New York, NY (Top40 Charts)
Album Review by The Grouch | Sweden
Raw & Reckless Volume Two Featuring the following rockers Rezmanian Devils Society, Troy Tipton, Wayne Olivieri, Gar Francis, Charles Brown, The Corridors, Lon Michaels, Bruce Lev, DJ Buddy
Holly, Ricky Persaud Jr., Raftree, Inches From Sin and Chickahominy Vibe
The good folks at Bongo Boy have sent another album my way and asked me to share my thoughts. Given that the name of the album is Raw and Reckless Volume Two I am pretty excited to give this record a listen. I love raw Rock and Roll. Having grown up in Detroit, Iggy Pop
was a staple of my youth and it doesn't get much more raw than Iggy. So with it is with the Stooges in mind that cue up this album.
1. Rezmanian Devils Society - Devil Of Love 3:42 - Yes! I dig the blast of noise that hits me square in the face. I am actually reminded of the early Scorpions. This song is heavy. The music is far from complicated, but hey, it's Rock and Roll. The singer's voice is good and the band has a healthy dose of attitude. I am digging the old school hard rock guitar solo! Man, I hope these guys score a major hit. The world needs more old school blues based metal and fewer sensitive emo songs, in my opinion.
2. Troy Tipton - Never 3:57 - I like the way this song starts. There is something about the song that reminds me of Bon Jovi
before he was a headliner. Actually, this song has a hard edged 80s groove and also reminds me of several of the bar bands playing Detroit
back in the day. This is a good song. I find myself humming along with the chorus and wondering what their live show is like. I can see plenty of opportunities to extend this song live and let the band real-ly open up. The listener does get a little taste of what their lead guitar can do when given the chance. I like what I hear and would absolutely buy a ticket to see their show
3. Wayne Olivieri - I Am A Music
Man 3:43 - I should mention that this song is currently charting on the Adult Contemporary Chart. Tags like Adult Contemporary always confuse me. When I listen to this song what I hear is absolutely smoking blues based Rock and Roll. Wayne has a great voice for this kind of music and this guitar is hypnotic. In short, Wayne has written an anthem. Man, I dig the harp that takes a solo, just before some truly wicked guitar kicks in. This song has a BIG sound and exploding smoke pods come to mind. I am digging it!
4. Gar Francis - Tell The Truth 3:17 - My man, Gar Francis! I can honestly say I have not heard anything by this guy that doesn't just blow me away. The only other musician I can say that about is Smokey Robinson. This track might be from the 80s, but it still sounds fresh. God, that guitar makes me smile! Listen to this song! Find out why Gar is The Master. I have that big goofy grin I get when I am totally captivated by what I hear. The man can play!
5. Charles Brown - Explorer Of Life 4:30 - This is an interesting song that opens up with what sounds like a synthesizer. The synth makes room for some really nice guitar and a very solid drummer. I am reminded of Rush without the vocals. The bottom line is that Charles and the rest of the band are really very good players who not only have the technical ability, but are not afraid to take on challenging pieces. There seems to be an ELP vibe to this song which I, surprisingly, find myself digging.
6. The Corridors - End Of The Times 3:25 - This track is by a band that I really like and first heard on another Bongo Boy release. If you have not heard the Corridors, I highly recommend you give them a listen. I really like the simple yet heavy start of this song. I *know* their drummer is just smiling a big goofy smile as he starts this track off. The guitars on this song have such an infectious groove; think the old Pixies. Their singer has an excellent voice that fits this song well. There is something wrong with Corporate Rock when bands as talented as The Corridors are not famous worldwide. I just played this track for the Grouchette, who was born and raised in Sweden. She, too, is sure this band would be extremely popular here.
7. Lon Michaels - Tell Me There's No God 3:58 - I like the intro which reminds me of RATT.
This is an interesting song with a religious bent. Lon seems like a devout guy who can make some noise. All in all, the fuzz guitar and heavy drums grab my attention. I don't think I have heard anything this rocking about God since Norman Greenbaum.
8. Bruce Lev - 20th Century
Man 3:40 - The radio going from station to station at the begin-ning of the track is kind of cool. Then a very Ramonsesque sound hits me. This isn't typical punk rock though. The guy playing lead in this band can wail! In fact, what starts out as a Ramones vibe morphs into a BOC vibe about half-way through the song. By the end of the song I know I really want to see their live show! To borrow a phrase my old Jr high/High school band teacher would say when he was particularly happy with the jazz band "Man, you cats can groove." Bruce Lev does indeed groove!
9. DJ Buddy
Holly - Keep Spinning 4:38 - Firstly, A+ for having a cool band name! Secondly, I DIG this song. The guitar is simple, but Oh so heavy. The drums and bass come in and provide a solid backbone while the singer snarls. All I can say is YES YES, this is the same feeling I had when I first heard Iggy Pop
and I am digging it. This, folks, is Rock and Roll. This is what weirded out middle class parents back in the day. I love it.
10. Ricky Persaud Jr. - Goodbye 16 4:12 - Firstly I feel I must mention that Ricky is attending this Fall semester the Berkeley
School of Music
and he is the youngest artist on this release. Ricky, I am impressed. Anyone who can attend music school is a real musician. Personally, despite having played in school bands and bar bands for years, I cannot read music. (I was lucky that as a drummer in school band I could get by 'feeling' the music.) So, good on you and I wish you the best as you enter the world of higher education.
Ricky has written an exceptionally heavy starting song that makes use of a guitar playing very high notes that really grab the listener's attention. In fact, the music in this track is what I would call complicated. The vibe alternates between massively heavy rock as he screams "Goodbye 16" and the beauty of Queen's music. There seem to be elements of several genres in this song, as at times, the drummer hits me with a funk vibe. All in all, I am very impressed. Excellent work Ricky.
11. Raftree - All The Time 4:10 - Oh yeah! I dig the snare roll as the wave of sound kicks off. The first thing that hits me is that their drummer rocks and the bass player is right there with him. These two are a huge force that keeps the band grounded as the guitar blisters. When not flashing lightning, the guitar plays a succession of melodic notes that fill the gap while the singer simply nails it. This guy has a good voice, a really good voice! All in all, these guys absolutely, blisteringly, jam! I am very surprised these guys are not (or maybe they are?) headlining music festivals in Europe.
12. Gar Francis - If You Love Me 3:25 - One of my all-time favorite musicians is back. This is a love song, but man it rocks. The drums are just spot on while the bass player is grooving and Gar blasts some loudness. This song reminds me on one of those old songs that has been remade into a massive jam, think Some Kind of Wonderful. The highlight, for me personally, is when Gar makes his guitar scream before going into the verse. This must be a very fun song to play.
13. Inches From Sin - Heartbroken 3:22 - I first heard Inches From Sin on another Bongo Boy release. They have been on a few Bongo Boy records and each time their tracks have been stellar. This track is no exception. I swear I hear a Train
in Vain influence in this song. In any case, I like what I hear. This band rocks and the players are really good. The standout in this song, however, are the vocals. Granted, the massive jamming guitar is utterly cool, but the woman who is singing has a beautiful voice that I could listen to all day. All in all, this is another very good song from a very talented band.
14. Chickahominy Vibe - #Bitter 3:55 - Speaking of music that is beautiful, this song starts out simply as beautifully played music and then boom turns into something that would make Metallica
smile. The singer's voice has nothing less than an ominous quality which only adds to the song's ability to captivate the listener before coming to the end which is followed by a deafening silence. I am left speechless and impressed.
15. Lon Michaels - Anastasia 4:40 - Lon is back with more rocking guitar. The effects on the drums are kind of cool. I like Lon's heavy guitar. The world needs more raw, basic Rock and Roll! This song strikes me as three guys having a blast jamming in the basement and I dig it!
So what is the bottom line? The bottom line is this: Once again Bongo Boy has released a fan-tastic album that brings together several artists, each of whom speaks with their own voice. The artists on this album are varied, but they all know how to use the power of music and that folks is possibly the most powerful force in the universe.
The Grouch | Sweden
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