Reviews

REVIEW: Mystique – Black Rider – 30th Year Anniversary (2016)

MYSTIQUE – Black Rider – 30th Year Anniversary (2016 Eat Metal Records)

Hamilton Ontario’s Mystique might have been my favourite musical discovery of 2022, a steely classic progressive metal band, with a load of expensive past releases to seek.  This reissue covers the Black Rider EP with some demos and singles.  It’s an absolutely essential purchase for any serious metal head, despite the production values, simply because these songs all scorch with an impressive diversity ranging from Priest to Poison.

4.5/5 stars

REVIEW: Ghost – “Spillways” featuring Joe Elliott (2023)

GHOST – “Spillways” featuring Joe Elliott (2023 Loma Vista)

One of the best songs of 2022 gets a new life courtesy of Def Leppard frontman Joe Elliott, who comes in on the second verse.  Ghost have evolved into quite the arena rock band, and Joe’s touch cements this even further.  The Leppard frontman chose Ghost’s Impera as his #1 album of 2022, so maybe you should check out what the man was so excited about?

5/5 stars

REVIEW: Triumph – Just A Game (1979)

*New format – the three-sentence review.

TRIUMPH – Just A Game (1979 MCA/2003 Round Hill Records remaster)

Landmark album, solid front to back, and a sign of growth for the Canadian trio.  Arguably their greatest song, “Lay It On the Line” has the biggest presence here, from soft intro to bangin’ chorus.  Highlights include the rocking opener “Movin’ On”, the blues “Young Enough to Cry”, the boogieing “American Girls”, the folksy power ballad “Hold On” and the progressive title track.

4/5 stars

Idea: A 3 Line REVIEW? Triumph – Thunder Seven (1985)

I was doing some online reading the other day, on Wikipedia as we often do.  I was curious about the book Moby Dick so I clicked the article and did a quick dive.  One thing in the article intrigued me immediately.  Someone wanted to determine when the first review of Moby Dick appeared in print, and their length criteria for “review” was “three lines or more”.

That got me thinking.

A lot of you want me to do reviews again, which I have been staunchly resistant to.  I’m tired of the extensive work that my type of review required.  However, would you be interested in a new kind of review that is only three sentences long?  Is that something you’d be interested in?

The key here is making the sentences count.  Let’s give it a try below.  I was recently given this album by good pal Tim Durling.


TRIUMPH – Thunder Seven (1985 MCA)

Far heavier than I expected, given Martin Popoff’s scathing 1/10 star review in Riff Kills ManThunder Seven is fine mix of riffy rock, progressive experimentation, Bluesy licks, thundering songs, and even one choral exploration.  Highlights are “Time Goes By”, “Follow Your Heart”, “Spellbound”, “Killing Time”, and the beautiful acoustic instrumental “Midsummer’s Daydream”.

4/5 stars


Thoughts?

REVIEW: Ace Frehley – Origins Vol. 2 (2020)

ACE FREHLEY – Origins Vol. 2 (2020)

Three cheers for Matt Starr!  Ace Frehley’s drummer is the “starr” of the show on 11 of the 12 tracks on Origins Vol. 2.  This is evident immediately on the Zeppelin cover “Good Times Bad Times”.  There are plenty of guests on this album, but doing justice to John Bonham ain’t easy.  Starr nails it!  Fortunately the Ace Man himself is also able to tribute Jimmy Page ably on his solo.

In fact the weakest part of the album are the vocals.  As Ace ages, his voice has gotten lower.  Some of these songs are in a lower key than usual to accommodate.  It’s also, quite frankly, difficult to get excited about a second album of covers.  A lot of the same bands are covered, including the aforementioned Zeppelin, Kiss, Cream, Stones, Kinks, and Jimi Hendrix.

It’s an OK covers album.  It’s nice to get so much Ace-sounding rock.  Frehley makes Mountain sound like his own originals, as he does “Kicks” by Paul Revere and the Raiders.  He’s a bit heavy-handed on “We Gotta Get Out of this Place”.  But “Space Truckin'”?  Not necessary, or even wanted.  “Space-Ace truckin’!” he sings and it’s borderline cringe.  “Hey where’s Jendell?”  While it’s good to put your own twist on a song, dropping your own name in doesn’t cut it.  And Ace is no Ian Gillan.  (Ian Gillan is also no Ian Gillan, but that’s beside the point.)

