More About Allyson
Archive and Search
Login

 

 

Tuesday
Aug202019

(Repost) Like An Obscure Skid Row...

Remember this post about Sven Gali? No? Well now you can read it! Originally published on January 31, 2009, this elicited some excitement and nostalgia.


Sven Gali - Sven Gali

Ok, so Skid Row got massively famous. Across the border and to the north was Sven Gali, often compared to Skid Row. The band had some great tunes but often fell into the "ripped-jean-and-flannel-shirt-but Glam-band" conundrum. After all, it was the dawn of the 90s and flannel was hot - you know, literally and figuratively. So, what's a good Glam band to do but keep the locks long and don some red plaid.

Sven Gali originally formed in 1987 but didn't release their debut until five years later. The good thing about Sven Gali is that they definitely have a hard edge - and are great if you're in a bad mood or just want to drive your car really fast. Also, there's a lot of live clips of them on YouTube so you can  really get  a sense of what the band is all about.

Who were Sven Gali? David Wanless sang and Dee Cernile and Andy Frank played guitar. Gregg Gerson (and later Mike Ferguson) played drums and Shawn Mahar played bass. The band's biggest "hit" is "Love Don't Live Here Anymore" but I much prefer the fast songs. Leave the ballads to Sebastian Bach-era Skid Row I say.

Remember those flannel shirts I mentioned? Yeah, Sven Gali tried to go grunge and - shock - it didn't work. Who knew that a Glam band would suck at grunge?

Anyway, here's the tracklisting for that self-titled debut:

01. Under The Influence
02. Tie Dyed Skies
03. Sweet Little Gypsy
04. In My Garden
05. Freakz
06. Love Don't Live Anymore
07. Stiff Competition
08. Real Thing
09. Whisper In The Rain
10. 25 Hours A Day
11. Here Today Gone Tomorrow
12. Disgusteen

And now the obligatory video clip:

 
"What You Give"


Monday
Aug192019

(Repost) Whereas Steven Tyler Makes A Burger King Commercial... And I Die A Little Inside

Remember this? Originally published on April 27, 2012, Steven Tyler of my beloved Aerosmith just needed to make a little more money I guess.


Steven Tyler - We're All Somebody From Somewhere


Oh my. No one can accuse Steven Tyler of not working hard to hustle for a buck. Between Aerosmith, American Idol and greasy hamburgers, Tyler must be sweating cash.


If the rest of Aerosmith is resentful of Tyler's work on Idol, I can't imagine how this burger deal went down between the iconic rockers. Alas, watch the singer of my favorite band of all time hock heart attacks, er, chicken tenders.


Sunday
Aug182019

(Repost) White Lightning

For whatever reason, this post has always stuck with me. In fact, it might be one of my very favorites. Originally published on January 8, 2007.  I guess I was able to get out what I was feeling at the time.


Def Leppard - Adrenalize


Steve Clark died 16 years ago today. He was the co-lead guitarist for Def Leppard, a tortured soul who drank himself to death at age 30.

Adrenalize was Def Leppard’s first album without Steve. He died midway through production after an accidental overdose of mixing prescription pain killers and liquor. On the album, the remaining four members of DL recorded the track “White Lightning.” Clark’s nickname was “White Lightning” but the term is also used to describe booze and other drugs. While treated as an anthem to their fallen comrade, lyrics to “White Lightning” also include a warning for others riding the addiction train:

“You wanna leave but you can't let go
You wanna stop but you can't say no
(You never laugh about it, you just can't live without it)
You've had enough but you just want more
You never get what you're looking for
(You never laugh about it)”


And later, after the bridge:

“The White Lightning - On a dead end street
White Lightning - Where the deadbeats meet
White Lightning - It's a one way ride
White Lightning - Oh, there's nowhere to hide.”

Instead of replacing Clark during the Adrenalize sessions, the band forged ahead as a quartet, later hiring Vivian Campbell on guitars. On the official website www.defleppard.com, Steve Clark retains a biography under the band section.

