Men Of Honor review by Adrenaline Mob

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  • Released: Feb 18, 2014
  • Sound: 6
  • Lyrics: 7
  • Overall Impression: 6
  • Reviewer's score: 6.3 Neat
  • Users' score: 5.3 (10 votes)
Adrenaline Mob: Men Of Honor

Sound — 6
Adrenaline Mob seemed to spring up as one of several projects Mike Portnoy was founding as his departure from Dream Theater was starting to sink in with the fans. Every member of the band was a strong musician in their own right, but with Mike Portnoy leaving the band so shortly after helping in the formation of the group in 2011 did not seem to bode well for their future endeavors. A. J. Pero was brought in to replace Mike Portnoy, and while there are some significant stylistic differences in how they approach the drums, the end result is very reassuring that Adrenaline Mob is still going to be around for a while. "Men of Honor" has 11 tracks and clocks in at just under 35 minutes. Instead of releasing singles from the album, the band instead released one song a week for streaming on their SoundCloud account until the entire album had been made available for streaming. 

The album opens up with the track "The Mob Is Back", which starts out with some ferocious drumming and some guitar noodling that builds to a nice foot-stomping tune. Unfortunately, "The Mob Is Back" sounds suspiciously like a mix of a few other popular hard rock songs that have been on heavy rotation on the radio latey… specifically "Burn It to the Ground" by Nickelback and "Bad Girlfriend" by Theory Of A Deadman. "Come On Get Up" is up next, and the stand out part of this track is an amazing guitar solo that seems to borrow stylistically from something you would expect from Tom Morello, but works very well in the context of the song. Lyrically, "Come On Get Up" leaves a little something to be desired. "Dearly Departed" seemed like the first track on the album where Adrenaline Mob was trying to sound like themselves versus other popular bands in the genre. "Behind These Eyes" is almost what you would expect from an '80s hair band playing after saying "and here's one for the ladies!". "Let It Go" has some interesting stuff going on with the riff, and probably the most poignant lyrics from the album for me, personally. "Feel the Adrenaline" actually has a bass solo, which I thought it was pretty cool - I haven't heard a bass solo in a hard rock song in a really long time. The title track "Men of Honor" is another forgettable track - and honestly, the musicians involved in Adrenaline Mob are too good for the product they're producing. "Crystal Clear" is an interesting track because of the overall vibe of the acoustic guitar and the bass part. "House of Lies" is another track that sounds like it is borrowing heavily from other tracks both musically and thematically. The album closes out with "Fallin' to Pieces," which is probably one of my favorite songs on the album - for one, the band sounds like something unique and secondly the songwriting is much better than the majority of the rest of the album. The lack of originality is what makes it difficult for me to rate this release too highly. I respect the musicians involved and wish they had put forth a stronger effort.

Lyrics — 7
Russell Allen, vocalist for Symphony X, has been a good fit for Adrenaline Mob since their formation, having a voice that is well suited towards modern hard rock. Russell's performance on the album is consistently good. The lyrics, however, are one of the weaker aspects of the album - as an example, here are some lyrics from "Come On Get Up": "I heard you took one in the face/ In your face/ I heard you took one in the face/ Come on get up/ In your face/ Come on, stand up/ There you lie, crucified/ Now you're looking like the hulk/ Just knocked you out/ You're torn up, you're beat down/ Damn, you're looking like the dog just dragged you out." Another track that I thought it noteworthy, musically "Feel the Adrenaline" was one of my favorite tracks, but lyrically I was much less impressed, "Are you ready for the ride/ Grab the wheel and hold on tight/ Hit that nitrous suicide/ Oh yeah/ Feel the rhythm of the road/ Let it penetrate your soul/ Turn it up/ And rock that radio/ Now you're feeling the adrenaline/ Feel the adrenaline/ Come on/ Can you feel the adrenaline/ Are you feeling the adrenaline." I was seriously underwhelmed by the lyrics, but the vocals I can't complain about.

Overall Impression — 6
In terms of musicianship in the world of modern hard rock, Adrenaline Mob are definitely some of the front-runners with the level of their performance, but not necessarily leading the pack in the realm of creativity. Their songwriting is a little shaky sometimes - going into the realm of rock 'n' roll cliché a little too quickly at times. Mike Orlando definitely stood out as the MVP on the album, with a few interesting riffs but mostly it was his solos that helped the tracks chisel out an identity in a genre that can often seem overly homogenized. John Moyer was a close second for MVP on the album and hats off to the band for not mixing the bass so low that it is drowned out (which seems to be the thing to do in rock these days). My favorite tracks from the album would probably be "Fallin' to Pieces," "Let It Go" and "Feel the Adrenaline." Unfortunately, the majority of the album was very "meh."

28 comments sorted by best / new / date

    This makes me think, how the hell a group of awesome musicians create something as cliché and chessy as this. There are so few "supergroups" that are actually good...
    Mr Winters
    Check out Flying Colors.
    Flying Colors and The Winery Dogs are IMO two of the only supergroups that ever worked out.
    Mr Winters
    Transatlantic are pretty awesome too. Portnoy's been in like a trillion different bands, some of them had to be shit. It's statistics.
    I totally agree. One key element that so many of these "supergroups" are missing is a good songwriter. You can have the best musicians in the world playing together - but without someone who really knows how to write interesting arrangements and quality lyrics you're always at risk of sounding a little cheese-filled.
    This is probably the best post on UG, ever. Seriously, there are so many good musicians out there. However, there are a lot fewer good songwriters. There's a reason bands like The Beatles, Metallica, Muse, Porcupine Tree, Pink Floyd and others are popular - they all have impressive songwriting skills.
    It's sad, because Russell Allen is great in Symphony X (who have exceptional songwriting) and Portnoy has Winery Dogs and Transatlantic who are also great, songwriting and musically. I would think at least Portnoy's skills would go to this, but he either A. can't do it well alone or B. isn't trying.
    And that's why Barren Earth is so special among supergroups. They have several good songwriters, and none of them are egocentric enough to take over completely.
    Mr Winters
    Man these lyrics are BAD Also, someone please tell whoever types the lyrics on the videos about the difference between your and you're.
    You guys take shit way too seriously. Cheesy music can be fun! If you pull your heads out of your arses, you'll all be able to hear the songs a little better. And I'm not a fan of this band.
    Why so much negative attention? I think it sounds pretty badass, and its called Adrenaline Mob, so the lyrics are aimed at ''adrenaline''. Airbourne and Steel Panther dont have any lyrics much better than this, doesnt mean they are bad?!
    Steel Panther are bad on purpose. Airbourne and Adrenaline Mob are just bad.
    Who says Adrenaline Mob isn't cheesy on purpose, look at their album covers, listen to the lyrics without the thaught they are famous rock/metal stars, it's just mindless headbang music and i like it! \,,/
    Steel Panther isn't bad on purpose, Steel Panther is great on purpose. Rate the lyrics on how well they accomplish what they're going for. Steel Panther's music and lyrics are meant to parody '80s metal, mostly through excess and hyperbole, and it ****ing works. The music is better than most '80s bands, and the lyrics are hilarious (in my opinion, obviously).
    This sounds about the quality of the music that my local rock scene comes out with. Boring overdone rock music with poser lyrics.
    Does anyone like this band? I love Russell Allen and Portnoy's a beast but holy moly this band suck! Honestly, who told these guys that they had a good thing going with this band? Absolutely ****ing awful. Go home.
    I don't know. I love Russell Allens vocals and I guess the guitar solos are "up to standards", but after hearing two songs off this record it seems like a very boring effort.