THE HIP PRIESTS
Tight ‘N’ Exciting
Bootleg Booze Records

Riding straight out of a remote Nottingham garage are UK rebel wankers The Hip Priests. The foursome throw down their brand of high-octane, cranked-up-to-eleven, penetrating rock ‘n ‘roll with all the gusto of sweaty teenage copulation. Says their website, “The 'Priests, as their rabid UK disciples affectionately call them, are a gloriously tangled mess of rampantly sexual, souped up, lubed up, ‘f’ed up, high action, anthem-driven band that is ferocious on a ten scale.” We couldn’t agree more. Plug into “Cream Ma Jeans” for wailing guitars, a pounding bass and drums that rattle the rafters – all brought to you at a million miles an hour. The sound quality is dirty, screechy and recorded so loud that the distortion breaks windows but with instant classics like “Demon Hooker,” “Superwhore” and “Ass on Fire” what’s a little broken glass lying around. Gary X Ray has a throat that screams more than sings keeping it all the more punk as Fast Jimmy HP peels off Stooges riffs and beats you to death with ‘em.

Smash and grab partners Lee Love on bass and Skintight Tim on drums don’t much care about anything except being heard. They bang, smash and destroy their way through “Teenage Friction” and “Young Savage” while still learning the difference between 4/4 time and a 16-count signature. Their attitude is who cares? As long as they’re pounding away at full volume - it’s all good. Like all good trash-punk rock the songs stick after the first run and you’ll find yourself singing them at the most inopportune moments. That can be a problem when “I Love to F*ck” and “Juiced Up ‘N’ Loose” uncontrollably slips out. Back to another website quote: “’Tight ‘N’ Exciting’ is a sweet 'n sweaty sonic tonic to accompany your recreational drinkin’, druggin’ and shaggin'. Prepare to get down, get dirty and hail the breakneck boogie Babylon babies…the spleen exploding sermonizers of the sacred sonic psalms, the crazed messiahs of deep-fried bone rattling rock 'n' roll! The righteous king rockers of in your face shock Bukkake...drum roll please….The Hip Priests.

Website: Bootleg Booze Records

ALVIN LEE
Saguitar
Rainman Records

Another Nottingham native and Ten Years After founder Alvin Lee is back with an eclectic batch of songs that run the gamut from pre-hippie Elvis to Jay-Z rap licks. The 63-year old axe slinger may have his more creative days behind him, but Saguitar does host a few select shining moments. The Alvin Lee camp is divided on this disc into the blues-rock of TYA and the retro Chuck Berry / Scottie Moore influence that colored his last outing Alvin Lee in Tennessee. The record’s title descends from Lee’s astrological sign Sagittarius which he claims in his bio, reflects his personal characteristics that are fairly well defined at this point. At first listen, the 14-track disc feels a bit disjoint with left over hippie reflections that fill “The Squeeze,” the melancholy blues of “Motel Blues” and the rockabilly in “Memphis.” However, the shift in mood offers an interesting flow with Lee’s playing and singing still conjuring up plenty of emotion and fire from the fingertips.

Repeated listening finds the disc almost a concept piece with the artist moving from the mid-tempo lead track “Anytime U Want Me” through to the road song “Rocking Rendezvous.”  Both capture the strut and swagger the guitarist found in the mid-seventies, which made his records In Flight and Pump Iron! so credible. The bass-driven “It’s Time to Play” celebrates Lee’s passion for performance especially when one considers he played every instrument on the album and produced it. The country galloping of “Only Here for the Ride” has a nice chemistry when mixed with the ‘50s shuffle of “Midnight Train” and the slow blues burn “Smoking Rope.”  On both Lee sings in his Elvis baritone, which gives credence to all his era references. Pub rock favorites include the guitar-fueled, piano plinking “Got a Lot of Living to do” and the organ grinding “It’s all Good.” A certain nod to the drinking Faces crowd for sure. Oddest in the lot is “Rapper,” a track bound to rub some wrong but as a guitar piece is quite stunning.

