Hard Rock Music Time Machine – 4/13/17
Each Thursday, Hard Rock Music Time Machine takes a journey back in time to feature a variety of songs that date back as far as the ’70s.
Whenever possible, it will also contain interviews from featured artists discussing the inspiration and meaning behind their songs. On the last Thursday of each month, we will be doing special themes that feature songs based on specific categories or years.
In addition to appearing on the embedded YouTube playlist below, all songs featured on Hard Rock Music Time Machine can be listened to individually by clicking on the hyper-linked song titles above each review.
ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)
THE WINERY DOGS – “I’m No Angel” (2013)
When The Winery Dogs broke onto the scene in 2013 with their self-titled debut, it felt like (yet) another supergroup had arrived. The blessing and the curse of supergroups is that they are immensely talented, but most have proven in recent years not to have much staying power. When I saw The Winery Dogs on their last American date in support of their debut album (read full concert review), you could tell that this wasn’t your typical supergroup.
Even though they had only been together for a relatively short time, the chemistry between the members of this virtuoso power trio was unlike almost anything else that I’d experienced in my years of concert going. It’s also rare for the rhythm section to be more famous than the lead singer/guitarist. While Mike Portnoy and Billy Sheehan were both household names, Richie Kotzen was a supremely talented singer/guitarist who had largely flown under the radar of most. In concert, Kotzen’s brilliance is cloaked in a more subdued persona than that of the gregarious (sometimes goofy) rhythm section of Portnoy and Sheehan.
You could literally walk in off of the street without knowing any of The Winery Dogs’ music or band members and leave awestruck. That was basically the case for my wife who attended the show with me. She is now as big a fan of the band as anyone. Although she loves them all, one of her favorites is “I’m No Angel.”
This song shows off the smooth, soulful beauty of Kotzen’s vocals and bluesy guitar riffs as well as any song on either of the band’s two albums. If you’ve still not discovered The Winery Dogs, you’re in for a treat as you listen to “I’m No Angel.” Afterwards, check out everything else that the band has to offer. They are, quite simply, as good as it gets in rock today.
BON JOVI (f. Jennifer Nettles) – “Who Says You Can’t Go Home” (2005)
When Bon Jovi released 2005’s Have A Nice Day album, one of the songs that struck a chord with me (for a few reasons) was “Who Says You Can’t Go Home.” I have always had an appreciation for duets between male and female vocalists, and I’m also nostalgic by nature. The nostalgia of this song reached epic proportions five years after its release when my family and I had moved far from home. It didn’t take long for us to realize that we had buyer’s remorse, and started laying the groundwork for a return home. This song became something of a theme song for my wife and me as we dealt with culture shock of our surroundings, while counting down the days until we went home. We’ve been back for much longer than we were ever gone, but the lyrics to “Who Says You Can’t Go Home” still strike a nostalgic chord with me whenever I hear the song.
BUCKCHERRY – “Lit Up” (1999)
By the late ‘90s, hard rock had begun to emerge from the doldrums. No band of that time period gave me more hope for the future than Buckcherry. I remember hearing “Lit Up” for the first time, and then playing it over and over again like it was (appropriately) an addiction. Visions of Guns N’ Roses danced in my head as I let the band’s dirty, gritty, pure rock sound wash over me. This feeling was enhanced further when I saw the band absolutely tear the roof off of a small club in NYC. Josh Todd was the epitome of a sex, drugs and rock and roll frontman. Things were right with the world again. Although Buckcherry has enjoyed a lengthy career, listening back to the song that introduced me to them still makes me wonder how big they would have become if they had made their debut a decade earlier.
ANDY CHEUNG – HRD Music Scout
PRONG – “Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck” (1994)
From their fourth album, Cleansing, Prong served up a heavy dose of groove/industrial metal fused with a little hardcore punk back in the early ‘90s. Cleansing was the only album to have some commercial success, while their earlier releases were much more thrash oriented in sound. Tommy Victor, who handled guitars and vocals in Prong, is probably one of the hardest working musician in the business, having worked (and toured) with bands such as Ministry, Danzig, Nine Inch Nails Rob Zombie and more. Prong is still going strong after all these years with a new album released in 2016.
WHITE ZOMBIE – “Thunder Kiss ’65” (1992)
White Zombie burst upon the scene in the early ‘90s with their brand of shock/horror metal coupled with elements of the ‘50s, combining it with an almost industrial feel. The band’s songs are full of old classic horror movie quotes (such as Night of the Living Dead). Videos were spattered with dancing go-go girls, classic muscle cars and a decent dose of ‘50s Americana. La Sexorcisto: Devil Music Volume One (their third album) was the one to put them in the limelight. White Zombie also boasted an impressive lineup of musicians from Rob Zombie’s growl to Sean Yseult’s bass playing and John Tempesta’s drumming.
ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout
FASTWAY – “If You Could See” (1984)
In 1983, two great musicians, each unhappy with his current great band, came together to form a new great band. “Fast” Eddie Clarke, the guitarist from Motorhead, teamed up with Pete Way, the bassist from UFO, to form Fastway. The band name is a combination of the two artists’ names. However, Pete Way would never record an album with Fastway, thanks initially to difficulties getting released from his old contract, and then later because of an offer to play with Ozzy Osbourne. By the band’s second album, they had settled on Charlie McCracken as their bassist (while keeping the original band name). This personal favorite closed out their sophomore effort, All Fired Up.
ROMEO’S DAUGHTER – “Wild Child” (1988)
I originally assumed this was a Heart song, but the Wilson sisters borrowed the tune from this band, who released it two years before Heart’s 1990 live cover on Brigade. Romeo’s Daughter is a British band that released this song on their 1988 debut. They released a second album in 1993, disbanded, but reunited in 2009. They have since released new material and continue to tour actively.