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

Pat Travers and Carmine Appice – The Balls Album 
Cleopatra Records

Rating: B

Back in 2004, rock godz Carmine Appice, most famous as the drummer for Vanilla Fudge and Rod Stewart’s band, and Pat Travers teamed up to write and record It Takes a Lot of Balls (2004) / The Balls Album (2016).  Aptly titled, the album is a true reflection of these men’s attitude toward rock music.  They play loud, long, hard, heavy and stand erect with conviction.

Now, 12 years down the road and they have gone back and re-visited the album, dressing it up with new artwork and a new mix. The music sounds good.  While this will never be considered an album that was overthought or contrived, it is a great example of the energy that can be created when you get a couple of world class rockers in a room for a while, crank the amps up and hit the record button.

The best moments are the rollicking anthem “Keep on Rockin’” and the bluesy-boogie “Taken,” as these are just ball-busting rockers.  The entire album is filled with a mixture of Carmine’s bash and crash drums and PT’s slide guitar and pentatonic solo wizardry.  He has such a unique vocal that one can’t help but like this stuff.

“Remind Me to Forget You” could as easily be on Pat’s hit album Heat in the Street.  The same could be said of “I Can’t Let You Go.”  The mixture of pure rock and rhythm, and even reggae, makes this a classic example of Traver’s unique musical style.  Appice is pretty good on drums as well.  Let’s just say after 50 plus years the guy knows what he’s doing!  Plus, throw in some ingenious bass work by TM Stevens, and it’s a throw-down.

Carmine shares his thoughts on Travers, “I love playing with Pat. He is a great artist, and this was one of the best albums I have made, especially in such a short time – three weeks to make! Great songs, great playing, lots of energy, and each track has a lot of BALLS!”

Travers confesses he’s a fan of Appice, “I have been a fan of Carmine since 1967. I followed his career over the years and was very pleased to meet him when he was playing drums for Ted Nugent in 1981. We did a lot of shows together and got to know and like each other along the way. I would bump into Carmine at this and that affair over the years and then in 2003 we had a blowout jam at the Dean Markley Strings booth at NAMM. We decided that we should record an album together. That led to me going to L.A. and recording this amazing album. Hope you got ‘Balls’!”

The band even takes on the Barry White classic “Never Gonna Give You Up” but that’s just for fun.  The real balls to the wall rock and roll is found on other tracks.

This one is fun.

Track Listing
1. Taken
2. Better From A Distance
3. Escape The Fire
4. Rock Me
5. I Don’t Care
6. Remind Me To Forget You
7. Hey You
8. I Can’t Let You Go
9. Never Saw It Coming
10. Stand Up
11. Keep On Rockin’
12. Gotta Have Ya
13. Tonite (Bonus Track)
14. Never Gonna Give You Up (Bonus Track)
By Jeb “Balls” Wright