I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again right now: I would rather listen than any’80s Metal band for one hundred million billion years than listen to any artist currently on the pop charts for five minutes. Just being serious. For that reason, this week’s high energy clip from New Jersey-based rockers Kodiak is like a breath of fresh air in a vacuum. The no-frills clip for their single “Goodbye,” featuring footage from the studio and the band’s stage show, is a great introduction to this talented band, which includes brothers Pete (Drums) and Chris (Guitar) Biggiani, with Bassist TJ Haefner, and lead singer Eric Dalton. Plus, the group is co-managed by Warren Wyatt and drum legend Carmine Appice. So, props for that.
While “Goodbye” is a classic metal scorcher (comparisons to Van Halen are not unwarranted) Kodiak remind me most of bands like Winger and Dokken: groups with handsome, charismatic frontmen who achieved a crossover appeal by infusing their glam metal repertoire with a few well-placed “power ballads.” I can’t guess whether that will also be Kodiak’s approach, but the potential to stretch out is certainly there. In the mean time, Kodiak guarantee that feel-good, edgy hard rock is officially back in acton. Like them on the FaceBook at This Link. Enjoy!
Ah, memories. Once again the East Portland Blog unearths a few of my crazy Hair Metal Musings from way, way, way back in the year 2000. Revisit my brain and watch the video for White Lion’s “Wait” – which, honestly, is just spectacular – at This Link!
Starting Monday, November 15th, Formula Werks‘ featured T-Shirt of the Week is the Ken Keirns-designed Terry: Patron Saint of 80’s Metal — which will be available to purchase for one week only. I have to confess that a shirt called “Terry, Patron Saint of 80s Metal” is particularly hilarious to me, as I know a guy named Terry who is quite passionate, if highly elitist, about his own musical taste, and he certainly never misses a chance to take a dump on my great love of 80s Metal, even if he has to go way off topic for the opportunity. Irony! These shirts feature “Terry” the horned goat throwing metal and looking ready to rock in his skull-emblazoned shirt and long black trench coat. Metal! Terry’s T-shirt comes in your choice of back or blood red, in a variety of styles and sizes to fit every member of your head banging family. Assuming “one week” means the sale ends on Sunday, November 21, you’d better act fast to get one of these awesome shirts for just $25. Click Here to purchase!
In honor of singer/guitarist Aldo Nova’s birthday today (11/13), the Worley Gig is excited to bring you the video for his band’s awesome hit song “Fantasy” – a hot mess of ’80s metal cheesiness. Everything gets going at about the 1:20 point, so feel free to fast forward until you can see Aldo break down the door of a locked warehouse with laser beams shooting from the neck of his guitar. Innovative! I especially love Aldo’s form-fitting, leopard print bodysuit, which I would surely be wearing right this minute if I had his figure. Seriously, can you believe rock stars ever dressed like that? I sure do miss it. I also love the part where the girls in the audience mob the stage, because they cannot resist Aldo’s hotness. So, happy birthday Aldo, and thanks for offering us your words to ponder, “life is just a fantasy, can you live this fantasy life?”
Poison drummer, animal rights activist and chain-smoking vegan Rikki Rockett (Born Richard Allan Ream) celebrates a birthday today, having been born on August 8th, 1959. The last time I was on the phone with Rikki – and I admit this was a few years ago – and the subject of age came up, he insisted that he was two years younger than me. Which, no. Gee whiz. It’s one thing to lie about your age to the press, but it’s extremely bad form to lie when that member of the press is supposedly a friend. So, Happy Birthday, Rikki! And just keep in mind that as long as this thing called the Internet exists, people who know how to use the Google will always be able to call you out!
Attention hard rock fans: a hilarious new show called Z-Rock debuted last night on IFC.com and I already know I’m going to be watching it for the next ten weeks! Z-Rock stars the amazing Brooklyn based hard rock trio, Z02, who I’ve been fortunate to see live a couple times. Considering the fact that I hate almost everything, I must tell you this show is just as awesome and entertaining as the band is ass-kicking. The basic premise of Z-Rock tells a “real life” story of a rock band that has to play kids’ birthday parties during the day to make a living.
Last night’s episode featured an appearance by ‘80s Hair Metal casualty, Sebastian Bach, playing himself as a dad who’d brought his kids to a party that Z02 were booked to play. Hilarity ensues, of course, but man, I gotta ask, have Bach’s former pretty boy looks taken the Bullet train to Hell or what? The guy looks like he barely survived a co-starring role in Fight Club. Ow! Previews of upcoming episodes indicate they’ve got all sorts of other special guests lined up for future adventures in rock and, oh yeah, besides Z02’s great fun music there’s lots of nudity and swearing and stuff, so you’ve got many reasons to tune in to IFC on Sunday’s at 11:30 PM for the next few months!
