(9/10) When Richie Kotzen (g), Billy Sheehan (b) and Mike Portnoy (d) make common cause with each other, the result must be good, regardless if we call the band supergroup or not. Those guys have proven over years that they belong to the spearhead of musicians in their field of expertise.
The Winery Dogs is the name of the band this trio formed in 2012. Los Angeles, Carloforina was the cradle of this fantastic three-piece that got quite some attention already from day one onwards.
It took till 2013 that The Winery Dogs released their debut album simply called "The Winery Dogs". Their first longplayer was immediately followed by a live album the band recorded in Japan before they went back into the studio to record their second strike. "Hot Streak" is the name of this album which is another masterpiece of modern hardrock which combines modern sounds with classic rock in an excellent way.
Thirteen new rock anthems are captured on this CD that shows again the musician extraordinaire of the three guys. And even after so many years in so many different bands the trio is full of creativity that just wants to get out of them.
"Oblivion" marks the beginning of this exciting hardrock trip. This opener starts like a complex prog metal track before a fast beat leads to a higher paced hardrocker that combines complexity and catchiness.
"Captain Love" is different - like each of the tracks on "Hot Streak". It's build on a slow and mean AC/DC-like riff with an rough bluesy appeal. "Hot Strteak", title track, reminds in the verse to Whitesnake and I noticed for the first time how much Kotzen's voice can sound like David Coverdale. I love this track.
Billy Sheehan's bass kicks-off "How Long" before with "Empire" another melodic rocker takes over.
The album also has its silent moments. "Fire" is a soulful and emotional ballad that is very well-crafted. I think that this melancholic tune has the potential to get a charts entry; if it would be released as a single. Those guys know how to move people.
"Ghost Town" is a sphereful tune that sounds like fog that slowly disappears and gives space to the sun. Portnoy's drums start "The Bridge" which is a riff based rock song a la Mr. Big followed by "War Machine". The title makes you think about a hard smasher but actually it's a more complext tune with an acoustic part embedded half way. The different instruments get a lot of space here. Kotzen's solo is one part, but also Sheehan's bass gets some moments and the same goes for Portnoy's drums. Actually this is the red thread through the entire album. World class musicians don't need ego trips. It's the combination of all this extraclass that enriches The Winery Dog's music by putting the song into the spotlight.
"Spiral" is a more creepy groover that shows a new side of The Winery Dogs. And it's great to discover this side of the band.
We are coming closer to the end. "Devil You Know" is a more straight-forward number that leads to the blues of "Think It Over" - a piece of music that gives you the shivers.
"Hot Streak" is one of the most divers hardrock records I have heard since quite a while. However, all this variety fits together and has common trademarks that makes The Winery Dogs to a special band which hopefully will enjoy us for quite some more years with their awesome creative output. "Hot streak' is a 'must' for each hardrock fan.
- Captain Love
- Hot Streak
- How Long
- Ghost Town
- The Bridge
- War Machine
- Devil You Know
- Think It Over
- The Lamb
Release Date EU: October 2nd, 2015