MONSTER MAN: Doyle’s latest album combines the muscle of metal with his signature horror-punk howl.

By Metal Dave

As guitarist for legendary horror punks, the Misfits, Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein long ago staked his claim as a punishing, hyper-speed axe-grinder. Just ask Metallica.

No surprise, then, that his second solo album, “Doyle II: As We Die” is a death-comes-ripping monster mash of chainsawing guitar chords, pinched harmonics, pummeling drums and psycho-beast/serial killer vocals.

Awash in waves of distortion and landing somewhere between the Misfits’ Michale Graves albums and Doyle’s previous solo effort, “Abominator,” “Doyle II: As We Die” is at its skull-crushing best on hooky stormers “Run for Your Life,” “Darkside,” “Blood on the Axe” and “Night of Sin.” On the flip side, a memorably haunting Elvis vibe permeates “We Belong Dead” to great effect.

The title track features an impressive vocal cameo from Doyle’s squeeze Alissa White-Gluz (Arch Enemy) along with guest guitarist Michael Amott (Arch Enemy); and Lamb of God’s Randy Blythe turns up on “Virgin Sacrifice.”

While Doyle is the obvious star of his namesake creep show (and seems to be credited as bassist, although Brandon “Izzy” Strate gets the nod on “live bass”), vocalist Alex “Wolfman” Story (Cancerslug/Gorgeous Frankenstein) holds his own at center stage with a voice that alternates between bellowing grunts and hardcore rants. Not to be outdone, drummer Brandon Pertzborn (Black Flag) earns a rowdy shout as the band’s secret weapon (the dude brings serious artillery!).

Overall, “Doyle II: As We Die” leans more toward metal than punk, but packs enough deliciously wicked fun to make it a howling good, B-movie-type listen. Crank it up … and tell ’em Doyle made you do it!

Rating: 4 out of 5 pentagrams

ANIMALS (ROCK LIKE A BEAST): Crank County Daredevils are, left-to-right, bassist Billy Velvet, drummer Mike Irwin, lead guitarist Rory Kelly and Drano-drinking vocalist/guitarist Scotty P. For good measure, original guitarist Adam ‘Fever’ Stevens has been joining his old partners in crime for select gigs. (Photo by JRT Photography)

‘DEVILS MUSIC: Produced and engineered by lead guitarist Rory Kelly, ‘Feed the Beast’ roars like a monster.

By Metal Dave

Crank County Daredevils sound like a band that makes lunch out of whiskey and saw blades.  

Raw, raunchy and possibly out on bail, North Carolina’s most notorious sleaze rockers return from hiatus with a rampaging six-song EP that would easily be considered contraband in most civilized corners of the world. (Hey, it ain’t bragging if it’s true!).

Titled “Feed the Beast” and sounding like WASP and Motorhead on a crime spree with Zeke, the EP slams with all the chaotic fury of a head-on dump truck collision. From the blow-your-head-off title track to the breakneck remake of “Speed Kills (But it’s Paying the Bills),” the Daredevils aim to bury all comers.

“Heads Are Gonna Roll” thumps along on behind-the-beat, kickstart-my-heart pounding, and “Kicked in the Teeth” is a grinding romper-stomper of near-boogie guitar that explodes into full-on violence with its bursts of scare-ya-senseless gang vocals. 

“Broke and Shitty (in Detroit City)” is an all-too-real account of life on the road (so much so, that the title was tattooed on band members years before the song was written) that trudges and throbs to a commanding snare crack.

In a slightly a new twist for the Cranks, the psychedelic sludge of “Alcohol, Fire and Weed” could pass for an outtake from Down.

As with previous releases, the beauty of the “Beast” is Crank County Daredevils’ frightening ability to erupt on the stereo the same way they do on stage. This is music as a weapon, and in the white-knuckle grip of Crank County Daredevils, the hammer is relentless as ever. Helmet not included.

Rating: Go ahead. Feed the Beast.

ROCK-N-ROLL JUNKIES: Junkyard 2017 is, L-R, Todd Muscat, Tim Mosher, David Roach, Jimmy James and Pat Muzingo.

ON THE ROCKS: Junkyard’s first album in 26 years offers more of the metallic-blooze the band first uncorked in 1989.

By Metal Dave

Patched together during Hollywood’s hair-metal heyday, Junkyard was the “wifebeater” of rock-n-roll. Sweat-stained and best suited to redneck punks and motorheads, the ‘Yard dogs were a belligerent sight and sound compared to MTV’s fancy-pants poodle boys.

