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My original plan was to celebrate my 100th review for the archives by writing my first 100% rating review. But although Skylark came close with their 2012 release – thus far it’s been a quiet start to the year – and nothing in my collection fits the bill. So it’s off to the other end of the scale for me; my first ever 1% review. And let me tell you – they're lucky to even get that.
The band in question is WASP. I’m a big fan from way back. Blackie Lawless is a man that has his moments (both very good and very bad) and I always make a point of being there when it happens. But he has two rather ridiculous Achilles’ Heels. One is his very often lazy writing that sees the same damn hooks turn up again and again. But the antidote here is that there’s always just enough fresh stuff to keep me coming back.
The second failing is a little less easy to justify. Once in every while, you see, Blackie can’t help talking about his dick, his bike or just how cool he is. What you’re about to walk into below is Blackie crapping on about all of the above whilst stoned and drooling and stopping only long enough to vomit into the nearest bucket.
So the album is called ‘Helldorado’. Now that does work. I can still remember getting excited the first time I heard it. It just fit the band and the man himself perfectly. And the album cover wasn’t half bad either. The hologram cover edition was the goods too. But then I flipped the thing over and checked out the song titles. It was pretty much downhill all the way after that.
No need to waste breathe on a track-by-track roll call to zero in on this abortion of a release. I’ve already hinted at Blackie’s propensity for sounding the same from time to time, but i’ve also made it clear that there’s always just enough aces up his sleeve. But on this occasion, everything DOES sound EXACTLY the same. Period. Which is actually kind of appropriate because everything on this album also sounds like a band that has turned sounding the same into an art form. Yep, you guessed it – there’s lots of AC/DC worship on this piece of garbage. Do I really need to say anymore?
On the lyrical front Blackie should be taken out and shot. Apparently he’s on the record as getting back to his roots on this album. Yeah well as dumb as the lyrics were way back when, things never get as moronic as “Dirty Balls”. You can pretty much guess what that one’s about. Likewise, “Don’t Cry (Just Suck)”. Imagine that kind of subject matter matched to Angus Young style riffing. Oh brother.
Here and there Blackie also takes the opportunity to dip into talk about getting high. It never, ever works and is always the weakest link on all his stuff. Here it’s phoned in and reverse charged by a band asleep at the wheel. Fortunately they woke up just in time to ensure their next release was one of their best ever – and have since risen like a sleeping giant with every release after that. That’s the WASP I’m loud and proud about.
Every band makes mistakes. But everything from a fresh direction to line-up changes to a flawed vision can be traced back as the reason. But absolutely no reason or excuse is acceptable for something this atrocious. It’s just plain stupid.