Hard Reviews 2
by Martin Popoff

American Dog - Six-Pack

Man oh man, if you thought American Dog smoked ten-foot TNT on rekkid (and boy do they ever: git Last Of A Dying Breed), you oughta catch them live on hallowed power trio stage, the boozy bar platform on which these three unbowed and bloody rock heroes have slayed many a headliner, too many times to count, too many beers to count, 1-2-3-4 count me in. Six-Pack gathers a hoary half dozen of the band's anthems and rips them open live in front of a crowd of friends specifically gathered for the recording, fueled by way too much beer, photographed flyin' the finger just in case you didn't think a gathering that small could make that much noise. Not my favourite collection of American Dog songs, Six-Pack leans a little too traditionally boogie woogie (I prefer the metal-heady riff rockers), but in effect, the composite becomes a sort of level playing field on which one discovers the shotgun justice truth: this is probably the best rock 'n' roll power trio in operation today. See www.americandog.net or contact info@outlawentertainment.com for more of the hair of the dog that bit ya. Not sure if there are any left, but initial copies came with a really cool American Dog bottle opener.
Rating 9

Midnight Sun - Metalmachine

Occasionally, and only occasionally, someone comes along and does something spirited, sprightly and fresh with this broadsword behemoth called power metal. For now, these veteran Swedes are them. Initially drawn to the thing by the cheeky photo, which has the band looking like a cross between the tough fashion versions of U2 or The Cult, once experiencing the disc, I found even more rule-breaking, rule-breaking that was enigmatically of a fashion I still can't place after a few very interested spins. This'll read like crap, so I'll see if I can detail the sentiments a little better: I hear a certain very hooky Priest in here, Blackout-era Scorpions, Bruce-era Samson, along with the vocal twang of that old Malice guy, along with the humourous end of Helloween. As well, there's Accept and a very bright, almost techno recording, or at least detailing. It's all very modern and snappy despite those influences listed. I mean, wot a cool band, way less power metal than all I just said, kind of new wavey and playful, maybe ironic, self-aware, maybe poking a bit of fun at the genre by going a bit over the top sonically. Damn, I doubt I'm making much sense, I just know I pretty much have no time for power metal, and I somehow figure neither do these guys. Should be worth seeing live, judging by the shot of their tour bus on the front cover.
Rating 8.5

Hard Reviews Page 3