The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world


THe welcomes you to our first annual roundup, and hope you enjoy reading about our favourite rock of 2009.



We take great pleasure in inviting all our members to Send in your own "best of the year" lists and we will publish them right here online - not a member? sign up now and send them through.


highlights of 2009 include the "new explosion of swedish glam and sleaze metal" (neogasm), the abundance of great albums from all around the world, and both mark and shane rockpit were lucky enough to enjoy some weeks rocking across america and seeing some amazing gigs.


We look forward to continuing to provide you with the hardest rocking reviews - and take this opportunity to remind you that we are desperately short of contributors for 2010. If you have a decent vocabulary, can string a few paragraphs together, and believe you have a passion and insight for hard rock and/or metal - drop us a line and you might find yourself a rockpit writer!!




The Rockpit recognise RONNIE JAMES DIO as the living embodiment of the Sprit of Rock n' Roll. Throughout a career spanning four decades, Ronnie has released an amazing canon of work with Elf, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Dio & Heaven & Hell - all the while staying true to his beliefs and to Metal.

Recent news that Ronnie is undergoing cancer treatment is saddening, but we at The Rockpit know that if anyone can beat the Big C, it will be Ronnie James Dio using the Spirit of Rock n' Roll \m/




2009 was a great year for rock in retrospect and as a result I will have few treats under my tree this Christmas after having spent up big on a jaunt to the States and several armfuls of CDs.

There were some great melodic releases this year and some great sleaze but also a good few surprises. Who would have thought some of the old guard would put out such great albums this year?

Best of all is that there continues to be a steady supply of cool young bands out there looking back to the 70’s and 80’s for inspiration. Some sadness too though with both Thunder and the Hanoi Rocks calling it a day. Roll on 2010!



1. White Flame – Tour Bus Diaries

this album is quite simply stunning as a young band it is a great achievement and for any fan of the mighty Aerosmith this is what they could sound like today!

2. The Last Vegas – Whatever Gets You Off

I must admit that for a long time this was my album of the year and any other year it may have been. The Last Vegas are quite simply one of the best young bands around. This release is so mature and so confident it puts most others to shame. This hasn't left the playlist since I first heard it.

3. Little Caesar - Redemption

a long time between drinks for Little Caesar but it was worth the wait, This swaggers like the original EP. A must hear.

4. New Generation Superstars – Raising the Stakes

In a year of great releases Nottingham's own New Generation Superstars proove that you don't have to be from LA or Sweden to lay down a greta slab of Sleaze!

5. The Answer - Everyday Demons

If you like your Classic hard rock with a seventies feel and a bluesy soul you won't find better than the Answer's latest slab of no nonsense hard rock,

6. Heaven's Basement - self titled EP

Lots of EPs making the list but if the music's this good! Heaven's Basement may be on their third name by now and have had nothing but bad luck but you listen to this and you can see why they keep going. This band will be huge or die trying.

7. Run Devil Run - Five By Five EP

When these guys were Poets and Pornstars they produced one of the best albums of 2007. The singer may have changed but the music takes the best of Poets and hits the Sunset Strip running.

8. Danny Vaughn – The Road Less Travelled

Live CDs have to be good to make a best of list. Danny's vast back catalogue gets a full band acoustic treatment and has never sounded better.

9. Danger Danger – Revolve

Surprise of the year. Seriously good stuff from D2.

10. The Poodles – Clash of the Elements

If the Poodles haven't rocked your world yet let them in- they promise they won't leave a mess on the carpet. Melodic rock overdrive and songs that will have you singing along for days.

11. Lynch Mob – Smoke and Mirrors

George is back and he rocks. This could well be the best ever Lynch Mob album.

12. Black Crowes – Before the Frost… Until the Freeze

I love the Black Crowes, don't know exactly what it is. I know it may be a bit mellow for some tastes but it hits a nerve with me. Raw emotion and beautiful music.

13. Europe – Last Look at Eden

I bought a Europe album and I liked it - You will too!

14. The Wildhearts – Chutzpah!

The Wildhearts are a consistently great live band. This is one of their best recent releases. Diverse and dirty.

