The Winery Dogs – Hot Streak (earMUSIC)

Genre: Hard Rock/Classic Rock

The best thing about The Winery Dogs? Richie Kotzen’s talent is brought to the fore. And there’s no doubt the former Poison and Mr Big man has been an underused talent during the last decade.

As lead vocalist and guitarist his stamp is all over Hot Streak – a predictably classy collection of hard rock tunes that hark back to the 80s without ever surrendering to that decade’s propensity for over-production and shameless cheese.

Captain Love comes close. But it’s saved by a sensational Billy Sheehan bass line that ensures the song evokes memories of classic Bad Company and Free. Elsewhere the title track is a funky, upbeat number boasting a bristling riff and a sense of unbridled optimism.

That warm feeling of self-satisfaction runs through Hot Streak from start to finish but there’s never a sense of over-confidence or smug self-belief. Kotzen, Sheehan and Mike Portnoy are too professional, too talented and too aware of the pitfalls of supergroup-dom for any of that.

This is a musicians’ album that’s accessible to the fans. Even the slightly nauseating Fire works simply because of the quality underpinning this exciting project. Hot Streak may not be all that – two albums can hardly be described as a streak – but The Winery Dogs are on a run. Let’s hope their career turns out to be a marathon, rather than a sprint.

RUSHONROCK RATED: 8/10 Streakers