Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Shock-ing The Meister! "Northern Spotlights #1"

Although there are tons and tons of great musicians, songwriters and bands out there across the world trying to make it in the snarling, unforgiving entity that is the music business, I’m especially attuned to some of the excellent rock and metal music expelled from my fellow country men and women up here in the Great White North.  My esteemed colleague, Mr. Wallygator's first articles for Decibel Geek were in a series entitled Hoser Heavy Metal (HHM Vol. #1/HHM Vol.#2/HHM Vol.#3).  I thought I’d carry on the torch and “spotlight” some of the great local music in hopes of expanding the audience of some of these truly great bands as well as feature some of the more widely known Canadian acts in this new/revised segment.  What better time to launch it than this week as Wally and I have just co-hosted the podcast in what's becoming a yearly event for the "Hoser Heavy Metal Twins"(Hostile Hoser Hijack (Ep.#59)/Hoser Heavy Metal Hour (Ep.#112)).

For the first instalment I’d like to begin with a band that I discovered a little accidentally through a friend and an album that I beleive the world needs to hear!  I've not had the opportunity to see this band live, but will for sure do so at my earliest chance.  The band hails from the nation’s capital of Ottawa and was considered by many to be "one of the best bands in Canada to never release an album".  I had recently befriended a writer/reviewer from another website as we often take in the same performances, writing remarkably similar accounts of the event as well.  He recognized me at a show and approached, introducing himself.  We quickly buzzed each other’s ears off discussing “our brand” of sweet, sweet music.  The gentleman soon asked me for a small favour.  He would be unable to attend an upcoming concert due to prior commitments but he had a friend travelling from Ottawa for the occasion, could I meet with him and introduce
him to the promoters at the Rockpile.  The Rockpile Bar & Nightclub is fast becoming Toronto’s premiere rock club, creating their own music scene here with two locations, one at each end of the city.  This guy wanted to see about getting his band booked to play some gigs in the Toronto area and not even ever having heard of the band, I trusted my new friend’s judgement and took the chance to speak out for this band called SHOCK.  John Tennant, Shock's guitarist, seemed to be a real nice upstanding guy and we had a great time shooting the shit at the show.  I did make the introductions and he also forwarded me a copy of Shock's Once Denied album that was recently released.

In a tragic story and twist of fate another of Canada’s mega talented bands slipped away into oblivion and memories of yesterday…….but wait they've returned almost thirty years later and the metal world needs to hear this band!

The band Shock from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada was making huge waves in the music scene in the mid to late 80’s garnering a reputation as the best unsigned band in Canada at the time.  Unfortunately they broke up in 1990 after becoming frustrated in the finding of a suitable record deal and the
members went on to other things.  2011 saw Shock reform with "a burning urge that they must address" unleashing their debut album in May of 2013 almost 30 years after their inception!  This album, Once Denied may have hit the record stores (if there is there even such a thing any more?) shelves a few months ago, but the material was originally written back in the late 80’s.  The reformation sees original Shock band members, Tony V (vocals/guitar), John Tennant (guitars) and Steve Monette (bass guitar) being joined by newcomer Chad Walls (drums) and they are ready to take the musical landscape by storm.

They revisited their rather extensive collection of written music from the bands original days in the late 80's and chose the songs for Once Denied.  It's unfortunate that they decided to only include 8 songs here as I for one certainly want more and you will as well after you listen.  "Fighting Chance" is a fitting opener as Shock's music has finally been given that with this release and a line of the song even says: "Once my right".  Following that is "Full Speed Ahead", an accurate description of all the songs here, this one containing some thrashy overtones.  Arguably their
most popular or best known song,"Slashing To Live" has a cartoon video to go along with it that really illustrates the self defence message contained in the lyrics.  The next track, "Flaming Towards Earth" is the selection that I chose for to feature on the actual podcast episode (Hoser Heavy Metal Hour (Ep.#112)) and as Wally noted after I played it for him...."Holy old school Judas Priest".  "Driven to Kill" features some blistering guitar work while "I'm Dangerous" keeps up the pace and high energy level.  "Paths Of Glory" has also received the video treatment and the chorus will have you singing to yourself long after the song fades away.  "Splitting The Atom" draws the altogether too short collection together, but leaves the door open for more to come....or maybe that's just my hopes talking there.

All in all, a truly excellent release that has quickly become a regular in my listening rotation.  Check out Ottawa's Shock and their brand of 80's power metal with some decidedly thrashy overtones and tell 'em The Meister and Decibel Geek sent ya!


The Meister

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Episode 112 - Hoser Heavy Metal Hour


This week on the Decibel Geek Podcast, the boys, Chris and Aaron take the week off to enjoy some football and turkey for Thanksgiving.  In their place the Hoser Heavy Metal Twins of Wally “Wallygator” Norton and Rich “The Meister” Dillon step in to host the episode.

Rich and Wally performed a hostile takeover last Thanksgiving when they hijacked the broadcast, but this year they have been invited back to cover the boys holiday.  Chris and Aaron have delivered funny, entertaining and informative broadcasts each and every week without fail for 111 episodes now….enjoy your well deserved break my friends.