15. House of Lords – Cartesian Dreams

The best House of Lords album ever in my opinion. Melodic rock on a grand scale and about as good as it gets.

16. UFO – The Visitor

I think some one must have put something in their tea. UFO again deliver the goods in what is getting to be a second golden age for the old-timers!

17. Shinedown – The Sound of Madness*

I put this in because I bought it this year and I understand it was a 2009 European release. I really like these guys. Cyanide Sweet Tooth Suicide is sleaze for the new millenium.

18. Steel Panther – Feel the Steel

If you haven't heard this you probably should. Better still catch them live, Spinal tap with prettier hair and lots of dirty lyrics.

19. Charm City Devils – Let’s Rock ‘n’ Roll

This one nearly passed me by but I'm so glad I found it. A great slab of hard rock with no filler.

20. Kill Devil Hills - Man, you Should Explode

The best Australian release of the year for me. Blues rock from a band of many colours.

21. Queensryche – American Soldier

This is a great album and a brave concept. Some of the songs are a strong as anything the band has produced in the past.

22. Asphalt Valentine – Strip Rock Roll

No nonsense Strip Rock Roll as it says on the can. Nothing original here but a great sleaze record by a damn fine band. Definitely a band to watch.

23. Gypsy Pistoleros - Welcome To The Hotel de la Muerte EP

They may be nice guys, they may like a little drink now and again, they may even be the most hospitable gypsy-sleaze-punk-flamenco desperados you could meet but it doesn't stop them delivering the goods with the day job. RYAO.

24. Reece – Universal Language

The voice of Bangalore Choir and later Accept emerges out of the wilderness with an unexpectedly great album. I only picked this up the day before the deadline, otherwise I'm sure it would have been higher.

25. Black Crowes - Warpaint Live

Great Live Album by a great live band

If I’d had it in the mail yet I’m also sure that Tyla’s (ex-Dogs D’Amour) new one would be up there. Also the new Skin CD arrived too late to make the list.

I think I was also the only member of who preferred Ace’s album to the Kiss one…




2009 has been a bonanza year for rock albums – especially hard rock and sleaze glam - yet only so many can make the top lists. Voting was intense and very close this year, with so many fantastic high quality releases that ALMOST made my list, that I am sure I will change my mind regularly! For now...


1. WHITE FLAME – Tour Bus Diaries.  A tremendous album of bluesy hard rock stabs, chock full of road stories and more sleaze than the average bunch of Finnish reprobates have any right to


2. Bai Bang - Are You Ready.  2009’s best all round collection of party anthems


3. Gypsy Pistoleros - Welcome To The Hotel De la Muerte EP.  The world’s foremost flamenco sleaze glam punk band take another confident and inspired step on their way to world domination


4. Cheap Trick - The Latest.  Their most consistent album in decades


5. Steel Panther - Feel The Steel.  Hilarious, politically incorrect album of parodies/tributes of all our favourite 80’s hair metal bands, performed with exceptional talent, flair and affection


6. Dirty Penny - Young & Reckless.  Oklahoma glammers take a big step up with the songwriting on their second album, serving up a huge plate of sleaze with a side order of “Fuck You!”


7. Megadeth – Endgame.  The sound of Dave Mustaine firing on all cylinders:  near-perfect precision metal


8. Shakra – Everest.  Without a doubt THE melodic metal album of the year


9. Gasoline Queen – Fuel For Rock n Roll.  Sweden seems almost ubiquitous at the moment, for good reason.  Gasoline Queen rock.  Nuf said


10. KISS - Sonic Boom.  Sensational return to form from the original painted rockers


11. Wolfmother - Cosmic Egg.  Bursting at the seams with monstrous riffs and proving mainman Andrew Stockdale is no one trick pony


12. Gasoline Inc – self titled EP.  West Australian newbies Gasoline Inc play their trump cards – Singer Gabriel’s powerful lungs, and mature beyond their years songwriting – on this debut release.  Potential future world beaters

13. Hysterica – Metalwar.  All girl group of hot Swedish guitar toting maniacs take the boys on at their own game… and win!


