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It is usually understood that the main track on a single is always supposed to be the best one on it. The other tracks are either collectibles or fillers meant to promote the main track. But on rare occasions, these ‘fillers’ are so good that they actually overshadow the main song. This W.A.S.P. single is one of those rare cases. Sure, L.O.V.E. Machine is one hell of a track but the sheer awesomeness of the Stones’ cover surpasses it, although by a small margin only. This way, the single becomes much more desirable because after all, people buy the single for these B-sides only (the completists are an exception to this).
The track L.O.V.E. Machine is exactly what you’ll expect from a W.A.S.P. single although the guitar work is a bit uninspiring compared to what they are capable of doing. It is surprising how a lot of songs on their debut follow the same formula and yet, each sounds fresh. The lyrics are again the typical sex-laced ones that W.A.S.P. have mastery over. Couple it with Blackie’s gruff, sleazy vocals and you’ve got a song that can make the most notorious glam bands blush with its audacity. The only downside is the guitar work during the verses but the solo at the end and the starting riff cover up for that.
But for all its pros, the main track is not the better track. I’ll bestow that title to the Rolling Stones’ cover. Now, I am not a huge fan of the Stones but I love ‘Paint It, Black’ and I can safely say that this cover is the second best cover of cover of that song. Wipe the smug look off your face my friend because this statement comes from someone who has listened to over 20 covers of the song. The only cover of the song better than this is the one on Glenn Tipton’s solo project but that’s another review for another day.
W.A.S.P. have tried to stay as true to the original as possible while still keeping their basic style of playing intact. Blackie sounds much fiercer than Jagger but the melancholy associated with the original is lost. That, I believe is a side effect of covering a psychedelic rock song. Most of the riffs including the sitar ones have been faithfully placed here although a few have been left out and a few slightly modified. But in the end, the song succeeds in walking the tight rope associated with covering old classics. An added bonus is the fact that the lyrics of the song seem to match W.A.S.P’s image more than the Stones’. I am not sure how the Rolling Stones’ fans will react to it but I am certain that W.A.S.P. fans will grab it with both hands.