Welcome to the musical meandering insights of Aaron Joy. Here you'll find 600 reviews of CDs & DVDs of rock & metal in all its variations, mainstream & indie. What they all share is that the album or band is unique in some way & not every submission was reviewed. Please share these reviews or link to them if you like what you read. Reviews are no longer being posted here but feel free to e-mail Aaron & post comments. (Formerly the Roman Midnight Music Blog) (last update 5/23/2017)

August 5, 2010

Badlands ~ Badlands (aka debut)

(No official website.)
Style: hard rock, blues-rock, heavy metal
Label: Atlantic
Year: 1989
Home: Los Angeles (disbanded)

Members: Ray Gillen ~ vocals/harmonica
Jake E. Lee ~ guitars/keyboards
Greg Chaisson ~ bass
Eric Singer ~ drums

The line-up is the most impressive thing about this album & short-lived supergroup: guitarist Jake E. Lee who just left Ozzy Osbourne, bridging the gap between guitar gods Randy Rhoads & Zakk Wylde; the late Ray Gillen who sang with Black Sabbath; bassist Greg Chaisson who played with Yngmie Malmsteen's first band; & drummer Eric Singer of Black Sabbath, Alice Cooper, Lita Ford & most notably Kiss. Later Singer would be replaced by Jeff Martin of Racer X, Michael Schenker & Dokken, while Gillen was replaced by John West of Lynch Mob, Cozy Powell & the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. But, other than this history buff trivia of a whose who, the album is like Asia - less than it's part. It's not bad & has it's enjoyable moments. Could be worse but it could be better. The trouble here is that these guys sound like everyone they've played with with, but not themselves. It rocks quite hard with a lot of musical varity & there's no question this is a powerhouse of talent. Guitars blast away throughout with abandon. Even the filler rocks due to the high proficiency & good intense arrangements that grab your attention & a heavy blues sound that has always been prominent in much 80's arena rock & pretty much can't go wrong. But, there's nothing particularly original about any of it. There's also a heavy dose of Zeppelin here. The music immediately reminds me of the equally-short-lived Zeppelin wannabes Bonham, which also features a departed lead singer & even look the same. "Dreams In The Dark" could be Whitesnake song if I didn't know better as it's a perfect David Coverdale imitation. While "Winter's Call" & "Seasons" are more Robert Plant than Robert Plant has been since the Plant/Page reunion. Now, let me say I love Bonham's first album & I love Zeppelin so I inherently enjoy this album. But, it's just not one full of suprises. I'd recommend it, if for nothing else, than an example of 80's hair rock at it's imitative 70's influenced best. There's nothing wrong with this release.

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