Do You Wanna Start A War
Century Media Records
Rating: 8.5 out of 10
Reviewed by: Jay Rybak
Before we start a war, I must start with a confession. FOZZY, the band fronted by WWE Superstar Chris Jericho and consisting of members of Stuck Mojo, is one of the rare bands that provokes a humble admission from this critic- I was late to the party! Let me explain; I was first introduced to the music of FOZZY back in 2010 (a mere 11 years after they got their start) when my friend Craig “Bam-Bam” Stegall gave me a copy of the band’s 2010 album, Chasing The Grail. You see, it wasn’t that I hadn’t heard of them, it was rather more admittedly that because in 1999, when FOZZY first made their debut, the times were different. New music was much less accessible without plunking down $15 and not being sure what you were going to get, especially for a college kid without a pot to piss in who knew exactly what he was getting when he plunked down $15 for a case of beer. Call it misguided priorities, or simply call it being cheap. Whatever you wanna call it I missed the train back then, and thankfully 11 years later I had a friend reach out his hand and pull me on. Fast forward 4 years later and the ride continues with FOZZY‘s latest album, Do You Wanna Start A War, and the riders on this rock n’ roll locomotive won’t wanna get off.
The opening seconds of the album, and the air raid sirens of the title track almost serve as a warning; get ready because we’re about to launch an all out assault on your eardrums! The next track, “Bad Tattoo” showcases the guitar prowess of Rich Ward and Billy Grey backed by the killer double bass of Frank Fontsere, and is highlighted by a Zeppelin-esque bridge that would make Jimmy Page blush. Follow that up with the Ozzy-meets-Filter sound of the current single “Lights Go Out”, and we’re well on our way to one of FOZZY‘s best albums to date.
Now that they’ve gotten your attention, the boys throw us a curveball with the Sick Puppies sounding ballad “Died With You”, which shows Jericho‘s vocal range is much more than people give him credit for. Traveling even further outside the norm, comes the pleasant surprise that is “Tonight”. This upbeat rocker features a vintage 80’s sound with poppy overtones, so it should come as no surprise that they enlisted the vocals of Steel Panther’s Michael Starr to help out on this one.
Don’t let your guard down just yet, just around the corner is one of the highlights of the album in the form of the thrash rock face-melter “Brides Of Fire”. I’d love to know how many drum skins met their untimely death on this recording! Follow that up with yet another favorite in “One Crazed Anarchist”, Jericho‘s vocals backed by Ward‘s growling chorus put us right in that basement as the lunatic plots his evil plan. Yet another that is sure to set the circle pits into rotation.
Take 5 parts FOZZY and mix in one part Christie Cook, and what you get is “Unstoppable”. A catchy rocker that beckons comparisons to Halestorm, not simply because it features a female vocalist, but because it features a female vocalist with pipes on par with those of Lzzy Hale backed by a monster band with a catchy hook that leaves you begging for more. Bring on the doom and gloom of “Scarecrow”, perhaps the only dud on the album. Not that it’s a BAD song by any means, it’s just not a GREAT song in comparison to the rest of the album, not to mention it’s odd placement betwixt two high energy rockers. Fear not my friends, “No Good Way” picks up the energy with a Shinedown-meets-Godsmack reflection on life and death that is sure to be a staple at rock radio for years to come.
Nothing can prepare you for what happens next…“S.O.S.”… a cover song… originally done by… ABBA! I know you’re probably thinking “Fucking ABBA!?”, among other choice words, but there are two reasons to choose your words wisely: First, the song is an absolutely brilliant rendition that is in itself a perfect reason to own this album, and it is guaranteed to be a favorite by anyone with a pulse. Second, Chris Jericho can kick your ass! Finally to end the album, FOZZY get back to their roots with “Witchery”; a song that begs comparisons to early All That Remains and when it’s finished makes you put down that pinky finger, take your hand out of the air, and while keeping that index finger extended, press repeat!
All in all, Do You Wanna Start A War is a must own, and comes highly recommended!!! I waited WAY too long to get on the FOZZY train, don’t be like me! Head out to your local record store now (yes, they do still exist), or if you can’t wait click here and purchase the album! All Aboard!
10 out of 10
When was the last time a debut album topped your best of the year list?
When was the last time a debut album grabbed you by the balls and made you sit up and pay attention the first time it was played for you?