Warrant, Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinking Rich
Original Release Date: March 1989
Re-Released: August 2004
Hair Metal bands were often distinguished by singers who could actually sing, and few vocalists of that era had a set of pipes rivaling that of Jani Lane. Warrant’s debut, Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinking Rich draws heavily from the members’ blues rock influences while thoroughly wallowing in pop-metal excess. The mindless pursuit of hedonism rarely sounded as beguiling as it does on the rousing “Down Boys,” while the ultra-schmaltzy ballad “Heaven” was probably the theme song of every metalhead wedding in 1989. Buttressing the excellent vocals and tight, catchy tunes are guitarist Joey Allen’s solos, which are flashy without succumbing to self-indulgent wankery. Achieving platinum sales and number-one chart status shortly before Grunge buried ‘80s Metal forever, D.R.F.S.R. closed out the final decade of Rock ‘N’ Roll decadence in high style.
– Gail Worley
Sometimes She Cries
So Damn Pretty (Should Be Against The Law)
In The Sticks
Only A Man (Demo)
All Night Long (Demo)
This article was originally written for Metal Edge Magazine. With the magazines’ dissolution, the article has been added to the content base of The Worley Gig for our readers’ enjoyment.
Another One Bites The Dust: Me with Kevin Dubrow, Frankie Banali and Donnie Vie, Summer 2001
Okay, seriously, I’m wondering if it is some kind of cosmic ’80s Metal joke that both Ricky Parent of ENuff Z’Nuff and Kevin Dubrow of Quiet Riot have passed away within one month of each other. As a tribute to Kevin, who died on November 25th, 2007 of a drug overdose, I’ve decided to re-run my review of the re-release of Quiet Riot’s immortal, genre-defining 1983 album, Metal Health. Read on and be enlightened.
(Originally published on Ink19.com, Fall 2001)
Quiet Riot Metal Health (Portrait/Epic/Legacy)
I’ve got a story for you about Quiet Riot.
On a gorgeous summer day this past July, I spent about eight hours hanging out at this big outdoor 80’s metal revival arena rock concert where Poison, Warrant, Quiet Riot and Enuff Z’Nuff were the featured bands. Now, everybody knows I’m a total idiot for that kind of music and, being a journalist, I’ve become pretty good pals with Poison’s drummer Rikki Rockett, and Warrant’s drummer, Mike Fasano. Thus I found myself, Ms. Headbanger’s Ball of 2001, back stage with an All Access Pass. There was no question that having the run of an arena’s back stage area would prove to be a curious thing, but I digress. When I was walking around unsupervised, I met Quiet Riot’s front man, the infamous Kevin Dubrow, when he accidentally caught me checking out his ass. Kevin is amazing-looking up close and has transformed himself from the scrawny, balding speed freak you remember from those 80s Quiet Riot videos into this full-on rock Adonis with a killer six pack and arms to die for. He smells really good too. I felt a little giddy meeting him because – I mean, I’m a fan and everything – but I didn’t expect him to be so handsome. Hair weave or no hair weave, the guy looks 100% better than he did when he was in his 20’s. I’d do it.
Anyway, Portrait Records re-released Quiet Riot’s best album, the multi-platinum selling Metal Health, last fall, but it took me awhile to get around to reviewing it. Sorry.
When I think of Quiet Riot, their venerated cover of Slade’s “Cum On Feel the Noize” leaps to mind immediately. I just can’t help but sing along.
“Cum on feel the noize/Girls rock your boys/We’ll get wild wild wild/Wild wild wild…” lather, rinse, repeat.
Talk about inspired lyrics! How can anyone who was ever young and in love not worship that song? Carlos Cavazo’s guitar solo on the bridge has got to be right up there with anything Eddie Van Halen ever laid down on tape and I’d even put it up against the solo from “Wait” by White Lion!
But Quiet Riot was always about so much more than just big guitar noise and epic macho posturing. I mean, Metal Health, was the first metal album to reach #1 on the Billboard charts! And this was back in the 80’s when the charts were actually an indication of music being any good. Quiet Riot rocked, and they still do.
My favorite Quiet Riot song is “Slick Black Cadillac,” which is from way back when Randy Rhodes (RIP) was in the band. This song was originally recorded for an album that was only released in Japan, but the band loved it so much that they re-recorded it for Metal Health – and thank God for that, because the song just rocks hard enough to crack skulls wide open. I love the lyrics, which are so simple, but paint such a rich picture: “Driving in a slick, black Cadillac/It’s got solid gold hubcaps/It makes me feel like a King/I only need one thing/and that’s a Slick Black Cadillac.” It’s great use of language, where Kevin is as involved in the physical sound of the words as he is in telling the story. No shit — here’s a song about a big black car that sticks with you. A live version of “Slick Black Cadillac” is included here as a bonus track. I could listen to it again and again.
Hearing Quiet Riot’s hard-driving, melodic, anthemic, life-affirming, joyous, crazy party rock amid all the shitty false metal and mind-numbing idiot rock that passes for pop music these days is like oxygen in a vacuum. Metal Health is a sentimental journey connecting the attributes of commercial rock with the sonic muscle of heavy metal, which is what catapulted LA Sunset Strip glam metal to the top of the charts in the first place. This album is perfect. Go out and buy a copy right now.