Puddle of Mudd- Love Crushed Velvet- Falling in Reverse
Puddle of Mudd
Every successful band has a bunch of cover tunes in their repertoire, songs they enjoy playing during sound check or maybe as a second encore after they've exhausted their own catalog of hits. Rediscovered finds Puddle of Mudd honoring the classic rock era with covers of hard rockers like Billy Squier's "Everybody Wants You," mega-hits like Steve Miller's "The Joker" and tried-and-true anthems like Free's "All Right Now." Keep in mind that POM recorded this album for fun and to tide over fans who love singer Wes Scantlin's voice until there's new original material---the idea wasn't to record a better version of the Stones' "Gimme Shelter" or AC/DC's "TNT" because that's not going to happen. Zep heads will probably cringe at the cover of "D'Yer Mak'er" included here but really, it's only rock'n'roll; this one should just be cranked and enjoyed for what it is.
Love Crushed Velvet
Former Billy Idol drummer Thommy Price keeps the beat for Love Crushed Velvet and the album's lead-off track "Letter" has the same feeling as an Idol hit, not only because of a driving rhythm but also because of lead singer A.L.X.'s ability to sound slightly menacing. "Love Crushed Velvet" is also Idol-esque; the song lifts its arrangement and its spirit directly from "White Wedding" as A.L.X. growls out a vocal while the band revs up the B.P.M.s. Guitarist Jimi Bones (Joan Jett, Blondie) is also in the band; the arrangements here don't really allow for him to go crazy but he does get to play up front on "Famous" and turn his treble setting way up high on album closer "Heatwave."
Falling in Reverse
Probably no review of this album will fail to mention that main man Ronnie Radke, formerly of Escape the Fate, recently got out of prison after serving a two year stint. Much of the record was written in the joint, Radke saying that he would sit in his cell and tap out the rhythms and melodies on his legs while memorizing the lyrics. So you can understand the seething that permeates the scream-o "Raised by Wolves" and the back-to-reality tale of a drug overdose in "Tragic Magic." Imprisonment didn't rob Radke of his sense of humor though, witness the light-hearted lyrics of the Van Halen-like "I'm Not a Vampire" and the fun poke at death metal, "Don't Mess with Ouija Boards."
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