Dimino - 'Old Habits Die Hard'
Released on July 3 in Europe and July 10 in North America
Frank DiMino: Lead Vocals
Justin Avery: Organ, Background Vocals
Oz Fox, Paul Crook, Jeff Labansky, Pat Thrall, Punky Meadows, Jeff Duncan, Eddie Ojeda, Dylan DiMino, Rickey Medlocke: Guitars
Justin Avery: Organ, Background Vocals
Danny Miranda, Paul Crook: Bass
John Miceli: Drums
1.) "Never Again" - This track opens with a snare drum/tom-tom and double bass drum pattern before going into the main intro section kicks-in. John Miceli switched to a standard hi-hat rhythm for the main intro section. The main intro section consisted of very simple rhythm guitar arrangement. Underneath the third guitar riff of the rhythm guitar arrangement Justin Avery kicks-in an organ arrangement. The rhythm guitar was arranged with several musical rests the organ filled in these musical rest sections giving the arrangement a more full sound. After four measures there was a musical rest. This musical rest connected the musical intro with the musical verse. The musical verse consisted of a rhythm guitar change. The way Frank arranged the lyric lines with the rhythm guitar of the musical verse fit perfectly. There was a tom-tom fill connecting the musical verse with the musical chorus. During the musical chorus I felt the organ arrangement as more prominent than it was throughout the rest of the song. After the second chorus there as a breakdown section. This breakdown section lead to the lead guitar solo. Over the top of the first few notes of the lead guitar solo Frank sings a few vocal accents. The lad guitar solo for this song though short had an amazing sound to it. After the third chorus there was a second lead guitar solo over the top of the coda.
2.) "Rockin' In The City" - This track opened with a rhythm guitar riff before going into the main intro section. Underneath the first and second riff there was a small tom-tom fill. After the tom-tom fill an organ arrangement kicks-in. The drum line of the main body of the intro opened with several cymbal crashes. For the musical verse Oz carries the last note of each guitar riff out by using half-notes. The production of the drum sound for this song was amazing! The rhythm guitar riffs of the verse was laced in between the lyric lines with the last note being a half-note. This aloud Frank's vocals to really shine. Underneath the first two lyric lines of the chorus there was a backing vocal harmony. There was a drum fill underneath the last lyric line of the musical chorus. There was a musical rest connecting the first chorus with the second verse. The rhythm guitar of the second verse opened with a pick slide effect. There was a snare drum fill leading into the opening lyric line of the second verse. It sounded like the third verse was sang by someone else. However, at the time I am writing this I have no clue as to who it is. Connecting the third verse and third chorus there was a short lead guitar solo. Over the top of the coda in between Frank singing the title he screams a vocal accent. You can tell by the way this was produced that the accent was overdubbed.
3.) "I can't Stop Loving You" - Before going to the main intro this track opens with a huge tom-tom/snare drum fill. The main intro section consisted of two rhythm guitars plating two different rhythms. The musical verse consisted of a rhythm guitar change. Scattered throughout the lead vocal lines of the lyrical verse were this very cool vocal accents. Showing that at sixty-three he is still a power-house lead vocalist. The verses of this song consisted of just two lyric lines. Absolutely do not let the length of these verses fool you. They are by far some of the best vocals I have heard in no telling how long! It sounded like some of the lyric lines had an echo attached to the end of the last lyric. The choruses had a very heavy blues feel to them. The last lyric of the second chorus over lapped the first lyric of the third verse. After the third chorus there as two rhythm riffs that lead to a breakdown section. The breakdown opened with a musical rest that consisted of a vocal line. The way this vocal line was produced made Frank's vocals sound as if he was off in the distance. The guitar for this musical section was done using a clean guitar effect. Right before the third lyric line was done as an echo before the actual lyric line. After this breakdown there was a very melodic laid back solo section. After the solo section there was a backing harmony that sounded like it was sang by a choir. The coda consisted of only lead and backing vocals no music.
4.) "The Rain's About To Fall" - This track opened with a rhythm guitar over the top of John hitting the cowbell sixteen times. Because this song was written in 4/4 times and the cowbell was played as quarter-notes that makes this musical section four measures. (That is very simple music theory for those who want to learn) all the way throuh the intro I keep waiting for the lyric "If you get lonely on your daddy's farm, Just remember I don't live too far." Because this intro was very reminiscent to Montrose's 'Bad Motor Scooter' taken off their self-titled album released on (October 17, 1973). For the musical verse Oz kept the same rhythm guitar arrangement has the intruio section. The drum line continued with the cowbell however they added a standardp of the coda there was a second lead drum rhythm. Oval accents. over the top of the opening of the musical verse Frank sings a couple vocal accents. Underneath the opening lyric line there was a rhythm guitar change. The rhythm change for the short chorus was the same rhythm guitar for the intro. After the second chorus there was a very short yet intense lead guitar solo. Over the top of the coda there was a second lead guitar solo. Though this second solo had several intense licks it was still more of a minor solo.
