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Tom Keifer and Jacky Vincent

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For this latest edition of Rock Pile Kevin Wierzbicki tells about some new rock album releases including Cinderella frontman Tom Keifer's new solo album The Way Life Goes and Jacky Vincent's Star X Speed Story.

Tom Keifer
The Way Life Goes

Merovee

It's been a long time coming but here's the debut solo album from the man best known as the vocalist for late '80s/early '90s pop metal band Cinderella. Keifer for the most part eschews the sounds that put Cinderella on the charts but still comes up with a solid set and a couple of standout tracks.

Opening cut "Solid Ground" finds Keifer channeling the Faces, sounding very much like gravel-voiced Rod Stewart while the band rocks like they're playing a lost cut from Every Picture Tells a Story.

The album is also chock full of more sensitive moments like the uplifting "A Different Light" and the piano-driven ballad "Thick and Thin" but Keifer is really in his element when he just cuts loose like on the Stones-ish "Cold Day in Hell" and the soulful Southern-tinged rocker "Ain't That a Bitch."


Jacky Vincent
Star X Speed Story

Shrapnel

For every Vai and Satriani out there there's a young up-and-coming shredder just waiting for their turn in the spotlight and Jacky Vincent is one of them. Fans of lightning-fast fretwork will love this set of instrumentals featuring songs like "Maybe I'm a Wolf" where Vincent starts the song with a big swoosh of prog metal before abandoning the other instruments mid-song to take it home with a flawless extended solo.

With no lyrics to distract fans can pop on the headphones and concentrate on listening for every crystal clear note but tunes like "Venom Love" have enough shredding to them that the headphones are likely to get headbanged off and go sailing across the room.

Other tunes, like "Star X Speed" with guest Michael Angelo Batio (Nitro) are jazzy metal reminiscent especially of Satriani's work. Also guesting on this impressive effort are Paul Gilbert of Racer X and young guitar hotshot Dario Lorina.


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