Thursday, December 27, 2012

ADLER "Back From The Dead"

(c) 2012 New Ocean Media

  1. Back From The Dead
  2. Own Worst Enemy
  3. Another Version Of The Truth
  4. The One That You Hated
  5. Good To Be Bad
  6. Just Don't Ask
  7. Blown Away
  8. Waterfall
  9. Habit
  10. Your Diamonds
  11. Dead Wrong
Jacob Bunton--Lead Vocals, Mandolin, Guitar, Piano
Lonny Paul--Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals
Johnny Martin--Bass, Backing Vocals
Steven Adler--Drums and Percussion

Additional Musicians
Jeff Pilson--Bass, Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Slash--solo on "Just Don't Ask"
John 5--solo on "Good To Be Bad"
Michael Lord--Piano on "Waterfall"

I am always a bit leery of bands who use the name of one of their members for some reason.  I mean, yeah, things worked out pretty well for Van Halen, and Dokken has done well enough, even if they have had their personnel problems.  But usually, it comes across as just a grab to play off the strength of that person's name and the project ends up being a showcase for one guy with the others just being hired guns or bit players.  Adler had every chance for that to happen, as Steven Adler is not only a former member of one of the biggest hard rock bands to ever blast the planet, but he lived on that legacy for several years after being relieved of the drummer's seat in Guns N Roses with his own personal GnR tribute band, Adler's Appetite.  But in spite of the recipe for potential disaster, this album comes out smoking, cranks up the intensity, and never looks back in a no-holds-barred effort to make the listener completely forget what they may have thought they were going to hear when they picked up a Steven Adler project.

Perhaps the first thing I should do is dispense with the word "project", because that is not what Adler is.  Adler is a band, period.  This is patently obvious when the album is given it's first spin-through.  There is a cohesion to the band that is missing in most pieced-together project albums.  This is due in large part to the fact that the songwriting was handled by lead vocalist Jacob Bunton and lead guitar player Lonny Paul, with contributions from Dokken bassist, Jeff Pilson, who not only handled all of the bass tracks on the album but also produced it (Adler picked the songs that were used but did not contribute any credited writing).

Another important aspect of this band, and this album, is that neither makes an attempt at being the next Guns N Roses.  Jacob sounds nothing like Axl, and none of these songs sound anything like an Appetite... or an  ...Illusion song.  While it is easy to hear Bunton performing the lower-range GnR classics such as "Mr. Brownstone" or "Live And Let Die" in a live setting, he is himself 100% on this record, owing more to his approach in his other band, Lynam, than to anything that GnR ever did.  Likewise, the music is melodic and catchy, but owes more to modern radio rock than to the underbelly of 1985 Hollywood.  Don't take that to mean that there is no sense of urgency to the music, or that it lacks bite and grit, but this is an album with HUGE production and a modern slant to the sound, but without the bland sameness of sound that so many albums seem to have now.  Each track here sets itself apart from the others, with songs running the gamut here from the intense, upbeat, blues-rock of the title track, "Back From The Dead", to the bass-driven thump of "Dead Wrong", to the jaunty, sassy sing-along of "Good To Be Bad".  Back From The Dead truly has no weak spots, no bad songs, and no filler tracks to these ears, as all have the potential to garner the attention of active rock, modern rock, and satellite rock stations 

Just because everything here is good, don't think that means nothing stands out.  The three biggest numbers for me are the sweeping, emotion-drenched "Just Don't Ask", which features a certain top-hatted axe slinger contributing a HUGE melodic solo that only Slash can deliver, the equally powerful and melodic "Waterfall", and the totally out-of-left-field "Your Diamonds" which, as Bunton explains in a G2G interview, was written with 70's-era Journey in mind (trust me, you can't miss the inspiration once you have heard the song).  "Own Worst Enemy" is another big time number with gospel-styled backing vocals on the chorus and a big, Lonny Paul guitar hook that just embeds itself in the listener's brain.  Similarly, "Another Version Of The Truth" features a big, powerful chorus, a catchy hook, and a driving rhythm that is very hard to get out of your head once you have given it your full attention.  "Habit", the semi-biographical story of Adler (the man) is another infectious track that builds over the top of some solid, crashing drums and a great guitar riff before dropping into a sparse arrangement for the verses then kicking back into full-blaster mode on the choruses.      

I have heard some ignorant fools bag on this album as lacking in the GnR sound, but those people miss the point.  This is NOT Guns N Roses any more than Slash's solo stuff (or Duff's...or Izzy's...) is Guns N Roses.  Perhaps Adler brought some of this upon himself with his Adler's Appetite years, but people need to understand from the very moment they push play on this disc that there is NO intent, NO desire, NO effort to sound like Guns N Roses here.  This distinction is one of the big reasons Adler, the man, didn't want the band to be named after him; he wanted this band to stand on it's own.  If you are willing to be fair and honest with this record, then stand on it's own is what it does.  If, however, you are looking for "Welcome To The Jungle" or "Sweet Child O' Mine", you are going to be sorely disappointed...and you are going to miss out on one of the best records of the year.

Rating:  Pure crankability here!  Crank Back From The Dead to a smoking 9!

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(c) 2012 logic(il)logic Records
  1. Bastards And Saints
  2. Dust Over Stone
  3. In My Dreams
  4. Mad Crime
  5. My Soul
  6. Lost
  7. Fallen Brother
  8. Out Of Control
  9. Here I Am
Andrea "Spy" Spezzani--Guitars
Max Barbolini--Guitars
Claudio "Clay" Corrado--Vocals
Mauree "NOX" Novelli--Bass
Alex Gualdi--Drums
Hailing from Modena, Italy, Motorfingers is one of the most recent additions to the slew of talented bands coming out of Europe.  Like many of their contemporaries, Motorfingers combines and obvious love for the Hollywood scene, albeit the more sleazy underbelly side, with an appreciation for modern production technology and a dose of today's hard rock sound.  The result is an definite contender for Glitter2Gutter's Top 12 of 2012!  This is a seriously good, extremely solid effort that I have not tired of since first popping it into my CD player!  Quality material, talented musicians, and a singer who does not attempt to sound like everyone else out there in the New Wave of European Glam and Sleaze movement, gives Motorfingers a gritty, dirty edge that fans of Guns N Roses, classic Aerosmith, Dangerous Toys, and more modern bands like Nasty Idols and Crashdiet, will appreciate.
I will be honest that I was a bit concerned for the album as a whole when I heard the vocal approach taken on the opening track, as there was more of a modern slant here than I was hoping for.  Oddly enough, it is really only on this track that this vocal style is used and the rest of the album is stronger for it.  I might not even have noticed so much had this track been buried lower in the tracklisting...say, down around track seven or eight, and "Dust Over Stone" was given the chance to shine as the lead in for this album.  From this point on, solid songwriting, excellent guitar work, and a generally hard-rocking, uptempo approach keeps this album "motoring" along.  The previously mentioned "Dust Over Stone" is a great example of the guitar prowess displayed on this effort, with equally talented displays being put forth on tracks such as "Lost" (which throws a HUGE nod to bands like Iron Maiden with its chorus), "Mad Crime" and one of my personal favorites, "Out Of Control".   "Fallen Brother" is the other true highlight for me, as this is a solid, emotion-laden ballad that shows a depth that many bands seem to be missing from some of their slower tunes.

If I had to pick an track that really didn't do things for me (outside of the opener), I would probably have to go with "In My Dreams" which drifts too far into the modern radio rock sound for my liking.  Now, I am NOT against the modern hard rock sound, as readers of this site know, but I don't like it when a band seems to jump styles, which is what happens here.  It sounds like the band makes an obvious stab at radio with this song, which is understandable, but it just messes up the flow of the album, at least for me.  The track has a fairly catch chorus which sure sounds like the band is singing "Captain America!", but I don't really see how this would fit the rest of the song, and the musicianship is top-notch, but I just don't feel that it goes with everything else here.  I don't skip the song, but I don't skip TO it, either.  To be fair, if the band had done an entire album in this style and with this approach, I think it would be a fine effort as well, but I appreciate the sound and style that the rest of the album takes without this detour.

This isn't a perfect album, but it is definitely well worth picking up, especially if you are a fan of the modern sleaze sound coming out of Europe today.  It is a bit shorter than I would have liked, especially with the opener being one of the low points of the disc, at least to my ears.  I cannot comment on the packaging of the album as my copy is a promo copy that, despite the inclusion of the front cover artwork, utilizes the interior as a press kit for media outlets.  As such, I have no idea if lyrics, pictures, or credits are included, BUT, logic(il)logic Records tends to have decent packaging for their releases. 

Rating:  Crankable, no doubt, but I just feel like there could have been a bit more.  Still, an 8 for a debut album is a solid first effort and possibly enough to make our year-end list!

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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Talkin' Trash with JACOB BUNTON (Adler/Lynam)

Jacob Bunton, the lead vocalist for ADLER, and also the man behind the microphone for Lynam, was kind enough to take a few moments this holiday season to talk about being in a band with the legendary drummer from Guns N Roses, some of his favorite music, the music industry as it is today...oh, and what it was like to hang out with a certain top-hatted guitar slinger!!!  Sit back and enjoy as we talk some trash with Jacob Bunton!!!

Glitter2Gutter:  Jacob, I want to thank you for taking the time to call us during this busy time of year.  Did I interrupt your Christmas shopping or anything?

Jacob:  No, no, man, I'm glad to do it.  I'm actually in the studio right now working on some new music...

G2G:  New Adler stuff already, or maybe something for your old band, Lynam?

Jacob:  Actually, I'm doing a project with a project with a friend of mine.  I'm always making music, you know, it's what I've done my whole life so as long as I'm able to be creative I'm happy. (laughs)

G2G:  That's good to hear!  Let's just jump right into it then...  Adler's album Back From The Dead dropped just a couple of weeks ago and things seem to be going well for you guys so far.  How has the response from the fans and from radio been for you?

Jacob:  We have been blown away by everybody, from radio and the media, such as yourself, and of course the fans.  You know, the biggest thing for Steven (Adler) was that he wanted the Guns N Roses fans to really love what he's doing now, and he has achieved that I would say, because the response has been incredible from all of his old fans and from our fans as a new band.  It's been exciting.  It's just,'s been overwhelming, really.

G2G:  How did you end up being in this band.  I know you were in Lynam before, and I assume you are still working with those guys also, so how did things come together?

(Jacob, front and center, with Lynam)
Jacob:  Yeah, I'm still with Lynam as well, and am doing both bands.  As far as the way things came together, um, in August of last year...I was really good friends with Jani Lane of Warrant, and when he passed away, I flew out here to the Key Club to his memorial out in L.A., and I met Lonny from the band through a mutual friend, the album's mixer, Jay Ruston.  Lonny told me that Steven was tired of doing Adler's Appetite, because, you know, Steven had been going around doing the Guns N Roses songs for several years and he had played those songs for so long that he wanted to do a brand new project with new music.  So, um, Lonny was familiar with my voice, and Steven was also, so we met at the hotel and talked and, you know, pretty much just started creating music.

G2G:  So how big of a thrill was that for you?  Did you grow up a Guns N Roses fan?

Jacob:  Dude, they were on my wall for my whole life!  (laughs)  It was them, you know, Guns N Roses, Motley Crue,, you know, all of them...Cinderella, Poison, all those bands.  And, um, Appetite For Destruction has always been my favorite album of all times.  So, yeah, it was a huge know, probably the biggest thrill of my whole life was being in the recording studio and looking out and seeing Steven Adler, Slash, and Jeff Pilson all there and I was like, "God, what am I doing here?!" (laughs)  It was cool!

G2G:  Yeah, you have Guns N Roses there and Dokken all in the same room....

Jacob:  That's was amazing...(laughs)  I still can't believe it, really.

G2G:  Can you tell me a little bit about the writing process?  I know you were involved in a considerable amount of writing for this project, correct?

