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Black N’ Blue – Hell Yeah!

Black N’ Blue
Hell Yeah!
by Tomer "Tommy-Foxx" Darmon at 23 May 2011, 10:49 AM

Although BLACK N' BLUE has sold over a million albums over the years, I would consider them as one of the bands which didn't make it to the big time, side by side to other bands like BANGALORE CHOIR, HERRICANE ALICE, SLEEZ BEEZ. One of their highlight performances were in a Japan concert back in 1984 with their hit "Hold On To 18". Since then, the band released four excellent studio albums and currently they have released another one after so many years in order to continue the Hard Rock tradition.

The new album "Hell Yeah!" has an interesting story that describes a long way full of hardships. Since their breakup in 1989, the band reunited one more time in 1997 for a one night show and after that each one of the members continued to his own thing. BLACK N' BLUE entered the studio once again in 2003 but this time it was for the recording of the "Hell Yeah!" album. The album was initially scheduled to be released during the same year but due to some difficulties, it wasn’t.

In the meantime, singer Jamie St. James, which was BLACK N' BLUE’s original drummer, joined the Glam Metal band WARRANT as their lead singer while Tommy Thayer the guitar player joined KISS. In 2008 the band got back together with all original members backed up by a new guitarist Shawn Sonnenschein with a commitment to finish what they started, the "Hell Yeah!” album.

It was a huge excitement to hear that one of the greatest bands of the 80's, which took credit by help raising Glam Metal / Hard Rock, was releasing a new album in the new decade. "Hell Yeah!” got that pure driven vibe of the good old hard rock.

"Monkey", the opening track, a strong heavy song written well that gave the opportunity to be impressed by the rough voice of Jamie St. James and killer guitar solo of the new guy Mr. Sonnenschein, which in general made this album shine. The following "Target" represents a Rockin' spirit right from the start. The shouts of "I want it, you got it, can't live without it ", are what each rocker feels about this music. “Hail Hail” reminded me a little of an ALICE COOPER song from the “Trash” album. "Angry Drunk Son of a Bitch" got an interesting rhythm, not the regular type of Rock rhythms. Yet, the riffs were so heavy with an oriental type of guitar solo. "Falling Down" is the gold ballad with the spirit of freedom in it. There was that blink to the 70’s plus I really liked the vocal work through the chorus on this one.

"Candy"is one of the strongest songs, with some melodies of Rap Metal in the verses, and a sweeping chorus. I can't imagine how crazy they got on stage when they performed this one. The title track, "Hell Yeah!", has whatever you want, smoking guitar riffs with the bass that gave the right tunes and Jamie St. James showing how fantastic he is. "Hell Yeah!" is a damn good song, we got here a combination of a strong attitude with oriental Sonnenschein guitar touch which made it so different than the pentatonic guitar solos that you regular to hear in Glam Metal material. There were some funny moments that proved that BLACK N' BLUE had really good times in the studio like "A tribute to Hawking" or "Jamie Got The Beer".

BLACK N' BLUE’s new album is recommended for the right reasons; it is Rockin’ as hell, powerful songs, nice and professional vocal range, different and interesting guitar work of the new lead guitarist that gave a lesson about how lead guitar should sound like. The Production gave the album the right sound, each beat of a drum is wide and pleaser to the ear. So I tell you this, go fetch this one.

4 Star Rating

1. Monkey
2. Target
3. Hail Hail
4. Fools Bleed
5. C'mon
6. Jaime's Got The Beer
7. Angry Drunk Son Of A Bitch
8. So Lon
9. Trippin'
10. Falling Down
11. Candy
12. Hell Yeah!
13. World Goes Round
14. I Smell A Rat
15. A Tribute To Hawking
Jaime St. James - Vocals
Shawn Sonnenschein -  Guitars
Jeff "Woop" Warner -  Guitars, keyboards
Patrick Young - Bass
Pete Holmes - Drums
Record Label: Frontiers Records


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