by Martin Popoff

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Fresh Metal

Hanoi Rocks - Twelve Shots On The Rocks
(Liquor And Poker)

What happens from 1:29 to 2:00 of track number four, New York City is worth the price of purchase alone, and what that is is the most soulful, gorgeous, freight-trained guitar solo I've heard in years. Yes, notorious smack man Andy McCoy has reunited with Michael "Bombshell" Monroe under the highly regarded Hanoi Rocks banner for their first album since the death of Razzle and the band in '84 nearly two decades back in black. I'm in obeisance with the chaos rock cabal with which I've discussed the album: it is patchy, but the magic moments make me (and they) quake. First off, maybe it's my advance, but I find the production cold, thin, screechy... I hate it. But the songs, for the most part do the legacy justice, sounding like a cross between the old band, the New York Dolls, Johnny Thunder, the Sex Pistols and the bits of solo Sid that ever were. I love the way these albums seduce, the one where you like about half of it, but that half, you play over and over again obsessively, almost embarrassingly so. Like that solo. My version contains fully 17 tracks, and there are stinkers, complete with loose grooves and off-key singing from Monroe. But Obscured, Day Late Dollar Short, New York City, Bad News, Watch This, Are U Lonely Tonight... they are dirty, plain, but they draw you in. So yeah, no more than an 8 (and maybe even that is high), but the irony is: I'm playing this warts-and-aller more than anything else these dog days.
Rating 8

220 Volt - Eye To Eye
(Power Play)

This sounds a lot better now with the passing years, and without the context and contrast of the blistering, classic first four albums from these Swedes leaning down hard on the situation. Fact is, Eye To Eye (1988) was a deliberate ploy for the hair band success afforded, say... Europe?! The drums are wide-loaded and cocksure in an '80s style (Max Norman produces), and there are a bunch of marching Balls To The Wall beats. But one can't bury the metalness of the band's twin guitar attack, or the urgency in Jocke Lundholm's voice. The end result is something akin to German hair/traditionalists Victory. Reissue includes new artwork, new photos, and as a nice touch, a helpful liner essay from Mats Karlsson.
Rating 7.5

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