Jacob:  Yeah, man.  The way that it worked was me and Lonny started emailing song ideas back and forth to each other.  I was in Birmingham, Alabama...I'm actually out here in L.A. now because we have a show Monday night at the House Of Blues, but I still live in Birmingham while the rest of the guys live out here.  So, anyway, we would email ideas back and forth and then in January we started recording the record, and, um, when I flew out here me and Lonny got into the same room and started working on some songs from scratch.  Jeff Pilson also co-wrote a couple of songs with us, which was cool.  You know, a lot of people go, "well, I struggle, you know, I've got writer's block" or whatever, but knock on wood, for us it was very easy for the music to just come out, you know.

G2G:  What was the process for getting Mr. Pilson involved?  Was that a group decision or did Steven have some friendship connections there...?

Jacob:  That was actually Lonny.  I tell everybody this, that Lonny is absolutely the MVP of this band, like hands down.  He reached out to Jeff and Jeff was like, "yeah, I'd love to play bass" and then Lonny heard some of Jeff's production stuff and so he asked him, "do you wanna produce this thing, too?" (laughs)  Jeff ended up producing it, so, yeah, Lonny set all that stuff up, and he hooked me up with the band when we met at the Key Club that night, so, yeah, he is definitely the most instrumental part of the band as far as all of that goes.

G2G:  Now, Jeff played bass on the record but that was before Johnny was in the band, right?

Jacob:  Yeah, Johnny Martin is our bass player now and he's amazing, but Jeff played the stuff on the record...

G2G:  Now, you mentioned Slash before so I gotta ask...were you in the studio when he was actually recording his part?

Jacob:  Oh yeah, man! (laughs) He came know, him and Steven have been best friends since like grade, yeah, Steven asked him to come over and we sent him the track "Just Don't Ask", which is the one he plays on, because we felt that the ballad would be the best thing to put him on, you know.  His solos are just so, like...nobody can touch Slash on ballads, you know.  I mean, you can just hear it on stuff, like when "Sweet Child Of Mine" comes on the radio, you just know it's Slash.  We definitely wanted that soulful, melodic playing on "Just Don't Ask".  So, he came to the studio know, there's a funny story here.  We were having a little get together at Jeff Pilson's house, and Slash ended up coming over...but he went to the wrong house!  (laughs)  Picture this; picture a freakin' knock on your door at eleven o'clock at night and you walk to the door and it's Slash standing there! (laughs)  So, Slash told us later he was like, "So, uh, where's the party?", and the guy is standing at the door and yells back into the house, "Honey!  Slash is at the door!" (laughs)  It turned out it was Jeff's next door neighbor, so he pointed Slash down the road and told him how to get to the house.  I thought that was pretty funny...I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall, you know. (laughs)
(Slash...WITH his top hat)
G2G:  Absolutely!  Now, I gotta know, did he have the top hat in the studio?

Jacob:  Nope, nope, he didn't...he had, uh, a baseball cap on, no top hat though.

G2G:  That's almost a let-down, isn't it?

Jacob:  No, man...Slash can wear whatever he wants, I was just happy getting to meet him! (laughs)

G2G:  Tell me about getting to work with John 5.  How did that all come together and work out?

Jacob:  That was Steven.  I guess his wife and John's wife are good friends and John 5, obviously, was a big Guns N Roses fan, like I was, and John and Steven knew each other, but once he got to the studio he actually had to remind Steven that they had hung out together several times many years ago, but Steven had no recollection of it because, you know, so many of those years are just a haze for Steven, you know. 

G2G:  Well, yeah, I suppose...

Jacob:  So, John walks into the room and, you know, I was kind of amazed to see his guitar and his board and stuff.  You know, when I think of John 5 and all his stuff, I always thought his playing had to be full of tons of effects, but his pedal board was actually just so simple.  It was like a yellow overdrive pedal, a tuner, a wah pedal, and one of those blue chorus pedals.  And the dude was like, all the effects sounds he gets are just that blue chorus pedal turned all the way up and it creates that extra chorus effect that he gets.  He's not as effect-heavy as you would think he was, he's just an amazing player that knows how to get the sound he wants.

G2G:  Well, that's interesting.  I guess I was kind of like you and assumed he used a lot of effects, but since I'm not a guitar player at all, I really didn't know what it would take to get that sound out of his guitar.

