Most old bands from the 80’s and beyond eventually end up missing the time in their lives when they were rock stars, so they get back into the studio and slop together some crappy tracks and capitalize on you buying it with the hopes that it would sound anything like the classic rock stuff did at the time…which it doesn’t. However, this is NOT one of those cases.
AMERICAN MAFIA has come out with a stellar attempt to appeal to the current rock scene without sacrificing that signature 80’s style and sound. In fact, it sounds as though they listened to the entire 80’s rock catalog before making this album to make sure that every song fits in just as nicely, and then they titled it perfectly too – “Rock N’ Roll Hit Machine”!
I have heard so many hard rock bands attempting to produce something as powerful and intense as AMERICAN MAFIA have done here, but to no avail. You would have to go back to the prime of bands like Whitesnake, Bad Company, Foreigner, and Rainbow etc. to hear something of this caliber.
This album is as powerful, intense and phenomenal as anything put out in the 70s or 80s. “Rock N’ Roll Hit Machine” is an incredibly focused and emotional hard rock album from the totally rejuvenated guitarist Tom Jude, bassist Freddy Villano, drummer Bobby Marks and singers Don Chaffin, John West, Jimmy Kunes, Mike DiMeo and Ed Terry.
“Rock N’ Roll Hit Machine” is an impeccable album on all counts; incredibly groovy-incredibly melodic, extra technical and extra catchy. It is not just a matter of professional experience and talent, which clearly Villano and his sidekicks have in bucket loads, but it is the strengthening of the entire band with a set of amazing vocalists that play a major part in the development of this album, whereon the value of the band as a musical unit is clearly portrayed.
The result, for that matter, is the ideal mixture of the 70s and 80s rock sound topped by the superb production, granting perfect audibility to all instruments and voices.
Right from track one, the vocals growl, screech and manage to hit all rock patented high notes, including soaring harmonies. Big thick guitar tones and nasty, yet melodic solos, come spewing from the speakers as the drums and bass thunder and roar under the transitioning arrangements.
The combination of classic and melodic hard rock makes this a mainstream masterpiece. Now if somebody would just get Nickelback off the radio, there would be enough tracks here to fill up the radio hits tank with real catchy rock material. Prime examples would be “Obsession”, “Friendly Fire”, “If I Knew”, “The Sky Is Falling” and “Let Me Go”.
If you’re looking for a rock album, that drives full throttle on all cylinders and in your face, with massive melodic hooks, look no further….you’ve found that album here….in 2016! I listened to this package of 12 tracks a number of times and really can’t find anything to improve upon the overall production and performances. “Rock N’ Roll Hit Machine” is just one of those albums that deserve a place in any real rock n’ roll fans collection!
MORE ABOUT: AMERICAN MAFIA is the brainchild of guitarist Tom Jude and bassist Freddy Villano, and their debut CD, Rock N’ Roll Hit Machine, is forged from the same sonic template as their ’70s forefathers, specifically, Foreigner, Bad Company, Led Zeppelin and early Whitesnake, to name but a few. Jude and Villano formed American Mafia after the demise of their previous band, Holy Water, a result of lead singer David Knight’s untimely death early in 2014.
Together with drummer Bobby Marks, Jude and Villano decided to honor Knight’s legacy by enlisting a world class line-up of singers to help complete the record they’d started together. The names should be familiar to just about any hard rock aficionado: Don Chaffin, (VOX/Red Lamb), John West (Royal Hunt/Artension), Jimmy Kunes (Cactus), Mike DiMeo (Riot/Masterplan) and Ed Terry (Rondinelli).