This, beyond any recording or songwriting capabilities, speaks volumes to the talent Clark oozed during his time with the British supergroup. In short, Clark knew the true essence of the 1980s musical zeitgeist and was able to transform that mold into power cords, strong riffs and gigantic album sales.

Personally, I think “White Lightning” is the best track on Adrenalize. The 50 second guitar intro literally makes the song, and the entire track isn’t overproduced like so many DL hits. Interestingly, the song was never released as a single, and I can only assume this was out of respect for Clark. The band didn’t want to look like it was profiting off the death of their famous guitarist. For this reason, “White Lightning” will be our underappreciated song obsession of the week.

For Def Leppard, success is a mixed bag. Personally, I award DL the title of the biggest band of the 1980s. They sold more albums, played more shows and stayed on the charts longer than any other glam band. In the middle of the grunge hey-day, Adrenalize simultaneously debuted at number 1 on the U.S. and U.K. Billboard charts, remaining in the top spot for several weeks. Sales-wise, this was Def Leppard’s last big success, save for the many greatest hits compilations (Rock of Ages: The Definitive Collection was certified platinum in February of 2006). Critics say that when Steve Clark died, so did Def Leppard. I don’t know if I agree with that statement, but I do think the band lost a certain edge that will never be replaced. It’s a certain quality every band loses when an integral musician leaves the fold.

[“White Lightning” lyrics by Def Leppard, for the 1992 Mercury/Universal release Adrenalize]

Saturday
Aug172019

(Repost) Vixen: Live in Sweden

Originally published on October 30, 2007, this little article about Vixen got a tepid response. Most lamented that they couldn't get into the band. Now that more than a decade has passed, I'd be curious to know if anyone's opinions have changed on the all-girl rockers.


Vixen - Vixen

Love it or hate it, the fact remains that Vixen are one of the most successful all-female rock bands in history. The glam band started humbly enough in Minnesota before founding guitarist (and only remaining original member) Jan Kuehnemund packed up and moved to California for the bright lights of the Sunset Strip.


By the late 1980s, Vixen was formed and the quartet found themselves on MTV in heavy rotation. They also played some big shows, including a run with Bon Jovi. Then reality set in, the girls bickered and Vixen disbanded. Fast forward several years and the band makes a lot of false starts with various members. Then, just two years ago, Kuehnemund put together the current Vixen line-up and started touring Europe. This European vacation eventually landed the women a spot on the roster of the 2005 Sweden Rock Festival. The band recorded the performance, simply called Vixen: Live in Sweden. In all, the album is both a raw and exciting listen.

Vixen: Live in Sweden opens with the title track to the band’s second album Rev It Up. The crowd response is good, and helps get the momentum going for “Streets in Paradise,” also originally recorded for Rev It Up. In 2006, Vixen released an album of all-new material called Live and Learn. Many of the songs for the album were either written or recorded by the time Vixen took the Sweden Rock stage. It’s not surprising that some of those songs made their way into the set-list. “Anyway” is one of these tracks. An upbeat rocker with Vixen’s trademark melody makes the track more than listenable. What’s more the crowd seems to love the song, even if it is unfamiliar.

Vixen’s most famous songs, “Cryin’” and “Edge of a Broken Heart” are buried deep in the set, as expected. Moreover, you can hear thousands of voices singing right along as the band plays both tracks. To the band’s credit, the production on the effort is exceptionally high. It’s very easy to hear the crowd, but the fans don’t overpower the band. Ironically, the last song on Vixen: Live in Sweden is “Bad Reputation.” Vixen dedicates the song to Vince Neil of Motley Crue. The kings of Sunset Strip Metal also played the 2005 Sweden Rock Festival. In all, “Bad Reputation” is a more than fitting encore for all the glam bands at the massive event.

Friday
Aug162019

(Repost) This Is The Coolest Tour Opener Ever

Today's post was originally published on February 26, 2016. This little clip got a ton of comments! Since Iron Maiden is out on the road right now, I thought it only made sense to share again.


Iron Maiden - The Book of Souls


Iron Maiden is back and on the road. The Book Of Souls world tour kicked off Wednesday night in Florida. Iron Maiden is a band I've still never seen live. Maybe someday. For now, check out this amazing show opening video. This must have cost a fortune.


