Thursday, August 26, 2010

Five Albums :: Five Minutes

THE PROBLEM: I have too many albums that I want to write about, and too little time to actually write about them.
THE SOLUTION: I take five albums that are in my active iPod rotation, and give myself five minutes to write about each.
THE CATCH: I like to digest albums before writing about them - these may not be new releases, but they'll all be the artist's latest.
THE CAVEAT: Since we can't all keep up on everything, I can rest assured that these albums will be new to somebody...

Order of the Black
(E1 Music)

Imagine Ted Nugent on a diet of steroid-spiked sludge shakes. Order of the Black doesn't deviate from the bone-crushing course of it's predecessors, but why should it? It ain't broke, yet Zakk still shreds it, his sinister, sexy, slamming riffs ripping from Iommi-inspired metallic fury to more southern-flavored, melodic glory. "Godspeed Hellbound" melts your face, "War of Heaven" stomps on it, then "Shallow Grave" soothes you in its earthy musk. In a word? Colossal.

Standout tracks:
"Overlord" & "Time Waits For No One"
Official website:

Chasing the Grail
(Riot Entertainment)

For the first time in Fozzy's four-album history, they feel like a band, not a handful of musicians plying their trade behind a professional wrestling superstar. Chris Jericho's development is profound on Chasing the Grail, the warmth and texture of his Ozzy-seasoned vocals not only kicking the powerhouse metal outfit up a notch, but doing it with heart, soul, and a compelling conviction. The walls of Jericho have fallen, and Fozzy emerge as a triumphant force.

Standout tracks:
"Under Blackened Skies" & "Wormwood"
Official website:

Little Immaculate White Fox
(R.E.D. Distribution)

There's nothing nasty about the solo debut from this former Motley Crue backup singer. She may be a little woman, but Pearl's got a big voice - like that of a late-'70s, rhythm and blues soaked songbird transported thirty years into the future to show today's screamers what a body full of soul can sound like. Think Alannah Myles with a bionic set of pipes. Pearl is a modern day classic, retro-fit to remind us how rock and roll is supposed to feel.

Standout tracks:
"My Heart Isn't In It" & "Nobody"
Official website:

(Roadrunner/Loud & Proud)

I was playing this album at a party, and someone asked me which old Ratt album he was missing... That's high praise for a band more than a quarter-century removed from their emergence as one of the '80's signature hard rock acts. The hooks are deep, the rhythm section bounces hard, fast and heavy, and Stephen Pearcy's vocals sound timeless. This is one of the best post-'95 albums by any band to emerge from the hallowed Hollywood scene.

Standout tracks:
"Best of Me" & "Look Out Below"
Official website:

(Demolition Records)

From the seismic guitars and rattling drum tremors, to the Blackie Lawless vocal reverb and lyrical depth charges, this is classic W.A.S.P. The album is inspired by the four horsemen of the apocalypse, but you can't miss The Who shining through, even on covers of Deep Purple's "Burn" and Chuck Berry and Elvis Presley's "Promised Land." If you've never given W.A.S.P. a chance, Babylon is the ideal album to make you a believer.

Standout tracks:
"Live to Die Another Day" & "Babylon's Burning"
Official website:

1 comment:

Britt said...

Great review... loved the concept of doing five albums at once. I definitely had a blast reviewing the Fozzy, Pearl, and BLS myself!