Jacob:  No man, not at all.  He's got a very small, simple pedal board which is the same pedal board he used with (Marilyn) Manson and David Lee Roth and Rob's just his sound and he's just an amazing player.

G2G:  So, are you guys out touring the new record then or are you just doing hit and miss dates?

Jacob:  Right now, we're just doing sporadic dates, you know like I said we've got this date on Monday, and then next year we plan on going everywhere.  We're actually going to Japan with Duff...we're doing all kinds of stuff next year and I'm really looking forward to it.

G2G:  Now, I've heard rumors that there might be a surprise GnR song or two dropped in the set.

Jacob:  Yep.  Anytime you play in a band with former GnR members, there are going to have to be some GnR songs, you know.  It's just expected from the fan base.  So, we'll definitely play all the songs on our record, but we'll also probably do at least two GnR songs.  It's the same when Slash plays, you know, he does his solo stuff but he still has to throw in the other songs.  And I don't mind it at all, you know, like I said before, my favorite stuff in the world is on that Appetite record and it's just an honor for me to play it, you know.

G2G:  I can tell you that when I was listening to this record the very first time, and I heard your voice, I thought to myself that you would just rip up a song like "Mr. Brownstone".

Jacob:  Ah, thanks man.  I appreciate that.

G2G:  Now you said you are still working with Lynam, also.  Are there plans for a new record or some playing with those guys as well?

Jacob:  Uh, eventually we are going to do a new EP.  We actually stopped recording records.  Thank You, Goodnight was our last was a full-length, live record...and we made the announcement that that was going to be our last full length.  And that confused a lot of people, you know, because they were like, "well, if you're not breaking up, why aren't you doing any more records?"  It's just the way the chemistry has gone, you know.  It's like now, for us, instead of feeling like we have to go in and do a whole new record we can go in and do two or three new songs that we all love and feel strongly about, and throw it up on iTunes of something like that.  Now, I, myself, personally, I still love listening to actual record records, you know, but the majority of people, the way the get music now, it's just different and we don't feel like there's a need to put out full length albums now, at least for us.

G2G:  So what are you listening to now when you get a chance to step away from your new music or from Adler?  What does' Jacob listen to?

Jacob:  My musical taste is all over the place.  Like, I listen to a lot of bluegrass and country, like, I love Brad Paisley, I love the new band Florida-Georgia Line.  On the rock side, I love Foxy Shazam!  In fact, that new record is one of my favorites of 2012, that Church Of Rock And Roll, which I think is just an amazing record.  And then I love a lot of the old-school bands that have released new records, you know, the new Aerosmith, new Van Halen, I love both of those records. 

G2G:  That's funny that you mentioned Aerosmith because I was going to ask what you thought of that new record.

Jacob:  My favorite song is that...I think it's track number three...that song "Beautiful".  It's crazy because the chorus, it's like Tyler's doing a rap over the verses and then you've got this big, beautiful melodic chorus.  And the guitar part, it's just so schizophrenic, it's just...  Man, I tell you what, what I think they should have done is get the two surviving members of Run-DMC and had them doing the chorus while Steven was doing the rap part, kind of bringing everything full-circle from "Walk This Way" back in the 80's, you know.

G2G:  I'm going to have to try to create that in my head the next time I pop that record in...

Jacob:  (laughs) Exactly...exactly....

G2G:  Back to your new we mentioned earlier, you had your hand in writing several of the songs on this album, and every artist that I have ever talked to seems to use the whole, "my songs are like my children" analogy, but if you HAD to pick a favorite, or even a couple of favorites off of Back From The Dead, what would they be?

Jacob:  (laughs)  Yeah, I know what you mean with that "songs are like your children" thing.  Umm...for me, it changes almost on a day to day basis.  I really love "The One That You Hated", which was the first song that me and Lonny wrote together.  I also really love "Your Diamonds", I wrote that sitting at my piano back home in Birmingham, and Steven wanted a song that had kind of an old, 70's Journey vibe, so I sat down and wrote that which I think turned out real well.  And, um, I love "Just Don't Ask" because I love the fact that I wrote the song and two of my favorite people, both Steven Adler and Slash, both played on it. (laughs)  So...I guess that's three, but really it changes all the you said, it's hard to choose between your children... (laughs)

G2G:  Well, you not only picked three songs, you actually picked three of my favorites off the disc.  You know, with "Your Diamonds", I didn't even really think about it until you said that, but it does have a somewhat retro sound to it with that kind of fat, (laughing) I don't know if "sexy" is the right word or not...

