Saturday, July 23, 2011

Pop Evil-War of Angels (Deluxe Edition)

E1 Music

I have to claim ignorance on this one folks. Suggested by a friend the group Pop Evil were alien to me. One short visit to Wikipedia later and I learned that the band was formed in 2001 and that their debut album (Lipstick on the Mirror) was released in 2008. Featuring the radio "favorites" (whose radio and whose favorites being subjective) "Hero", "Somebody Like You", "100 in a 55", and "Stepping Stone" the album was a hot seller and allowed the band the opportunity to hit the road with Judas Priest. With Pop Evil described as all of the following: hard rock, alternative metal and post-grunge I approached their new album War of Angels with little in the way of expectations. Not a bad way to look at it because hey, there is nowhere to go but up right? With that "Last Man Standing" kicks in. First track and maybe my friend is onto something. Sure this is radio rock (metal?) here. But at least it's a foot stomper. Nothing more than that I'm afraid. It does have "single" written all over it. You'll no doubt notice I've been on a post-Black album Metallica kick lately in describing this sort of heavy music. It's something to think that songs like "Enter Sandman" had as much influence on bands as grunge leaders like Alice In Chains and Stone Temple Pilots did. Now "Epitaph" continues that heavy handed hard rock/heavy metal vibe. Listening to Pop Evil and your certain to come away with the feeling that they really like Cowboys From Hell (Pantera) and listened to a lot of classic rock radio. AC/DC, Judas Priest and the Cult run through these opening numbers in spirit and that might not be such a bad thing. By the time "Broken & Betrayed" comes rolling along I could see where this one might be worth more than a listen. Too bad that feeling faded as the album went on. Sure maybe you could make the case that "Boss's Daughter" draws a nice line from 80's hard rock/glam/sleeze to modern day radio bands like Pop Evil. I'd buy that. Problem is that other than those 3-4 songs the rest of this drops down into miserable Nickleback territory. Not just the softer rock variety. No sir we are talking ballads here folks and boy are they bad. They stink like yesterday's milk left out in the hot sun. Playing both sides of the field is nothing new. Rockers and ballads go hand in hand and have so since the guitar first got electrified. Rarely though have things been so extreme between good and awful. War of Angels might be dressed up like its got something to say. You can't tear out of the gates though spitting fire and then declare a pillow fight. Bad form gentlemen. Bad form....


Blogger Metal Mark said...

I heard their previous album and just couldn't get into it. It was just very dull.

6:46 PM  
Blogger Ray Van Horn, Jr. said...

Definitely not into this AOR vibe, but they've sold out their venues, so they probably don't care what any of us think.

6:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When they rock, I really dig these guys. The problem is: Their ballads are horrible! I mean, "oh my freakin' RJD this sucks" horrible.

7:00 AM  
Blogger Andy said...

You hit it right Anoymous. When they rock I like the sound. Nothing brillant and it might just be AOR like you said Ray. The problem is that the sappy love songs ruin everything! It is like two seperate bands!

8:59 AM  

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