JOEL HOEKSTRA’S 13 – Crash of Life

JOEL HOEKSTRA'S 13 - Crash of Life cover art
  • 8.5/10
    JOEL HOEKSTRA'S 13 - Crash of Life - 8.5/10


Label: Frontiers Music Srl
Release date: June 16, 2023

User Review
8/10 (1 vote)

Just two years after the release of Running Games (2021), Joel Hoekstra’s 13 are back with their third studio album Crash of Life. The group was formed by guitarist Joel Hoekstra, who currently plays with Whitesnake and Trans Siberian Orchestra. Most people may know him for his work with Night Ranger, Cher, and the Broadway musical Rock of Ages. Hoekstra wrote all of the songs and came up with the arrangements for Crash of Life, much like the band’s previous releases.

Different Influences Coming Together

“Everybody Knows Everything” is a killer opening track and what a way to introduce new vocalist Girish Pradhan, who has the ability to display such rasp and melody at the same time. The title track, “Crash of Life,” has a memorable chorus, a piercing guitar riff, and melodic hooks to die for. Drummer Vinny Appice does not hold back at all on “Damaged Goods,” pounding those drums as if his life depended on it. The backing vocals give the track a Pop feel, as well.

“Torn Into Lies” is a beautiful ballad that shows a softer side to Pradhan. “I Would Cry For Love” is a fast-paced rocker that would’ve been perfect on Whitesnake’s last studio release. Appice and bassist Tony Franklin lock in a steady groove for “Find a Way,” a track that has so much swagger, making it impossible not to head bob. ”You’re Right For Me” has a bluesy, Led Zeppelin vibe and features a tasteful guitar solo from Hoekstra. The closing track, “Through the Night,” finishes the album in a more laid-back and calming fashion.

Final Assessment

Crash of Life has a different vibe compared to Running Games, and a lot of it has to do with Pradhan replacing Russell Allen on lead vocals. He can be soft and laid-back for the ballads, and tough-as-nails for the rockers. Pradhan’s unique voice allows for more diversity on the album, which is shown through Hoekstra’s songwriting. Hard Rock, Classic Rock, and even Heavy Metal fans will find a track (or two) that resonates with them because of that. Overall, Crash of Life is an enjoyable listening experience.

Album Tracklist

  1. Everybody Knows Everything
  2. Crash of Life
  3. Damaged Goods
  4. Torn Into Lies
  5. Far Too Deep
  6. Not Tonight
  7. Over You
  8. I Would Cry For Love
  9. Don’t Have Words
  10. Find a Way
  11. You’re Right For Me
  12. Through the Night

Band Lineup

Joel Hoekstra – guitars
Girish Pradhan – lead vocals
Vinny Appice – drums
Tony Franklin – bass guitar
Derek Sherinian – keyboards
Jeff Scott Soto – backing vocals


  • Lana Teramae

    Lana is a reviewer at Metal Express Radio from Honolulu, Hawaii. She's always had a passion for music, but she didn't get into Hard Rock and Heavy Metal music until she discovered Rick Allen's story in the summer of 2019. She was inspired by his determination to play drums for Def Leppard again after losing his left arm in a car accident. From there, her tastes expanded to other bands such as AC/DC, Bon Jovi, Metallica, Judas Priest, Saxon, Cinderella, and Overkill. Aside from listening to music, she loves watching YouTube and writing on her personal blog.

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