Among the guests, John 5 rips solos on “I’m Down” (Beatles) and the thumpin’ “Politician” (Stones).  He executes both modern and traditional rock and roll guitar solos, but goes wild for the “I’m Down” outro, on which he shreds.  Lita Ford also appears, but not on guitar.  She sings on “Jumpin’ Jack Flash”.  While there’s no denying that’s a classic song that influenced Ace, how many people have covered “Jumpin’ Jack Flash”?  Lita’s voice has barely changed since the 80s and she is easily the charismatic highlight of this overplayed tune, and a highlight of the album as a whole.  One guy whose voice has changed a bit is Robin Zander of Cheap Trick, who sings on “30 Days in the Hole”.  He can still do it with power and range, but you can hear the years.  Speaking of voices, Ace doesn’t sing on the Kiss cover “She” but the vocals are split three ways among the backing musicians, and they capture a reasonable facsimile of that vintage Paul/Gene layered vibe.

The most interesting guest of the lot could be one of Ace’s replacements in Kiss, Mr. Bruce Kulick himself.  Of course, over the years Bruce and Ace have jammed a few times, and it’s sheer delight to hear them together.  Bruce has, arguably, the best guitar solo on the whole album, with “Manic Depression”.  The guy is greased lightning, extra greasy!  It’s warming to see Ace and Bruce put egos aside and just play some music.  Any time, guys, any time.

Giving credit to Ace for one more thing, “Lola” does sound like his kind of tune.  His vocal shortcomings are obvious here but don’t really get in the way.  Whether you like that song or not, Ace has a quirky side that “Lola” fits, just as sweet as Coca-Cola.

Bonus:  the album comes with nice liner notes by Kiss scribe Julian Gill.

Let’s hope Ace has the covers out of his system for now.  Another original album, hell even a live album would be cool, but no more covers Ace, please!

3/5 stars

#1036: Sleeping My Day Away

A sequel to #1029:  Lick It Up (In Bed)

RECORD STORE TALES #1036: Sleeping My Day Away

Insomnia ain’t no joke!  As a long time sufferer (since childhood), I have continually sought new ways to fall asleep.  Last time we checked in, I was looking at using my laptop and a small pair of laptop speakers to play music and rock myself to sleep.  I have since revised the setup and experimented some more, with promising results.  Here’s the scoop.

The idea of keeping my laptop near my bed, next to my alarm clock and night-time drinks, was not ideal.  I’ve spilled plenty of night-time drinks so the laptop was not going to suffice as a long term solution for music in the bedroom.  I’m sure kids today have more efficient ways of playing their music wherever they want, but I also require certain minimum levels of quality.  Gotta have stereo, not a single speaker, for one.  The sound quality has to be slightly better than my buzzy, bass-free laptop speakers.  And I have to be able to play my own music, because Spotify doesn’t have what I want.

I looked around for my old Sony mp3 player, but I couldn’t get it to charge.  I had a second Sony too, but it appears to be lost.  So, my parents bought me a new mp3 player for Christmas.  Yes, they still make them!  It’s an off-brand player called a “AiMoonsa”.  The Amazon writeup said it has an “HD” speaker built in.  I don’t know about “HD”, but it doesn’t sound too terrible.  It does violate my stereo rule.  Gotta have stereo.  Of course, stereo is available through the headphone jack.  What’s nice about this player compared to the old Sony is that it has a removable 64 gig SD card.  Easy to swap in and out, and upgrade if desired.  I find swapping just as easy.  I’ll always put my old Kiss albums on my mp3 player, and the rest of the space can be taken up by other favourite bands and new musical purchases.  The only thing about this player is the controls are a little clunky, and it doesn’t display cover art like the Sony did.  But I also only need it to do the bare minimum of work.  That being, playing mp3 files over a pair of speakers while I try to get to sleep.

I needed new speakers, so I ordered the standard Amazon computer speakers, the Amazon Basics USB speakers for $24 bucks.  This is actually my third pair.  I have a set at the lake and you’d be surprised how far you can hear the music up there.  I also have a set at work.  This third set is for the bedroom.

I needed a power source for the speakers, so I grabbed an extension cord and one of those USB cube charges.  A bit jerry-rigged, but it works.

I loaded up the mp3 player with the aforementioned music, including my entire D-A-D collection as gifted to me by Thor.  Lemme tell something people:  D-A-D is a band with a deep, rich discography of awesome tunes!  Latter day stuff like “Empty Head”, “Something Good”, and “Everything Glows” are great tunes!  I put on the D-A-D compilation Good Clean Family Entertainment You Can Trust, and had a Christmas holiday nap.  And yes, “Sleeping My Day Away” was indeed the first track.

