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Travers & Appice

Pat Travers and Carmine Appice – The Balls Album

Review by Gary Hill

This hard rocking album really works pretty well. There is nothing here that’s entirely unique or original in terms of songwriting. That’s not a problem, though. This is smoking hot hard rock that is quite effective. There is a decent range of sound here. Additionally, when you are talking about Pat Travers and Carmine Appice, you really can’t go wrong. It should be noted that (other than the two bonus tracks) all these songs appeared on a 2004 release by this outfit.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2016  Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Taken

The lyrics to this feel a bit awkward, but the hard rocking, blues based 1970s hard rock sound works really well. This is a screamer with class and style.

Better From A Distance
The rhythm section start this one. It’s another killer hard rocker with classic textures. It gets a bit punky in some ways. This earns a parental advisory.
Escape the Fire
They start this one with a mellower, almost jazzy, more balladic sound. In some ways this mellower rocker makes me think of Grand Funk Railroad a bit. It has a definite Southern rock vibe to it, too. There is plenty of blues built into the mix, as well.
Rock Me
This little rocker feels a lot like Gary Glitter to me. Still, the guitar soloing and general vibe make it land closer to the style of music one expects from Travers.
I Don’t Care
More of a screamer, this is almost heavy metal, really. It’s a bit raw and by the numbers, but the vocal arrangement and crunchy edge elevate it. The guitar solo is a real screamer.
Remind Me To Forget You
This thing is screaming hot. It’s one of the coolest jams of the whole disc. It features some purely inspired jamming, and especially some scorching guitar work.
Hey You
Here we get a melodic rocker. There is acoustic guitar at times here, but electric comes across, too. This is a song with a lot of retro textures built into it. It’s also both catchy and a great change.
I Can’t Let You Go
This rocker has a weird little section mid-track. That gets followed by a killer guitar solo. Overall, it’s a bouncy, mid-tempo tune that’s catchy.
Never Saw It Coming
Here we get another scorching hot hard rocker. This isn’t anything Earth shattering in terms of originality, but it’s just very effective. It’s one of my favorite tunes here.
Stand Up
There is definitely some jazz in parts of this. I love the retro keyboard textures that show up here and there. This still has plenty of no-nonsense rock and roll in the mix, too, though.
Keep On Rockin
This is screaming hot, fast paced rock and roll. I love the bit of guitar and drum war mid-track. This is one of the most high energy songs here. It’s also one of the best.
Gotta Have Ya
There is some real funk packed into this thing. Yet, it’s built on the same hard rock we’ve heard throughout most the disc. I can hear some Parliament in this along with Hendrix, Living Colour and even some Frank Zappa. It’s a great change and one of the coolest numbers here.
Bonus Track
                             
Tonite

This is more of a straightahead hard rocker. It works well, but isn’t anything all that different in a lot of ways.

Never Gonna Give You Up
Another screaming hot rocker, there is definitely a soulful edge to this. It has some great bass work along with killer guitar and drums.
 
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