Fast-forward to “High Water” (Acetate Records) – their first album in 26 years – and Junkyard is still peddling the southern-flavored, metallic blooze-rock that first left skid marks on the Sunset Strip with 1989’s self-titled debut and its follow-up “Sixes, Sevens and Nines.” Think Rose Tattoo meets Lynyrd Skynyrd and add as much booze as you dare.

Still fronted by founding singer David Roach (he of the snotty rasp) and propelled by original drummer Patrick Muzingo, the revived Junkyard now includes bassist Todd Muscat along with guitarists Tim Mosher and Jimmy James (on loan from the Hangmen while Brian Baker tends to his other band, Bad Religion).

Opening hard and fast with “Walk Away,” Junkyard crashes through the door like Social Distortion steering a runaway hot rod. “Faded” weaves tales of misspent youth around stop-start stabs of guitar, and the slinky grind of “Cut From the Same Cloth” (a gem of a song) unravels the mournful tale of a problem child who never had a chance – and comes by it naturally.

“Styrofoam Cup” is filled with twangy regret (ditto for the hillbilly stomp of “Don’t Give a Damn”) and the hard-bouncing “Hellbound” is a loser’s lament that speaks for itself.

Elsewhere, “High Water” swerves between the love/hate romp of “W.F.L.W.F.”; the bratty, revved-up punk-rock of “Wallet”; and the beautiful (yes, beautiful) vocal arrangements of “Hell or High Water,” a song that deserves to be all over the radio (assuming radio still exists?).

Charlie Starr of Blackberry Smoke contributes the road-weary “’Til the Wheels Fall Off” (another radio-hit-in-waiting) and the explosive “Kindness to the Dead” sounds like Guns N’Roses circa 1987 covering Aerosmith circa 1973.

Overall, “High Water” is as gloriously ragged as Junkyard’s past. Uncompromising, unwashed and blissfully unaware of trends and fashion, it’s the sound of timeless rock-n-roll. Drink up!

Rating: All the aces!

Junkyard trivia: Do you recognize the “Faded” references to Westlake and Circle K? If so, you probably spent time in David Roach’s childhood hometown of Austin, TX.

By Metal Dave

On April 15, 2017, we were invited aboard the Anthrax tour bus outside Grizzly Hall in Austin Texas where the band was headlining an all-day, outdoor metal festival. Our interview covered the band’s latest releases, choice of cover tunes, the Big 4 and first concerts (there’s even a playful jab at the Bulletboys!). My thanks to Steve Miller and his wife, Charlotte, for their technical expertise and assistance, and to the Anthrax crew for their hospitality. This was a good day! Enjoy …

HARD-DRIVING ROCK: The latest album from Austin, TX-based Broken Teeth is another down-n-dirty blast of bad-boy rock-n-roll.

By Metal Dave

Back with more bite than a deep swill of rotgut, Broken Teeth is still breathing fire on new album, “4 on the Floor” (EMP Label Group).

Full-throttle from the get-go, the infectious title track rides waves of stinging guitars courtesy of Jared Tuten and David Beeson while shrieker Jason McMaster extols the damning pleasures of rock-n-roll. Like a pair of muggers, drummer Bruce Rivers and bassist Robb Lampman ensure the beating stays steady.

“Sinful” slows things to a bluesy simmer while continuing to give the devil his due, and “Getcha Some” upshifts into a full-tilt, ballistic stomper recalling younger daze of being “face-down and wasted.”

On an album driven by bangers, the icy swing of “Borrowed Time” arguably wins as the showpiece. It’s hard to pinpoint, but something about its spine-chilling, creepy-crawl burrows into the black-hearted isolation shared by the loners in AC/DC’s “Night Prowler” and “Ride On.” Spooky, yet irresistible.

Picking up speed, “Never Dead” pushes “all the gauges in the red” and serves as the ultimate ode to Motorhead’s Lemmy (written before he passed). A closing cover of KISS’ “Rock Bottom” punches with street-fighting fury.

In all, “4 on the Floor” offers 10 tracks of Angus-n-spuds rock-n-roll that dances evil (“House of Damnation”); steals the show (“All or Nothin’”); calls out the fakers (“All Day Sucker”); and wrestles with demons (“Let the War Machine Roll”).

As always, Broken Teeth has no aspirations of being artsy or refined, preferring instead to keep “4 on the Floor” firing hard on all cylinders. Besides, who has time for manners when you’re this busy knocking heads?

