I Love Rich “You Have The Right… To Remain Sexy”

Good to hear from Chicago’s I LOVE RICH, it’s been a while! And even better to hear that they are keeping the flame of dirty glam rock’n’roll alive! When your opening song is called “Rock’n’Roll Is Gonna Burn”, you’re pretty sure it’s going to rock and it does. This song has a bit of Scandinavian rock’n’roll in it while “God’s Gift To Women” is more classic American rock’n’roll with a good heavy rock guitar riff and a big chorus. If you love KISS then “Rock And Roll Sex Cult” will probably be your favourite track and glam metal fans will sure headbang to “Paid In Sex” and “The Right To Remain Sexy.” Songs like “Rock And Roll Conspiracy”, “Rock And Roll Riot” or “Revolution In My Pants” could be on the playlist of every TURBONEGRO fan and “King Of Rock And Roll” and “Make Out City” might not change the face of music but they won’t fail at making you rock and party! Have a good time all the time? These guys sure know about it! /Laurent C.

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Def Leppard “Hysteria” Track-By-Track Anniversary Review

“Hysteria” was released on this day in 1987! DEF LEPPARD wasn’t my favourite band in those days, I was more into sleaze rock and glam metal but there was something special about the band that was growing bigger and bigger while the world was patiently waiting for this promised “No filler” album. Indeed, “Hysteria” was a highly anticipated record since their previous and very successful (over 6 million copies sold !) album “Pyromania” was released in 1983. At that time, 4 years to make an album seemed like an eternity but drummer Rick Allen was involved in a car accident in 1984 and his arm was amputated shortly after due to an infection. He then decided that he could use his legs more than his arms and got a special electronic drum kit designed for him. The band never thought about replacing Allen and he had to practice his new drumming technique for months on his new Simmons kit before being able to play live again. “Hysteria” took over three years of recording and producer Robert John “Mutt” Lange had this idea of making a rock version of Michael Jackson‘s “Thriller” in mind.
The cover art by Satori seemed very modern in the 80s and the album had 12 tracks which was considered as quite long since most records had 10 songs (5 on each vinyl side) but CDs were starting to get very popular despite their high prices. 62 minutes might have seemed confusing for most hard rock fans in 1987 although it wouldn’t be anymore a few years later…

1. Women

This is a bit of a weird choice as an opener but when you think about it, it sets the mood for the whole album, the huge electronic snare drum, the melodies, Joe Elliot’s voice and the powerful computerized backing vocals.

2. Rocket

Staring with a Gary Glitter kind of drum sequence, this song is a tribute to 70s glam rock with modern arrangements. The long bridge in the song almost sounds industrial and hip-hop and it perfectly illustrates Lange’s ideas to borrow from many different genres. A crossover that will become the norm later in the 90s.

3. Animal

I had bought this single a couple of months before the album was released and couldn’t stop listening to it. Moreover, it was one of the rare hard rock songs to be featured in the Top 50 (French billboard)! Steve Clark and Phil Collen’s guitars work perfectly together in this song. A catchy chorus and a slight new wave touch that makes it unique.

4. Love Bites

In the 80s, hard rock bands had to write good power ballads if they wanted to have a chance to get on MTV and this song seems to be the perfect one to reach wider audiences especially in the United States. It definitely helped.

5. Pour Some Sugar On Me

The last song that was written for the album and now a hit in every strip club in America! The huge drums and the almost rap verses make it fit very well in the rap/hard rock crossover started by RUN DMC and AEROSMITH only a year before and the crowd-pleasing chorus makes it one of the bests selling singles of the band ever.

6. Armageddon It

Maybe the most “classic rock’n’roll” song on the album digging its influences in the 60s/early 70s and a very memorable chorus again. A lot of fun and a very good choice to end the side A of the vinyl since it definitely makes you want to listen to more!

7. Gods Of War

Probably my favourite song on the album. It was based on the opening riff by Steve Clark.The electronic drum sound coupled with Rick Savage’s bass line used to make me think of The SISTERS OF MERCY and it actually still does! Although this is not goth rock, this song definitely has a dark cold war atmosphere which is increased by the war samples and Margaret Thatcher’s/Ronald Reagan’s voice in the last part.

8. Don’t Shoot Shotgun

Your typical 80s hard rock song with a different approach to production. Probably designed for live shows.

