Monday, January 30, 2017

Quickbits : T.R.O.Y, Stephen Pearcy, Elmo Karjalainen

T.R.O.Y - Two worlds (2015) A dose of classic and modern hard rock coming up
If someone will ever ask you -Have you heard T.R.O.Y? Then read this review and buy some of their 3 releases, and have that "I´m-an-expert-of-hardrock-answer" with -Yes, you mean The Reality Of Yourself from Springfield, Missouri?!
A four-piece hard rock band that debuted with "Effective immediately" in 2008 and followed up with the second LP "The reality of yourself" in 2012, the band has also shared the stage with KoRn, Three Days Grace, Red, Skillet and many more top rock acts.
Their music is a blend of classic and modern hard rock, imagine Tesla meets Pop Evil and you´ll get their latest EP "Two worlds" from 2015.
It´s not often a powerballad is the best song on a record but this time it is, "The Gallows" truly stand out as a big rock song that wouldn´t be entirely wrong on a Skid Row album.
(+) We´re talking solid hard rock here the way it´s meant to sound without any elements of pop or electronica.
(-) It saddens me that many underground bands such as T.R.O.Y never breaks through.

Stephen Pearcy - Smash (2017) Number 4 from the great king ratt
Ratt made a few great albums in the 80´s but I kinda lost interest in the band in the 90´s and today it´s just a mess with the legal battle of the name between drummer Bobby Blotzer on one side, and singer Stephen Pearcy, guitarist Warren DeMartini and bassist Juan Croucier on the other side.
I guess it´s enough to give original frontman Pearcy a headache so perhaps he should stick to his solo career instead because his new solo album "Smash" is pretty good and definitely something that should appeal to fans of Ratt.
"Smash" is the first album from Pearcy since "Under my skin" (2008) but last year, he released the single "Just one more time" that was supposed to be featured on the new solo album but I can´t find it in any of these 13 tracks. The song is good enough to end up on the new album, especially instead of the southern rock-ish "Shut down baby" that feels rather misplaced on "Smash".
Thumbs up for the great rocker "Ten miles wide" that bring thoughts to Kiss and the really cool "Lollipop", a song that could´ve been taken from an 80´s album with Aerosmith.
(+) It´s cocky of Pearcy to keep "Rain" and "Hit me with a bullet" for himself because both songs would be killer tracks on a new Ratt record.
(-) For the low-budget sounding production which is strange because Beau Hill co-mixed it.

Elmo Karjalainen - Age of heroes (2017) Shut up and play yer guitar
"Age of heroes" is the brand new solo cd from the Finnish guitarplayer Elmo Karjalainen, it´s an instrumental rock album with guest performances from keyboard wizard Derek Sherinian (ex.Dream Theater, Black Country Communion) and guitar virtuoso Mattias IA Eklundh (Freak Kitchen).
In 2016, Elmo got into the top 8 in Yngwie Malmsteen´s Guitar Gods competition and performed with Yngwie, Steve Vai, Nicko McBrain and others in Miami. I reckon it must´ve been a highlight in Elmo´s life and having kids of course.
The guy surely has humor because the yellow sign on the cover of his new album says "This record contains plenty of guitar, no Auto tune, and no rap, thus it is totally unsuitable for radio play, or anything else".
"Age of heroes" is a diverse record where you will find songs in any kind of mood you like to settle in, there are slow and beautiful songs that soundwise comes from the same neighborhood as Andy Timmons and Allan Holdsworth.
There are heavy and fast songs reminiscent of Tony MacAlpine´s work but also more crazy and humoristic stuff in the finest Steve Vai style, I´m not the biggest fan of the shredding parts on this album that feels like it´s faster than the speed of light.
But I totally adore the melodic tunes like "Warm welcome", "Three days of peace", "Chicken noodul" and "Blue eyes", not to mention the Genesis-inspired "Sunset" which is magical.
The best rocking tune is "The color of greed" featuring Derek Sherinian, Elmo and Derek sounds like two musketeers ready for the big duel where no one will surrender.
(+) His previous album "The free guitar album" is available as free download at his website.
(-) Over 70 minutes of guitar riffs and solos can be too much even for the biggest nerd.

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