Rating: “This One Goes to 11”

TWO GUYS WALK INTO A BAR … One of many fits of laughter courtesy of Nigel Glockler (Photo by Steve Miller).

THE BBQ & THE BEAT: Enjoying a Texas-style dinner with the mighty Nigel Glockler on Dec. 21, 2013. (Photo by Kim Glessner)

By “Metal Dave”

In 2013, I reviewed an advance copy of Saxon’s “Sacrifice” album here on 2Fast2Die. Much to my surprise, the wife of drummer Nigel Glockler saw it and got in touch to kindly extend thanks on behalf of herself and her husband. Wow! Who knew my little website was garnering such attention?

During our email exchange, I learned Gina (Mrs. Glockler) was a native Texan like me. As such, we also had a common familiarity with past Texas concert tours, including Iron Maiden, Saxon and Fastway in 1983.

At the time of our “meeting,” the Glocklers lived in Nigel’s native England, but often would visit Gina’s parents in Dallas over the holidays. On one such visit, Nigel and Gina spent a few days in Austin and invited me and my family (and a few of my lucky drummer friends) to dinner at Salt Lick BBQ where I had the time of my life listening to Nigel’s tour stories.

Always above-and-beyond when it comes to gracious hospitality, the Glocklers recently welcomed me and my family (along with my audio/video partner Steve Miller and and his wife, Charlotte) to their new home in Austin, Texas, where I interviewed Nigel about his relocation from England, his life-threatening health scare and the possibility of bringing back his signature headband (or not!). Enjoy …

 

 

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RHOADS TO STARDOM: An early studio shot of a pre-fame Randy and the elusive Fender Strat. The guitar body is a 1957 vintage and the neck comes from a 1963 Jazzmaster. Rhoads went on to become one of the world’s greatest guitar heroes during a two-album stint with Ozzy Osbourne before dying tragically in a 1982 plane crash at the age of 25. (Photo by Ron Sobol)

By “Metal Dave”

As the owner of the guitar brand Rock N Roll Relics, founding Jetboy guitarist Billy Rowe is better known these days for building axes for the likes of Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong, Gilby Clarke, Bruce Kulick, Glen Campbell and R.E.M.’s Peter Buck.

Always ready to tackle anything guitar-related, Rowe was more recently approached to do a project that would include shedding some light on the mysterious brown Fender Stratocaster Randy Rhoads is pictured with in some historic photos from his Quiet Riot days.

Considering the project was proposed by no less than Rhoads’ very first guitar tech/roadie, Harold Friedman, Rowe had no choice but to jump at the offer.

“When Harold got in touch with me, the only thing I could say was, YES!” Rowe said. “Being a big Randy fan, this is an honor for me. We wanted to share the story about this guitar, because it has so much mystery around it with very little to no details about it until now.”

To help tell the story, Rowe called on his old friend and fellow guitarist Tracii Guns of L.A. Guns fame. “Tracii and I go way back and I know he’s a huge Randy Rhoads fan, so he’s the first person I thought of to do the video with Harold,” Rowe said. 

This project will lead up to a limited run of 25 replica guitars built by Rock N Roll Relics in memory of Randy. “I approached Rock N Roll Relics after searching for a boutique guitar manufacturer that I thought could do justice to this project,” Friedman said. 

The project will also donate a portion of the money toward helping kids buy instruments who otherwise couldn’t afford them. “Inspiring kids, or anyone for that matter, to be able to play music is something Randy would have done on his own if he was still with us,” Friedman said.

Part One of this intimately unique story about one of rock’s greatest guitarist and the mystery surrounding the brown Stratocaster is below. Enjoy and stay tuned. 

Learn more about Billy Rowe and Rock N Roll Relics.

Review: ‘Bon Jovi: The Story’

Posted: 25th October 2016 by admin in Reviews
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A RUNAWAY SUCCESS: Bon Jovi has sold more than 130 million albums worldwide since breaking out of the New Jersey club scene.

By Metal Dave

Anyone with a radio knows Jon Bon Jovi is one of the most phenomenally successful rock stars of all time.

Not so widely known are the inside stories behind the early ambition and rise to rock-n-roll riches that could only be told by those who were there.

In his soon-to-be released “Bon Jovi: The Story,” (due Nov. 1 through Sterling) veteran entertainment journalist Bryan Reesman interviews early Bon Jovi band mates and associates Jack Ponti, Wil Hercek, Bill Frank and Bruce Stephen Foster, among others.

