Gene The Werewolf
Jon Belan “Gene The Werewolf” – Vocals. Drew Donegan – Guitar. Tim Schultz – Bass. Aaron Mediate – Keys. Nick Revak – Drums. Reb Beach – Guitar on track 1. Randy Baumann – Piano on track 10. Rob James – Guitar on track 10.
Artist location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.
5 out of 5 stars rating.
Reviewed by David.
- The Walking Dead (feat. Reb Beach).
- Too Kool For Skool.
- The Loner.
- Let It Loose.
- A World To Rely On.
- Fortune And Fame.
- Easy Woman.
- If You Want Me.
- The Best I Can (feat. Randy Baumann and Rob James).
This is one of the albums that I was late purchasing, and I am very late in reviewing, from 2016 and for that I must apologize to both you, the readers, and the band as it certainly should have been posted far sooner.
With the bevy of records that released last year and the constraints of how much time I was able to spend writing reviews, I was unable to get everything written and posted that I wanted to. But I shall try and do much better this year with keeping up on releases and getting past releases reviewed, starting now with this fantastic record.
And when I say fantastic record I mean just that. This album just plain rocks!
The third outing from the Pennsylvania based rockers Gene The Werewolf is, in my opinion, the strongest effort these guys have delivered yet. With some of the best songs of their career the band has given us a very solid album of good, old fashioned blues infused rock n’ roll that I just can’t stop listening to. And on top of that they are actually from here in the States! Something that excites me as they are one of the few bands in the genre that come from here and as such may be one I am actually able to catch live some day. Fingers crossed!
This band first came onto my radar in 2012 when I heard the track ‘I Only Wanna Rock N’ Roll‘ from their second album, ‘Rock N’ Roll Animal‘, which I promptly purchased after hearing.
To be honest, and no offense meant to the band here, had I not seen that the record was being released on the Frontiers label then I likely would never have given this band a try due to the name being one that would never have piqued my interest and one that I would never have guessed fell within the genre.
Well let me tell you what, I am so happy that I did because I would have been missing out on some outstanding music had I not.
So I purchased that album, and I like it, and if you have heard it then you know as well as I that it has some terrific songs on it. But this new record stands head and shoulders above it in my opinion and out of the ten tracks found here there are exactly zero weak ones. Seriously, the entire album is simply incredible.
So let’s talk about those songs.
Things start off with the track ‘The Walking Dead‘. As you likely gather from the title, it is about zombies. The zombie apocalypse to be exact. Now to most here, myself included, this likely does not sound like anything that would be too enticing for the subject matter of a song, well that is at least until the brief speaking part of the “news bulletin” at the beginning ends and the music begins and we are greeted with the full onslaught of thundering drums, blazing guitars and infectious melodies that don’t let up once throughout the album and you forget all about the fact that the lyrics of this first track are about something as ridiculous as zombies. This song features a guitar solo by Reb Beach (Whitesnake, Winger) and is a great start to an even greater album.
Once the next two tracks, ‘Boogeyman‘ and ‘Too Kool For Skool‘, play then we realize the ride we are in for with this album as both songs are every bit as good as the first and it is showing no signs up letting up.
The title track comes in at number four and is the best song of the album thus far, it is also one of my favorites of the record. ‘The Loner‘ is a groovy number with a catchy, sing-a-long chorus. Just a fantastic song.
‘Let It Loose‘ and ‘A World To Rely On‘ continue the streak of awesome songs and bring us to my absolute favorite of the record, ‘Fortune And Fame‘, a catchy as hell rocker that features an excellent vocal performance and a killer melody. Simply put, just one badass song. I love this track!
‘Easy Woman‘ is a fast and rocking jam that you can’t help but bang your head a bit with on the chorus.
‘If You Want Me‘ and ‘The Best I Can‘ finish the record off just as strongly as it began and rounds out this spectacular album.
With not even the slightest hint of a ballad anywhere in sight, this record is a full-on rock n’ roll extravaganza that should satisfy any lover of good, old fashioned rock and honestly it is quite possibly one of the strongest bluesy hard rock albums that I have heard since bands like Cinderella, one of my all-time favorite bands, were putting out music. An outstanding effort from these guys and one that I am very sorry I did not pick up and get reviewed sooner.
The only thing that comes close to me not liking about this record is the production that is used on Jon’ s vocals throught the entire record, very overused. Otherwise it is one head banging, hard rocking good time. Harmonicas, guitars, thundering drum beats, ridiculously catchy melodies, gang vocals and some high pitched main vocals make this one hell of a ride that you definitely do not want to miss out on.
Fans of blues infused rock bands like Cinderella and The Rolling Stones should love this record.
Very highly recommended.
‘The Walking Dead’.
‘Too Kool For Skool’.
‘Let It Loose’.
‘A World To Rely On’.
‘Fortune And Fame’.
‘The Best I Can’.