Adrenaline Mob came into everyone’s consciousness when they became one of the many bands Mike Portnoy threw himself into after he left Dream Theater. Joined by Russell Allen (Symphony X), Mike Orlando and the likes of Rich Ward, they looked like a pretty cool supergroup. However, slowly members have left. Portnoy realised he didn’t have enough time to be in 100 bands. Ward’s focus has narrowed in on Fozzy and the band has morphed into his current line up, which features Allen, Orlando, A.J. Pero (Twisted Sister) and Erik Leonhardt. The changes led to second album Men Of Honor which it has to be said was met with a resounding meh. So are Adrenaline Mob a band that we should be wasting out time on in 2015.
In an attempt to convince us they are, they have released a new EP, Dearly Departed, which is made up of one original song, a few covers and some reworked versions of older Adrenaline Mob songs.
Opener, ‘Snortin Whiskey’, was originally a Pat Travers song and to be honest, doesn’t change enough from the original to be worth your time. The rock is a bit harder and the production is a little more polished, but ultimately if you are a fan of the original, there is nothing here to blow your mind. That is followed up by a radio edit of ‘Dearly Departed’, which appeared on Men Of Honor. Has anyone ever genuinely sat at home, listening to that song, and thought, you know what I need, a radio edit of this? Of course they bloody haven’t, it’s completely pointless and sadly that seems to become a running theme throughout this EP.
Because there is nothing on this EP that I actually want to listen to again, the best thing here, a cover of ‘Devil Went Down to Georgia’, is just a slightly rocked up version of the original and if I really wanted to listen to it, I think I would go back to that original. The new track, ‘Get You Through the Night’ is just more Adrenaline Mob. It’s American Radio hard rock and while it doesn’t offend me, it doesn’t convince me to go back to this band. What is maybe slightly more offensive, is their ‘Black Sabbath Medley’, which quite frankly is just a bit shit. In a world where I own Black Sabbath albums, which I can sit down and listen to in full, I really don’t need Adrenaline Mob plodding their way through bits of these classic songs.
Which brings me nicely to the acoustic tracks. Once again they are reworkings of the bands earlier songs and once again they manage to feel completely pointless. There are bands that can strip their music back, when they do you get a lot more out of the lyrics and it can show the soul of a song. Sadly, Adrenaline Mob are not one of those bands. When you strip back tracks like ‘Crystal Clear’, you are confronted with faux emotional lyrics, that are so generic they almost border on being original again. The whole thing is just plodding and dull and I say that as someone who likes acoustic music.
Adrenaline Mob feel like a band stuck in stasis. Their biggest named member has left and they want to keep going, but they haven’t yet found themselves an identity, while EP’s like this don’t help matters. This is something that I will never listen to again and if there is anyone out there who would feel the need to give it more than a passing glance, then they must be the biggest Adrenaline Mob fan on the planet, because at the end of the day, all they achieved here is being incredibly dull.