"Neurotica" (KOCH; 2002)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

A couple of years ago, Alice Cooper released a CD entitled "The Eyes of Alice Cooper." Alice's intent with that CD was to do an album that was a little more modern than his previous CDs. What was surprising was not only how well he succeeded but at how much the music sounded like the material Alice did at the peak of his career. In other words, everything that was old was new again.

That's kind of how I feel about Neurotica's self-titled CD. The 11 tracks here are strong, sturdy rockers that deliver the goods in a Motley Crue / Ratt kind of way while, at the same time, giving everything a fresh, new, modern sheen. 

That's a double-edged sword, however. Fans of old school metal probably won't like Neurotica's modern licks and songwriting while modern metal fans may find the band's material too immersed in history. It's one of those situations where you'll probably find no one who will tell you that "Neurotica" sucks, but you won't find anyone who will tell you it rules, either.

Neurotica: Shawn Bowen - guitars; Jason West - drums; Kelly Schaefer - vocals; Chris Rollo - guitars; Migwell Prybyl- bass. 

"Living In Dog Years" (NMG; 1999)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

POW! (Neurotica just smacked you upside the head with a monster riff.)

BAM! (Neurotica just delivered a sonic punch to your gut.)

WHAP! (Neurotica's hard hitting "Living In Dog Years" just put you down for the ten count).

Neurotica's sophomore effort "Living In Dog Years" is a street-wise hard rock album with an emphasis on crunch. Their confidence is a result of staring adversity in the face and playing from the heart. 

The band's best asset is their songwriting followed closely by their robust sound. The songs are solid gems of hard rock music in the truest sense of the word. The meaty riffs complement the band's collective attitude perfectly. The sound is a mature update on the hard rock sound without falling prey to '80s hard rock or the soon-to-be-dated '90s style.

The dual guitars add a lot of flavor without cluttering up the tunes - there's enough modern-styled aggression tempered by classic hard rock to form a searing resonance. The rhythm section is equally adept at laying back in the pocket in a groove as well as forcing the issue with propulsive energy. The vocals are solid as the lyrics are sung with passion and fervor without being too outrageous. My favorite tracks are "Touch The Sound," the title track, "Up In The Hay," "A Lot Of The Same," "Time Inflator," and the trippy, yet ripping hidden track at the end of the disc. There's no pretension, no politics, or any social message with the lyrics - the words are reflections on life's little twists and turns. 

The band got a huge break for their debut a few years back when AC/DC's Brian Johnson caught the band in action and produced their debut CD "Seed." Undoubtedly, Neurotica will be making their own breaks from now on. 

There's a lot of hard rock coming out of Florida lately (Creed, Limp Bizkit, Marilyn Manson, among others), but without a doubt my favorite is Neurotica. 

"Living In Dog Years" was produced by Doug Kaye and mixed by Tom Morris (Iced Earth, Savatage). 

Neurotica is Kelly Schaefer on vocals, Shawn Bowen and Louis Polito on guitars, Migwell Prybyl on bass, and G.J. Bosman on drums.  

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 2005 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 06 Mar 2022 14:38:30 -0500.