Website: Alvin Lee, Rainman Records

LANCE LOPEZ
Higher Ground
Grooveyard Records

Could there be a bigger monster guitar player out there than Dallas-native Lance Lopez? The guy plays gargantuan heavy Hendrix riffs that rip the cover right off the speaker. He destroys his axe, be it a flying “V”, “SG” or a Les Paul “Custom”. Here’s a guy that should be talked about in the same breath as Joe Bonamassa, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Eric Gales. His six-string wizardry is primarily blues-based but there is plenty of funk, rock and metal in the mix. Hailing from Texas gives him a handle on the ‘Stevie Ray Vaughan’ shuffle heard in “Drinkin’ My Blues” and the hard driving “Thunderbird South.” Both pay homage to ‘the man’ but there’s enough of the Lopez signature aggression that keeps it original – giving respect without duplicating. Being from the Lone Star state also allows him to partner up with some of the area’s hotshot players. On this, his fourth disc, Lopez cuts saw with guest guitarists Wes Jeans and Phillip Brown where they trade licks on such blistering numbers as “Hard Livin”, “Everytime I Turn Around” and the scorching Mississippi Fred McDowell track “Kool Iron Bed.”

The disc takes its name from the Stevie Wonder hit “Higher Ground”. Lopez uses the song as his lead in track, which springs to action with a thick funky beat and finds the Hendrix soul to a signature R&B classic. The Funkadelic inspiration continues through “That’s A Fact” with a hot lead and lots of metallic muscle. Lopez augments his voice from his usual baritone gruffness to pulsed electronic fuzz then launches into Willie Dixon’s “Let Me Love You” with hard rock blues. His love affair with roots blues is very much at home in the 12-bar “Hard Livin” complete with juke joint piano. Among the many hair-raising tracks “El Paso Sugar” steals the show with its ZZ Top sting and some clever Elmore James slide. For a self-produced, self-played record Higher Ground has a remarkably beefy production. It allows the artist to pull out all the stops and work a Commodores spin on “Type of Girl” with a Bootsy Collins strut into “Every Dog Has It’s Day.” Strictly for fans of lead-foot guitar with no brakes.

Website: Lance Lopez, Grooveyard Records

LANCE LOPEZ
Live
Grooveyard Records

After a number of high caliber releases Lance Lopez finally delivers this ‘live’ opus that includes many of his now famous covers. Jumping into the arena is the Hendrix favorite “Spanish Castle Magic.” Lopez tackles the master workup with astounding dexterity keeping the momentum of the song laidback yet skillfully executed. The Dallas-strat master wheels and bends with a thicker sound than the original and though the vocals get a little muddy in places, the guitar is at full volume. Bassist Todd Campbell and drummer Dave Slaughter pair up as a subsonic support team giving Lopez all the room he needs to spin his web-like grooves. Of the disc’s eight tracks, three come from the first Lopez album First Things First. “There Is Love,” “The Brick” and “Walk It” demonstrate his skill as a writer with bursting guitar harmonics and a blues structure that reflect his love for funk arrangement and unyielding boogie riffs. The vocals improve by the third track giving way to Lopez’s gruff but powerful delivery, an edgy presence that fills in as the trio’s fourth member.

Recorded in front of a Holland audience with no overdubs and no studio trickery, the disc captures Lopez at his most raw. His passionate rendition of Howlin Wolf’s “Killing Floor” sizzles as he locks down the big man’s one-two punch then adds his own leads that generate a nucleus of magical force. By the time the eight-minute “Mr. Rattlesnake” show up in the set fingers are flying like streaks of lightening across the midnight sky. The push and pull between softer tones and rapid-fire runs dignifies Lopez as a true interpreter of the possibilities of electric blues. Another stunning cover is the Albert Collin’s bump and grinder “I’m Doing Fine” The track starts with a bass/drum boogie-beat then lays into a razor-sharp solo set that feed’s itself as the song progresses into an enormous pile of skull-crushing feedback –a perfect vehicle for Lopez to shock and awe. “Everytime I Turn Around” showcased on Higher Ground stretches out into 23-minute of pure Lopez fury as he works in mind-blowing “Hear My Train A Comin” like a war-horse gone mad.

Website: Lance Lopez, Grooveyard Records

CRAIG ERICKSON
Big Highway
Grooveyard Records

Craig Erickson’s guitar playing sends us back in time to when the guitar ruled supreme and guitar gods were the order of the day. Many may have forgotten Erickson’s contribution to Glenn Hughes’ 1993 “Blues” album (co-writing 10 songs). He later toured with Hughes on the reformed ’94 Trapeze tour and in 1998 on the Tommy Bolin tribute tour. Erickson has too many influences to count, though he sticks primarily to blues rock legends Clapton, Hendrix, Beck and Page. On Big Highway, his sixth solo studio record, he mines heavily from the ‘70s crossing trails with Robin Trower, ZZ Top and The Allman Brothers. Big riff numbers include “River Keeps On Rollin,” the southern-fried “ Take Me Home” and Texas-baked “Through With You.” Erickson is supported by bassist Fred "Fingers" Benson, drummers Jeremy Ackley and David Morgan with guest guitarist Jason Leroy on the scratching “For Your Love.” The strong backbeat section lays low in the pocket while Erickson fuels it up with solo spurts layered over his rhythm runs.

