Thursday, January 31, 2013

TALKIN' TRASH WITH... JEFF PILSON (T&N, Dokken, Foreigner)



Jeff Pilson, long-time bass player for Dokken, former member of Lynch/Pilson, current member of T&N...and Foreigner...and producer of Adler's debut album, now adds TRASH TALKER to his list of accomplishments, as he took a few minutes to check in with Glitter2Gutter! (Actually, he was pretty nice and didn't have a lot of trash to talk...but he has some interesting things to say, so READ ON!!!)


G2G:  Jeff, first I want to thank you for taking the time to talk with us. I hope you had a good

Christmas and New Years…

Jeff:  Yes, I spent the time with my family...awesome!

G2G: Slave To The Empire is your new album which has been released under the name T&N, and features the reunion of ¾ of the original Dokken. What was it like having George and Mick
working with you on the same project again?

Jeff:  Very second nature. We really do have great chemistry and if anything it’s only gotten stronger over time.

G2G:  Did you ever catch yourself looking around the room and saying, “You know…someone’s missing”?

Jeff:  Well, we did call Don, but, understandably, he didn’t think it was right to do it.  The minute he’s there it becomes Dokken and that’s a whole other kettle of fish.  But, we often back in the day did rehearsals or 
pre-production with just the 3 of us, so it basically felt like that.

G2G: I’m not going to turn this into a Dokken vs. T&N interview, but I do want to ask, would you eversee a scenario in which you and Don could work together again?  I’ve heard that George has shut that door completely, but I know Mick still works with him, so would you ever open that door again?

Jeff:  I’ll never say never, and I don’t think I’d ever shut any door completely.  I mean, here we are 30 years later still talking about it, so never’s a bit extreme.  But it doesn’t seem like this is the time to do a reunion. It would require too much time and I think all of us have too much going at this point to commit to that.  But I still can see it happening in some way at some point.

G2G:  Let's get back to the new record.  What was the process involved in picking which classic Dokken tunes to include on the T&N record? Was there a vote made, did you each get to pick a couple of favorites…?

Jeff:  We recorded 12 tracks with Wild Mick and basically it was down to the singers, their choices and how we worked it out that made the final determination of what would make it on this record. The rest will likely be on the record we do next year.

G2G:  Do those songs just jump out of your bass when you go to play them again, meaning are they so familiar you could almost play them in your sleep?

Jeff:  Some of them yes!!!!

G2G:  I like the new arrangements that were made on a couple of the classic tunes. Can you tell me how that came about?  Did it have a lot to do with who was going to be singing the song?  I ask because Ripper’s take on “Kiss Of Death” really pushes the track into a more metal direction than the original, while Sebastian Bach’s work on “Alone Again” is pretty similar in style and delivery.

Jeff:  The musical arrangements were made before they sang, so it was the combination of the singers’ interpretation and the musical input that created the final versions.

G2G:  You are a great singer in your own right; why didn’t you just handle all of the remakes, like you did on “Into The Fire” and the new material?

Jeff:  For one I don’t think I’d be the best singer for all the songs. Plus in a situation like this why not make it as interesting as possible? I love these guys’ voices and it was so nice being able to record with them. I also thought it was a way to diffuse some of the “us vs Don” mentality that I knew would come out of this. This isn’t meant as a competition, it’s a creative outlet meant to tie in with our past- and I knew it would be hard enough to get that point across, especially if it looked like I was trying to “replace” Don- which I’d never want to appear to do.

G2G:  Now, I hope you don’t take this personally, because it is not intended to be an attack of any sort, but I would have rather just heard new material rather than a mix. I say this because I already know who you are, and I already know what you have done, so why go back and re-do it? Does that make sense?

Jeff:  No attack taken. But the truth is we felt it was important to tie our legacy in with the new material. When we do finally play live we’ll be playing a lot of Dokken material, so why not embrace it and bring our friends along to give it a kick in the ass!!!  I also think it’s fair to say we wouldn’t have gotten near the attention we’ve gotten as a result of the rerecords, so it appears to have been an effective strategy!

