Don’t let the cowboy hat and the spurs that dot the “J” and “I” in his name fool you; California’s Johnny Lima is a Glam Rocker through and through. He may be unsigned, but with material this well-produced, you’d think he’s been releasing albums on Frontiers for years. But nope, he’s just some Bay Area freelancer who likes to write anthems about sex and havin’ fun.
“Livin’ Out Loud” has the same modernized MÖTLEY CRÜE-meets-DEF LEPPARD sound that TRIXIE pulls off so well. Meaty riffs, sunny choruses, and searing solos are the name of Lima’s game, and he uses these same basic structures to create twelve very distinct songs, each of which is well-written and catchy as hell.
Some of the songs, like “All I Wanna Do,” have a bit of a dirty Alternative feel, whereas others, like “Hard To Say Goodbye,” have a super-smooth, keyboard-laden feel that’s ‘80s Rock through and through. “Gimme Some Rock, So I Can Roll” is a more upbeat track with a great, shout-able chorus. Even the requisite power ballad, “Still Waiting For You,” is top-notch.
For fans of Glam starved for something that sounds more like DEF LEPPARD than DEF LEPPARD does nowadays, “Livin’ Out Loud” is the perfect pick-me-up. Lima sure knows how to deliver solid Glam Metal packed with both melody and power. Skipping this album would be quite a mistake.
(Online July 10, 2009)