We learn that Bon Jovi’s 1984 breakout hit “Runaway,” was co-written by New Jersey area musician George Karak and actually predates the band. We’re also informed that Aldo Nova played guitar on the single and sang backup vocals throughout Bon Jovi’s debut album (and remains a close friend and collaborator to this day) after the pair met at Manhattan’s famed Power Station Studios, owned by John’s second cousin Tony Bongiovi who hired the family’s aspiring rock star to fetch coffee and mop floors.

Other insights? Four of the five future Bon Jovi members were delivered by the same doctor in Perth Amboy, New Jersey; Bongiovi changed his name to Bon Jovi (and shortened John to Jon) in an attempt to emulate Van Halen; and, according to Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora, only Jon was technically signed to Mercury Records. The rest of the band members were (and presumably still are?) hired guns.

YOUNG GUN: A flyer advertising one of Bongiovi's early bands. Young John is lower left.

YOUNG GUN: A flyer advertising one of Bongiovi’s early bands. Young John is lower left.

Reesman’s book is an unauthorized affair, but hardly lacking in credibility given the input from early inner-circle connections and such notables as Judas Priest singer Rob Halford; ex-Scorpions drummer Herman Rarebell; hit songwriter Desmond Child; music media personality Eddie Trunk; blockbuster music video director Wayne Isham; and music mogul Derek Shulman who all offer their unique perspectives on Bon Jovi the man and the band.

Also included in the book’s 208 glossy pages are 130 color photos (including early promo shots, flyers and assorted memorabilia), sidebars outlining the outside pursuits and current whereabouts of past and current Bon Jovi band mates, as well as Jon’s forays into acting, philanthropic endeavors and humanitarian efforts.

A success story like few others, “Bon Jovi: The Story” also reminds us that the Jersey kid who cut his teeth covering the J. Geils Band, the Asbury Jukes and Bruce Springsteen (who once joined an excited teen-aged Bongiovi onstage at an early bar gig) continues to do blockbuster business around the world 30 years after “Slippery When Wet” went stark-raving ballistic. How many of Bon Jovi’s “hair band” peers can say the same? Exactly! You can count them on half a hand (and even less if you combine album AND ticket sales).

Fluidly written and exquisitely presented, “Bon Jovi: The Story” is a feel-good tale of rock-n-roll determination that’s impossible not to cheer.
xxx
Full disclosure: Author Bryan Reesman and I have never met, but once were colleagues at Metal Edge magazine.
BELOW: Before he was in heavy rotation as an internationally famous MTV superstar, young Bon Jovi was briefly in the Patty Smyth-fronted band, Scandal. 

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BAD BOY RUNNING WILD: Schenker unleashing his six-string sting           (Photo by Ross Halfin).

By Metal Dave

Like a lot of American heavy metal kids, I was first introduced to the Scorpions by way of their 1982 breakthrough album, “Blackout” and its now-classic smash single, “No One Like You.” As they ripped across the Alabama airwaves, the Scorpions sounded positively earth-shaking alongside the likes of Blue Oyster Cult and Molly Hatchet.

Within a year, Dad’s Air Force gig brought us back to my hometown of San Antonio where I briefly reconnected with an old friend who gave me a copy of the Scorpions’ 1979 LP, “Lovedrive” (I still have it). I liked it even better than “Blackout”! How was I so unaware? Must have been the band’s German heritage and limited U.S. exposure leading up to “Blackout.”

While acclimating to my new neighborhood, high school and overall life at age 15, I discovered legendary San Antonio radio deejay Joe “The Godfather” Anthony on 99.5 KISS FM and soon learned the Scorpions had a history of seven albums dating back to 1972 (all of which were more progressive, psychedelic and European-sounding than the made-for-American-radio “Blackout” and its closest predecessors, “Lovedrive” and “Animal Magnetism”). Make no mistake: In San Antonio circa 1983, the Scorpions were the underdog rivals of Iron Maiden and Judas Priest as one of the heaviest metal bands on the planet.

After graduating high school and college, I started landing legitimate bylines as an aspiring rock journalist and eventually got the chance to interview Scorpions guitarists Rudolf Schenker (twice) and Matthias Jabs. What follows is probably the best of the three interviews, conducted in 2010, with the ever-excitable Rudolf. “D’you people want to par-tay?”

Catch the Scorpions one last time
By David Glessner – Special to the Express-News Published 12:00 am, Thursday, July 22, 2010

Scorpions guitarist Rudolf Schenker was a rock star before he knew it.

