Tag Archives: russell allen

Adrenaline Mob-Dearly Departed

10845742_845567675465979_8667643703818840603_o

 

If you look at my past reviews you can see I am not the biggest fan of Adrenaline Mob. In fact I think the band may have taken on their namesake and put a hit out me. So it must seem odd that once again I am tackling their newest. Call it self flagellation or more likely that it’s February and there is not a lot out. Dearly Departed is a mini-LP mostly made up of covers or acoustic numbers. They did this right after their debut album and I like this idea. Alice In Chains did it and I think it’s a nice way of staying in the public eye without milking the cow.

Let’s address the covers first. Dearly Departed kicks off with Pat Travers’ “Snorting Whiskey”. This is a blazing cover and it had me rethinking my attitude towards the band by the time it hit the chorus. It is a balls out rockin’ version of this 70’s classic and you can hear the band enjoying themselves. Especially guitarist Mike Orlando who sounds like a mixture of an Allman brother and an 80’s shredder on here. Queen’s “Tie Your Mother Down” also gets the treatment and it is a good one. The feeling is like this is a fun practice room song that they just decided to record. I applaud the guys for choosing some not too obvious songs. However, just because it is a surprising choice does not mean it is a good one. Case in point is their version of “Devil Went Down To Georgia”. It sounds exactly as you would imagine and it’s not nearly as clever as it needed to be. The last cover on here is a “Black Sabbath Medley”. It is about as original sounding as that title. One highlight is drummer AJ Pero channeling his inner Animal and going bat shit insane on it. There needs to be a moratorium on bands covering Sabbath, Metallica, and Slayer. Just don’t do it. You will always be compared to the original and in doing so will always be lacking.

Along with the covers, the other draw is the three acoustic interpretations on here. Each one of them being very good. Russell Allen really gets a chance to show off his voice on them. “Crystal Clear” and “Angel Sky” have full band accompaniment on them but the acoustic vibe is still there and the stripped down quality is delicious. As good as those versions are, “All On The Line” is legendary. With just Russell and Mike alone with a guitar the emotion really comes through. Really beautiful and powerful.

Dearly Departed is rounded out with a radio edit of the title track. Taking off that extra minute really streamlined the song and makes modern rock keeper. “Gets You Through The Night” is an unreleased track from Men Of Honor. It is a little peppier and reminds me of Saliva or Nickelback and I’m not saying that in a good way. It proves the adage that if the song was any good it would have been on the album.

I guess Dearly Departed has opened my eyes to Adrenaline Mob. I really like how the band is able to mix modern hard rock with classic rock sensibilities. Hopefully it will continue on their next release. My one small complaint is I think Dearly Departed should be a bit cheaper. It’s only $1 less than a regular album so I dropped it down one because of that.

Final rating, I’d be happy paying…

$14.99-Regularly Priced CD

$9.99-Download from iTunes or Amazon

$5.00-buy it as a used CD

$1.00-streaming it on Spotify

$0-Not worth the drive space

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Adrenaline Mob-Coverta

Image

Since I just reviewed Anthrax’s cover album Anthems, I guess it makes sense to do the same for Adrenaline Mob’s collection of covers Coverta. While I was not a fan of their debut album Omerta, maybe someone else’s songs will help change my mind.

It kicks off with “Hive Wire” originally done by the criminally underrated Badlands. It’s a pretty faithful cover but while Russell Allen may be a good vocalist, he pales in comparison to Ray Gillen. All this version does is make me want to go listen to Badlands some more. There is a really rocking version of The Doors “Break On Through”. The band does a nice job in using a funky bass instead of an organ. Adrenaline Mob made this there own song. The same was accomplished with Van Halen’s “Romeo’s Delight. Heavied it up, sped it up, and added a touch from Led Zepplin’s “Whole Lotta Love” while rounding it out with a pinch of “Top Jimmy”. Speaking of Zepplin, there is a version of “Lemon Song”. While it is a rather basic cover of the song, it really shows off how good of musicians the band is, so it’s acceptable. Sort of finishing it out is “Barracuda” by Heart. This is basically a note for note re-recording and sounds exactly as you think it would. The best thing I can say about it, is that it is the only track that does not have the same crappy guitar tone that permeates throughout the album.

I say “sort of finishes” because there are 3 Ronnie James Dio song’s on here. Granted they cover different bands he sang with, it still seems odd. We have “Stand Up and Shout” from his solo days, “Kill The King” from Rainbow and “Mob Rules” from his Black Sabbath days. All of them are as expected covers and seem more fitting for playing as an encore than expecting someone to play for them. I really wish they would have chose just one of his songs, especially if it was one we haven’t heard countless times.

After this I guess it’s safe to say I am not a fan of Adrenaline Mob. Be it original or cover tunes, I don’t care. Coverta, is a bland collection of songs we have heard before done in exactly the way we thought they would be.

Ughh.

Final rating, I’d be happy paying…

$14.99-Regularly Priced CD

$9.99-Download from iTunes or Amazon

$5.00-wait for Amazon to have it on sale

$1.00-finding at a flea market, car wash, or pawn shop

$0-Not worth the drive space

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Adrenaline Mob-Omerta

Remember when David Carusso left his role on NYPD, one of the biggest shows on TV, to star in movies? He made Kiss Of Death, with a stellar cast that included Samuel Jackson, Helen Hunt, Nic Cage, and Michael Rappoport. The movie tanked and he became a punchline. After listening to Omerta, Adrenaline Mob is Mike Portnoy’s Kiss Of Death. Mike was best known for being a founding member and drummer of Dream Theater. He was fired from his own group and Adrenaline Mob is his first new offering. Formed along with such well known musician as vocalist Russell Allen from Symphony X and Rich Ward of Stuck Mojo.

 

What is surprising about Omerta is how pedestrian it is. I don’t think anyone expected this band to rival his previous one but I think we all expected that they be competent. What you get here is a well produced local band. Omerta opens with “Undaunted” a song that sounds like it was a C-side from Godsmack. Actually a Godsmack tribute band.

 

Please God do not let there be a Godsmack tribute band.

 

All the songs that follow use the same pseudo-tough guy lyric accompanied by bad hard rock. Russell Allen seems way out of his element here. His style may work with his other bands progressive material but here it just doesn’t jibe. Listening to “Feelin’ Me” is almost a comical experience. The juvenile lyrics with its over use of the F word are chuckle worthy. Only thing worse are the power ballads on here.

 

The “topper” is the cover of Duran Duran’s “Come Undone”. While the song does get a nice makeover the decision to have Lizzy Hale of Halestorm sing backgrounds are shocking.

 

Shockingly bad.

 

All of the early press for this band referred to them as a supergroup. A group they are, super they are not. Maybe if Mike will concentrate on just one project at a time instead of the 30 he is doing right now, the next release will be better. I just don’t know if there will be an audience that wants to find out.

 

 

 

 

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,
%d bloggers like this: