FOOLS PARADISE

"In for the Kill" (Self-produced; 2014)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Remember when Ted Nugent was great? I'm talking about the days of his 1975 self-titled album and the subsequent "Free for All" and "Cat Scratch Fever." Those were killer albums, clean and hard and powerful, the kind of rock music you could listen to over and over and over again and never get bored with.

Well, that's what Fools Paradise's new album, "In for the Kill" reminds me of. It's killer classic rock with a modern flare and a progressive tint that never wanes throughout the nine track running time. I'm not really surprised; their earlier CDs were of the same stuff.

"In for the Kill" starts off strong with "Temple of Kings," a solid rocker that opens the album with a bang.  This track is a favorite of a couple of the bandmembers and it's easy to see why. For some reason, it reminds me of classic Rainbow, again with a modern flare. The album never weakens from this point on with a couple of tracks -- "Long Time" and "Broken Man" -- changing things just a bit by being ballad-esque without ever going full-out ballad. My favorite track is probably the title track, with its nearly Iron Maiden-like riff and lead singer Nick Neilson's heartfelt vocals.

Overall, this is one of the best albums I've heard this in 2014 and it only gets better each time I listen. The band is full of terrific musicians who gel well together. Not only do they play tightly and expertly, they seem to be genuinely enthused about their music and that enthusiasm shines through to the listener. "In for the Kill" is worth the time of any classic hard rock fan.

Fools Paradise: Nick Neilson - guitars, vocals; Bruce Curry - bass guitar, backing vocals; David Kurdelak - drums, backing vocals; Todd Faurot: Keyboards, backing vocals.

For more information, check out http://www.foolsparadise.us and make sure to check out their impressive video for "Wasted Years."

"This World" (Self-produced; 2010)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

In my review of the band's earlier demo, I said: "A full-length CD from these guys would be something to behold." Now, finally, "This World," the full-length CD by Fools Paradise is here and I am pleased to report that is indeed something to behold.

"This World" starts out with a track that sounds a lot like Uriah Heap. It's got that classic, vintage rock sound that you used to hear on the radio all the time but can't find now no matter how hard you try. Track 2 sounds like vintage Deep Purple. Do you see the theme here yet? This is an album for anybody who likes the classic hard rock era, but "This World" still has enough of a fresh edge -- with its high production values, quality songwriting, etc. -- that it sounds new and just great.

Vocalist Nick Neilson still sounds a lot like Meat Loaf at times, which of course, is a good thing; Meat Loaf is one of the best vocalists in rock history. This is no more apparent than on track 6, "World's Burning." The solos on the CD are fiery and dynamic in the vein of Ted Nugent's style. And the songs are irresistible, hooking you from the beginning and getting those hooks in deeper with each and every listen.

"This World" is one of my favorite albums of last year ... and this year, as well. It's fast, fun and a total blast to listen to.

For more information, check out http://www.foolsparadise.us

"Demo" (Self-produced; 2002)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

The three tracks on the demo we received are all well-written and very well executed tunes that delivered what the band promises: More than just rock'n'roll songs, more of a rock'n'roll story. A comparison to Styx and Meat Loaf isn't so much because Fools Paradise sounds like those bands, but because their songwriting style and sophisticated performance is similar. A full-length CD from these guys would be something to behold - like a music novel as opposed to a CD.

This demo was recorded at 2CarGarage Studio with the final mix-down done at Ventura's legendary Goldmine Recording Studio by Jeff Cowan and Nick Neilson. 

FOOLS PARADISE: Nick Neilson - lead guitar, lead vocals; David Kurdelak - drums, backup vocals; Clarence "C" Eldridge - bass guitar, backup vocals.

For more information, check out http://www.foolsparadise.us.

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2014 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 05 Mar 2017 12:56:12 -0500.