Artist: Acey Slade & The Dark Party
Title: “Acey Slade & The Dark Party”
Release Date: 2/9/2010
Genre: Glam Rock/Punk Rock
“Acey Slade and The Dark Party” is the eponymously titled latest release by the one and only Acey Slade (known from the likes of Murderdolls, Dope, Trashlight Vision, Wednesday 13 and probably more than I know about) and with it the musician continues to surprise his fans with the level of chameleon that he can be with his artistic expression. It’s important to know right off the bat if you are expecting a Murderdolls or Trashlight vibe that you will be disappointed but if you are fans of seeing how Slade and his band mates are hoping to serve your auditory palate then it will be an interesting exploration. The release begins with a quasi “Twilight Zone” kind of spoken intro that leads you into the sensational “Here Today” track. This tune speaks volumes and plays along the lines of how instant our society has become. You are truly as it sings “here today, gone today” thanks to our instant gratification and forgetting what we just absorbed on our Facebook and Twitter feeds. Up next is “Sugarcum” and it’s a very danceable tune with a vibrant chorus and then a very techno-laden drive is to be found in “Nothing’s Gonna Change”. There is still a deep heavy groove that would make this work in a harder Rock setting but it’s clear that Slade and the guys were bringing a whole new aesthetic to their musical mix. There is a great interplay between Slade and guitarist Andee for sure. There is an almost Bowie-esque brooding during parts of “She Brings Down The Moon” and while this one is more Gothic Hard Rock you can sense that there is a space to be slinky on the dark dance floor if you wanted to.
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Title: “Nothin’ But A Good Time: The Poison Collection”
Label: Capitol Records
Release Date: 11/9/2010
Genre: Glam Rock/Rock & Roll
I will admit that I never thought these words would come out of my mouth but at this point in my life I really enjoy the music of Poison. It’s pretty funny since while growing up I was totally on the other side of the argument but year after year of exposure to some truly catchy songs eventually made me a fan and someone that looks forward to their summer concert tours when they happen in our region. The latest release from Capitol Records celebrates the bands hits and also their work on the concert stage. Given the bands continued success and impact on the Rock music scene this was a good idea, however the album itself might strike some of the bands hard core supporters as very familiar and here is why. Broken into two discs, the first CD is the “Greatest Hits” compilation and was originally released as “20 Years Of Rock: The Best Of Poison” while the second CD is the single CD remastered version of the bands 1991 live recording “Swallow This Live”. I reviewed the original best of piece and slightly edited my copy to be a little more with the times but since I only owned the remaster of the live release only recently those will be relatively new thoughts. Dig in.
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Artist: Lillian Axe
Title: “Lillian Axe” (remaster)
Label: Metal Mind Productions
Release Date: 1/22/2008
Genre: Glam Rock
If you ever listened to the up and comers in the Glam Rock scene back in the day there is no doubt that you had heard the name of Lillian Axe a couple of times but then again perhaps I am wrong. I say this because when it came down to it, the band was probably one of the best kept secrets that the genre ever introduced and this is quite the shame based on the quality level of songwriting and music that they actually brought to the table. The band was led by singer Ron Taylor and guitarist Steve Blaze and they seemed the perfect pairing when it came to the nature of the material that such a band offered up to their fan base. Their debut, and self titled release was recently remastered by the folks at Metal Mind Productions and this is a gem to find for ones Glam Rock collection because there isn’t a bad tune on the album. Produced by Robbin Crosby (who was at the time a member of Ratt), the band had a lot of promise with catchy tunes like “Dream Of A Lifetime” – a song that would be considered one of the bands biggest hits among their growing underground following, and of course there was a little more depth to them than your conventional “Hair Metal” troupe. Songs like “Hard Luck” showed a heavier side and featured a crunch to its driving riff along with some ripping guitar solos from Blaze who truly stood higher than his peers but never got the true chance to be considered competition based on the shifting tides that would find the band almost fading from the media eye of the time. They had the expected ballad in “Nobody Knows”, and it’s a track to raise your lighter to and there was fun stuff like the closer “Laughing In Your Face” and sing along numbers like “Picture Perfect”, but sadly the proper attention was just not given them. I guess such a thing was bound to happen with this being the tail end of the Glam Rock domination of the scene and the pending rise of the Grunge Movement. Less attention was given to bands that were considered to be too much of the same thing and then it was all gloom and sorrow from Seattle. It didn’t matter if the group was different or not, it was all the perception at this stage. A shame really, because while I myself only lightly experienced them in their heyday, can agree that this album was a strong debut and should have done a lot more for the group and the ebbing fires of this genres music scene.
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Artist: Hanoi Rocks
Title: “The Nottingham Tapes”
Label: Cherry Red UK
Release Date: 6/10/2008
Genre: Glam Rock
According to the liner notes that come along on the packaging of the film, the recording for Hanoi Rocks’ “The Nottingham Tapes” is the result of a film crew’s decision to leave their equipment set up from the recording of an all day Trash Rock affair at the same venue where this show would take place. After watching only a couple of songs from the show I had to say that not only the fans of Hanoi Rocks were lucky that this was done, but also any fan of bare bones Rock and Roll with a Trashy/Glam edge to it. Formed in 1979, Hanoi Rocks were one of those bands who were ahead of the times when it came to their genre and should you know your Rock history, you will recall that not only did the Punk material of the day inspire them, but also the classic Rockers of the fifties and sixties. This allowed the band to stand high above the competition in terms of the strength of their material and find them come to inspire bands like Poison and Guns ‘N Roses in the years that would follow. The show was recorded at The Palais club located in Nottingham, England and it captures a full sixty minutes of fun time music. I was a little disappointed to see the limited camera angles, but this was done in 1984 my friends, and the means for super and extravagant video recording sessions was not par for the course yet. The viewer is limited to shots from the far stage left, and some close ups, and additional views from behind the drum kit. From this I am guessing this was no more than a two or three camera shoot. However, despite some of the lacking in the visual sense, I found no such issue with the audio portion of the show. The band sounds excellent and all of the instruments are captured perfectly. As a matter of fact, it sounds so good that I will assume that there was a feed to the soundboard because you really don’t hear any audience noise during the show.
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Artist: Jet Boy
Title: “The Glam Years” Movie & CD
Label: MVD Visual
Release Date: 11/20/2007
Genre: Glam Rock
To say that there were hundreds upon hundreds of bands launched during the Glam Rock years of Hollywood’s Hair Metal scene in the eighties would be an understatement and while many of them seemed to be clones of each another, there were always those bands that stood out a little more based on their overall sound and band presentation. One such group was Jetboy – a group of San Francisco natives who relocated to Los Angeles to follow the scene that was happening over there based on what they had heard from their friends in other bands, most notably the guys in Guns ‘N Roses. While the band was lumped into the Hollywood Hair Metal vibe that was happening among the Glamsters, these guys had more of a Punk ethic going on when it came down to it. That made them just different enough to break bigger than some of the others but alas history would find this to not really be the case and they would remain popular more on the underground circuit and among their most staunch supporters. This DVD is the first to ever come from the band and it brings you a performance from the famous Hollywood hangout The Whisky a Go-Go. The show was filmed way back in 1986 and during this point in musical history there was not a lot of video from the up and comers so good footage is often a rarity. The concert film is done with a real amateur feel in terms of both audio and video and truly is a sign of the times against what the audience is able to capture with only a cell phone nowadays. In most cases you either had a club that pointed a camera down to the stage for live show footage or you had a friend in the crowd standing by the sound board to film you straight on as you did your set.
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