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Monroe; Michael: Blackout States

After a short period out of the spotlight, the twenty-tens have seen one time Hanoi Rocks frontman Michael Monroe creating some of the best music of his career, and in the shape of Blackout States, that pattern is set to continue. To be fair, the formula hasn't really wavered, with any of the tracks on ...States almost interchangeable for any of those found on either 2011's Sensory Overdrive, or 2013's Horns And Halos. In fact if you have the good fortune to catch the double M on stage, this recent run of solo work blends seamlessly with any selections from either Hanoi Rocks, or his later, short lived band Demolition 23. Going to prove that if you do something and do it well, then why mess about with it?

With a solid band behind him of guitarists Steve Conte (New York Dolls) and Rich Jones (Ginger Wildheart), drummer Karl Rosqvist (who carries the rather wonderful nickname Rockfist) and of course, bassist Sami Yaffa, also ex-Hanoi Rocks, Monroe can do little wrong. Balls out rockers tumble forth, "This Ain't No Love Song", "Old King's Road" and "Good Old Bad Days" becoming instant sing alongs, while the aptly named "R.L.F." (which stands for rock like fuck), simply focks like ruck... or something like that…

However it isn't all party rousing anthems, "Keep Your Eyes On You" showing a classy tender side that offers up a different outlook entirely for this band, while the Ginger/Wildhearts like "Under The Northern Lights" is possibly the most irresistible of an utterly contagious bunch. Truth be told though, there isn't a missed step in sight with Monroe proving ageless in his vocal delivery and the occasion trademark blast of his saxophone ("Permanent Youth" being a fine example of the latter). Add in that his band is rammed with authentic, yet consummate musicians who know every which way around a punchy hook and Blackout State is another shining example of why Monroe has survived in the cut throat world of rock as long as he has. Many have tried to take his ramshackle rock n roll crown, but Michael Monroe has always done this sort of thing best and thankfully looks set to do so for a long time to come.

Track Listing
1. This Ain't No Love Song
2. Old King's Road
3. Goin' Down With The Ship
4. Keep Your Eye On You
5. The Bastard's Bash
6. Good Old Bad Days
7. R.L.F.
8. Blackout States
9. Under The Northern Lights
10. Permanent Youth
11. Dead Hearts On Denmark Street
12. Six Feet In The Ground
13. Walk Away
14. Break The Noose (vinyl LP bonus track)

Added: October 17th 2015
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Michael Monroe online
Hits: 1728
Language: english

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