Iron Maiden-Rock in Rio
        © 2002 Portrait Records
Now I'm going to try to not be to biased in this review. I am a huge Iron Maiden fan and generally roll my ears in everything they do. This release marks the first tour that Bruce Dickinson did with the band since his departure in the early 90's. Recorded in early 2001 at the Rock in Rio festival in Brazil, the band was touring off of the 'Brave new world' album. I actually caught this tour, but did have to travel quite far to do so. I caught the band in Phoenix, Arizona and this release is like a recapture of that night. Much larger crowd obviously. The album offers 2 discs of Maiden classics representing most of the bands career including the Blaze Bayley era. This is one of the fun parts of the album. Listening to Dickinson singing tracks like 'Sign of the Cross' and 'The Clansmen'. Does a pretty good job too. This release really covers the Maiden classics quite well. For instance there is 'The Trooper', '2 Minutes to Midnight', 'The Number of the Beast', 'Hallowed be they name', and 'Run to the hills'. 'Brave new world' is represented very well with 'Dream of Mirrors', 'Blood Brothers', 'Ghost of the Navigator', 'The Mercenary', 'Brave new world', and 'The Wicker man'. There are 19 tracks total between the 2 discs and the live sound really booms. As an added bonus there is a live clip of 'Brave new world' in the Quicktime video format. On the second disc is a second Quicktime clip titled 'A day in the life'  that takes a candid look at a day on the road with the band. Both video clips are taken from the upcoming 'Rock in Rio' DVD and VHS releases that are forthcoming.

Once again, Metal's premier band release a very nice package. This is a very good appetizer for the main entree coming in the near future. The Dvd is gonna be a really cool companion to this set. This isn't just another live Maiden album, it's a major event to behold!
      Broke Americans
© 2001 Industrial Strength Records
The Broke Americans are a bit of a Punk and Hard Rock crossover in my opinion. Although the band is generally termed Punk, there is a great deal of the Hard Rock sensibility thrown in for a great effect. Looking at some of the subject material, you have to be thinking you've got these guys nailed down. Think again. The band has really made a lot of noise in the L.A. scene and offer up a great album to boot. Looking at the band musically, these guys are fairly straightforward in their approach, but are very sarcastic lyrically. One listen to the opener 'Eat shit and die' and you will be ready for this subject material roller coaster ride. Looking at the tempo of the music, it's really varied which offers something for everyone. 'Hit single' is a bit poppy and reminds me of Wrathchild in the harmonies and is overall very catchy as are most of the tunes. Some of my favorite tunes include 'Sex Maniac', 'The Farmer Twins' which reminds me of a track on Love on Ice's album 'Nude', the comical 'Proud to be an asshole', the hilarious 'White and Skanky' and the previous mentioned 'Eat shit and die'. Listening to this album will keep you laughing over and over.

This album is a lot of fun to listen to. It would definitely get a rise out of the PRMC that was so famous in the heyday of Hard Rock for stirring up a hornet's nest with an artists lyrical content. Songs are catchy and accessible and will keep a constant smile on your face. This is a band to definitely watch for in the future. Give it a spin!