Jacob:  (laughing) Yeah, man...

G2G:  I don't know if that was the direction you were going with that song, but that's kind of what pops into my mind...

Jacob:  Yeah, that's the direction Steven wanted one of the songs to go and "Your Diamonds" just kind of fit that, um, fit that part, I think.  You know, me and Lonny wrote the songs on the record, and then Steven picked out the songs he wanted to use. Ultimately it was his decision on the songs that got put on the record.

G2G:  One thing that impressed me when I listened to the album was, despite that fact that obviously Steven's name is the band and is out there on the front of the record, you actually sound like a band and not a project.  That really impressed me because I think it would have been easy for this to become a vehicle for Steven to just keep his name out there doing covers or songs that sounded like GnR songs.

Jacob:  Thank you very much, man.  That's the way we always approached it, you know.  Steven actually wanted a band name and we just could never agree on what to call the band.  He was just adamant that he didn't want the name "Adler".  In fact, Steven really wanted to use the name "No Quarter", which we all hated. (laughs)  We HATED the name.  We were all like, "that's just awful!"  And, you know, we looked it up and there was like a Led Zeppelin tribute band, and we were like, "no, we are not calling ourselves 'No Quarter'".  Steven was like, "no, man, it means we aren't going to...", and we were like, "we know what it means and NO, it's awful!"  (laughing)  I mean, come on...No Quarter?  It sounds like, you know, you're at Starbucks and your total comes to $1.75 and all you have is a buck fifty and you look at the guy and go, "Sorry, No Quarter".  (laughs)  Of something costs a dollar twenty-five and you give him two bucks because you got no quarter.  (laughs)  That name is horrible...  Don't you think?

G2G:  I'm staying out of it!  (laughs)

Jacob:  (laughs)  Yeah, man, it was bad.  But, eventually, we all agreed on Adler and it stuck and, you know...hey, Slash did it, and I think it just makes sense. 

G2G:  Well, yeah, I mean we have the band Adler, we have Slash, we have Duff with his own thing, and I know Izzy recorded as Izzy Stradlin and the Ju Ju Hounds, right?

Jacob:  Yeah, that's right.  All we really need is Axl now, and I think he's got the perfect name, you know, just using his initials from W. Axl Rose would be the coolest, you know, W.A.R. so he could have "WAR" for a band name...

G2G: Since he's obviously NOT Guns N Roses now...

Jacob: (laughs) Well, yeah...

G2G:  So, who wrote the majority of the lyrics on this album then?  I love the lyrics to the song "Habit", for example, and I think "Just Don't Ask" is a phenomenal song, and yeah, Slash really adds to it, but I think it's a great song in it's own right even without the solo Slash adds...

Jacob:  Well, thank you very much for saying that.  I wrote the song "Just Don't Ask", the music and lyrics and everything, and Lonny wrote "Habit", so, a lot of songs we did collaborate on, but you just happened to pick two of the songs that we wrote individually and you can really see our different writing styles, I think, but they are both really good songs in my opinion.  I like "Habit" a lot, too, because it's pretty much Steven's story, you know.

G2G:  We all know the music industry has changed so much over the years, and videos really aren't what they used to be, but does any song on this album just scream "video" to you?

Jacob:  Yeah, when I'm writing, especially after an album has been mixed, I listen back and can see a video for every song, really, you know.  Umm...

G2G:  ...because to me, "Just Don't Ask" is one that really begs for a video, I think.  It has that classic feel that a really good video song has, that just lends itself to a story type of video, not just a performance shot or something.

Jacob:  Thank you for saying that.  Yeah, I mean, when I listen back to that song, and all the songs really, I have all kinds of imagery running through my head for videos...

