Ozzy-album-1600x1600When you think of English Rock, you can’t help but mention these names The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who, Led Zeppelin, Elton John, and Ozzy Osbourne. These names are the names of rock icons that will never die and two of them recently collaborated for a new track. It was revealed by Ozzy Osbourne himself that he collaborated with Sir Elton John for a new track which also happens to be the title track to Ozzy’s upcoming studio release Ordinary Man which is due out February 20, 2020 via Epic. Chad Smith, who played drums on the album recently told Fox News, “It’s f–king epic. These two iconic, legendary, English f–king rockers that have been through it all are singing about the end of their lives: ‘I don’t want to die an ordinary man.’ And it’s f–king great!” The song itself is absolutely amazing as Elton John provides piano for this song that accomplishes the feat of sounding like an Ozzy and Elton John song when needed or I could just say it’s sounds like an edgier Elton song. Ozzy talked about securing Slash and Elton for the track saying it, “just came together. … When I was writing ‘Ordinary Man,’ it reminded me of an old Elton song, and I said to Sharon, ‘I wonder if he would sing on it?’ We asked and, lo and behold, he agreed, and sings and play piano on the song.” Do yourselves a favor and just listen to the track below and stay tuned here for more info on the album as it becomes available.

COMIC TITLE: Daphne Byrne #1 (2020)
Kelley Jones– Artist
Laura Marks–Writer
January 8, 2020
Hill House Comics/DC Black Label 

IMG_6039We are just into our second week of 2020 and it looks like everything is almost back to normal in the world of comics especially when it has to do with new comic book day. There were a lot of great debuts this week and some great continuations of stories that I am into at the moment, but there was one that I just had to check out. For those of you that do not know who Joe Hill his, he is the son of one Stephen King who has also decided to get into the world of Horror Comics with Hill House Comics as he teams up with DC Comics imprint DC Black Label to create a line of comics like The Low Low Woods and more. This week they came out with a new comic entitled Daphne Byrne #1 and it was written by Laura Marks (TV’s Ray Donovan) and illustrated by Kelley Jones (The Sandman, Batman: Red Rain) who is a legend in the horror art world. Daphne is your typical 19TH Century New York teen who is going through some personal turmoil since her father passed away. One thing is for certain and that is that her mother is being irresponsible and is being taken for a sucker by occultist wannabe’s, but these wannabe’s may have opened a door for Daphne as he is visited by an entity named Brother, but what does he want?

IMG_6038I have to say that I definitely enjoyed Daphne Byrne, but not as much as I did with The Low Low Woods. I definitely enjoyed the last part of the comic because that is when things really started to rock and roll and that is why I believe that I am going to enjoy future issues of the comic. What also has me excited about the future of it is that Joe Hill said on the Adventures In Poor Taste Podcast that the book is about, “a 19th-century feminist Omen. A ghost and gaslight take on the child born to end us all.” Now what is exciting about this comic is the artwork that was done by the legend Kelley Jones who brought out the creepiness of the darkness that surrounds the comic on every single panel. He has this way of making sure that you do not miss the macabre in every panel as he manages to infuse it and Michelle Madsen does an amazing job bringing all of that to light as the colorist of the comic and it’s beautiful. The other element that was smartly infused into the comic was the fact that we got the creepiness factor in well before the macabre show up in the example of this homeless old man who will make your spine tingle. All in all, I am actually excited to see what happens next in the comic especially with the artwork so stay tuned. Check out my grades below:

Grades:

Story/Plot: A

Artwork: A+

Character Representation: A+

Entertainment Value: A+

COMIC TITLE: J. Werner Presents Classic Pulp Horror #1 (2020)
Edvard Moritz, King Ward, & Fred Guardineer– Artist
Frank Belknap Long–Writer
January 1, 2020
Source Point Press 

OCT192077Last week, the list of comics were very bleak and I can’t blame comic book companies considering that it was Christmas week. Now as far as the brand new year is concerned, the list was considerably larger, but not by a lot. One title in particular peaked my interest as I was scouring the list looking for comics to pull and as a rabid Horror fan I couldn’t say no to this Source Point Press title. This week, Source Point Press went back in time to bring back some classic pulp styled horror comics in the form of J. Werner Presents Classic Pulp Horror #1 which features stories by Frank Belknap Long (Weird Tales) and it features artwork by Edvard Moritz (Adventures Into The Unknown), King Ward (Dead Man’s Doom), and Fred Guardineer (Action Comics). The comic features three tales with the first one entitled The Living Ghost, which is a story of a mysterious ghost terrorizing innocent people. The second story entitled The Werewolf Stalks which is about a werewolf that has been able to avoid detection while trying to feed on the innocent. The third and final story entitled Haunted House is about a woman who has had to wait ten years for a family inheritance only to find out that she has to spend one night in the house in order to get it.

