There existed a time period in the early 1990’s when the shift of the prevailing musical trend moved from melodic metal (AKA Hair Metal or Glam Metal) to Grunge. During this transition, many very good hard rock/metal bands fell through the cracks of the collective public consciousness as their record labels made the decision to promote bands following the hotter genre of the moment. Many of these bands languished and eventually disappeared altogether. However, a few of these bands found ways to survive via the strength of their live performances. One such band is Every Mother’s Nightmare, based out of Memphis, Tennessee. They received a lot of attention for their self-titled album in 1990, with their hit single “Love Can Make You Blind”, which became a staple on MTV’s Headbanger’s Ball.
On October 6, 2017, Every Mother’s Nightmare (EMN for short) are set to release their 6th studio album, Grind on HighVolMusic. The band self-released a 5 song EP of the same name in 2015. This full-length album, their first in 15 years, includes those 5 songs plus 3 new studio tracks and 3 live tracks.
Many things have changed since their 1990 debut. Vocalist Rick Ruhl is the sole original member, but has surrounded himself with outstanding musicians. Ruhl has moved on from the spandex, leather and makeup of the Glam Metal era to a long haired country boy in jeans look, but the one thing that has remained the same is the music.
This album starts off strong with the catchy “Loco Crazy”, filled with monster guitar riffs supplied by Zach Myers of Shinedown. EMN invited other friends to help them on this album as well. Wayne Swinny (Saliva) lays down some guitar licks on “Snake”, a tune with a more modern sound that still fits with the rest of the tracks. “Stand Up” (featuring guest vocals by Jim Dandy) is foot-stomping, Southern Rock goodness.
Grind has several great songs with a bluesy, Southern hard rock sound including “Upper Hand”, “Sacred Circle” and “Swing Again”. On the lighter side is “Blown Away”, which is a pure rock tune. “Days Are Through” is a bit of a power ballad with a raw edge.
However, EMN know their strength is in their high energy live performances, which is the primary reason Grind concludes with three fan favorites – “Closet Down The Hall”, “Walls Come Down” and “Push”. After hearing these, you will understand how the band has survived nearly 30 years with only 6 albums. Ruhl knows how to work an audience and the rest of the band sounds fantastic. These selections made me feel like I was in the audience at Minglewood Hall in Memphis, Tennessee where they were recorded.
From the first track to the last, Grind is a fantastic release, filled with great hard rock songs tinged with the band’s Southern influences and a dash of modern flavor. Ruhl‘s voice has taken on a more gravelly tone over the years, but it suits him and the music. If you missed out on Every Mother’s Nightmare the first time around, I encourage you to give them a listen this time. This album is pure, fun rock and roll that will transport you back to simpler times. Turns out that Every Mother’s Nightmare is actually every music lover’s dream.