7 December 2015
Mad Hornet - Would You Like Something Fresh?
Well, it is time to get back in the saddle after a few days off - we are going to be having another trip to Italy for my next few blogs (got a small back log, apologies for the delays). Anyway, this review is the latest album by Mad Hornet who come from Maruggio, which a small town near Taranto according to the press blurb and formed in 2006. This is their second release after a release called 'Hot Tarots'. The band did break up in 2009, but they recently got back together to continue to deliver their own brand of classic rock/hair metal. Now from the outset it might be worth me mentioning I am not the biggest hair metal fan in the world, surprising on this blog team the biggest fan is Chris (I only love fear Factory and stuff) Jermyn. But I was interested in doing this as the cover is just plan crazy, it could be used for an obscure noise record as well as this slice of classic rock. It is a strange image which would have probably made it to cover roulette anyway, it is that level of bizzaro. So without much further ado, let us see how palatable this album is?
Starting the album is the forty nine second "Would You Like Something Fresh?" which comes and goes so quick that it could easily be missed as the band launch into the first proper track called "Your Body Talks" which brings us back to the classic rock era of the 1970's and a Van Halen platinum era sound that could also have been made by bands such as Poison and Cinderella in their prime. Mixed in to this you have a blues element (especially to the solo which is a stunning piece of work), some easy rock and suggestible lyrics and you have a recipe for a great classic rock song that will be warmly received by fan of this type of music and might bring some new comers as well. Then it is straight into a slower number with "Dyin' Love" which mixes in the blues once more; it is almost ballad in terms of lyrical content, however the music is hard rock/blues that would go down well with fans of Hardline, Def Leppard, mainstream Yes and (as my wife said) Rush. It is one of the songs I kept coming back to on this album and it does impress with its drive and passion. Two songs in, so far it is going well. "Blue Blood" continues this rich vein of form on this album as the band go back into that fine mix of hair rock elements and a luscious classic rock sound as well. Lyrically it does not really work for me, not that these are as bad as other acts in the genre (to be honest they are almost polite compared to other artists), just something that has always been the case with me. The music though, the music itself is so good that they lyrics vanish in my head but the vocals of Mic Martini are still top quality on this track.
As if they are sensing that they need to add a bit of energy to the mix, "Free Rock Machine" comes along to remind us that rock is so important and that it can be free. It is fast paced classic rock, it has a set of lyrics that are not for me (I do not want to be nasty or piss off the band, but lyrically it is not my cup of mead) and again some great music that certainly gets the blood pumping and the head banging. This is more in line with the 80's classic rock sound and it has many positives to it, especially that guitar sound and the solos. Drenched in feedback, "Game of Death" starts with a classic sound, a huge riff and then it sorts of dips to the verses and sadly does not reach that peak again. It is a decent song which the band play very well and towards the end it does get some of its steam back, but from that opening riff it does not live up to that opening promise. "Raise 'n' Do It" is much better with a sound that could have been made in the Sunset Strip era of rock when everyone wanted to be from California, it is certainly a song which grabs your attention from the start and does not place a foot wrong. It is not as immediate as other track on the album, but it is certainly still one that holds your attention from start to finish.
"Walking With You (In The Afternoon)" is the next song which a song that concerns itself with the ending of a relationship and a relationship crashing down to the ground. It is a song that certainly improves with each listen and once again showcases all the positives of the band with a beautiful piece of music that actually wins me over despite some reservations I have with the genre it has been create by; that is the sign of a good song. "Pink Pants School" - no, just no. No matter how good those guitars are play, the notes are reached, the drums are banged and Van Halen are worshipped, it is not for me and I will move onto the next song. The penultimate song is a cover of the classic dance/pop song "What Is Love" originally by Haddaway, as covers go it does enough to be different from the original to warrant it being here and it is not too different to make it unrecognisable. It is one of those songs which sounds good no matter which medium it is played in and it does not hurt the album with being included on the record. The final song is called "Roses Under the Rain" and this is a hard rock ballad which starts with the acoustic guitars, but it does not fall into that trap where everything is acoustic. It is another hard rock number that is designed to showcase the gentler side of the band and also (once again) display all the best parts of the band. It has a classic solo in the middle which is truly impressive; it has one of the best lyrics on the album and it is also a seven-minute epic that does not seem to last that long. I really like this song, I mean I REALLY like it and it ends the album on a massive high point.
I will get the bad points out of the way first - "Pinks Pants School" and the lyrics. That is it, that (for me is quite a short list in terms of how I usually look at this genre of music). Good points - The music itself is very impressive to someone who is not so into this style of music, the vocals are brilliant despite the lyrical content and apart from one song there is nothing on here which I did not enjoy. There is nothing new that I have not heard by other bands, but that is not the point of this band. Much like Kiss, Van Halen and other classic rock bands - they are just here to rock all night; that is it and it is a great album. For fans of AOR, hair rock/metal and classic rock/metal, it has even made a fan of me.
8 out of ten - Oh, now you have my attention and maybe my money, heart and time
Top track - Roses Under The Rain
You can visit the Mad Hornet Facebook page here for updates on their activities
You can purchase the digital version of Would You Like Something Fresh? on Amazon here
You can streams Would You Like Something Fresh? on Deezer here
You can stream Would You Like Something Fresh? on Tidal here
You can stream Would You Like Something Fresh? On Spotify here
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