Hanoi Rocks never changed the world, but they probably could have. While that was nearly 30 years ago, Michael Monroe is back again with his new band of all-stars that help him prove he can give it another go. After borrowing David Johansen’s lipstick, powder, and paint Steve Conte and Sami Yaffa have joined up with Michael Monroe for his latest effort, “Sensory Overdrive.”
Starting off with the rocking “Trick of the Wrist” the band improves the guitar riffs of Cheap Trick’s 1983 track “Borderline.” Rocking nasty habits and an ever-so-addicting refrain the track hints at the bliss of the album. Following it is the band’s latest hit single, “78.” There is not an aged mannerism to the song whatsoever, with it featuring the hottest guitar riffs on the album. Two great rockers follow “Got Blood,” and “Superpowered Superfly.” An attempt at punk, luv, and all that jazz “Got Blood” rocks out and bangs its head. “Superpowered Superfly,” written solely by ex-member Ginger, means exactly what the title states. Luckily, behind the accent of Michael Monroe words are irrelevant and the albums’ first attempt at a commercial hit can be played at maximum volume; it works. A track, or two, later “Bombs Away” kicks off. Out of the shadows casted by “Superpowered Superfly” “Bombs Away”, once again, features the blistering riffs of Steve Conte. It also has his commercially suitable, often neglected, background vocals. “All You Need,” is a beyond amazing track that tells the story of being born as “a smart ass kid.” [How come when Hanoi Rocks reformed they couldn’t recreate this, weren’t they smart ass kids?] With another knock out blow, “All You Need” kicks so much ass it will most likely become number one in a country like Scandinavia. The album recharges, taking a breath with the ballad(?) “Gone Baby Gone” featuring Lucinda Williams. Giving it one last go, The Conte penned “Center of Your Heart” takes the album to the top; while, the closing track “Debauchery As a Fine Art” (featuring Lemmy) winds the album down and leaves the listener begging for more.
“Sensory Overdrive” proves that Michael Monroe doesn’t need a walker to dance backwards in high heels. Jack Douglas keeps the band in line and one cannot help to realize the FUN in the album. While “Sensory Overdrive” lacks sophisticated lyrics and the existentialist reality of the world, the album does kicks major ass, a feat that an album, as a whole, rarely accomplishes. Glammed up, polished, and shaved the Michael Monroe Band, with its new release “Sensory Overdrive,” is ready to take over the world.
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