Hair metal is hard to do right these days when it’s so ugly and dated. Guns n’ Roses nearly got it right with Chinese Democracy and Turbonegro definitely got it right in a wide cross section of their albums.
W.A.S.P. are always going to be hard to review fairly and balanced because of the time we’re living in. Hair metal is dead and most people really couldn’t give a flying fuck about Poison or Stryper whereas bands like Hanoi Rocks managed to progress and make something people really wanted to hear (well, the Finnish at least).
With WASP, I’ll tell you that the music hasn’t really progressed past cock-rockin’ hard metal but it comes across OK. “Crazy” and “Thunder Red” are actually very good songs that could stand up against their old classics like “I Wanna Be Somebody” or “Animal (Fuck Like A Beast)”.
Songs like “Live To Die Another Day” and “Into the Fire” sound like filler, and I’m not sure why 90% of the songs have fire related titles. Other songs like “Godless Run” are hard to take seriously – 80’s emotions don’t cut it with me but I’m sure the die-hards will dig it.
“Burn” is one of the best tracks and has a bit of a Deep Purple/Thin Lizzy riff through it. It’s like older and more classic rock n’ roll which WASP pull off with ease and it seems as though they feel very comfortable here and this will be a song the fans will really get into.
“Promised Land” is definitely my favourite tune on this ol’ record. I’m a big Chuck Berry fan so anything with this legend does good with me. They pull it off effortlessly and the solos are fantastic, CB couldn’t do better himself!
It’s hard for bands to keep up with the times and either let their music progress or rely on the whole nostalgia aspect of it all. I think WASP depend on the latter and that’s OK. I salute them for recording new music and keeping themselves interested – there will always be fans waiting for them, well, until inevitably the time comes when the band and their fan base surrender to old age.
© Danny Crombie, Music Vice