Michael Monroe - Sensory Overdrive

My iTunes decided to define Michael Monroe’s Sensory Overdrive as indie rock, which is just wrong. Indie rock makes me think of like… wait, I don’t even know anymore. Pavement? The Postal Service? Do those count? My college roommate would listen to all that stuff so any knowledge I have is very much secondhand. Anyway, after a twelve-year hiatus, Hanoi Rocks put out one of their best releases with Street Poetry in 2007 and a year or so after that proclaimed they were done for good. Mr. Monroe and co. quite irked me with that news before I realized this is a band we’re talking about. “For good,” rarely means forever so I still have hope. But, eh I’m also still hoping for a Guns n’ Roses reunion with Axl Rose, so take that as you may. I’m either highly optimistic or stupidly naïve.

Sensory Overdrive is the first release under Michael Monroe’s solo moniker and it is very much sleazy glam metal. As the resident, self-proclaimed queen of all things sleaze glam, it gets my seal of approval. It actually sounds a lot like Hanoi Rocks rather than his previous solo stuff (Not Fakin’ It being a particularly good example of the latter. Uninspired ‘80s rock that would make even George Michael sound cool by comparison). It’s fast-paced and has a definite punk tinge, especially “Got Blood?” which sounds like it could’ve come off of Bangkock Shocks, Saigon Shakes, Hanoi Rocks. The contributions of former Hanoi Rocks bassist Sami Yaffa probably have something to do with this, not to mention Ginger, whom I got to interview earlier this year. His particular brand of Wildhearts-esque rollicking guitars and hammered out drums with matching vocals is quite easy to pick out. I bet myself that he was responsible for “Modern Day Miracle” and sure enough, he is credited before everyone else on the liner notes.

Though Ginger recently announced that he had parted ways with the group, former Backyard Babies guitarist Dregen has already replaced him. He made his live debut just a few days ago when they played in Finland, supporting Foo Fighters. I’m a little sorry to hear that he left the band, as I do love Ginger, but he’s got a solo album coming out soon (which I am impatiently waiting for) and I do like Backyard Babies so it’s not exactly bad news. I’m guessing the next album’s going to be even more punk-tinged. Which, to me, is never a bad thing.

Lemmy also makes an appearance on Sensory Overdrive on the song “Debauchery as a Fine Art.” It’s pretty much what I would’ve expected from him. Basically, it’s a Motorhead song with Michael Monroe verses and Lemmy solos. It’s very bluesy, but extremely fast and just an excellent song to go out on.

I once had the pleasure of meeting Michael Monroe and during the conversation he admitted that with Hanoi Rocks, they couldn’t play any U.S. dates because Andy McCoy wasn’t allowed into the country. Well Andy’s off writing terrible autobiographies and I’m still waiting. You’ve covered the same UK and Finnish venues at least twice now, sir.

MICHAEL MONROE PUTS LEYLA INTO <em>SENSORY OVERDRIVE</em>” width=”49″ height=”60″ /></a><a href=MICHAEL MONROE PUTS LEYLA INTO <em>SENSORY OVERDRIVE</em>” width=”49″ height=”60″ /></a><a href=MICHAEL MONROE PUTS LEYLA INTO <em>SENSORY OVERDRIVE</em>” width=”49″ height=”60″ /></a><a href=MICHAEL MONROE PUTS LEYLA INTO <em>SENSORY OVERDRIVE</em>” width=”26″ height=”60″ /></a><br />
(three and a half outta five horns)
<p>– LF


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