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

The Winery Dogs - Hot Streak
Loud & Proud Recoreds


Rating: B+

The Winery Dogs have released their second new album of original music, Hot Streak, and it’s powerful stuff. The group is composed of Richie Kozten, Billy Sheehan, and Mike Portnoy. As you can see, the talent level of this band is immense and it comes out at first play. The songs are intricate, heavily percussive and ultimately addicting.

When combining this much talent into one band there is a very real risk of it overheating, especially when that talent has a long and varied resumé that proves it can stand alone in other bands. Battles over whose songs to perform and who gets to solo when and show off whatever often come at the sacrifice of the music. The Winery Dogs have this under control; the egos are in check. As a result, the sum of Hot Streak is even greater than the parts, and that’s not easy!

This is a lot of material on this album, with thirteen songs and over and hour’s worth of good music. Hot Streak immediately gets your attention with the high-intensity “Oblivion”. Clearly, The Winery Dogs don’t want you to just ease into the album. “Oblivion” encapsulates what these guys can do when they decide to go all out. It’s hard hitting and attacks you with four minutes of controlled power and musical dexterity with all weapons firing. Fantastic stuff!

The track list is very diverse and features some dramatic segues in style, such as the relaxed and acoustically supported “Fire” shifting straight into the up-tempo “Ghost Town”. These transitions won’t work if the material isn’t strong enough to support it. The Winery Dogs do this with ease. It leaves you wondering what’s next the first time around.

One of my personal favorites on the album is the classic, old school “Think It Over”, complete with a Fender Rhodes sound, smooth backing vocals, heartstung lyrics, and wah-wah’ed guitars. It takes you back to those great inspiring, ballady songs of the seventies. I can see the concert goers getting their lighters out already! It’s a wonderfully executed tribute to the good old days.

The Winery Dogs are embarking on an extensive US tour in October and early November. I’m looking forward to seeing them perform this material live. It should be a great show. This album rocks.

Track Listing:
1. Oblivion
2. Captain Love
3. Hot Streak
4. How Long
5. Empire
6. Fire
7. Ghost Town
8. The Bridge
9. War Machine
10. Spiral
11. Devil You Know
12. Think It Over
13. The Lamb

By Roy Rahl