Ok, why did it take so long to join the party? To be honest, I’m new here. I have been listening to Rock Sugar for a couple years now and even at that I was late to the Rock Sugar party. These guys, voice actors and accomplished music engineering skills combined, have brought some great pop and rock tunes together as one! While the high note vocals are often the weak part in the “reimagining” of these songs, they still are fun.
Better than a cover band at a local dive, not quite as good as the original, I can see a market for this simply because of the amount of artists/songs they cover are not around anymore or alive for that matter to hear the real thing, and those that are, are on they way to “retirement”. That being said I suppose if there had been a market this release would have moved better in the 4 years it took to review it! Niche market, let’s go with that.
If you love metal and only metal; you won’t like this. If you are only into pop, I’m not sure how you ended up here reading this. If for some wild and crazy reason you listen to many genres of music you should like this. Pop and metal are not that far apart, don’t listen to Lars. So, onto the music of the night. These are mashups in a sense, not remixes though. They all feature original vocals, in fact, all the music is re-recorded by these musicians: Singer: Jess Harnell, drummer: Alexander Track, Lead guitar: Chuck Duran, various bassists.
- “Don’t Stop The Sandman”: smart starting song with an ultra popular bar/karaoke/arena tune; “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey and the aforementioned drummers band Metallica’s “Enter Sandman”. Very good mashup.
- “We Will KickStart Your Rhapsody”: most people may skip this in the first 45 seconds on the weakness of “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen, hold on it gets better once “Kickstart My Heart” by Motley Crue kicks in combined with “We Will Rock You” by Queen. A weaker mashup to me.
- “Crazy Girl”: Kudos on a fine duplication of an awesome Randy Rhoads opening guitar riff from Ozzy Osbourne’s “Crazy Train”. Strangely the mix into Rick Springfield’s “Jessie’s Girl” is abrupt. Still, it is a fun listen.
- “Voices in The Jungle”: I admit it, I love “Voices Carry” by ‘Til Tuesday. In this version, a guy voice doesn’t cut it. I need to hear “hush-hush” in that innocent voice of a girl. There seems to be more “Welcome To The Jungle” by G N’ R front and center in this mashup.
- “Here Comes The Fool You Wanted”: how many songs can we mash together? Begins with Bon Jovi’s “Wanted Dead or Alive” and moves quickly into “Here Comes the Rain Again” by The Eurythmics as well as their “Sweet Dreams” song. These songs combine well together. Listen closely and you will hear “Nobody’s Fool” music at the end from Cinderella.
- “Shook Me Like a Prayer”: ok now we are talking! 2 great songs, yes I am about to tell you my adoration of Madonna’s “Like A Prayer”. Starts with AC/DC tuneage of “You Shook Me All Night Long” combined with the lyrics of Madonna. What a terrific mix. I can see the burning crosses to this day and black Jesus! Awesome track! Surprise those are “Hells Bells” in there too.
- “Straight To Rock City”: Ok I am not sure who thinks Paula Abdul’s “Straight Up” mixes well with “Detroit Rock City” from KISS. It doesn’t. Both songs separately are great songs. Maybe it’s the 70s hating the 80s here. I have a fascination, being a KISS fan, to listen though. I enjoy hearing odd versions of their songs, again I think this song suffers from a dude singing a very girl song.
- “Prayin’ For A Sweet Weekend”: Now here we have a party mix! “Livin’ On A Prayer” from Bon Jovi, “Working For The Weekend” from Loverboy and “Sweet Child O’ Mine” from G N’ R. These mash very well together, the vocals seem softer as well, not nearly as gruff!
- “Heaven and Heaven”: Why not just call it Heaven? This one sounds fairly unique in the guitar, doesn’t sound like either song from Bryan Adams or Warrant. Good though! Like this one too.
- “Breakin’ The Love”: “I’m Not In Love” from 10cc combined with “Breakin’ The Law” by Judas Priest. Not sure I get this one, sounds like both songs are just playing at the same time.
- “I Love Sugar On Me”: well done using the Historia opening of “Pour Some Sugar On Me” from Def Leppard. Mixed with “I Love Rock n’ Roll” by Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, works very well. Who doesn’t like Rock n’ Roll and Sugar?
- “Round and Separated”: Is this divorce court or a song? Oh, it’s a Ratt song, that makes sense with a Journey song, “Separate Ways”. Or does it? No, it does not. Two fine songs that should not be married says the judge.
- “Dreaming of a Whole Lotta Breakfast”. Must be the hangover. Since I’m hungry as well here are the mixed songs you read while I munch: “Dream On” by Aerosmith, “Whole Lotta Love” by Led Zeppelin and their “Stairway To Heaven”, “Breakfast in America” from Supertramp. Well done. They left the most complex mashup until the end and I can hear why. This is very good and satisfies.
If you like to whip something fun out at a party, and not get slapped or taken to jail, put on these songs, they are sure to be noticed.
Songs that Mix well: “Don’t Stop The Sandman” / “Shook Me Like A Prayer” / “Prayin’ For A Sweet Weekend” / “I Love Sugar On Me” / “Dreaming of a Whole Lotta Breakfast”.
Blair De Abreu