9. Run Riot

Another classic hard rock song with lots of great guitar riffs and plenty of stadium energy. Joe Elliott’s voice gets closer to the AC/DC influenced songs from the previous albums on here.

10. Hysteria

One of the best songs on the album, mellow and emotional with a special atmosphere and Joe Elliot sounding amazing! The solos have a bit of a Bowie‘s “Heroes” mood. What a great song!

11. Excitable

A good rock song with a bit of an 80s disco new wave/new romantic vibe (Duran Duran…) and a sweet dance rock flavour.

12. Love and Affection

A moody midtempo song with a lovely chorus that puts an end to the album in an elegant way.

“Hysteria” sold over 20 million copies in the world which makes it not only the best-selling album of the band but also one of the best-selling hard rock albums ever! It is also the last album of the band to feature guitarist Steve Clark and there is no doubt that there was a before and an after “Hysteria” for the band as well as for the world. It also started a new approach to production: Recording “Hysteria” with modern technology would take much less time but the way it was made is probably part of the reason why it is still special nowadays. I still own my vinyl copy and still play it from time to time… /Laurent C.

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Nasty Reputation “After All It’s Rock’n’Roll”

NASTY REPUTATION have been around for a while now since they started in 2007 but had to face many line-up changes. They released their sleaze rock single “Slut Machine” a few months ago and here they are now with a full album under their arm. “Line Of Fire” has this Swedish hard rock vibe that is now famous around the world while “Riot In Hell” is leaning towards the glory days of NWOBHM. “Suicide” slows things down and offer us more melody in the chorus but that’s just before “After All It’s Rock’n’Roll” takes us right to the Sunset Strip! “Hit On You” shows us a more heavy metal side of the band before the very arena rock “These Times.” I personally like it better when the band gets wilder with a song like “Freeride” or “Wild at Heart.” Definitely worth checking out! /Laurent C.

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Too Sophisticated “Like It Or Not”

TOO SOHISTICATED is a hard rock band from Finland. They started back in the 90s so they have released a few records but this is their first full-length album. While the music of the band definitely sounds hard rock’n’roll, you can hear a bit of heavy metal in the vocals too (“Soul Suckin’ Day”) but also a punk touch in “Like It Or Not” and in “E.I.A.” “Lipstick Kiss of The Death” has a bit of a D.A.D. vibe and”Different Blues Song” reminds me of the mighty SMACK. The band can also gets lighter with “Restless Soul” and its drunk summer afternoon mood or flirt with heavy 70s rock in “Lazy.” “Nightmares Every Night” is taking us in darker lands not that far from the LORDS OF THE NEW CHURCH… After listening to this CD you get to think that this is far from being perfect, but like it or not, this is rock’n’roll ! /Laurent C.

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The Claws – Gut-level Rock’n’roll!

Let’s start 2022 with one of the most interesting rock’n’roll bands from L.A. Chad Cherry (lead vocals) and Gary Martin (guitars & vocals) tell us about the release of their new album “Stars and Broken Stars” and new EP “Hazy Days Wasted Nights” and much more!

Can you tell us a bit about the history of the band?

C.C.: It all started with Gary and I. Gary was living out here in Los Angeles and Sarah and I were out here visiting around 2013/14. We were staying at this place on top of Laurel Canyon. It was right next to an abandoned house that some producer from Walt Disney owned back in the 60’s. Place was trashed and cool. We’re checking it out, sharing a bottle of scotch, moonlight creepin, and we came up with the idea of us getting together to make some kinda noise when I moved out to Los Angeles. In the beginning we were just two guys with an acoustic guitar.

G.M.: Soon, Terry Love (bass) came into the picture, and this formed the core of the band. We recorded the début EP in 2017, and the ‘No Connection’ LP was released in early 2020. With the addition of Tony Pacheco on drums in 2019, and Mike Gavigan on guitar in the lost year of 2020, we began the recording of the follow up LP, which was released in late 2021.

You have two new releases, “Stars and Broken Glass” (album) and “Hazy Days Wasted Nights” (EP). Is this because you wanted the album to be released on vinyl and avoid having too many songs on it?

C.C.: We would’ve had a quadruple record on our hands if we didn’t break it up. There’s no lack of creativity with The Claws.

G.M.: It’s true. At this point, we have more than enough tunes for another full length (& EP!) Sonically and thematically, it made sense to do it the way that we did.