Title track “Big Highway” is the kind of mid-tempo barnstormer Canadian rocker Tom Cochrane would be proud of. The road song has an inflections thump and gliding solo that extends the entire track landing it somewhere between country pop and retro rock. His vocal is subtle and engaging when storytelling. It complements his playing but never overpowers. Erickson pulls back the amplification and locks in on his side to get the textured “Matter Of Time’ and the melodic electric build of “In The Sky.” Darker progressive numbers “Miracle” and the 7-minute “Stratus” are tailor-made Trower English blues that find Erickson slowing down and stretching out. His ability to add color with the guitar and orchestrate jazzy bits is stunning. Two of the more exciting numbers arrive toward the end of the album in the form of the swamp ballad “Midnight Light” and blues-soaked “Driverless Train.” His gathers the full energy with passion and emotion that are key to the success of each of the record’s eleven cuts.

Website: Craig Erickson, Grooveyard Records

BURNING SAVIOURS
Nymphs & Weavers
Record Heaven Records

Hard rock meets doom is the best way to describe Örebro, Sweden’s Burning Saviours. Having been together since early 2003 when Mikael Marjanen (guitar) and Martin Wijkström (drums) harbored the concept of a heavy rock/doom metal direction for their band that took the name of a Pentagram’s song off Day of Reckoning.  Merging talents with bassist Fredrik Evertsson and vocalist Andrei Amartinesei they recorded a couple demos before an invitation to join the annual German "Doom Shall Rise III" festival in 2005. What followed was a record contract with I Hate Records and their self-titled debut released in the spring of 2005. The Black Sabbath-influenced Hundus, their second album, was released the next year and saw vocalist/guitarist Amartinesei out of the band and singer Fredrik Andersson and guitarist Henry Pyykkö in. This year their third album, Nymphs and Weavers follows their homage to ‘70s rock particularly accenting Rainbow, Uriah Heep and early Scorpions.

Showing more maturity with an increased self-confidence Nymphs and Weavers rumbles forth with the dark minstrel offering “Looking after the Phyre” which piles up Blackmore riffing with Jon Lord organ swells. Folksy “Pondhillow’s Finest.” “Woodnymph” and “Hillside Mansion” lean more to the late ‘60s with flute and acoustic tinseling layered over Jethro Tull storylines. The bass and drums plod along, etched in doom with clear parallels to Sabbath, Pentagram and even early Tain-era Horselips. Crisp rockers “The Spellweaver” and “Dreaming of Pastries” breathe fire with chugging guitar and clobbering bass. Halford-like vocals keep an edge of metal prominent especially in the Sad Wings of Destiny moments of “Signs” and the wonderfully heavy “Trinity”. “Exposed to the Heat of Solace” combines both the melodic noodling of their traditional folk-styles with the power grind of foot-to-the-metal power rock. The guitars keep their rich sound without becoming too fuzzy and the production remains simple and sweet.

Website: Burning Saviours, Record Heaven Records

GRAVEYARD
Self-titled
Record Heaven Records

Graveyard is gaining an enormous amount of respect in much the same way Wolfmother was a couple years ago. Adding names like Captain Beyond, May Blitz, Sir Lord Baltimore and Granicus to their list of influences makes this Gothenburg foursome all to compelling. Their self-titled debut produced by Don Ahlsterberg (Soundtrack of our lives, the International Noise Conspiracy, Division of Laura Lee) gets right to the point with feet-on-the-floor, head banging anthems “Thin Line,” and “Submarine Blues.” Their comparison to Blue Cheer is unmistakable from the heart-bounding drum and bass to the psychedelic guitar that moves from cosmic space grooves to classic Cream. The vocals are astounding, completely unique and musically fitting. One might compare them to a young Jack Bruce or Cheer’s Dickie Peterson or even post-Misfits Glenn Danzig. The songs are melodically constructed but not fiercely retrospective. Take for instance the opener “Evil Ways” with its native drumming under an echoed guitar that locks in on a killer hook that sticks like glue.

