Suzi Quatro, The Devil In Me (SPV Steamhammer 2021)

The unstoppable Suzi Quatro returns with a new studio album that pops and cracks with multifaceted looks at rock and roll.

The first album I ever heard from Suzi Quatro was Rock Hard (1980). There she stood on the cover wearing black leather and holding the fire engine red bass. At the time I assumed she played only hard rock, but as I started going through the earlier albums I quickly understood that she had already had an impressive career with big pop hits and a variety of albums in different styles. Whenever a new record came out from her it was a good day for me. Her music is not what I usually listen to if we go by the numbers, but I am a huge Suzi Quatro fan.

The album opens with a couple of bangers. “The Devil In Me” is a raucous rock and roll rambler with a Bob Seger spirit while “Hey Queenie” is more of a rock-sprouting lounge tune. The album takes a walk through a wide variety of styles and looks on differently seasoned rock hooks and structures. Every one of them has a familiar feel and a fresh take. The music is mostly upbeat and fast-paced, with a couple of reflective tracks and one straight-up ballad.

There are a several stand-outs for me on the record. “You Can’t Dream It” is one with its urgent pace and prominent bass work. “Do Ya Dance” hit me at an Alice Cooper angle in the 1970s sense. “Isolation Blues” is a soulful, meandering tune with a great saxophone part. And the closer, “Motor City Riders,” is the perfect guitar and piano rock and roll flashback to close the show. This album is a big win for every Suzi Quatro fan.

The Devil In Me is out now – hit the links below. Recommended.





Suzi Quatro, The Devil In Me (SPV Steamhammer 2021)

Plague Years, Circle of Darkness review (eOne Music 2020)

Speed and mayhem are alive and well in Circle of Darkness, the new full-length release from Michigan metallers Plague Years.

From the beginning notes of the band’s first EP, these four Detroit musicians threw down the gauntlet in a clear sign to the world they were here to create hard, fast, crunching metal. Labeled as a crossover band, you can definitely hear Hardcore, Thrash, and Death Metal elements throughout. The new album is a continuation of 2018’s Unholy Infestation, except even faster and darker. The band on Circle of Darkness is Tim Engelhardt (vocals), Eric Lauder (guitar), Rian Staber (bass), and Mike Jurysta (drums).

There isn’t a single band to compare them to because Plague Years combines so many styles and their music shifts and moves in and across the songs in the album. They show a lot of chopping steady guitar rhythms at a mid-tempo speed in narrative moments of songs, then click into phantom blasts and thrashing ramps to sink the spikes in deeper. From the new album, songs like “Eternal Fire” rest on a modulated pace overall but have mystical lead breaks and surprising percussion eruptions that are not externalities but instead are essential elements in the composition. Flat out raging numbers are there too like “Circle of Darkness” and “Play The Victim” – and in these pieces the tempo is set high but there are also echoing ethereal moments and fascinating transition bridges.

Plague Years will get a hook into any metal fan because the range of expression and the variety of their musical appeal allows them to fit in on practically any heavy title card. Recommended.

Circle of Darkness is out this Friday, September 18. You can hear a couple singles already, and preorder the download or a hardcopy in different forms now. Their previous EP Unholy Infestation is on Spotify right now so you can go listen to that to tide you over for a couple of days

Band photo by Rian Staber.


Plague Years, Circle of Darkness review (eOne Music 2020)