Wally kept his song selections to a “Radio Sucks Theme” while Rich went more in the “Fresh Blood” vein to gather the ten songs that they introduce to the audience this week.  First up Wally made an excellent selection from The Killer Dwarfs new release Start @ One, but not before announcing that this week’s “Geek of the Week” was none other than our “Crack-smoking,  among other things” Mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford, who admitted that he has listened to The Decibel Geek Podcast albeit in a drunken stupor….stupor….stupor, what a fun word to say!  Wally dedicated "The Sky Is Falling" to the troubled Mayor and Rich
 excitedly mentioned the The KiLLeR DWaRfs have now been announced as participating in the Monsters of Rock Cruise 2014.

For The Meister’s first selection he went with a band out of St. Catharines Ontario, Step Echo.  Chuckling at the name of their recording studio where they recorded their album which was called “Fecal Noir”….which the Hosers can only deduce means….”black poop:…..c’mon now you just chuckled as well didn’t ya?  "Crazy" was the song taken from their Jagged CD.

Keeping on the string of awesome new releases this fall from Canadian bands Wally opted for "Boys Club" off Coney Hatch’s new effort, Four, the band’s first since Friction in 1985.  As they discussed when previously hosting the podcast, at a concert Carl Dixon had left the song lyrics to newly penned song, "Blown Away", taped to a stage monitor and thinking it was a great souvenir of the show, The Meister pro-cured them.  Days later it was discovered that that was the only copy as they had just been written the night before the show and Carl was frantically searching for their whereabouts.  The song appears on the album, so you
 know that The Meister returned them promptly.

One Bad Son originally from Saskatoon Saskatchewan, but now relocated to Vancouver B.C. provided the next choice for Rich with their song “Gringo” from 2007's Orange City release. The song is not from the latest self-titled OBS release, but an earlier album and is perhaps the heaviest in their repertoire.  Radio stations across Canada are playing OBS tracks from the latest album, so as you see even though radio sucks, sometimes they do have brief shining moments of glory.

Afraid that Wally was going to get “weird” Rich was apprehensive of Wally’s next pick.  Last time they hosted the podcast Wally did the absolutely unthinkable and played a ballad!!  While it was a great song from a talented band, Gypsy Rose, Rich was not sure he was in a ballad mood today and warned Wally.  Wally assured him that all would be fine and it was about time to work some KISS into the show as always. He spun Brighton Rock’s absolutely creepy and totally different from the original rendition of "Creatures of The Night" off the double cancer benefit KISS tribute CD A World Without Heroes….and although it was a ballad, now at least, Rich deemed it an acceptable choice.

Coming home to Toronto, Meister’s next band is called Twitch that has played a few shows at the becoming famous Rockpile Club.  He chose to feature "Walk" from the Revolution CD, talking about how good this band is live and the covers that they often throw into the set.  Last show they broke into the Four Horsemen’s "Rockin’ Is Ma Business" and you may remember Meister’s story from the Monsters of Rock Cruise last year when he was wearing a Four Horsemen Canada ’94 tour shirt that someone steadily increased their purchase offer on ending
at $120 when his wife dragged him away.

West Memphis Suicide is a band that has been featured on the podcast in the past, on the last Hoser Takeover episode for one.  Well, West Memphis are no more Wally informed a rather shocked Meister, but no fear they have regrouped with a new bass player and changed their name to A Rebel Few.  Barry the guitarist was incredibly kind enough to forward a brand new, as yet unavailable track to Rich and Wally for airplay on the show.  In perhaps a world premiere the boys heard "Empire Falls".

Only discovering this group himself recently, Rich introduced Wally to Ottawa based band Shock.  A band that formed in 1985 and disbanded in 1990, never releasing an album.  Once considered "the best band to never release an album", they lost that moniker when the début, Once Denied came out earlier this year.  One of the best unsigned bands of the time, this release is their first coming almost 30 years after their formation.  Wally enjoyed the "Flaming Towards Earth" track, commenting on it’s Judas Priest like qualities.

Wally deemed that he wanted to jump the order of picks here and have Meister make his final selection back
to back with the Shock pick, proclaiming that he had a surprise in order for the last song of the week.  Rich chose to feature "Skipping Stones" from J'nai, another Toronto area band that the Decibel Geeks and friends have seen live many, many times.  This band has to be seen, no ifs, ands, or buts about it!  They are a bunch of college age kids who are extremely hard working and exhibit a stage presence like none other.  The guys discuss one of their many well choreographed stage tricks, the guitar toss in which the two guitarists switch their instruments by hurling them towards each other mid song, catching them and continuing to play.  Only once have they seen a fumble.  An upcoming J'nai show, opening for Slaughter on April 4th at The Rockpile West on the day that Meister returns from the Monsters of Rock Cruise is also a great time to celebrate Wally and Rich's birthdays of April 10th.  Wally invited all Toronto area Decibel Geeks to come to the party at the Rockpile.

