Hard rock’s latest supergroup, The Winery Dogs, came together almost by accident. Bassist Billy Sheehan (David Lee Roth, Mr. Big) and drummer Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater, Avenged Sevenfold) wanted to work on a project together along with singer/guitarist John Sykes. Once Sykes left the project, the door was open for fellow singer/guitarist Richie Kotzen (Poison, Mr. Big) to join at the request of heavy metal guru Eddie Trunk. On July 23rd we will get the self-titled debut album from this trio of musicians, through Loud & Proud Records.
The big surprise of this album isn’t how well these three musicians perform together, but how good their voices sound, especially Richie Kotzen on lead vocals. They blaze a path with the opening track, “Elevate” as Portnoy’s drums keep the adrenaline pumping, while Sheenan’s bass lines dance all around it. Kotzen’s voice draws some strong similarities to Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell, while his guitar is just on fire during “Desire.” The band lock into a great metal groove during “We Are One” that you wish would just go on for hours. The slow burn of “The Other Side” shows off the great songwriting that sometimes gets overlooked with all this great musicianship to back it up. The band get raw on the pure rock of “One More Time,” before slowing the tempo down just a bit for the power ballad “Damaged.” The album continues with the adrenaline shot of “Time Machine,” followed by the heavy pounding of “The Dying,”then closes with the pure rock of “Regret,” which sounds like some signs of the past.
The Winery Dogs are beginning their world tour in Japan on July 16 and will be making their way to the States at the beginning of August. For more information on this amazing supergroup, please visit thewinerydogs.com.