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What we got here is the 1998 album from Dee's band Desperado, right after Twisted Sister. And it includes no one else than legendary Iron Maiden drummer Clive Burr! And there's more: Bernie Tormé, who is more famous among hard rock fans than metal heads but nevermind. An all star line-up we got here but this album sounds like nothing you'd expect from ex-Twisted Sister and Iron Maiden members. An maybe that's why this one slipped under the radar.
Yes, it's rather sleezy and yes it does rock for about half the album. But this band does not sound like Twisted Sister, not even their most slick 'Love Is For Suckers'-era. No, in terms of heaviness it falls right between the last two Twisted Sister albums but at the same time sounds totally different (Apart from Dee's vocals obviously) Desperado also does sound nothing like Iron Maiden. Clive keeps it extremely basic here. Even Bernie Tormé does not feel the need to excel. No, Desperado play what the name suggest, metalized rock with an incidental country edge, steel guitars and all. Anyone remember Cinderella? This is a heavier one and since Dee wrote the music, a lot more catchy chorusses all around!
There are no fast songs here except for "Emaheeva". The rest is mid paced at most. But because the changes of pace between real slow and mid pace are balanced and executed well, it doesn't drag. And there's even an epic ballad, over 7 minutes long, "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter" never gets tedious nor does it sound too sleezy. The band even manages to make the Tom Waits classic "Heart of Saturday Night" sound like a real country-ish rock song. We got two of my fave rock artists (Snider&Burr) covering my favorite non-metal artist, what else could I wish for? Nothing indeed!
Lesser songs? unfortunately a few. "The Maverick" is rather generic. And the clean guitars on "Calling for You" are too obviously 'borrowed' from Led Zeppelin. But as a whole "Calling for You" is also one of the worst songs here. Another ballad, but this time just too sleezy, crappy and not very memorable. Objectively speaking this album clearly sounds like a band still searching for their definate sound. Cohesion is often lost but would this have been released in 1988 itself with good promotion, some songs might actually have become really big hits and the band could've continued to evolve and crystalize their sound.
So in the end we have a pretty nice album here, mostly consisting of decent 'background' rock with a few (4 or 5) real stand-out songs to make it worth tracking down if you're into eighties rock and glam. Highlights: "Hang 'em High", "There's No Angels Here", "Emaheeva" and "Heart of Saturday Night"