Down To Rock #3 (May 2011)

My name is Teddy Heavens (Rebel Rebel and Los Angeles Death Dolls) and I’ll be bringing you the latest Sleaze/Glam/Punk and Trash rock and roll news from the Golden State and the streets (and gutters) of Hollywood, California! From the Valleys to the alleys, I’ll find the coolest bands to report on and let you know what’s up from the Rock and Roll capital of the world!

Live Review:
 
 
Revolver Magazine Golden Gods Award show
My reason for attending this show was that the original Alice Cooper Band was playing, which was the first time in Los Angeles in almost 40 years (although they had done it at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony, at which they were inducted)!! There was no way I was going to miss seeing this legendary line up, as the record “Killers” was the first music that I can remember ever hearing as a little kid. My brothers used to blast “Dead Babies” and “Under My Wheels” and “Desperado” as well as my personal favorite “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah”, and that is the first music I can remember moving me in any sort of way. This was set to be the show of the year in Los Angeles!!!
The cool thing about living in Los Angeles is that you get to see your childhood heroes from music, film or literature, up close and personal at some point! You either run into them at some restaurant, club, the movies, on the street or at the Rainbow!!! You get to see most bands that reform, and this was my ultimate opportunity to see the original Alice Cooper Band, the last from my ultimate list of seeing original member bands (KISS, Sex Pistols, New York Dolls, Ramones, The Stooges and Alice Cooper Band).
The awards show was offering the usual for this type of fan picked winners: Comeback of the Year-Murderdolls, Golden God award-Alice Cooper, Lifetime Achievement-Motley Crue and Best New Band-Black Veil Brides, Etc. I was hoping I would not have to sit through a bunch of crappy heavy metal new school bands before my heroes came out. First up was Fozzy, featuring wrestler Chris Jericho doing some good heavy metal covers (they started out doing metal covers and calling themselves Fozzy Osborne) and then to my pleasure The Original Alice Cooper Band fired up the Fender amps and kicked into “I’m 18”, “Under My Wheels”, ‘Billion Dollar Babies” and “School’s Out”, complete with Alice throwing out Alice Dollar Bills from his sword, and glitter filled balloons that were bounced back and forth from the audience to the stage, until Alice popped them with his sword, just like in the 70’s! Michael Bruce on guitars, Dennis Dunaway on bass, Alice on vocals and Neil Smith on drums (who was so tall, I thought he was standing up throughout the set) and filling in for the missing Glen Buxton(RIP) was later date guitar player Dick Wagner! I was glad I was there and it was the most rock and roll moment in Los Angeles in all of 2011.
The remainder of the show featured new metal kids Asking Alexandria jamming “Youth Gone Wild” with Sebastian Bach, Devil Driver doing a Black Flag cover, and Loaded with Steve Jones from the Sex Pistols and the singer of Slipknot doing “Electric Eye” by Judas Priest, and Avenged Sevenfold showcasing their new drummer. But none of it even comes close to matching the excitement of seeing the original Alice Cooper Band play some of their classic tunes, maybe for the last time ever, and I was there to see it!
CD REVIEW
 
 
Freight Train-Burnin Down The Station
This band is influenced by bands like Rose Tattoo, New York Dolls, Kiss and Motorhead, so you know I was all over this CD. The guitar player for this power trio is Dirty Al Duncan, who played with the Johnny Thunders Group during the Que Sera Sera era, and who has a great playing style that reminds me of Montrose/Humble Pie/Ted Nugent, and that is blues based, but in a Hanoi Rocks sort of way. The vocals remind me a lot of Zodiac Mindwarp and The Love Reaction and the overall sound of the band is 70’s hard rock sleaze! Sounds good in print huh? Well it sounds just as good on the CD! This release features songs like: “Overdrive” which is not unsimilar to Cat Scratch Fever and the Zodiac Mindward sounding “Doll”, as well as the sleazy sounding “Gotta Keep A Running” and the Montrose-esque “Bound To Fail” and the appropriately named “Fire It Up and Crank It”, which name checks both Motorhead and the Stooges!!! If you read any of my reviews, you’ll know that this style of music is my lifeblood, so if you really dig sleazy guitar playing and booming 70’s style hard rock, you’ll wanna get this release from this San Francisco based band (the real deal). www.freighttrainrocks.com
CD REVIEW
 
