|High Noon - 'Self-Titled'||re-released through Eönian Records in 2009|
Jim Zappa - lead & backing vocals
Ken Hitsman - guitars & backing vocals
Sam Persons - bass & backing vocals
Mike Patterson – drums
additional band members:
Jaime Harris – drums
Ken Hitsman – guitar, bass & drum sequencing
1.) “High Noon” – Opening this track there is the effect of thunder. The musical intro opens with Ken I believe playing a picking riff on an amplified acoustic guitar and effects petal. In between the thunder effects there is a small wind chime effect. Twenty seconds into the intro Mike starts hitting his hi-hat which is partially opened. Mike goes from hitting the hi-hat to a sixteenth-note hi-hat rhythm. As the intro progresses it sounds like it speeds up. The entire intro is 1:06 long which is highly unusual. There is a small musical rest connecting the intro with the musical verse. The lyric line begins right off. There is a backing vocal for the fifth and seventh lyric line leading into the chorus. There is a small musical rest connecting the first chorus with the second verse. After the second chorus there is a lead guitar solo. After the solo the band brings the song down a few beats per minute much like the intro section. Then speed it back up for the final chorus. In many ways this track reminded me of a bizaro-world Every Mother’s Nightmare.
2.) “Bad Moon Risin’” –Though this track opens with a fairly cool lead guitar lick. The bass line of the main musical intro is what blew me away! The rhythm guitar over it plays simple chording riffs. There is however a small lead guitar harmonic section. There is a rhythm arrangement change for the musical verse. The vocal sound of the verse was very reminiscent of Vince Neil pre-‘Too Fast For Love’ days. The rhythm guitar rhythm has a late seventies feel to it. Musically there is no distinction between the verse and chorus. Underneath the lyric lines of the second verse you can hear a few scattered out lead guitar licks. The only real rhythm arrangement change was after the second chorus and the breakdown section. For me the sound of the lead guitar was more the problem of the lead guitar solo them the actual solo. The lead guitar licks underneath the rest of the choruses are a little more prominent. There are several vocal accents over the top of the outro section of this track.
3.) “Rude Boy” –This track opens with a single strumming clean electric guitar riff. Because the band chose to use this strumming riff as the basis for the main musical intro section the intro takes on a Steve Vai sound. The band doesn’t change the rhythm for the musical verse as opposed to altering it underneath the lyric lines. There is no rhythm change between, intro, verse & chorus. So far the solo for this song was the best on the CD. It was done with both guitarists so it has a real sweet sound.
4.) “Don’t Come Running” – This track opens with a very simple EMN rhythm guitar arrangement. At times Jim’s vocals through the verse have a real feminine sound to them. The backing vocals of the chorus had a very simple hook attached to them. For this style of music you really cannot get any simpler than this.
5.) “Have My Heart” –This is a very simple straight forward eighties hair metal intro section. There is a small rhythm change for the pre-verse and then a second for the verse. For the musical verse the band added a second rhythm guitar riff to the guitar arrangement. There is a minor lead guitar solo connecting the first chorus with second pre-verse. The major solo is after the second chorus and probably the best on the release so far. There Are a few scattered lead guitar licks underneath the chorus over the top of the outro section.
6.) “Skatin’ On Thin Ice” – This track opened rhythm guitar riffs with a blues lead guitar solo riff. The main musical intro consisted of a second completely different rhythm guitar riff. So far this intro was the best on the release. The underlining drum line starts with a hi-hat count-off. All I can say about this track is; A.) It is the best on the CD so far. B.) I think every band in rock –n- Roll has written a song of this nature!!!!
7.) “When The Night Calls” – The lead guitar over the top of the hi-hat that opens this intro was influenced by Edward Van Halen lead licks. As the intro progresses the band add a second guitar that is playing rhythm. The band brings the song down for the musical verse. The hi-hat of the musical verse was done with a sixteen-note rhythm pattern. This song is the first for me where I felt Jim’s vocals were really expressed. There is a small rhythm guitar change for the pre-chorus and chorus. The chorus had a huge eighties hair metal hook attached to it. For me this is by far the best song on the release!!!!
8.) “Just Like A Women” – This track opens with a very laid back short intro arrangement. There is no rhythm change between the intro and musical verse. The musical change really isn’t until the chorus. The chorus has a huge hook attached to the lead and backing vocals. The solo of this song was very cool however it was ruined by the way the band wrote the vocal lead in before. From my personal opinion as a music writer I did not think it was needed!
9.) “Who Do You Think You Are?” – There is a very small lead lick over the top of the drum and bass line that opened this track. I wish they guys had of left these lead licks off of the intro. Underneath the lead licks and drum and bass line there is a rhythm guitar riff that kicks-in about one measure into the intro. The guys used the same rhythm riff of the intro for the musical verse. There is a small rhythm guitar change for the musical pre-chorus. This rhythm change follows along with the lyrical arrangement. The vocal and backing vocal sections were taken right from a eighties hair metal fake book. For the second pre-chorus and chorus the band incorporated several small lead licks. The lead guitar solo was very typical for this style of music.
10.) “Around Midnight” – This track opens with a tom-tom pattern. The guitar kicks-in with a few Edward Van Halen lead guitar accents before going into a standard minor lead guitar solo. The band chanced the rhythm guitar riff for the musical verse. In the way Jim arranged the lyrics gave the song an EMN sound. There is a small lead guitar lick connecting the verse with the chorus. There is a small breakdown section that consisted of the backing vocals being whispered.
11.) “Faith Hope And Love” - There is a small one measure drum pattern that opens this intro. The rhythm guitar of the main intro section had a very solid groove to it. There is a small lead vocal accent over the top of the short intro section. There is a rhythm guitar change for this musical pre-verse. There are a couple lead guitar licks that connect the verse with the chorus. The entire rhythm changes for the musical chorus. I really liked the laid back feel leading into the chorus. There is a small lead guitar lick connecting the first chorus with the second verse. The lead guitar solo connects the second chorus with the third verse. The solo is very laid back and melodic, just a little shorter than I had wished. There is a minor lead guitar solo underneath the last chorus and outro section.
13.) “Weight Of The World” – All needs to be said about this track is High Noon has made Rick Ruhl of Every Mother’s Nightmare proud. If you are a fan of EMN then you will love this song!!!!
Much like Every Mother’s Nightmare High Noon given the chance could have been one of the greatest second tier hard rock bands of the early nineties. However, just like EMN along with several other second tier bands were not given much of a chance due to the over indulgence no thanks to Kip Winger being in Playgirl mind you. However the top crumbled in on itself. This CD consists of everything from the first two songs the band recorded to the last two. If you’re a fan of EMN then you will love High Noon!