Def Leppard-Def Leppard ©2015 Mailboat Records
Early on in my listening days, 'Pyromania' had a huge impact on where I would head musically for years to come. Definitely a classic and an album that each Def Leppard album always seems to be compared against. Looking at the bands self titled new album, you get a lot of classic feel. Maybe not all the way back to 'Pyromania', but some similarities to 'Hysteria' will be drawn. The album is pretty consistent through the listen and has various influences from previous efforts without ever trying to be one of them. A slight lull in the middle, but other than that, a pretty solid effort from a great band!
Voodoo Diamond-Blindfolded ©2015 Voodoo Diamond
Seems we are seeing quite a few ep's in the current scene. What we also see with a lot of these ep's is very good quality for the most part. Voodoo Diamond offers up a 5 track ep that tends to be a bit more modern, but has definite flashes of traditional hard rock. The album gets started rocking with 'Hollow'. Good punch that continues through 'Standing in the Rain'. The ep closes with the trend going a bit more atmospheric and decent amounts of melody. The band to me is somewhere between Theory of a Deadman and Takida. Very solid 5 track and definitely a band to keep an eye on.
The Winery Dogs-Hot Streak ©2015 Loud & Proud Records
Technical precision at it's best. You know that's what you are going to get with the Sheehan, Portnoy, and Kotzen combination. Very good release once again from these guys. 'Hot Streak' is exactly what these guys are on right now as they seem to have become a fan favorite very quickly. I feel that the songs are very good overall and listening to the musical prowess that the band brings each time is amazing. It may be a bit much for fans of the more simplistic style of hard rock, but for those who like their hard rock a bit more bombastic with a good soulful feel, you're gonna love this one!
Stryper-Fallen ©2015 Frontiers Records
This band is really on a tear. Following up the brilliant 'No More Hell to Pay' that was our album of the year in 2013, 'Fallen' seems to take off where they left off. Good solid guitar sounds mixed with great rhythm and vocal work makes this another winner. The band once again excel in the songwriting department and have never been quick to shy away from their beliefs. I love conviction and this band has a lot of it. It has a traditional hard rock sound for the most part. Good melodies and memorable heartfelt songs make this an easy recommend once again. Great chemistry in this band!
Ugly Kid Joe-Uglier Than They Used Ta Be ©2015 Metalville Records
Lots of bands disappeared and lots of them have come back in the recent years. Ugly Kid Joe obviously had a bit more to say and offered up their latest album 'Uglier Than They Used Ta Be'. Musically it's definitely Ugly Kid Joe. I believe that you could have released this album as a sequel to 'America's Least Wanted' and it would have felt right. Great old school songs and writing and some very cool covers such as 'Ace of Spades' by Motörhead and 'Papa Was a Rolling Stone' by The Temptations. It's a good even listen overall and I'm personally glad to see these guys back on the scene.