Released: July 14, 2009
For over a decade I refused to listen to rock radio because as far as I was concerned, true hard rock and metal were buried in an avalanche of flannel grunge back in the early 90’s. But you can’t kill rock and roll, try as some might.
Over the last few years more and more dynamic new artists are breaking through in a music industry awash with over-produced network puppets. One of those bands is Las Vegas based Adelitas Way.
Adelitas Way was built from the tenacity, drive, and vision of vocalist Rick DeJesus. Rick pulled his life from the wreckage of a hardscrabble Philly neighborhood via a fluke shot at reality TV fame; VH1’s Strip Search. This landed him in the city of sin where he began to forge both his musical identity and his musical alliances.
One such ally was guitarist and fellow east coast transplant Chris Iorio. Iorio was only 14 when he was named the “Best Guitar Player” in Las Vegas, winning “Guitarmageddon” (Guitar Center’s National Contest), in 2005. Ask Chris, who began playing at only seven, who his influences are and you’ll get classics like Randy Rhoads, Ted Nugent, Slash, Paul Gilbert, Steve Vai, Robben Ford, even Jeff Carlisi of .38 Special. Not a grunge rock guitar zero in the bunch.
Drummer Trevor Stafford is the band’s resident grunge hound, and his skills behind the kit found him playing Ozzfest at the seasoned age of 17 with the band Shuvel. Trevor is also the band’s resident west-coaster; hailing from California.
Adelitas Way began making the rounds and generating an unusual amount of buzz as a trio, landing a demo production deal with Interscope. The label didn’t work out but Virgin quickly snapped them up and sent them off to Groovemaster Studios in Chicago where the band recorded their debut CD. At the production helm, Grammy nommed Johnny K (Disturbed, 3 Doors Down) helped bring the band’s sound to life and keep it edgy and full. The band was fully rounded out with bassist Derek Johnston, a New York native, and guitarist Keith Wallen also of the Knoxville, TN band Copper who hopped on board after the band finished the CD.
Behind every song is one of Rick’s usual colorful tales, not unlike how the band’s name came to be; it’s taken from a prostitute Rick met in a Tijuana bar/brothel, after the band got waylaid in Mexico by the Federales. The CD’s cover is an artistic representation of that story.
While you may not yet recognize the band’s name, you may have heard their song “Invincible” either on Sirius/XM, or as the official theme song for WWE Superstars. The song has even found its way into commercials for CSI Miami, all before the self-titled debut hit the streets on July 14th. The band’s sound is straight up solid modern hard rock in the vein of Saliva (whom they are currently touring with), Nickelback, Seether, Buckcherry, Foo Fighters, and newer bands like The Veer Union and Red.
The CD opener, “Invincible” radiates a ballsy bulletproof energy. You know that feeling; that pound your chest, I just walked out of bar after too many beers or I just got done watching a Bruce Lee movie marathon feeling. Yeah, that’s the one. “Invincible” will be the band’s first video. Guitarist Keith Wallen tells Metalholic the band finished filming last month and they hope to have it on YouTube, Fuse, and MTV2 soon. “Scream”, the CD’s second track, is a raw in-your-face rampage of driving melody and emotion, while “Dirty Little Thing” takes the bluesy road to sleaze and sin. And while the CD is full of propulsive up-tempo rockers seeping with sex, angst, and celebration (“Hate Love”, “Just a Little Bit”, “Last Stand”, “So What if You Go”), the band knows how to pull it back and pour out their truth on the brooding ballads, “All Fall Down”, “Closer To You”, and “Brother”, the latter an open letter to Rick’s own brother who struggles with drug addiction. One of my personal favorites is “My Derailment” a gritty rocker about self-perspective and not giving into the influence of materialism and what others think. From beginning to end, this is a solid CD of ripping tracks. A rarity these days when record labels have their fingerprints all over everything. Adelitas Way were fortunate enough to get free reign to make their CD their way, and the continuity of the band’s style and sound is showcased through their eyes and not the label’s. It is once again safe to crank up your radio, and to pass over Adelitas Way without a good listen would be remiss on any rock fan’s part. The tunes are high performance, turn-up-the-radio rock anthems waiting to blow up your iPods, and disc players. Adelitas Way is an album made for rock radio — a phenomenal debut. The band are also no strangers to the road, having spent most of the spring on tour with 10 Years, currently out with Saliva, and soon to be out with Shinedown. Don’t miss the CD, and don’t miss a chance to catch them live. Their CD can be purchased through iTunes and Amazon.com and check them out at http://www.myspace.com/adelitasway or http://adelitaswaymusic.net/