October , 2015
Review by Chris Br
The Winery Dogs
Loud N' Proud Records
By Chris Br, TheShopRadio.com
It’s hard to get excited when the next super group is introduced. The next bunch of guys from around the block multiple times are here, so when the Winery Dogs debuted, it took those not paying attention by storm. Mike Portnoy (Percussion, Dream Theater, Avenged Sevenfold, Adrenaline Mob) Billy Sheehan ( Bass, Mr. Big, David Lee Roth) and Richie Kotzen (Guitars, Mr. Big, Poison) have pretty much owned it and are still riding on that Hot Streak the title of their latest release.
Hot Streak opens with their first single, “Oblivion”, a song that is all high energy and seems to just fall together in the first example of great power pop. This is an out of control love song, with great arrangements. Richie Kotzen burns the frets on this one, and the whole album for that matter, and the timing changes are typical Winery Dogs. It’s one of the great things about them, the timing changes. They are going for the Classic Rock sound and they nail it in both sound and energy.
“Captain Love” carries that feeling forward musically. This song does it mean, on the wild and dangerous side. “Another lost cause, she’s messing with a lot of things” as the envelope gets pushed, and you know exactly what that means. Age is a number in your head, that’s all. Kotzen makes it clear- “I’m 45, but 18 in the clutch. That woman, she’s calling Captain Love.”
Hot Streak’s title track is Richie Kotzen’s playground. The song is a challenge overall, but it showcase the power sound this band is known for, then puts Kotzen’s guitar player front and center, followed by Billy’s bass. They are reminiscent of classic power pop bands, with some classic album rock thrown in. Remember those instrument showcase solos?
The Winery Dogs fit the times and carry the past all at once. Other great tracks on this album are “Empire,” an upbeat rocker, “Fire”, a breakup balled with nice acoustic work, “Think it over,” which so retro it’s got a wah wah pedal and a Fender Roads keyboard. And you know what? They make it sound new! The band introduces something a little different in each song, taking an old music element and making it new- not by simple reuse, but by adding their mark to it. A great example is “How Long” where Billy sings in harmony with his guitar playing for extended periods. You know you’ve heard this before, but not this way! Hot Streak is the album to have for a taste into top shelf classic rock/power pop.