Wally’s last song was not so much of a surprise, but certainly a fitting end to Hoser Heavy Metal #2 as he spun a song from the new Metal On Ice EP.  Metal On Ice started out as a book written by Canadian Guitarist (Helix, Crash Kelly, Nelly Furtado) Sean Kelly about his interviews and playing in a band in Canada.  The album displays the talents of many of the hottest Canadian stars in the metal business in the 80’s including, Russ Dwarf, Nick Walsh, Darby Mills, Daryl Gray, Brian Vollmer, Lee Aaron and more.  The song chosen was "Metal On Ice" written by Nick Walsh, who’s former band, Slik Toxik was a choice on the previous Hoser Hijack and he’s now the frontman for a new band Famous Underground.

Thanks for joining these two Hosers and allowing us to play some of our favorite Canadian artists this week.  Chris and Aaron will be back at the helm next time after the turkey sweats wear off….cheers, eh! 


Killer Dwarfs
Step Echo
Coney Hatch
One Bad Son
Brighton Rock
A Rebel Few
Metal on Ice

Contact Us!

Rate, Review, and Subscribe in iTunes
Join the Fan Page
Follow on Twitter
Comment Below

Call us on the Hotline! (540) DBGeek - 1 or (540) 324-3351

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Ch-Ch-Cherie Bomb Hits Hamilton/Talks to Decibel Geek!


When I heard that Cherie Currie was playing in both Toronto and in Hamilton, I considered catching both shows. The Runaways are one of those bands that remain on my bucket list and quite honestly I never imagined I would ever get a taste of their music LIVE. Now Toronto is an obvious stop for most touring acts but when I heard she was playing at This Ain't Hollywood in Hamilton, I was both surprised and a little proud as I grew up in the Steeltown an hour west of Toronto.

Reality prevailed and I had to decide which of the two shows I was going to attend. Lee's Palace in Toronto is a big club with a great stage or the much smaller (200 capacity) This Ain't Hollywood. Well, the Hammer (as Hamilton is often referred to) won and on a cold November Wednesday night I headed west and boy, did I make the right decision. The chance to see some rock n roll history in such an intimate setting was incredible, but the other reason that Hamilton was the right choice was Cherie's choice for her opening act...Toronto's all girl band "The Beaches"

My Sister-in-law and I arrived early and grabbed a spot at the bar with a decent view close to the stage. We discussed the establishment, how it was built in 1893 and some of the rock n roll history that have graced it's stage. This Aint Hollywood certainly doesn't lack character, to be sure, just check out the washroom and enjoy the years of graffiti and stickers from the various bands that have spent some booze soaked nights within. 

We also wondered how many people would attend a midweek show on a cold November night but we needn't have worried, the Hammer came out in force and the place was packed when The Beaches hit the stage a little after 9:00pm. First thing you will notice if you catch The Beaches live is that these girls are young, the second thing you will notice is these GIRLS CAN ROCK! How poetically perfect to see such a talented group of rocking young girls opening up for the "Original Teen Queen" herself. 

The Beaches delivered up almost a full hour of great power pop rock songs that totally hooked me from the first song. Comprised of Jordan Miller - lead vocal and bass, Kylie Miller - Lead guitar and support vocals, Eliza Enman-McDaniel - Drums and Leandra Earl - Keyboards and Guitar.

These ladies can not only rock their respective instruments, but the songwriting skills these girls have already developed are way ahead of half the crap I am subjected to on the radio. As they played through their set, I turned around only to notice Cherie Currie quietly watching their set from behind the bar. She smiled and directed my attention to the girls rocking the stage, as she too was enjoying the music. I couldn't help wondering if The Beaches weren't stirring up some memories of the mid seventies for Cherie. It was a very cool moment.

After a short break, Cherie followed her band up on stage and wasted no time launching into "Queens of Noise" the title track of the second Runaways album of the same name. A perfect opener made for air guitar (which I did), the band comprised of Nick Maybury (guitar), Mayuko Oki (guitar), Grant Fitzpatrick (bass) and Cherie's son, Jake Hays (drums) sounded great behind her and Cherie's vocals sounded spot on, almost identical to the recorded versions I love.

The set was a perfect blend of "Classic Runaways" hits mixed in with some of Cherie's solo material including from her yet to be released Matt Sorum produced record and a few covers for good measure. Sporting a Lita Ford T-shirt, Cherie looked to be having a blast onstage. She seemed very grateful to be back up there rocking but truth be told the 200 in attendance were the lucky ones, it was amazing getting to hear these songs live after so long.

"You Wreck Me" (not the Tom Petty song of the same name) and "Mister X" were some of the solo songs that fit in perfectly with classics such as "Is It Day Or Night" and "Cherry Bomb." A highlight for me was "American Nights" which was reworked at the end to become "Canadian Nights". An incredible cover of Nick Gilder's Roxy Roller sounded amazing, and Cherie took a moment to salute her hero Mr. David Bowie with a solid version of Rebel Rebel. It may have been a cold night in Hamilton but it was nothing but hot rock n roll inside This Ain't Hollywood!

