CD REVIEWS:
TRNZPRNT

"ICED"
Ambran


Ray Van Horn, Jr.
A couple years ago I had the unique privilege of chatting with the late Ricky Parent, best known for his powerful drumming with Enuff Z'nuff, but also his work with Vince Neil, Alice Cooper, War and Peace, Paul Gilbert and Tod Howarth from Frehley's Comet. At the time, Parent was well into his battle against cancer and what I'll always take from those 15 or so minutes we spent on the phone together was his adamant courage to push through the conversation. Despite my offer to postpone our interview, Parent gave me a little background about his early days as a rocker and how he joined the grossly-underappreciated Enuff Z'nuff once Vikki Fox departed. Ricky Parent came along during the nineties after Enuff Z'nuff had already hit a brief ascension of notoriety then instantly capsized down an incline that refused to rise for them once again—blame the press of the day, which refused to look past the Poison-esque glam facades they introduced themselves with. Undoubtedly the band was completely in a zone with Parent hammering the skins, and their neo-hippie pop rock was equally effervescent on 2002's Welcome to Blue Island as it was in 1991 with the criminally-overlooked Strength, much less late-nineties output only the devout managed to chase down such as Paraphernalia and 10. Shame of it all was that Enuff Z'nuff was at their most confident on Welcome to Blue Island with Parent in the camp than perhaps they'd ever been. Certainly you can't argue his presence was unifying glue towards bringing Donnie Vie and Chip Z'nuff back into a harmonious co-existence. Unfortunately following Enuff Z'nuff's 2004 sugary rock fest ?, they lost not only original guitarist Derek Frigo, who'd come home to play again, but sadly, Ricky Parent thereafter. One might say this band has faced and stood up to a curse that does its damnedest to destroy them. As for Parent, he managed to make his remaining days in this life count, not by surrendering to the sickness that whittled him away (and believe me, I heard the fatigue in the man loud and clear on the phone), but getting together with some veteran rock buddies for a foot-tapping farewell as TRNZPRNT, a name generated by his online ID. Surrounded by guitarist Jimi Ambrose and G-Man Poster, bassist Casper Raines and frontman Jim Villani, Ricky Parent's final output is nothing short of a triumph. Sure, there's the obvious effect that Parent got on the stool under duress and pounds his kit with the same precise force and happiness as he did for Enuff Z'nuff and his other studio work. The fact his group's album "ICED" is so danged good and full of such graceful energy is the true testament to Parent's legacy. There's an Enuff Z'nuff ruboff in TRNZPRNT but only to a point when you hear songs such as "Drink to the Bottom," "Teenage Overdose" and the happy-go-lucky opening track "Carrie Please," the latter of which kicks "ICED" off with such rocking glee you're hooked on the spot. From there, "ICED" seizes the moment on the Kiss-flavored "I Can't Take It" and the brisk and breezy "Living for the Night." There's a cool mix of Kiss and The Beatles knocking heads on "Little Girl" and there's a private sweetness fortifying the lap-patting groove of "Something About You." The band gets a little funky on "I Wuz Robbed" and steps on the gas a hair with "Foolin' Around." Meanwhile, TRNZPRNT's heaviest cut, "Comfortable Foe" chugs with snarling riffs and some Ozzy-laced vocals from Jim Villani. Villani, however, largely commands his mike on "ICED" with a unique pitch that accommodates his buried nasal tones. What's especially nice about "ICED"is there are virtually no maudlin overtones to this thing. In fact, the jokey dialogue intro to "Talk Too Much" is, according to inside information, a potshot at American vocalists (largely from the alt rock scene) trying to pass themselves off as tragically hip British. Fun and mirth all the way to the finish line, TRNZPRNT is exactly the way we would want to remember Ricky Parent, pumping his band with hard, life-embracing strikes, which they take cue from gallantly. God bless you, Ricky…

 

" ICED"-TRNZPRNT
album review by JUKEBOX DAVE
" ICED" the ear-catching album from TRNZPRNT, goes down like a cold beer on a sweaty summer day. The reedy singer brings adult alternative pop star PETE DROGE to my mind, a refreshing change from the nut-numbing, off key caterwauling of many a bad boy belter. The feisty axe work and overall band groove transport me immediately back to my fave musical time zone, the hard rockin' 70s. Snatches of later period acts, including EXTREME's metal funk and CRACKER's rootsy charm also bubble under the surface. The first couple o' tracks, boasting chunky riffs, high harmony vocals, and hook-laden charm, sound like "lost classics" of the sort that good rock radio stations occasionally trot out on the weekends in between far too many spins of BAD COMPANY and BOB SEGER juggernauts. "ICED" has the kind of vibe where the listener pricks up his ears and declares, "Yeah! Why the hell can't they play more of THIS and less OLD TIME ROCK & ROLL?" Yep, as refreshing and as welcome as a cold beer...and drunk or sober, i still wouldn't attempt to pronounce the group's name! 3.5 stars out of 4...JBD

 

TRNZPRNT "ICED"
Former Enuff ZNuff drummer the late Ricky Parent and some veteran New York rockers release a fireball of a disc that explodes from the speakers. Here's a track by track review:
CARRIE PLEASE: Grabs you from the start and never lets go great riff/hook. The singer sounds like Ozzy on this track but it's got a little Cheap Trick in there, drums sound really good, I like the solo, a little on the fast side, groovy solid tune (8-9)
I CAN'T TAKE IT: Dirty rough in ya face, I luv this shit real nitty gritty tune I like the way the band gives the tune space, very strong vocals on this track, great groove, greater guitars, Jimi is bitching! (10plus)
COMFORTABLE FOE: Marilyn Manson's lawyers will be calling lol. This is a hard tune to judge after the strong first two trax, I can hear Sabbath in there but it's Beautiful People. I do like the Wha Wha solo though (6-7)
SOMETHING ABOUT YOU: Great song from the get go, happy bright trippy groove, another great vocal way on top of the mix but not to much over it (9)
SHY LITTLE LADY: A 10 from the start, dirty NYC swagger, this track just KILLS !! The mix is great and sounds like the band cut it almost all live, and I luv the slide guitar,great background vocals to boot,outstanding song (10)
TALK TOO MUCH: Man just bring in Joan Jett for this one lol, another great song, good time fun twin guitars, very tasty (9-10)
LIVIN FOR THE NIGHT: Do i hear a punk/pop tune? Bit of a Johnny Thunder vibe, another ditty of a track with more real nice guitar solos (9)
I WUZ ROBBED: Gimme some funky blooze, great guitar & bass interplay, reminds me of Aerosmith, Steve Salas, Pat Travers, I luv this funky stuff, another cool twin guitar track (this one goes to 11 !!! lol)
DRINK TO THE BOTTOM: It's got a very earthy/analog feel to it, I hear a little Beatles in there, after the last song it's hard to judge (6)
LITTLE GIRL: This is what I'm talking about, right off the bat it just grabs ya and never lets go, the production on this track and all of the trax is/are outstanding, another great dual guitar solo, the guitars are SO GOOD (10)
FOOLIN' AROUND: Another rockin pop feel tune,I luv that single note keyboard thing going on,this is a get up and dance track, I like the fade out guitars and the Marley vibe at the end(8-9)
TEENAGE OVERDOSE: Take me back to the good ole daze I gotta say all the songs that tRnzPrNt wrote on this disc are VERY strong, do I hear a little slide guitar in there again? Reminds me of the Brats (another great NY band), the background vocals once again are VERY strong as they are on most of the record. The ending reminds me of the band Dust (remember those NY legends ?) a little (9-10) Buy This !!!
Rockin' Ray
new york rocks