G2G:  What's your take on the way that music works now.  You've mentioned that you're a fan of albums but let's be honest, that's not the way that people get their music now.  The piracy thing is obviously an issue, but is there also an upside to being able to get your music out to the people immediately, or is just really filled with a lot of negatives?

Jacob:  Me, personally, I think there's a plus side to it, as well.  When you're a kid, you don't know anything about money and you don't know anything about the business side of music, and when they hear something they like, you know, they just want to get it.  And, as a musician, you know, when you plug your guitar in and you make something you want to get it out there for people to hear.  And, again, the kids don't even realize that people get paid for putting that music together, they just want to hear your stuff, you know.  I think that's one way to look at it, but I know there are so many ways to look at things.  You know, for me, I just like to play and get the music out there, but I understand where all the artists are coming from, you know, that used to sell millions of records and now they don't so their income has dropped, you know, a lot in some cases.  I've, uh, (laughs), I've never had that problem, you know...I've never seen my income diminish that much, so I just like people to hear what we're doing, but, again, I do understand the business side of it, too.

G2G:  You kind of touched on what I was going to ask next...the days of the platinum album are long gone for most artists unless your, I don't know, a Nickelback or someone like that.  So, how does a band like Adler define success, at least to you?

Jacob:  I guess that really depends on what success means to you.  For me, Adler is already a huge success because we created something to the best of our ability and that we are really proud of...and the fans like it.  To me, that's success, because we're all really happy for that.  As far as commercial standards, it's very hard for a rock band to have success by commercial standards.  You know, there are just very few true rock stations left in the country, you know, because most radio has either gone Top 40, or Hip Hop, or country, or even talk radio, and things are just completely different than they were when I was a kid, or when Steven was in GnR...or even just ten years ago, you know.  So, success is up to the individual, at least to me...

G2G;  To touch on the radio thing, like you said, radio, at least terrestrial radio, has really moved on from the rock format, but satellite radio has really taken off and exploded.  Have you guys been able to embrace that?  I know that Sirius/XM on the Octane station has played your stuff quite a bit.

Jacob:  Yeah, the two rock stations that are on Sirius and XM, um, Octane and Boneyard, have both been really, really supportive of us, and even Hair Nation, because of Eddie Trunk's show, has supported us as well.  Eddie has really been a big supporter and we appreciate him more than he could ever know.  You know, we appreciate everyone that's helped us out, yourself included, Arttie.  All of you guys get the word out about us and allow us to be able to do what we do, and we appreciate it more than you could ever know.  So, yeah, we've done our best to embrace that and all kinds of media, and we've been lucky so far in how we've been able to do that.

G2G:  So, what would you like to tell fans that are just coming to the band, or maybe coming out to a live Adler show, what would you like them to know about Adler?

Jacob:  We are a brand new band, so if you are expecting to hear all Guns N Roses songs because Steven was there, that's not what we're doing.  It's a brand new bandm similar to what Slash has got, or whatever, and we're a brand new band and we just happen to have a former member of Guns N Roses in the band.  If you like good, solid rock music then come to the show.  I think that you'll really like the show and you'll have a lot of fun.  And, if I may, I'd like to tell everybody to like our page on Facebook at , and on Twitter to follow us @Adlerrocks, and then our website is .

G2G:  Well, Jacob, I want to thank you again for taking the time to give us a call.  The new album, Back From The Dead by Adler is out in stores and on-line now, and I wish you all the success in the world and a Merry Christmas to you, my friend.

Jacob:  Thank you, too, man.  It's been fun.

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Wednesday, December 5, 2012


(c) 2012 LnJ/Roxx Productions
1.  The Grinch
Justin Murr--Bass
David Cagle--Vocals
JK Northrup--Guitars
Eric Rango--Keyboards
Michael Feighan--Drums
Just in time for Christmas, Liberty N Justice have put together and released their first song as a full band!  However, don't let the fact that this is a humorous Christmas song fool you, as the band flexes its muscle with this fun little number.  Of particular note are the powerful vocals of Mr. Cagle, who has just enough grit to his voice to really drive this song home, as well as the guitar work of JK Northrup.  I really don't know what else to say other than that Northrup is an absolute BEAST on the guitar and how this guy never got tagged with the "guitar god" label back in the 80's and early 90's is anyone's guess.  Top notch performances, crisp production...AND A FREE DOWNLOAD!!!!  What more can you ask for this Christmas?!  Just jump over HERE, fill in a couple of blanks, and "The Grinch" will be rocking you around your own Christmas tree, regardless of if you are on the naughty or nice list!  And, hey...if you like what you hear, tip the guys a buck or two to help make more music available at a future date!
Rating:  Cranked FULL of holiday cheer!  Get it before it's gone!!!
Merry Christmas!!!