After the show, Cherie informed the crowd that she would soon be out to meet everyone for autographs, photos and hugs! True to her word, with barely enough time to catch her breath she set up shop at the rear of the bar and took ample time with each and every fan that wanted to meet her. The lineup was long but Cherie spent quality time with each and every fan. Others could learn a lesson from the way Cherie and her entire band, it was truly a special evening.

About 2 weeks before the show, Cherie checked in with the Decibel Geek for the following interview...

Decibel Geek: Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to the Decibel Geeks.

Cherie: I am looking so forward to this, my son and I were up in Toronto back during the Presidential Debates, shooting Warehouse 13. My Son, who is in my band just fell in love with Toronto. It's just so clean and the food is amazing and I don't know what you people do but Jake and I had Sushi and it was just a spiritual experience, it was so good. The people were so nice, I wish California would take tips from you guys on how to present an absolutely beautiful city.

DBG: Well thank you, and you just answered one of my questions. I was going to ask if your son was still involved with your band?

Cherie: Yes, he is actually going to be on drums for this leg. He loves drumming the Runaways songs and great guitar player/front player, killer vocalist and I am going to miss him up front with me because he's such a great vocalist. I wish I could sing like this kid but he and Sandy (West) were really close and he really just embodies Sandy's playing so well and he loves drumming so I am letting him do it this leg (laughing)

DBG: Well, I have to say that I am just recently diving headfirst into the Runaways catalogue as I was only 6 years old when you ladies were tearing it up. I remember clearly the moment I heard Joan Jett's I Love Rock n Roll and of course became a huge Lita fan as a metalhead of the 80's. I also have to say I loved your book and WOW, you couldn't script a more riveting story...

Cherie: Oh thank you, I pulled out all the fear stops on that one, there's a lot of things in that book that many people wouldn't want to talk about or even admit but you gotta tell the truth.

DBG: It seems to me, that it was just so fast how it all happened for you. You attend your very first rock concert and within weeks you are auditioning for the band...

Cherie: Right, it sure felt that way. I had really gotten into David Bowie and saw him on the Diamond Dogs tour and it really was like an epiphany, like a moment of clarity where I knew I wanted to pursue this. So yeah it was was soon after that that I met Joan (Jett) and Kim (Fowley) at the Sugar Shack and they liked how I looked. They asked me if I could sing or play an instrument and I told them I could sing a little, but I had never sang professionally or anything. Not even close so it really did happen very quickly, yes.

DBG: Speaking of Kim Fowley, he certainly comes across as quite the character. Having read the book, as a parent I cringed at some of the things that he put you through. Repulsive is a word I have heard to describe him...

Cherie: Well you know what? It's funny how life changes and how opportunities come about. I just came out of the studio with Kim.

DBG: Well that's what I was going to ask you because I have heard that you have made peace with him.

Cherie: I did and you know what I really made peace with myself more so. Because, when I saw Kim at a party around 7 yeas ago I thought to myself, me being angry only hurts me. It doesn't hurt him and I just decided I wasn't going to live in the past anymore. I mean we were kids (15-16 years old) and I reached out to him and i said let's talk and the first phone conversation we had was like 2.5 hours because Kim can talk (laughing) and he apologized to me and me being a Mom, I got this because he didn't know how to handle not even one teenage girl, let alone 5! He had a crappy childhood. His parents basically abandoned him and he has never been a parent so I have to cut the guy some slack. One thing I have to say about him is that he is brilliant. He is a brilliant, gifted songwriter and gee, if you don't have a pencil in hand and ready you are going to miss the magic because this guy delivers.

This I found out two weeks ago when I reached out because I heard he was very ill and he said "let's make a record" and I said sure. Literally within two hours on the phone with him we had lyrically written 4 songs and he doesn't even have to go back and change things. He recites it, you write it down and then he asked me and my son Jake to come over to his apartment. So I called Lita and told her what was happening and of course she had a lot of trepidation at first and I said "don't you want to look back and those memories of us being kids that were maybe sour, don't you want to change them into something sweet" and she agreed and came and was a part of it. Jake sat there and wrote some music while Kim recited some lyrics and then we took them for a couple of nights and shaped them into songs and from there spent four days in the studio recording them.

DBG: Now will we get to hear any of these songs on the upcoming tour?

Cherie: No, these were just recorded last week so Jake is mixing them and we will go back into the studio when we get back off this tour but Lita came in and played on two of the songs and we are going to record a few more and late January is when we are aiming for a new record out.

DBG: That's awesome! So what can we expect to hear on this leg of the tour then?

Cherie: The classics and some tunes off my record that Blackheart (record label) has that Matt Sorum produced and fingers crossed that record will be out sometime but I am not dwelling on that anymore.

DBG: The Runaways certainly have a special place in history, tearing down the doors for girls to play hard, aggressive music. It's easy to see that now but were you aware this was happening as you lived it?