It was perfect!  The music sounded good enough (certainly better than when I used to fall asleep to music on cassette in the 80s).  The D-A-D did the trick, as tune after tune rocked me to sleep.  I fell asleep mid-way through the disc and stayed that way for a couple hours.

Now, who’s to say that I wouldn’t have fallen asleep that day even without the music?  It was a good nap though, and I enjoyed falling asleep that way, like I used to.  Jen came in to nap too, and whaddaya know?  Now she’s a D-A-D fan.

Mr. and Mrs. LeBrain fully endorse D-A-D.  Now go get some!

Savatage Ranked: A Collaboration with 80sMetalMan

A collaborative effort with 80sMetalMan!  You can check his list of Savatage Albums – Ranked by clicking here!


12.  Fight For the Rock (1986)

It would be ridiculous for any Savatage fan to complain about keyboards, Jon Oliva’s main weapon.  However before he really started givin’ ‘er on keys with Gutter Ballet, they employed them heavily on Fight For the Rock with guest Dvoskin on the boards.  These keys over-dominate in the mix and sound tacked on and out of place.  Fight For the Rock could have been higher in the ranking if the band weren’t chasing hits by their own admission.  Nothing wrong with the ballad “Day After Day”, and there are quite a few great Sava-songs on this album.  The production tanks it, sadly.  The band would never make another album this commercial again.

11.  The Dungeons are Calling (1984)

Just a mini-album that followed Sirens.  Highlights include the ferocious title track (what a riff!) and the slower, grinding “By the Grace of the Witch”.  Some of the other songs are a bit thrashy, a bit chaotic, so it’s all a matter of taste.  I don’t think “The Whip” is particularly good but if you wanna get your head bangin’, then go for it.  One of the CD bonus tracks, “Fighting For Your Love”, later became “Crying For Love” on Fight For the Rock.  Good tune and maybe should have been on this mini-album, but also would have softened it if it was.

10.  Dead Winter Dead (1995)

I’m really really sorry about this.  I know it’s the iconic album that launched Trans-Siberian Orchestra.  I just think they had better concept albums.  Not the concept is flawed but Savatage is a band with four concept albums (or rock operas) and one of them has to come in last.  Tracks like “I Am”, “Doesn’t Matter Anyway”, and “Dead Winter Dead” don’t hold up against superior material.  There’s also an overly long intro.  “This Isn’t What We Meant” and “This Is the Time (1990)” are emotional and awesome though.  I remember being disappointed that Alex Skolnick couldn’t stick around to record another album, and I really missed his greasy metal tone.  That’s not a slight against Al Pitrelli and Chris Caffery who came in to replace him.  It was nice to have the Mountain King, Jon Oliva, back in the band after two albums “officially” out.

9. Sirens (1983)

Not a bad debut by any stretch, with a monumental monolithic title track.  “Holocaust” is pretty awesome, as is “I Believe”, a rare song about aliens.  “On the Run” ain’t bad. “Twisted Little Sister” is a skip like “The Whip”, but the album ends on a strong note with “Out On the Streets”, another early song re-recorded and polished up on Fight For the Rock.

8. Gutter Ballet (1989)

This is so hard to pick “least favourites”. It kills me to put Gutter Ballet here in this position, since the title track is probably my favourite Savatage song of all time.  “When The Crowds Are Gone” would be in the top 10.  Banger “Of Rage and War” would make the top 30 list.  All of those songs are on side one.  Side two is less memorable, though it does feature Savatage’s first foray into conceptual territory.  The final three songs, “Mentally Yours”, “Summer Rain” and “Thorazine Shuffle” form a suite about insanity.  By the next album they were ready to do a full-blown rock opera.

7. Power of the Night (1985)

Raise the fist of the metal child!  The major label debut, produced by Max Norman.  Similar in strength, speed and heaviness to Sirens and The Dungeons Are Calling, the previous two releases.  Heavier than either due to sharp, lethal production work by Norman.  Some killer songs here:  title track, “Warriors”, and “Unusual” are all top tier.  “Washed Out” could be one of the heaviest songs they ever did.  Demonstrating their diversity, it ends on a decent ballad called “In the Dream”.  Really strong album, front to back, with a variety of heavy metal styles.