G2G:  I can see where a new fan just coming to the band might be interested in your past. Was there ever any consideration of a full album of remakes and then a full album of new material, rather than the mix?

Jeff:  We originally wanted to do a double album, one new, one old. But the record labels preferred it be spread out over two records.

G2G: Getting to the new songs, what was the writing process like on those tracks?  I’ve heard they were supposed to be Dokken songs, I’ve heard they were supposed to be Lynch Mob songs, maybe Lynch/Pilson songs…

Jeff:  They originally were intended for a Lynch Mob album George had asked me to write with him. Then when Oni (Logan...vocalist for Lynch Mob) didn’t feel right about it being for Lynch Mob, Brian (Tichy... drummer on all the new songs) suggested we get Mick and do the re-records. It looked like a no-brainer to us! That’s when I went off and started writng lyrics and melodies then came and finished them up with George (and Brian on one song).

G2G: Do you have a favorite of the new songs? If so, what about that song really jumps out at you?

Jeff: Probably “When Eagles Die” because it has all the elements I really like about when George and I collaborate.  Plus, his solo is genius!

G2G: You have said that there are more new songs, as well as more re-recordings, that will be released on another T&N album. Any time frame for that?

Jeff:  Hopefully next year some time.

G2G:  I’m assuming there will be some guest vocalists again, correct?

Jeff:  Yes, that’s the plan.

G2G:  Tell me about plans to tour for this record. Will both drummers, Mick Brown and Brian Tichy, both play out, or will it just be one or the other?

Jeff:  Likely it would be one or the other...depending on who’s doing what at the time.

Jeff and George
G2G:  Do you think we will ever see another Lynch/Pilson album, or does T&N pretty much fill that niche? I personally loved that first album…

Jeff:  Thank you, but T&N probably is as close as we’d get. But having said that, you never know…

G2G:  Are you still involved in Foreigner?

Jeff:  Oh yes- that’s why touring for T&N is so tricky. Foreigner tours all the time!

G2G: Were you surprised with how well Can’t Slow Down (Foreigner's last record) did, both in charting a couple of songs on the Adult Contemporary charts, and in cracking the Top 30 on the Billboard Top 200?

Jeff:  Pleasantly so. I thought it was a great album with some great songs so I guess I wasn’t too surprised. But any time a record gets attention these days you have to really appreciate it.

G2G:  Before I let you go, I wanted to talk a bit about your involvement with Adler. I think that Back From The Dead is an amazing record, it was our number 2 album of the year, and you not only produced it, you actually played all the bass on it, correct?

Jeff: Yes. What a great experience that was. An amazing band with an amazing singer, amazing musicians and writers and Steven playing better than he has in an awful long time. What magic those sessions were.


G2G: Were you friends with Steven Adler, or how did your involvement come about?

Jeff:  Yes we hung out several years ago and have stayed friends, but this experience definitely brought us closer. He’s one of my dearest friends now. But I was originally asked to play bass, then one thing led to another and next thing you know I was producing. It was all very organic.


G2:  Was there ever any thought of joining the band on a permanent basis?

Jeff with the guys in Adler
Jeff:  That just wouldn’t be possible with my Foreigner commitment. Besides Johnny (Martin) fits so well- and they have a great chemistry as a band now.

G2G:  How involved in social media are you, Jeff? Is there a way for fans to keep up to date with everything you have going on?

Jeff:  Very involved. I tweet and have a Facebook fan page... all great ways to keep in the loop.  Plus, T&N has a Facebook page.

G2G:  Jeff, I want to thank you again for taking the time to talk with us and I hope things work out well for everything you have going on in 2013. Best of luck and God bless…

Jeff:  Thanks for all the support and let’s talk again soon...




Short, sweet, and to the point...sometimes the best way to Talk some Trash!  Actually, Jeff was pretty gracious and didn't bash anyone, but that seems to be the consensus about the kind of guy he is, which is cool.  Could we see another Dokken album with the originals????  Hmmmm.....guess we'll have to see what shakes out, but obviously, Jeff isn't one to close doors...

