This album first came out in 1984, although this blog is reviewing the 1997 reissue which not only contains a (beyond the realms of awful) cover of Rolling Stones song "Paint It Black", it also includes their perhaps most notorious song "Animal", which was previously left off the album as it was considered too nasty, especially by the PMRC. And these days, by W.A.S.P mainman Blackie Lawless who will no longer play the song live as it offends his born-again Christian sensibilities. Ho hum. But I digress...
W.A.S.P emerged from the 1980's Los Angeles rock scene and like Guns n Roses, were lumped in with the hair-metal bands that also came from that scene even though W.A.S.P are a hard rock/shock rock band with more in common with the likes of (prime time) KISS and Alice Cooper rather than the posers and popstars-playing-at-being-rockstars that made up most of the scene at that time. True, by the mid-90's they'd hardly any original members left and ended up going industrial/grunge like a lot of the other bands from that scene but we're here to discuss this album. And what can I say? It's excellent. Every single song on this platter (Bar one but I'll get to that in a minute) is a work of sheer perfection. Subject matter - it's all about sex and partying but in a harder, nastier vein than one would expect, although they do bring it down a notch for the song "Sleeping (In The Fire)" which is probably best described as a dark power-ballad. Either way, it's definately the 'lighters in the air' moment during live shows.. Mind, early live shows included whipping semi-naked women on torture racks and throwing raw meat into the crowd which just shows the level we're at here. The vocals sound like a wired banshee and the music is fast, furious and heavy. Chris Holmes is not the best guitarist on a technical stand-point but his solos fit the songs which is the main thing. The only downer is the song "School Daze" which is about how rubbish school is - not only does it sound cheesy, even for 1984, but Blackie Lawless would have been about 27/28 when he sang this which means he'd have left school by a long time since so should have got over it by then. But it's not that bad to bring the entire album down. Later releases would vary between quality and eventully would change direction of the band altogether but this is the best they've ever done and a must for fans of quality rock music with bite.
10/10 - This is proof there is a god.
This album can be purchased on iTunes and Amazon.
You can purchase from here
You can listen to on Spotify here