MINI REVIEWS – August 9, 2021

MINI REVIEWS - August 9, 2021
  • 9/10
    LEE AARON - Radio On! - 9/10
  • 8.3/10
    RIAN - Twenty-Three - 8.3/10
  • 7.5/10
    THE CEO - Redemption - 7.5/10
  • 9.6/10
    VHF - Very High Frequency - 9.6/10


[spoiler title=’Metal Express Radio – Ratings Scale’ style=’default’ collapse_link=’true’]

10.0:         Cannot be improved! Perfect, instant classic! Essential in any record collection.
9.5 – 9.9:  Fantastic, spectacular and outstanding!
9.0 – 9.4:  Amazing release! It just lacks that little extra spice to make it perfect.
8.5 – 8.9:  Exceptional release! Will likely rank among top ten albums of the year.
8.0 – 8.4:  Great release! It has many different qualities.
7.5 – 7.9:  Above average! It is an enjoyable release.
7.0 – 7.4:  It is not brilliant, but has many strong points.
6.0 – 6.9:  It has its moments, but is not that strong.
5.0 – 5.9:  Slightly above average, does not stand out. Good outweighs bad by just a little.
4.0 – 4.9:  Just below average, bad outweighs good by just a little.
3.0 – 3.9:  Mediocre. There might be a song or a performance that is enjoyable, but that is it.
2.0 – 2.9:  Very weak! There might be a light at the end of the tunnel, too many flaws.
1.0 – 1.9:  This release gives the word “terrible” new meaning.
0.1 – 0.9:  Awful! Avoid at all cost. There is nothing good to say about this release.


LEE AARON – Radio On!
Metalville Records [Facebook]

Heavy Metal fans may know her as the 1984 Metal Queen, but Lee Aaron has always been more like Jagged Little Pill-era Alanis Morrisette than she was Doro Pesch (or was Alanis more like Lee Aaron?).  The Canadian vocalist’s 14th album Radio On! Is a tribute to the ’80s, when FM radio was THE place for the latest and hottest music.

Aaron runs up and down the dial while making stops at the Hard Rock, Singer-Songwriter, Pop Rock, AOR, Melodic Rock, Jazz, and even Country stations.  Lee Aaron’s vocal and songwriting abilities remain as strong and engaging as ever before.  Call her what you want, but enough with the ‘Metal Queen’, she’s conquered other lands.  9/10  [Interview]

RIAN – Twenty-Three
Frontiers Music [Facebook]

Rian have more in common with country mates H.E.A.T. than they do with say Survivor when it comes to their brand of ’80s inspired melodic rock.  With Twenty-Three, Rian harken back to the days of high production values, over the top vocal melodies, piercing keyboards, and catchy choruses.

The stronger material is front-loaded on the album.  If you are a child of the era, Twenty-Three is going to bring you back to a simpler time where you didn’t have a care in the world and music was your life.  8/10

THE CEO – Redemption
Rat Pak Records [BUY] [Facebook]

Solid debut for newcomer Mack Mullins and his longtime friend, Sevendust bassist Vince Hornsby.  The CEO are far from a Sevendust side project, and stand out on their own as a future Modern Rock force.  Redemption reflects shades of 2000’s Post-Grunge, mixed with Rock Radio sensibilities.

It’s tough for a new band to put out an album in the covid era, but when The CEO can get this album in front of a live audience, it will be smooth sailing from there.  If only the boardroom were this much fun. [Interview7.5/10

VHF – Very High Frequency
Golden Robot Records [BUY] [Facebook]

When you have this much music mastery and talent on one album, you couldn’t possibly f**k things up.  Joel Hoekstra (Whitesnake, Night Ranger, Cher) on guitar, Tony Franklin (The Firm, Blue Murder, Kenny Wayne Sheperd) on fretless bass, and founder Todd Vinciguerra on drums.

Even if (mostly) instrumental ProgRock/Art Rock/Jam Band isn’t you’re thing, it’s almost guaranteed that you will listen to VHF from beginning to end.  This diverse collection of songs is just too damn good.  9.6/10


  • George Dionne

    George was a contributor here at Metal Express Radio, reviewing albums and conducting interviews, out of Massachusetts, USA. George has contributed to numerous music related websites and blogs, and even managed his own from 2004-2009. George's first assignment was covering a live show by the mighty GWAR. By contrast his later assignments featured Judas Priest, Van Halen, and Bon Jovi. George was also the front man for the South Eastern Massachusetts cover band Sound Tower from 2009-2015.  Sound Tower played 300+ shows across MA and had two original songs on the Cape Cod radio station PIXY 103. George enjoys a good whiskey, scotch, and/or bourbon and fights crime in his spare time.

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