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Album Review:Red Dragon Cartel : Patina

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With New music being released every week its very easy to take things for granted and be somewhat spoilt for choice. But 3 or 4 times a year a release is announced that gets the excitement levels racing one such band for me is the rather splendid “Red Dragon Cartel” with the guitar maestro “Jake E Lee” formerly of “Ozzy Osbourne” and the band that should have been huge “Badlands” If Bluesy hard rock is your cup of tea then look no further than this fantastic sounding full throttle hard rock album with “Anthony Eposito” Bass ex Lynch Mob And “Phil Varone” drums ex Skid Row, with vocals supplied by “Darren Smith” Harem Scarem” Drummer, this really is a powerhouse of a band.

The album starts off with the aptly named “Speedbag” with a chugging riff and solid drums and in hindsight is a strange song to put up first on the album as it has a stop start feel to it, where as follow up “Havana” has more of a solid feel with the vocals being worthy of special mention before we are introduced for the first time proper to the gifted talents of “Jake E Lee” blimey he is a bit good !!

“Crooked Man” starts with a simple drum fill very much like the prisoner from “Iron Maiden” a very modern sounding song with a very modern production on first listen it does sound a bit chaotic to be honest but after repeated plays the listener begins to understand that this is part of the delight of the track with its simple catchy chorus and beefy bass line.

“The Luxury Of Breathing” has to be the grimiest oil soaked song that I have heard in a very long while with “ Lee’s” guitar so down tuned it rumbles like a pre volcanic explosion. Nice harmonica accompanies the track as it moves along mid -paced then a stunning short blues solo is steam rolled into place by a solo that shreds the song over the finish line.

“Chasing Ghosts” with its steady opening bass lane has that psychedelic rock feel with vocals that have been deliberately distorted works remarkably well with “Varone being given free reign to smash the hell out of his kit. One thing that grabs my attention with all the songs on this release is the amount of detail that goes into all the songs with so much in the background to keep the listener entertained.

“My Beautiful Mess” with its different rhythm and back ground tambourine is very interesting as it has parts jazz part blues all within its 5 and a half minutes running time. Never gaining a great deal of pace this track is so weird yet so wonderful and like the whole album so unpredictable.

“Ink and Water” rounds the album off and is easily the catchiest song on the album and is the perfect Way to leave a a thoroughly entertaining if somewhat eclectic album. Like all good releases the best ones are those that need to be played 3 or 4 times before the penny drops and “ “Patina” is one such album.

Review by :Stephen Bruty

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