Jake E. Lee's Red Dragon Cartel

 


THE BAND:
Jake E. Lee – Guitars
Ronnie Mancuso – Bass
D.J Smith – Vocals
Jonas Fairley - Drums




TRACK FRAGMENTS:
1.) "Deceived" - This intro opens with a hi-hat rhythm underneath a rhythm guitar riff.  The rhythm guitar riff Jake wrote for this song was very reminiscent to the riff he wrote for Ozzy's "Bark At The Moon".  After the second measure Jonas adds a snare and bass drum pattern to the drum line.  It is also at this time Ronnie kicks-in the bass line.  The guys use the same rhythm for the musical verse as the one for the intro.  There is a small drum fill in between the first and second lyric lines.  Though this is the first recording Jake as been on since 2009 you can definitely tell he has been practicing because he has not lost one bit of dexterity!  There is a rhythm guitar change for the musical chorus.  The way the lyric lines were arranged for the opening chorus was very similar to some of the lyric lines on a few Ozzy songs.  The vocal lines of the chorus had a huge hook attached to them.  After the chorus there was a musical change.  This musical change reverted back to the same musical arrangement of the first chorus.  There was a lead guitar solo after the second chorus.  Underneath the notes of the solo the band changed the musical arrangement.  After the lead guitar solo there was a musical breakdown section.  The lead guitar solo runs over the top of the breakdown section.  At different intervals throughout the drum line Jonas incorporated small double-bass drum licks.    
2.) "Shout It Out" - This intro opens with Jake playing a lead guitar effect.  To kick the main body of the intro in Jake and Jonas play the same pattern.  For the musical intro Jonas played a opening and closing hi-hat pattern on his hi-hat.  There is a small snare fill connecting the musical intro with the musical verse.  The lyrical and musical verse of this track had an abstract syncopated feel to it.  The syncopation was due in part to the drum line.  The arrangement had several musical rests with lead vocals over the top of them.  There was an arrangement change for the musical chorus.  Some of the lyric lines of the chorus had an echo effect attached to them.  There was a lead guitar solo after the second chorus.  As the solo progressed it speeded up.  After the solo there was a musical rest that consisted of a lead vocal line over the top of it.  To say this song was a little on the weird side would be an understatement! 

3.) "Feeder" (featuring vocalist Robin Zander of Cheap Trick)" - This track opens with a lead guitar effect.  There is a minor lead guitar solo over the top of the intro section.  The bass line Ronnie wrote for the intro section had a very intense feel to it.  For the musical verse Jonas played a tom-tom rhythm instead of a standard hi-hat rhythm.  Jake mainly plays s fill-in rhythm letting the bass line become the main instrumentation.  The band used the same musical arrangement for the musical verse as the one they used for the chorus.  Robin Zander's vocals gave the choruses a huge hook.  Underneath the vocal lines of the second verse Jake plays lead guitar licks.  Some of Robin's vocals had echoes attached to them.  There is a rhythm change after the second chorus for the lead guitar solo section.  The lead guitar was more or less just a few lead guitar notes.  After the third chorus, there was another rhythm arrangement change.  This arrangement change was a breakdown section.  There was a minor lead guitar solo over the top of the coda.       
4.) "Fall From The Sky (Seagull)" - This track consisted of a very short intro section.  Jake chose to use the same rhythm arrangement of the musical verse as the one for the intro.  In many ways the way the lyrics were arranged along with D.J.'s vocal sound reminded me a lot of vocalist Perry Farrell of Jane's Addiction.  Over the top of the rhythm guitar Jake overdubbed a minor solo.  There is a small musical rest connecting the second verse with the second chorus.  I loved the simple solo Jake wrote for this track.  This may be the best solo on the CD.
5.) "Wasted" (featuring vocalist Paul Di’Anno former Iron Maiden vocalist) - Jake overdubbed two different rhythm guitar riffs for this intro.  Over the top of the guitar rhythms Jonas plays a tom-tom pattern.  Paul sings a vocal accent that leads to a minor lead guitar solo.  There is a small tom-tom fill connecting the musical intro with the musical verse.  There is a rhythm arrangement change for the musical verse.  Jonas played a tom-tom rhythm for the musical verse instead of a hi-hat rhythm.  After the fourth lyric line Jonas switches from a tom-tom rhythm to a hi-hat rhythm.  Paul's vocals give the musical chorus a very heavy feel.  There is a minor solo connecting the first chorus with the second verse.  After the second chorus there was a breakdown section were Jake double-tracked two different rhythm guitar riffs.  This breakdown section leads to the major lead guitar solo section.  About half way through the solo the band slowed the song down.
6.) "Slave" - The guitar effect Jake used on the riff that opened this track sounded like something you would hear in a horror movie.  The main intro consisted of Jake playing a heavy guitar riff.  It also consisted of Jonas playing a double-bass drum pattern.  These two things gave the intro s very intense feel.  There is a tom-tom fill connecting the intro to the musical verse.  There was a rhythm arrangement change for the musical verse.  The last lyric of each lyric line had an echo attached to it.  For the musical chorus the band used the same rhythm as the one for the intro.  Over the top of the rhythm guitar of the chorus Jake overdubbed a second rhythm guitar riff.  After the first chorus there was a musical rest.  When the musical kicked back in there was an intense rhythm change.  There was a minor solo leading into the second chorus.
7.) "Big Mouth"(featuring vocalist Maria Brink of In This Moment) - This track opens with a heavy rhythm guitar riff.  The musical verse had a very intense musical arrangement.  Once you listen to the music you can see why Jake had Maria sing the song. There is a small drum fill leading into the lead guitar solo.  There was a minor lead guitar solo underneath the lyric lines of the coda.  
8.) "War Machine" - This track was heavily influenced by early Black Sabbath.
9.) "Redeem Me" (featuring Sass Jordan) - This track was by far the best song on the CD.
10.) "Exquisite Tenderness" -Instrumental


     After twenty-two years of being out of the limelight guitarist Jake E. Lee returns paying homage to his Japanese heritage with Red Dragon Cartel.  The band includes longtime friend Beggars & Thieves bassist Ronnie Mancuso along with relatively unknown drummer Jonas Fairley and vocalist D.J. Smith (Darren James Smith).  The CD also includes special guest vocalists, Robin Zander (Cheap Trick), Paul Di’Anno (formerly of Iron Maiden), Maria Brink (In This Moment) and Sass Jordan. 
     The songs on the CD span from songs that are reminiscent to "Bark At The Moon" to early Sabbath.  I did not hear any riffs that reminded me of anything Jake wrote while he was with Badlands.  One of the things I noticed was the songs was not very consistent.  Does that necessarily mean the songs are band?  No it just means the CD may take listening to a few times for you to like certain songs.  I really liked this CD however, I must admit it's not for everyone.  If you are a fan of Jake E Lee's you should definitely check it out!