14. Chickenfoot – Chickenfoot.  Hagar, Satriani, Anthony & Smith buck the odds to produce a vibrant and exciting album that lays waste to any notion that all “supergroups” do is relive the glories of their members’ youths.

15. Dynazty - Bring The Thunder.  Sweden strikes again – Dynazty are no KISS tribute band, but a feisty bunch of kids sporting guitars, hair and attitude, as well as songs most bands would kill for


16. Babylon Bombs - Babylons Burning.  Swedish tunesters knock out another album of utterly convincing and insanely catchy hard rock


17. Alice In Chains - Black Gives Way to Blue.  Grunge legends purge their demons with a ‘comeback’ album of classic proportions


18. Run Devil Run - Five By Five EP.  Ex-Poets & Pornstars lads show a mature and instantly likeable statement of intent with their debut release


19. Slayer - World Painted Black.  Thrashers Slayer playing to their considerable strengths


20. Little Caesar – Redemption.  They may look like scary outlaw bikers with more tattoos than God, but Little Caesar are the most genuine pussycats and hardest rocking soul brothers you’ll ever meet.  More groove than a  truck full of Motown singles

21. Helix – Vagabond Bones.  Old school Canadian hard rock bring to mind their glory days with a true return to form


22. UFO – The Visitor.  Pete Way may not be present, but with Phil Mogg in sensational voice, and Vinnie Moore on a blues bender, UFO end the decade on an undisputed high note


23. Wildhearts - Chutzpah!  Ginger and Co again show that they are amongst the most criminally overlooked bands on planet rock.  Long may they keep doing what they do


24. The Answer – Everyday Demons.  Irish rock revivalists continue to spread the good word with second album of fantastic seventies-influenced hard rock


25. Hell City Glamours – self titled.  Aussie hard rockers deliver a classy and raw debut that has set all of England abuzz. 



Honourable mentions also go out to…


Nashville Pussy - From Hell To Texas. Redneck madness with a tongue firmly in cheek from these Texan bail dodgers

Ace Frehley – Anomaly. Ace delivers a rollicking good solo album a thousand times better than Psycho Circus

Crucified Barbara – Til Death Do We Party. Another Swedish band, another all girl group, another great album full of metal chicks throwing rock shapes left right & centre

Wildstreet – self titled. Excellent debut album full of stadium sized rockers all polished with a sprinkle of Def Leppard-esque magic






1. Them Crooked Vultures - self titled


2. Megadeth - Endgame


3. Mastodon - Crack The Skye


4. Clutch - Strange Cousins From The West


5. Evile - Infected Nations


6. Alice In Chains - Black Gives Way To Blue


7. Baroness - Blue Record


8. Lamb Of God - Wrath


9. Kreator - Hordes Of Chaos


10. Heaven And Hell - The Devil You Know


11. Shadows Fall - Retribution


12. The Answer - Everyday Demons


13. Slayer - World Painted Blood


14. Havok - Burn


15. Rollerball - Submarine



Best DVDs of 2009 - SHANE


1. The Story Of Anvil - An immediate classic and not just a movie about metal or a metal band, but a heartfelt, heart warming tribute to two guys who believe - against all the odds and the reality of their lives to date - that they are destined for bigger & better things. It's their self belief that has taken Anvil to the world's stages (and the fame they so desperately sought in the film) since the movie's release, and which forms the core of this masterpiece of a movie.


2. Iron Maiden Flight 666

3. Kissology 1 and 2

4. ZZ Top - Double Down Live

5. Deep Purple - History, Hits & Highlights



Best DVDs of 2009 -Mark


1. Hanoi Rocks – Buried Alive. 

Hanoi Rocks has always been one of my favourite bands and so this year it was sad to see them call it a day. Buried Alive is a great documentation of their last ever concert from earlier this year. It’s a great live film, beautifully made and visually stunning. This is what all the fuss was about.


