Monday, August 24, 2015

Review: Armored Saint, "Win Hands Down"

You may never know how long it’s going to take to get a new Armored Saint record, but you can be sure when it gets here that it will be quality. So it goes with their latest, Win Hands Down.

Armored Saint’s output has been sporadic since 1991’s Symbol of Salvation, arguably their best record. Faced with an uncertain future for Armored Saint following the death of guitarist Dave Prichard from leukemia, vocalist John Bush opted to accept an offer to join thrashers Anthrax following that record. We wouldn’t hear from Saint again until 2000, when the band reunited to record the, in my opinion, highly underrated Revelation.

It was another 10 years (not counting a compilation album) with a lot of ups and downs before La Raza arrived in 2010, but again, it was worth the wait. That brings us to the new record, only five years in the making, and the title track and lead single announces to start the record that this is the same, reliable Armored Saint we know and love.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Review: Bob Wayne, "Hits the Hits"

Gambling is a dangerous game. Just ask Bob Wayne. You could go from refusing to perform covers, to doing a silly cover song because you lost a bet, to doing a whole album of covers. It’s a slippery slope.

Wayne’s latest, Hits the Hits, all started with a lost bet that found him performing a cover of Meghan Trainor’s “All About that Bass,” his first ever. A few months later, and we have a 13-song collection of covers from the DIY country singer.

Don’t expect any Johnny Cash or Waylon Jennings, even though they’d seem to fit his style more. On this collection, Bob Wayne puts his own spin on classic rockers like the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Ozzy and Guns N’ Roses, along with some much stranger pop choices — like Adele, Rihanna and Gnarls Barkley. There’s even a Bob Marley tune in the mix.