The Defiants: 'ZOKUSHO' Album Review

by John Tedeski / 1623 days ago / Comments

The Defiants are back; they are back with their sophomore effort ZOKUSHO and it is the AOR album to end all AOR albums.

The members of The Defiants are not newcomers but all veterans of the rock music scene,  morphing out of a band from the late ’80s and early '90s known as Danger Danger, who had hits such as “Naughty Naughty”, “Bang Bang”, “Monkey Business”, and “I Still Think About You”. The Defiants consist of original Danger Danger members Bruno Ravel on bass guitar and Steve West on drums, along with Paul Laine on lead vocals who replaced Ted Poley and Rob Marcello on lead guitar who replaced Andy Timmons and have gone on to record a couple more Danger Danger albums and tour as Danger Danger, as well as, forming The Defiants after the original members of Danger Danger reformed in 2014 to tour once again.

ZOKUSHO is a Japanese term which means ‘sequel’ or ‘the next chapter’, it is a very strong album and what I noticed immediately, aside from the production quality and stellar songwriting is how sonically pleasing to the ear that this album truly is. Lead vocalist/guitarist Laine simply has one of the most pleasing vocal tones in rock music and his songwriting skills are off the charts.

The ZOKUSHO tracklist is produced with that classic 80’s AOR / Arena rock vibe and it takes the listener back in time to when rock music was more than just a bunch of musicians standing on stage playing songs. It transports you back to a time of excess in every sense of the word; big sound, big lights, big pyro, big hair, big egos, party’s non-stop, and girls all dressed to thrill; and most of the guys were as well. The songs are well crafted and well-executed and just beg the listener to increase the audio output and to listen to the album in its entirety without interruption. The perfect album to listen to while cruising down the road with the windows down and the air blowing through your hair.

ZOKUSHO has already had three tracks released via YouTube garnering views well over 125 thousand in the extremely short amounts of time since their releases. There is not one single weak track or moment on this entire album.

Track List:
1. Love Is The Killer
2. Standing On The Edge
3. Hollywood In Headlights
4. Fallin’ For You
5. Hold On Tonite
6. Allnighter Mix F4
7. U X’D My Heart
8. It Goes Fast
9. Stay
10. Alive
11. Drink Up!

All eleven tracks are strong, honest, and full of raw emotion. “Love Is The Killer”, the opening track, is a heavy, driving anthem that certainly deserves to be played at 11 on the volume scale of 1 to 10 and sets the tone perfectly for the entire album. If you are a fan of 80’s AOR / Arena Rock, then this is a must-have album for your collection. I for one look forward to how this album is received and whether good or bad it will remain at the top of my playlist and when I listen to this stellar work of musical art so will all of my neighbors! ZOKUSHO, spread the word.



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About John Tedeski

John Tedeski Journalist

I’ve been a musician since the age of 7 when my parents bought me my first drum set. By the age of 16, I was playing the local bar scene. I’ve played around the east coast, and in 1994, through those travels is how I met Founding member of Center Stage Magazine, Tommy Lemon as we were both auditioning for the same band in the Boston Massachusetts area and we’ve been friends ever since. Through the years I’ve met a lot of great musicians such as Vinny Paul (Pantera), Bill Leverty (Firehouse), Ace Frehley (KISS), Marc Ferrari (Keel), Bobby Dall (Poison), and even got to share the stage with Jaime St. James (Black ‘N Blue) and Billy Morris (Warrant), just to name a few. Unfortunately, life had a different path in store for me other than being a full-time musician, yet I’ve been blessed to still be able to play on the weekends with some great local talent. Here I am now with another huge blessing, still within the music world, but this time as a journalist for Center Stage Magazine where I get to talk with and interview musicians who do what I have always longed to do. It’s all good and much less hassle than having to lug my drums all around the country. Rock Out, Roll On & Follow Your Heart ...