Based on molten blues riffs that spring to life in fertile fields of psychedelia, folk and a nocturnal stoner gonga tracks like “Lost in Confusion” the Hawkwind-ish “Blue Soul” and Ten Years After “As The Years Pass By, The Hours Bend” make for a ‘70s rock fantasy camp. Then there is the cowbell-heavy “Don’t Take Us for Fools” that boast the best guitar sound on the record – thick, dense and steeped in Monster Magnet hell. “Right Is Wrong” has this organic ‘60s feel to it that separates it from the pack. Almost like Stray’s Mudanzas it finds it’s way through soulful rock, head tripping bongos and a slamming chorus. “Satan’s Finest” may very well be the summation of the Graveyard sound. The Gaelic intro has an old school Iron Maiden echo that fits neatly into a dominate bass riff and military drum-tap. The vocals build to a near screech as the songs powers its way to an unnerving end. One can’t listen to this disc without wondering if these guys were frozen in time only to thaw out 30 years later.

Website: Graveyard, Record Heaven Records

DORO
All We Are ~ The Fight
Locomotive Records

German Metal Goddess Doro Pesch is releasing a little something for that special stocking-stuffer this holiday season. She has put together a rare half-computer video/half audio disc for her fans. The specially priced 10-track CD/DVD contains a remixed/remastered version of the song “All We Are,” which Doro wrote and recorded with her first band, Warlock. She performed it live March 30, 2006 on Pro 7 TV as the entrance song for her best friend, boxer Regina Halmich. The band included Destruction bassist Schmier, After Forever guitarist Bas Maas and well-known Euro studio drummer Tim Husung. The quartet then went into the studio to record the song. The video and musical clip are featured on the disc as the centerpiece of this unique release. Visually Doro is in fine form performing in front of 19,000 rabid boxing fans at Germany’s famed Kolnarena.

The other four video tracks include a live version of “You’re My Family” shot at a massive outdoor festival, “Above The Ashes” taken from her recent 20 Years A Warrior Soul ‘live” DVD and the “Warrior Soul” music video including clips from the Luke Gasser film Anuk - The Path of the Warrior in which Doro stars. Also associated with the film is the inclusion of “On My Own” a song written by Krokus singer Marc Storace and Luke Gasser for the movie soundtrack. For those not fortunate to have seen its theatrical release, this stunning video not only features highlights from Anuk but live footage of Doro, Storace and Gasser performing the song live. This alone makes the disc worth picking up.

The audio tracks include the above-mentioned, rip-roaring version of “All We Are” and the Warrior Soul album track “Thunderspell,” as well as the previously unreleased “Everything’s Lost” (however it is on the UK import of Warrior Soul). Added to that is the studio version of the Storace/Gasser/Doro duet “On My Own” and a spin-tingling version of the Led Zeppelin classic “Babe, “I’m Gonna Leave You.” Over the years Doro has added a number of covers to her ever-expanding repertoire from Dio’s “Egypt, The Chains Are On,” to Billy Idol’s “White Wedding and the Judas Priest metallic masterpiece “Breaking the Law.” Yet with “Babe, “I’m Gonna Leave You” she out does herself capturing the emotion and soulful elegance of the timeless ballad.

Website: Locomotive Records

CACTUS
Live (DVD)
MVD Visual

The Cactus reunion of 2006 was one of those legendary moments not to be missed. Sadly, due to its brief blip in the Pollstar radar many did miss the opportunity to see one of the greatest blues boogie band’s of the early ‘70s as they regrouped and perform several sold out shows including New York City’s B.B.King's Blues Club in Times Square. Luckily someone at MVD Visual had the bright idea of pushing the record button on this cherished event and now we have the opportunity of basking in the 42” flat screen glow of this amazing rock show. Clearly the pride of Cactus was in the nimble fingers of ex-Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels guitarist Jim McCarty. Granted, there was the unearthly power of ex-Vanilla Fudge rhythm section Carmine Appice (drummer) and Tim Bogert (bassist)…and the voice of Jimmy Kunes replacing original ex-Amboy Dukes singer Rusty Day but McCarty ruled the night and the proof is in the pro-shot footage.

