CD REVIEWS ISSUE 10 Page 6
By Bob Nalbandian
Dead Teenager Records
I don't know much about this band other than the fact that they are damn cool! Great '70s style metal melodies with interesting, but strong, vocals. Ranging from Trower-ish guitar riffs (evident in the title track), a solid rhythm section complimented by a great drum mix, and great grooves, Sunwheel Psychedelic displays a vast blend of classic rock roots with unusual, yet impressive, arrangements. "Wheels In the Sky" features a great Sabbath-like riff surrounded by a Zep-influenced "Kashmir-groove." "Temple In My Heart" also has that Kashmir-groove, showing traces of the Tea Party, while the tranquil "A Drop In The Mirror Pool" demonstrates classic Zep/Floyd melodic overtones. "Leaving My Cross" displays the heavier side of Sunwheel with a driving guitar riff that is somewhat reminiscent of Ministry's "Just One Fix," with a slower, groovier riff. The CD closer, "Loaded," has a stoned-out intro that leads into straight-forward AC/DC riff-rock. Cool and unusual. Not your typical stoner-rock band, what Sunwheel Psychedelic may lack in musical direction, they more than make up for in creative energy.
BLACK LABEL SOCIETY
Hangover Music Vol. VI
What possessed Zakk Wylde to recreate an Alice In Chains album, I will never know. It's obvious Zakk is a huge Alice fan, not only does Hangover Music Vol. VI attempt to continue where Jar of Flies left off, Zakk insists on trying to sing like Layne Staley throughout most of this disc, but falling way short! Zakk even pays tribute to the late songwriter/vocalist in the aptly titled "Layne." Not only do all the songs sound the same (all acoustic with God-awful vocals), his guitar work is not all that captivating, with the exception of the 39-second acoustic instrumental "Takillyn (Estyabon)," which is not surprisingly the most impressive track, featuring some mind-blowing fretwork. Another noteworthy track is the Procol Harum cover "Whiter Shade Of Pale" in which Zakk performs on piano and gives his best vocal delivery sounding like Bob Seger meets Axl Rose (as funny as that sounds, he actually pulls it off). Other than that, this disc can be summed up in a single word...boring! Nice attempt Zakk, but next time, stick to the heavy shit, that's obviously what you do best.
Shockwaves CD REVIEWS ISSUE 10 Page 7