Marauder: Blackfoot

Rating: 90%

Blackfootmarauder1981, saw another successful album by Blackfoot. This was Blackfoot’s last major release as they move further into the 1980’s. This album also is a bit heavier as the band is adding more of the Hard Rock element to their sound, leaving the Southern Rock aspects behind. But, don’t read into that either, because there are some songs here where the Southern Rock aspect still lives on.

The pros to this album can be heard on songs like “Good Morning” and “Dry County” where the riffs are a bit faster and heavier than previous Blackfoot songs.  If you’re still into the classic Southern Rock sound, you’ll hear that as well as some of the melodies carry that tradition onward. If you’re into the more harder hitting sounds, this album does have that too. The songs for the most part are very melodic in nature. There are a lot of positive aspects to this album from the song writing to the song structure. 

The musicianship I think is done very well. There are some killer riffs here by Ricky Medlocke and Charlie Hargrett as well as some amazingly good guitar solos. Ricky’s vocals are also done very well. I love the harmony of the band on the chorus. The production is well done as you can also hear everything else that the rest of the band is doing from the bass work of Greg T. Walker. Jakson Spires’s drumming is also outstanding. I love the banjo intro “Rattlesnake Rock ‘n’ Roller” by Shorty Medlocke. 

As far as cons, I can’t really think of anything. I can tell you one thing, I really didn’t care for the direction that this band went after this release. I feel that “Fly Away” is a good example of that direction.  

Tracks:

Side one
“Good Morning” – 3:36
“Payin’ for It” – 3:35
“Diary of a Workingman” – 5:36
“Too Hard to Handle” – 4:02
“Fly Away” – 2:58

Side two
“Dry County” – 3:42
“Fire of the Dragon” – 4:02
“Rattlesnake Rock ‘n’ Roller”- 4:01
“Searchin'” – 5:43

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Siogo: Blackfoot

Rating: 55%

Blackfoot_siogoIn 1983, Blackfoot released “Siogo.” The album is the beginning of the end for these Southern rockers. It’s beginning to add more of that 1980’s style of Pop using the heavy dose of keyboards in much of their material. It’s the first album to feature new band member and ex Uriah Heep keyboardist  Ken Hensley. This album was meant for Blackfoot to break out into the Heavy Metal and the Hard Rock world that was taking MTV by storm. But it fell short. 

I have mixed feelings about this record. It’s got a great bunch of hard and heavy riffs. It’s got some nice solos and vocals. But it’s way to polished and clean. When I hear some of these songs, I am thinking 80’s Kiss one minute, and early Glam Metal the next.

Side one starts out with a keyboard drenched Pop sounding “Send Me an Angel”. It’s sounds very much like a later Uriah Heep, Europe or Survivor song. I picture myself in a movie getting ready for that big fight scene.  “Crossfire” and “Heart’s Grown Cold” starts out decent, but falls flat as there isn’t anything explosive. “We’re Goin’ Down” is where on side one you get that heavy Blackfoot classic sound. It’s got a great riff that sets off the entire song and the solo is kick ass. The last song is another dose of that modern Europe and Survivor influence

On side two at least, “White Man’s Land”, “Sail Away”, “Drivin’ Fool” seems to have traditional Blackfoot feeling, but then on the flip side, “Sail Away” looses me on the chorus. It reminds me of to much of Kiss. Not a fan! “Drivin’ Fool” has a heavy riff and a great guitar solo.

If you’re looking for classic Blackfoot, it’s buried deep within the album. But stick with the first few albums as again, 1980’s are not friendly towards the band.

Tracks:

1. “Send Me an Angel”  4:36
2. “Crossfire”  4:08
3. “Heart’s Grown Cold” 3:32
4. “We’re Goin’ Down”  4:12
5. “Teenage Idol”  4:48
6. “Goin’ In Circles”  3:06
7. “Run for Cover”  4:12
8. “White Man’s Land”  2:55
9. “Sail Away”  4:30
10. “Drivin’ Fool”  4:48

Nobody Said It Was Easy – 30th Anniversary Vinyl (LP)

Rating: 100%

MI0002295629Limited to 500 copies, and I got mine. The sound quality is absolutely great. I have all of the Four Horsemen on cassette and CD. I  finally got their EP from discogs, and then I wanted to grab the others on vinyl. This album has both the EP and Nobody Said It Was Easy completely remastered and in time for their 30th Anniversary. If you’re a fan of southern style, power driven, full throttle Rock n’ Roll, you can’t go wrong with this record set. I hope there are plans out there to press the other two records of theirs.

