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

Rated X – Rated X
Frontiers Records

Rating: B

What do you get when you mix the rhythm section from the first Blue Murder album with the guy who made Rainbow radio-friendly and a hot shit guitar player?  You get something Rated X.  No, its not a Carmine Appice porno…it’s a band.  Get your mind outta the gutter!  Rated X is the latest supergroup to hit the scene.  The band features Joe Lynn Turner (Rainbow, Deep Purple, Yngwie Malmsteen), guitarist Karl Cochran, Tony Franklin (The Firm, Blue Murder, Whitesnake) and  drummer Carmine Appice (Vanilla Fudge, Rod Stewart, Ozzy Osbourne, Blue Murder).

Rated X is proving that old dogs don’t need to be taught new tricks; they are doing just fine with what they have.  What do they have?  Experience, talent, desire and the ability to still rock hard is what these rockers bring to the table.  Think about it, this band is made up of dudes who have played with, and are, some of the best there ever was.  Putting them in the same room—err, make that in the same digital musical realm- and you get some hard rock music that harkens back to the days when new music didn’t suck. 

Joe Lynn Turner is in great voice and he has always just been able to vocally knock it out of the park.  He shines on every song.  Appice may have invented the drum solo; I’m pretty sure he thinks he did!  His rock and roll attitude and ability to bang on stuff in time drives the songs, while bassist Tony Franklin is nothing short of low sounding perfection.  Tony is one of the best bottom end thumpers out there, and he gives it his all from the opening thump of “Get Back My Crown” to the final note of “Stranger In Us All.”  The guy no one has heard of in the band is guitar player Karl Cochran.  Not sure where the hell they found him... Story goes he plays with JLT.  He seems born to play arena rock guitar.  He does a great job of not overtaking the proceedings.  Instead he hangs out, works the song with the other players and then impresses with a lick, snarl, solo or riff. 

This is a good, solid and respectable rock band making new music in 2014 that lives up to the expectations.  ‘WTF?  You’ve gotta be kidding me!’  Nope, these guys are for real.  “This is Who I Am” may be the best of the bunch, but don’t miss out on “Peace of Mind,” “On the Way to Paradise” or the Led Zeppy drone of “Lhasa.” 

While there is not a weak track on this sucker, the question remains, “Is there a tune or two strong enough to warrant repeated listens?”  That is the trap these days for legacy artists who have been there and done that a millions times.  The music sounds great a time or two and then you put on “Stone Cold” and forget the new stuff.  I think there are moments that warrant repeated listens, but ultimately the fans will be the judge.  Let’s hope so, and let’s cross our fingers these guys can actually tour and write some more tunes, as this is off to far too good of a start to simply be a one-off, cash the paycheck supergroup. 

Rated X is for real. 

Track listing:
Get Back My Crown
This Is Who I Am
Fire And Ice
I Don't Cry No More
Devil In Disguise
You Are The Music
Peace Of Mind
Maybe Tonight
On The Way To Paradise
Our Love Is Not Over
Stranger In Us All.
By Jeb Wright