Released on August 1, 2018 (Recker)
Old school baby! Recker‘s new album Manifest Destiny screams old school in every way. From the vintage Judas Priest music to the simple structure and delivery of the songs to the cliché lyrics, Recker will have you thinking of heavy metal from the early ’80s. Being that Sleaze Roxx celebrates ’80s hard rock and heavy metal music, that is of course a good thing. Although I first thought that Manifest Destiny was Recker‘s debut album, in fact the band has released a number of albums since 2009 consisting of the Vita – Amore – Destino EP (2009), Tragedy Or Triumph (2010), the Believe EP (2012), the Let It Rock EP (2013) and the compilation album Recker (2015).
Recker remind me quite a bit of Anvil. Recker‘s frontman Rich Recker has a similar delivery to Anvil singer Lips in that he’s not what I would call a “born singer” but almost someone who is seemingly handling the lead vocals because the band couldn’t find anyone else to do it. That’s how I perceive Anvil. Imagine how Anvil‘s songs could have gone to that next level with an actual bonafide lead vocalist. The same thing applies for Recker. Rich Recker‘s delivery is part singing, part talking but overall and considering what I have just mentioned, he does a pretty good job singing wise. Let’s put it this way, I am not turned off by Rich Recker‘s singing just like I am not turned off by Lips‘ vocal delivery. Background vocals are sometimes strategically added during some of the songs to back up Rich Recker‘s vocals including during the opener “Manifest Destiny.”
Recker seem intent on using many cliché or previously used lines throughout their songs. A few examples are lines such as “Time has come for you my friend” (which song have I heard that line from?) in “Hellbound”; “The writing is on the wall” in “Nation On Fire”; “Let me tell you boy, you’ve ain’t seen nothing yet” in “Something Wicked (This Way Comes)” and “Sticks and stones may break my bones” and “Have you seen the news today” in “Let Us Prey.” The words “Eye for an eye” are apparently used in both “Hellbound” and “Nation On Fire.” Quite simply, there are too many cliché lyrics on one album.
Most of the songs on Manifest Destiny have one speed, which is the standard heavy metal fare. My favorites are the faster paced “Hellbound” with its semi-catchy chorus and cool guitar solos; “King” with its heavy guitar riff around which the song centred and the verses sung in a very Lips fashion; “Light It Up” with its main guitar riff that just makes me want to headbang; and the more melodic “Let Us Prey.” Overall, Manifest Destiny is a pretty good album. It takes me back to the more simpler times of the ’80s with the more straightforward heavy metal music and vocals that are rough around the edges but nevertheless seem to work with what is being offered.
01. Manifest Destiny
04. Nation On Fire
05. Something Wicked (This Way Comes)
06. Dark Days
07. Light It Up
08. Let Us Prey
Rich Recker – vocals, bass, guitars
Peter Brun – guitars, lead guitar
Tom Slaughter – drums
Rick Sheldon – lead guitar (7)
Barry Edward – lead guitar (6)
Eric Maldonado – lead guitar (8)
Randy Vaughn – lead guitar (2)
Mike Gardiner – background vocals (2, 3)
Produced by Rich Recker and Mike Gardiner
Mixed and mastered by Joe Johnston
Recker‘s “Let Us Prey” song: