Label: Frontiers 2012
Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom
RATT once sang, "Round and round, what comes around goes around, I tell you why". Okay, tell me why as it's hardly straight to the point (as if ever), but... it's sort of the circle of life. Hakuna matata or whatever kind of b.s. Elton sang about? Music gone the full circle and musicians ending up sounding like a mish-mash of classic and modern contemporary rock. Jack Blades of Night Ranger and Damn Yankees fame has certainly been blessed with the 'know-how' as the songs on his latest solo album blend a little of both camps (new and old rock).
The opening two numbers, "Back In the Game" and "Rock N Roll Ride", perfect examples of my theory, it's extremely fun and catchy-crunchy rock. Back to basic and acts such as The Foo Fighters are also trying to belt out these kind of tunes nowadays (their latest album). If you like, it's the modern/retro twenty twelve version of "You Can Still Rock In America" and the Damn Yankees. Pretty timeless stuff in other words. It's fun GUITAR rock, mo-fo! It's the sort of moment where you expect Ted 'Wacko' Nugent to pop out of his box and scream his head off for no other reason than being extremely excited. You'll be shouting along at the top of your lungs too - what kind of ride - a ROCK N ROLL RIDE!!
The first video/single, "Born For This", top notch rock in the vein of Bon Jovi? "Hardest Word To Say", goosebumps warning? the perfect ballad mix of Night Ranger, Damn Yankees, and Daughtry. "Anything For You", surely must be the result of the collaboration between Blades and Robin Zander? It's basically a (cool) mid-tempo Cheap Trick tune. The same goes for "West Hollywood" as the hall/trademark of Zander is written all over it. Well, The Beatles started out with these kind of tunes and the likes of Jeff Lynne, Tom Petty, and Zander picked up the torch back in the seventies.
"Say You Will" takes the fun uptempo mood up Night Ranger and blends it (again) with what the Foo Fighters are trying to capture. If you haven't been in the game for the past years. Don't go thinking grunge and depressive rock as they're a classic/modern rock band in this century, grandpa/ma. "Don't Give Up", the piano arrangement and formula of Bruce Springsteen in the background while blasting out the timeless rock upfront. Final track, "Hey Now", the old rock'n roll blues gone cowboy Bon Jovi and Shaw/Blades. Yup, kids take notice, the old Night Ranger is back in the game. It's a rock'n roll ride...