By Daniel Watts
Music Reviewer and Segment Producer
The legendary guitarist Pat Travers has a new title on his growing list of albums with “Retro Rocket”. The album was released on March 17th, 2015 through Cleopatra Records and was produced by Travers, himself.
Since The Pat Travers Band (Kirk McKim, Rodney O’Quinn and Sandy Gennaro) are absent on “Retro Rocket” it’s considered to be a solo effort. Travers didn’t work alone though, the album’s list of accredited musicians is actually quite long. Pat Travers on guitar and vocals, Brian Kinsey on vocals, Jürgen Engler and Joe Stump on guitar, Lisa Cameron and Sean Shannon on drums, Kevin Ryan, Neil Carpenter and Scott Telles on bass and Amanda Travers, Elijah Travers and Monica Travers aka “The Travettes” on backing vocals.
This method of writing and recording is not a new trend among musicians. For Travers though, it was and for someone who has never approached creating an album in this manner, I think did very well. If you didn’t know “Retro Rocket” boasts a long list of musicians most likely scattered all over the world, you would have thought all of them were together in the same room recording live. Pat Travers pulled off the live sound by adding no effects to his guitar, playing everything through just once and only doing a few minor overdubs. His goal was to capture the rawness and old school tone of Rock albums from the 70’s.
The sound of “Retro Rocket” couldn’t be any more retro in my opinion. These songs embody the same alive sound that his 70’s material beamed. The album’s consistency is top notch and its production is clean. I found each of the 11 songs (CD version only) to be very enjoyable and attention grabbing. For me, it was easy to become lost in the Rock ‘N’ Roll excursion that is “Retro Rocket”. Almost every song sounds like an intense jam session that keeps you guessing when the next twist and turn is going to arrive.
My front-runner choices on “Retro Rocket” are “Up Is Down” which starts off with a Geezer Butler sounding bass riff. Pat Travers' guitar slaying continues to push the song forward while he discusses the uphill battles of life. Next, “Mystery At The Wrecking Yard” is a racing and fierce Rock ultramarathon that runs over six minutes long. “I Am Alive” is a mean and guitar heavy track that would make a great motivational tool for overcoming any obstacle. “Looking Up” proudly showcases Travers in his best form, live - I need not say more. Lastly, “Lead Me Home” features Travers taking on The Walking Dead theme. I think he did a fantastic job making it his own while still keeping the original song intact.