by: Union

This superb CD isn't what some might expect from a band that boasted former members of Motley Crue and Kiss. Given that singer John Corabi had been with the Crue and guitarist Bruce Kulick spent 12 years with Kiss, some headbangers might have been hoping for some delightfully decadent and trashy heavy metal/hard rock. But let's not forget that Corabi's only album with the Crue, 1994's Motley Crue, was a major departure from the Crue's albums with Vince Neil. And in fact, Union's main focus is forceful yet melodic alternative rock that has more in common with Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Soundgarden and the Stone Temple Pilots than Kiss or Vince Neil-era Crue. "Love (I Don't Need It Anymore)" may allude to slick 1980s corporate rock, but "Heavy D...," "Tangerine" (not to be confused with either the Led Zeppelin classic or jazzman Jimmy Dorsey's 1940s big band hit), "Old Man Wise" and most of the other gems on this CD aren't unlike something you'd get from one of Seattle's alternative or grunge outfits of the 1990s. Corabi and Kulick sound like they were enjoying this unexpected direction a lot, and the result is one of 1998's strongest rock releases. ~ Alex Henderson

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