Sunday, March 31, 2013

Robot Lords of Tokyo-Virtue & Vice

RLOT Music

Ohio's Robot Lords of Tokyo return with their 3rd full-length album. With nine original tracks, a cover of "Night Songs" (from Cinderella's 1986 debut "Night Songs") and guest lead guitarists including Chris Poland (Megadeth), Tracy G (Dio), Wayne Findlay (Michael Schenker Group) and Steve Theado (American Dog) it's hard to find any fault in "Virtue & Vice". Yet again the band (Rick Ritzler-drums, guitar and Paul Jones-vocals, guitar) enlisted Joe Viers (Bobaflex, No Sky Today) as a producer/bassist with mastering done by Richard Bengstsson (Oepth, Arch Enemy). Rhythm guitarist Beau Vanbibber (Deflagration) joins in on the bulk of these tracks and I must say how much I like the fact that this pair enlists numerous Ohio musicians to fill in the gaps. Aside from the guest guitarists above you get lead guitar work done by Ohio's own Terry Adams (ex-Trigger Zone/Throttle Z) on the killer Black Label Society-like rocker "Two In The Belly (One in the Head)". Speaking of Black Label Society (and all things southern rock) the group spices things up with sweet harmonica on "Chicken Little". It's not all southern rock grooves from this pair though as the Robot Lords of Tokyo also indulge in stoner rock, doom and hard rock. There's a distinct Clutch vibe going on here (which is all golden if you ask me), but there's splashes of  Down, C.O.C., Alabama Thunderpussy,  Monster Magnet and Motörhead as well. Or at least to these ears. I've also felt like this Ohio-based outfit had a bit of a dirty rock/biker rock edge going for them and "Virtue & Vice" just affirmed that in my mind. It's a shame their not more well-known among stoner/doom and groove metal junkies though as the riffs are heavy as hell and these guys know how to throw shit down! By the time the 9 minute "Through Perdition's Flames" wraps things up you feel as if you've been thrown to the lions, chewed up and spit back out with nothing but your stripped-clean bones left!  Bless the gods of rock n' roll for giving us the pair of Rick Ritzler and Paul Jones and this (much needed) smoked-out/whiskey-soaked new batch of songs. Especially as we need a counter-attack to all the crap the suits like to call "music"!

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