The Gray Lions: Run Wild
On the surface the two men behind The Gray Lions might seem like a bit of an unlikely pairing. In one corner we have Mark Hudson who is an established producer, musician (The Hudson Brothers) and songwriter and in the other corner, Marc Rubinstein a musician at heart who ran the famed Pig Light Show (a psychedelic liquid light show) at The Fillmore East in the 60's. A chance meeting at the Rock n' Roll Fantasy Camp in 2007 eventually led to discussions of a collaboration after Hudson heard some of Rubinstein's original compositions and was suitably knocked out. After some delays, largely due to Hudson's hectic schedule the duo has finally unleashed their debut effort entitled Run Wild.
So what does the music sound like you ask? Well for the most part the material on this thirty seven minute CD is pretty much a straight up, classic rock sounding affair, but with a modern twist. Rubinstein's wah-wah drenched guitar solos and Hudson's swirling organ are featured prominently throughout, especially on the first two tracks "Lost My Woman" and "Who Do You Love". These two songs also reveal the duo's propensity for soaring, layered background vocals as well as a whack load of cowbell! "Luck Of The Draw" and "The Forgotten Man" both reek of Southern bred boogie, while "Love Comes Soon" finds Rubinstein tearing into a slow blues and dishing out some absolutely scorching solos. Amid the abundance of killer hooks and melodies there's even a bit of Zappa weirdness happening on "Smaug's Revenge".
While Run Wild isn't exactly groundbreaking stuff, the music that these two unique individuals have come up with on this debut effort sounds so natural that it fits like a glove. If you're looking for a good, old fashioned, no holds barred, good time, rock 'n roll record then I think you'll find that The Gray Lions are up to the task. Oh, but guys, if I could make a suggestion for the next album, could we please have some more cowbell?!
1) Lost My Woman
2) Who Do You Love
3) Crimes Of Passion
4) Luck Of The Draw
5) Love Come Soon
6) The Forgotten Man
7) It Just Ain't Enough
8) Disarming Prince Charming
9) Don't Do It
10) Smaug's Revenge
11) Years Of Gold
12) You Were Wrong
Added: February 2nd 2011
Reviewer: Ryan Sparks
Related Link: The Gray Lions
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|The Gray Lions: Run Wild
Posted by Mark Johnson, SoT Staff Writer on 2011-02-03 07:03:39
The Gray Lions are made up of hard rocking tour veterans Mark Rubinstein on guitars and vocals; John T. Leight, bass; J.A. Landry, drums and percussion; and Mark Hudson on vocals, guitars, and keyboards. They play '70s and '80s era rock and roll and do it with pizzazz. The gray may be freely flowing through their hair, but the music still rocks from their souls.
If you can imagine the Ramones meet Meatloaf, you can draw a pretty good comparison to what you will hear in this album. This is a great trip back to the past with some new songs and lyrics to add to your collection.
"Lost My Woman" is a track right out of the '70s archives. In fact, they even use "one is the loneliest number" in the refrain. The track opens with a Queen like, operatic vocal harmony. The rest of the song rocks. Guitars, organ, heavy drums and power hard rock the way we remember it.
"Who Do You Love" is a crunching power drum and heavy electric guitar, '80s big hair anthem, ala Kiss or the Scorpions. Great guitar solos and fantastic drums in support.
"Crimes of Passion" has a musical, Grease - like feel to it, especially with the support of the backing vocals. Up-tempo beat, bass, and guitar with good vocals.
"Luck of the Draw" is a power guitar rocker ala Kiss. It's full of heavy drums, backing vocal chorus and power lead electric guitar riffs. The electric guitar solos are great.
"Love Come Soon" is a slow blues by piano song. The electric guitar blends well with the organ to create the desired effect of a slow day of waiting, filled with the perfect drum beat. The grinding guitar is the perfect narrator.
"The Forgotten Man" starts off with rambling drums, and turns into a '50s rollicking rock song full of bouncy beats and rhythms.
"It Just Ain't Enough" is a good mix between '50s rock and the punk scene of the '80s, ala the Ramones. The choral harmonies in support pushes the song closer to that Grease/'50s sound. The edginess of the lyrics moves it closer to punk.
"Disarming Prince Charming" opens with drums and organ. A story filled with electric lead and drums. The whole production is beginning to sound like something between Meatloaf and the Ramones. The vocalist has a Ramones/NYC sound, but the choral support helps keep the music in the Meatloaf realm of rock.
"Don't Do It" feels more and more like a '50s kinda rock opera story, complete with that choral support. This one pushes it closer and closer to the Meatloaf realm.
"Smaug's Revenge" opens with solid drums and electric guitar. This is more of a narrated, Frank Zappa – like song. Imagine Frank wrote a song about the fictional character in the novel The Hobbit. It might sound like this.
"Years of Gold" opens like a J. Geils song, complete with that J. Geils/Springsteen organ. The drums are perfect and really help pick up the beat and drive the sound. A carefree, 'I'm gonna make it despite the odds' song.
"You Were Wrong" opens fast like a Neil Young power guitar and drum rocker. The melody and rhythm are similar to "Rockin' in the Free World". This one comes at you full force. The only thing missing is the cowbell. Some of the percussion even simulates the sound. More of that Ramones/Meatloaf mixed genre rock.
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