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Alcatrazz’s “Dirty Like The City”, written by Steve Vai, played by Joe Stump —thoughts...


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Alcatrazz is about to release a new album with Joe Stump on guitars and three singles are already out. One of them is a song Steve Vai wrote for them —this one:

One can still notice Steve Vai’s signature on it, but given it’s Joe Stump who plays, it doesn’t sound like Steve Vai. The tone and the articulation aren’t the same, of course, but above all, it’s Vai’s playing fire which isn’t there. I get a weird feeling while listening to it. It sounds to me like a foreign speaker who is very fluent in your native language, but whose accent is still noticeable. Yet, I find it interesting. I’m enjoying it and I’m looking forward to listening to the entire new album. So, in the meanwhile, hope you guys will like this song —as I do. Any thoughts on it?

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I think I'll buy it, thanks for posting! I've always liked Graham Bonnet and Alcatrazz, especially with Yngwie. Hopefully means I'll get to see them in concert again one day... actually now I'm not sure If I saw them live or not. I know I saw Yngwie before, but maybe not Alcatrazz. Don't mind me, just having a conversation with myself!

Gary Shea, bass; and Jimmy Waldo, keys were originally from the band New England. Anyone remember them? I liked them, especially the song P.U.N.K.

Anyway, here's more info on Alcatrazz...a lot of guest players on the album, interesting.

From the Youtube description...

'POLAR BEAR' is the leading single from ALCATRAZZ's brand new full-length, Born Innocent, set for release via Silver Lining Music on July 31st. ALCATRAZZ will release their brand new full-length, Born Innocent, via Silver Lining Music on July 31st; pre-orders now available here: https://smarturl.it/AlcatrazzBornI The hard-hitting, melodic heavy metal band ALCATRAZZ will once again throw down a studio gauntlet on July 31st with Born Innocent, their first studio venture since 1986’s Dangerous Games. Alongside the unique vocal prowess and range of star frontman and founding member GRAHAM BONNET, Born Innocent also features fellow founding members JIMMY WALDO and GARY SHEA. And from the classic album art, featuring the mighty rock itself, Born Innocent is a journey into the sort of heavy, melodic and supremely articulated hard rock that is a cornerstone of the likes of RAINBOW and the MICHAEL SCHENKER GROUP, territory ALCATRAZZ successfully strode in the ‘80s before going on hiatus. Debuting on Born Innocent is the latest of the illustrious ALCATRAZZ guitarists to bring their extreme six-string talents to the band, with Boston-based Berklee College of Music Assistant Professor of Guitar, and one-man metal impresario JOE STUMP perhaps proving the finest of a list which includes the likes of YNGWIE MALMSTEEN and STEVE VAI. “The name Alcatrazz is a brand name,” announces star frontman and founding member GRAHAM BONNET. “People know what Alcatrazz delivers, and on this album you have the original ideas of Alcatrazz but played in a modern way with new inspiration.” Mixed and mastered by ANDY HALLER, Born Innocent also sees former stars from BONNET's long career making guest appearances, from CHRIS IMPELLITTERI, who wrote the music and played all guitars on the arpeggio-powered ‘Born Innocent’ with BONNET’s vocals soaring to old-school heights, and BOB KULICK who wrote and laid down guitar for ‘I Am The King’. Virtuoso Japanese guitar maestro NOZOMU WAKAI -a new invitee to the party- similarly wrote and played guitars on the double-kick steel-plated Irish warrior ode ‘Finn McCool’, while STEVE VAI wrote ‘Dirty Like The City’. Meanwhile, ‘Something That I Am Missing’ and ‘Warth Lane’ were written by -and feature the guitar work of- Italian six-string hero DARIO MOLLO, with RIOT bassist DON VAN STAVERN playing bass on the title track, ‘Polar Bear’, ‘Finn McCool’, ‘London 1666’, ‘Dirty Like The City’ and ‘Paper Flags’. Add D. KENDALL JONES’ writing and guitar work on ‘We Still Remember’ and even a quick solo by another new invitee to the ALCATRAZZ mega-sound, ANNIHILATOR’s JEFF WATERS on ‘Paper Flags’ (the second one to be precise), and it’s clear that studio ALCATRAZZ 2020 is one giant piece of rock for sure. Besides the supreme musicianship, Born Innocent features genuine storyteller lyrics courtesy of BONNET who revels in showing he loves the scent of an entertaining tale, proudly illustrated on the storming lead single ‘Polar Bear’ which bristles with robust old-world adventure. “Take the song ‘Polar Bear’, explains BONNET, “I heard those words “polar bear” and thought it’s an intriguing title because it sounds all cuddly and nice, but it’s not. It’s a story of how when the Eskimo got too old, they would take their lives by sitting in snow, freezing to death and letting the polar bear take the body. The polar bear was very prominent in their lives as a God and also as a way of committing suicide, which is kind of awful. But when an Eskimo loses all his teeth and he could no longer eat, he would lose his strength obviously and then become a weak old man. He could no longer contribute to the tribe, he’d feel his life was useless and so he’d walk out into the snow and sacrifice himself to the bear.” Though ALCATRAZZ might well have been Born Innocent, their new album shows they obviously learnt some robust and rawkus stuff along the way. Born Innocent will be released on CD and digital formats. For pre-orders, go to https://smarturl.it/AlcatrazzBornI Fans of Rainbow, Dio, Michael Schenker Group and Dokken pay heed. Born Innocent Track Listing: 1. Born Innocent 2. Polar Bear 3. Finn McCool 4. We Still Remember 5. London 1666 6. Dirty Like the City 7. I Am the King 8. Something That I Am Missing 9. Paper Flags 10. The Wound Is Open 11. Body Beautiful 12. Warth Lane 13. For Tony ALCATRAZZ is: Graham Bonnet – Vocals Joe Stump – Guitars Jimmy Waldo – Keyboards Gary Shea – Bass Mark Benquechea – Drums Produced by Giles Lavery and Jimmy Waldo Mixed, mastered and edited by Andy Haller Follow Alcatrazz on: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/grahambonnet... InstaGram: https://www.instagram.com/alcatrazz_o... Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheGrahamBonnet YouTube: https://bit.ly/2xIuSAc Spotify: https://spoti.fi/2KoAaDs

