The Robot Lords are the brainchild of Ohio-based songwriting duo Rick Ritzler (drums, guitar) and Paul Jones (vocals, guitar), who came up with the idea for the guest-laden project in 2006 and have since released two critically acclaimed albums on their own RLOT Records. Renowned metal scribe Martin Popoff called their 2009 sophomore effort, Whiskey, Blood & Napalm, "the best indie I've heard in a decade. Like an ass kickin' Black Label Society crossed with The Sword, it's a masterpiece of bludgeoning perfection and it will knock you on your ass." His colleague Bob Nalbandian of Shockwaves/HardRadio called Jones "one of the most powerful new vocalists in metal today", while Classic Rock Magazine named WB&N one of their Top 50 Albums of 2009.
For their latest effort Virtue & Vice, Ritzler and Jones have once again teamed up with producer Viers to cook up their unique combination of classic metal riffing, stoner/doom grooves and southern swagger, sprinkled with just the right amount of shredding lead guitar pyrotechnics. In addition to the record's nine new sonic sledgehammers, the Robots have once again reworked an obscure classic from the hard rock vaults, this time tackling the title track from Cinderella's 1986 debut, Night Songs.
About the name - the story is actually pretty simple: Hardcore fans of groove-metal legends Clutch will recognize the name as a snippet from the lyrics to "10001110101", a track off their 2005 classic Robot Hive/Exodus. Neil Fallon's a genius lyricist and his band is a huge influence, so it seemed like a fitting tribute. As a bizarre aside, it also struck me that an inordinate number of classic metal live albums were recorded in Japan. Think about it: Priest's "Unleashed in the East", Purple's "Made in Japan", Scorpions' "Tokyo Tapes", and all those "at Budokan" albums from Ozzy, Dream Theater, Michael Schenker Group, and Cheap Trick. Weird but true.