Friday, August 21, 2015

THE WILD BOYS - High Time (2004)

THE WILD BOYS - High Time (2004) front
Requested in "REQUEST & FILL CORNER" section...

Time for some rocking stuff in this blog and this request is the perfect excuse.
The first thing you got clear while listening "High Time" - the first album by THE WILD BOYS - is that this trio are unmistakable German.
Their brand of Melodic Rock bring to mind that classic Teutonic sound akin Bonfire. This happens mostly due to Hansjörg “Hanse” Fichter vocals - and especially his phrasing - very similar to Claus Lessmann, but also Jorg Sieber (Dominoe) and Robby Musenbichler (Jojo / Tokyo).

These aforementioned bands are as well a pretty good reference to THE WILD BOYS style, minus the keyboards and hi-tech twists; "High Time" is a guitar / bass / real drums based record.
After the short, fun intro "Wild Boys Rap", you can hear that easy melodies on "Asian Eyes" (very Bonfire), "Shadows", the dynamic & catchy "Let It Out" (Dominoe) and "Minds Eye Diary", a very nice melodic rocker included in the Vol.7 of 'Munich's Hardest Hits ... Melodic Rock Is Back" compilation.

THE WILD BOYS - High Time (2004) booklet

THE WILD BOYS also mix to their music some power rock&pop in "Cheap Tricks" with some The Outfield on it, and later on "Dreams".
The guys also feature here two outside songs (not strange as they started as a cover band); their own, melodic rock version of Backstreet Boys (!) megahit "Quit Playing Games", and The Sweet's classic "Wig Wam Bam".
Although Hanse's guitar playing is cool, his riffs are a bit unidimensional and begin to get tired at the middle of the album.

THE WILD BOYS - High Time (2004) back

Nevertheless, all works flawlessly, and what surprises you is the great production / mix, excellent for an indie release.
Pretty rare, out of print debut album from this unknown (and good) German Melodic Rock band.

01 - Wild Boys Rap
02 - Asian Eyes
03 - Cheap Tricks
04 - Shadows
05 - Quit Playing Games
06 - Let It Out
07 - Minds Eye Diary
08 - Wig Wam Bam
09 - Drunken Sailor
10 - Dreams
11 - High Time
12 - 40 (bonus track)

Hansjörg 'Hanse' Fichter: vocals, guitars, keyboards
Bernd 'Nando' Fichter: bass, backing vocals
Harry 'Jusy' Joos: drums, percussion

THE WILD BOYS - High Time (2004)

Sunday, August 16, 2015

V.A. - An '80s Metal Tribute To Journey (2006)

V.A. - An '80s Metal Tribute To Journey (2006) front
Someone asked in a comment for this Journey tribute album; "An '80s Metal Tribute To Journey".
Although the timeless classics from the giant outfit commanded by Neal Schon are impossible to improve, this is a very good recording.
There was a previous tribute including almost the same songs (titled 'A Tribute To Journey' 2002) but NOT the same performers, clearly far inferior.

For this one, talented Billy Sherwood (a specialist in tribute albums) brought to the fore great vocalists such as Mickey Thomas (Starship), Bobby Kimball (TOTO), Kip Winger, Tommy Shaw (Styx, Damn Yankees) and more, and the result was more than satisfactory.

V.A. - An '80s Metal Tribute To Journey (2006) back

The album title seems a bit misplaced - there's no 'metal' at all here, but velvety melodies.
Really nice versions.

