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Hollywood Monsters

Big Trouble

Review by Gary Hill

Stéphane Honde. Is apparently a French man who has relocated to Los Angeles. He must have made a reputation for himself because he managed to recruit some big name players when he decided to put this project together. Those names are: bassist Tim Bogert (Vanilla Fudge, Catus), keyboardist Don Airey (Whitesnake, Deep Purple), and drummer Vinny Appice (Black Sabbath, Dio, Kill Devil Hill). Honde himself handles guitars and vocals. One additional name included here is Paul Di’Anno, but he only sings on the bonus track. The music here is almost metal, but not quite. It’s more or less classic hard rock with a modern edge. This is a great set, really.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2014  Volume 5 at

Track by Track Review
Another Day in Grey – Part 1

This cut is less than a minute long. It has a great melodic vibe, too. I love the prevalent bass line running along on this. It’s a cool start to the set.

Move On
Mixing metal sounds with a straight ahead hard rock element, this is modern in sound, but grounded in retro, timeless elements. I love the organ on this, lending a bit of a Deep Purple-like edge. This thing is a real screamer.
Big Trouble
This one isn’t nearly as furious as the last one. It’s a much more melodic tune. Still, there are some metallic edges in the mix of this cut. It almost feels like a mix of Kiss and Scorpions to me.
The Only Way
Starting off with acoustic guitar modes, I don’t think I’d consider this a ballad. It’s more of a mellow rocker at first. When it gets power added to the guitars it rocks out even more. It’s a cool tune.
The Cage
The acoustic guitar sounds that open this make me think of Led Zeppelin a bit. The vocals, though, seem closer to some of the deeper range, mellower stuff from Geoff Tate. The powered up section again has some Zeppelin elements. In many ways, this almost feels like a cross between Zeppelin and Queensryche to me.    
The Ocean
An orchestral section opens this with a very classical music tone. Some acoustic guitar brings in some blues sound. As the vocals join this feels a bit like some kind of progressive metal piece.
Oh Boy!!
Starting with just piano and voice, this works out to an almost proggy piece of music. It has a lot more of a modern texture in many ways. Yet, it also reminds me of 1970s David Bowie quite a bit. It’s an accessible number and one of my favorites here. It makes great use of contrasting musical elements to create a dynamic texture.
The Underground
This is a powerhouse rocker. It’s sort of mid-tempo and reminds me a bit of Guns N Roses.  
Village of the Damned
Nearly metallic, this is a powerhouse rocker. The vocals are exceptional and so is the whole tone of the tune. It’s another that contrasts well between harder rocking and mellower. That said, they take it out into a smoking hot, very metal, jam later.
Song for a Fool
David Bowie is a reference point on this classic rock sounding balladic piece, too. It has some elements of jazz and the piano is key point. That said, there is some great bass work, too.
F*** You All
A bonus track, one has to look no further than the title to realize this one gets a serious parental advisory on the lyrics. This is angry and rather punk-rock like. It’s got some downright ferocious music built into it. It just seems a bit childish to me. That said, it is a bonus track. It just seems to take away from what is otherwise an exceptional release.



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