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Bad Bones - High Rollers Award winner

Bad Bones
High Rollers
by Kevin Burke at 16 December 2018, 5:00 PM

BAD BONES, the Italian rock-gods return with their fifth album titled “High Rollers”, on the back of their exceptional 2017 which saw the band tour the world on the back of “Demolition Derby”, reaching new heights and new audiences. The confidence is at a high and has translated directly into this release, “High Rollers” is a ten-track all-killer no-filler affair of late 70's and early 80's sounding rock, metal, sleaze punctuated with excellent musicianship.

As we press play to unleash the beast, “American Days” is a homage to the sounds of glam, the bass of Steve Balocco is prominent in the mix lending weight to their metal credibility, but the voice of Max Malmerenda has been dug out of the sands of Venice Beach in Los Angeles, this is that old school flair which grunge murdered as is sorely missed. “Lost Again” is a track which pumps from the start, a slight VAN HALEN feel to it without the repetitive cliches, although Sergio Aschieris is an exceptional guitarist, not over used, but the tactful inclusion of solos which do not dominate the overall sound.

As “Wild Rose” kicks off you forget easily that these guys are European, they do come across as sponges of that eighties sound of rock, here though Max Malmerenda comes across as a more masculine Jon Bon Jovi, more in-line with Vince Neil, it is a highly enjoyable listen. “Midnight Rider” opens with a nice bang of drums by Lele Balocco, when the rest of the band comes thundering back in again, all instruments are standing out in the mix, none of the band are left lost or left behind, they work as a unit, one single combat machine of intense power.  They do slow down for “Solitary Fields”, high-pitched crying guitar and reflective subjects make a break within the album.

Blood Trails” is quite simply an all out assault, hints of SCORPIONS in the delivery, a shift from the stateside sounds of the first part of the album, indeed this sound carries through into “Wolf Town”, which has the most explosive guitar solo on the album, the Randy Rhoads songbook has been studied by Sergio Aschieris who puts his own personal touches on it.

As the album closes with a ballsy cover of the STEVE MILLER BAND classic “Rock ‘N Me” it actually makes perfect sense a homage to the FM Radio sounds of the past which has influenced the sound and style of this outfit, the shared vocal on the song shows BAD BONES are enjoying themselves here and throughout the album, they are on the cusp of greatness, nothing getting too cocky about it but simply enjoying the ride.
Lovers of old-school eighties that want a fresh sound this is right up your street.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 7
Memorability: 9
Production: 10

4 Star Rating

1. American Days
2. Lost Again
3. Wild Rose
4. Midnight Rider
5. Solitary Fields
6. Now Or Never
7. Blood Trails
8. Wolf Town
9. Story Of A Broken Bone
10. Rock’n Me
Max Malmerenda – Vocals
Sergio Aschieris – Guitar
Steve Balocco – Bass
Lele Balocco – Drums
Record Label: Sliptrick Records


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Edited 01 April 2023

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