Cherie: Well we did, because we knew we were doing something that hadn't been done before. Not to say there weren't girl bands but none that were teenage girls playing the kind of rock we were doing. So yeah we felt we were unique and kind of blazing a trail but to be honest after the runaways broke up I really couldn't listen to the music for a while. I remember years later seeing an interview with Madonna and they were saying "wow, your the first one to wear a corset on stage" and then I really thought we were forgotten. I am like my god Madonna, you have to know that's not true, can't you just say it but she didn't. So you know I kind of thought we were forgotten but it's the fans that have really kept the memory of that band alive.

Even John Linson (Runaways Movie Producer) being a Runaways fan and he was actually a fan of me, because everyone seems to have their favorite Runaway and for John, I was that. For him to approach Kenny Laguna who was my Manager at the time and want to make a movie about the Runaways using my book was really amazing.

DBG: I really enjoyed the movie and wanted to ask you, was the movie instrumental in mending some of the relationships? I know you have always remained close with Joan but I think it's great that you have patched things up with Lita.

Cherie: Yeah! Well in fact Lita asked me..We have a Christmas single where she reached out to me a couple months ago to do a duet with her. Which was just to me "the holy grail" are you kidding me? To work with Lita, I have had dreams and even nightmares of seeing her and with her and her not wanting to talk to me. That again, is all that unresolved childhood stuff that rears it's ugly head. So we cut this incredible Christmas song that she wrote with Mitch Perry, it's called "Rock This Christmas Down" and it ROCKS!

DBG: Is it available now?

Cherie: No, we did a photo session last Sunday and we're shooting another session tomorrow for the cover and I think it will be out near the end of the month. Lita has her live album "The Bitch Is Back" out, I think November 4th and then they will release the Christmas single around Thanksgiving and it just kicks ass! So yeah, but the movie didn't bring Lita and I together.

DBG: Well yeah I remember her being interviewed at the time and she was pretty negative about the project

Cherie: Well that's because she had an ex-husband, well now thankfully an ex-husband that was withheld information on that contract. She was led to believe by her ex that they were only offering her a thousand dollars for her life rights. I asked her, did you read the contract and she said no and I informed her that was absolutely false and told her what the actual deal was that set her back on her heels a bit. That just goes to show you that Jim didn't want her involved in anything that separated her from him, but that's all water under the bridge.

DBG: Well I guess I have to then ask the million dollar question. Is there any chance we will get a Runaways reunion?

Cherie: Well Lita and I are definitely moving in that direction, we have reached out to Joan. I mean Joan had done in interview in the LA Weekly where she didn't really see how a reunion would benefit her or the band to do it. Lita and I don't believe that's true and we want to give the fans what they want and that's for us to be reunited so we have reached out to Joan and...Lita and I are having so much fun, we are hoping it will be contagious and Joan will want to jump on board. So that's just the way we are going.

DBG: Well I think it would be great and maybe this time you might actually see some money.

Cherie: (Laughing) Yeah that would be something. Let me tell you it would be a dream to stand on stage again with Lita and Joan because when you leave a band that you put your heart and soul into and it didn't end well with so many unanswered questions, to be able to come back and have it all good with the original magic that I know is still there. It would be wonderful.

DBG: OK, totally off topic, chainsaw art? When I first heard about this, I couldn't quite imagine Cherry Bomb with a lumberjack jacket and Canadian toque. How did you get involved in such a unique form of artistic expression?

Cherie: (laughing) Let me tell you, I play a chainsaw as good as Lita and Joan can play guitar.It just happened to be, that little inner voice that tells you what you need to do. I was driving to the beach one day and saw these two guys carving at the side of the road and I just couldn't get that out of my head. So at the time I was doing these relief carvings (2 dimensional wall carvings) so I went back and they had this gallery with all of these gorgeous, smooth carvings and a voice said "you can do this". So I just immediately talked to the owner, they taught me how to handle the saw and my third piece was 2 sea turtles swimming around a piece of coral which was accepted into the Malibu Art Expo which is very difficult. So I knew then that this was something I wanted to do.

Also you know, it really helped me greatly with the fear aspect in my life. A lot of us walk through life being afraid, so many things that hold us back from doing what we are put here to do. Cause you know, working with something as dangerous as a chainsaw intimately and doing fine detail work you always have to have great respect. So I have been doing that professionally now for 12 years and quite frankly that beat out working at a local drug store (laughing)

DBG: As far as music goes. Looking at today's popular music, I personally find most of it processed and lifeless but are there any current artists out there that you feel are delivering the goods?

Cherie: Well you know, just like you I listened a little and turned it off and went right back to my classic rock. To be honest I really only listen to classic rock, to be truthful I couldn't tell you who is on top of the billboard charts nor could I tell you who is the most popular band. I don't know and it's just so different from when I grew up and the magic just seems to be lacking.

