REVIEW: Rockhead – Rockhead (1992)

ROCKHEAD – Rockhead (1992)

  • Bob Rock – guitar
  • Steve Jack – vocals
  • Jamie Kosh – bass
  • Chris Taylor – drums

A lot of Rock-haters (people who hate Metallica’s output from 1991-2003) have no idea that the man is quite the musician himself. Canadians remember the Payola$ and Rock & Hyde, but then there was Rockhead. Bob Rock found a great Canadian punk rock vocalist named Steve Jack, who as it turns out, was also a great screamer. Some of the screams on this album are unreal — check out “Bed Of Roses”, “Heartland”, and “Chelsea Rose” for some awesome vocals.  Face it, Canada has some great screamers (James LaBrie, Gerald McGhee, Sebastian Bach!) but Steve Jack was a contender.

This album was born during the the difficult Motley Crue sessions (not to mention a Bon Jovi album), while Bob was going through a divorce.  This comes out in the song “Warchild”.  In fact it ACTUALLY comes out during that song:   Bob can be heard yelling and throwing stuff around the studio at one point, which he recorded after a painful phone call.

I don’t find there is a weak track on this album, and plenty of Bob’s buddies show up.   Art Bergmann, Billy Duffy, Paul Hyde, Jon Bon Jovi & Richie Sambora all contribute songwriting skills.  Duffy and Sambora also contribute solos.   From the screamy Aerorock of “Bed of Roses” to the metal of “Heartland” to the acoustic Zeppelinesque “Angelfire”, every single track is worth a listen.  It’s a diverse album actually, running the gamut from light to dark and embracing different sides of rock.   Boozy, bluesy, epic, acoustic, you name it.  Its roots are firmly planted in the 1970’s, but if this had come out in 1989, it could have spawned 5 singles.

Sonically if you like Bob Rock, you will like this.  It’s right in the ballpark of that Motley Crue/Keep the Faith sound he had going on during that period.  Big big drums, layers of guitars, a lil’ bit of keyboards here and there, but mostly, lots and lots and lots of guitars.

4/5stars

20 comments

  1. Actually the first four songs on this album..Bed of Roses,Chelsea Rose,Heartland and Love Hunter for me match up to any first four songs on any album at that time.
    They are classics. If this album had come out in 91 it would have sold well but in 92 the climate changed.
    I wonder what happened to Steve Jack???

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    1. Who knows, maybe he blew out his voice? Screaming the way he screamed, you can’t keep going!

      This album IS classic and just by the quality of the songs and the names behind it, it SHOULD have sold well.

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  2. This was a great CD. Man, there’s a whole blog post in your future about albums that SHOULD have been huge that weren’t because of Kurt Cobain and the flannel brigade. I’ll bet you can think of fifteen of them right now, off the top of your head.

    We’ll be waiting for that post. ;)

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    1. Cry of Love. Brother Cane. There’s the first two that come to mind immediately because they were two new bands that Much used to play…but ONLY during their Start Me Up shows on Saturday. I thought, “Fuck! This is good rock and roll! Why the hell aren’t these bands the next big thing?”

      I must have been onto something because Damon Johnson from Brother Cane went out to join Alice Cooper and is currently in Thin Lizzy, while Audley Freed from Cry of Love was in Black Crowes. BRILLIANT guitar player, he is. Arguably I would say he was the better player in the Crowes.

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        1. So hang on! You can’t tell me how to spend my money (see: Skid Row thread) but you CAN tell me to get writing, eh?

          ;)

          It is a good idea for a post though. Tesla, Gilby Clarke, fuck I’m going to have to pare it down to 10 when I’m done making my list.

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      1. Well sure, Dude! You do this for free. You work hard for your dollars and can spend them however you want.

        I don’t thnk you should pare it down. I think you should list all the ones that matter to you and, by sheer numbers, prove your point over and over. Just one or two lines for each one. List ’em all, man.

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        1. I’m sure this comes as no surprise to LeBrain readers, but I have all my albums in a database. I can easily page through every title I own to do so.

          Black Crowes! Amorica! Take that one, Aaron :)

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        2. This should make for a great post.

          None of us are surprised that you keep your albums in a database. Not surprised one bit.

          Amorica. Man, everytime we talk about the Crowes, you gotta wave that shit in my face. Look, it’s not a bad album. I just don’t like it. If I ever think, hey! I thnk I’ll listen to dem Crowes, Amorica is NEVER the record I choose to put on. So be it. You can love it if you want to, I don’t mind. I know several people who love it and share your opinion. You should all have a great big We Love Amorica party and not invite me.

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      2. I spoke to Damon Johnson after the Black Star Riders gig a couple of months ago (or so) and he was really impressed that I knew of Brother Cane. Really nice guy, he was.

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  3. I agree with you Mike..this CD rocked! I actually got to see them live..they opened for Bon Jovi on the Keep the Faith tour in Europe !

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    1. Yeah, they did. Saw them both in Stockholm. What a fantastic gig. Bon Jovi were new born and hungry and rocked like hell. Total opposite of the bullshit pop band they are today.
      Rockhead were killer as well and went down like a storm. I bought their album after that show and I wasn’t alone in doing that. I think it was on our top 40 chart a while after that gig. Too bad they split up. This album is great.

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