"Big Trouble"

By Dark Starr

Stéphane Honde. Is apparently a French man who has relocated to Los Angeles. He must have made a reputation for himself because he managed to recruit some big name players when he decided to put this project together. Those names are: bassist Tim Bogert (Vanilla Fudge, Catus), keyboardist Don Airey (Whitesnake, Deep Purple), and drummer Vinny Appice (Black Sabbath, Dio, Kill Devil Hill). Honde himself handles guitars and vocals. One additional name included here is Paul Di’Anno, but he only sings on the bonus track. The music here is almost metal, but not quite. It’s more or less classic hard rock with a modern edge. This is a great set, really.

With all the high profile musicians in Hollywood Monsters, you might think things would sound messy and unfocused, but that's not the case. The sound is really unified and everybody has their moments to shine. For top tracks, "Move On" is a real melodic metal screamer that's straight ahead and satisfying. On the other hand, "Oh Boy!!" is quite a dynamic piece of music with a real prog edge and a lot of shifting tempos and feels. I also like the rather Bowie-ish "Song For A Fool" with its almost jazz piano touches. "Village of the Damned" is the heaviest song here and the only one  that is straight out metal through and through. Lots to like here!