KEEPING THE VIBE ALIVE - Mick Mashbir (MicksLicks)
Preamble: God’s Got A Gun And He’s Gunning For You.
This reviewer still believes that an album should say something.... and for the un-initiated...Mick Mashbir played lead guitar on just about every track on Alice Cooper's "Billion Dollar Babies" and "Muscle Of Love" and toured extensively with the original ACG group.... and here is his solo album....at long last.
How many times have all you musicians and fans of real rock music out there asked yourselves .... especially singers working with guitar players....where is the next original Alice Cooper Group album gonna come from? .....that great promise .... that 'unfinished sweet' .... one of the best and most powerful groups to hit the earth ..... stage acts that inspired Bowie's elaborate stage acts...lyrics that had Bob Dylan searching .... And was "Mary Anne" originally titled "Uncle Sam"?...in 74, Alice said..."If I was the President, I'd impeach myself".
So what is being said here? ..... Is there some sort of parallel universe....are there some unsung heroes ... even though by accident, and just because of the times that were and the way it was done back then? .....this reviewer says YES....
I'd go further.... I’d say there are a whole lot of songs....that have been written....by the original ACG group members, in their numerous projects....that would constitute that record everyone wanted to follow 'muscle of love'....the next original ACG album.....this is not to say that there aren't many great moments in Alice's (Vince Furnier's) solo career, not at all....but it must be said, I'm not objective on this, the original ACG group remains the reference for me.
Now let me go back in time:
I remember before going to high school one day in 73, I heard a song, "No More Mr. Nice Guy" by the original Alice Cooper group...Mick Mashbir's lead guitar inspired me to start playing..I didn't know until years later that it was Mick playing lead on this song until I discovered his MySpace page..He came to my Sacred Cowboys page liked what he heard and contacted me .... How did I take this in?..... Well some of you know me well enough, but in this situation....I kind of felt that, well...."I don't believe it"....!!!!!!!!!
"Keeping The Vibe Alive":
It is clear to this writer that the music industry is hung-up on time....where perhaps it was once focused on 'art', and that is why we are called 'artists'..fyi. The golden rule for me is that an album conveys a concept...and if doesn’t it is just a bunch of songs...the discerning listener realizes that perhaps when somebody 'embodies' an era’...they are in reality the 'custodians of a sound’.... not a 'point in time'.... if you've ever been paid this compliment, you'll understand exactly what I mean.
After I went to his CDBABY page and was able to get a good listen to all the tracks, I asked him to tell me what "Keeping the Vibe Alive" was about and he sent this:
HEY, "GOD’S GOTTA GUN " AND HES GUNNIN FOR YOU! IF YOU'RE AN "AMERICAN WEIRDO" THEN YOU'D BETTER "HOLD ON" CAUSE IF THINGS STAY THE "SAME" WE ARE ALL GONNA LOSE THAT "GOLDEN TOUCH.” WE BETTER START "KEEPIN' THE VIBE ALIVE" CAUSE IF LIFE'S A "MIRROR IMAGE", THEN ITS GONNA TAKE A "HELL OF A MAN" TO GET US OFF THIS "HEARTACHE TRAIN"! YOU MUST ASK YOURSELF....AM I "WORKIN FOR MY WINGS"? OR AM I JUST GONNA SIT HERE AND WATCH IT ALL PASS ME BY WITHOUT EVEN TRYIN' TO MAKE THINGS BETTER FOR ALL OF US? THE CHOICE IS ALWAYS LOVE OR FEAR..NEVER WIN OR LOSE.
Listen to the title track....I can tell you how many original ACG songs are contained and mastered and taken somewhere else here .... you guys need to go out and buy this record....and hear it for yourselves.
So in search of a category to put this in....'new classic rock"....?... well the vibe is more than alive....it's calling out to the tribe .... Mick gives you the concept of the album above.... it’s in the song titles.... cautionary tales.... wisdom..LOL (thanks, Mick) ... for me "Same" is a gem, not only classic MM guitar riffing, which would have been enough for this reviewer...but humor and acute observation in the lyrics..."I played the park in 69, or was it 68?"... if you don't get it, goodbye.... take a trip out to the west with Paris not the city...but I'm not gonna tell you where the lyric really cuts in this one and the how great the guitar sounds...I'm not gonna tell you how the bridge and the chorus in "Working For My Wings" is a piece of Lennon-esque magic.
The archeologist in me tells me that here ...... is a 'lost original ACG' album...with all of the poetry, guitar attack.... and feel.... of an album that takes it's origins from the key references in music...and is dense and rich.....and has the hard edged delivery of an album that can only be described as that missing "original ACG" album that you always wanted....
But an album of the 21st Century.... I’m breaking the rules: I'm giving it five-and-a-half beers! - Garry Gray (Sacred Cowboys)
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