Album Reviews

Rated X – Rated X Review

rated x_cover

Released by: Frontiers Records

Release Date: Out Now!!!

Genre: Melodic Hard Rock



Line Up:

Carmine Appice (drums)

Joe Lynn Turner (vocals)

Tony Franklin (bass)

Karl Cochran (guitar)



1. Get Back My Crown
2. This Is Who I Am
3. Fire And Ice
4. I Don’t Cry No More
5. Lhasa
6. Devil In Disguise
7. You Are The Music
8. Peace Of Mind
9. Maybe Tonight
10. On The Way To Paradise
11. Our Love Is Not Over
12. Stranger In Us All


If this album had been released 25 years ago, I have no doubt it would have been massive news. But in 2014, even a band containing rock legends like Joe Lynn Turner (Deep Purple, Rainbow) and iconic drummer, Carmine Appice (Ozzy Osbourne, Vanilla Fudge) ain’t big news in the general music press anymore. Thankfully, card carrying, classic rock lovers the world over, still have the utmost respect for these guys. Rated X mouthwatering line up is completed by bassist Tony Franklin (Whitesnake, Blue Murder) and Karl Cochran (Far Cry).

The project is the brainchild of Frontiers Records founder Serafino Perugino. The 12 track album kicks off with Get Back My Crown, a raucous opener, right in the mould of Rainbow. With an honest driving rhythm, it gets you off your seat straight away. After the robust beginning, This Is Who I Am, takes the pace down a bit. But it’s dirty punchy groove carries it through. The atmospheric and uncertain beginning of Fire and Ice, quickly ascends to a moody and powerful gem, with an irresistible hook.

Turner‘s pipes are still glistening after all these years. I don’t think Joe Lynn Turner got a fair crack of the whip while in Deep Purple. A lot of people put the blame at his door for the blandness of the Slaves and Masters album. After listening to I Don’t Cry No More, left me thinking that if he had produced magic moments like this, things could of worked out a lot differently. Beginning with an odd cacophony of sounds, Lhasa contains very distinctive elements of Zeppelin‘s Kashmir and Whitesnake‘s Judgement Day. Clocking in at over seven minutes, I got the feeling they were trying to make this track the money shot of the album, but it remains a bit flat throughout.

With the former Blue Murder rhythm section reunited again, Appice and Franklin get their A game out on Devil in Disguise. The songs cocky tempo is constant throughout. A sure fire single, You Are the Music, gets it’s hooks in you straight away. Featuring supreme vocal harmonies and Karl Cochran making his guitar squeal with ecstasy, you’d be forgiven for thinking Brian May was making a guest appearance. Franklin‘s ear splitting bass line on Peace of Mind just makes you want to put the foot down. I don’t condone dangerous driving, but play this below fifth, it loses it’s balls.

If you like your AOR heavy on the cheesy side, with a large dollop of corny, you’ll love Maybe Tonight. I found myself cringing and drumming on the laptop at the same time. On the Way to Paradise is a relentless steam train of melodic rock. No frills here, meaningless lyrics, but the song has an abundance of character. And Cochran‘s guitar work is majestic. Our Love Is Not Over tries it’s best, it’s bluesy tones only mask the feeling of a filler. A bit of a lazy one. The album ends with Stranger in Us All, which sees the band getting their prog boots on for what is a perfect finale to an absolute belter of an album.

Rated X aren’t doing anything new here. They are by no means reinventing the classic rock wheel. They are just plain and simply doing what they do best. And if you have hopped on the bandwagon and think rock is dead, give this baby a spin, it’s heart is beating rapidly.


Written by Brian Boyle

Rating    Brian    8/10

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