SIDE A
Nobody Said It Was Easy
Rockin’ Is Ma Business
Tired Wings
Can’t Stop Rockin’
Wanted Man
Let it Rock

SIDE B
Hot Head
Moonshine
Homesick Blues
75 Again
Lookin’ For Trouble
I Need a Thrill/Somethin’ Good

SIDE C (WELFARE BOOGIE E.P.)
Welfare Boogie (Remastered)
Shelly (Remastered)
Highschool Rock n’ Roller (Remastered)
Hard Lovin’ Man (Remastered)
Haggis interview with Rockin’ Rory O’Shea (04/03/92)

SIDE D (BONUS TRACKS)
Tired Wings (Original Open-G tuning)
’75 Again (Alternate vocals)
Can’t Stop Rocking (Alternate take)
The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down (Instrumental – Xmas Day ‘91)
Can’t Get Next To You Jam (Live. Universal Amphitheatre 10/21/91)

Jackyl: Jackyl

Rating: 90%

220px-Jackyl.PNGSo, where were you in 1992 when this gem was released? Me, I was recovering from the Hair Metal drunkenness that the radio kept playing. At least Grunge began killing that. But for Jackyl from Georgia, they dominated the airwaves , bringing back traditional Hard Rock and Heavy Metal that was drenched and influenced by Blues, Southern Rock, and Country Rock. Although, many will place them into the Hair & Glam Metal genre, even though, there was nothing glamorous about Jackyl. This album is far from Glam Metal.

I really liked everything from this album from the riffs, bass lines to the catchy chorus lines. This album has a lot of melody and harmony. It’s got some great drumming as well. Hell, this album even featured a chainsaw solo on “Lumberjack”. Who would have thought about that? Only Jackyl could pull this off. The album production is polished and clean, but that doesn’t take away from the music. If your looking for that ballad, you wont find it here. This is strictly a Rock n’ Roll album.

This album had several hit songs that include “I Stand Alone”, “Down on Me”, “When Will It Rain”, and “The Lumberjack”. Other songs that were not played on the radio such as “Redneck Punk” are just as good to hear. This album has a nice flow to it. The songs themselves cover alcohol, sex, and defiance with some tongue and cheek references.   

Jackyl is fronted by the Jesse James Dupree. His whiskey drenched and raunchy vocals are very distinct. His chainsaw solo on the “Lumberjack” is fucking awesome.  The riffs and powerful leads are conducted by guitarists Jimmy Stiff  & Jeff Worley. Throwing out those powerful bass lines is Thomas Bettini. The backbone of the album is drummer Chris Worley.

Tracks:

“I Stand Alone” – 3:58
“Dirty Little Mind” – 3:30
“Down on Me” – 4:03
“When Will It Rain” – 4:34
“Redneck Punk”  – 3:37
“The Lumberjack” – 3:32
“Reach for Me” – 3:34
“Back off Brother” – 3:25
“Brain Drain” – 4:58
“Just Like a Devil” – 3:34
“She Loves My Cock” – 3:51

Pay It in Metal: Krokus

Rating: 70%

IPaymetal_cover1.jpgn 1978, Krokus released their third album called “Pay It in Metal” or “Pain Killer” as the rest of the world known it as. The U.S. version was called “Pay It in Metal.” There were several versions of this record, but all of the songs were the same. One thing to note here is that this is the last record to feature Chris von Rohr on vocals. As the band enters the 1980’s, he’ll move to bass guitar.

This album is a transition record. You see the previous two records were heavily influenced by Prog Rock. Now, the band is trying to move more into the Heavy Metal and Hard Rock genres of Rock music. Musically, there are some decent songs. You can tell things are a bit flat for the band, but the band is moving away from Prog and is treading new waters as to where they want to go.

This album does have a lot of nice guitar solos. Speaking of the guitars, they are getting that more overdrive sound as far as the solos, but the main riffs are a bit weak in sound. At other times, you can hear a certain energetic AC/DC or Ted Nugent sound coming through. So for the most part, the Blues does shine through on some of the songs.  Listen to side two and you’ll notice the power that is building.

