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Helltown Hotel
March 2011
Released: 2009, Eonian Records
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: JP

There is a new, young upstart label on the block and they are called Eonian Records. This US based label is specializing in melodic late 80’s, early 90’s American Melodic Metal and Hard Rock. They have put out a batch of great albums and over the next three months (March-May, 2011) we are going to look at nine of their most recent releases. This month (March, 2011) we will take a look at the bands Charlotte, Dear Diary and Felony.

The Indianaopolis quintet, Felony were latecomers to the US Melodic Metal scene getting started in 1989. Well, better late than never but geography and coming late to the party might have been a couple of the reasons why these guys never got signed to a major. It’s a shame because they are a very decent act. HELLTOWN HOTEL, named for the house where the band used to live and party, is a collection of the bands two main independent EP’s from 1990 and 1993 and a live cut and a couple of demos. Eonian has put together a great package with essay, liner notes, photos and the whole bit. The sound is adequate for independent recording but pretty thin at times.

The band have what it takes, the looks, the sound a very compelling blend of everything. Vocalist Tommy Lee (not that T. Lee) reminds me a bit of Vince Neil without being a clone so that’s OK. The first four songs from the debut EP are the strongest, there is more energy, more fun. Do you recall the band Roughouse? It sounds a bit like them. There is a noticeable gap of three years and stylistic evolution between the two EP’s. The second EP from 1993 is slower, has a little less grit, swagger or sneer. There is also a bit more maturity and sophistication in the song-writing so there is a trade off. The second half is also a bit heavier and darker and moves away from the Motley Crue influence.

To my ears the standout cuts are ‘Yank That Chain’, leadoff cut ‘Cat Daddy’ and the title track. 'Days Of Disease' and 'Another Hero' is surprisingly heavy for them. The rare cuts are just nice bonuses. There is no discernable reason why these guys didn’t get signed, like many other latecomers such as Sister Whiskey, Blackfish or Disturbance, so now is your chance to check them out.

Join us again in April for reviews of more Eonian artists, Legacy, Sgt. Roxx and Shake City.
Track Listing

1. Cat Daddy
2. Dancin' On My Grave
3. Heist In Helltown
4. Street Fight
5. Well Of Souls
6. To The Core
7. Lost In The Closet
8. Yank That Chain
9. Days Of Disease
10. Another Hero
11. F.I.T.H.
12. Shake The Faith
13. Heist in Helltown '93
14. Heist In Helltown (Live)
15. Mississippi Rollin' (Demo)
16. Shattered Innocence (Demo)


Tommy Lee Lords - Vocals
Dale O'Brien - Guitar
Jeff A. Parker -Guitar (5-13)
Shawn C. Nugent - Bass
Rich Grillo - Bass (15-16)
Johnny Huster - Drums
John E. William- Drums (5-13)

Other reviews

» First Works
by Anders Sandvall

» Helltown Hotel
by JP

Next review: » Fen - Carrion Skies
Previous review: » Felony - First Works

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