It took me a long time to accept WARRANT without original lead singer, Jani Lane. In fact, it took seeing them live at a show last year in a lineup with five other bands to actually hear them with current lead singer, Robert Mason. I was still skeptical but I decided to stay for their set since I was already there anyway. I can say I am certainly glad I did. When they sang “Heaven” it gave me goosebumps and blew me away. It was at that moment I accepted Robert Mason as their singer.
I even was fortunate enough to meet them at that show and they are some of the nicest, most down to Earth guys. After listening to this album, Louder Harder Faster (out now, Frontiers Music) I feel that he is doing both the band and the late Jani Lane justice. So if you have a doubt about new WARRANT, like I did, take it from me and my experience and give them a chance. You likely won’t be disappointed.
The title track starts things off with in your face, hard hitting, heavy metal. It definitely lives up to its name. From beginning to end it is powerful. The band playing and Robert’s singing all stay full force throughout. This track is a great start to the album. “Devil Dancer” has a lower, darker sound that is so very entrancing. The next song, “Perfect” is like a compliment to the previous track. It is much lighter and a nearly opposite theme. These two placed together like this gives a nice change of pace.
I have always enjoyed songs that tell a story. “Only Broken Heart” does just that, plus it has a solo that grips and pulls at your soul. This also showcases Mason’s interesting gravelly voice. Where most singers that have a grit in their voice have it in the lower part of their vocal range, Mason tends to have it in his higher end. The next track, “U In My Life,” one of the ballads on the album, demonstrates Mason’s control over the use of gravel in his voice. Most of the song his voice is smooth and soft, but at certain points he adds the grit as emphasis.
“New Rebellion” brings the album back to its hard, driving, in your face pace. This is definitely a track to headbang to. Closer “Let it Go,” is by far my favorite of the album. I listened to this one on repeat many times. I love the flow as Mason increases his pitch, after which the guitar starts where he left off and brings the overall pitch back down again. It creates a sort of wave that gets stuck in your head. This song is also just so positive and uplifting. It instills a sense of wellbeing and positive outlook on life. After the solo Mason sings with very little instrumental accompaniment, calming the song down, until drummer Steven Sweet builds it back up and everyone joins back in for its conclusion.
“Faded” is another one of my favorites on the disc. The way the lead guitarist bends the strings in the beginning can bring you to your knees. This song also has a very intriguing rhythm that is almost a combination of bouncing and smooth (how does that even work?!?). Overall this album is great. The opening track and closing track are perfectly placed. It is the first recording I listened to with Robert Mason as their lead singer, and after listening it makes me want to go back and dig into their previous record, the first with Mason, Rockaholic.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Louder Harder Faster”, “Perfect”, “Only Broken Heart”, “Faded”, “Let it Go”