Adrenaline Mob – Coverta (2013) review

Adrenaline Mob - Coverta (2013)

Adrenaline Mob – Coverta (2013, EMI/Elm City Music)

  1. High Wire (Badlands cover)
  2. Stand Up And Shout (Dio cover)
  3. Break On Through (The Doors cover)
  4. Romeo Delight (Van Halen cover)
  5. Barracuda (Heart cover)
  6. Kill The King (Rainbow cover)
  7. The Lemon Song (Led Zeppelin cover)
  8. The Mob Rules (Black Sabbath cover

Adrenaline Mob 2013

Band Lineup:
Russell Allen – Vocals
John Moyer – Bass
Mike Orlando – Guitars & Bass on ‘The Mob Rules’
Mike Portnoy – Drums

Produced by: Russell Allen, Mike Orlando & Mike Portnoy

Country: USA

Total Time = 34:30

Adrenaline Mob
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Here’s another easy album review to do because it’s another covers album! Just like Anthrax, Adrenaline Mob has released an E.P. of cover songs as well titled Coverta. Just like Anthrax, Adrenaline Mob released and awesome album with 2012′s Omertà and then they quickly released this covers collection. Adrenaline Mob is a solid band, a supergroup if you will, that includes Mike Portnoy (ex-Dream Theater) and Russell Allen (Symphony X). Right there, you know you’re going to get quality music because the reputations of these two men in the Metal world is legendary. Omertà was one of the best albums of 2012 so it stands to reason that Coverta should really good despite it not being original material. Now if you’ve read the website for any length of time, you know my feelings about cover songs. For those who don’t know, I’m not a fan of covers on a proper album (even if they are good) because I would like more original material. However, I do like covers albums and/or tribute albums because the cover songs are made for the context of that specific kind of record…..let’s see what Adrenaline Mob has in store for us.

What I like about Omertà is that the song selection is pretty good, with a couple of curveballs thrown in, and the performances are pretty straight up renditions of the proper songs but heavier in some cases. Let’s get a couple of the “safer” songs put of the way, the Classic Rock radio staples, because I’m just tired of hearing them. At any point of the day, in some city in the U.S., there’s a radio station playing The Doors’ ‘Break On Through’, Heart’s ‘Barracuda’ and Zeppelin’s ‘The Lemon Song’ (this one is a deeper cut but it’s played all the time here in Rhode Island)…..the inclusion of these songs bore me already. The band does a solid job covering these three classics with the standout track being ‘Barracuda’, a Metalized version if I ever heard one! If local radio would substitute the Adrenaline Mob version instead of the classic Heart original then I wouldn’t mind the song as much. Good song Wilson sisters, just overplayed.

Obviously the guys in Adrenaline Mob love them some Ronnie James Dio because they covered three songs by the master, one from each major band: Dio, Rainbow & Black Sabbath. Can you really go wrong with any era of Ronnie’s career? Picking ‘Stand Up And Shout’ was a good crowd pumping choice with it’s uptempo Metal style, same with ‘Kill The King’, one of the fastest Dio era Rainbow songs. My favorite is Sabbath’s ‘The Mob Rules’ because I’m a huge post-Ozzy Sabbath freak, the Ronnie led lineup being my favorite, and I really love that album. All the performances of the Dio tracks are dead on and heavy but listen to Allen’s voice on these songs, there are certain lines he sings that you swear it’s actually Ronnie singing…..Russell Allen has that tone, that sound, that mystique during those songs and he sounds very similar at times. Including Badlands’ ‘High Wire’ from their 1989 debut was an awesome choice! Seriously, who remembers Badlands? I do……Jake E. Lee on guitar, Eric Singer on drums, Greg Chiasson on bass and the late Ray Gillen on vocals…..another “supergroup” of sorts. That debut self-titled album is one of my favorites of the late ’80s and Adrenaline Mob could have picked any song off it to cover on Coverta. I like how they stayed away from the proper single ‘Dreams In The Dark’ and just went with ‘High Wire’ (the album opener). Same thing with ‘Romeo Delight’, good on the band for picking an early Roth era track from Van Halen’s 1980 seminal classic Women And Children First. ‘Romeo Delight’ is a tune I NEVER hear on my local rock stations and it’s such a great song, Adrenaline Mob do another solid job remaking a classic.

