'Breaking Bread with the Devil'


MARK: 90/100

I didn't realize of the potential of this record at the first listen, while now I have to recognize the great ability of connecting Alternative metal and Sleaze rock with a Street punk attitude in a smooth and organic way.
This is a special record, unique, outstanding, and a part of the merit must also go to Chris Johnson (Evanescence, Goldfinger, Josh Todd) and Anthony Valli (former Crazy Town guitarist), the two sublime producers and it doesn't sound too plain the similarity to Ozzy Osbourne's voice on some occasions that a few reviewers previously exposed. It is there, yes, but was not intentional and secondly singer Tony West actually sings like a young and healthy Ozzy, which is already a plus; moreover, let me stress out it happens only during some hooks. After all, Johnson is a hit-maker and also produced "After the Mourning", the debut of the Los Angelenes, so the leader already knew what he was going to achieve with Chris at the botton room.
The title track and "Bleed for Me" are actually a hybrid of Nu metal and Sleaze, whereas "Feel Me" and "Kiss the Monkey" are involving songs embracing Sleaze raw rock and Punk, so this should be enough to give you a confirmation that the path they follow is quite distant from the British madman's.

This records exudes luxury, addictions, lowlife tough situations, desperation, real conflicts, but also positive aspects such as joy and contacts to the dear ones in the otherworld. It is the biography in music of mainman Tony West, a man whose life has been so hard, intense, risky and full of swinging anecdotes that can appear a curse to some, but if you look well it has been so far richer than the one of some who are 80 but have always lived a serene, bordered, controlled life, without big emotions, and if you allow me a tad boring.

Anyway, the CD also comes out in a limited version including a DVD with the video of the title track, which is alone worth the purchasing thanks to the protagonist model and the aura she radiates. Amazing, she could wake up the 2000-year-ago dead, and it is said by one who's always been keen on true blondes.

The strength of the CD resides in the balance between the fun side that sex can deliver and the harsh or sorrowful obstacles we are compeled to cope up with in our existence owing to betrayals and losses of the beloved (it's especially the case of "Sixty-Five Steps away", a sad song, but with a gleam of hope given by a new creature brought to this planet, the leader's son which is symbolically closing the track).
The people who are aware of our policy know that the fact you only find positive reviews on this website is that we don't waste time reviewing what we repute not good for your ears and we are convinced we are making a favor to the not reviewed bands in terms of prestige, too. This means that if we are dealing with the Californian 5-piece, it is because they can count on several aces in their sleeves; all of the compliments they've received yet are deserved and indeed it is time to exalt an outfit when it is in a marvellous shape like in this case. The hooks are exceptional, one better than the other, with the "Say Hello" one topping the rest.
Another remarkability of "Breaking Bread with the Devil" is that all of the songs are different from one another, keeping the same elevated quality and the link that makes is a consistent album.

The line-up has changed after the first effort, and the new entries seem a well-guessed choice, as the comeback is bound to become a classic with regard to every aspect in the future.
Rock is not dead, on the contrary it is far from that: everytime somebody claims it is, then you suddenly witness a newcomer that brings fresh forces to a static period without big records coming out.
As the band themselves claim, these new ten tracks are recommended to fans of Bad Brains, Guns-n-Roses, Bowie, The Cult, AC/DC, Iggy and the Stooges, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Sisters Of Mercy, Alice in Chains, Jane`s Addiction, Monster Magnet, HIM, T Rex, Motley Crue, Bauhaus, Mother Love Bone, Foo Fighters, Soundgarden, QOTSA, Stone Temple Pilots, The Cure, The Mission Uk, Black Flag, Deftones, COC, Kings X, U2, Pantera and Warrior Soul; I would add the following ones as well: Faster Pussycat, Alleycat Scratch, Ramones, 69 Eyes, Alice Cooper, Black Label Society, Backyard Babies, Circus of Power, L.A. Guns, Velvet Revolver, Slash's Snakepit, Little Caesar and Temple of the Dog, to name a few.

Are you in a hurry? Got no time to check more sites and download some stuff from BU and you never heard anything by them? You're curious and you wanna have an idea what lies in their lyrics?
No problem, just close your eyes and fancy being in this situation: you are desperate, you've been evicted since your friends abandoned you and the people who owned you money have disappeared. You are on a street as your parents don't watch your ass anymore. You don't know what to do but pray, get despaired and think of suicide; maybe you can think better without vicious circles of your mind if you get drunk. Step two: you enter a bar where Hollywood Vampires are playing, spending the last 50 bucks left only in drinks. The bar is about to close, and you hear an alcoholic morally degraded, yet real hot mommy looking for young meat who refuses to leave and still has two drinks before her. Nobody but you pays attention to her. About time you saw if she's interested in talking to you for a while. You ain't even got time to ask, she invites you to her expensive house where sex, money and lasciviousness seem to dominate her and be a reward to your prayers and balance your tough unfair previous years. It is all yours and you start anew, who cares about the past now?
Yep, don't be misled by the platter title, Blacklist Union themselves don't even know, but their music is far more powerful, smarter and has more sense than any Farrakahn's sermon: even when you're battered and bruised with noplace to hide, don't give up and do your utmost to rise again. It is possible most of the time. In this world there are two kinds of heroes: war veterans and civil heroes; the latters are the ones who survive and surmount all the negative odds and circumstances the place they were born has entangled them with. Needless to say what category they belong to.
Mr. Tony West is like Jenna Jameson and Charles Bukowski. Besides your parents, these buddies can teach ya more about people, real life, everyday issues than 100 books or courses with just one video and one album. Two thumbs up just because I don't have more!!!


Line-up on this record:
Nicky Shad and Carmine D'Amico, g.
Tony West, v.
Sean Davidson, d.
Jason-X, b.

Official sites:

After the Mourning (CD - 2005)
Breaking Bread with the Devil (CD - 2008)