Title: “Out Here All Night”
Label: Island Records
Release Date: 5/23/2006
Genre: Hard Rock
It only takes a couple of minutes into your first spin of the Damone CD “Out Here All Night” to realize that you are onto something special and pure with this group. The hard rocking outfit is fronted by Noelle LeBlanc who truly brings back memories of a young Joan Jett with her rocker style and ability to snare you instantly with her voice. Before I had this CD I had caught the band performing live with The 69 Eyes and while I normally don’t focus on the support acts as much as the main band something about how they were bringing it on during the show kept my attention and soon found me rocking with the people around me. That’s the sure sign of a good band if they win you over immediately at a live show and I was impressed since all of their material was pretty new to my ears. The music on the CD is along the same lines and able to convince the listener that some cool stuff is going on from its opening. “Now Is The Time” has a semi-Pop groove and a really melodic Noelle vocal but there are some riffs and double bass drumming that show they like their Metal just as much as the next band. Mega track “Out Here All Night” comes up next and it is definitely one of the most driving tracks on the release and the group even found it featured on the soundtracks for “Madden 2007” and “Tony Hawk’s Downhill Jam”. Having this kind of buzz aimed at a core demographic is a definite help in a bands quest for greatness.
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Title: “The DVD”
Label: Independent Release/Music Video Distributors
Release Date: 3/18/2008
Genre: Hard Rock
In 1975 Randy Jackson, Felix Hanemann and Guy Gelso formed Zebra and together the band would break house attendance records in their hometown of New Orleans. They were a Hard Rock band that came into popularity because of their excellent renditions of Rush, and most specifically Led Zeppelin tunes. They also blended in some of their original material to their nightly set and these songs were incredibly powerful and proved that they were not just some run of the mill band. After being convinced about it by Peppy Marchello (from The Good Rats), the band would relocate to Long Island, NY and become kings of the growing Rock club scene out there. It was a scene that found bands such as Twisted Sister also on the same path to success. This move found Zebra becoming immediate favorites of the club crowds on the island and it was as if the band had begun in this area as opposed to New Orleans. A record deal was soon secured on Atlantic Records where the band would release three studio albums and a live recording – the rest of course is Zebra history.
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Artist: Naio Ssaion
Title: “Out Loud”
Label: Napalm Records
Release Date: 1/31/2006
Genre: Hard Rock
Straight out of Slovenia comes a fresh breath of Hard Rock with some twinges of Evanescence but a completely different result due to the fact that the group has the unique addition of a violin player. According to the press copy, the group had proven themselves in many International band competitions which led to their signing a deal. While some have drawn comparisons to the US Gothic band led by Amy Lee, I found the music of Naio Ssaion a little more upbeat and refreshing as opposed to the angst of Ms. Lee and Company. Given the overall appeal of the group’s songs, such as “Miss You” and “N.SS” that are total radio-friendly rockers, I can’t see this band doing anything less than making a big fan base in the US. The group is made up of the lovely Barbara Jedovnicky (vocals), Rok Kolar (violin), Tine Eas (guitar), Luka Verdnik (guitar), Lenart Jerabek (bass), & Mitja Melanšek (drums). It’s another large group in terms of members and perhaps the reason for their full sound. Violin wizard Kolar is the standout player on the album most specifically, and shows his stuff on the instrumental rocker of “Bow Link In E Minor”. The interesting thing about him being in the band is that he is present throughout the songs on the entire album and not just a piece here and there. The other stand-out tracks for me were “Blah Blah” and “Out Of The Great Book Of Fairytales”. One of the strongest appeals of the band for me was in the fact that the vocal was not a deafening display of Operatic prowess. Given the music industry is loaded with them, I found it refreshing to have a straight-ahead Hard Rock band led by a female. Fans of Lullacry and Evanescence should enjoy this group very much. I found it something I listened to a few times in sequence before taking it out of my player.
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Title: “The Definitive Collection”
Label: Universal Music
Release Date: 2/7/2006
Genre: Hard Rock
“In the still of the night I hear the wolf howl honey”!!!!! I remember the day I first flipped on MTV and heard David Coverdale belt out that line. It would become one of the most powerful Hard Rock tracks to hit the airwaves in a long time and with its full musicality showed the world that Rock was far from dead. The song was featured on the bands self-titled album, which was a powerhouse of Hard Rock mixed with some killer power ballads. Now with “The Definitive Collection” Whitesnake fans around the world get the chance to be bitten again by some of their very best material. Coverdale himself had a hand in the production of this piece to make sure that nothing you expected would be left out. It includes an ample amount of tracks from “Whitesnake” tracks (the self-titled has its three biggest tracks showcased), but there is also the best stuff from “Slide It In”. If you have not yet snared this album this should be a great means of introducing you to what it contains. Other albums represented are “Slip Of The Tongue” as well as tracks from “Lovehunter” which was never available in the US. A fine representation of the entire catalog with 18 songs on this single CD collection. Essentially there is something for everyone here. The CD also includes a track from the Coverdale Page album which is a definite tip of the hat to Led Zeppelin and should have led to a reunion of some sort with Coverdale at the helm (yes, it was that close). Hard core fans might gripe about some songs being omitted but there are 18 songs of course and this covers quite a few albums from a large hit making group. It is never easy to do this on a single CD collection. The CD also comes with a few great photos of the most popular lineup as well as an essay and liner notes on the songs.
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Title: “Automatic Thrill”
Release Date: August 31, 2004
Genre: Hard Rock
Yet again a band from Oslo, Norway takes the wheel and steers us into rock n’ roll oblivion. Gluecifer the self proclaimed “Kings of Rock” are back at it again with the album “Automatic Thrill”. A slight departure from their previous records, this one is a little more polished, a little more refined but a natural progression from a band that has come so far, forging through a tireless wasteland of pop rock and bands you aren’t going to remember ten years from now. Stu Manx (bass), Captain Poon (guitar), Danny Young (drums), Raldo Useless (guitar), and Biff Malibu (vocals), once again school us on how to respect the rock.
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