Michael Monroe - Horns and Halos

Michael Monroe Horns and Halos cover
Michael Monroe
Horns and Halos
Spinefarm Records
The unstoppable mack daddy of retro rock ‘n roll and on the last of the original true rockstars left that still has it in spades, despite his advancing years, makes a triumphant return after 2011’s pretty damn good “Sensory Overdrive” with “Horns and Halos”.
Way more classic sounding and spunky, it draws it influences from good old time rock ‘n roll, punk, hard rock and all kind of shit in between. Without Ginger, who for better or worse is OK but people only give a tosh about him in the UK, the band actually sounds much better, tighter...!
“TNT Diet” just explodes, hitting hard and just wipes out everything in its path. Passionate, perfect, awesome punky rock that defies all the rules as MM gets back in your face!
“Ballad of the Lower East Side” is a lot more classic sounding and has a very “Hanoi” vibe... it’s I suppose one of the lead singles... and it’s just fucking awesome. Cool ass rock ‘n roll, with tons of attitude, possibly semi-autobiographic, about NY, of the yester-years when it was a nastier more colorful place...
“Eighteen Angels” is a more measured, tempo song, with some nice smooth sax... and a sexy sleek atmosphere. It transports you right into the center of a smokey bar, musically but lyrically it seems to be just all over the place... hahaha!
“Saturday Night Special” is a whackier happier sorta tune – but in its two minutes, I didn’t even get wind of what the funk what was going on. Comes in from one ear goes out of the other. Sorree. Kinda generic.
“Stained Glass Heart” is more like an attempt to do a bit of a hybrid between a modern pop goth ballad in the verses, but in the chorus, MM, diversifies himself and sounds like himself… so it’s at the very least, interesting... it’s a nice song and the “experiment” works well and pays in spades. Were these dudes, 20 years younger, the poofy goth bands, might have had a problem, finding an audience.
Moving on to the namesake of the album “Horns and Halos” is a really two fisted, two-fist raising anthem, complete with melodic moments… effin great release!!!! Pure Fucking AWESOMENESS!
“Child of the Revolution” is a more colorful and hippy sort of melodic rocker that s-punks up in the middle... and is great fucking fun!
“Soul Surrender” puts the pedal to the metal, in a big way, it’s almost scary, only to fucking turn into reggae! Then go back into the fast motif and then reggae again... nobody said you can't be a reggae rocker right eh?! Hahaha! It’s just bloody GREAT! Because it’s just so damn, unexpected… it will make you go?! EH?! WTF just happened here!?
“Half the Way” is a loose rocker – that’s not bad. It’s not too complex and it sort of is a nice more relaxing song after all these more weirder songs, being just straight ahead, no surprises.
“Ritual” is a “magical” mystical slower tune, with lots of great minor, painful, vain, chants about the “sort of life” that a musician lives being a blessing and a bit of a curse, but the whole process of making music being a sort of “Ritual”. Damn right it is... Excellent song. Very introspective but ain’t that an aspect of art?
“Hands are Tied” is a bit of sax heavy tune, but again it sort of didn’t exactly work out too well for me, it’s a typical slower rocker – the short of stuff, that Quireboys, would be best known for… but... I suppose, it’s nothing to write home about.
“Happy Never After” the first of the two bonus tracks to be found on the special edition is also quite simple – but its chorus is somewhat charming.
The second one “Don’t Block the Sun” is a somewhat dizzy and confused little rocked with not much substance really.
Overall all, it’s an awesome return for the truly inspiring Michael Monroe one of the true mavericks of the rock genre who basically just friggin just wrote the whole book on how to look and act on stage, that the whole LA, tore a couple of pages from and hopelessly tried to copy… still nobody has come close... Horny stuff indeed. Check it out.