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Thursday, January 24, 2013

PETER CRISS "Makeup To Break Up: My Life In and Out of KISS" (Book Review)

(c) 2012 Scribner Books

Original KISS drummer, Peter Criss, is the latest member of the iconic band to release his autobiography.  "Make Up To Breakup" is an extremely interesting read, especially if you have previously read any of Gene or Paul's accounts as to why the original band broke up, why the reunions didn't last, etc.  The latter part is of special interest to me because, as anyone who read Ace Frehley's book will know, the Spaceman ignored the reunions completely in his book, so Criss's is the first to take a "non-corporate" look at the situation.

In the 360+ pages of this tome, Criss discusses the usual stuff: his early life, his pre-KISS bands, the early, struggling years with the band, their rise to super-stardom, their eventual crash, etc.  Mixed in, however, are stories of his two failed marriages, his family, his time spent in rehab, and his near suicide attempt following the California earthquakes that left him reeling.  Peter spends time dishing about what it was like going back on the road with his band, CRISS, criss-crossing the country in a Winnebgo to play in tiny dives such as the Sandbox, his disappointment with the failure of his solo albums, and what finally drove him to accept the reunion of the original members of KISS.

Criss also discusses his spirituality, his relationship with God, his estrangement from his daughter, and his marriage to the woman who in many ways saved his life.  No stone is left unturned, or so it seems, as the man even discusses what it was like, and what he went through, when he was diagnosed with the "woman's disease" of breast cancer...at the same time his wife was battling another form of the vile disease! 

Is the book a tell-all?  I would say so, yes.  In fact, sometimes Criss tells a bit too much, especially in regards to the sex with groupies, the measurements of his and his bandmates' genitals, and other such things, and at times the book really pushes the boundaries of crudeness.  However, as Criss mentions a couple of times, he poured out all of his memories to complete this book, and the reader really has a sense that he/she is listening to a confession of past sins as much as they are reading a book about the mighty KISS machine.  Surprisingly, and to his credit, Criss lays bare the facts about which albums he didn't actually play on, the fact that he completely forgot how to play some of the band's early classics, his falling out with Ace, his hatred for Tommy Thayer, and the bitterness he feels toward both Gene and Paul.  Will we ever see another full KISS reunion?  Peter doesn't really hide his feelings about that fact, either.

Fascinating, yet often not exactly fun, to read, I would strongly recommend "Makeup To Break Up" to any KISS fan that is looking for not only the other side of the story, but the side that, when taken with several facts from Ace's own autobiography, really feels like it is the likely truth of the matter in a lot of cases.  A compelling read, but not for the faint of heart or the easily offended. 

(368 pages; hardcover)

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Monday, January 21, 2013

HINDER "Welcome To The Freakshow"

(c) 2012 Republic Records

  1. Save Me
  2. Ladies Come First
  3. Should Have Known Better
  4. Freakshow
  5. Get Me Away From You
  6. Is It Just Me
  7. I Don't Wanna Believe
  8. See You In Hell
  9. Anyone But You
  10. Wanna Be Rich
Austin Winkler--Lead Vocals
Joe "Blower" Garvey--Lead Guitars, Vocals
Mark King--Guitars, Piano, Vocals
Mike Rodden--Bass, Vocals
Cody Hanson--Drums, Programming

Additional Musicians
Marshal Dutton--Additional Guitars, Keys, Vocals, and Programming

Towards the end of 2012, Hinder returned to the scene with a new album, Welcome To The Freakshow.  I have to say I was VERY excited, as anyone who reads this site with any regularity knows I am a Hinder fan and list them as one of the best of the current crop of American hard rockers.  Sadly, I came away from this new album seriously disappointed, as evidenced by this album ending up on our "Worst/Most Disappointing Albums of 2012" list here at Glitter2Gutter.

