Tag Archives: ray west

Favorite Albums of 2009 by Chip Midnight

Guess I’m not going to be looked at as a trendsetter this year. Believe me, I’m as surprised as anyone that my two favorite releases of the year were put out by bands that were active in the hair metal community in the late ’80s. But when I went back and scanned through iTunes to see what I listened to the most, these are the ones that were clear cut favorites.

1. Danger DangerRevolve
The best CD of 1989 was released 20 years late! This b-list hair metal band brought original singer Ted Poley back for a reunion album filled with big hooks (“Hearts on the Highway”), bigger choruses (“That’s What I’m Talking About”), songs about girls (“Rocket to Your Heart”), guitar solos (“Ghost of Love”), and power ballads (“Fugitive”). Def Leppard and Bon Jovi’s recent efforts didn’t sound nearly this good.
Listen: Keep On Keepin’ On

2. Ray WestAll Pointz West
Spread Eagle’s Ray West was my favorite singer from the sleaze-glam era (early ’90s). His solo debut may have been 15+ years in the making, but it was worth it as he updates Spread Eagle’s sound (which was similar to Skid Row, Guns N’ Roses, Motley Crue) by making it heavier and more aggressive (ala Godsmack, Disturbed, Killswitch Engage). I listened to this CD more than anything else this past summer.

3. The DamnwellsOne Last Century
My fears that The Damnwells were done were unjustified and proven false when the band released this FREE album in February. The older carryovers (“55 Pictures”, “Bastards of Midnight”, “Down with the Ship”) were my favorites initially but I grew to love the collaborations Alex Dezen did with his wife, Angela (“Dandelion”, “Like it Is”), just as much as anything the band has previously done.
Download:One Last Century (full CD)

4. Jason LytleYours Truly, The Commuter
Halfway through 2009, this album was my favorite. Though it’s billed under Lytle’s name, it’s really just an extension of the singer’s Grandaddy sound (spacey/dreamy indie-pop) and “Brand New Sun” may be one of the best, simplest pop songs released this year.
Watch: Brand New Sun

5. The Prairie CartelWhere Did All My People Go?
Blake Smith and Mike Willison hinted at their electro-pop/sample fascination as members of the short-lived alt.rock band Caviar but bring that fascination to full fruition (along with Local H’s Scott Lucas) on The Prairie Cartel’s long overdue debut (most of these songs were on a demo CD the guys gave me at SXSW back in ’07). The versatility of the music allows The Prairie Cartel to perform it live as either a full band or in a DJ setting with Lucas singing over pre-recorded sounds loaded onto an iPod.
Download: Beautiful Shadow

Continue reading

Interview: Ray West (ex-Spread Eagle)

I’ve written about my love of early ’90s sleaze metal band Spread Eagle before, including interviewing former bassist Rob DeLuca.

Spread Eagle singer Ray West just released his first solo album under the name All Pointz West (it’s the first thing he’s released – not counting a 3-song EP with the band Hostel, Inc. a year or two ago- in over 15 years) and it shies away from the early ’90s sound and goes for a much more contemporary metal sound.

Check out the interview I did with Ray over on AtomicNed.com.

Sebastian Bach on tour with Poison

Baz and Rob DeLuca

My birthday was yesterday. I didn’t celebrate. My real present came Sunday night courtesy of Rob DeLuca, bassist for Sebastian Bach‘s band, who hooked me up with killer seats for the Poison/Dokken/Sebastian Bach show at The Schott in Columbus. I’ve been a fan(atic) of DeLuca’s since his days slinging bass for Spread Eagle and though the band never blew up the way they should have, I still tell people about driving DeLuca and singer Ray West to a party in Akron after a Spread Eagle show at the Akron Agora in ’90 or ’91.

If you thinking about checking out one of the upcoming shows – there are still a month and a half of dates left – do yourself a HUGE favor and get your ass to the arena early to check out Baz and his band tear things up (here’s my review of the Columbus show).

After the jump … Rob DeLuca answers some questions I sent him via email on an off day on the tour.

Continue reading