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Album Review

How about this for the name of a rock singer — Johnny Strong (!). That's one helluva name — as is guitarist Rikki Lixx — both of which are linked to classic rock/metallists Operator. On the group's major-label debut, 2007's Soulcrusher, Strong quickly shows off that he can shapeshift his voice from Chris Cornell's melodic croon to Bon Scott's whiskey-soaked growl. And the music follows suit — mining the same blues-metal goldmine as AC/DC and Guns N' Roses did years ago — but with enough melody so that the album should appeal to more than just metalheads. But getting back to the Chris Cornell similarity, tracks such as "Make 'Em Pay" and "Delicate" will lead many to cry "rip off" (perhaps it's not a surprise that a former guitarist of Puddle of Mudd — a group whose singer sounded an awful lot like another grunge era notable, Kurt Cobain — is a also member of Operator). Nothing original here, but if you need more Chris Cornell-sounding tunes than are currently out there (and 2007 surely met its "Cornell quota," as the former Soundgarden/Audioslave frontman released a solo album, Carry On), Soulcrusher may serve as a substitute for some.

Customer Reviews

More than Soulcrusher

It's easy to say they bring to mind Soundgarden because of Johnny Strong's vocals that sound like a young Chris Cornell - but there's more to it. The anger of Soulcrusher set the tone for me, but if that's what you want, you're not going to hear 10 more songs just like that one. More riffs, less minor chords than is the case in most modern rock, and it works. Even an STP sound-alike tune. This is pretty fun, play it loud.

Bringing It Back!

This is a great debut album for a band that I can see climbing the ranks quickly. They are bringing back a hard rock sound that seemed to be lost in the world of rock radio. Johnny Strong's vocals combined with his appearance and stage presence make him a strong (no pun intended) candidate for magazine covers as the new face of hard rock. The band shows their talent with blazing guitar riffs and solid drums to back them up. I saw them live and it was quite an impressive show. They were the opening band and ended up being the highlight of the evening. This is a great album to put on while in your car, in your room, hanging out with friends, etc. It has a wide range of appeal with a nice mix of hard rock tracks and tracks that take it down a notch to help balance the action. Hard rock lovers will not be disappointed!


First time I ever heard Operator was at Summerfest when they played before Fuel. I've been hooked ever since. They had so much energy on stage you couldn't help but wave your fist and bang your head. Awesome album!!!


Formed: 2003 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

It has been suggested that nostalgia tends to run on 15- to 20-year cycles. If that's the case, then the Los Angeles alternative rock outfit Operator are right on schedule, because their blend of booming, full-throated vocals and punk- and metal-influenced guitar riffs calls back strongly to the grunge rock sound of 1992, when Soundgarden and Pearl Jam were first hitting the musical mainstream. Operator began as a solo project by singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Johnny Strong, who along...
Full Bio
Soulcrusher, Operator
View in iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Genres: Rock, Music, Metal, Hard Rock, Arena Rock, Alternative
  • Released: Jun 26, 2007
  • Parental Advisory

Customer Ratings