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Most bands only get one shot at glory. Most shitty bands don’t even get that. Nitro, the worst band that glam metal would ever see, got TWO. After one of the worst debut records in history, Nitro adjusted their lineup a bit and recorded another album with an even stupider acronym for a title: Hot, Wet, Drippin’ with Sweat. It’s actually better than its earlier counterpart, but as bad as that album was, HWDWS couldn’t possibly have been worse.
Still, the second coming of Nitro is a lot like the first, but thankfully, it’s a lot different in a few key areas. Most importantly, it’s dramatically toned back from the first album’s out-fucking-rageousness. Jim Gillette’s ridiculous falsetto is brought down about a hundred notches, allowing for vocals that are still cheesy and annoying, but at times still respectably catchy. Michael Angelo Batio’s ultra-precise playing is toned back too. His solos are a bit more thought out and memorable when compared to the throwaway shredding from the debut. There’s still a bit of linear nonsense, it is MAB after all, but it’s less gratuitous, allowing the listener to better grasp the man’s talent. Parts of his solo bit “Hey Mike” actually seem to be outside of scale of the guitar’s fretboard (listen to those high notes at around 0:27, WTF is he doing there?). There’s a bit of keyboard shredding too, at the beginning of “Take Me.”
Another plus for HWDWS is that the overall sound of the album is better. Jim Gillette’s production is heads and tails above the previous record: the guitars don’t sound like shit, the vocals aren’t overloud, and everything just gels. The new rhythm section of Ralph Carter on bass and Johnny Thunder on drums is much more adept than their predecessors. Thunder’s double kick work is just as good as Bobby Rock’s without the slop, while Carter’s bass work is at least as groovy as anybody else from the scene (and you can hear him, nice going Jim). Songwriting is mixed: the title track is the last of those speed metal abortions from the first one; most everything else is typical glam with a few ballads, MAB’s solo bit, and an adequate cover of Ted Nugent’s “Cat Scratch Fever.” Pretty strong for a Nitro release, actually.
But although this is probably the best album Nitro could probably produce, that by no means makes it a good album. We’re still listening to sub-par glam here, and a particularly annoying brand at that. The songwriting is so gratingly repetitive that you want to stab Gillette in the face with a fork if you could. Lots of those a cappella intros exist, none more annoying than the dragged out introduction sequence to “Turnin’ Me On.” The irritation appears to be intentional: the end of “Boyz Will Be Boyz” is repeatedly postponed and I’m sure the band had a good laugh at their listeners’ expense while those unfortunate folk prayed for the track to come to an end (I know I did). They play with a lot of studio trickery on the guitars and vocals and usually that’s pretty annoying too.
Additionally, Jim Gillette’s vocals are still pretty fucking bad, even though they’re improved from the debut. Part Vince Neil, part Elmo, all suck: there’s nobody in the glam scene worse than this guy. However, he gets to nail Lita Ford, so I suppose he wins this round.
Not a great record, but as I’ve mentioned a thousand times, it slaughters their debut. Had they existed earlier, this album might have led to a more prolific career for Nitro. What a shame…..
…Well, actually no. Nitro fucking sucks. Only the hardest of hardcore glam completionists (do any exist?) should apply.
If you want an album that showcases glam metal at its best or worst (depending on your own personal preference) then this album might be something you enjoy or hate.
With songs such as “Boys Will Be Boyz”, “Turnin’ me on” and “Makin’ Love” H.W.D.W.S. (Hot, Wet, Drippin’ with Sweat) is trying to feed you with typical catchy glam anthems.
The only good thing to write about this album is that Michael Angelo is playing guitar and keyboards on it. If you have the ability to block out the annoying Vince Gill like vocals of Jim Gillette as well as the lyrical content of the songs then you can appreciate some of the talent that Michael Angelo clearly has.
The highlight of the album must be Hey Mike “Guitar Solo” where at least you can enjoy Michael Angelo shredding his neoclassical chops for about 53 seconds without the rest of the band bringing it down.
Overall H.W.D.W.S. is still filled with superb fast guitar solos and solid riffs, although they seems to be shortened from their previous albums. Unfortunately this was not enough to make me want to listen to all the other nonsense that was going.
If cheesy glam is your thing then get this album, otherwise be warned.