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Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews

Hair of The Dog

Rise

Review by Gary Hill

If you like your rock hard and fun, then this is definitely the album for you. The disc really has a nice '80's metal texture to it, and I say that in a good way. There are a number of Kiss leanings on this album, but that is certainly not the extent of these guys' tricks. Indeed, they have created a sound all their own, nestled in amongst such bands as Kiss. They certainly don't run from that link either, covering a lesser-known Kiss number and turning it into a bit of a Kiss medley. The lineup on this disc is Ryan Cook, Mike Dupke, Boot and John A. Sepetys.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: The Early Years Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Rise
Starting in a smoking hard-edged mode, this one really gets the album going in style. The verse here is a bit in the style of bands such as Collective Soul. It is strong, foot stomping music that will get you to rise to your feet. This is a cut that has been getting some airplay.
Five To Nine
With a good time rock and roll sound, this cut really feels like a Kiss tune with different vocals. Lyrically it focuses on the hours after work and a celebration of the freedom of that time. The chorus on this one is especially strong.
Color Me Fire
Hard edged and fast, this number feels just a little like Motorhead in the music department. The vocal arrangement here is quite strong, and the bass is doing some very good, if subtle, jamming. The bridge is particularly melodic and ear catching.
You Are The One
A balladic love song, this one has the '80's hard rock ballad sound covered well.
Mokur Jahoobees
Feeling a bit like Motley Crue meets Poison, this one is a tribute to large breasts. It is a great rocker.
I Can't Fight You
With an intro that comes across in harder metallic mode, this one feels a bit like Kiss ala "God of Thunder" on the harder segments. The verse is in a more stripped down form. All in all, this one really is another that does give that Kiss impression musically.
Rescue Me
An acoustic based ballad, "Rescue Me" is another strong cut. It features some nice, fairly intricate jamming in a great classic hard rock tradition. It turns electric later, building on its earlier themes. Later it drops back to acoustic, then more electric. This cut has a great arrangement.
Bum Jenkins
Basically a very brief intro to "Twice", this one is a porch jamming old time blues number.
Twice
Hard '80's anthemic rock and roll, this is good time music done right. Vocally it feels a bit like David Lee Roth era Van Halen.
The Almighty Strut
A great hard rocking '80's metal groove makes up the main musical theme here. It is a strong, catchy cut with a great vocal melody line.
Sometimes is Enough
Another solid '80's styled rocker, this cut is good, but not really a standout. With an album as strong as this one, even this cut pales a little from being late on the disc.
Hammered
The intro is another from the hard and fast category, but the verse slows down a bit and features some cool vocal processing. This potent cut is another that feels a bit Kissish musically.
I
Not shying away from the Kiss comparisons, HOTD includes a seldom-heard Kiss number as the sole cover on the disc. The track comes across very strong, and indeed is a high point of the set. It almost feels as if Gene Simmons is lending vocals to the track. Indeed, all the vocals on the chorus are right on the money. The band apparently felt that since their version was so true to the original they needed to do a little more with it, though. That "little more" shows up as a short Kiss medley mid-tune that features bits of such standards as "Christine Sixteen" and "Calling Dr. Love". This is a fun way to end the CD.
 
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