6. Hall of the Mountain King (1987)

It’s hard to believe that Fight for the Rock came in between Power of the Night and Hall of the Mountain King!  The two are brother records and it sounds impossible that anything came between them.  Mountain King was the breakthrough, with that incredible music video for the wicked title track.  Now produced by Paul O’Neill, the album sounds crisp and heavy.  Nary a wasted track here, with perhaps only the thrashy “White Witch” deserving the skip button.  “Strange Wings” could be the top track, with then-Black Sabbath singer Ray Gillen on backing vocals on “Strange Wings”.  Top five Sava-tune territory.  But then there’s also “Beyond the Doors of the Dark”, very Sabbathy itself (Tony Martin era).  “The Price You Pay”, “Devastation”…what an incredible album!

5. Handful of Rain (1994)

Tragedy strikes.  Founding Savatage guitarist Criss Oliva was killed in a traffic accident.  His original snake-like style, tone, and compositional sharpness would never be heard again.  Ex-Testament guitarist Alex Skolnick came in to do the album and tour, and ex-singer Jon Oliva worked behind the scenes playing virtually everything Alex didn’t.  The band “Savatage” didn’t really play on it.  Doc Killdrums, Steve Wacholtz, was pictured on the sleeve but it was Oliva who played drums (and bass and rhythm guitar).  Lead singer Zack Stevens did an admirable job all over this album loaded with memorable songs.  Perhaps the best of the new songs was the operatic “Chance” featuring Savatage’s first foray into counterpoint vocals:  layers of different lines singing different lyrics and melodies, but all complimentary and building to an explosive climax.  Meanwhile “Taunting Cobras” and “Nothing’s Going On” covered the heavy side of things.  The closing track, “Alone You Breathe” is easily the most emotional.  It revisits parts their magnum opus Streets: A Rock Opera for added hair-raising impact.

4. Poets and Madmen (2001)

The final Savatage, and fourth conceptual album.  Zack Stevens departed and Jon Oliva sang all the lead vocals himself for the first time since Streets (1990).  By this time we were used to big Savatage counterpoint epics, and this time it’s a 10 minute track called “Morphine Child”.  What a massive, plutonium-heavy riff!  All backed by a dramatic, emotional song.  While we did miss Stevens, Oliva more than handled the complex job with a host of backing singers similar to Trans-Siberian Orchestra.  This final album is about an asylum, but it’s more complex than that.  Many great tunes:  “Commisar”, “Drive”, “I Seek Power” and “Awaken” all slay.  At least they went out on a high note.  That counterpoint is the bomb!

3. The Wake of Magellan (1997)

Don’t see the storms are forming, don’t see or heed the warning.  Third conceptual album, and probably a hair better than Poets and Madmen simply because it has both Stevens and Oliva on lead vocals.  Brilliant songs with a nautical theme.  “Turns to Me”, “Complaint in the System”, “Paragons of Innocence”, “The Hourglass”, all great songs.  Not as heavy as their trashy past but many magnitudes more brilliant.  This time the big counterpoint song is the stunning title track, and it is the pinnacle of their counterpoint experiments.  The rapid-fire lead vocals are challenging, exiting and chill-inducing.  The band themselves found it difficult to perform.  A stellar album, lyrically and musically.  Stevens really went out on a high.  He was replaced by a singer named Damond Jiniya who unfortunately never recorded with the band before they went inactive.

2. Edge of Thorns (1993)

Jon Oliva left Savatage.  A shattering loss.  But behind the scenes, he wasn’t gone.  He still wrote and played keyboards.  He just didn’t want to tour, so Savatage brought in a new lead singer named Zack Stevens.  At the time he was compared to Geoff Tate and James LaBrie, but he soon came into his own.  Oliva personally selected him and trained him.  Taking their time, Savatage honed a fantastic album called Edge of Thorns, with a cutting-edge piano-riffed title track that took the fans by storm.  Sounding like a natural followup to Gutter Ballet, the album was stacked top to bottom with great songs both soft and heavy.  The lighter side included the piano ballad “All That I Bleed”.  On the heavy side, we have an epic called “Follow Me”, a thrashy scorcher called “Lights Out” and a dark stomp called “Skraggy’s Tomb” and another called “Conversation Piece”.  Not a conceptual album, but one that ebbs and flows just like one.  Zack’s best.