“The first time I arrived in America was in 1978 because my brother invited me to visit him in Los Angeles,” Schenker said in his German accent. “He mentioned to me again and again ‘Rudolf, you guys have to come to the United States, because you already are big here. There is a band here in Los Angeles that covers Scorpions songs like “Speedy’s Coming” and “Catch Your Train.” The band is called Van Halen!’”

Stinging the world on a farewell tour that trots the globe for the next three years, the Scorpions rock the AT&T Center Friday night with special guests Ratt.

The Scorps, featuring founding members Schenker and vocalist Klaus Meine, along with longstanding guitarist Matthias Jabs and relative newcomers James Kottak (drums) and Pawel Maciwoda (bass), are capping a 40-year, 100-million-album-selling career with the new album, “Sting in the Tail,” that recalls the riffs of best-sellers such as “Blackout,” “Love at First Sting” and “Savage Amusement.”

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STILL STINGING: The Scorpions’ 17th album, ‘Sting in the Tail,’ combines all the best elements of the band’s late-’80s era to create a must-have for fans.

“When we started the album, nobody thought it would be the last,” Schenker said on the phone from a Nashville hotel room. “We went into the studio thinking we wanted to get back to the real essence of the Scorpions. We wanted great guitar riffs, great melodies and great vocals. Our manager heard it and said, ‘Hey guys, that could be a great last album, because how are you going to top it?’

“We thought at first he might be joking,” continued the 62-year-old Flying-V axman. “Then we started counting two to three years (for a tour), then we are 65! Then we take a break and start thinking about a new album and we are 67, 68! Then you are playing ‘Bad Boys Running Wild’ and ‘Rock You Like a Hurricane,’ and the only thing moving on stage is the lights! We want to leave on a high note, not a disaster.”

Since forming in Hanover, Germany, in 1969, the Scorpions have had more highs than lows. They quickly graduated from the club circuit and became headliners worthy of limos and security guards in Japan and Europe. Even the Scorpions’ first American gig was a dream come true despite taking the stage at 10 a.m.

“This was a festival in Cleveland in 1979 and we opened for Aerosmith, Ted Nugent, Thin Lizzy, Journey and AC/DC,” Schenker said. “We were only allowed 30 minutes, but we kept playing and the fans got more and more crazy. From this moment on we were the crazy Germans. It was fantastic to be part of the American rock scene.”

BREAKOUT: The 1982 'Blackout' album finally put the Scorpions on America's radar.

BREAKOUT: The 1982 ‘Blackout’ album finally put the Scorpions on America’s radar. And, no, that is not Rudolf on the cover.

While most of America waited until the Scorpions’ 1982 “Blackout” album to fully embrace the band, San Antonio radio had championed previous albums such as “Virgin Killer,” “In Trance,” “Taken by Force,” “Lovedrive” and “Animal Magnetism.” The mere mention of Alamo City still gives Schenker a thrill.

“San Antonio is one of our favorite cities ever, because it is pure rock ‘n’ roll,” he said. “We came back as headliners in ’82 with Iron Maiden and Girlschool, and that was the moment we knew we were kings in San Antonio. We are looking very much forward to going to the market place and the Mexican restaurant (Mi Tierra) and also the River Walk. San Antonio has been very important right from the start and we are very excited to rock again there.”

WINDS OF CHANGE: Rudolf meets Gorbachev showing the power of music can break down longstanding political and cultural walls.

WINDS OF CHANGE: Rudolf meets Gorbachev in a mutual display of how music’s universal power can break down longstanding political and cultural walls.

In a career filled with highlights, Schenker says the standout milestone was watching the Scorpions’ 1990 song “Wind of Change” become the unofficial soundtrack to the fall of communism. The song earned an invitation to the Kremlin courtesy of Mikhail Gorbachev.

“It was the first time ever a rock band was invited,” Schenker said. “It was such a fantastic, historical highlight because we knew the Cold War was over and we saw what music could do. That is why Scorpions set out to be a rock band; to cross borders and come to different countries.

“Some people still have something against Germany because of the two world wars, so we wanted to show people there is a new generation. Our parents came with tanks, but we are coming with guitars and love and music.”

And what will retirement be like?

“Good question,” Schenker said. “We are not going to retire and go to the beaches. That’s too boring. We are going to do things that are creative and still a part of rock ‘n’ roll. I recently wrote a book called ‘Rock You Live,’ which is something I want to deliver to different countries. Also, of course, I am working on the Schenker Brothers guitar with my brother (guitar legend and Scorpions co-founder Michael Schenker), and we are talking about doing an album together. Also, I’m very much into car driving.

“You just have to open your eyes. The world turns around and every day is a new day.”