It's been a while since I've listened to one of Michael Monroe's albums and with his newly released 'Sensory Overdrive' album now storming out of the speakers, I'm wondering what the hell I've been doing all this time!
'Sensory Overdrive' is one hell of a feisty, kick-ass collection of tracks from the ex-Hanoi Rocks frontman Monroe and band.
Featuring the considerable talents of Sami Yaffa, Ginger (yes, that lovely reprobate from the Wildhearts!), Steve Conte and Karl 'Rockfist' Rosqvist, this is a seriously formidable bunch of musicians with multi-talented Monroe leading from the front.
Not only can this guy belt out the vocals, he's also a mean guitarist, pianist, sax and harmonica player, oh, and can play harp, drums and percussion just for good measure.
Between the lot of them, they've played with and influenced some of the biggest rock acts over the last three decades or more, and damn, it really shows on this new album.
Grabbing hold from the first punk driven guitar riffs of 'Trick Of The Wrist', a short sharp rocker, they blitz into the new single '78', a savagely fine little singalong number while 'Got Blood?' lets rip with a scorching blast of glam punk.
Superpowered 'Superfly' grooves along on a lighter more mellow note, vocal harmonies tripping alongside some fine guitars, 'Modern Day Miracle' rocks and rolls with plenty of vitriol ("Shut up, stop talking, you're giving me a headache!") and 'Bombs Away' cranks the pace back up with some wicked harmonica sliding in seamlessly amongst the monster riffs.
'Later Won't Wait' is a pure rock and roller with a twist of delightful saxophone and they then shift into the more country styling of 'Gone Baby Gone' featuring some gorgeouos vocal harmonies from Lucinda Williams. If you think this band can only do glam rock, think again.
The stomping 'Debauchery As A Fine Art' finishes off in blisteringly fine style with pounding drums, guitar necks being wrung mercilessly and the familiar growl of the inimitable Lemmy Kilminster belting out alongside Monroe.
'Sensory Overdrive' is quite simply a monster album from Michael Monroe and the boys, and with some great production from Jack Douglas (Aerosmith, Slash's Snakepit, Clutch) is a serious must for any record/cd/ ipod collection or however the hell you fancy listening to it!
Fabulously big stonking rock and roll at its best.