We finally picked up the courage to sit down and listen to Def Leppard lead singer, Joe Elliott’s new side project, The Down ‘N’ Outz. After hearing about this project several months ago, Tickets There has been eyeing it with our usual suspicion having never been massive MTH fans, but after several spins it appears things will have to change as The Down ‘n’ Outz début album, My ReGeneration is a serious piece of work.
The Down ‘N’ Outz, were originally formed for a performance with Mott The Hoople playing exclusively all things Mott. Along with Elliott, the band is comprised of Ronnie Garrity from Raw Glory, and Paul Guerin, Guy Griffin, and Keith Weir from The Quireboys. They generously gave the album free with last months Classic Rock and memories of Joe Perry’s recent solo disaster haunted Tickets There every time we saw the issue on the shelf. We couldn’t bare the thoughts of criticizing our life long hero Elliott and his new project, dedicated to the band he loves most in the world. Fortunately we don’t have to.
My Regeneration displays a fantastic collection of perfectly arranged, razor sharp and thoroughly enjoyable pop / rock out classics exploding with musical passion, energy and talent. The Down ‘N’ Outs sound fantastic together and they’ve given these tunes a good sanding down and varnishing making them exceptionally sleek although not letting them lose their raw, at times gritty blues postures.
Opening with the guitar, piano driven Golden Opportunity, the album bursts to life with a bang before the full on thundering catchy rampage of Storm drives it home, all in the first two tracks. Storm is a classic example of where Elliott and Def Leppard got their dramatic, memorable backing vocal power from. Overnight Angles brings things back a notch with some slicked back guitar heavy vibes before some solo driven chorus work gives the song a shredding character. Career (No Such Thing As Rock ‘N’ Roll) offers the the albums only ballad and it gives a great chance for Joe to display some of the finest vocal work we’ve heard in a long time. Just listen to that power during the chorus and you’ll hear it.
England Rocks from Ian Hunter’s 1977 solo album, Overnight Angles brings things back to a full on blitz of chaotically catchy rock fury. Shouting and Pointing again shows it’s impact on Leppard’s style with a slowed drum beat, rhythmic guitar bursts and a enough solos to call it a day. By Tonight brings more of an American sound in and, if we’re not mistaken there’s a hint of High ‘N’ Dry in the guitars before Who Do You Love brings in some good old fashioned heavy pounding drum, keyboard power into the sound with lashings of catchy guitar rock n roll. Final tracks One More Chance to Run and Good Times end the album in a blaze of fire, gusto and all round English produced, English made seventies rock n roll bravado.
This album is exceptional. Most cover albums aren’t worth spitting on but My ReGeneration is definitely one worth picking up, especially if you haven’t heard MTH before. The Down ‘N’ Outz have done an incredible job reworking these tracks and with any luck they’ll carry on the project for a long time to come. Maybe if you visit their Website and ask very nicely, they may consider a few originals further down the line.