Picture this: Late Friday night. A smoky bar in a non-descript, nowhere town, somewhere on the East Coast. You drop in to grab a bite and nurse a drink to take the edge off after a long drive. Food and service are pretty bad but man-o-man is the band on stage ever good! With its slashing, blues-tinged hard rock, and, at times, a bit of a Southern twist, Switchblade Glory carves its way into your memory. That’s the feel you gets from this album: a certain throwback to a bygone era of great, great music busting out of of Jersey bars and scorching its way to the stages of the biggest venues in the world.
Passion, delivery and straight-up, in-your-face, gut-gripping blues rock. Switchblade Glory’s self-titled album came out on April 14, 2011 to little fanfare but don’t let that fool you: there’s some serious muscle behind them.
While producers Gary Hoey and Steve Polin (also the guitarist on the album) may not be household names (guitarist Hoey has worked and toured with some of the biggest acts in rock, Brian May, Ted Nugent, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Peter Frampton and Deep Purple to name a few), co-producer Andy Johns needs no introduction: over the past 40 odd years, he has produced or engineered the likes of Led Zepplin and The Rolling Stones (plural albums for both), Autograph, Cinderella, Van Halen, Killer Dwarfs, Joe Satriani, L.A. Guns, Chickenfoot, Steve Miller Band, Joni Mitchell, Godsmack, Eric Clapton, and early classics such as Humble Pie, Free, Blind Faith, and Mott The Hoople.
Inject into that guitar-driven mix the steady hand of mega-drummer extraordinaire Kenny Aronoff of John ‘Cougar’ Mellencamp fame and who has worked with many rock and country acts, for instance Bob Seger, Elton John, John Fogerty, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Smashing Pumpkins, Jon Bon Jovi, Stryper, Tommi Iommi, Cinderella. Need we say more? Providing the very impressive bass chops on this release is Greg Mauro and fronting this band is Lukas Rossi. Remember he’s the Canadian singer who gained notoriety in several countries as the winner of the CBS TV-reality talent search Rock Star: Supernova produced by Mark Burnett to front a band made up of Tommy Lee (Mötley Crüe), Jason Newsted (Metallica, Voivod) and Gilby Clarke (Guns N’ Roses). Rossi wrote or co-wrote all the lyrics and melodies.
So far, Switchblade Glory appears to be a studio ‘creation’, and it may or may not be a long-term project. We’ll have to wait to see how the label promotes them.
The promo machine so far hasn’t really kicked in yet but it has produced a few official and fan-made videos on YouTube where you can listen to the top songs from the release and leave comments if you like:
Queen Of Hearts
Official Website (still embryonic): http://www.switchbladeglory.com
You can listen to the tracks on iTunes before buying at: http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/switchblade-glory/id432153800
Physical CDs not available in stores but tracks can be downloaded on iTunes and from Amazon and eMusic sites worldwide.
All the tracks (and lyrics) on this CD are really good. This is blues-tinged hard rock at its best that resurrects the spirit of great rock no one seems to play anymore except in smoky bars out of the mainstream. There are shades of George Thorogood and the Destroyers and Bad Company here. The band’s name is evocative, as is the cover art, in a slightly disturbing but in a good memorable slasher-movie kinda way. Absolute fabulous guitar, bass and drum work and strong (at times haunting) vocals but the song Stranger (explicit lyrics) in particular gets our vote.
Crime Still Pays is very topical and could easily end up on a soundtrack of a movie dealing with corporate greed.
There is definitely a Mellencamp feel at the outset of Rockstar. And the songs Calling Unforgiven and On My Mind (especially the short but wicked solo in the middle) stick out for their sheer musicality.