Was it easy to choose which songs were going to be used for the album and for the EP?

It was not a case of the “best 10” make the LP. The sequence needed to flow. The sound of the songs can tell a story. We tried our best to make that happen.

Can you tell us about the recording. Where and when did it happen?

G.M.: We recorded the new music at the same place, with the same producer & engineer as the last LP, 2020’s ‘No Connection’. It’s a cool little studio in the Hollywood Hills called Fox Force Five studios. We began the process in late 2020 and finished in the summer of 2021. The LP & EP was mixed and mastered during the autumn of 2021.

C.C.: That Beechwood Canyon studio is magical.

C.C.: That’s like asking a falling star where it’s going to land. There’s not really a rhyme or reason for anything that we do musically. Gary comes up with nonstop songs and we’re all over the place. We never talk too much about it, we mostly just blend together, push and pull melodies into place. I really don’t think we have a specific anything besides some good synergy going on.. we just do whatever it is we do.

Did you know how you wanted the album and EP to sound before recording them?

G.M.: Our surroundings, our adventures, and our personal relationships between the 5 of add spice to the tunes. Everything has an effect. The studio itself has a great feel, along with some excellent vintage equipment, that really helps bring out the nuance in our tunes. Gabe Lowry (producer/engineer) did a fantastic job of capturing The Claws at our best.

While the 70s influences are obvious, there’s also some 80s ones in the songs. Do you like both decades the same?

G.M.: The keyboard during ‘When The Nighttime Comes’ and ‘Strange Rumblings’ is a vintage synthesizer from the mid-1980’s. Totally. Strictly from a songwriting point-of-view, there’s so much great stuff from the 1960’s through the 1990’s that it is impossible to pick a favorite decade, but I do tend to prefer the production values of the 1970’s.

C.C.: I kinda love all decades, man. But let’s face it.. the 70’s ruled!

Some songs like “High Noon”, “A Song For You”, “Seven Medicines” or “In The Dust” could definitely be featured in series or movies. Did you get any interest from Hollywood film makers?

C.C.: We’re too expensive for them.

G.M.: Yeah, we’re open to collaboration with film makers, but they need to cough up the bread. Besides, we’re telling our own stories, so who needs ‘em?

How is the rock’n’roll scene in L.A. These days? Any new interesting bands? What are the best clubs these days ?

C.C.: L.A. still has just about everything happening musically. Nothing will ever be the past but there’s so many great bands here. Any club that you don’t have to pay to play is a good club.

G.M.: I love the current rock n roll scene in L.A.! Much like the city, it’s spread out. You may find yourself in the suburbs at the Maui Sugar Mill one weekend, and downtown at the Redwood (our favorite) the next. Great joints like Alex’s in Long Beach and the Old Towne Pub in Pasadena always have killer shows. There are many talented players in L.A., so you never know who is going to impress on any given night. Someone just needs to open a genuine rock n roll joint in Hollywood!

It seems like a lot of people are moving out of L.A, especially musicians who seem to have found a new home in Nashville…

G.M.: Don’t believe the hype. L.A. has always been a city with people arriving or leaving. Here today, gone today.

C.C.: That’s news to me.

Chad, you also sing in The LAST VEGAS but you have a couple of other projects. Can you tell us about them?

C.C.: I have some new TLV demos somewhere. Let’s see, everyday is Halloween with the spooky synth/guitar pop sounds of Razor Candy. I’m also doing synthesized music with my director pal, D.M. Cunningham in our outfit called Dreaming In Neon. We’re busy scoring his new film, “3 Demons” at the moment. But I do The Claws on the daily. Gary keeps me busy.

Do any of you play in other bands/projects?

G.M.: I don’t play in any other projects or bands, as everything that I write I consider for The Claws. If my tunes get too weird for The Claws, then maybe I’ll do some acid-jazz solo trip.

Will Europe be on the map when things finally start getting better in the world?

C.C.: Question is, will The Claws ever want to leave once we get there.

G.M.: Would love to do a European swing! I heard that many European rock n rollers have moved to Nashville..true?