2. Skin - Up Close and Personal

If you haven't heard about the best hard rock band the UK produced in the nineties then this is a great introduction. Part interview, part history and with lots of live clips. The DVD is rounded out by their comeback preformance at Download 2009. It's majestic. How big were they? How big could they have been? At Download they came on after Tesla and before Journey...

3. Kiss – Kissology 2

I was amazed at how good this was when I first played it. It may cover my favourite period (the one I was there for) but it's got some really cool live stuff and made me look at the whold Unmasked period in a new light. Aside from the forgettable 'Attack of the Phantoms' movie (which isn't funny, isn't kitch it's just really shit) this is pretty much essential.

4. Black Crowes – Warpaint Live

Great band doing great things live, the new music may not be everyone's cup of tea but this is a band that takes performing live to another level.

5. Small Faces – All or Nothing

These guys gave us so much, not least Steve Marriott and Humble Pie without them there's no Peter Frampton comes alive. Seriously great stuff a history lesson that rocks.




1. Aerosmith and ZZ Top (with Slash) in Vegas - I had this funny feeling this year that this might be the last time I got to see Aerosmith. I don’t know what it was exactly but it woke me up one night. As I spend my Julys over at Rocklahoma that Aerosmith was touring in July was serendipity at it’s rockiest! I managed to catch them in Vegas and Dallas but the Vegas show was something special as I was only a few rows from the front and in that crazy weekend I managed to meet Joey Kramer and grab Steven’s autograph!

2. Rocklahoma 2009 – Pryor

3. Dokken, MSG, LA Guns and Bang Tango - Phoenix

4. Trivium & Black Tide – Perth

5. Sin City Sinners - at the Voodoo Lounge in Vegas

6. Aerosmith and ZZ Top - Dallas

7. Lillian Axe - LA

8. Whitesnake & Judas Priest – Cincinnati

9. Steel Panther – LA

10. Armored Saint - Perth

11. Budgie – Perth

12. Fleetwood Mac - Perth



1. Rocklahoma 2009, Pryor, Oklahoma - July 9 - 12 - a four day orgy of almost a hundred heavy and hard rock, eighties glam and hair metal bands over four stages. This year came complete with a heatwave, a lot of fantastic people, and a bloody awesome time! Highlights included headliners Twisted Sister, Saxon, Icon, Warrior, Gypsy Pistoleros, Bai Bang, LA Guns with Jizzy Pearl, one of the very few gigs Anthrax played with singer Dan Nelson, Lizzy Borden, Big Cock, Warrant – and many more!

2. Def Leppard/ Poison/ Cheap Trick, Noblesville, Indiana -July 23

3. Slayer & Megadeth, Perth, Western Australia - October 13

4. Monster Magnet, Fremantle, Western Australia - September 10

5. Leonard Cohen, Swan Valley, Western Australia - February 7

6. Aerosmith & ZZ Top, Tulsa, Oklahoma - July 30

7. Alice In Chains & many more, Soundwave Festival, Perth, Western Australia - March 2

8. Queensryche, Perth, Western Australia - August 27

9. Anti Nowhere League, Los Angeles, California - July 4

10. Steel Panther, Los Angeles, California - July 6






1. Megadeth & Slayer, Challenge Stadium WA, October 13


2. Amon Amarth, Capitol Theatre WA


3. Monster Magnet, Metropolis Fremantle, WA, September 10


4. The Angels, Metropolis Fremantle, WA


5. Trivium & Black Tide, Capitol Theatre WA


6. Lamb of God, Devildriver, Shadows Fall, Metro City, WA


7. SOUNDWAVE FESTIVAL - Alice In Chains, Lamb of God + many more, Steel Blue Oval, March 2


8. Kreator, Metropolis Fremantle WA


9. Lord, Rocket Room WA







My five week Rock Pilgrimage tour of the United States - so many bands (75), so many great people, so many superb memories and happy times. Thanks to Trulie for joining in, Kim & Tina for coming along, Tia for accepting I was gone for so long, the many bands I was lucky enough to enjoy and all the brilliant people I had the good fortune to meet

Starting The Rockpit with my very good (and very rock) friend Mark

Exploring the Mississippi Blues Trail with Kimba

Hearing my daughter Tia say "Rock n' Roll" for the first - and subsequent - times (as well as seeing her dressed in KISS, AC/DC and Garden Of Evil t-shirts!)

