'Give 'Em Hell
Release Date: 18th April 2014
Gary 'Rockulus' Clarke
The charismatic Rock machine has returned with his third solo studio opus, but does it compare to 'Kicking & Screaming' or 'Angel Down'?
To my ears these 12 tracks combined make for a slightly better and more cohesive album than its predecessor. But as you and I know, it's all subjective innit?!
The vocal one says this about his latest creative outburst - "We have captured some kick-ass rock and roll magic and producer par excellence Bob Marlette is the wizard behind the board." In an excited fashion he then goes on to say "I cannot stop listening to it and that is the whole intention. For those of you who dig my high crazy-ass screams of the other records, well, I am proud to say this new disc features all the ranges and textures I have been known for..."
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When you wrap your ears around songs like 'Harmony', first single 'Temptation' and 'Hell Inside My Head' you get the full-on Bach experience. Submerged in the backdrop of Rock music, glides the melodic and strong vocal delivery which is synonymous with this man. They're all a treat to devour as are more textured approaches like 'Push Away' and 'Had Enough'.
With a song title like 'All My Friends Are Dead' you may be expecting a Bach version of Type O Negative or something, but that isn't the order of the day. The arrangement is a little progressive yet compacted within its four minutes and forty eight seconds. Devin Bronson known for his work with P!nk and Avril Lavigne produces ample guitar with the mighty Duff McKagan handling bass duties and Bobby Jarzombek sorting the beat and doing justice to the material on show.
As when 'Angel Down' was unleashed proudly proclaiming the contributions of Axl Rose on several tracks, there are some top draw names attached to this release; guitarist Steve Stevens keeping busy between duties with Billy Idol and other musician friends along with some guitar wielding from John 5 again who made an appearance on the last album 'Kicking & Screaming'.
Hard Rockin' gems in the form of 'Gun To A Knife Fight' and 'Taking Back Tomorrow' (wasn't he tempted to call it 'Taking Bach Tomorrow'?!) keep the momentum rolling towards the latter sections of 'Give 'Em Hell'. 'Disengaged' presents a spiky and jagged audio weapon with its in-your-face demeanour. To my ear, 'Forget You' under a different spotlight like King Diamond for example, could have fitted that artist much better than Bach. Oh, and before I forget, 'Rock'n'Roll Is A Vicious Game' is a breath of fresh air. Complete with a harmonica and strummed acoustic guitar, we're entertained by a man relaxed in his rocking chair on the front porch.
There rages beneath the surface of fans around the globe, this longing for Bach to return to the fold of Skid Row, but I think we should all move on. Skid Row are kicking ass with Solinger at the mic', and Bach has really got a cool solo rhythm going on. There's nothing left to fix when you take a step back and digest their respective outputs. Some of these songs are going to sound awesome live too.
I know I should get out more, but I compiled a 15 track best of compilation including material from this album recently. It sounded strong and prolific, melodic yet punishing in places. If you take a deep breath and listen to his solo music without preconceived ideas, it's rather good. 'Give 'Em Hell' isn't perfect and it isn't 'Slave To The Grind' either, but it is very robust and a lot more consistent than his previous solo outings. Take the principle of nostalgia and mix it up with who he is today and you get a fabulous collection of songs here.
Hell Inside My Headv
All My Friends Are Dead
Gun To A Knife Fight
Rock'n'Roll Is A Vicious Game
Taking Back Tomorrow