01 - Don't Stop Believin - Mickey Thomas (STARSHIP)
02 - Who's Crying Now - Bobby Kimball (TOTO)
03 - Send Her My Love - Kip Winger (WINGER)
04 - Open Arms - Tommy Shaw (STYX)
05 - Any Way You Want It - Jack Rusell (GREAT WHITE)
06 - Faithfully - Robin McAuley (MSG)
07 - Wheel In The Sky - Kelly Hansen (FOREIGNER)
08 - Girl Can t Help It - John Corabi (ex-MÖTLEY CRÜE)
09 - Only The Young - Mark Knight (WORRY BEADS)
10 - Lovin Touchin Squeezin - Chaz West (JASON BONHAM)
11 - Be Good To Yourself - Ralph Saenz (METAL SKOOL)
12 - Lights - Stevie Rachelle (TUFF)
13 - Separate Ways - Kelly Hansen (FOREIGNER)

An '80s A Tribute To Journey (2006)

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

GOTTHARD - Tu Pasion [CDMaxi] (2006)

GOTTHARD - Tu Pasion [CDMaxi] (2006) full
Requested in "REQUEST & FILL CORNER" section...

"Tu Pasion" is another GOTTHARD maxi-single released in limited quantities which turned out of print soon.
As happened with the previous CDM featured here (El Traidor), "Tu Pasion" is the Spanish version of other Gotthard single, the catchy 'Lift 'U' Up', recorded with the intention to bring new Latin fans to Gotthard's base.

For most people it's a cool rarity and a collectors item, but Spaniard audiences will find an interesting lyric re-shaped for this version. Additionally, there's a 'classical version' of Gotthard's classic "One Life One Soul", featuring opera diva Monserrat Caballe in a duet (as Freddie Mercury did before) with the late Steve Lee.

GOTTHARD - Tu Pasion [CDMaxi] (2006) back

As far I know, Maxi-CD only released in Spain.
Out of print.

01 - Tu Pasion / Lift 'U' Up (Spanish Version)
02 - Lift 'U' Up (Radio Edit)
03 - One Life One Soul (feat. Monserrat Caballe)
04 - Nothing Left At All (Live)
05 - Anytime, Anywhere (Live)

Vocals – Steve Lee
Guitars – Freddy Scherer, Leo Leoni
Bass – Marc Lynn
Drums – Hena Habegger

GOTTHARD - Tu Pasion [CDMaxi]

Friday, August 07, 2015

GOTTHARD - El Traidor [CDMaxi] (2006)

GOTTHARD - El Traidor [CDMaxi] (2006) full
Requested in "REQUEST & FILL CORNER" section...

Released at the time of GOTTHARD's album Lipservice (one of their best), "El Traidor" is one of these 'hard to find' maxi-singles released in limited quantities which turned out of print soon.
"El Traidor" is the Spanish version of the band's anthemic hit 'Anytime, Anywhere', recorded with the intention to bring new Latin fans to Gotthard's base.

For most people it's a cool rarity, but Spaniard audiences will find an interesting lyric re-shaped for this version. Additionally, there's a 'Classical Version' including very nice string arrangements.

GOTTHARD - El Traidor [CDMaxi] (2006) cd scan

As plus, the maxi-CD includes "Anytime, Anywhere" in its original version and the live take of "The Other Side Of Me", originally the Japanese bonus track for the 'Made In Switzerland' Gotthard album.
A cool collectors piece.

01. El Traidor (Anytime, Anywhere Spanish Version)
02. El Traidor (Anytime, Anywhere Spanish Classical Version)
03. Anytime, Anywhere
04. The Other Side Of Me (Live)

Tracks 1 & 2 Exclusive to this CDM
Track 3 taken from the album "Lipservice"
Track 4 is the Japanese bonus track for "Made In Switzerland"

Vocals – Steve Lee
Guitars – Freddy Scherer, Leo Leoni
Bass – Marc Lynn
Drums – Hena Habegger

GOTTHARD - El Traidor [CDMaxi]

Monday, August 03, 2015

RESTLESS (USA) - Alone In The Dark [Japanese Edition +3] (1999)

RESTLESS (USA) - Alone In The Dark [Japanese Edition +3] (1999)
re-posted as requested, really hard to find

RESTLESS isn't the 'real' name of this band. This moniker was chosen by leader Roger Sommers and the German label MTM who resurrected this material on CD format in the late Nineties.
All these songs were recorded during the '80s (I think 1988) under the band name FREELANCE, but the group never managed to get a recording deal back then, a real shame.