Let me say that I don't think that this is a terrible album by any stretch.  In fact, musically, it is executed very well.  It's just very disappointing to see the follow-up to the excellent All American Nightmare be so...weak...for lack of a better term.  For about 60 percent of this album, the music has lost its balls.  The album, as a whole, is far more Snoozefest than Freakshow, which is a total bummer.

Now, when this album rocks, it does so very well.  The album opener and lead single, "Save Me" is a strong, uptempo snarler, with Austin Winkler's voice in top-notch form and some serious guitar work from Blower and King. The song is semi-autobiographical in nature, as Winkler wrote the track after getting out of drug and alcohol rehab, and it delivers a powerful message in a raucous way.  What's even better is that this is by no means the strongest rocker on this album, as the title track, with it's infectious chorus, sounds like it could have easily fit on the ...Nightmare album with no problem.  Same goes for the pounding, biting, "See You In Hell".  "Ladies Come First", while still heavy, is easily the most melodic of the rockers...and also the sleaziest, bringing forth shades of the best of Hinder's often innuendo-laden songs.

But that's all the band has to offer us in the form of out-and-out rock on this album.

Ballads are the name of the game here, especially in the middle of the album, likely due to the fact that All American Nightmare did virtually nothing at radio and not much better at the cash registers, easily distinguishing itself as the worst selling Hinder album to date.  Of course, that's a pretty easy thing to have happen when your debut album (not counting the independent Far From Close EP) goes triple platinum, and the follow-up goes gold.  Still, when a label sees a band's sales dropping, they tend to do the formula thing and make grabs at radio airplay, which I am inclined to believe Universal Records did when they shuffled Hinder off to their subsidiary label, Republic Records.  Anyone who has witnessed the rock and roll circus of Hinder live can't believe that it was their decision to go so ballad heavy on this record.  Yet this is what we are left with...

"Talk To Me" is insanely generic and boring, sounding more like an adult contemporary radio track than a Hinder song.  "Lips Of An Angel" is more powerful in its depth and delivery than "Talk To Me", if that means anything.  The very next track, "Get Me Away From You" keeps the plodding pace going, albeit with a somewhat better song.  Two tracks later, we are treated to easily the best of the slow jams, with "I Don't Wanna Believe", a pain-infested, modern take on the power ballad that I actually hope ends up on concert set-lists.  "Anyone But You" is yet another ballad but one that sounds like Hinder-gone-Nashville.  If this showed up in video form on CMT or GAC, I wouldn't be the least bit surprised.  (By the way, CMT and GAC are country video channels...imagine that!  Music videos!!!)

As to the remaining tracks, they are an odd assortment that don't really fit anything Hinder has done before.   I'm not sure how to describe "Is It Just Me".  It's very poppy in its delivery and, while somewhat catchy, I don't really know what the point is.  Album closer, "Wanna Be Rich" is a lyrically-biting song that sounds like it could be the follow-up to "Striptease" from the last album, but this track has all sorts of electronic sounds and effects...heck, it's practically a dance song, reminding me of Frankie Goes To Hollywood's "Relax" at one point!...and is not the best way to bring things to a close, although it is better than any of the ballads here. 

The packaging is solid, with a big 14-page insert with lyrics, pictures, credits, and thank-yous, which is a good touch.  Plus, Hinder has managed to avoid the dreaded digi-pack for at least one more album, so kudos for that!

All in all, not horrible, just disappointing overall, and downright boring in spots.  I only bothered to rip half of the album onto my mp3 player and my iPod because that is all I will likely ever listen to.  Hinder can, and has, done much better, so I am hopeful that the band will recover on its next effort and find a happy medium between the balls-out rocking of All American Nightmare and the more radio friendly, yet not sell-out, material of Take It To The Limit or Extreme Behavior.

Rating:  Rock this at a disappointing 5.5, and that may be a bit generous.  The rockers save the album...but just barely.



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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The BEST ALBUMS of 2012!!!

