CD Reviews

Hotel Diablo - 'The Return To Psycho California' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     November 27, 2012    
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First album by a prototype supergroup.

This band is dripping with Hollywood flavour all over. A prototype supergroup with members of Quiet Riot,W.A.S.P. and a certain ex Adler’s Appetite vocalist to boot, they have the sleazy Rock attitude of G’n’R, the cool swagger of Mick Jagger and the dirty grooves of 70s Aerosmith. Their clothes shout Forgotten Saints and their pose shouts babe magnet. Guys want to be them and the girls just want them!

Produced by the indefatigable Gilby Clarke and assisted by Matt Starr (Ace Frehley/Beautiful Creatures) it has all the hallmarks of a Californian Rock band that eat Rock‘n’Roll in the morning, drink Rock’n’Roll in the afternoon and sweat Rock’n’Roll in the evening. Put together last year by Quiet Riot guitarist Alex Grossi (who’s also recorded with Bang Tango and Adler’s Appetite as well as being involved to various degrees with Love/Hate, Jani Lane, and Skid Row) and ex Adler vocalist Rich Stitch, they came straight off of an Adler world tour and did a one-off gig with W.A.S.P.’s rhythm section of bassist Mike Duda and drummer Mike Dupke in a club in Hollywood which sowed the seeds for this, their debut album.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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Now whether all their other commitments meant they didn’t spend much time together or what I don’t know but they’ve only come up with half an hour’s worth of new material. There are two alternate acoustic based versions of two of their eight songs and a cover of Oasis’ ‘Wonderwall’ (Yes, you read that correctly!) featured on this disc. Why on earth American Hollywood Sleaze dudes would want to cover a two pints and a packet of crisps Northern scallywags song is beyond me! They must’ve had a bad ‘trip’ in Manchester whilst touring with Adler and decided it would be a hoot!

That aside, vocalist Rich Stitch comes across as a mix of Leatherwolf’s Michael Olivieri and Cinderella’s Tom Keifer with a raspy, slightly growly vibrato that compliments Rossi’s dirty, sleazy almost Slash in places guitar that on opening track ‘Taken’ sets the scene for pretty much the whole album. A mid-paced Rocker with rolling riffs that leads into a slower, predictable second track ‘Set It Off’. The first song released from the album was ‘Bury You’ back in June and as a slower Rocker it’s saved by having a good chorus with plenty of keyboard embellishment. Elsewhere you get the Foo Fighters style effective title track ‘Psycho California’ with its driving riffs and steady drum beat and the almost Warrant ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin’ feel of ‘Wicked Lines’ where Rossi treats us to a Gibson wah wah pedal solo. ‘All These Years’ is a really good mature sounding ballad with a dirty guitar mid-break section and you feel that if the band want to keep this project going they’ll have to spend more time together and write more songs. However, I really like the fact that Duda’s bass can be heard in the mix so credit to Mr Clarke.

Not a bad start but more songs next time please guys!

Carl Buxton

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  • SeaDog57 : just an observation. I just got Issue 89 at the Bookstore and when i looked at the spine of the magazine it says "Fireworks Issue 85 Winter Jan - Mar 2019" Was this a misprint? The rest of the Magazine is Issue 89. Was just wondering did anyone else notice this?
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