Faster Pussycat: The Power & The Glory Hole

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    The Power & The Glory Hole is the first release of new material from Hollywood sleaze rockers Faster Pussycat since its return in 2001, and a release which despite its flaws just leads to mischievous satisfaction. The band is one which for many is a love or hate relationship whilst for others like us their earlier presence largely was ignored due to a lack of connection with their glam/sleaze flavoured hard rock. The new album though finds the band evolved into a heavily spiced industrial rock n roll which points to the likes of Dope and Marilyn Manson, and on certain points on the album, Jane’s Addiction.

Formed in 1985 and taking its name from the Russ Meyer cult film Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!, the quintet of Taime Downe (vocals), Greg Steele, (guitar), Brent Muscat (guitar), Kelly Nickels (bass), and Mark Michaels (drums), soon grabbed attention with their self-titled album of 1987 and two years later gold album, Wake Me When It’s Over. The band subsequently split in 1992 with Downe forming the Newlydeads. In 2001 though he resurrected Faster Pussycat with a more rock driven sound and the band soon released Between The Valley Of The Ultra Pussy, a collection of industrial remixes of the  early songs produced by Downe, and spent the next years touring and thrilling audiences. With a line-up now of Downe, Xristian Simon (guitar), Ace Von Johnson (guitar), and ex- L.A. Guns members Danny Nordahl (bass) and Chad Stewart (drums, percussion), the band has stepped forward with further evolved material and sound and it has to be said it is quite a blast.

Released via Full Effect Records in the US and City Of Lights Records in Europe, The Power & The Glory Hole takes no time in FasterPussycat_cover20making a convincing persuasion with opener Number 1 with a Bullet. The track introduces itself with bulging rhythms and scything sonics from the guitars which immediately lures an interest in its offering. Settling into a sinewy gait and fiery energy, the vocals of Downe dance over the ear with a gruff devilment whilst riffs and basslines tease and incite boisterous responses. Wholly infectious with its acidic groove and undemanding chorus, the song is easy meat for the ear to revel in, recognisable rascality which is irresistible. That also about sums up the album, there is nothing new or adventurous to it just sounds and ideas plenty of others have exploited but Faster Pussycat make it an aural shenanigan you do not want to avoid.

From the terrific start the equally addictive Gotta Love It with its repetitive pawing riffs and cyclonic grooves continues to excite the senses, the tempting chorus and unbound flurry of hooks virulent and again impossible to resist adding voice and agitated limbs to. Two songs in and there is not much more convincing needed to make the album one which will make many returns before the ear and even though it does ebb and flow in success across its twelve tracks, there are no actual disasters waiting to loom into view. The following slowly strolling Useless is one of the moments though where things hit a lull, the admittedly easily assessable and enjoyable track failing to hold or ignite any fire with its presence. It is arguably the most industrial toned track on the album and wins on variety and intent but just does not spark like some of the other tracks.

Something the songs Sex Drugs & Rock ‘n’ Roll and Hey You do not have a problem with achieving.  The first is one which brings rich essences of Jane’s Addiction to a hard rock swagger for another transmittable aural contagion whilst the second rampages with a grinding abrasion and snarl to its energy, riffs, and baselines whilst the drums create a frame of jabs and crisp uppercuts any middleweight would be proud of. The guitar flames add extra heat and transfixing persuasion to the song and again it is hard to tear oneself away from its eager and easily satisfying clutches. Splitting the pair Disintegrate and a cover of These Boots Were Made for Walking play nice without again raising any temperatures but are still decent enough songs to catch a lingering stay.

Completed by the wanton blistered seduction of Porn Star, the biting title track, a fiery cover of the Betty Blowtorch song Shut Up & Fuck, and a closing tribute to the late Bianca Butthole, a close friend of Downe, called Bye Bye Bianca, the album makes for a dirty brawl of a party, a sonic binge you are welcome and will want to gate-crash. For sure The Power & The Glory Hole takes easy familiar routes in songs for the main and lacks uniqueness but it still makes a more than appetising encounter which gives voice, feet, and mischief an excuse to riot.

www.fasterpussycat.com

7/10

Ringmaster 26/02/2013

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ToxicRose – Self Titled

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The self-titled debut EP from Swedish rockers ToxicRose may not hold many surprises but it does offer plenty of bruising fun and sleaze soaked enterprise. Combining an energetic blend of hard rock and melodic metal the band unleashes a sound which parties with the essences of Crashdiet, Alice Cooper, W.A.S.P., and Motley Crue to the fore.

Formed in 2010, the Stockholm quartet of vocalist Andy and drummer Michael (both ex- Lipstixx ‘n’ Bulletz), guitarist Tom (ex-Gemini Five), and bassist Goran (ex-Sexydeath), took no time in combining their ‘veteran’ experience to create sounds drenched in eighties hard and glam rock, bringing it all up to date for a full and vibrant encounter.  They have garnered quite a buzz around their presence since which their first release can only enhance and drive forward. Admittedly their chosen genre is not one which excites our hearts here but it is hard not to find enough to be enthused about with the EP and find richly pleasurable.

Released via City Of Lights Records, the EP opens with the powerful and magnetic A Song For The Weak. Big thumping rhythms ToxicRose_cover_12and striking riffs  soon capture attention whilst the whispers of keys brings a warm and gentler caress from within the muscular engagement. The vocals of Andy are aggressive yet welcoming to match the array of guitar skill from Tom, his sinewy riffs and melodic invention impressive and engaging. The band look the part for a glam/hard rock band and as this song proves they sound the part too. There is nothing openly adventurous to discover but it is an infectious riot of accomplished invention and invigorating sound which can only be enjoyed and applauded.

From the strong start the following Set Me Free takes a similar path to its predecessor whilst matching in appeal and quality. The striding rhythms and towering riffs command the ear whilst the melodic wash of the keys and sonic teasing of the guitars leave their contagious mark on the senses. The bass of Goran is a pulsating shadow to the song bringing extra flavoursome to its compelling presence. Arguably the track is too much like the first to reach the same heights but still makes for a satisfying companion which gets the job done.

Follow Me offers a slight symphonic breeze from the keys, the track allowing them a more noticeable place in the energetic storm. It is a pleasing difference and adds something extra to a song which brings diversity to the previous tracks. Again the musicianship and songwriting is spot on ensuring another song of epic melodic stature and heated craft. Whilst not igniting the same depth of pleasure as the first pair its open originality to those same songs makes it probably the more rewarding on the record.

The release is completed by Black Bile and Fear Lingers On, two songs which are less accessible and immediate but with deeper depths and surprisingly more anthemic appeal. It is unclear who provides them but again the keys make a great feature on the pair whilst the heavy and intense rhythmic and melodic aspects of the songs share front spot throughout, the track switching focus between the two attacks seamlessly. The second of the two is the heaviest most formidable song on the EP and for that is our favourite especially with its scorched sonic flaring and ear chewing riffing and hungry energy.

As mentioned glam/hard rock is not the genre to bring great pleasure here but we would be lying if we declared that ToxicRose made the time with their release not enjoyable or unworthy. It may not ever be used in the same sentence as best or favourite by us but the EP will certainly find a happy acceptance whenever it finds itself before our more brutal personal tastes.

For fans of the bands mentioned and the likes of Hardcore Superstar, Crazy Lixx, and Faster Pussycat for sure.

http://www.toxicrose.org

RingMaster 11/01/2013

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