04 September 2016

Sonic Chronicle - When the decadence died, Part II.

Back in the early 1990s, about 1991 if I had to put an exact year on it, glam metal died, and it’s murderer was grunge. The pomp, pageantry, and proliferation of a plethora of hair products and pointy guitars had faded away only to be replaced by flannel shirts and older Fender axes. Even the very sound of rock was changing. Gone was the scooped midrange and boatloads of sizzling, glittering gain, and in their places was a more primal and abrasive sound that represented a darker and more brooding atmosphere straight out of Seattle. This was the sound of glam metal’s era of excess and decadence crashing to the ground.

Despite glam’s record sales coming to an abrupt and nearly absolute halt, there is still a bevy of fantastic releases by glam bands that very few people ever even checked out or, at best, simply wrote off as “just another glam album by a glam band.” Listening to these records now, 25 years after the fact, has revealed to me that there is some great material that was long ago covered by time and dust and grunge. Here are a few albums from after the death of glam that have rocked me to the bones lately.

Winger: Pull (1994). I’ve mentioned this one before. It’s a fantastic album from beginning to end, and Reb Beach is one of the all-time most underrated guitarists.

Cinderella: Still Climbing (1994). A killer in-your-face rock and roll album with the shrill, high-pitched vocals you’ve always come to love from Cinderella.

L.A. Guns: Vicious Circle (1994). This is like another sleazy trip down Sunset Strip, only this time everyone hates you.

Warrant: Dog Eat Dog (1992). Jani Lane can write a killer song, and this album is full of them. It’s like someone dropped the leash and let Warrant run wild.

Mötley Crüe: Mötley Crüe (1994). Not the best thing the Crüe ever did, but how would you top that? John Corabi is probably the deepest songwriter the band ever had, and it shows on this album. After a few listens, it grows.

Slaughter: The Wild Life (1992). I was always a big Slaughter fan. The high-pitched vocals never got on my nerves as much as they probably should have. “Reach for the Sky” is a killer tune.

Jackyl: Push Comes to Shove (1994). Jackyl is probably not your stereotypical hair band, but their sound definitely fits the mold. Lost of good southern grooves here with a bad attitude.

Poison: Native Tongue (1993). I’ve mentioned this one before too. Ritchie Kotzen replaced C.C. Deville on the guitar, and the result is a subtly darker and more interesting album.

W.A.S.P.: The Crimson Idol (1992). One of the best albums I’ve ever heard. You can listen time and time again and find something new to love every time.