Reviews roundup – The Bullhounds vs. General Greed vs. Vargas Blues Band vs. 10 Code vs. Human Zoo
To Rock & To Serve
Rock Bastard Records
Hey everybody! It’s the Georgia Satellites. Well, it’s 50% Georgia Satellites, 25% Keith & The Satellites (who predated GS) and Danish businessman turned vocalist Erling Daell. But it’s as if the Satellites never went away on this highly enjoyable release.
I thought they were great and even though Dan Baird went on to make some good records, with and without some other ex Satellites, their days of ass kicking seemed to be behind them. But on this second record by The Bullhounds, asses are being kicked again.
So that means Rick Richards, Mauro Magellan and bass player Keith Christopher from the pre-Georgia Satellites line-up Keith And The Satellites are doing what they do best. Which is, basically, southern rock and blues rock all muddied up.
Tunes like ‘Ain’t Easy being Cool’, ‘Eff That’, ‘Kickin’ The Can’ and ‘No Control’ may not quite reach the heights of the GS, but they are mighty fine tunes in their own right, and southern rock fans would od well to check them out.
Rectifying For Justice
And we’re staying in Scandinavia for our next release, hopping over to Sweden to catch up with General Greed, whose debut album this is.
Turns out that mainmen, Richard Lööw and Andreas Rosén have been playing together for several years in a post-grunge band called Looks Like Lucy for a few years. When that ended they stuck together and came up with some songs for a new project. As they’d made a bit of a name for themselves it wasn’t too hard to get a deal, and here comes “Rectifing For Justice”.
This time they’ve looked backwards and sideways for their influences, to the eighties for some metal and to the American colonies for some pop punk, ending up with what will pass muster as a modern metal album. Which is basically not metal. More the kind of thing that Foo Fighters dish out. But there is a market for this sort of thing and songs like ‘Firestorm’ and ‘Sweet Insanity’ should see fans of the genre having a good time.
VARGAS BLUES BAND feat. Paul Shortino
Hard Time Blues
Santo Grial Records
Hurrah! It’s the return of Duke Fame. He spends most of his time in Las Vegas performing in the “Raiding the Rock Vault” show, but now Paul Shortino (for it is he) has turned up on the latest album by the Vargas Blues Band.
Who aren’t actually a blues band. They’re actually a Latin rock band, which could be why Carlos Santana of that ilk has recorded a Javier Vargas song in the past. But that’s fine by me, as he is a shit hot guitarist who can fire out a riff and a solo with the best of them. There is one proper blues tune here in the shape of ‘Burning Shuffle’, but the rest of the album mixes up rock, Latin grooves, blues and funk with reckless abandon.
The rest of the band are no slouches either, with Tim Mitchell, Peter Kunst and Guy Pearson putting in a good shift. However, as much of a fan as I am of the Duke, with a few Rough Cutt records tucked away in a corner, it really does feel like just another session. I’m always glad to hear him, but he’s done better.
That aside, there are some great songs here, with ‘Welcome to the World’ and ‘Spanish Roads’ currently getting a lot of play round my way. Recommended for folks who’ve got their Santana groove back post reunion.
Back to the post grunge now, and we’re off to the Mediterranean for some Greek grunge. Yes, really. Because that’s what the oddly named 10 Code are up to. Actually, I’ll probably recant the post part of post grunge, because they’re very retro with their sound.
Which means its early nineties Seattle that they’re yearning for, and the likes of Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots and Soundgarden that rear their ugly heads. This is their debut album, after an earlier EP, and if only it was STP that were their main influences, rather the other two. But they’re good at what they do, if you like the idea of Pearl Jam when they stopped having hits.
They’ve got a few desert rock licks in there as well, and on songs like ‘Transmitter’ and ‘Superman’s Cape’ have got enough going on to keep grunge fans happy.
My Own God
They don’t put out records very often, but the German melodic metal band Human Zoo have obviously decided to go for quality over quantity. To be honest, I’d almost forgotten about “Eyes Of A Stranger” from way back in 2011, but when I gave it a spin I was very pleasantly surprised.
Which lead me nicely to this new release, which is very good one indeed. First off, it sounds great, with a tremendous production, which balances everything just so. Add is some really great songs which get you rocking and weeping, in equal measure, and this is one that fans of Euro melodic rock will want to hear.
It’s actually a harder album than the last one, although they’ve still room for a killer ballad like ‘A Day To Remember’. But it’s when they rock out on songs such as ‘Like A Bitch’ or throw out an eighties hit single that never was on ‘Cry Baby Cry’ that it works best. The mix of melodic metal and AOR iis spot on, and this is a record that fans of Bonfire and Gotthard should be snapping up immediately.