"Alone In The Dark" consists of tracks from two original four song demos that were recorded on a 16-track home studio plus some later "proper" studio tracks with much better production. But the roughness of some of these demos isn't a problem at all, believe me.
Musically this is '80s AOR with some pomp influences, while the newer songs are more hair / arena rock, strongly influenced by Def Leppard with lots of keyboards.
First track "Guilty" (from the 2nd demo) is a killer melodic hard rocker in the vein of the best White Sister with an updated sound. On "Alone In The Dark" the lead vocals of Sommers sounds like a young Steve Overland, and except some 'hair metal' twists, the whole band sounds like the british FM here.

"Don’t Do It To Me" is real belter. It's a great midtempo classic AOR tune with tons of keyboards, very British to my ears, similar to Shy or After Hours. Next, "Lightnin’ Strikes" is another highlight, a Journey-esque melodic semi-ballad that was featured on the mythical AOR Basement 'unsigned bands' compilation 'Hot Night In The City' in 1988 under their original name Freelance.
"Leavin' You" is the first track featured here in the Def Leppard style. The rhythm guitars are fat and the chorus multi-layered. Strong rocker.

Now... the best track here in my opinion. "Keep The Fire Burning" is pure '80s pompy AOR with wonderful keyboards. Define AOR: this song! This one alone worth this disc.
"Painted Lady" is one from the 'old' recordings. A keyboard driven melodic rock full of energy and attitude.
On "I Don't Wanna Want You" the band decided to write a Foreigner-style ballady, and don't disappoint. Of course Sommers isn't Lou Gramm but he does a really good job.

"Body To Body" links directly to Def Lepp. Big choruses and arena rock vibe. Compared to Blue Tears too.
"Feels Like Love" has a definite pomp feel with 'that' pulsing rhythm section, bright keyboards and big harmonies. An early '80s influenced track in the Roadmaster style.
The emotional ballad "Willing" close the regular edition of this release. Grand piano and orchestration, featuring a tight vocal performance.

RESTLESS (USA) - Alone In The Dark [Japanese Edition +3] (1999) back cover

The CD was released in Japan in 1999 featuring 3 juicy bonus tracks (not listed on the back cover). The first, "What Do You Know About Love" is from the last recording period, Def Leppard meets Billy Squier with a bluesy melodic rock touch and huge backing vocals.
Next, "Carry That Weight", is a sweet acoustic based ballad that increases the tempo in the Damn Yankees style, very early Nineties. I like this a lot.
Then the last of the bonus "Lay Me Down" follows the melodic rock pattern of opener "Guilty". A gutsy track with big, big guitars.

Even when production isn't first rate at times, all this material is very well rounded and sounds absolutely professional.
Produced by Roger Sommers itself, during the '80s he has been studying sound engineering and that's evident here, now he's a well-respected studio man working with Saga, Jamie Rowe and others.
The personnel involved are all accomplished musicians, including guest appearances by Chuck Wright (Giuffria, House Of Lords) and Jeff Scott Soto on backing vocals.

"Alone In The Dark" is posted everywhere, but not this Japan edition with 3 bonus tracks.
This is pure '80s bliss. Don't miss it.
Highly Recommended.

01 - Guilty
02 - Alone In The Dark
03 - Don't Do It To Me
04 - Lightning Strikes
05 - In Your Eyes
06 - Leavin' You
07 - Keep The Fire Burning
08 - Painted Lady
09 - I Don't Wanna Want You
10 - Body To Body
11 - Feels Like Love
12 - Willing
Japanese Bonus Tracks:
13 - What Do You Know About Love
14 - Carry That Weight
15 - Lay Me Down

Roger Sommers: Lead vocals, Guitar, Backing Vocals
Michael Lord: Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Jason Orme: Guitar
Scott Polluck: Bass
Danny Lux: Drums
Jac Mandel: Guitar
Bruffie Brigham: Bass
Mark Bennett: Drums
Chuck Wright: Bass
Jeff Scott Soto: Backing Vocals

RESTLESS Alone In The Dark [Japanese Edition +3]