Hair Metal Mansion's Dawn Osbourne checks in with the following:
For someone whose life has not always been perfect by any stretch of the imagination, Mike Monroe seems in the last couple of years finally to be happy in his own skin and having some well deserved fun! He returns again with an albums full of great songs stained through like a stick of rock with rock n roll attitude, a lifetime experience of life on the road, dripping the authenticity of someone who does this because for him there is no other life.
'This ain't no love song' is a high energy rock n roller full of good humoured joking about such a pain in the ass relationship, frankly you'd rather be on your own, but he plays the tease so well we imagine this being delivered with a wink. 'Old Kings Road' and 'Good Old Bad Days' are pure nostalgia for a simpler life, before so much water flew under the bridge and too many lessons were learned. Great rock n roll fun with rollicking guitar and some super trade mark sax (yes sax, sex is optional!). With such party tunes who has any time for crying! "Goin' down with the ship' is a great choice for a single and genius for a release at the same time the band hit the Monsters of Rock Cruise. Masterful use of simple melody that reaches into the brain and gets a vice like grip. The comment on the camaraderie of life on the road and being able to face a chaotic lifestyle with the solidarity of a happy crew, together no matter what happens, reflects the new found joyful energy that percolates through his recent work. 'Keep your eye on you' a slower number showcases some excellent guitar solo work and provides some delicate light and shade to the full on rock n roll onslaught of most of the album. It also contains some great philosophy about looking after yourself in the midst of all the madness and being true to yourself no matter what you do.
'Under the Northern Lights' is another philosophical song about acceptance of what life brings and of who you are in the face of impassive, beautiful, but indifferent nature, a theme beloved of poets for time immemorial. RLF (Run Like Fuck) is a thrasher bringing a bit of hardcore punk attitude with tongue in cheek humour to the party. 'Permanent Youth' is an anthem to those who live a Peter Pan lifestyle, not because they choose to, but because that's who they are and about attaining peace in the knowledge that you did the best with what you had, while having a blast along the way. "Dead Hearts on Denmark Street' a reference to Tin Pan Alley in London becoming a shadow of its former self is a comment about lost rock n roll habitat and souls, reflecting feelings any of us who remain on this scene for any appreciable time all know all too well. 'Walk away' is a comment on unwanted attention from a notoriously shy man for whom adulation is both a blessing and a curse.
So this is another album of infectious pop punk songs delivered with the swagger of the king of glam punk. Mike Monroe was always impossibly cool and still is...It's the kind of impossible cool exudes by people who just can't help it. Welcome to Mike Monroe's world, cheap (but not at all nasty) at any price!
Photo: Joe Schaeffer Photography
Courtesy of Hair Metal Mansion, www.hairbangersradio.ning.com