The musicianship is OK. They’re not as strong of a band as they will become, but they are heading in the right direction. Vocalist Chris von Rohr has an average voice, nothing that stands out. Tommy Kiefer on lead guitar has thrown out some really kick ass solos. Fernando von Arb is branching out and by adding some Blues influences which are sticking out. Bassist Jürg Naegeli and drummer Freddy Steady are putting out some beats and bass lines, but this is the last album to feature Jürg Naegeli.

Tracks:

Side one
“Killer” – 3:34
“Werewolf” – 3:19
“Rock Ladies” – 3:01
“Bad Love” – 4:53
“Get Out of My Mind” – 3:40

Side two
“Rock Me, Rock You” – 3:20
“Deadline” – 2:01
“Susie” – 3:02
“Pay It” – 3:01
“Bye Bye Baby” – 4:16

The Book of Taliesyn: Deep Purple

Rating: 80%

Taliesyn.jpgReleased in 1968 in the U.S., Deep Purple’s second album is a nice combination of psychedelic rock, progressive rock and hard rock. It also features a bit more classical arrangements that were not on their debut album. Unlike the first album with the “Oh feel so good” feeling, this album is slightly darker in feeling. But, it’s not that dark in the sense of the matter. That could be more of the Hard Rock style that the band was leaning toward, which would take them to the realms as being on Heavy Metal’s founding fathers.

Musically, this is a solid follow up to their debut. Aside from three covers that were adopted by Deep Purple, the other elements of the original pieces are very good. The covers are just as good as well. The band however, is growing and experimenting. And you can hear how Rod Evans’ vocals are not ideal for this style of music, which is becoming more noticeable. The bass lines are pretty good, but this is an album that will force change upon the band in a few months when Deep Purple, the third album is released. This will force the band to out Rod Evans him and bassist Nick Simper from the band after their third record. Guitarist Ritchie Blackmore and Jon Lord on keyboards do lay out some great solos, but nothing sounds to complex or super fast. Ian Paice on drums also sounds good.

Bottom line, this is a good album. You can tell that change is needed for this band to gain musical freedom. The first three Deep Purple records basically set up the band for their fourth record “Deep Purple In Rock” as that title basically says it all.

Tracks:
1. “Listen, Learn, Read On” 4:05
2.”Wring That Neck” (originally titled “Hard Road” in the USA) 5:13
3.”Kentucky Woman” (Neil Diamond cover) 4:44
4.”(a) Exposition” “(b) We Can Work It Out” (The Beatles cover) 7:06
5.”Shield” 6:06
6.”Anthem” 6:31
7.”River Deep, Mountain High” (Ike & Tina Turner cover) 10:12

Alice Cooper Goes to Hell: Alice Cooper

Rating: 90%

Alice_Cooper_-_Goes_To_Hell1976 saw “Alice Cooper Goes To Hell.” I love the first song on the album, “Go To Hell”. So, when I saw this album among other’s on vinyl, I had to grabbed it. A concept album it is, but a strong follow up to the “Welcome to My Nightmare”.

Musically, this is a hard hitter. It’s got lot’s of great guitar riffs and leads. It’s some spectacular drumming as well. The bass lines are well written. Every instrument is clearly heard. The gritty eerie vocals are another key feature. This album not only is a hard hitter, but it also takes from other influences as well. The second song on this album “You Gotta Dance” has a big disco feel to it as well as some funk going on. The song “I’m the Coolest” has a very eerie feel to it with spoken word to it. Other songs have a sort of showman feel to them, like a drama on stage or dare I say, a Disney feel to it, but much darker. The entire album is rich and original when it comes to the lyrics and music. All and all, just an enjoyable record to hear.

Tracks:

1. “Go to Hell” 5:15
2. “You Gotta Dance” 2:45
3. “I’m the Coolest” 3:57
4. “Didn’t We Meet” 4:16
5. “I Never Cry” 3:44
6. “Give the Kid a Break” 4:14
7. “Guilty” 3:22
8. “Wake Me Gently” 5:03
9. “Wish You Were Here” 4:36
10. “I’m Always Chasing Rainbows” 2:08
11. “Going Home” 3:47