Look you have shows like The Voice and American Idol, these unreachable and untouchable talents that are for the most part prodigy and it's great to look up to people like that, but what I really love...look I wasn't born with the best vocal chops, but what I can do is deliver a song, so what I really miss are the days of Bruce Springsteen, Patti Smith, people who never considered themselves great singers. Even the Rolling Stones, Mick and Keith they are not so gifted as singers but it was what they delivered and how they delivered it and the music behind it that made it so real and from heart and that is what I think lacks. Now it's just can you hit that highest note and are you a Mariah Carey or are you not because if your not you don't get the record deal. Well you know what the record companies can go screw themselves because guess what, we really don't need you anymore. We need distribution, if we can get it that's helpful but they have made it so unreachable. That's why the Runaways people appreciate it because you can play it and you can sing it and you don't have to be a prodigy to do it and feel it.

DBG: One last question for you, what was the one song you wish you wrote?

Cherie: (long pause) oh lord!, I wrote a song called "Believe" on this new record that's coming out with Kim Fowley that I am most proud of but there really isn't a song out there that I wish I had of wrote...What's YOURS!...

DBG: Ahhhh wow, wasn't expecting to be asked (ahhhh ummmm ahhhh)

Cherie: C'mon, whats yours?!

DBG: I don't know (laughing) Maybe something by Zeppelin?....Stairway to Heaven?

Cherie: Ok yeah, great song and of course that was written back in the early 70's when the magic was still happening, but you know what? You could write a Stairway to Heaven, pick up a guitar and write is today, what's stopping you?

DBG: Possibly talent?

Cherie: (laughing) Thank you so much for this I really enjoyed this interview and I really appreciate all the support.

DBG: The pleasure was all mine and I look forward to the show!

Be sure to keep check out Cherie's website for the latest news...

Cherie Currie and Wally Norton

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Meister is W.A.N.T.E.D. in Greece!


Well as I'm somewhat of a world traveller it's only fitting that I would discover music and bands from across the world.  It's really a shame that I was unaware of this band when I travelled to Greece, I would have for sure sought out a live show!

It was all Greek to me as the saying goes, but I cued up the music and started scouring the internet for information on this hard rock band with influences such as Guns n' Roses, Whitesnake, Buckcherry and more.
W.A.N.T.E.D. formed in Thessaloniki, Greece in 2001 comprised of Dean Mess (vocals), Strutter (bass), Jima (guitar), Angel (keyboards) and Constantine Matis (drums), they unleashed an EP called Shit Happens in 2003 and their début offering, Neon Nights, four years later in 2007.  2011 saw them release the single "Matter of Fact" from the forthcoming album, but it would take until 2013 before that album hit the stores.  Meat n' Greed, the second full length record finally came out in the fall of 2013 and last week found it's way into my collection.  Having set the stage for the likes of Steven Adler, Paul Di'anno, Dokken, Bonfire, Firewind, White Lion and Whitesnake, W.A.N.T.E.D. have developed a following derived from their "remarkable shows".

Meat n' Greed explodes with a track titled "No Space Town", a hard rockin' song that sets the tone for what is to come.  We get "Your Life Your Game" next and it's even better than the opener with it's grinding guitar riff.  "Unbelievable Mess" features a really catchy, hooky kind of chorus and lyrics while "Mr. Wise Guy" begins weirdly with amusement park sounds.....I think, before it opens out into a brooding, but none-the-less-catchy slower pace track.  In a quick study of the cover artwork we see some sort of killer clown? or is it a mouse? with a cleaver pulling a sheet over a human face......rather cool actually.  "Last Calling" delivers an up beat, charging song after it explodes away from the foreign language intro.  A rousing little number, contrary to the title with "Misery Loves Company" takes us through into "Myself Again".  "Mamma Miss Hell" could well be the stand out track here if it's possible to choose, but on the first few listens, not having the track listing directly in front of me, I could've sworn Dean Mess was saying "My, My Michelle".  We find "No Way We Stop" up next and I sincerely hope that's a mantra for this band.
In 2011  W.A.N.T.E.D. released a video single for the fans of the "Matter of Fact" song as a prelude or teaser to the forthcoming album which did not see the light of day until 2013.  The longest track of the collection was a fitting choice for the video treatment and is definitely another highlight.  "Shot" closes the recording, another brooding piece that effectively ramps down the high energy and displays the versatility of W.A.N.T.E.D. to be more than just a band of sleaze rockers.  Great job it's off to search out the début Neon Nights album!


The Meister

Onslaught VI Dark Agression At Its Best


Onslaught is an intriguing thrash/speed metal band that had enormous potential in the eighties, but through many personnel changes and long delay between albums lost their musical direction. Make no mistake, if you go back to their definitive thrash album, 1985's The Force, you will see why they are spoken in the same breath as Metallica and Slayer. If you are  a fan of Kill' Em All or Ride the Lightning you will get what the The Force brings to the table musically. After that release they lost original bassist turned singer Sy Keeler and replaced him with Grim Reaper's own Steve Grimmett for 1989's release In Search of Sanity. While this is a stellar metal release, and the band's best selling release to date, it sadly strayed away from the thrash roots they set down with The Force.  This coupled with losing the momentum they had gained by taking four years to release the  new album they called it quits in 1991.
Fast forward 14 years to 2005 and Keeler joins founding guitarist Nige Rockettand and together they record the Andy Sneap produced Killing Peace. They followed in 2011 with  Sounds of Violence. These albums were both returns to form but heavier and darker.

