Do you love rock and roll? Seriously, I’m not fucking around. Do you love rock and roll? Have you ever been blown away by a guitar solo, a solo that can only be described as “blistering” no matter how much of a cliche that is? Do you believe that pyrotechnics still have a legitimate place in a rock and roll show? Yeah? Then the Millions might be for you.
The Millions are a rock and roll band. Some people might call this power pop but they are wrong, wrong, wrong. Some people call Cheap Trick power pop, so what do they know? Not much. In 1978, Cheap Trick’s Heaven Tonight was lumped in to the world of heavy metal, and that’s a much better fit. What is heavy metal but loud, ballsy rock and roll? And that’s exactly what the Millions play.
These guys aren’t joking when they say that their favorite band is KISS, and it shows. There was a time when KISS made great music. And there was even a time when bands who were influenced by KISS made great music. Don’t tell me that you don’t love the early Motley Crue stuff! And Guns N’ Roses has recently become a national fucking treasure, giddily embraced by every man, woman and child in the free world. And rightly so. Appetite for Destruction is one of the best albums of all time.
Million Dollar Rock is no Appetite. It’s not really trying to be. At least not that hard. And it’s no Heaven Tonight either. But it is something good, something somewhere in between those two. At times, the production gets a little thick. The piles of backing vocals on certain tracks sound like they could have been produced by Mutt Lange. And that’s not good. And neither is the all too straightforward cover of AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell,” which I’m sure is awesome live, but unnecessary here, even as a hidden bonus track. We get what they’re going for; they don’t need to come right out and shove it down our throats.
But those issues are more than made up for by the quality of the ten originals on Million Dollar Rock, with stand-out tracks like “Today is the Day” and “I Want You.” It’s all about super tight songwriting, catchy hooks, booming rhythm and crunchy guitars. And lots of flashy solos. It’s pure rock and roll and it’s good.