I didn’t realize at the time that this was a comic that featured restored stories from yesteryear much like Marvel does with their True Believer series. Nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed reading some of these classic horror tales cause it took you back to a time when TV didn’t exist so sometimes to get your fix on horror, sometimes you had to pick up a pulp horror comic book much like this one to get it. It was definitely fun to see the language in which comics were written back in the day, it feels like you are in the 1950’s checking out this comic. So, the nostalgia aspect of the comic was definitely on point and if you like the language style then you are definitely going to love the artwork in this comic. The layout is very classic and the artwork is the old style golden age era comic artwork so it’s super easy to read and follow along with. I enjoyed every story in how it was setup with the very tough macho guy who doesn’t believe anything the women says even though she has figured out the problem before the guy does. I had a lot of fun with and knowing that it’s only a one shot I guess is OK, but I hope this turns into something for Source Point Press in maybe they can find a way to bring back this style of comic. Check it out for yourselves and check out my grades below:

Grades:

Story/Plot: A+

Artwork: A+

Character Representation: A+

Entertainment Value: A+

I had been searching for weeks to find a way to pay tribute to Marie Fredriksson, the late singer of Swedish Pop Rock group Roxette who recently passed away after a long battle with Brain Cancer (December 9TH). Then as I was cruising Youtube looking for something to check out, I came across a rock band from Nebraska named Through Fire that covered the Roxette classic Listen To Your Heart for their recent release All Animal which was released via Sumerian Records and is this week’s Cover Of The Week. One of the things I was most impressed with when listening to this track besides the music was the vocals of Grant Joshua Kendrick who is able to go a little low vocally during the verses and then his ability to go a little higher during the choruses. It’s an amazing cover and I have provided the music video for you guys which is primarily a performance based music video. You can also catch the band live as they tour the country in 2020 with Fozzy and Royal Bliss so check out the tour dates here.

COMIC TITLE: Dr. Strange: Surgeon Supreme #1 (2019)
Java Tartaglia– Artist
Mark Waid & Kev Walker–Writer
December 26, 2019
Marvel Comics 

01Since it is Christmas week, there wasn’t a huge selection of comic books to go through and pick from. It’s slim pickings on what is a little weird for me because I am so used to New Comic Book Day being a Wednesday, but because of Christmas it’s on a Thursday this week. Marvel has all the hot new number ones for the week, but there was only one comic that I ended up really giving a chance and that is Dr. Strange: Surgeon Supreme #1 which was written by Mark Waid (Daredevil) and Kev Walker (Star Wars: Doctor Alpha) and it was illustrated by Java Tartaglia (Thor: The Worthy). Dr. Stephen Strange is no longer the sorcerer supreme because his hands were healed through a deal with a demon and now he is dedicating his precious time to two different worlds. One being as a surgeon in his old hospital and the other is to the mystic world. Unfortunately for him, he can definitely feel the strain of being tugged into two different directions constantly. One day while in the hospital, a strange occurrence is happening outside because people are being brought into the hospital by bus loads. When he goes to investigate it, he runs into an old foe with a new lease on magic that could prove to be challenging for the sorcerer supreme.

image-101I tried reading Dr. Strange in the past and it wasn’t until I saw the film that I gave it a little bit of a chance, but this was actually a very interesting read. I loved everything about the comic because with this rediscovery of his abilities (as a surgeon) comes obvious cockiness on his part, but then you see the struggle and it makes him all too real. I also loved how no matter what, he can’t shut off the fact that he sees various types of demons in the hospital that obviously represent the various sicknesses the patients have, but he kept his word to not mix the two worlds. So, I definitely loved the writing in this comic and they leave you on one heck of a cliffhanger at the end when one member of the wrecking crew comes looking for Strange. It was enough to sell me into wanting to come back and buy the very next issue so kudos to the writing team. I definitely enjoyed the artwork in the comic because I felt that it fit the comic and it’s subject matter to a T and what more could you ask for. There is some great imagery in this issue and the comic is easy to follow along to because the panels are easy to follow along with. If you like Dr. Strange, then I suggest you give this one a shot. I know the constant number one’s can be annoying, but it’s the new thing at Marvel.