The current album VI, is a brutal mad thrashing assault on your senses. The album opens with the short instrumental "A New World Order", but then is quickly followed by the ultra heavy and fast "Chaos Is King". The band says this is the most aggressive song they have ever written. I think it may one of the most aggressive songs I have ever heard. The MVP of the album is drummer Michael Hourihan, and on this song he proves it!  During the verses he is playing so fast that his arms must just be moving in a blur. This song is complete uncompromising thrash, and it is awesome!  Next up is "Fuel for My Fire" which keeps up the aggression but is a little more locked into the guitar riff with some melody. The third song is the experimental "Children of the Sand". Written about the fragile situation in the middle east and how religion effects it. The song offers female back round vocals and a string section to create the sense you are in ancient Persia. This is my personal favorite on the album. Next up are "Slaughterize" which lyrically is on the dark side of metal talking about killing. Definitely more King Diamond than Stryper. "66'Fucking'6" starts off with children's music reminiscent of Accept's "Fast as a Shark" and then is a pounding assault for the next five minutes. The speed picks back up with "Cruci-Fiction", while "Dead Man Walking" is more straight ahead. The last song is "Enemy of My Enemy" which finishes the album off in a fitting fast aggressive form. One listen through and you will be exhausted. This album is a strong recommend particularly if you are in an rude, crude, aggressive mood.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Episode 111 - Radio Sucks Radio Show volume 15


The holidays are fast approaching and Chris and Aaron are as busy as ever getting some great episodes and interviews together to bring to all of you Decibel Geeks. This week, the guys stop to take a breather and give you a taste of what they've been listening to.

There's a lot of variety in this new edition of the Radio Sucks Radio show. Brand new tracks by The Black Spiders, Michael Monroe, The Dead Daisies, and Hardcore Superstar fit in nicely with some awesome covers performed by Vince Neil, The Smashing Pumpkins, and Damone. There's even more but you gotta listen!

Michael Monroe – Stained Glass Heart – Horns & Halos  

The Dead Daisies (ft. Slash) – Lock N’ Load –The Dead Daisies  

Black Spiders – Balls –This Savage Land  

Mr. Big – The Whole World’s Gonna Know –Bump Ahead  

Hardcore Superstar – C’mon Take on Me –C'Mon Take On Me  

Tesla - Children's Heritage -Gold  

Damone - Everybody Wants You –Everybody Wants You  

Randy Castillo/Tracii Guns/Stevie Rachelle – Too Late for Love –Arena Rock Classics  

Vince Neil - Long Cool Woman –Tattoos & Tequila  

Smashing Pumpkins - (We're All) Clones –Aeroplane Flies High   

Contact Us!

Rate, Review, and Subscribe in iTunes
Join the Fan Page
Follow on Twitter
Comment Below

Call us on the Hotline! (540) DBGeek - 1 or (540) 324-3351

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Here's The Iron Mask, Where's The Man?: A Review of Iron Mask's Fifth Son Of Winterdoom

Belgium born heavy metalers, Iron Mask, are poised to unleash their fifth and latest effort, already available in European markets, Fifth Son of Winterdoom on November 19th throughout North America.  The band, formed by Belgian guitar virtuoso Dushan Petrossi, features Mark Boals handling the vocal duties.  Mark first came under my personal radar screen on the Monsters of Rock cruise (ever notice that it always gets back to "The Cruise" where I'm concerned, eh?) when he stepped in for the unavailable Tim "The Ripper" Owens with the Dio Disciples.

Guitarist Dushan Petrossi formed Iron Mask in 2002, with the basis being the book "Man In The Iron Mask" by Alexander Dumas and the first album, called Revenge is My Name, followed soon afterwards.  Hordes of the Brave dropped in 2005 and featured a near completely different line-up than the previous effort.  It took another 5 years for the third album, Shadow of the Red Baron, to materialise, but then we received Black As Death just a year later in 2011.  Now in 2013 they serve up their fifth album, Fifth Son of Winterdoom.  All tracks for Fifth Son of Winterdoom were composed by Petrossi, the sole member from the days of the Revenge Is My Name release.  He is joined by Vassili Moltchanov on bass, Andreas Lindhal on keyboards, Ramy Ali behind the kit and of course the aforementioned Mark Boals handling the vocal duties.