Cactus originally reformed in the spring of ‘06 where they did a handful of warm-up dates leading to the Sweden Rock festival. It was during those dates that this show was taped. A second round of gigs occurred a few months later surrounding the release of their superb comeback disc “V” on Escapi Music Inc. Breaking the silence after 30 years is primarily credited to benefactor and Lizard bassist Randy Pratt (also behind the comeback of Sir Lord Baltimore and Derringer). His insatiable appetite for ‘70s hard rock has been a blessing to us all. The disc gets going with a wide stage shot and intro by NYC’s radio personality Leslie Gold “The Radio Chick” (Carmine’s significant other). A whirlwind of feedback and bone-crushing rhythm launches the band into their old standard “Long Tall Sally” where McCarty rips the roof off the club with UK vocalist Jimmy Kunes (Savoy Brown, Love Train, Exciter) belting out his best blues-stained, vocal gruff.

Most of the set comes from the first two Cactus releases including the standouts “Let Me Swim,” “One Way or Another,” “Rock ‘N’ Roll Children,” and “Parchment Farm.” Three songs “Cactus Music,” “Muscle and Soul” and “Part of the Game” stem from the current release V and fit right in as if it was 1975. Only the essential “Evil” finds its way off Restrictions but is absolutely mind-blowing with McCarty and Bogert dueling it out for stage dominance. Ot ‘N’ Sweaty is ignored all together – not sure that it matters however “Bad Mother Boogie” would have been cool. As a whole it proves to be a well-rounded and vital set with even the notoriously stiff Tim Bogert moving around to the beat. The combined energy is like a fountain of youth for the 40-yeard old band both invigorating and stimulating Appice in his attack on the drum kit while McCarty regains his status as a riff guitar god. The addition of Randy Pratt on harmonica adds texture through several tunes including “Brother Bill” and “Oleo” while allowing Kunes room to wail. The disc is plagued by some rather cheesy graphics yet the magnitude of the rock makes up for it.

Website: Cactus

EXODUS
The Atrocity Exhibition: Exhibit A
Nuclear Blast Records

For over 20 years bay area thrash metal has stood the test of time with Exodus guitarist Gary Holt hailed as one of it’s proudest sons. The six-string wizard has taken firm control of the band and even with the occasional member shuffle has consistently hammered out solid performance including 2005’s mind-blowing Shovel Headed Kill Machine. With The Atrocity Exhibition: Exhibit A there is no break in pace with the rhythmic “Call to Arms” acting as the battle cry for a scarred generation. All the main ingredients are packaged together including gargantuan riffs, head-thumping bass and hyper-speed precision drumming all running on a collision course with vocalist Rob Dukes. It’s said quite simply in “Riot Act,” “The power of our revolution will never be denied.” And, just to nail it down comes the metallic dirge of “Funeral Hymn” possibly the heaviest, melodic track the band has ever penned. It’s here Holt and second guitarist Lee Alyus form a lethal battering ram of power chords and serpentine solos that extract real blood.

The backbones of drummer Tom Hunting and bassist Jack Gibson fuel the orchestrated chaos with double time kicks and a bass chokehold. Old school thrash dominates on tracks like “As It Was As It Soon Shall Be” and the 10-minute “The Atrocity Exhibition” with some serious feedback bleeding through the brilliant “Iconoclasm.” The guitar tone is incredibly heavy, sharp and rhythmic. Andy Sneap’s production is spot on kicking it up a notch with sonic brutality. Props must also be handed out to Rob Dukes who stuck through last year’s tour only to rise as a key component to this band and the manic pummeling of this record. It’s his voice that compliments an already meaty line up and he does it cleaner and more charismatic than before. Spacey, doomy, skull-crushing “The Garden of Bleeding” has Holt dipping into his wellspring of past ideas – changing, rearranging and delivering massive chunks of metal. The plodding “Bedlam 1-2-3” opens the door to the forth-coming Exhibit B as it gallops along at full speed eager to trample anything in its way.

Website: Exodus, Nuclear Blast Records

ARCH ENEMY
Rise of the Tyrant
Century Media Records

Continuing their relentless assault on your aural cavities, Swedish melodic death metal Arch Enemy returns for their eighth outing in 12 years. Formed by brothers Michael (ex-Carcass, Spiritual Beggars) and Christopher Amott, the band saw escalating success with the 2005 release Doomsday Machine. Shortly after however, Christopher left the band leaving Greek guitarist Gus G (ex-Dream Evil, Firewind), and later Fredrik Åkesson to tour the record. To the delight of fans, Christopher returned in the spring of 2007 prior to the group entering the studio with famed producer Fredrik Nordström (In Flames, Soilwork). Michael Amott claims Rise of the Tyrant is the “perfect merging of melody with aggression and technicality.” One listen to “I Will Live Again” and you will agree as both he and Chris are in exceptional form unleashing venomous riffs and engaging mechanical solos. There are a number of highlights including the extreme “In This Shallow Grave” the chugging “The Day You Died” and the riveting title track “Rise of the Tyrant” which begins with a masterful dialog from Malcolm McDowell in the Tinto Brass film Caligula.

