group would press on and replace Tim with Tracy Ferrie and set out to record a new CD of material entitled “Reborn”. On entering the venue I found it to have a larger crowd than I recalled for the Reunion and that always makes for a better vibe up on the stage. At show time the band entered from the sections of the crowd and that caused frenzy; especially when leader Michael Sweet started singing from on top of one the back bars. It also seemed that everyone in attendance was a diehard fan with the exceptions of the few who were merely curious as to how the band would be in concert. Many people dismissed the band as “Hair Metal” or “Religious Rock”, but let me stress that they are excellent musicians and this capability shows in every song that they play.
Continue reading Stryper @ B.B. King Blues Club (9/24/2005)
Label: Big3 Records”
Release Date: 8/16/2005
Genre: Christian Metal
Though Stryper has released the albums “7: Best Of Stryper” and “7 Weeks Live In America” it has been 14 years since the Soldiers Under Command have recorded an album of new material. The year 2005 would be a special one for the Brothers Sweet and Oz Fox for not only is a new CD ready for their fans but they also come featuring a new member. Not long after the release of the live CD, bassist Tim Gaines decided to leave the group. He is replaced by the talented Tracy Ferrie who adds a different edge of bass playing to the already tight lineup. The band sounds just as heavy as they came across on “Soldiers Under Command” and deliver the level of harmony and musicality you would find on “To Hell With The Devil”. I felt that these two earlier releases helped influence and add to the sounds that you will find on the new CD entitled “Reborn”. The new release continues along the bands beliefs and message of Hope and Faith in the Lord. Of the memorable tracks on the album “Reborn” is pretty self-explanatory while my favorites are “Passion” and “Open Your Eyes”. Each one of these tunes containing the powerful style and big sound that normally was expected and received in Stryper music. “In God We Trust” appears once again from the album of the same name on the new CD. This version is more modern and flows along with the sound on “Reborn” more than the big 80’s sound the 1988 version had. I find it interesting when bands choose to update existing tracks or bring older songs into the now. Stryper should try that with their hits as I think it would work for them.
Continue reading “Reborn” by Stryper