 
Naked- Double Down
These guys are brothers in arms with Vains of Jenna, carrying the torch for sleazy hard rock that gives a nod to contemporaries such as Buck Cherry and Backyard Babies, with touches of Classic Rock like AC/DC! Hailing from Finland, these young rockers are offering a clean and mean production with good vocal harmonies, quality guitar playing and catchy/hooky breakdowns and buildups.
Double Down offers a good variety of tunes, from the Lit inspired “One More Time” to the Sweet/Hanoi Rocks sounding “I Know”, to the Guns and Roses tinged “Shine A Light”, which is straight up hard rock with wah wah pedal accented guitar, and also features the modern day Pomp Rock “Power Blind“.
These guys are turning up the heat by bringing the show to the East Coast where they are playing dives in NYC and the surrounding area with other like minded acts, which shows that they are willing to go a long way to bring the sleaze! They have appeared with The Killers, 69 Eyes and Hardcore Superstar and have rocked Moscow and Tokyo!!! You can get this release at Itunes or hit the band up at www.nakedonline.net
CD REVIEW
 
The Biters-All Chewed Up
This band came recommended on the Rock and Roll Geek Show Podcast, so I got going on it immediately, the host Michael Butler usually has similar tastes to mine, so what the shit! Right off the bat, I have to say that this band has the knack for taking their influences and crafting fine and catchy tunes. Now those influences are nice and varied, from The Sweet to The Knack, to The Strokes and the Primma Donnas (the Biters are their gritty twin brothers from another mother), with catchy 70’s glam era vocal hits and killer twin guitar lead lines, very reminiscent of Thin Lizzy. These young ass kids are a good mix of the Knack, Thin Lizzy, The Strokes, Cheap Trick and Tsar-get the picture!!! And they are building up their skills old school style via extensive touring through the USA, and I look forward to seeing them live tear it up with DGeneration in September in Los Angeles (and also in NYC)!
The CD has some great tunes, Born To Cry features a Sweet vibe and Breaking Your Heart showcases the twin lead playing ala Thin Lizzy, and Hold On has The Knack qualities with Cheap Trick overtones. I only mention the influencing bands because these tunes stand toe to toe with any of them and they have their own twist, the band wear their influences on their sleeves, but still sound fresh and exciting Oh Yeah (The Bitch Wants More) displays the band’s like for the Los Angeles band Tsar and Otherside is a definite ode to the lyrics of the long forgotten band the Unforgiven, with Rock and Roll Lover coming off as a straight up lost track from T Rex, and it seems to the Biters that T Rex is more than just a cool T shirt, they really take the band to heart! And that is the Biters in a nutshell, all killer guitar playing and a whole lotta heart (for killer rock and roll). See them at www.wearethebiters.com
CD Review
 
 
Vamp Le Stat-BloodLine
This band hailed from Sacramento, Cali., and in the 90’s they released a now much sought after release “Bloodline”, which was in the vein of 80’s style hard rockers Bon Jovi, Bullet Boys, Skid Row and Motley Crue. They are back now with the re-release of that album and featuring bonus remixed tracks. I was aware of the band after finding the original release of Bloodline (and yes my copy was also sold on Ebay for a nice price, after finding it’s way to my Itunes collection) so it was cool to get this CD, currently out now on XXX Records. The CD features some hard hitting songs and the standouts are the Zeppelinesque Swing Child (think When The Levy Breaks type drum beat) and She’s Not in Love, which is a Poison type “I Wont Forget You” ballad. Guns For Hire is a straight up heavy metal burner and Chains Around My Heart is a sleazy Motley Crue Dr. Feelgood era rocker, with some nice slide guitar work. Guitar player and producer Jeff Jones could revive any 80’s band that is struggling, this guy has mad skills on the guitar and Whitesnake or Ratt or Quiet Riot should call him up ASAP! Overall a cool throwback to the 80’s-90’s hard rock scene that is missing from the Sunset strip these days. Get the scoop at www.xxxrecords.com
If you want me to review your music or write about your event, send it all to:
Teddy Heavens
27750 Firebrand Dr.
Castaic, Ca. 91384
Ftwrecords@aol.com
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