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I agree - something sounds sterile about this one.  I just don't like it.  I like the other two songs that have been released so far: Polar Bear and London 1666.  I'm still going to give it a listen when the full album comes out.

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London 1666 is pretty rocking with blistering solo action (whatever that means). I've always liked that Graham Bonnet wasn't afraid to go outside the usual palette of ideas to write songs about. Polar Bear seems like a weird thing to write about but when you read the Eskimo story in the Youtube stuff above it's pretty cool. I always thought Starcarr Lane was a very emotional song with cool lyrics. 

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Graham Bonnet is one of my favorite singers so always glad to hear about new material.

Zorrow - your analysis of Joe Stump playing a song written by Vai is spot on. I still like it but I can see it being a notch or two cooler if Vai played it. 

I love Steve's playing on the whole Disturbing The Peace album.

For me something falls a bit flat on No Parole From Rock 'N' Roll - perhaps the production? That was more than made up for on Live Sentence where Yngwie is madly shredding away throughout (in a good way), to me thats how the songs on No Parole should have sounded.. 

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7 hours ago, ZR said:

London 1666 is pretty rocking with blistering solo action (whatever that means). I've always liked that Graham Bonnet wasn't afraid to go outside the usual palette of ideas to write songs about. Polar Bear seems like a weird thing to write about but when you read the Eskimo story in the Youtube stuff above it's pretty cool. I always thought Starcarr Lane was a very emotional song with cool lyrics. 

Curiously, it’s “London 1666” the one I like the less from the bunch. The vocal lines are almost the same during the verses, which repeat four times. I find myself singing a second voice on verses three and four, as that would have added more color to the song. The way it is, well... it’s just too raw, too naked. It actually sounds to me like the poor man’s Judas Priest. Nonetheless, it has grown on me —at least that. 🤷🏻‍♂️

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Thanks for posting. 

I thought this track was “ok”. Agree with the assessments of Stump playing a Vai song. I really dug Joe’s first few albums. Especially Guitar Dominance and Supersonic Shred Machine. Haven’t kept up with his stuff since the late 90’s, tho. 

Watching this video did make me go back and watch “God Blessed Video”...  Loved Disturbing the Peace. 

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I agree with all the comments about Graham Bonnet's voice.  I saw the Schenker Fest tour last year with four singers and Bonnet blew me away!  I've seen some videos where his vocals were terrible, but the night I saw him he was by far the best of the four.  I love him on Rainbow's Down to Earth and Assault Attack is my favorite Schenker album largely because of Bonnet.  I always say Disturbing the Peace is the best album Steve Vai ever played on too.

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