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Japanese rock pioneers Loudness return to American soil with ROCKSHOCKS, an album containing 13 re-recorded tracks from its first five releases and three bonus cuts from the band’s most recent studio endeavor. Thrust upon a rock realm who probably never heard of these guys or guitarist Akira Takasaki’s brilliant virtuoso playing, they face somewhat of an uphill battle. No matter, because this disc manages to cram in all of the band’s greatest hits within the timeframe allotted while updating the band’s ‘80s metal sound with harsher, grittier production values matching today’s musical landscape (and to undoubtedly avoid costly royalty fees as well). Just check out the shredding going down on tracks like “In The Mirror” and “Esper” for a small taste of what these guys can do. If you’re fortunate (or unfortunate, take your pick) enough to know someone that remembers these guys open for Motley Crue in the ‘80s, do yourself a favor and mention this disc and this band to them and see the reaction, then give them this disc and let them bask in their heavy metal glory.
- Mike SOS