Released on February 28, 2020 (HighVolMusic)
These five guys from Atlanta, Georgia got their start in 2008 with their debut album Strip Rock Roll. Apparently, some of the music for Twisted Road was written as far back as 2015, but the band was put on hiatus. Singer Joe Flynt spent a brief period with Kickin Valentina before reforming Asphalt Valentine and developing this new album.
Twisted Road does not blaze new trails by any means. The title track sure shows the group’s stated influences from more modern bands like Buckcherry and The Last Vegas to ’70s and ’80s rockers like Aerosmith and Mötley Crüe. Frankly, I hear more of the former 2000s swagger rather than the early years of rock in their music.
Like I said, the title track “Twisted Road” is very much The Last Vegas in its styling and delivery. It has a groove and a vocal line to match. “The Only” begins as an ’80s homage akin to Ratt perhaps, but maybe develops on the softer side. Thinking Dokken in its execution. The riff is really good and of course, there’s some cowbell. “I Don’t Care” is soft core punk with a hint of sing along. It’s alright and might be something The Last Vegas would consider as a late entry to their next album, if they ever do another. I’ve heard it before, and it didn’t appeal to me. Fresh off that is a purely generic power ballad “Saving.” It is neither inspiring nor validating. Hard pass.
And yet, “Something More” is a great piece of sleaze. This is a track that I could listen to over and over. All the elements are there, and if Twisted Road were this consistent, it would be impressive. The bluesy breakdown of “As The Crow Flies” is somewhat deceiving, but ultimately works. “Shamefully” holds no interest, but “Ooh La La”, “Dixie Rose” and “Rain” cannot be faulted for their pure rock and roll delivery.
I thought Asphalt Valentine’s Twisted Road to be an “OK” listen overall. The band has the ability to write and deliver some good riffs. Rockers will appreciate it. That being said, there is nothing new here that makes the band intriguing or compels me to get more involved.
01. Twisted Road
02. The Only
03. I Don’t Care
05. Something More
06. As the Crow Flies
08. Ooh La La
09. Dixie Rose
Joe Flynt – vocals
Scott Clark – bass
Brett “Beretta” Ciaramella – guitars
Evan McKee – guitars
Brian “Fishbone” Jung – drums
Reviewed by Metal Mike for Sleaze Roxx, March 2020
Asphalt Valentine‘s “The Only” video:
“The Only” was originally conceived when the band was approached by author/film maker/adventurist Joey Shonka to write some music for one of his documentary-…