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Dio – Lock Up The Wolves

Tonight, for the first time in a long time, I got deeply into the wine. So, it’s time for a Drunk Review! Damn, this has been a while! I feel good.

I’m lovely toasty and I am going to rip through a record Mike gave 2/5 stars. Let’s find out why he was so hard on it…

Wild One starts the record off with a fuckin’ bang. What a pace! Crazy guitars! If this is anything like the rest of the record is gonna be like, I’m all in baby, yeah! This has to be a Dio hits track, right?

Born On The Sun is blues rock. Yes, it’s 80s soundtrack fodder (from 1990), and wtf is it with Dio and rainbows? ;), but still. This is a blues ripper and I liked it!

Hey Angel is pure rock, it’s plodding and heavy and feels so damn good at high volume. Yeah, maybe the lyrics are sorta bad, and it might not be the most exciting thing they’ve ever reorded, but I say this song fits its era just fine.

Between Two Hearts’ pretty intro gives way to a decent, heavy slow rocker. I liked this too. Dammit Mike, I’m drunk and I’m listening and I’m trying to figure out why all you guys were so hard on this record. This is a cool tune!

Night Music almost has an AC/DC intro. Fun! The song breaks into a decent rocker with heavy guitars.  There’s good thought behind this stuff, and that guitar is so sharp it cuts just listening to it.

Lock Up The Wolves is 8.5 minutes long. I’ll pour some more wine for the duration, here. Well, they could’ve left off the entire first minute. And boy do they ever let those pauses hang. But damn, it only makes it heavier. This song hits hard. Huge guitar solo that I absolutely loved. This was awesome!

Evil On Queen Street swaggers along menacingly, dammit this is another heavy bluesy track and I liked it too! I think all you guys that slammed this album may have missed the point completely. By this juncture in the record, it’s obvious that Dio was after something that lurks underneath. This wasn’t a typical Dio album. This was built to make you bang your head to the heavy, the crunchy, the evil. A song like this proves it!

Walk On Water brings back the fast pace, a totally pleasing track that checks all the Dio boxes on the list. Seriously, listen to that guitar solo. The riff is pure Dio. It’s all here.

Twisted is another mid-tempo heavy-hitter. This is soundtrack music, from some movie in the 80s. It would have been perfect. Dio really lets the vocals wail here (like he ever didn’t let them wail, but you know). Yup, another winner!

Why Are They Watching Me is a great paranoia conspiracy song that, of course, rocks like hell. Because Dio didn’t know how to do anything other than rock. Even in the break-down, when it cuts to half-tempo. It doesn’t last long and it’s still cool.

My Eyes has a pretty acoustic intro that quickly gives way to another slicing guitar riff, then bounces back to the pretty part. It all works. When it’s lovely, it’s lovely. When it rocks, it rocks fucking hard! There is much to love, here.

So where’s the issue?

In sum: I am, by this point, pleasantly drunk. But I can still type (mostly) without typos, and I was able to manipulate the youtubes with enough skill to hear this entire album and I am still sober enough to disagree with all you guys. I loved this record. Maybe it isn’t the “classic” Dio, maybe it’s because it’s all new guys playing behind him and for some reason that was a no no, but I cannot join the pile-on in hating this album.

True, it’s not his best (how would I know, I haven’t heard them all), but I, for one, give this pretty full marks. You can go ahead and say ‘what does he know, he’s drunk. If he heard it sober, he’d cringe to read his own words’ but I don’t even think that would happen. I liked this record! A lot!

DIO!  \m/   \m/


Dio – Dream Evil

Mike our brilliant Lebrain sent me this gem. Oh man. OH MAN.

Night People starts us off with a bang, a driving beat and that Dio vocal magic. It’s just a great Dio rawk song. Dream Evil is a bit slower, but it hits just as hard. The guitar solo is especially good. I know it didn’t, but it felt to me like the tempo of the song increased a bit, right around there. A trick of the ears, surely.

Sunset Superman brings back the faster pace and is yet another crushing riff. The chorus bit, short as it is, reminded me of Helix. It’s not, I know. This would be a good 80s action movie inspirational montage sequence track. All The Fools Sailed Away has an intro with effects and sets a plodding pace. When the band kicks in, it still crunches mightily. The synth solo is cheese, but this is mandatory lighter-waving listening. It soars.

Naked In The Rain chugs bluesily yet is still menacing. Jeez, these guys had a knack for songs that all sound so… epic. Really awesome. Overlove has a great bluesy guitar intro. Damn, that was fun. The drums crash into an absolutely blisteringly-paced track of the rawk. Wooo! This was greatness. GREATNESS!

I Could Have Been A Dreamer is a decent track until the chorus, which softens a little. No matter, the riff is solid and the guitar solo is huge. Faces In The Window is another full-on fast rocker. Bliss.

When A Woman Cries was a track title that made me think ‘oh dear, here we go. Touchy-feely time.’ But the track stomps along satisfyingly, a relief. And actually, to hear him tell it, it’s pretty dangerous to the immediate vicinity when a woman cries… Lightning, stars moving, the earth shaking… yikes. Ha.

A great collection of songs. Total shout-out to the guitar work of Craig Goldie. Superb.

In sum?

\m/  \m/

R.I.P. R.J.D.

Thanks heaps, Mike!!

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