Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Tooth and Nail by Dokken

There was a host of classic Metal albums released in the early 80's before hairspray and pouting became the vogue. Even with their big hair, Dokken always seemed like a true blue, no thrills, melodic Metal band with the ability to knock out some truly kickass songs. Their 1984 opus Tooth and Nail is no exception; ask anyone from that era and they'll tell you.
Whether it's the title track or Just Got Lucky, you know you're in for a good time. These are the sort of tunes that should be played (loud) when knockin' back some Budweisers. Not even a ballad (the classic Alone Again) deters this album from rising above their contemporaries. Today, the music sounds vintage; a relic of when times were simpler and when the bands were better.

Go find/download/steal (whatever) this album and crank it up to eleven. This is the band that will remain with you through all the good, rockin' times.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Spread Eagle by Spread Eagle

Imagine the bastard musical son of Skid Row, raised on alcohol, sex and a bad fucking attitude. That bastard son is Spread Eagle. The self-titled debut is a no-holds barred collection of pure Sleaze with a ballad thrown in to temporarily halt the sonic assault. Vocals are raw and guitars wail with a whisky-soaked vibe; this isn't a by-the-numbers Glam affair; it's pure Rock N'-fuckin'-Roll. 'Hot Sex' sports a Punk groove as powerful as the rampant testosterone that permeates the track while 'Scratch Like a Cat' has Ray West channeling the shredding vocals of Sebastian Bach. 'Switchblade Serenade' is pretty much one of the definitive Sleaze songs that never became a hit, which is a shame. Because with bands like Wildboyz at the tail end of the 80's, Spread Eagle had the balls to give Glam Metal the shot in the arm it needed.

It may not have been a hit, but it certainly is a fucking classic.

Screwed, Blued & Tattooed by Sleeze Beez

Loud, abrasive and sleazy, Dutch band Sleeze Beez serve up a gasoline-drenched classic that defies the sophomore slump. Sticking to an AC/DC-meets-Glam Metal approach, each track strikes like lightning; opener 'Rocking in the Western World' and the title track pack an iron fist in a velvet glove. The surprise however, is the quintessential late-80's ballad 'This Time' which begins almost dreamily before surging into perhaps one of the greatest choruses of the Power Ballad era. So great in fact, that it's miles above some of the bigger hits during the albums release.

Overall, this album does not disappoint. If you want the bridge between Glam and Sleaze then pick up Screwed, Blued & Tattooed.

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Stay Hungry by Twisted Sister

The anti-authoritarian Rock N' Roll album of choice. Stay Hungry is a decent offering from one of the biggest bands of the 80's. The Heavy metal template of the title track growls into the defiant We're Not Gonna Take It while the unashamed I Wanna Rock is seduced with flames of anger and passion. Screaming riffs and skull-bashing drums are the main strengths of the album, even the iron-fist-in-a-velvet-glove The Price or the progressive Horror-Teria. There can be no record collection without this classic. Fans agreed, as this became a mainstay of the 80's golden Glam Metal age.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Wasted by L.A. Guns

Featuring the vocal talents of future Steel Panther Ralph Saenz, this EP is a gritty, sleazier  iron-clad fist that hammers on even after the final track has finished. Whether it's the title track or Well Spent, it appears L.A. Guns is more comfortable occupying the back alleys of the seediest town rather than reliving their glory years. With a metallic sheen less brutal than Sledgehammer Ledge though harder hitting than Cherry St, Wasted is a decent EP that would have been the greatest 90's album L.A. Guns never released. Even the update of Ballad of Jayne holds a defeated charm, carrying on the tradition of older bands covering their early hits.

Wasted is (to use a pun) a waste of musical invigoration that would have been better suited to an album. But the band soldiered on with whichever vocalist they found next and Ralph Saenz found a future gently mocking the bands he once paid tribute to.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Van Halen II by Van Halen

The sleeker, polished sequel to the classic debut, Van Halen II avoids the sophomore album slump by giving the fans what they want: pure Hard Rock. Yes, there's more of Michael Anthony's harmonies this time around but that's more of a progression in the VH sound. Dance The Night Away and Women In Love... sound stronger for it. David Lee Roth's banshee howl still sounds powerful, particularly on D.O.A while Spanish Fly proves why Eddie Van Halen is a godsend to the guitar. All DLR era albums are kickass for one reason or another, but Van Halen II is special because it succeeds where so many bands have failed before.

Friday, 20 April 2012

Let It Scream by The Scream

John Corabi (yes, the vocalist on THAT Motley Crue album) shows his Hard Rock chops on this criminally ignored release from his old band The Scream. Let It Scream is essentially AC/DC adopting Pop Metal choruses; raw enough for most Hard Rock fans with enough hooks to deserve radio time. Outlaw and I Believe In Me kickstart the album with consummate Sleaze while the acoustic Man In The Moon slows things down before kicking it up a notch with some chainsaw-guitar riffing. Let It Scream is The Scream showing their balance of acoustic and Hard Rock while retaining attitude on both. Even the cowboy-tinged ballad Never Loved Her Anyway eschews pathos for a bitter resentment. It's easy to see why Motley Crue hired John Corabi after his stellar vocals on this album. Go find the album and discover why.