Okay, so we've given you the better part of a week to digest, gripe about, argue with, and rip apart our "Worst/Most Disappointing Albums of 2012" list, so we thought now was the time to ease your suffering and bring you what you probably really wanted...our BEST of 2012 list!  Okay, sure, you probably weren't holding your breath for this list, and no one went on a hunger strike that we are aware of, but still...we did get more than a few emails asking where the "real list" was.  So...without further hesitation, we give you (in reverse order), the TOP 12 of 2012!

The Top 12 of 2012

One thing that I cannot stress enough is that these rankings DO NOT necessarily reflect the individual album rating each received.  Obviously, if you go back and look at the reviews of each of these albums, they are all 8's or higher, which means we think pretty highly of them here at G2G.  However, as anyone who listens to music will attest to, sometimes an album grows on you and becomes a favorite even if there are a couple of songs that get on your nerves at times.  Such is the case with some of these albums.  Other times, an album can score very well and be performed to near flawless levels, but not necessarily hold a listener's interest for long periods of time.  As an example, Journey's last album, ECL1P53 (reviewed here) was one of the best pieces of music released in 2011, in my opinion, performed nearly perfectly, but little of it is as memorable as the classic Journey songs that everyone has to sing along to when they hear them.  So, in short, an album's ranking plays into its placement in the Top 12, but not necessarily it's eventual actual placement.  Make sense?

12.  KISS "Monster"  There ain't no school like the old school, or so the saying goes.  And there ain't many more old school than the masked masters, KISS.  Surpassing the solid Sonic Boom from a few years ago (at least in my opinion...others disagree), Monster is a very good piece of work that shows the band still remembers where it came from and what it's core audience is wanting from the band.  Granted, the band has never really changed all that much aside from Carnival Of Souls and maybe The Elder, but Monster should silence any doubters that wondered if Paul and Gene still had it in them to record a solid, top-notch KISS record.

11.  Donnie Vie "Wrapped Around My Middle Finger" Smart and sassy, this is the album is like the darker side of Enuff Z'Nuff, and it is a solid listen all the way through.  There is enough of the "band" in the sound to satisfy the older fans, but newcomers will find a lot to like about Mr. Vie's work, as well.  A guest spot from Kip Winger adds to the fun here, making this one of the best of 2012, despite being an album I'm betting a lot of people overlooked or missed.  If you fall into this group, rectify the situation and snap this disc up as soon as you are done reading our list!



10.  Jackyl "Best In Show"  Another old-guard band that made a GREAT return, Jackyl may have released the best album of their career, and certainly the best in at least 15 or 20 years.  With only one track that I would leave off, and the rest being solid, top of the heap southern-fried sleaze, Jackyl has shown that they are in no way ready to hang things up.  Always a killer live band, Jackyl sounds especially tight and cohesive here, showing that there is much more to the band than Jesse and his chainsaw!   



9.  Royal Bliss "Waiting Out The Storm"  A surprise to many, perhaps, but this is one excellent record from start to finish.  Neal Middleton has a powerful, soulful voice that is packed with emotion, and the band is a formidable one, whether on this record or in a live setting.  Don't let the fact that this is a "modern" rock band trick you out of giving this album a chance...that's just the devil on your shoulder whispering in your ear to keep you from enjoying an excellent album filled with great performances and some awesome songs.  "Crazy" and "Bleed My Soul" should snag  melodic rock fan's ears immediately, and the rockers will love "I Got This" and other tracks. Following this up could be tough for Royal Bliss.


8.  Van Halen "A Different Kind Of Truth"  Go ahead...try to deny that it was GREAT getting to hear David Lee Roth and Eddie Van Halen team up one more time.  And, haters, feel free to try to dismiss the obvious talent of one Mr. Wolfgang Van Halen on bass.  Sure, it would have been nice to have the entire band back together, but 3/4 is pretty darn good as long as 1/4 is DLR and 1/4 is EVH.  Hopefully this is NOT the end of this legendary band, but if it is, what a way to go out!





