Jul 2, 2021

Kat Von D, Hookers and Blow

Category: CD/Video Reviews

HOOKERS & BLOW

"Self Titled"

Hookers & Blow are a legendary Hollywood band which consists primarily of Guns N Roses Keyboardist Dizzy Reed and Quiet Riot shredder Alex Grossi.  Formed in 2003 as an excuse to drink for free, the band have racked up many miles touring across the United States with their tribute to all things Rock N Roll.

 Hookers & Blow have finally recorded a proper full length record and their promotion for it included offering fans 5 singles which leads up to the digital release on July 23rd and the physical release (CD & Vinyl) on August 13th, 2021 via Golden Robot Records.

 In the bands official bio guitarist Alex Grossi says, "If you had told me almost two decades ago when Dizzy and I first formed HOOKERS & BLOW that we would have evolved into what we are today, I would have said you were higher than we were, but here we are…."

 Here’s our track by track breakdown of each song from their debut release:

 "Rocks Off” - THE ROLLING STONES

This Rock N Roll Anthem is the perfect kick off to this album and if I’m being honest, at times the track reminds me of Hanoi Rocks.  Glitter soaked images of beer soaked nights are what this track invokes and the band sounds like a well polished bar act who just finished their set for the night.

 “Shakin’” - EDDIE MONEY

This Eddie Money track sounds awesome and it’s also an obvious tribute to the Money-Man as Alex Grossi had a history with Mr. Money early in his career.

 “Trampled Underfoot” (Feat. Frankie Banali) - LED ZEPPELIN

Both Zeppelin tracks on this record feature Quiet Riot drummer Frankie Banali on drums and this one was the obvious choice for the band to cover since it has a pronounced keyboard part which allows Dizzy to shine.

 “Ziggy Stardust” - DAVID BOWIE

This track has been a staple to the band’s live show for years and it’s interesting how they chose to change the original arrangement which makes the song distinctly their own.  No one can replace David Bowie and this cover is a fine tribute to the late Starman.

 “The Winner Loses” - BODY COUNT

Not too many bands cover Ice T’s band Body Count and this track is fun because Hookers & Blow have smoothed out the rough edges and made it a slick rock track.  

 "Time Of The Season” - THE ZOMBIES

This one was a no brainer and the perfect song for this California based band to cover.  

 “American Girl” - TOM PETTY

The Hookers & Blow version tends to be slightly heavier than the original while still maintaining the overall essence of the original.  

 “Godzilla” (Feat. the Okai Sisters) - BLUE OYSTER CULT

THIS Is the best track on this record.  THIS is the song that Hookers & Blow own!  Hands down, the band nail this one, they destroy it, and this is a song they should always include in every live show because it sounds massive.

 “You Gotta Fight For Your Right (To Party)” - THE BEASTIE BOYS

The original version has a punk sounding band coupled with white hip hop vocals…this one is fun, but the vocals definitely lose something because this ode to careless rebellion comes off too slick.  The band sound great but a little too polished.

 "Under My Thumb” - THE ROLLING STONES

This Rolling Stones classic sounds great, Grossi and company nail it!

 “No Quarter” (Feat. Frankie Banali) - LED ZEPPELIN

Absolutely amazing, Frankie kills on his performance and this is another standout track.

 “Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting” - ELTON JOHN

This serves as the record closer and it’s the perfect button on this album because it sums up the vibe of this Hollywood band perfectly.

 Hookers & Blow are a cover band, they pay homage to all things Rock N Roll and this record is a document for those who have yet to see them perform.  When Guns N Roses and Quiet Riot are not on the road it’s a guarantee that Hookers & Blow will be out doing shows so definitely catch the band when they roll through your part of the world!


KAT VON D

“Love Made Me Do It”

  I will openly admit that I had extreme reservations about this record, when I heard the name Kat Von D I thought, “Nope, she’s a one trick pony, she won’t be able to do music, this will suck!”  Well, let me tell you, I was definitely wrong.

 The debut release by Kat Von D is an exploration into her relationships past set to an edgy darkwave soundscape.  The music is pure goth pop and Kat’s image fits well with the sounds created on her debut release.  Dark, gloomy, deep, and bitter suit, “Love Made Me Do It” is the beginning of Kat’s musical voyage and clearly a stepping stone for what’s to come.

 Dave Grohl makes an appearance on the record and Kat states that she became friends with Grohl when she tattooed feathers on his forearms years ago.  

 Nine Inch Nails member Danny Lohner and Peter Murphy (Bauhaus) make an appearance on the record;  Murphy performs a gothic duet with Kat on the track “Protected”.  

The core backing band on this record consists of Gregg Foreman AKA Mr. Pharmacist (synth 1/Cat Power, The Gossip), Sammi Doll (synth 2/IAMX), Dave Parley (drums/Prayers), and Brynn Route (contortionist).  Collaboraters on this record include:  Dave Grohl, Linda Perry, Dave Sitek (TV On The Radio), Peter Murphy (Bauhaus), Danny Lohner (Nine Inch Nails), Ladyhawke and Charo (Yes, the actress!).

 The record opens with an extended intro for “Vanish” which takes the listener on a voyage into the deepest depths of Kat’s musicality.  

 For those who listen to the record from start till finish you tend to notice how every track bleeds into each other and the record almost feels like one giant, consistent track if you listen to it as a complete body of work.

 Most tracks are about deep thoughts, bad relationships, and finding ones inner self.  Kat wrote introspective lyrical content and the synth heavy music adds a dark dynamic which takes the listener to a bleak place which does have a happy ending if you understand how to find it.

 “I Am Nothing” is a sullen track and one that the goth kids have devoured/lived many times over.  Kat’s writing skills are on full display with his one.

 As a complete body of work, the debut release from Kat Von D is solid, strong, and sets the pace for her to have a long musical journey if she chooses to stay with music.  Fans can Pre-order hand signed/autographed copies of Kat's record/cd from her site for a limited time.

Author: Bob Suehs