5.) "Even Now" - The tone of the amplified guitar is what made this song. Once I heard it during the intro I completely blocked everything else out!
6.) "Tears Will Fall" - This track opened with a rhythm guitar arrangement. Some of the notes OZ used was from the Arabic scale. Scattered throughout the opening guitar arrangement OZ plays several harmonics. Underneath the third riff of the arrangement a second guitar kicks-in. This second rhythm guitar arrangement is different than the first. Underneath these two rhythm guitars there as a tom-tom pattern. After the intro for the musical verse both guitar arrangements change to begin playing the same arrangement. The first lyric line had an echo attached to it. I did not like the long pauses in between the lyric lines of the verses. The second verse was arranged just like the first. After the second chorus there was a lead guitar solo. Outside of the guitar arrangements this song was just weird and did not fit n with the rest of the songs on the release.
7.) "Mad As Hell" - Some of OZ's guitar notes and all the lyric line had a seventies Sweet without the harmonies sound to it. Which I just love!
8.) "Sweet Sensation" - Instead of a rhythm arrangement the guitar of this intro and verse consisted of a string of riffs. This totaled up to be 16 riffs or four and a half measures. (Another very simple music theory lesson) OZ alternated between two different riffs. He would play two of one then two of the other, then back to the first two then repeat the third and fourth,....etc. Underneath the fifth riff the drum and bass line kicks-in. When the drum and bass line kick-in as long with the way Frank arranged the lyric lines gave a Krokus feel. Some people may say AC/DV however. The arrangement is more along the lines of Krokus's writing than AC/DC. Frank's vocals even have a Marc Storace (Krokus) sound to them. After the sixteenth riff there was a small snare drum fill. The fifth measure is where most 4/4 songs actual kick-in with the musical verse. For the fifth measure the rhythm guitar riffs switch to a standard rhythm guitar arrangement. Over the top of this new rhythm guitar arrangement there was a rhythm/lead guitar rhythm. With these two guitar rhythms along with the way the lyrical chorus was arranged the song really takes on a modern Krokus sound. After the third chorus there was a rastic musical change that consisted of a snare drum pattern. This musical change lead to a very small lead guitar solo.
9.) "Tonight's The Night" - This was a very simple song that was heavily influenced by Chuck Berry.
10.) "The Quest" -Oz opened the rhythm guitar of intro with a pick slide. The main body of the intro consisted of the entire band with a very heavy sounding intro. There was a rhythm guitar change for the musical verse. To connect the musical pre-chorus with the musical chorus. The chorus was heavily influenced by seventies Styx. After the first chorus there as a organ solo. or as intense as the song was it was very short.
11.) "Stones By The River" - The musicianship of the guitar work on this song was amazing! Dimino's vocals was amazingly jaw dropping!! As a musician I just love songs that are this well-written!!! The backing vocals had a arly seventies Queen sound to them.
'Old Habits Die Hard' is the first solo CD released from Frank Dimino. If you are not a fan of seventies Glam then the thought running through you head about now is, "who the hell if Frank Dimino?"
In the mid-seventies and still to this day Frank is the frontman for a band Angel. Angel was discovered by Kiss bass player Gene Simmons performing at a nightclub and was eventually signed to the same label as Kiss, Casablanca Records. With past members such as Gregg Giuffria (Giuffria & House Of Lords), Rudy Sarzo (Quiet Riot, Ozzy Osbourne & Whitesnake) and current members Steve Blaze (Lllian Axe), Michael T. Ross (Lita Ford & Hardline). Let's face it Casablanca was not the proper record label for hard rock bands. The label catered more to disco music an in its heyday through the seventies they only had seven hard rock bands under contract one of those acts was Kiss. So it would not surprise me if I looked at their books and saw most of the money allotted to their rock bands went right to Kiss!
With 'Old Habits Die Hard' Frank enlisted the help of such artists as, Paul Crook (Meat Loaf), Oz Fox (Stryper), Eddie Ojeda (Twisted Sister), Danny Miranda, Rickey Medlocke (Blackfoot, Lynyrd Skynyrd), Jeff Labansky, along with former Angel bandmates Punky Meadows (on guitar) and Barry Brandt (co-writing with Frank the song Even Now). The songs from this release doesn't sound anything like Angel. However, the songs do have just enough of a glam feel to remind you Frank is one of the founders fathers of the scene. If I had to choose one glam songwriter Frank reminded me of it would probably Lizzy Grey [formerly of London/with Nikki Sixx, and currently with Spiders and Snakes, (Google it)]
Frank's songwriting is a lot better on this solo release as is his vocal sound than it ever was with Angel. That's nothing against Angel but more to Frank's maturity. All in all this is great melodic rock release with a hint of late seventies glam. All melodic rock fans will fall in love with this release and should check it out!