Adrenaline Mob, ‘Men of Honor’ – Album Review
After last year’s covers album ‘Coverta,’ Adrenaline Mob return with their proper sophomore full-length album, ‘Men of Honor.’ It’s their first disc with drummer A.J. Pero (Twisted Sister), who replaced Mike Portnoy.
‘Men of Honor’ follows the template laid down by their 2012 debut ‘Omerta' -- thick riffs, plenty of groove and straightforward (sometimes simple) lyrics, dished up with a dose of attitude.
Adrenaline Mob may not appear on critics’ year-end lists. It’s hard rock for the masses, catchy and effective, and they are comfortable in their own skin. That’s evident in the swaggering opener ‘Mob Is Back,' which has the lyrics “We came to throw down / the Mob’s back in town.”
Russell Allen is a versatile singer, lending his talents to a myriad of bands such as Symphony X, Star One and Allen/Lande. He is constantly in demand as a guest vocalist, as well. While there aren’t a lot of vocal gymnastics on ‘Men of Honor,’ he shows range and emotion on tracks like ‘Dearly Departed’ and ‘Crystal Clear.’
On the more meat-and-potatoes songs, he changes his style accordingly, letting his bandmates take center stage. Guitarist Mike Orlando makes the most of those opportunities, getting his shred on when needed. He also busts out the acoustic on mellower songs like ‘Behind These Eyes.’ It’s one of the catchiest on the album, with a memorable chorus that’s tailor made for radio.
When it comes to drums, Portnoy casts a large shadow. His larger than life personality and musical talents are tough to replace, but Pero is up for the challenge. He was in Twisted Sister when they were huge back in the ‘80s and is no stranger to the spotlight. He fits in perfectly, keeping Adrenaline Mob firing on all cylinders.
The lyrics on a good deal of the tunes won’t be mistaken as poetry. Even so, you’ll find yourself singing along to the songs on ‘Men of Honor’ after only a listen or two. Adrenaline Mob are not about subtlety and subtext, they are up front and in your face. You can take it or leave it. They’ll be fine either way.