Monday, December 3, 2012

TWO-BIT THIEF "Another Sad Story In The Big City"

(c) 1990 Combat Records
  1. City Boys
  2. Industry
  3. Love/Hate
  4. Hard Times
  5. Broken Hearts
  6. Folsom Prison Blues
  7. Desperado
  8. Broke Again
  9. One Sad Day
  10. Modern Revolution
  11. Crime
  12. Remedy
Andy Andersen--Vocals
Chris Scaparro--Guitars
Ron Shipes--Guitars
Rick Strahl--Bass
Eric Brecht--Drums
San Fracisco was the home of this extremely overlooked sleaze act from the late 1980's.  Perhaps that was largely due to the fact that San Francisco was more well-known for their thrash metal acts than anything else.  Considering the fact that several members of this band were in a thrash act that didn't quite make it, you would think that maybe they still had a fan base that might cross over, but sadly that was not the case and Two-Bit Thief is one of several excellent bands that are relegated to the "Who Are These Guys?" bin at your local used CD store.  If you happen to stumble upon Another Sad Story In The Big City, however, I strongly encourage you to pick it up.  Sleaze fans will not be disappointed in what they feast their ears upon from the very first spin!
One thing of note with Two-Bit Thief is the fact that these guys play their sleaze fast and loud....with an emphasis on fast.  It is obvious that the speed/thrash thing was still coursing through their veins when Two-Bit Thief put this album together because it is one non-stop break-neck track after another with only the quasi-hit single, "Broken Hearts", slowing things down at all, and this track is still a long way from ballad territory.  Even Johnny Cash is given the sleaze/thrash treatment on the band's ripping, "Folsom Prison Blues".  I like to tell people this band sounds like Dangerous Toys mixed with LA Guns with the love-child of Taime Downe from Faster Pussycat and Phil Lewis of LA Guns doing the singing with a sore throat...all while on speed!  Honestly, I think that's a pretty fair description.
The guitar work on this album is of special note, as I think Scaparro and Shipes made a formidible rhythm/lead tandem, with several solos dripping with that southern-fried slimy sound, such as on the snark "Love/Hate".  It's not so much about flash and flair with these guys as it is about attitude and grit, which is cool, as 1990 was about the time too many of the hair bands started to all sound the same and oversaturate the market.  Had more bands gone the gritty, grimey road that Two-Bit Thief chose to travel, it was possible that the scene may have survived a bit longer, regardless of what was happening in Seattle.
Stand out cuts would have to include the album opener, "City Boys", the cover of "Folson Prison Blues", the LA Guns-esque "Industry", "Hard Times", and one of the cooler tracks to come out of the scene (in my opinion), "Desperado" which has an AWESOME chorus breakdown that I absolutely love!  The cowbell intro of  "One Sad Day" kicks off another LA Guns-inspired track that is also one of my personal highlights from this underrated disc.  At times the disc does suffer from a bit of sameness, as I think the speed with which the band delivers their sleaze starts to run the songs into one another.  One or two more mid-tempo numbers would have broken things up a bit, but I'm not one to complain that a band rocked too hard and didn't throw in enough ballads...but one true ballad may not have been a bad thing.  
I'm not going to tell you this is the best album ever crafted, but it is one of the better albums you have probably never heard...or at least that you haven't heard in a long time.  If you own it, dust it off and see if you don't plan to do so more frequently, and if you don't own it, it generally isn't too hard to come by for under $15 on eBay or Amazon.
For your listening/viewing pleasure, here is the band's mini stab at fame:
Rating:  Overlooked, underappreciated, and worth a second listen, crank this to 7.5.