Befriending the Gypsy Pistoleros

Meeting legends Jizzy Pearl, Joe Leste, Dave Henzerling, Joe Floyd & others at Rocklahoma


Shane Rockpit with Jizzy Pearl, July 13 2009, Tulsa, OK

Finally seeing bands i have worshipped for decades - Saxon, Twisted Sister, Anvil, Anti Nowhere League to name a few

At Last - I found my soulmate Trulie after far too long looking!! And she LOVES the rock!!!

Interviewing and reviewing great artists who I respect deeply





Starting a dream ten years in the making

Interviewing Danny Vaughn for my first ever Rockpit interview, I hope to catch up with him again soon. Interviews in general for the Rockpit, I’ve got to chat to some great people this year.

Snagging Steven Tyler’s autograph

Meeting Joey Kramer for a Q&A

Meeting the guys from Hericane Alice and finally seeing them live

Having a great chat with Brent Muscat from Sin City Sinners at the Voodoo Lounge after a beautiful Saturday night in Vegas

The Rocklahoma side stages: Icon, Baton Rouge, Lillian Axe, Big Cock, D’Molls and others

Meeting Joe Leste, Tracii Guns and a whole heap of cool people at Rocklahoma

Mark Rockpit partying with Joe Leste, July 10 2009, Rocklahoma




Aerosmith NOT releasing new music and then splitting up

Hanoi Rocks packing it all in

Thunder calling it a day

Buckcherry’s ‘Black Butterfly’ - a pretty lame follow-up to the fantastic ‘15’

Chris Cornell’s latest dance album

Classic Rock Magazine’s continuing obsession with Prog Rock

Guns ‘n’ Roses latest

Metallica’s latest ..yawn.. album

Coldplay win best rock album Grammy (why don’t they just scrap the category)

Missing half of Black Stone Cherry’s set in Cincinnati




Seriously injuring my knee during or after the Anti Nowhere League gig in Los Angeles in mysterious (drink spiking?) circumstances - scary and bad

Rocklahoma announces a new - more mainstream - direction

So many of Rock's heroes having health issues (Ronnie James Dio and Joe Leste for a start)

Lita Ford's new album - so anticipated, yet so horrible

Thunder & Hanoi Rocks splitting up

Black Stone Cherry starting their set half an hour earlier than advertised in Cincinatti, so we missed most of their set

Axl & friends. I mean, "Guns n' Roses"

Classic Rock Magazine starting to run out of ideas

Coldplay winning a "rock" Grammy award. Pathetic.

John Bush being ill and unable to perform with Armored Saint in Perth



BEST FIGHT of 2009


SHANE - Joe Lynn Turner vs David Coverdale

"Coverdale mimes"

"No I don't! You wear a wig"

"Ouch! Okay, maybe you don't mime"
Such fun!


MARK - Poison versus Def Leppard

A slanging match that lasted a LONG time, culminating with their joint tour of The States this year [with Cheap Trick opening]




Will the Rocklahoma festival abandon its 80s Rock Roots?

Will White Flame’s next album top ‘Tour Bus Diaries’?

Ace Frehley and AC/DC downunder!

The return of King Kobra?

New releases from: Firehouse; Trixter; Wig Wam and Journey




The Australian Summer festival season - Faith No More, Jane's Addiction, Anvil and more at Soundwave, Jeff Beck & Buddy Guy at Blues n Roots, and many more

Slash's forthcoming solo CD

The AC/DC tour finally hits Perth in March!

Ace Frehley in February

Taking The Rockpit to the next level



Thanks to everyone who has visited The Rockpit - the more the merrier! We will keep trying to bring interesting reviews and interviews your way, and hope we can keep you coming back regularly!


Agree with our taste? Disagree vehemently? Tell us on our forum!



By Shane & Mark Rockpit, December 2009.