Artist: Adrenaline Mob
Title: We the People
Genre: Hard Rock/Heavy Metal
Release Date: June 2, 2017
Length: 58 min.
Producers: Russell Allen and Mike Orlando
Personnel: Russell Allen (lead vocals), Mike Orlando (guitars, backing vocals), David Zablidowsky (bass guitar), Jordan Cannata (drums), A.J. Pero (drums on “Rebel Yell”)
We have not forgotten the terrible tragedy that befell Adrenaline Mob nearly three months ago, on July 14th, when a tractor-trailer veered off the road and crashed into the band’s parked RV, leaving new bassist Zablidowsky dead and several others seriously injured, including Adrenaline Mob’s manager, Janet Rains (a.k.a. Jane Train), who sadly passed away about six weeks later, on August 23rd. That being said, and with our thoughts and prayers going out to the families of Zablidowsky and Rains, let’s review Adrenaline Mob’s third studio album, We the People.
Adrenaline Mob, on this album, remind me of the hard rock/metal marriages that bands like Volbeat, Avenged Sevenfold, Disturbed, and Stone Sour have done well. Not only that, but the band contains and has contained an amazing amount of instrumental prowess. In fact, Adrenaline Mob could be considered a hard rock and heavy metal supergroup. They were formed in 2011 by singer Russell Allen of the prog metal group Symphony X; guitarist Mike Orlando of the rock instrumental Sonic Stomp Band, and who has worked with such artists as Zakk Wylde, Bumblefoot, Gary Hoey, and Shane Gibson; and Mike Portnoy of Dream Theater, and of many other bands, such as Avenged Sevenfold, Stone Sour, and Twisted Sister. Portnoy later had to leave the band due to scheduling conflicts, and Adrenaline Mob replaced him with A.J. Pero of Twisted Sister, who was then replaced by Jordan Cannata after Pero’s untimely 2015 death of a heart attack. The band has also had some fantastic bassists, including John Moyer of Disturbed and Zablidowsky of Trans-Siberian Orchestra and ZO2.
However, Adrenaline Mob lacks the songwriting chops to set themselves truly apart. Also, the album being an hour long causes We the People to overstay its welcome a bit. It’s an album that could have definitely benefitted from having the weaker material cut to the point of the album being more around 40 minutes total, highlighting the strong moments and making for a much better album. As it is now, though, I can still say that if this is your sort of music, it’s a good choice, and I think you can get a lot of fun out of it.
I definitely recommend We the People, and it’s better than Adrenaline Mob’s past two albums of original material. We the People is an example of crowd-pleasing hard rock done decently. The instrumentation, as I said, is quite good for hard rock, especially the guitars, the solos in particular, which, though not unique, are pretty awesome. The heavily driving drums and solid bass are good too, and Allen’s voice is well-suited for this material.
Though Adrenaline Mob often struggles with creating original songs, they’ve always been great at covering other people’s songs (just see their cover of Black Sabbath’s “The Mob Rules”.) They come through with a great cover here of Billy Idol’s “Rebel Yell,” which I think nearly rivals Idol’s version, despite the heresy of that statement. They do have some worthy original songs here, my favorites being “The Killer Inside,” “Til the Head Explodes,” “Ignorance and Greed,” “Blind Leading the Blind,” and “Violent State of Mind.”
Does We the People tend toward hard rock genericism? Sure it does. Yet even though that occurs in many spots on the album, it is done pretty well. If you’re looking for radio ready hard rock with splashes of metal, you could certainly do worse.
I’m going to give Adrenaline Mob’s We the People a 70%.