The debut album from Rated X was released November 10, 2014.
The debut album from Rated X was released November 10, 2014.


It seems like every day in today’s world, there is another supergroup popping up, combining the talents of people from multiple great bands of the past. They come up around every corner, often with hit and miss results. Many of these groups make the all too common mistake of simply mimicking modern/alternative hard rock sounds and come off as bland and generic, while many others have been able to successfully fuse modern and classic sounds, making for some of the best listening of the day. Upon hearing about the Rated X album last year, it became one of my most eagerly awaited releases.

Rated X features Joe Lynn Turner on vocals, best known for being the singer in Rainbow in the early 1980s following the departure of Ronnie James Dio, as well as for serving a short stint in Deep Purple in the late 1980s/early 1990s, spawning one album. On drums is the legendary Carmine Appice, who has been a rock drummer for half a century, with a career that has seen him in bands like Vanilla Fudge, Cactus, King Kobra, and Ozzy Osbourne’s band. Bassist Tony Franklin previously played in the Firm and Blue Murder, and is also in Kenny Wayne Shepherd’s band. Guitarist Karl Cochran has collaborated with countless artists over the years, remaining respected by fans and fellow musicians alike. Furthermore, many of these musicians have played in other bands together before; Franklin and Appice were together in the classic Blue Murder lineup, and Turner and Appice were together in Mother’s Army in the 1990s.

While I will be the first to admit I was a bit apprehensive when I heard the first tracks from this album that were released as videos online, it only took one listen to the actual album to win me over, and it has grown on me further ever since. One of the best things about the Rated X album is that it is a nice balance between a throwback and modern sounds alike. Nearly every major band these musicians have played in is echoed in the sounds on several tracks on the record. There are shades of Rainbow, Deep Purple, and Blue Murder throughout, but at no point does it feel like the artists in question are trying to mimic or copy those old recordings in an attempt to cling to glory. They have given fans the best of both worlds here.

Another thing worth mentioning here is the sheer talent of the members and how well it all holds up today. Joe Lynn Turner, even into his 60s, still has a great, distinctive rock and roll voice that has not degraded like so many of his peers have. Furthermore, Carmine Appice is still an absolute monster on the drums; pushing 70 his still plays with a ferocity that far surpasses most men half his age. Rounding out the group are Tony Franklin, a seriously underrated musician who has made many contributions to assorted groups over the years, and the equally underrated but no less impressive Karl Cochran.

With this release, some of the most iconic classic hard rock musicians have proven that they are still relevant and capable of creating great music. Here is hoping the first release from Rated X is not also the last!

By Taylor Carlson

Taylor T Carlson Assistant Editor/Senior Staff Writer Taylor T. Carlson was born August 17, 1984, and has called the Vegas Valley home his entire life. A die-hard fan of classic rock and metal music, Taylor has been writing album and concert reviews since he was 16 years old, and continues to do so, having done well over 1,000 reviews. He is also a fan of video gaming and cinema, and has reviewed a number of games and films as well, old and new alike. His thorough and honest (some would say brutally honest) reviewing style has won him the respect of hundreds of music fans and musicians alike, both local and abroad, and the ire of just as many others. Despite being one of the youngest attendees at classic hard rock/metal shows around Vegas, he is also one of the most knowledgeable, having gained the unofficial nickname of “The Eddie Trunk of Las Vegas.” In addition to reviews, Taylor has written and self-published three books on classic hard rock bands, and is a regular participant in rock and roll trivia contests. Taylor also holds a masters degree in special education from the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV), and has appeared on the hit History Channel television series Pawn Stars. His dream is to be able to one day make a living from writing music books and reviews.

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