Just enough leftovers for Volume II

Book reviews, Uncategorized

 

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Eddie Trunk’s Hard Rock and Heavy Metal Volume II, Eddie Trunk, 2013

 

Hard Rock and Metal connoisseur, TV host and Radio personality Eddie Trunk is an important figure in the world of music. When it comes to his scope of music at least. He keeps metal music alive, knows the bands, and had a genuine passion and respect for the artists and the music.

It was hard not to relate or connect to Trunk as he interviewed his favourite bands on That Metal Show or discussed opinions with fellow members of the metal community on the show. The man lives and breathes Metal.

His first book served as a good introduction to world of Hard-Rock and Metal from someone who knows the music and the bands. That’s where the second doesn’t succeed, because most of the great, important and essential bands were in the first, bar a few that didn’t make the cut. Eddie Trunk’s Hard Rock and Heavy Metal Volume II is a little diluted from the first Trunk’s first effort.

Are the bands in Volume II deserving and classic? Well, yes. But essential is a relative term and so opinions will vary. Do I think Cinderella is a great band? Yes. Are they essential? Probably not.

The premise of Eddie Trunk’s second book is the same as his first: introduce an audience to a genre of music and rock their world with classic bands. He does a fine job of writing about the bands and his experiences with them. Yet, partly because most of the truly essential bands (and the reason I emphasize essential is due to the word being used in the book’s title) were already in the first Volume, Part ll is a little lacklustre.

There are even some repeats of the first book. Ace Frehley, Slash and Zakk Wylde were already part of Volume I with their previous respective bands so putting them as solo artists feels like filler to me (as much l like these artists and their solo material). The reader might feel cheated with these inclusions.

Some of the bands were obviously going to be in here like Accept and Blue Oyster Cult. Some are a nice surprise, like Angel. For the most part it seems to be heavy on a Glam metal acts: Cinderella, Dokken, Great White, Night Ranger, Quiet Riot, Ratt, W.A.S.P., Warrant, White Lion etc (who all had the Glam or Hair Metal label attached to their name at one point or another). I like these bands and love the era but there isn’t a big variety of Rock and Metal in Volume II like there was in the first. It doesn’t feel balanced. Just a lot of Glammy bands with some previously included band’s solo careers and a handful of other artist.

A dedicated and hardcore fan will probably know most of these bands already and so they’re just reading it to support Eddie or to read about the stories and less so to learn. That aspect is still present from the first book and Trunk remains entertaining.

Eddie’s playlists are back -In which Trunk features playlists of songs  by an artist that he personally thinks are most enjoyable, underrated etc.- the lists were a high point of his first Volume and I for one, was glad to see them come back. I read those and I went “Oh yeah! I forgot about that one!” Or “This is underrated” and so there’s always songs and albums to check out or re-visit.

I mean no disrespect to these fine bands/artists or Eddie Trunk, but his second book is basically last night’s leftovers: results may vary. The stories are good, the playlists fun and Trunks is as opinionated as ever, yet it’s not an excellent book. It feels too rushed, too quick and not diverse enough to compromise a truly essential book. There were few missing from his first but as a whole it made for a solid introduction to Rock and Metal. It also felt more global in terms of sub-genres.

The first volume had Rob Halford doing the forward, this book continues the tradition of high-profile forewords this time with Slash. It’s a nice touch to have someone so prominent in the industry introduce your book, it legitimizes it.

I love That Metal show, I like Eddie Trunk, I like his stories. I feel that what he does is important and plays a role in preserving this phenomenal music, but 2/5 stars is the best I can do for this book (Oh and the pictures are great!). Eddie is always more than honest and sometimes a little brutal in his assessment of music. Therefore I’m sure he won’t mind if I do the same with his book.

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