HardReviews 4
by Martin Popoff

Ozzy Osbourne - Live At Budokan DVD

The companion visuals to the similarly appointed live CD underscores the fact that the Oz man, in all his frail ailment, can still command a crowd, even if morbid fascination is part of the appeal. Ozzy's band makes sure you aren't always reliant on Osbourne to carry the show, Trujillo and Bordin rocking with a SoCal hardcore work ethic, Zakk squealing and pinging, decked out in biker/BLS gear, muscling his way deep into these songs. Additional to the expertly-shot and richly-recorded DVD is 'Suicide Solution', as well as a pretty boring biography, discography and videography. The real nuts of the package is the Osbournes-style footage, documenting Ozzy and his entourOz hitting Japanese tourist spots, Jack and Kelly arguing, swearing, shopping and swearing. Oz-handler Tony Dennis and hidden keysman John Sinclair also get much deserved video minutes. But the coolest moments are watching Ozzy do the lonely walk to his stage (you really feel the poignancy of his job), or seeing him sign autographs in a mental fog, or his cutting wit when confronted by producer Thom Panunzio telling him what a great show it was. And man, just the way Ozzy stumbles past crowds of people... it's like he knows this is the time and place to put on his most pained, determined and fragile performance. It really works, because people just stop in their tracks and stare, scared to touch him as if he'll shatter. Around his people, we see that it ain't so bad, that the mind still works just fine.
Rating 7.5

Stephen Pearcy - Social Intercourse
(Triple X)

For all the back and forth bad-mouthing about bloating, showboating and served summons, Stephen Pearcy continues to do Ratt one better by cranking out solid records stuffed with new songs. Sure, he's a little chaotic with band names, band members, delays and re-hashes, but Social Intercourse is fairly clear on all counts. The sound is hooky, heavy hair metal with a bright, electrocuted guitar sound (mostly the Ratt cat himself), Pearcy getting on top with his distinct pipes, his voice in as fine a form needed for his grinding, slamming, no-frills Ratt-style songs. Raucous, professional, traditional.
Rating 7.5

Hard Reviews Page 5