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)

January 27, 2012

Diablo Royale ~ Greedy Dogs

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Style: hard rock, heavy metal
Label: self-released
Year: 2010
Home: New York City

Members: Adrian Barrios ~ vcoals
Gerard "G-Man" Steixner, Eric Choy ~ guitars
Mike Sankari ~ drums
Pete Connors ~ bass

Three year old hard rockers DR ... Flipt-Up 'Band of the Year' in 2008 after being named best Filipino-American band in the U.S. though the band actually has members from the other far away lands of NJ & Hong Kong ... play the growling hip-grinding unpretentious hard rock that NYC has propagated since its earliest rock days but when it comes to national movements often gets discouragingly stuck on the back burner. DR's second release Greedy Dogs, named after the title track that rants on hypocrites, liars, thieves, war mongers, crooked leaders & other greedy dogs, was composed & written in the wake of economic depression. But, Greedy Dogs doesn't look at our collapsing society from the expected point of view of daily woes & broken hearts & no money or work but instead takes quite a descriptive poetic approach that adds up to a lyrical search for a moral path of righteousness, fairness & hope through themes of bullies & resistance, true self awareness & giving up, materialism & evil. The goal of the album's mood can almost be summed up in "Promised Land" with: "Wonderin’ if the lights will lead me to my doom/Open the gates of gold & sweet perfumes/I’ve been waiting for the turn of tides/Wings so I can fly so high/No more afflictions/No more pain to bear/Take to me to the Promised Land/Oh, please take me, take me now". To match such heavy tomes of woe DR rip out some metal with a strong rhythm section & thick riffing guitars, conjuring up bands like Rage Against The Machine, early Metallica, Danzig & Dee Snider's Widowmaker. DR creates music that is animalistic & even a little bit sleazy glam in that NYC way where solos don't slide smoothly in & out of the mix but come out almost awkwardly as if they're trying to squeeze into the party uninvited. DR keep up a steady chunky guitar rhythm on all their songs, but the rhythms never get carried away or too wild nor do the guitars distract from the singing. Though, sometimes one does wish the guitars were a bit less rhythmically dense & a bit more individually prominent at times taking advantage of having two of them which allows for interplaying dynamics more than just shadowing each other. It should be mentioned some great bass playing which gets a lot of moments to come out of the mix & uniquely shine on it own (i.e. "Remedy") carrying the whole song into some nice contrasting softer moments. Filipino Adrian Barrios is a strong voiced frontman that keeps a bit of a growl in his tenor, who also puts in a strong presence on stage for those lucky enough to see the band, though the live show lacks the backing vocal chorus punch the studio offers that gives a nice added dimension.

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