RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

Hollywood Monsters – Big Trouble
Mausoleum Records

Rating: B

The album cover to Hollywood Monsters is a nod to the old Godzilla and King Kong flicks in early cinematic history.  That, however, is where the comparisons end.  The band is actually an international supergroup featuring some of the best players from around the world. 

The band was put together by French vocalist/guitarist Stéphane “Steph” Honde.  Moving from France to the USA put Honde in touch with Vanilla Fudge’s Tim Bogart, who had returned to music.  It didn’t take Bogart long to come out of retirement and the band was born.   Soon, other icons followed Bogart’s lead.  Deep Purple’s Don Airey plays keyboards while Black Sabbath and DIO drummer Vinny Appice pounds the skins.  Elsewhere there are a bunch of other players (listed below) including Michael Schenker and original Iron Maiden vocalist Paul Di’Anno. 

The band recorded Big Trouble and obviously had a blast.  The music comes off a bit loose, like any fun collaborative project should.  Songs like “Another Day in Grey – Part I” and “Village of the Damned” show this band is taking the project seriously.  Some of it is more just for good times, as the Di’Anno led bonus track “Fuck Off” shows.  Still, at the end of the day this project could get interesting.  In fact, one hopes that somehow the Hollywood Monsters could figure out how to play some live dates.  That would be one interesting concert!

Track listing:

01. Another Day In Grey – Pt 1
02. Move On
03. Big Trouble
04. The Only Way
05. The Cage
06. The Ocean
07. Oh Boy!
08. Underground
09. Village Of The Damned
10. Song For A Fool
Bonus track
11. Fuck You All

Hollywood Monsters are:

Steph Honde – Vocals, Guitars, Piano, Bass
Paul Di’Anno – Vocals (track 11)
Denis Baruta – Guitars (tracks 5, 9 & 11
Tim Bogert – Bass (tracks 1, 2 & 10)
Olivier Brossard – Bass (track 11)
Vinny Appice – Drums (all tracks except 7, 10 & 11)
Don Airey – Hammond B3 (track 2)
Emmanuel Lamic – Drums (tracks 10 & 11)
Laetitia Gondran – Drums (track 7)

By Jeb Wright