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Nothing says 'wake me when it's over' like cliches - 24%

Gutterscream, June 16th, 2006

Ann Boleyn has a few claims to fame - deejaying for KROQ FM, Hellion, New Renaissance Records, and being a bitch (the last having been confirmed by many). Despite the last comment, she’s contributed quite a bit to the scene, enough so that it’d be difficult (and kinda ignorant) to leave her off a list of people who’re almost hall ‘o fame material…quite almost. Sure, New Renaissance never claimed that stratospherically adored band and Hellion barely got a hundred feet off the ground, but when compared to all the people in the scene who couldn’t (and didn't) dent balsa wood with a bazooka with their offerings, it could be said she took the bull by the horns.

I don’t know if Hellion ever actually lived up to its moniker. A song like “Amnesia” off ‘91’s The Black Book is ten times more unruly and rakish than any single song born on this ep, and combining all their might probably couldn’t uproot it from the spot, but we’re talking eight years here. Eight years to witness metal’s miraculous growth in savage strength that in ’83 may have seemed like an enraged pie fight made frightening by a few extra-ornery bands marauding with baseball bats. Eight years or no, these songs are indeed lemon marang.

Paced with light rock appeal, lustless and limp “Don’t Take No (for an Answer)”, pop-scented “Lookin’ for a Good Time”, and head-lilting “Driving Hard” have quite a bit of AOR presence, the whole affair almost twirling around the cotton candy wind machine if the guy at the cart doesn’t fall asleep first, and are saved to a point by “Backstabber” and its narrowly dynamic, fairly energetic “Live Wire”/Crue streak of light speed. By this date, all this including “Backstabber” had been done to fermentation – the anthem-y, open air rock riffs, rhythmic structures already slaughtered by ’79, tired-eyed backing vocals that would've sounded more comfortable on a Bad Company record, uninteresting lyrical sleaze – a barrage of clichés running amok. ‘Queen’ Boleyn herself isn’t anything to write home about, underpowered and under produced compared to loudmouths Wendy O Williams, Betsy Bitch and even Jody Turner over in Rock Goddess. She’d jazz things up over time, though.

As quite a bit of time ticked by between this s/t opus and the more capable Screams in the Night, most people lost track of Hellion and their four-tracker that barely brushes against the getting winded second British invasion, probably the only half-mast salute I can throw this yawner even if it may have moistened this dry piece of meat. Music For Nations would re-release this in the same year with two extra tracks, a pair of tunes I never bothered to check out. I'm sure I'm not missing much.