7.  Joshua "Resurrection" One of the true surprises of 2012, at least for me, was the out-of-nowhere return of Joshua!  I mean, this band had been off the face of the map for more than a decade, only to come roaring back with a blistering combination of guitar skills, powerhouse vocals, and a message that packs a wallop.  I have no idea what Joshua's plans are to follow this album up, but I am hoping it doesn't take another 10 years or more before we hear from him again.



6.  LA Guns "Hollywood Forever"  Since Phil Lewis rejoined the band, LA Guns seemingly has grown stronger and stronger with each subsequent release.  2012's Hollywood Forever is no exception, and this is an album that just gets stronger and stronger with each spin, at least for me.  Sure, the last track is a bit odd (Lewis sings in Spanish), and I'm not overly fond of the ballad on the disc, but with with 14 tracks, a single miss (I like the Spanish track, personally) is not capable of derailing a killer album.  This might be the best Lewis has ever sounded vocally, and since this is likely the last time we will hear Blades as the guitar player, I would encourage anyone who missed the boat here to pick up Hollywood Forever at once. 

5.  Zeroking "Kings Of Self Destruction"  Out of nowhere comes a band most of you have probably never heard of...but should.  Zeroking may be just about the perfect blend of the raunchy, gritty-yet-melodic sound of the late 80's/early 90's and the more modern sounds of today's hard rock world.  The opening track, "Dead Rockstar" is worth the price of the album all by itself, and things don't let up much from there.West Virginia has been hiding a huge secret from the rock world...hopefully this album will get them out of the sticks and out on the road so more fans can find out what Zeroking is all about! 

4.  Rick Springfield "Songs For The End Of The World" Yeah.  I know.  Weird, huh?  If you would have told me at the beginning of 2012...heck, at ANY time in the 2000's...that a Rick Springfield album would find it's way onto a "best of" list that I would be a part of, I would have called you crazy.  Yet, somehow, the seemingly ageless Springfield has managed to pull off the absolute surprise of the year with this slab of melodic rock that maintains some of his 80's-era pop sensibilities, intertwined with a bit of the darker music he became known for in the early parts of the 2000's.  Guitar driven and much more lyrically insightful than you might think possible from the "Jessie's Girl" writer, Songs For The End Of The World was a truly pleasant surprise for me.  Well played, Rick...well played!



3.  The Last Vegas "Bad Decisions" Speaking of acts that just get better and better, The Last Vegas fits this bill perfectly.  While their past albums were very good, Bad Decisions has to jump the band into the great category, at least for this one album (and hopefully the future).  Having had the chance to catch these guys live earlier this summer, I can state with confidence that musically and vocally, the band brings it live every bit as much as they deliver on this album.  "Evil Eyes" is a monster of a song, and "Beat To Hell", "She's My Confusion", and "Bad Decisions" only add to the fun!  As with a couple of other albums on this list, a single weaker track, once again a ballad, is not enough to kill the momentum of this excellent offering.  A must own album of 2012.

2.  Adler "Back From The Dead"  Oh so close to being the top of the heap for 2012, this album is simply an excellent piece of art that really bridges the gap between the glory days of Guns N Roses and the modern hard rock sound of today.  No, you won't hear any "Paradise City" or ""Welcome To The Jungle" sounding material here, but there is a combined sense of urgency, a solid melodic base, and a healthy dose of real attitude, not false bravado, that a lot of today's music is missing.  That combination makes this a must-hear record for 2012.  Thank goodness that Adler is back from the dead, because the band may help resurrect a sometimes lifeless, uninspired music scene in the hard rock world. 



1.  Liberty N Justice "The Cigar Chronicles" Without a doubt, the best release of 2012 is the massive project by Liberty N Justice.  While I am partial to the second disc, the original material, the first disc, which is a great collection of uncommon cover songs, is also a solid listen.  Liberty N Justice have put out any number of great albums over the years, but there is none better than The Cigar Chronicles, and that is saying a lot.  While the physical CDs have not yet shipped, anyone who pre-ordered already has the digital files in hand, so for that reason, I am considering this to be a 2012 release...and the best one of the bunch!  If you haven't got your copy yet, head over to www.libertynjustice.net and be sure to order it and get those digi-files for yourself so you can say you, too, own the best of 2012!





