BILLY MORRIS & THE SUNSET STRIP – Holdin’ All The Aces (2018)
BILLY MORRIS might be best known as the former guitarist of Warrant, or as one of the “go to” guys that everyone from QUIET RIOT to TUFF calls when they need an expert shredder to improve their sound, but it’s long past time the world learns about him on his own terms.
With “Holdin’ All The Aces” to be released at the end of the month, BILLY MORRIS & THE SUNSET STRIP bring forth a multi-dimensional collection of fun hard rock songs that can bring a smile on your face in one second, while creating a fist pumping, head banging outpouring of energy the next.
BILLY MORRIS hails from Cleveland, OH, earning his stripes early on in his musical career with the band KIDD WICKED. Billy later went on to perform with several projects including as a touring guitarist for QUIET RIOT (2005), and with Mr. Big guitarist PAUL GILBERT, so the guy must have the chops, right?
Spending 5 years as the lead guitarist in WARRANT, where he performed and recorded in the Under The Influence album on which he sang lead vocals on the cover of AC/DC‘s “Down Payment Blues”, as well as playing guitar on the whole album. Billy is also now the lead guitarist in the glam hard rock band TUFF.
Billy later went on to form the BILLY MORRIS BAND now BILLY MORRIS & THE SUNSET STRIP who recently supported TOM KEIFER and also RATT on several dates.
The record features Billy Morris on lead guitar and vocals, Rob Samay on guitar and vocals, Rob Brown on drums and vocals, and Paul Lewis on bass and vocals. The debut single is “Party Like The Weekend Never Ends”, which, as your read in its title, it’s all about fun, some kind as an homage to ‘Feel Your Love Tonight’ by VAN HALEN.
Opener “Lose Control” is a stadium anthem akin his former band WARRANT, and there’s many cuts here in this vein like “Dressed up Like a Millionaire”, the driving classic rocker “Hook It Up”, or the groovy “You Won’t See Me Comin”.
However, this is a varied album, and Morris and the guys go for a pure melodic rocker in “When I Fall”, they flirt with a melodic power pop ala ’80s RICK SPRINGFIELD on “Stop Me”, semi-ballad “You Set Me Up (The Handgun Song)” adds acoustics to the mix, while title track “Holdin’ All The Aces” is a midtempo tune with even some AORish waves.
That’s a welcomed diversity on a CD with 14 tracks, which is also benefited with most being around the 3:30 minute mark.
Talented performances, strong production and an eclectic vibe permeate BILLY MORRIS & THE SUNSET STRIP debut CD “Holdin’ All The Aces”.
Morris’ voice is warm and melodious, of course his guitar work is complete, with swirling arena-ready solos, and the rest of the guys are really good at this game, effective.
A very entertaining, feel-good album.
01 – Lose Control
02 – Party Like the Weekend Never Ends
03 – Holdin All the Aces
04 – Dressed up Like a Millionaire
05 – When I Fall
06 – Stop Me
07 – You Set Me Up (The Handgun Song)
08 – Hook It Up
09 – Mr. Ed
10 – All the Right Words
11 – Don’t Know How to Quit
12 – Disolve
13 – Cold and Bittersweet
14 – You Won’t See Me Comin
Billy Morris – Vocals, Guitars
Rob Samay – Guitars
Paul Lewis – Bass
Ray Brown – Drums