Vocalist powerhouse Angela Gossow proves her status as the golden throat of death metal with a passionate delivery in “Night Falls Fast” and the opening track “Blood On Your Hands.” Her fierce approach and unique vocal style easily moves from anger and aggression to emotional cascades with dexterity and finesse. The instrumental break that comes in the form of “Intermezzo Liberté” is a welcomed refrain reminiscent of ‘80s metal records that often spliced in a tasty guitar centerpiece. With that said, when you give “The Last Enemy” a listen, see if you can hear the Scorpions “Humanity” riff cleverly woven into the fabric of the song. The anthemic “Revolution Begins” also pulls retro bits of sonic metal with an almost Queensryche element to ebb and flow of the bass/drum rhythm textures. Favorites include the two closing tracks “The Great Darkness” and the 6-minute orchestrated “Vultures” that added a prog/neoclassical element to the band without being overtly obvious. The intensity of the Rise of the Tyrant reaffirms the band’s ability to move the genre forward while still keeping it hard and heavy.

Website: Arch Enemy, Century Media

ETERNAL DESCENT
Losing Faith
Incendium Records

This is one of the more ambitious efforts that have come across our desk as of late. UK native Llexi Leon delivers his first CD of urban gothic/industrial music as anime-meets-metal. The project combines Leon’s talents as a comic/graphic novelist with his composition skills as a musician to pen a film score that brings to life his first in a series of fantasy storylines. The idea is to produce a soundtrack to a comic that includes narratives (lyrics and quotes) that portray atmosphere within the story in a Queensryche sort of way but sounding more like Evanescence. Each track represents a comic book, and the album is split into 3 chapters of 4 tracks. Each chapter will be released as a 4 issue miniseries in comic book format in the following months.

Combined with vocalist Elysha West and programmer Keefe West, the three weave a soundscape of intrigue and cinematic sound that uses dynamic strings, crushing guitars, and soaring vocals. “Into Darkness” sets the mood with a piano melody joined by electric guitar forming a catchy rhythmic groove as Elysha’s captivating vocals begin their character development. The orchestrated sounds of “Black Blood,” “Race Against The End” and “Our own Devils” fuel a Vin Diesel approach with chucky guitars, swirling melodies and hypnotic beats. On their own “City Falls,” “Endless” and “Broken Remains” are instrumentally picturesque, awakening and innovative.

Webpage: Eternal Descent, CD Baby

SPIDERS & SNAKES
Melodrama
Sansei Records

Sunset strip glam rockers Spiders & Snakes have bumped up their game with this ambitious 2-disc (audio/dvd) set on Sansei records. Second track in “Friends Like You” captures the spirit of the band’s current direction adapting bits of Turbonegro into their trashy repertoire including punchy guitars and bombastic rhythms. Legend Lizzy Grey has led this motley crew for two decades with little success outside LA yet with a mixture of Alice Cooper, Bowie and the pop sensibility of The Sweet they have always provided plenty of entertainment. Melodrama keeps the rock in front with vocalist Grey, Timothy Jay (drums, keys) and Phil St. Vincent (bass) cranking the amplitude with the dirty “Rock and Roll With You”, “Shoot Me Down” and ballsy “Kicks”.

Not all the record is one-dimensional head splitters. “Fear of Flying,” a re-working from their 1991 catalog, has grown over the years with a more styled approach including layered guitar crunch and an addictive Faster Pussycat chorus. The darker acoustic ballad “The Way” is creepy down to the bone with a spectacular solo then slithers into a Beatles/Sweet working of “Dream A Little Dream.” Their cover of the Bay City Rollers “Yesterday’s Hero” is a particularly good rendition followed by “Dream Girls’ with bits of Bowie thrown in. After his many years Spider & Snakes are not about to change their formula. They take what they know and add to it. The second disc is an 8-track DVD of the bands 2006 appearance at LA’s Key Club complete with a Lizzy Grey, Timothy Jay interview and a slide show dedicated to the band’s late bassist Leigh Lawson.

Website: Spiders & Snakes