The self-titled album released in 1989 on Arista Records is a favourite of mine. The songs, the performances, the production and the sounds all hit the mark.
I had friends who hated it because it sounded so much like Skid Row’s debut, but for me, I was cool with it.
“Bang Go The Bells” and all is well, alright especially that E minor riff. “Hammer Swings Down” keeps the tempo going, while you can hear Jack Ponti’s style of song writing in “Caught Up In The Crossfire” and “Desperate”. From memory, I think “Desperate” was a song written for/with Baton Rouge.
It’s a four punch knock out to kick off the album.
Then “Billy went driving on a Saturday night, heading for trouble with a bottle of wine” and “The Kid Goes Wild” kicks off, bringing the story of Billy The Kid into suburbia, as an angry, young teen, who is under the gun, and eventually goes wild. And “Sam Kinison” makes an appearance, telling the cops, he aint going down, because this is his life.
“Shot O’Love” has this little acoustic piece to kick it off like how “Love Song” has an acoustic piece. After about a minute and 20, the song kicks in. And its six from six.
“Maryanne” makes it 7 from 7 with its “Piece of Me” style riff in the verses. “Back In Babylon” sets the groove for a tale about getting back to the city of sin and living on the edge on the east side.
I normally skipped “Sweet Temptation” because my favourite track is “Sally Danced”. The swampy acoustic blues with the slide guitar and the vocal melodies, hook me every single time.
And that Chorus section from about 2.18 is brilliant.
Throughout it all, the guitar work of Dan De La Rosa and Ron Freschi is top level. Derek Davis on vocals delivers the goods on every track. While bassist Robb Reid and Jamey Pacheco are the unsung heroes, holding down the fort and grooving all the way.
“Nothing Sacred” came out in 1992.
But the opening track “Take The Dog Off The Chain” didn’t grab me in the same way, “Bang Go The Bells” did and neither did “Bad Blood”.
However, “So Savage The Heart” although generic, did hook me and without looking at the credits, you can hear Jack Ponti’s song writing style over it.
“Sacrifice For Love” asks to share the bed of fire, and the album is rocking now to my liking. “Redemption” is a cool song, and lyrically, it deals about abuse, as it was a common theme back then, with Skid Row dropping “In A Darkened Room” which covered a similar topic.
“Down The River Of No Return” works with the swampy acoustic guitars merged with some slide guitar and a vocal performance worthy of top spot on the Billboard charts.
“Psychedelic Sex Reaction” sounds like it was written for Alice Cooper’s “Hey Stoopid” album. “Dream Train” sounds like it came from Aerosmith’s “Permanent Vacation” album. “Blind Ambition” sounds like “All Right Now” from Free merged with Poison’s “Nothin But A Good Time”. The pre chorus sounds like it came from the “River Of Love” Chorus by Lynch Mob.
“Of The Rose” starts of as an acoustic instrumental and should have stayed that way, as the electric guitar solo didn’t work for me. “Pray For The Wicked” is a throwback to the debut, with its sleazy and loose attitude.
And while the debut is a blast from start to finish of sleazy attitude driven rock and roll, the follow up tries to deliver but misses.
I didn’t get “American Blitzkrieg” but I really enjoyed their comeback album “Revelation Highway” released in 2017.