No, I’m not talking about that so-called State of the Union speech or the number of “responses” made by Republicans, Tea Partiers, Conservatives, or what ever you folks are calling yourselves these days. It’s ridiculous, but this is what you get in a Demotism.
What I am talking about are three phenomenal albums that have been released this past month. We start with the return of Jake E. Lee. It’s been years since we heard from Mr. Lee, and the debut album with his new band “Red Dragon Cartel” does not disappoint. Beginning with the opening track “Deceived” we are treated to a classic Jake E. Lee style riff that makes you smile to yourself and say thank you for returning to my ears Mr. Lee. A few of the songs on the album have guest vocals. and the one big stand out, out of these tunes is “Feeder” with Robin Zander of Cheap Trick singing with his signature style. It’s a great album over all, with a couple of minor blah’s, but not enough to complain about. Welcome back Jake.
The second album out of this January 2014 trinity, is the new one from the Almighty Michael Schenker called “Bridge the Gap“. Returning for vocal duties on this album is Doogie White who’s voice is a nice compliment to Schenker’s melodic style of guitar playing. Also joining in the fun is two former members of the Scorpions , drummer Herman Rarebell and bassists Francis Buchholz. The one thing that makes this album sound fresh is that it has a modern sound to it, but also remaining true to Schenker’s simple but brilliant guitar sound. Stand out tracks are: “Where the wild winds blow“, “Lord of the lost and lonely“, and “To live for the king“.
The third release in this trio, comes from the long running riff masters of metal, Iced Earth called “Plagues of Babylon“. Riff after Riff after Riff. Quality and high octane Heavy Metal. With Stu Block returning to sing the apocalyptic lyrics of Jon Schaffer, we are treated to a roller coaster of epic-ness that only Mr. Schaffer and the boys can deliver. Half of the tracks on the album go along with the “Something Wicked” story line and the other half are stand alone songs. Members of this band come and go, but the formula of riffs, rib cage rattling drums and soaring vocals keeps us fans in line wanting more. Tracks to enjoy: “Cthulhu“, ” Plagues of Babylon“, and “The end?”
A final note. The long rumored Motley Crue retirement tour has come true. My first album (actual album, you know the big round things) was Motley Crue’s “Shout at the devil“. I can still remember, walking into the Sam Goody’s, in my Catholic school boy uniform, and buying this album which had the pentagram on the front cover. Then getting home and playing this album front to back, over and over again. That album, and this band hold a special place in my heart. Thank you Motley Crue, for all the fun, fist pumping, beer drinking, and all out rock and roll.