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W.A.S.P.’s Best Single (If The Correct Version) - 85%

OzzyApu, November 16th, 2009

Honestly, all of these tracks should have been on the UK version of Still Not Black Enough aka the only version that still gets pressed regularly. It’s bullshit that they left out these songs, forcing us to fork over more for the Japanese and American versions which are rare and expensive. One version has “Black Forever” and “Goodbye America” only, another has these two plus two AC/DC covers, and another has the first two plus two of W.A.S.P.’s most underrated tracks. If I had the luck to find a decent copy that wasn’t beat the fuck up, then I’d get this single.

“Black Forever” and “Goodbye America” are both standout tracks featured on the main album, and both are catchier than all hell. The former supplies a stronger vocal performance from Blackie accompanied by a tune that’s recognizable after the very first listen. The chorus is incredibly memorable and if you can get passed the dark tone of it all, it’s actually a pretty laid-back track. The guitar tone is noticeable much more than most of its peers; remember that the album doesn’t exactly have powerful guitar distortion. “Goodbye America” is much more serious, serving as a great counter to the former track. The spoken intro and its acoustic build-up already let you know that this track will be an epic monster with a message – its one of the darkest tracks on the album, and with another catchy chorus. What makes this one slightly better than the last song is how the memorandum wraps around the bleak, melodic lead by Kulick. Whereas “Black Forever” is loud and fun, “Goodbye America” brings you right back to the cold, hard truth.

The AC/DC cover are pretty fun, as well, but I don’t see them really fitting well with the album. It’s like “Rock And Roll To Death” on the main album – a fun hard rock track, but it doesn’t fit at all with the tone and atmosphere of the album. I prefer “Whole Lotta Rosie” since it has a sick hard rock break in the middle between Kulick and Lawless as they compete for the solo, but otherwise the two tracks are just a novelty inclusion.

The real reason why this single is the best W.A.S.P. have released and will likely never top with any other single is because of “Skin Walker” and “One Tribe.” Apparently, very few versions have the former on it, but it’s their loss because it’s a hauntingly surreal track that’s focused like all hell. Blackie didn’t mess around when writing the rhythm for that, even though it reminds me of another track that I can’t specifically identify The production quality on it and all the other tracks featured on any of the three versions are all from the same Still Not Black Enough recording sessions, so you know what to expect: a livid guitar tone, emotionally strained vocals, gloomy bass lines, and a ghostly drum sound.

“Skin Walker” is only destroyed by “One Tribe,” a song that utter slays everything W.A.S.P. has ever done. I proudly call it my favorite track and hail it as the best song Blackie has ever written. It can only be found on the American version, though it sometimes makes an appearance on some Japanese pressings (odd), but the point is that you must hear this. If you thought “Animal…” or “Blind In Texas” was the shit, then you will be blown away by this track. The energy, the love, the catchiness, the vigor; these words all fail to capture how awesome and inspiring this track makes one feel. The world literally feels like a better place every time I play it.: the violin solo, the wavy acoustics, Blackie’s strongest vocal performance to date, and some fantastic leadwork next to curb-stomping drumming and a cavernous bass tone. Everything comes together so perfectly with this song, making it an experience I always enjoy above all else.

So that’s a rundown on the single, which you should be investigating by the time you finish this sentence. It holds some of Blackie’s best tracks not only from the Still Not Black Enough album (which I consider one of his best, anyway), but from W.A.S.P.’s entire career. For some reason, the crow flew away with these tracks and made sure many fans wouldn’t be able to hear them, but hopefully you won’t take my praise lightly. Hear for yourself and prepare to be mesmerized.