1. Streets: A Rock Opera (1990)

Grown from the seed that was “When The Crowds Are Gone” from Gutter Ballet, Savatage and Paul O’Neill conceived their first rock opera.  Leaning heavily on the piano, it was a startling change.  Yet song for song and word for word, this is Savatage at their most powerful.  Delving into Christianty, addiction, and miracles, the album was a surprise trip that really captured the imagination.  It’s more than just the story of a down and out rocker named D.T. Jesus.  It’s a story about believing and forgiveness.  The whole thing culminates with “Believe”, a top five Sava-track for certain.  Most of the highlights have ballady qualities, such “A Little Too Far”, “Can You Hear Me Now”, “If I Go Away”, “Heal My Soul” and “Somewhere In Time”.  Meanwhile “Sammy and Tex” covers the thrashy side.  Many songs had to be cut so it could fit onto one CD.  “Stay” and “Desiree” were later released as bonus tracks on other releases.  Also available is “D.T. Jesus”, a slower more soulful version of “Jesus Saves”. There is also a narrated version of the album including a cut track called “Larry Elbows”.  Though the album was a bit of a flop for Savatage, and many fans expressed disappointed in the softening sound, those kinds of albums often turn out to be the special ones.  Streets certainly is.  It’s so powerful it’ll give you chills.

#1032: 1984

RECORD STORE TALES #1032: 1984

The day before my entire world changed forever was December 25, 1984.  The day before I discovered Iron Maiden for the first time.  December 26 1984 would alter the trajectory of my life forever, but just as memorable was the day before.  The infamous Christmas Day when I received the GI Joe Killer W.H.A.L.E. hovercraft from my parents.

My parents kept up the “Santa” charade for a few years longer because my sister was still young.  Our Christmas tradition was that after we went to bed, mom and dad would get our “fun” gifts (the toys and games) out of the attic and leave them around the tree from “Santa”.  They were unwrapped and ready for us when we woke up in the mornings.  Truly, the happiest mornings of my life were waking up (always early) and turning on the lights to see what treasures awaited us.  Atari games, GI Joes, Transformers, and more.  Christmas of ’84 was the year I knew I was getting the GI Joe hovercraft from “Santa”.

I could not sleep, a problem I still suffer from today.  On that Christmas Eve, I decided it wasn’t worth trying to fall asleep.  So I laid there in bed, waiting for the parents to go to sleep and turn off the lights.  Eventually they did.  I’m not sure how long I waited after that.  Ten minutes?  Fifteen?  An hour?  At some point in the wee hours of the morning I got out of bed, went downstairs, and turned on the lights.

There it was – the Killer W.H.A.L.E., the big item up for sale that year and the star of two issues of the Marvel comic.  It came with a pilot figure named Cutter, an essential member of the Joe nautical forces.  I ripped open the box and began assembling. What a beast of a vehicle it was! It had two elevating side cannons, two missile boxes with four missiles in each, two manned machine gun turrets, a rack of depth charges, an escape motorcycle, and a launchable water sled for covert operations.  On the pilot’s upper deck there was room for two Joes including Cutter.  Below the opening top hatch was room for several more passengers.  Fully loaded with the two gunners, you could carry 10-12 Joes into battle.  At the back, triggered by a hidden button, you could spin the massive fans.  In the front, a ramp opened up so your Joes could take the beach and save the day.  It was a complex build with lots of parts and stickers and windows.

There arose such a clatter that my dad came downstairs to see what the hell was up.  He was shocked to see me there with my hovercraft at about 1:00 in the morning.

“Santa came,” I said stupidly with no better excuse.

He left me to assemble my new hovercraft and I tried to keep it as quiet as possible.

What a Christmas.  Could that have been peak Christmas for me?  The next year I got a dual tape deck, but I didn’t wake up at 1 AM to open it.  Considering the extreme early morning, the epic gift, and the transformative Boxing Day, that could indeed have been peak Christmas.  Music would slowly begin to dominate, changing things forever, but leaving memories just as sweet.

REVIEW: Extreme – “There Is No God” (1994 CD single)

EXTREME – “There Is No God” (1994 A&M CD single)

Extreme’s underrated (extremely underrated!) fourth album Waiting For the Punchline was released in January of 1995.  Yet it was preceded by the 1994 single “There Is No God”, a three track disc with two B-sides included.  Waiting For the Punchline was Extreme’s “back to basics” album.  After the sprawling three sided magnum opus, III Sides To Every Story, Nuno desired to strip things back and funk things up.  Waiting For the Punchline was more raw and groovy, but not as the expense of quality.  Criminally underrated!