Bottom Line:
Just like Anthrax’s Anthems, Adrenaline Mob’s Coverta is a solid E.P. of cover songs. And like Anthems, the problem will be that I won’t reach for it that often, I’d prefer to listen to the studio album Omertà instead. That’s not to say that people shouldn’t check Coverta out, there’s some great songs on here and the performances are top notch. I recommend buying Omertà
for the true Adrenaline Mob experience and use Coverta as a nice compliment.

Anthrax – Anthems (2013) review

Anthrax - Anthems E.P. (2013)

Anthrax – Anthems (2013, Megaforce Records)

  1. Anthem (Rush cover)
  2. T.N.T. (AC/DC cover)
  3. Smokin’ (Boston cover)
  4. Keep On Runnin’ (Journey cover)
  5. Big Eyes (Cheap Trick cover)
  6. Jailbreak (Thin Lizzy cover)
  7. Crawl
  8. Crawl (remix)

Band Lineup:
Scott Ian – Guitars
Charlie Benante – Drums & Guitars
Joey Belladonna – Vocals
Frank Bello – Bass
Rob Caggiano – Lead Guitar

Produced by: Anthrax & Jay Ruston

Country: USA

Total Time = 33:45

Anthrax
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Megaforce Records

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This is going to be an easy review to do because Anthems is your typical covers record, the only caveat is that it’s an Anthrax covers album and Anthrax always does great covers. Now if you’ve read the website for any length of time, you know my feelings about cover songs. For those who don’t know, I’m not a fan of covers on a proper album (even if they are good) because I would like more original material. However, I do like covers albums and/or tribute albums because the cover songs are made for the context of that specific kind of album. Confusing? I know, I’m contradicting myself a little bit but it’s just how I feel. Now Anthrax has a long history in adding covers into their proper records (‘I’m Eighteen’, ‘Antisocial’, ‘Got The Time’) and they always add a cover here and there for E.P.s, greatest hits packages and singles. The thing about Anthrax covers is that they are always really good, especially their KISS covers! So it really is no surprise to get an Anthrax covers album in 2013.

Anthems is a pretty solid album, more an E.P. actually, with solid remakes of Rush, AC/DC, Boston, Journey, Cheap Trick and Thin Lizzy songs along with ‘Crawl’ from 2011′s awesome Worship Music reunion album and a remixed version of ‘Crawl’. All the cover songs are really solid performances that stay true to the original versions but, for me, played a little safe as far as the song selections. I have no problem with the performances at all but half of the covers are really safe choices: ‘T.N.T.’, ‘Smokin’ and ‘Jailbreak’ are virtual Classic Rock radio staples that you can hear almost on the hour, so why do I want to hear them again? Granted, solid performances but maybe we could go a little deeper into those bands’ catalogues? I get the point that if you don’t put some recognizable songs on the CD then people outside the diehards might not pick the album up so I can’t fault them too much. My favorite covers here are Rush’s ‘Anthem’, Journey’s ‘Keep On Runnin’ and Cheap Trick’s ‘Big Eyes’. When do you hear these songs on the radio? Never…..good on Anthrax from pulling out some deeper cuts.

As far as the inclusion of ‘Crawl’ twice…..well, I get that you want to put some additional promotion behind Worship Music seeing that it came out in Fall 2011, no problem there. I also don’t care about an alternate remix of the song, something different. ‘Crawl’ is a solid song from an awesome album so add it in and give fans that didn’t buy Worship Music a taste.

Bottom Line:
Anthems is a good album for what it is…..a covers album and, like I said, Anthrax does great covers so I knew this was going to be a solid release. The only problem for me is that I won’t reach for it that often, I’d prefer to listen to a studio album instead. That shouldn’t deter Anthrax and Heavy Metal fans from buying Anthems, it’s a nice diversion, it’s something different and done well. If you’re going to buy this album, definitely pick up the last studio album, Worship Music, too so you can get a true idea of where Anthrax is musically after almost 30 years.