Oh! That might explain why I haven’t seen any in almost two years! Haha

https://theclawsrock.com/
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Ariel Belont “Fake” Single

I’ve been writing reviews for a couple of years now, but never did this with a single. A couple of days ago I got a message from Ariel Belont (Argentina), he’s been sending me files and rough mixes of his new album for a few months now, and he just released “Fake” (the first single from the upcoming album “Sick For The Cure”) I don’t usually write about artists that I’m close with, mainly because I love the concept of being “objective” This is a different case. I first met Ariel some 20 years ago in Buenos Aires, then he spent a lot of years living in L.A. and we remained in contact, dude played and recorded with the likes of Muddy Stardust, John Corabi, Gilby Clarke, Eric Dover and a lot of those amazing artists that you can find in California. So far I love his 3 solo albums, but I’ve been telling him that this one is going to be epic. Produced by Nahuel Martorelli in Buenos Aires (Argentina) “Fake” starts with the main riff and Ariel singing through some sort of megaphone effect, only to explode a few seconds later changing his vocal range and making the start of the song sound like a true revelation. This sounds like a mix of The Knack’s My Sharona with 1970s Classic Rock ala Cheap Trick or even Foghat’s Slow Ride, powerful and energetic, Killer guitars, killer drums, killer bass, a great guitar solo that ends with some twin guitars in pure Thin Lizzy style, small keyboards parts that fit really well with an emphatic chorus, it also features some big guitar riffs in between verses. Apparently from what I can understand the song is kinda inspired in people behind a mask, sometimes the Rock and Roll scenes (everywhere) are filled with characters that prefer to be photographed rather than be remembered for their writing skills and true spirit. I’ve seen it, I think I can tell what’s this all about. This is pretty good, no joke. I’m not writing it as friend at all, more like a fan. Believe me, I can’t wait for the whole album to be released. If you are reading this and you enjoy 1970s Rock with a touch of Glam Rock (Aerosmith, Alice Cooper, Kiss, Slade, Led Zep…..) and catchy as fuck songs I strongly suggest to buy his new album once it’s out. / Juan Pablo Mazzola

You can follow Ariel on Spotify and IG “Fake” on Spotify : https://open.spotify.com/album/5mJ6KxweRcopy7PpLvYa1i?si=JhhlOP8UTP-eFk14S06Idg&dl_branch=1

https://www.instagram.com/arielbelont/

Gilby Clarke “The Gospel Truth”

20 years waiting for this for fuck’s sake!
First of all, I must admit that I have a special kind of love for Gilby’s albums, as a matter of fact, I decided to become a guitar player after his Pawnshop Guitars album.
Always thought the dude’s great when it comes to riffs, Gilby’s work is all about explosion, he is a songwriter and riff master and this new album proves it again, no doubt about it.
Before describing the album I’d like to clarify again the fact that I must be not that objective here, I’m writing this from a fan perspective.
So here it goes :
The album kicks of with “The Gospel Truth”, classic Gilby at his best, a catchy riff with pure Rock and Roll energy, a suckerpunch made in California.
“Wayfarer” comes in second place, with amazing 1970s like keyboards and atmosphere, a bit Stones but raw.
“Tightwad” features Motley Crue’s Nikki Sixx on bass and Jane’s Addiction’s Stephen Perkins on drums, one thing I love about this album is how it’s mixed, Gilby’s vocals are up front, the rhythm here is killer and totally genuine, which is something I’ve always loved about his solo albums, Gilby’s albums are cult albums.
“Rock and Roll is Getting Louder” is pure Gilby Clarke, a song about motorcycles, something that he is well known for loving, this one is anthemic, he shot a pretty cool video for it, Easy Rider spirit 100 %
“Wise Old Timer” is a mid tempo riff based song followed by “Violation”, a Rolling Stones inspired tune which brings back so many memories of his concerts, I can totally see him opening a gig with this one.
“The Ending” is a personal favorite here, a straight bass line and the feeling that real Rock and Roll is not dead, it just went under, like he said in the teaser for “The Gospel Truth”.
Songs like “Dangerous Sin” and “Rusted N Busted” keep this thing up beat and they confirm the songwriter vibe and soul, finally “She Won’t Fight Fair” closes a Rock and Roll trip that it’s hard to find these days.
I’m so glad this album is out!!!
This is Rolling Stones meets Ace Frehley with more distortion, you cannot dislike this one if you are a true rock and roller.
One more thing.
Gilby, please, don’t wait another 20 years dude.
/Juan Pablo Mazzola (aka Baby Scream)

http://www.gilbyclarke.com/