Released: 2004, Steamhammer/SPV/Playground Music
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall
The legendary Carmine Appice who’s played with Ozzy, Ted Nugent, Cactus, Blue Murder and was the leader of King Kobra and acts like Pink Floyd and Rod Stewart amongst others have now started up a band together with Pat Travers. Pat has been one of Americas most reckoned blues/rock guitarists for over thirty years. Pat plays the guitar but he also does lead vocals in this trio which also consists of T.M Stevens who played with Little Steven, Steve Vai and Tina Turner.
This power trio has gotten together and recorded “IT TAKES A LOT OF BALLS” and the album is oozing with sheer energy and power. I would describe this as being retro 70’s hardrock combined with more southern blues heavy rock’n’roll. Some of the 13 tracks on the album leans more towards the southern blues heavy rock’n’roll side but they have also added a few ballads to mix it up a bit. The lasting impression of the album is shattered though. The cover doesn’t help you at all to figure out what music this is as it looks very odd and ugly.
As always Carmine has an incredibly stable and varied drum-play and together with T.M creates a very tight rhythm section. Carmine sure knows how to handle the drums even though he has done, seen from a hardrockers point of view, some strange career choices like co-writing the Rod Stewart hits “DO YOU THINK I’M SEXY” and “YOUNG TURKS” and playing live with the same man as well.
Pat has a very fitting voice for this music that works brilliant and his guitar playing is really stunning. About the 13 tracks Carmine says “The album was written almost exclusively at the studio and the material seemed to almost write itself there”.
Some of the better songs on this shattered album are “BETTER FROM A DISTANCE”; “TAKEN (THE IGUANA SONG)”; “REMIND ME”; “ROCK ME” and “KEEP ON ROCKIN”. “HEY YOU” is an impressive ballad that could possibly become a real radio hit if they release it as a single. Pat’s voice works much better in the calmer songs. He’s not a great singer but he’s voice sounds much better in the slower songs where he finds the time to really use his voice properly.
These three gentlemen have partly succeeded with making a really good album. Sure there are some strong songs but the album feels a bit too shattered to me. It sounds like they have made compromises in the song department and have written half of the songs by themselves instead of together. The quality varies and I think they have put too many tracks on the record. Maybe it would have been enough with only 10 instead of 13. But at the end these guys are legends and knows what they’re doing. Their extraordinary skills on each instrument saves this album to a mid-rating.
More info about the band