MICHAEL MONROE – Sensory Overdrive

Michael Monroe - Sensory OverdriveThis is the second time that Michael Monroe has gone solo during his career. The first time was right after Hanoi Rocks split the first time in the 80’s due to drummer Razzle’s death. That time, he released a couple of albums where one of them, Not Fakin’ It, was really good. He then started the ill-fated Demolition 23 with Billy Idol guitarist Steve Stevens. Then Hanoi Rocks reunited for three albums before splitting up again and Monroe didn’t sit around long before launching his solo career once more. Only this time this is more of a band than the last time. And it is quite an impressing line up that he managed to pull which includes Steve Conte (New York Dolls) and Ginger (The Wildhearts) on guitar and old Hanoi Rocks and New York Dolls bass player Sami Yaffa. Together they have made an album that kicks both the latest efforts by Wildhearts and the Dolls – and much of what the reunited Hanoi Rocks released. The fact that he has tied the master of pop melodies and punky riffs, Ginger, to him probably has a lot to do with this. Because many of the songs here doesn’t sound too far from the Wildhearts with Monroe’s voice over it.

”Trick Of The Wrist” opens the album with a punky, yet melodic attack and first single ”’78” is a poppy punker that rocks all the way. There is some great attitude in ”Modern Day Miracle”, ”Superpowered Superfly” is brilliant and sounds like latter days Hanoi Rocks’ poppier moments and ”All You Need” is a hit, catchy as hell with a superb hook. ”Later Won’t Wait” is pure Wildhearts and a killer and in ”Gone Baby Gone” he goes all Country Pop on us. Very unexpected, but oh so great. Monroe shows some great diversity on here that I didn’t know he had in him, but it never gets cheesy and every song on here is based on blood, sweat and the love of rock ’n’ roll. Monroe might not win any world championship in singing, but the guy is for real and totally honest in everything he does and those are things I support all the way. With an album this good, I’m sure this band just won’t fail. Maybe the band isn’t gonna sell platinum with this album, those days are gone, but he will always have his audience and it wouldn’t surprise me if that audience grew bigger after the release of this album.

Jon Wilmenius (8/10)

Tracklist

1. Trick Of The Wrist
2. ‘78
3. Got Blood?
4. Superpowered Superfly
5. Modern Day Miracle
6. Bombs Away
7. All You Need
8. Later Won’t Wait
9. Gone Baby Gone
10. Center Of Your Heart
11. Debauchery As A Fine Art

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