Graham Bonnet is pretty much a legend in the hard rock / heavy metal community, but a lot of you might have to think about the name and where you have heard it before. Bonnet has fronted some incredible bands like Rainbow, Michael Schenker Group, Alcatrazz, Impellitteri and several solo projects over has vast career that started in 1967. I recently saw him perform as part of the Michael Schenker Fest and he still has some incredible chops. He is known for his very powerful voice and wide vocal range. At 70 years old he is back with a new solo album!
“Meanwhile, Back in the Garage” has 13 songs and a bonus live track as well. The album opens with the title track and starts with a whole lot of guitar laid down by Joey Tafolla. Bonnet’s vocals are straight forward metal. There are all sorts of solos, riffs, and guitar work on this song that really keep it flying. On the chorus you get to hear some of Bonnet’s great range. The guitar solo is blazing and just shreds. Bonnet has a great yell after the solo and the vocal intensity of this song really picks up. It is a good song and starts the album off well. It feels like the guitar is one part and the vocals are a different part, but it works well together.
Livin’ In Suspicion is a metal ballad. The guitar fits in perfect. It is different hearing Bonnet take his vocals down a notch for the ballad, but he still throws in some different vocal fluctuations to keep the song interesting. A well done melodic guitar solo accompanies the song. You must have a metal ballad on an album like this, and it fits the bill nicely.
One of my favorite songs on the album is Incest Outcest U.S.A. The song starts with blazing guitar that rips through you. Bonnet’s power vocals fire up and the song is off to a really strong start. Throw in a very catchy chorus and you have a great song. This song is right in Bonnet’s wheelhouse and he crushes it. We are treated to another melodic guitar solo that is top notch. About halfway through that solo, it explodes into metal ecstasy. The guitar work throughout the whole album is rock solid and fantastic to listen to. Tafolla is an excellent guitarist and I am happy he was part of this album. There are riffs and little solos tucked around in a lot of the songs. I can’t wait to hear this song live!
Another highlight on this album is Sea of Trees. Once again, a ton of guitar gets this song of to a roaring start. The song has that galloping feel of a lot of Iron Maiden songs. This is another song that I think is perfect for Bonnet’s singing style. The song is intense and has a bit of an industrial feel and the guitar never stops hitting you with riffs and solos. This one is hard hitting and, in your face all the way through. The power vocals in this song and the endless guitar make it special.
We Don’t Need Another Hero starts with a nice mellow guitar intro the leads into Bonnet’s sweet softer balled voice. This is in fact the Tina Turner song from the movie Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome and is a very welcome addition to the album. Obviously different from Turner’s version, but also eerily similar. You can fell the same emotion from this rendition of the song as Turner’s when she sang it. Bonnet really shows off his voice and range throughout this whole song. I can’t tell you how much I loved hearing this song on the album. When I saw the title of the song, I thought no way is this a cover of that song. I am glad it was!
I have only touched on a few songs on this album and will allow you to experience the rest of them on your own. The first time I listened to this album, I thought it was pretty good. The more I have listened to it, it was better than my first impressions. The album really seems to pick up pace as you listen to it and gets better with each song. If you like the videos that are featured in this review you will really enjoy this album. It is amazing Bonnet continues to put out such great music at the young age of 70, but I am glad he is!
Pre-order the album HERE.
Follow Graham Bonnet Band of Facebook HERE.