Monday, September 28, 2015

RECORD REVIEW: Devil City Angels

Devil City Angels
Devil City Angels
Century Media Records
(U.S. Release 9.18.15)

Whoa, hang on just a
second. Rikki Rockett's
got a new band? Dude,
I'm on board, already!
I just hope that their
record doesn't suck.

Despite possessing bona fide supergroup status, Devil City Angels' impressive pedigree actually becomes quickly and completely irrelevant. The fact is, a band can tout the biggest names in the biz and boast cock rock swagger for days  but if it ain't got songs, then it ain't got jack. And that's why the self-titled debut record from this all-star collective delivers such an undeniable (and perhaps surprise) punch to the privates — the songs are simply superb!

Most of the self-produced, ten-song set stands easily nose-to-nose with the best material produced previously from any of the members' prior platinum-selling projects — high praise indeed, given that the DCA lineup is comprised of founding L.A, Guns guitarist Tracii Guns, Cinderella bassist Eric Brittingham (replaced recently by Rudy Sarzo), Poison poster boy drummer Rikki Rockett and modern-day go-to guy, frontman Brandon Gibbs.

Opening tracks, including the currently popular YouTube clips, "Boneyard" and "All My People," are certainly solid, albeit standard-sounding nugs. However, somewhere around the halfway mark, the record shifts gears and becomes less about crunchy riffs, and ALL about catchy hooks.

(Sarzo, Gibbs, Guns and Rockett)
"No Angels" represents a successful, delicate balancing act — boldly embracing the band members' good-time glory days heritage, while somehow still feeling springtime fresh. Another noteworthy highlight, "Back to the Drive" smacks ya with a gloriously rib-cracking riff that's oddly reminiscent of Black Oak Arkansas, circa '74.

An engaging heartbreak ballad, "Goodbye Forever," is almost as good as it gets here — that distinction, however, belongs solely to "All I Need." The super-snappy, super-happy earworm is so doggone infectious that it's sure to make Chip Z'nuff turn green with envy.

In sum, if it's possible (or even conceivable) that a record created by seasoned white rock dudes could break through today's cultural ceiling, connect with an audience and actually produce hits  this is the one. BRAVO!

-Christopher Long
(September 2015)


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1 comment:

  1. "All I need" is the only song I don't like on this album