The A-side is technically still a non-album track!  The album cut of “There Is No God” is over six minutes; this one is a 4:25 edit.  The opening stuttery guitar remains.  What an awesome drum sound!  Paul Geary played on most of the album (you can tell which ones) and he just had a full, impactful drum sound on this album.  Meanwhile Gary Cherone was singing and writing as strong as ever, turning up the anger dial.  Nuno utilises minimum guitar overdubs (if any) and sounds absolutely wicked here.  His solo is exotic, and there’s no rhythm guitar behind him.  Just Pat Badger laying down the bottom end.  What a killer 90s rock tune, and you don’t really notice the edits until the fade-out.

Second up is a tune called “Never Been Funked”.  Nuno’s using a treatment on his guitar here, giving it an electronic moog-like sound.  This is a basic groove, punchy and to the point.  Not a lot in the way of hooks, just that guitar of Nuno’s, zigging and zagging.  As expected, his soloing and fills are just as bonkers.

The third and final B-side, “Better Off Dead”, is a completely different direction.  Waiting For the Punchline wasn’t a ballad album.  “Better Off Dead” would not have fit, although it has the same ambience as the album.  With minimal accompaniment, Gary and Nuno sing together through the opening.  When the band kicks in, it sounds like Mike Mangini on drums rather than Paul Geary.  (There are no credits.)  It’s a lovely song if a bit meandering.  It’s the longest tune at 5:40.  The outro guitar sounds like Jimmy Page!

Great single to pick up if you’re a fan of Extreme.  Especially if you love Waiting For the Punchline.

4/5 stars

REVIEW: Vince Neil – “You’re Invited (But Your Friend Can’t Come)” (1992 single)

VINCE NEIL – “You’re Invited (But Your Friend Can’t Come)” (1992 Hollywood single)

“Woahow!”

In 1992, post-split, Vince Neil was out of the gates fast with a killer new single, while we had to wait two more years for Motley Crue to make their move.  It certainly seemed that Neil was winning the Crue vs. Vince competition, especially when his Exposed album with Steve Stevens was released in 1993.  We had no inkling that the Crue were brewing something equally strong with John Corabi, but for the time being at least, Vince Neil was the winner of the round.

Vince didn’t have his solo band yet, so the players you hear on “You’re Invited (But Your Friend Can’t Come)” might come as a surprise.  It’s 3/4 of Damn Yankees:  Tommy Shaw, Jack Blades, and Michael Cartellone.  The track was written by Neil, Shaw and Blades.  Automatically, we know to expect some quality.  This track was recorded for the movie Encino Man (or California Man) starring Paulie Shore and Brendan Fraser.  The soundtrack version (4:27) and a single edit (3:53) are both included here.

“One, two, here we go!”  The tune is a smoker, sharp and with wicked production.  The cocky lyrics perfectly match the upbeat riff, certainly one of the best Shaw/Blades riffs yet composed.  The single/soundtrack version is in fact superior to the final album cut that came a year later, even though that one included Steve Stevens with a seriously cool solo.  This guitar solo ain’t half bad either, of course!  Tommy Shaw is no slouch and it sounds like he’s having fun just losing his mind on guitar.  There’s even more of that nutso finger tapping on the album version vs. the single edit, especially in the bananas intro.

If you like guitar, then you will definitely love one of the B-sides:  a commercial Steve Vai instrumental called “Get The Hell Out of Here”.  Opening with a flurry of notes, the song goes into a riff with some cool call-and-answer lead guitars.  Definitely one of Steve’s more song-like structures, something like Satch is wont to do.  Catchy, straight ahead, with plenty of thrills.  Incredible harmonics!  A great middle ground for those who love lead guitar but find Steve’s regular solo work a little too bookish.

The last song to go over is by a band called T-Ride, who put out one album in 1992.  Joe Satriani called them “the future of metal”, but we’re all allowed to be wrong from time to time.  Their tune here is called “Luxury Cruiser” which was also on their self-titled album.  It’s hard rock for the 90s, and the singer can really wail when he wants to.  It verges on progressive, due to its careening from one different part and tempo to another.  Very technical, but not an amazing song.

Great single to have for the Vai and Vince tracks.  Vai later released his on a compilation of soundtrack music, but otherwise this is a great purchase to fill some gaps in your collection.

4/5 stars