Title - 'The World As We Love It' (Armoury/Eagle Rock)
Artist - Pushking
This rather unique CD kicks off with a so-called 'Intro,' which is nothing more than a scream, before the frantic 'Nightrider' is brought forth. Featuring Billy F. Gibbons on both vocals and guitar, the song bolts out of the gates and fires on all cylinders. 'I'll Be OK' puts the brakes on slightly, but with Billy F. Gibbons back on vocals and Extreme's Nuno Bettencourt on guitar, you know the track isn't a ballad!
Pushking, essentially Konstantin 'Kora' Shustarev (vocals/backing/acoustic guitar), Andrey 'Drunia' Kruglov (drums), Dmitriy 'Mitya' Losev (guitar, acoustic guitar, slide), Roman Nevelev (bass), Oleg 'Ivanich' Bondaletov (keyboards, hohner clavinet), and Andrey Deykov (sound engineer), unites all these men (some of the most renowned musicians in the rock world), sprinkles in some famous beloved rockers, and provides one very unique musical project, for sure.
Their vision one based on the fact that this is our (their) world, the world of rock music. The world where they (we, as fans) grew up, became wise, became richer for it.
'Troubled Love' is next, featuring the one, the only Alice Cooper on vocals, and Keri Kelli (guitarist for Alice Cooper) on guitar. My goodness, with Cooper's classic vocals front row and center, well, this could easily be a new track from his album! 'Stranger's Song' follows, and with a little help from both John Lawton (Uriah Heep) on vocals and Steve Stevens (Billy idol) on guitar, the song sings-along very nicely!
On 'Cut The Wire,' well, the great Paul Stanley (Kiss) takes front lead and together with Steve Salas on guitar, this is easily a contender for track of the album! The Steve Vai guitar-inspired, 'My Reflections After Seeing The 'Schindler's List' Movie' is wonderful (although subtitles for the lyrics is suggested!), but what a title to work on in the first place! 'God Made Us Free' has one of the greatest rock voices of the late '70s and '80s in Graham Bonnet (Rainbow), and is another rock'd out of the park track.
The second longest cut on the CD, 'Why Don't You?' features the raw vocals of Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple) and is about as soulful as a grit rock ballad can get! Jeff Scott Soto takes lead on 'I Believe,' and as much as, for me, it's the weakest track on the album, I might also be heavily biased against him - as I haven't forgiven him for the vocal mess of a 2007 tour with Journey!
On 'Tonight,' vocals from Glenn Hughes are overshadowed by the blues guitar work of Joe Bonamassa (a man who loves his double-necked guitars), but then we get 'Private Own,' which again gives us Hughes on vocals and Matt Filippini on guitar. However, Eric Martin (Mr. Big) trades singing barbs with Konstantin 'Kora' Shustarev on the epic 'Open Letter To God,' but it's the big foreign guy that wins the battle of whose vocals get imposed on the track.
The frantic 'Nature's Child,' featuring Udo Dirkschneider is brought to us next, kicking and screaming all the way, before the Dan McCafferty-sung 'I Love You' slows things down. Next up is 'Head Shooter,' featuring the legendary Joe Lynn Turner (Rainbow) on vocals (and yes, he's still got it in spades!), before 'Heroin' comes to the fore - with enormous vocals from Jorn Lande.
Bringing the oh-so-long, but yet completely value-for-money album to a close is the ballad, 'My Simple Song' (back with Dan McCafferty - Nazareth - on croaky vocals), and the ensemble piece, 'Kukarracha' - with vocals from all we've discussed above: Turner, Hughes, Martin, Stanley and Bonnet, and guitar work from Toto's Steve Lukather.
Reviewed by Russell A. Trunk