Supergroup Metal Mixtape – 4/23/08

Saints Of The Underground (featuring Jani Lane, Bobby Blotzer, Keri Kelli, & Robbie Crane) released their debut album, LOVE THE SIN, HATE THE SINNER, this week and they are being hailed as a “supergroup”.

Ratt drummer Bobby Blotzer was involved in a similar “supergroup” back in 1991 when he teamed with Michael Schenker, Share Pedersen (Vixen), Richard Black (Shark Island), and Tracii Guns (L.A. Guns) for the Contraband project. This installment of Metal Mixtape will celebrate these two projects and all their members by playing one song involving each member…..Bobby Blotzer gets two because he was involved in both! Saints members 1st, Contraband members 2nd…..and, yes, I own all of these albums!

Warrant – ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin’ (1988): Probably the best Warrant song I’ve ever heard. I hate the band now but back in the mid-’80s they were everywhere and I liked the tunes. ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin’ is a great tune, better than ‘Cherry Pie’.

Ratt – ‘Slip Of The Lip’ (1986): I liked DANCING UNDERCOVER but it gets a bad rep for the first single ‘Dance’. This song has a sleazy groove to it and it should have been the first single.

Big Bang Babies – ‘Everybody Needs A Hero’ (1992): Glam, glam, glam! Keri Kelli played guitar in the Big Bang Babies way back when and this is the opening song of their self-titled album. I don’t think I’ve played this whole record in a long time…..maybe it will make the weekend’s playlist.

Vince Neil – ‘Sister Of Pain’ (1993): Robbie Crane played bass on Vince’s two solo albums when he left/was fired from Motley Crue. I liked this single better than ‘You’re Invited (But Your Friend Can’t Come)’ and the album was the Motley Crue record we all missed out on.

Ratt – ‘Wanted Man’ (1984): Like I said, Blotzer gets two songs and this is the best song from OUT OF THE CELLAR.

MSG – ‘Samurai’ (1982): Michael Schenker is a guitar god despite his demons. His career has been noted more for his odd behaviors and addictions rather then his music. ‘Samurai’ is one smoking track off of ASSAULT ATTACK with Graham Bonnet on vocals.

Vixen – ‘Cryin’ (1988): Single #2 for Vixen off their first album, I like this one better than ‘Edge Of A Broken Heart’.

Shark Island – ‘Paris Calling’ (1989): I thought Shark Island was going to be huge back in the day and LAW OF THE ORDER has been one of those forgotten gems that I pull out once in awhile. ‘Paris Calling’ was the first single off this record.

L.A. Guns – ‘Sex Action’ (1988): Back in the day we used to play the first L.A. Guns album to death! ‘Sex Action’ was a favorite at the parking lot parties we used to have.

The 5 Worst Albums of 2007

It’s been another solid year for new releases, hundreds of bands have released new albums in 2007 and it’s been very hard to keep up. I can’t buy everything and the money I put aside for my music fix has to be spent wisely. Unfortunately, I’ve had the misfortune of spending my hard earned cash on some really bad albums. So here is my list of the 5 Worst Albums of 2007:

#1

Manowar - Gods Of War

Manowar – Gods Of War

Absolutely the worst album I bought this year! I am a big Manowar fan and I have been since the early ’80s but this tests my loyalty. One look at the deluxe packaging and everything looked promising, the band really put a solid visual package together for the fans. I wasn’t big into translating the whole booklet but it gave me something to do while I listened. Unfortunately, the music was long and boring. Concept albums are hit or miss, for every OPERATION: MINDCRIME there are many subpar efforts. Even though the concept falls in line with the Manowar line of thinking, it’s hard to follow. How many orchestral passages does one album need? How many sound effects? Half the albums was instrumentals and narratives, for an album over an hour long, that’s a complete waste of time! The other half of the album was proper songs but even then they were too over the top and that’s saying something because everything Manowar does is over the top. Even the accompanying DVD (available on the limited edition) didn’t help.

#2

Vixen - Live & Learn Vixen – Live & Learn

What could you really expect from Vixen in 2007 anyway? Somehow, the nostalgia of my youth and the $9.99 price tag got the better of me and I bought this the day it came out. My big problem with this was that it just didn’t sound like Vixen. All the members are different except for guitarist Jan Kuehnemund and the mix is awful. Maybe if Janet Gardner was still on vocals then LIVE & LEARN could have escaped this list but the record would still need better production and better songs. Oh well, you live and you learn (pun intended)!

#3

Peter Criss - One For All (2007) Peter Criss – One For All

At least I knew going in that this wouldn’t be a Rock ‘n’ Roll album, that takes some of the pain away! This album was a must for me because I am a KISS diehard but I didn’t get value for my dollar. Overall, the music isn’t bad but the vocals are…..he’s not Frank Sinatra or Tony Bennett no matter how hard he wants to be. Knowing this album would be mellow and light with no Rock, I knew what I was getting.

#4

Ozzy Osbourne - Black Rain (2007) Ozzy Osbourne – Black Rain

This is not an Ozzy album. This is a Zakk Wylde/Black Label Society album. Don’t believe me? Spin this CD once and compare it to any BLS album…..you get the idea. It’s obvious that Ozzy is out of ideas and he needs as much help writing as he does from ProTools with his vocals. Obviously, Zakk Wylde is the driving force behind Ozzy’s music even though the writing credits say different. Ozzy’s vocals are enhanced by studio trickery more than ever and the overall packaging of the first pressing leaves a lot to be desired, even with the code for two free Ozzfest tickets. Ozzy had the opportunity to make a real kick ass record and he didn’t. As I wrote in the review: “…..it’s (the album) decent but it doesn’t blow me away. And I expect to be blown away by Ozzy.”

#5

Sebastian Bach - Angel Down (2007) Sebastian Bach – Angel Down

You wait 9 years and release this? I think the five songs on BRING’EM BACH ALIVE (1999) are much better than these songs and having Axl Rose as a guest star on three songs doesn’t make it any better. So why did I buy it? Simple…..hope. I had hope that Bach would make a good solo record, especially considering he had plenty of time to write good songs. I think my biggest disappointment here is the vocals, they are not good. Sebastian Bach has been considered to have one of the better voices from the ’80s and he just doesn’t show it. If the vocals were better, I would have kept it out of the Worst 5. I have yet to properly review this album but I’m definitely done listening to it.