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4.7 out of 5 stars57
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 30 September 2013
This is a very good album, but not quite a 'classic'.
These three virtuoso musicians have put together some killer hard rock here, music that is both powerful yet melodic. The vocals are surprisingly good, and the lyrics are sound. Most of the tracks have excellent choruses, big hooks that stick in my head, so I can't help humming them after playing the album.
However, there's also quite a bit of 'showboating' or 'showing off' in the musicianship department, and I think some restraint should have been shown in this regard. I guess these guys couldn't resist throwing in some serious 'chops' just to remind the listener how clever and accomplished they are. Still, it's their album so why not? These slightly over-the-top moments let the album down a bit in my opinion, although they don't actually detract too much from the main focus of the tunes.
Anyway, it's all good & exciting rock,...turn it up and annoy your neighbourhood!
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on 11 January 2014
After this band got recommended to me by a friend and I saw who was in the band I had to check this out. The Winery Dogs are a supergroup of sorts, featuring ex-Dream Theater, among others, drummer Mike Portnoy, Poison/Mr Big guitarist Richie Kotzen and Mr Big bassist Billy Sheehan but this isn't some musicians showing off, The Winery Dogs are a proper rock band and this debut album of bluesy, funky rock demonstrates that. The first two tracks, Elevate and Desire prove that this band can play and also that Richie Kotzen is a fine singer to, bringing to mind Chris Cornell at times. Even slower tracks such as the brilliant The Dying hit the spot to. Not every song is brilliant, maybe, but as debuts go, The Winery Dogs are off to a great start.

My copy is the Japanese version(which I wasn't aware I was receiving) and therefore omits the song Time Machine in favour of bonus song, Criminal. Having checked out the Alice in Chains-ish Time Machine, that's a decent song to but Criminal also fits well into the album. Either way, fans of the likes of Cream, Free, Zeppelin etc should be impressed!
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on 19 August 2013
Ordered this before it was released as I knew it would be brilliant, but it exceeded all my expectations. The best rock album of 2013, and then some. This band is truly greater than the sum of it's parts, and Richie, Billy and Mike are all at the top of their respective fields. Biggest surprise though.......Richie Kotzen's voice, which is amazing and better than many "singers", let alone "guitarists". Best thing is that the album is full of great SONGS, with excellent musicianship, not the other way round. Bloody marvellous :-)
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on 20 August 2013
This album is fabulous and met all my expectations. Three brilliant pedigree musicians who know how to rock and have produced a stunning debut album. So reminiscent in musical genre to Badlands (only a four piece), rock with a bluesy edge. Stand out musician and surprise for me is Richie Kotzen who vocally and guitar wise delivers in bucket loads. Go buy this album if you like listening to classy rock music. You wont be disappointed.
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The first time I heard this band, I was blown away. The opening songs are great, but the album as an entirety isnt the best ever.
Mike's drumming is good as usual, but a bit too much at times for me. Too much drum shedding at the end of the opening track for example.
Kotzen's voice sounds very much like Chris Cornell's and his guitar playing is jaw dropping.
Billy sheehan is a virtuoso too and does things on a bass that are amazing.
Its the songs that need to be better.
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on 2 January 2014
When David Lee Roth left VH,many people thought he would struggle to maintain that level of success, as a solo artist."How can you follow Eddie Van Halen and co?" Well,with the astonishing talents of Messrs Vai,Sheehan and Bissonette,he put together a band that were head and shoulders above the competition(including his old band members)and produced the outstanding "Eat 'em and Smile."
Mike Portnoy finds himself in a similar position to DLR. Having left prog rock giants DT,he put together this power trio with Billy Sheehan(bass player extraordinaire)and the ridiculously gifted guitar maestro Richie Kotzen, who also brings his incredible vocal talents to this project. Petrucci,Myung and LaBrie are all superb musicians, but these guys take it to another level altogether.
This album,as you would expect,is full of jaw dropping solos and thunderous bass lines often played in unison,but that is only part of its appeal. All of this incredible musicianship is contained within quality songs with memorable hooks.
Anyone who has not been exposed to Richie's soulful voice,is in for a treat.
In closing,I think I can safely say that Mike Portnoy really landed on his feet when he hooked up with these two guys. Please buy it!
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on 28 August 2013
This is the best rock record in years!! Great Playing, Songs and Sounds. They set the bar for what a rock trio should be doing. I can't wait to catch them live!!!
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on 19 October 2013
This album is a total stunner. Stellar rhythm section with Portnoy and Sheehan, shaking the ground for Richie Kotzen, who displays supernatural combined guitar and singing skills. To top it off, the songs are pretty much ALL perfect. This is simply a must have, don t hesitate one second. Compared to the latest boring Dream Theater album, this Portnoy effort is simply a winner for me, I can t help just hitting replay, again and again.
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on 5 August 2013
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on 13 December 2014
I have had this album a while and now thought that I would give it a review. In short, I love this album. Three great musicians, Portnoy and Sheehan contenders for best drummer and bassist of all time, coming together with Richie Kotzen, who isn't shabby either! All I will say is that you need to listen to this album with an open mind, as it isn't Dream Theater, Poison or any of the musicians previous or current bands, it is different. Give it a fair listen and you will hear great, solid drumming, tremendous bass playing and very nice vocals and quality guitar playing (done without a pick I must add!) Yes, at times the lyrics may be a bit cheesy, but I don't mind this at all as the songs are all well written and fit together well. I will go as as far as to say that this is one of my favourite albums of the last few years. Of course music reviews are down to personal taste, but this is a great album in my opinion. To further push home my point watch the band on their live DVD, that was recorded on their second ever show. Class is the word.
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