Fifth Son of Winterdoom is my first experience with the Belgians and the music has a very progressive/power metal sound or flavour to it that I quite enjoy.  The album artwork features two snarling dogs one white and one black, a baby wrapped in a hooded cloak, and an armoured, caped and masked warrior wielding a staff as he reigns in the snarling dogs on chains.  All against a backdrop of swirling snow, mountains and twin towers, now that's an album cover, some real work went into that!  For the songs themselves there are only two of the 12 included here that run under four minutes, six of them are well over five minutes and one clocks in at a whopping 10:02!  We begin with "Back Into Mystery" as the opening selection followed up with "Like A Lion In A Cage" both at over 5 minutes in length, featuring tons of guitar work and an abundance of melodic vocal hooks.  Beginning with pounding drums and a grinding guitar riff track three, "One Commandment" together with the excellent "Seven Samurai" at number four complete the "two-punch to the balls" package of the best songs included here.  The absolute epic and not just in the length of run time at over ten minutes, but everything from the beginning sound effects which coincide with the cover art to the chanting chorus to the showcase of Petrossi's talents, title track "Fifth Son of Winterdoom" sits in the fifth song position of the fifth album....coincidence?  "Angel Eyes Demon Soul" is a more straight ahead metal sounding composition while "Rock Religion", has received the official video treatment and is a good representation of the album.  Petrossi's tender ode to his father who passed on last year can be found next with "Father Farewell" before the pace charges forward again in "Eagle of Fire".  "Reconquista 1492" hits just over seven minutes beginning with an acoustic guitar prelude before suddenly gearing up and ploddingly draws the listener through to "Run To Me", a more uplifting composition.  Chosen for the grand finale and album closer we find the near eight minute "The Picture of Dorian Grey" a little reminiscent to me of some of the works of Iron Maiden, a certain favourite of mine.

Iron Mask have produced exactly the kind of album I enjoy more with each listen, finding something new with every spin as the songs grow on you.  Here's the official video for "Rock Religion" and below are the links for purchasing and websites, drop by and tell 'em Decibel Geek sent ya!


The Meister

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Tasmanian Devils?: A Review of Taberah's Necromancer Album

At the mention of Tasmania my thoughts automatically drift to the Looney Tunes Cartoon character, "Taz" the Tasmanian Devil.  "Taz" was a very cool character until his popularity soared over the top and not only was the little cartoon appearing on everything from coffee mugs and t-shirts to truck floor mats, but it seemed to be all the rage to get “Taz” tattooed as well.  More than one person in my life is sporting a "Taz" holding a stein of frothy beer tattoo!  But now something new has directed my attention towards the Australian island of Tasmania.

Hailing from Tasmania, Australia the band Taberah started out in 2006 playing their first pub gigs when they were just 16 years of age, a story reminiscent of the grunge/alternative group, Silverchair, also hailing from Australia and starting at a young age.  As one of Australia’s fastest growing names Taberah has opened for the likes of Paul Di’Anno (Iron Maiden), Steve Grimmett (Grim Reaper/Onslaught) and Tim “Ripper” Owens (Judas Priest/Yngwie Malmsteen), but it was being hand picked by Lemmy to open for Motorhead that really stands out in the resume.  Self described as “heavy metal played with the spirit of rock and roll” and citing influences ranging from and including AC/DC, Queen, Motorhead,
Thin Lizzy, Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden, their extensive touring schedule and entertaining live shows has garnered them a reputation as a “must see” band.  I'm not sure where the band took their inspiration for the name and I certainly do not profess to know much about such subject matter but here's what I was able to garner from some quick internet searching:  according to The Book of Numbers, book four of the Hebrew Bible, Taberah, which means "burning" is a place that the Israelites stopped at during their Exodus from Egypt.  After tiring of their constant complaining God set fire among them.

Necromancer is their second release and it follows 2011's début album The Light of Which I Dream.  I cued up the digital download for play whilst performing some other tasks and chores.  Immediately I was hooked and drawn in by the chunky bass lines and the larger than life guitar riffs leading the charge on the opening cut, "2012".  "Dying Wish" is up next continuing the assault and found me neglecting the tasks at hand as I got deeper into the Taberah sound.  The aforementioned influences can clearly be heard throughout, but the music is certainly flavoured with a real Euro/power metal taste as well.  "Burning in the Moonlight" showcases a catchy chorus guaranteed to have you humming long after the song fades away.  The title track, "Necromancer", keeps things going at high speed including a great vocal harmony and I noticed that of the eleven tracks included here, most are well over four minutes in length with half of them over five minutes as opposed to the rather short standard of three and a half minutes that is found on many of today’s outputs.  "Warlord" covers a popular theme for Taberah with battles and war while "Don’t Say You’ll Love Me" starts out a little softer before picking up as it moves along in probably the weakest cut on the album in my opinion at least.  Next up we have "For King And Country", beginning rather ominously and is another battle themed song that is definitely a winning representation of the album.  The 1:49 minute long instrumental, "One Goon Bag Later", in my opinion could have easily been omitted from the collection and does nothing for me aside from providing a handy insult to use on my friends……"Hey Goon Bag, you going to the show tonight?"........and so forth.  Following that, however, is the abso-fucking-lutely awesome "The Hammer of Hades" easily my favourite song but, unfortunately is the lone track under the four minute mark. "My Dear Lord" is also a stellar composition and the longest at over six minutes while the album closer of "Burn" adds to the three-song punch in the gut finale that really leaves you wanting more from Taberah........hhhmmmm, do I sense a trip to Australia in the future?


The Meister
Blogger Template by Clairvo