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Monday, September 16, 2013

CD-Review: Hollywood Burnouts - "Kick It Up A Notch!"

The German Hair Spray Rockers from Bavaria are back! After a few line-up changes, Hollywood Burnouts released their second album "Kick It Up A Notch!" these days. Their debut album couldn't impress me much. Due to a bad production and replaceable songwriting without many highlights this band couldn't stand out from the mass of Hair Metal bands. Expectations were low for the new record, but I was totally wrong.

"Kick It Up A Notch" makes everything better than its predecessor. It comes along with a clear and crisp production and they also improved their songwriting skills. OK, you still have some songs, which sound a bit like Hair Metal off the shelf ("Ghost", "The Mirror"), but in contrast to this Hollywood Burnouts deliver also a bunch of true Hard rock hits this time. Just take a look at "Out Of Hell", which reminds me at Alice Cooper in his best days (to me: the 80's era). "Satan City Shuffle" rocks as hell, although the band copied a lot from Gotthards "Sister Moon" and Aerosmith on this one.
During the whole album I was totally blown away by all the shredding guitar parts by Chrizzy. She is a very gifted player and takes every track to another level.
Back to the songs: "Access All Areas" is another winner. I'd say this is the smash hit on the album and with it's catchiness it could  be a track from the new Reckless Love LP.
"We Own The Night" and "Ain't That A Bitch" are both very cool sing-along tracks. It seems like the band focused more on memorable melodies this time and that's perfect. These two songs are great examples for the fact that most of the tracks have their roots in the 80's, but come along with a modern twist at the same time. This is quiet fresh and unspent and so Hollywood Burnouts never sound like a relict of that old 80's era (like on their first record). Very well done!

Soundwise, the band is tight and it feels like they were playing together for years now. So all the line-up changes didn't destroy the band sound. Shouter Mike sounds also much stronger than before. He has the right attitude in his voice, which is necessary for this genre and sometimes you could also compare him to Olli Hermann from Reckless Love.

So any bad things? Beside the more replaceable songs I mentioned above, Hollywood Burnouts have only one problem: a lack of own identity. Everything is presented very well, but they copy a lot from other bands. Something unique is still missing.

Finally "Kick It Up A Notch!" is a really good album for all fans of Hair/Glam Metal and Hard Rock. It combines many elements and the band is in top form. It's great to see such a positive development. Two years ago I'd never thought they have the ability to produce such a strong record. With their new effort they can easily compete with the big names in that genre ... in my opinion they even beat the last releases of Crashdiet, Hardcore Superstar and Crazy Lixx. If they follow this path, we will get a stunning third album, I'm pretty sure! Buy it!



01. Ghost
02. Out Of Hell *
03. Satan City Shuffle *
04. Access All Areas *
05. Coming Home
06. We Own The Night *
07. Ain't That A Bitch *
08. The Mirror
09. L.I.A.R.
10. Sweet Soul Sister

* best tracks

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