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sweet lock n'loller! - 72%

brettrules1980, August 3rd, 2005

44 magnum are probably Japan's answer to the Scorpions. That is probably the closest musical comparison. Relatively rockin' metal with a distinctive vocalist. While they also would fall in line with countrymen Loudness or EZO, the Scorpions are a closer reference point because of the European influence. (some might also say American influence as well, seeing as they also sound like Ratt and their look is clearly in the vein of the L.A. metal scene of the time).
Speaking of which, there is a wide streak of pop metal (or just plain pop, in some cases), as evidenced by the song "I just can't take anymore" which, if one heard it out of context, you would assume it was a prime example of Japanese powerpop, not metal. For me this isn't a problem, because I have no problem with melody if it is done right, but those seeking harder fare should probably go elsewhere.
Also, it was hard for me to tell if their intention was to try to "cross over" into some popularity in other countries, because in their songs, the verses are in Japanese, and the choruses are in simple, broken-English phrases. It almost seems like a compromise because they weren't sure what to do. For example, in the title track, there is some Japanese, then: "Get down! Get Out! street rock and roller!" and the rest of the songs follow suit, including the token power-ballad.
All in all, this is definitely not a bad release. The production is very good and the performances are too, but, like a lot of similar releases, there is a generic quality to it that is neither good nor bad. I would recommend this to fans of motley crue, poison, ratt, tigertailz, scorpions, etc. that are familiar enough with their faves, and are feeling adventurous and exotic and they want to branch out and experience what hair metal is like in other countries.