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Thursday, November 14, 2013

412 of 1001 Albums: Hanoi Rocks' Back to Mystery City

Hanoi Rocks' fun sound was something much needed. All these albums just sound so serious! It doesn't really surprise me though that the critical reviews are everywhere for this album. Some don't like all the guitar riffs or added in sounds, but I felt like the livened the album for a time when it's easy for rock for rock to blend. This just embodies something the 80's that I really like, even the crazy style on the cover art of the two musicians.

History: This album had a lot of outside involvement from people who had already made themselves music classics. Dale Griffin and Overend Watts who used to be members of Mott the Hoople were involved in producing and Miriam Stockley sung as backing vocals after previously performing music with Pink Floyd. The other cool thing is that the band is open about the history of the songs. The band members weren't always in agreement with what they wrote and released either. Monroe hugely disliked "Lick Summer Love" because of the strong sexual content. Michael Monroe got to include some of his own writing though like in "Mental Beat" that is about himself as a wild child.


Vocals: Michael Monroe is the lead vocalist, and I do like how his vocals sound. It isn't like they are the strongest there is, but they match the vibe of the instrumentals, and they do showcase talent. Despite his vocals not being as stand out from many of the artists happening at the time there is still something about them you can't forget after listening to the tunes either.

Instrumentals: The instruments have a lot of fun with the time as well. You have not only the rock sound with Andy McCoy and Nasty Suicide on guitar, but you also have a lot of other random instruments to mix up the sound of the music. Like in "Malibu Beach Nightmare" they included a bit of the jazz 70's sound that mixes it up, and got me more excited about hearing the rest of the album. Sam Yaffa is on bass, and it contributes a lot to giving the album power. Plus the drum provided by Razzle provided a good upbeat tempo for the album. They get diverse with each song, so this does leave room for some songs to be more of a disappointment after being very impressed with another.

Recording: The recording is very 80's and if you're a fan of the time then you will love how staple the sound is to that era. It was right when the 80's was peaking in that very particular sound as well in 1983. Even now though the quality of the music really holds up. I could hear probably so much influence on what is now pop rock as well.

Hannoi Rocks was a band I had never heard of till last night. I will admit that the names that some of the band members want to go by is just silly and detracts from their talent. They've put together an album of music that sounds good though, but lyrically is so teenager I couldn't relate to it. I think had Monroe had more waver over what the band put out there that it would have amplified the all around quality since he didn't seem to be a fan of making the album about immature stuff.

Rating 8 of 10.


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