 So there you have it, folks!  The Top 12 of 2012 according to Glitter2Gutter!  Is it scientific?  Nope...but it was a lot of fun to put together.  You can't imagine the hours of music I had to struggle through to come up with the best of the best.  Yeah, it's a tough job, but I'm just the guy to do it!

Here's to an equally solid 2013!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The WORST/MOST DISAPPOINTING Albums of 2012!

So, as we turn the calendar to 2013, Glitter2Gutter decided to take a look back at the best and worst of 2012.  It was an interesting year, to be sure, with several bands coming out of at least partial retirement, a few riding off into the sunset, and several new bands jumping into the musical mix.  The lists will, of course, probably be controversial, as I am sure that some people will completely disagree with the entirety of the lists, while others will wonder how one or two of their favorites either missed the "best of" list, or stumbled onto our "worst of" list.  As always, keep in mind that these are merely the opinions of Glitter2Gutter and no harm or disrespect is meant to any of the bands on the "worst list" nor to that band's fans...it's not our fault your taste in music is lacking!  (Kidding, of course...)  So, to kick of 2013, we will start with...

THE WORST/MOST DISAPPOINTING OF 2012

This was a difficult list to compile for me, as it really frustrated me to include some of the bands and albums that have found their way onto this list.  However, no matter how much a band may be loved by the multitudes, it always remains possible that a stinker will pop up from time to time.  Such was the case for a few classic bands in 2012.  Also, keep in mind that an album that ends up on this list is not necessarily a horrible album; it may be an instance where the hype was just too great to be lived up to, or the album was just disappointing, if not terribly executed.  Other times, I have no idea how the album found its way to my review desk and CD player as they have NOTHING of interest to most G2G readers, and so they find their way here simply because they have nothing to offer the typical visitor to this site.  And, of course, there are also the instances where the album just flat stinks in practically every way!  So, with these things in mind, in reverse order, I give you the Glitter2Gutter WORST and MOST DISAPPOINTING albums of 2012....

10.  Aerosmith "Music From Another Dimension" (Review to come)  After several years without releasing new material, Aerosmith managed to put aside their differences long enough to release Music From Another Dimension.  Disappointment is the main reason for the inclusion here, as this album is just a huge letdown for me.  There are a few really good songs, but nothing great, and far too many ballads for my tastes.  Also, it was a bit of a letdown to have Aerosmith tell everyone they were going to return to their 70's roots as far as sound goes, only to have it miss the mark almost completely.  Not the worst album of 2012 musically, but a definite disappointment nonetheless.
     
Much the same as the fate that befell Aerosmith here.  Hinder released a new album at the end of 2012 and inexplicably forgot to bring enough rock to the party.  Incredibly ballad-heavy, Welcome To The Freakshow is almost a lie as a a title, as there is very little of the "freak" that made All American Nightmare one of my favorite albums a couple years ago.  There are a couple of great tunes here, and the band is more diverse on this album than on previous efforts, but sometimes diversity means a band has altered course, which appears to be the case with much of this record.  Freakshow sounds like the relative lack of commercial success with Nightmare caused them to try to swerve back into the radio lane, rather than push forward in the rock aisle. 


8 and 7.  Dokken "Broken Bones" and T&N "Slave To The Empire".  I wanted SO MUCH to love one, or preferably both, of these albums.  Sadly, I merely like both of them, and even then, I don't like them enough to give either of them huge amounts of playtime despite the fact that both came out this year.  Dokken's album is the better of the two, in my opinion, as he remains true to what he has been doing for the past several years, and has more good NEW songs on his album.  T&N has tons of potential and a few good new songs as well, but the inclusion of the covers of Dokken songs left me wanting.  Here's hoping that both acts get a chance to improve upon these efforts, although, as most people probably have heard or read, Don Dokken has stated that this is to be the last Dokken album.  Too bad that he didn't go out closer to the top, but at least Broken Bones is nowhere near as bad as the awful Shadowlife or Dysfunctional.