Thursday
Aug152019

(Repost) Tragic City Symphony: The Bring Back Glam! Review

We're taking a little break around these parts for a few days. Over the next two weeks or so, I'll be posting some BBG! classic posts. Maybe you'll discover something new as a result!

Today's post was originally published on August 10, 2008. Think about how long ago that was - I mean, I talk about Myspace here!

Lynam's fifth studio album Tragic City Symphony (New Ocean Media) officially hits stores on August 26, but the album is already available for purchase through the band's official website. As I predicted months ago, this album is fantastic. The track list looks like this:

 

Lynam - Thank You Good Night!

  1. Is This A Heartbreak Or A Loaded Gun?
  2. Enemy
  3. Lindsay Says
  4. Just Say Anything
  5. Save My Soul
  6. Porn Star
  7. Can’t Do Anything
  8. If You Leave
  9. Make It Alright
  10. White Trash Superstar
  11. A Million Ways
  12. Suffer

 

Ok, I'll admit "Is This A Heartbreak Or A Loaded Gun?" sounds emo, but that's just the title. Once the chorus kicks in, it's hard to tell if you're listening to Lynam of Def Leppard - back when DL were actually good. You know, in the 80s. Not hard to believe, "Is This A Heartbreak Or A Loaded Gun?" is one of my favorite songs on Tragic City Symphony. Plus, I think the song title would look hot on a T-shirt.

"Enemy" is a big deal for Lynam. This track features slide guitar by Tom Keifer of Cinderella. It also features gang vocals by Hinder. Now, I do not like Hinder, but their input on this song isn't too pervasive and they don't muck it up. Quite frankly, lead singer Jacob Lynam doesn't need any help in the vocal department.

"Lindsay Says" is a song that's been on Lynam's Myspace for a few months now. I've listened to this track several times over the past few weeks, getting ready for this new CD. This song sounds very modern, but somehow Lynam never lose their Glam influences. "Lindsay Says" has a nice, big chorus - just what we all need to get out of bad mood. Songs like "Lindsay Says" are the main reason why I love Lynam. It takes more than image to be a great band: you have to know how to write lyrics and play and have emotion. 

Truth be told, I doubt Lynam consider themselves a Glam band. After all, Lynam is a trio - very rare in the Glam genre. They don't make over-the-top videos, or have stage shows with dancing girls and pyro. Still, this is one band that knows how to make a power ballad. Tragic City Symphony features a few nice ballads, including "Just Say Anything,"  "If You Leave" and "A Million Ways."  The latter reminds me of Warrant, with the acoustic guitar and dreamy lyrics. Think "Heaven" meets 2008 - yeah, it's that good. The lyrics to "If You Leave" are actually painful - deeply moving. That's the power of music.

The first single supporting Tragic City Symphony is "Save My Soul" and for good reason: the song is a sonic powerhouse. The guitar tone is so rich here, "Save My Soul" is a production masterpiece for my money. It also reminds me why I listen to rock music. Quite frankly, it takes a lot to impress me these days. I receive a lot of albums and watch a lot of bands - and most start to run together. When a band produces a song as good as "Save My Soul" they stand out.

The song that surprised me the most on Tragic City Symphony? That's easy: "White Trash Superstar." I suppose my boys in Lynam are paying tribute to their Alabama heritage with the banjo picking (Lynam's first album is also called White Trash Superstar). Still, the song is damn catchy and has - yet again - a huge chorus. Here, the lyrics are easy and there's a nice electric guitar solo to compete with the banjo. Ah, I love ironic juxtaposition.

Tragic City Symphony  is now in the running as my favorite album of 2008!

 


Wednesday
Aug142019

And There You Have It

Don't count on a Cinderella reunion anytime soon. Tom Keifer isn't interested and that means it won't happen until he is... and that may never happen at this point. Tom is focused on his solo career. I suppose he looks at a Cinderella reunion as going backward. Thankfully we still have all those Cinderella albums to relive the glory days!


Stream 'Night Songs' Here!