The gems are out there this week, for sure, but you just need to dig a bit deeper. Bon Jovi is out with yet another record, The Drive-By Truckers show up, and there’s even a hint of Brian Johnson making a comeback with AC/DC. Rock is the New Roll favorite Glen Hughes and his band The Dead Daisies are out with yet another single from the new record, c’mon boys, release the album already.
Orianthi is proving she does her best work without her ball and chain Bon Jovi’s Richie Sambora.
And, if that’s not enough, here are five records our ears have been hipped to this week.
Dawes – Good Luck With Whatever
Dawes is one of those bands that is a bit like your favorite sweater. It has been around a while, is supremely comfortable, and you know just where to find it when you need a little warmth in your life. And, Good Luck With Whatever the seventh album from Laurel Canyon rockers Dawes is pretty much what everybody needs right about now. Never straying too far from the Dawes California cool by way of Jackson Browne vibe there are nuggets everywhere to enjoy. “Still Feel Like a Kid” provides the health advice that it is ok to age but try not to get old, “St. Augustine At Night” celebrates the simple life and the simple joys and familiarity one’s home-town, and “Who Do You Think You’re Talking To” breezes along in a “Somebody’s Baby” sort of way Jackson Browne way. Recorded at the historic RCA studios in Nashville and produced by super knob-twirler Dave Cobb, this is Dawes at the absolute height of their powers.
The Nude Party – Midnight Manor
Over the last couple of years, Rock and Roll bands like Rookie, White Reaper, and Massive Wagons have announced themselves as one of the torch-bearers of good old-fashioned feel-good Rock and Roll. And, the boys in Nude Party with their latest record Midnight Manor as exhibit A, certainly deserve to be mentioned in that Pantheon. It is not often that a sophomore record can outshine a stellar debut, but here, in this case, the band has definitely stepped their game up several musical notches. Sure there are touch-points plenty, The Rolling Stones, Velvet Underground, T-Rex, just to name a trio of them, but make no mistake, this band is their own unique animal. The opener, “Lonely Heather” shares some DNA with Mott’s “All The Way From Memphis,” “Shine Your Light” will bring to mind Todd Rundgren, and “Thirsty Drinking Blues” is epic-era Jagger and the Stones. “Pardon Me Satan” even has a bit of a Latin tinge to it to add even more diversity to a record that satisfies at every turn. Don’t be surprised if this one gets some best album votes when the end of the year rolls around.
Queen + Adam Lambert – Live Around the World
Putting aside that there will be those that will not give this record, or this version of the band, the ear-time of day, here at Rock is the New Roll we have always felt that putting Freddie’s Olympian vocal prowess aside, Queen was always been about the masterful songwriting and the next-level musicianship courtesy mostly of guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor. And here, Queen fans get to experience the absolute power of a fully formed Queen concert in front of their very ears. On this set, concert footage from all parts of the globe including Brazil, England, Australia, and beyond has been compiled into a greatest hits package that will blow your ears away and soothe your rock and roll soul. Personal highlights are the scorched-earth version of “Hammer to Fall,” the now-iconic recreation of the Live-Aid performance of “Radio Ga Ga,” and the anthemic “We Will Rock You”/”We Are The Champions” that fittingly brings the record to a climactic conclusion.
Hello Forever – Whatever It Is
Pay close attention to this band. In an era where it seems to be cool to jump in the studio, cut 12 songs in 3 days, and release a record to the unsuspecting public, this Psych-Pop group tracked their debut record, Hello Forever, over 200 individual recording sessions, time very much well spent based on the pristine production and attention to detail that is on full display on virtually every song of this fine album. The Brian Wilson soaring and background harmony influence is definitely a call-out here as is Vampire Weekend and Electric Light Orchestra. And, the elongated vocal runs courtesy of lead singer and songwriter Samuel Joseph are definitely Freddie Mercurian. If you like Doo-Wop, Soul, Arena Rock, or even West Coast Folk-Rock, then this highly polished record is your go-to jam.
The Jaded Hearts Club – You’ve Always Been There
What do you get when putting together a band that consists of front-men from two different bands, Miles Kane (Last Shadow Puppets) and Nic Cester (Jet), along with various members of Blur, Muse, and The Zutons? One hell of a covers, and more band, that’s what. Chock full of semi-obscure Motown covers and semi-known rock classics you will know by ear if not by name, this record will take you on a drive down nostalgia avenue in a convertible with the roof down. Most of these tunes fully stick the landing, most notably the version of The Four Tops “Reach Out “I’ll Be There” and Screaming Jay’s “I Put A Spell On You.” But, speaking truth to power, “Fever” is best left unheard and Vera Lynn’s “We’ll Meet Again” that starts things out as a sort of introduction weighing in at just under one minute could have easily been left out. And realistically, does anyone want to hear any rendition of “Money, That’s What I Want” in this day and age?