Album Review – Tokyo Motor Fist

Tokyo Motor Fist
(Frontiers srl)

I sat down to listen to this album finally. Yeah, I know it’s been out a bit, but the real world has been consuming all my time lately and for that dear reader, I apologize.

Now, I know that this lineup features members from previously established bands. Namely DANGER DANGER singer Ted Poley and guitarist/producer Steve Brown of TRIXTER with the rhythm section of Greg Smith (TED NUGENT, RAINBOW, ALICE COOPER) and Chuck Burgi (RAINBOW, BLUE ÖYSTER CULT, JOE LYNN TURNER) backing them.

I was sincerely thinking this would be just another one of those flatly produced, lifeless albums from past stars that seems to be clogging up the already hard to navigate world of new Hard Rock. There’s so many of those kinds of albums out there that should have just never happened.

This is not one of those albums.

Right out of the gate, the production breathes and allows the music to come to life. Poley’s vocals are still as good today as they were in his Danger Danger days. From the first track “Picking Up The Pieces” (which I do think the chorus needs some “speeding up”) through “Love Me Insane” and “Shameless” there’s a lot of great work shining through. Lush guitars and keyboards and some solid driving rhythms that harken me back to not only the hey day of the members former bands, but even a touch of everything that made that era so great in the first place.

So many groups seem to be so afraid of truly revisiting that era in fear of sounding “dated”. Sorry, but in my book, anything that sounds so good and fresh is anything but “dated”.

The basic of tempo of “Black And Blue” gives way to a nice perky double beat filled (yeah, I said “perky”. Sorry but its just good head bobbing music here) “You’re My Revolution”.

Things slow down for “Don’t Let Me Go”. A nice throwback to the days of what a real power ballad should sound like. Excuse me for a moment, but my lighter seems to be overheating here…

A driving “Put Me To Shame” pulls the album back up to speed with some choruses that remind me of something Lita Ford might have done. Geez, it almost sounds just like a Lita Ford song actually! That’s a good thing though. I had to play this song a couple of more times before I could move on, It’s pretty damn good.

Okay, now we move on to “Done To Me”, a groove laden, riffin’, smooth rockin’ tune followed by “Get You Off My Mind”, a song that reminds me a bit of old school Bon Jovi (its probably that drum intro that sounds a bit like it came from the intro“Lay Your Hands On Me”) and of course Danger Danger.

And lastly we have “Fallin’ Apart”. A good uptempo ending to a pretty solid album.

As I stated earlier, I think that the song “Picking Up The Pieces” could use a slightly different chorus structure speed wise for my own taste, but other than that, this record is almost flawless.

Fans of Bon Jovi, TNT, Trixter and yes, Danger Danger’s first two albums would be wise to pick this gem up and add it to your collection.

-Chris G.

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