Grades:

Story/Plot: A+

Artwork: A

Character Representation: A+

Entertainment Value: A+

Collaborations are a thing in music that has been happening for a very long time like that time when Roy Harper came in and sang Have A Cigar on Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here album in 1975, but in the late 90’s collaborations started to become more of a thing. Limp Bizkit was one of the hugest bands at one point in their careers and no time was bigger than the time they released their third record Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water which debuted at number one on the Billboard Top 200 Charts. The album also featured the groups second collaboration with the late Stone Temple Pilots frontman Scott Weiland who first appeared on the previous release Significant Other (Nobody Like You). The track called Hold On is this week’s Collaboration of the Week as we celebrate and remember the late frontman who passed away December 3, 2014. The song is very melodic and features a slower tempo than previous songs on the album and it helps set the mood for Weiland’s beautiful vocals on the first verse while Fred Durst takes the second verse. Limp Bizkit was recently announced to be headlining 2020’s edition of the Inkcarceration Music & Tattoo Festival in Mansfield, Ohio. So check that out and check out the collaboration below:

teslaOne of my favorite bands from the 1980’s that was always wrongfully looped into the hair metal genre was Teslaa a rock band from Sacramento and not LA. The band that was made up of Jeff Keith (Vocals), Frank Hannon (Guitars), Tommy Skeoch (Guitars), Brian Wheat (Bass), and Troy Luccketta (Drums) would release their second album The Great Radio Controversy on February 1, 1989 making the album 30 years old this year. The album was the follow up the highly successful debut album Mechanical Resonance and was produced by both Steve Thompson (Guns N Roses) and Michael Barbiero (Cinderella/Metallica) and it had some success of it’s own. The album title itself was named after the controversy over who had invented the radio. It’s is said that Nikola Tesla was the man who invented the radio, but as we all learned in school that it was Guglielmo Marconi who was credited with inventing the radio. While the album featured the typical metal sound associated with Tesla, the album also saw the band sneak in more bluesy elements to it as it peaked at number 18 on the Billboard Top 200 charts and it was certified double platinum meaning over two million in sales.

max1493513845-back-cover1. Hang Tough– I love the opening bass riff to this track as it kicks off the album as it almost seems that the rest of the band fades in with some amazing guitar work and solos by Tommy in this track that is all about no matter how many bumps you may take, you have to stay and hang tough. 5/5

2. Lady Luck-I love the effect in the beginning almost sounding like a tape malfunction, but the track is also pretty kick ass in this track about someone who sounded like he had it all, but Lady Luck left him and now he’s a loser. 4.7/5

3. Heaven’s Trail (No Way Out)– I love the slide guitar intro by Frank Hannon who is the one that brings the blues influence while Tommy keeps the metal aspect going. This was the first single off the album and one that critics absolutely love. The lyrics sound like someone who was happy achieving fame until women came along and ruined it for him. 5/5

4. Be A Man-Another bluesy metal track from the guys in this track that questions what most guys think what it means to be a man while the band is telling  you it’s not about material things, but by doing right by your family, friends, etc. and much more. 4.5/5

5. Lazy Days, Crazy Nights-This is one trackj that further demonstrates the dynamics of Skeoch and Hannon with one playing clean channel while the other plays fully distorted in this track that is all about how the narrator is trying to do good, but he just loves the lifestyle. 4.5/5

6. Did It For The Money– a kick ass rock track that is all about the desperate things people will do for money with the first verse being about a prostitute, the second verse about a man who is willing to rob for money and the third is their interaction. 4.5/5

tesla-924-2242-3-cd7. Yesterdaze Gone-a wild and crazy track that reminds me of Tie Your Mother Down as far as pace in the beginning, but the track is ultimately about a guy who can’t seem to he get his ex off his mind even though he keeps saying that yesterdays gone. 4.2/5

8. Makin’ Magic-a raunchy guitar riff leads this track that is all about reciprocating because if I make you feel good then return the favor. 4.1/5

9. The Way It Is-One of my favorite Tesla songs that had a video release, but was never released officially as a single. It’s not a ballad, but almost a slower paced track that emulates a lot of southern rock. 5/5

10. Flight To Nowhere– The sounds of a plane start off the track before the band comes in on this track that is about a guy who never wants the party to stop because he is on a mission on the flight to nowhere. I love the mixture of clean and distorted guitars on this track, it showcases how special of a duo they were. 4.3/5

11. Love Song– This is exactly what you think it is and that it’s a ballad and a very successful one for the band. It was a top ten hit on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks and Billboard Hot 100’s charts and for good reason. It’s just an amazing song all around. 5/5

12. Paradise– The electric version of this track is great with the mixture of piano and electric guitars, but you should hear the acoustic version of this song on the Five Man Acoustical Jam. That version is just amazing as well as this one is in it’s own right. 5/5

13. Party’s Over-The Last song on the album and the riff kicks ass as Jeff sings about being so over someone that when they try to come back you tell them sorry the party’s over. 4.2/5

My Final Thoughts– These guys were absolutely amazing and should have never been looped in the Hair Metal category because they were clearly better than most of the bands from that genre. The guitar riffs on this album are insane and Tommy Skeoch was very underrated. That is why I am giving the album 4.6 stars out of five for a final grade.