Well, that time is now, the band is Scorpion Child, and the album is their self titled debut album on Nuclear Blast.
Austin Texas has put out a ton of great bands in the last few years. Most notably The Sword (in my book anyway) and now another epic sounding band that reminds you of Led Zeppelin on steroids. I hate comparing any band to Zep but when the lead singer, Aryn Jonathan Black, sounds like a young hungry Robert Plant and the rest of the five piece band comes off as the be all end all of 70’s super groups it is very difficult to not make that comparison.
There seems to be a resurgence of that epic hard rock sound from the 70s coming back. I for one am all for it. But this is no novelty act. This is the music that could very well save Rock & Roll (and FUCK FALL OUT BOY for even tongue in cheek insinuating it could) and put it back in the forefront of popular music.
Part hard rock riffs, melodic rock vocals, prog rock noodling wall of sound, and psychedelic pop sensibilities Scorpion Child is is nothing short of mesmerizing. If there is a single flaw on the album it would be that there are only 9 songs on it. And in this day and age of bands rethinking the full length album and releasing two very strong songs with 10 cuts that are glorified b-sides, Scorpion Child comes out swinging for the moon with a full album of great songs that should put every band bemoaning the current state of the music industry on notice that if you put out a full length album of quality songs and not just filler that it will be received and heralded as a full length album worth owning and listening to in its entirety.
Scorpion Child doesn’t miss a beat here. There isn’t a bad song on this album.
If you don’t run out and purchase this right now… There is no hope for you or Rock & Roll. Because this is the PERFECT ROCK & ROLL ALBUM.
You’ll thank me later.
And I predict this album will be on almost everyone’s top ten list and should be most of their #1 pick.
The Winery Dogs
The Winery Dogs
Loud & Proud Records
Rating: 11 out of 10
Release Date: 7/23/13
Yes, you did read that right, 11 out of 10, we broke the scale on this one! The word triumvirate is often defined as a “rule of three”, in this case it’s “three that rule”. Guitarist and vocalist Ritchie Kotzen (Mr. Big/Poison), bassist Billy Sheehan (Mr. Big), and drummer Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater/Avenged Sevenfold) have long been considered three of the finest at their respective crafts, so it’s no surprise that when their talents collide we are left with nothing less than an Album of the Year contender.
From the opening riff of “Elevate”, you realize that this is going to be one of those albums where one can’t help but “feel” the music. A blues rooted rocker with a hint of Nugent-meets-Wolfmother, this opening track is just a pre-cursor of what’s to come. From “Desire” to “The Other Side” to “Regret”, the entire album is riddled with screaming, yet soulful guitar, pulse-pounding drums, killer vocals, and bass lines that would make Geddy Lee blush!
With such a great collection of musical genius, it’s hard to pick a favorite. There are, however, some highlights that cannot go unmentioned. One such highlight is “The Other Side”, which begins with Portnoy’s drums launching into a finger bleeding bass line from Sheehan, climaxing with Kotzen’s guitar solo, at which point he releases inner Eddie Van Halen.
Kotzen then takes that same style and melds it into “One More Time”. Yet another reminder that these guys are a force to be reckoned with, this track bears hints of Eric Johnson meets Van Halen’s “Eruption”. On the track “Six Feet Deeper” Portnoy’s drumming channels the spirit of the late, great, John Bonham. “Damaged” and “Not Hopeless” are two more favorites of mine that highlight just how much Kotzen’s voice sounds like that of one of rock’s greatest voices, Chris Cornell.
Perhaps the coolest song on the album is “Time Machine”. This track has a conceptual feel to it, in that it begins sounding very much like a modern day Alice In Chains tune, and transforms as we travel time, into some good old fashioned 80’s guitar power rock! Last, but certainly not least, the album culminates with “Regret”; a true blues based rock track that summons the air guitar and serves as a reminder that “blues gave birth to rock ‘n roll”, making our only regret not pressing the “Repeat All” button.
Every album has one or two band members on it that truly stand out, but The Winery Dogs smash that theory to pieces with their debut album. If you love blues-based power rock, July 23rd should be like Christmas morning for audiophiles everywhere. Hands down, the best album of 2013!!!
What are you waiting for??? Click here to pre-order The Winery Dogs debut album, and find out when they’ll be coming to your town to blow your mind in person!