6Jeff Keith "Country Music Friends EP"  Just...wow...  To hear the frontman of Tesla not only tackle country music, but OLD SCHOOL country music, is a bit tough to handle even for someone who grew up with the genre.  Not horribly done but completely lacking in rock, this is simply not going to appeal to more than 2-3% of the readers of G2G.  I hope Tesla comes up with some new material for 2013 so that Keith can just leave this effort in the dust (although there are strong indications that he intends to release a full length album of country material in the near future).


5.Dr. Freak and Mr. 4 "Rock N Roll BrotherhoodThis album is a perfect example of the over-hype machine building something up to nearly impossible to match levels.  I had heard SO MUCH about how great these guys were, and I had heard enough of their main project, Superhorrorfuck, to be more than a bit curious.  Sadly, I was also more than a bit let down as this album not only didn't live up to the hype, it was barely what I would consider to be an average album with far more miss than hit to it.  I have been sent the new EP by Superhorrorfuck, so I am a bit guarded in my optimism, but I sincerely hope that it is better than this effort.


4.  Travis F. Warren "Beneath These Borrowed Skies" (Review to come)  I was never...I mean NEVER...a fan of Blind Melon in the 90's.  To this day, if I stumble across that video with the girl dressed up like a dancing bee for the song "No Rain", I instantly change channels, turn off the television, or leave the room.  I'm not sure what I expected from the new solo record from Blind Melon's lead singer, Travis F. Warren, but what I got is not something I will ever listen to again, I'm afraid.  Leaning heavily on acoustic music and some jangly rhythms, this effort twists together bits of Blind Melon, Tom Petty, and Bob Dylan, into a dark, moody, brooding disc that, while haunting and very well played, leaves me more likely to swallow a hammer than ever play the disc again!  Rarely upbeat and never rocking, this is just not my thing and is not likely to do much for G2G readers, either.  Pass....   

3. Hyro Da Hero "Birth, School, Work, Death"  Now, THIS is a great example of an album that I am unsure how I ever got it.  Seriously, this is pretty much straight up modern hard rap, a la Hollywood Undead or Deuce, and completely not my style.  However, since it was sent to me for review, I did my due diligence and spun the disc a few times...then wandered off to a corner, curled up into a ball, and shuddered for a while before coming back to my senses enough to put on the newest efforts by Lynch Mob, The Last Vegas, Evans Blue, Liberty N Justice...anything that was real rock and not disguised rap.  In all fairness, the guy has talent and this is NOT the worst rap I have ever heard...some of it was even remotely catchy, especially when the hard-edged guitars were at full volume and working well.  But in the end, even if Eddie Van Halen, Steve Vai, and Xander Demos were on guitar on this album, it is still rap and not my thing at all, no matter how much hype I was dished about how great this disc was.


2.  Mongrel "Reclamation" Brutal...just brutal.  Nothing more to say than was already said in the review.  I can honestly say that I have not spun this more than twice since I finished the original review and I can state with equal honesty that I will not be spinning it again.  I still don't understand what all the buzz about this band is because I hear virtually nothing redemptive on this effort.  On a side note, I have read there have already been some line-up changes, so perhaps there will be some musical changes as well...but I'm not holding my breath.



1.  Great White "ElationThis album being number one should come as a surprise to no one who knows me, as Great White has long been my favorite band.  However, the album is bland and boring for the most part and the loss of Jack Russell has forever altered the band's sound and, apparently, their musical approach.  The teaming of Kendall and Russell was what made this band's musical magic, and it seems that without Jack the soul of the band is gone, as is it's signature smokey, bluesy sound.  Terry Ilous of XYZ does his best, no doubt, but he is in the horrible position of having to replace a legend, and it simply can't be done.  Again, nowhere near as bad as Mongrel musically, and not rap like Hyro Da Hero, but the disappointment with this album and this band firmly entrenches it as, if not the worst, definitely the most disappointing release of 2012 for me.