Saturday, February 18, 2017

LET THEM EAT METAL #9: Into the Metallic Ring of Rock ‘N’ Roll Hellfire! 01: Poison vs Cinderella vs Winger vs Skid Row vs Warrant vs Firehouse!

In the days of yore, when pop music meant something, it was filled with nourishing musical ideas and showed the tides of progress.  But then something happened, the ability for it to fill our soul has nearly vanished, and the masses are starved on good music.  There’s the occasional quality track that stays good after multiple spins, but it has gotten to the moment where even good pop music gets stale.  We live in a white-bread world in mainstream music.  However, there’s salvation from the drek that the masses need to know about.  In the words of Marie Antoinette, or more accurately The Rods quoting her: “LET THEM EAT METAL!”

Hello degenerates, heathens, weirdos, and deviants.  I am the Rock Otaku, and I’m here to show you worlds such as hard rock, metal, punk, alternative rock, movies, TV, anime, video games, and anything that makes us scream, shout, and run with the devil.

This series is dedicated to the best that heavy metal can offer.  As you will read, I will take you on a journey though the annals of heavy metal’s storied history from its beginning in early 70s, its crystallization in the late 70s and early 80s, its breakthrough into mainstream conscience in the early to mid-80s, its maturation in the late 80s and 90s, its dominance (sort of) in the 2000s and even today, and the rare moments that very few talk about unless in the company of like-minded fans.  Not in that order, but I’ll be looking at the footnotes oh metal history in the order I desire.  In short, this series is about metal, plain and simple.

But why just stick with one album?  The world of heavy metal is vast, diverse, loaded with amazing talent and interesting movements.  I can’t catch up to it all if I stick with one album at a time.  It’d take eternity to review the amount of metal I’d review.  Or even share a spotlight with multiple artists at the same time.  This is where the Ring comes in.

The Metallic Ring of Rock ‘N’ Roll Hellfire is a battleground where rock bands, past, present, and future, prove themselves to see who the top of their class is.  This is where I will judge albums not by themselves, but compared to their competition.  There are many categories for this series, depending on the number of albums entering the ring.  The main four are best three opening tracks, best closer, best lyrics, and best music being the closing category, with others depending on the albums as well as how many to ensure a fair fight where every album gets a shot at points.

For his week, the ring will have 6 albums, all of them by hair metal mainstays, and all of them debuts.  But which era of glam metal am I focusing on?  As I’ve promised, I look to the 2nd wave.  Whereas the first wave was loaded with bands that focused on mixing heavy metal, glam rock, and punk rock initially, like Mötley Crüe, Quiet Riot, W.A.S.P., Dokken, Twisted Sister, Ratt, Kix, Autograph, and a few others, second wave glam metal, or hair metal as some of you might refer it to as, takes those elements and adds hard rock, power pop, arena rock, and 80s pop and rock elements to their sound, saturating their metal with synthesizers, hedonism, wild parties, and so on.  Bands from this grouping got their start when Bon Jovi’s Slippery When Wet, Europe’s The Final Countdown, Def Leppard’s Hysteria, and Whitesnake’s Whitesnake (or Serpentus Albus in Japan) were unleashed and had hit single after hit single, dominating the charts and making glam and hair metal mainstream.  As a result, bands like Poison, Cinderella, Winger, Skid Row, Warrant, and Firehouse came in swinging and released albums that would continue the success of the scene.  There are many others, and they would ultimately saturate the scene to the point where Nirvana’s rise to fame, which in hindsight might have been a pretty dumb move, was seen as a breath of fresh air.  But we’ll discuss 6 bands, all of them tied to the history of this genre in some way, shape, or form.

Now for the band and album introductions:

From Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, comes our first combatants.  They have 4 members, all of them able to make for pretty girls, and all of them skilled at what they do.  They have the sound.  They have the bite.  They are like a scorpion or a king cobra, but they are what pumps in the veins of those two creatures.  They cry tough.  They want action.  They won’t forget you.  They talk dirty.  Ladies and Gentlemen, POISON!  And here’s their album for the match:

From Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, here come the next set of combatants in their pumpkin stagecoach.  Their 4 members preach classic glam metal while giving it a metallic, bluesy twist.  Their songs will rattle you into the night.  They shake the ground they stand on.  They are nobody’s fools.  With their pulse-pounding heavy metal, somebody save me before things get messy.  Ladies and Gentlemen, CINDERELLA!  And here’s their album for the match:

From New York City, New York, this band of merry rockers swoop in to bring the pain.  Each of the four members have the talent and experience to bring out the best in hair metal while representing everything dirty as well.  Their hunt for young and ripe women, no matter how evil, will shock and awe.  They are hungry.  They don’t plan on heading for any heartbreak.  Ladies and Gentlemen, WINGER!  And here’s their album for the match:

From Toms River, New Jersey, this band has the guts and sound to bring hell to earth.  Their five members are all angry, all hungry, and all ready to kick your ass and take your girlfriend, then they’ll find a way to turn Axl Rose into a girl.  They are the youth gone wild.  They have been sentenced 18 and life to rock ‘n’ roll.  They will remember you.  They can’t stand heartache from the sweet little sister who likes their big guns.  Ladies and gentlemen, SKID ROW!  And here’s their album for the match:

From Hollywood, California, these outlaws have been targeted for arrest for their blaring hard rock.  These 5 L.A. cowboys will rock you like crazy with their blend of hard rock, glam metal, and AOR.  They go where the down boys go.  They talk the big talk.  They cry with their girls sometimes.  They don’t care if they’re Superman.  They have the guts to challenge the 1%.  Ladies and Gentlemen, WARRANT!  And here’s their album for the match:

From Charlotte, North Carolina, this band of firemen sizzle and rock out as overnight sensations.  This quartet of fiery rockers will bring the flames of rock ‘n’ roll to new heights.  They will shake and tumble with every hot girl they come across.  You don’t want to treat them badly, or you’ll get burned.  Listening to this band is like finding your love of a lifetime.  And your girl wrote that she’s going to be with C.J. after dealing with your pathetic, Coldplay-loving, butts.  Ladies and Gentlemen, FIREHOUSE!  And here’s their album for the match:

Before the clash, here are some tidbits.  One, I will be the judge for all of these.  Two, this is not a tournament, so each band will be ranked from worst to best in each category, with scores going from 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.  Third, there is no disqualification for any of these entries.  Fourth, judging will be based on the select category, so an artist may end up with more points in one category but bomb another.  Four, because there are 6 albums in the ring, the category count will be 13, with some categories dealing with tropes notable in hair metal, such as anthems, hooks, ballads, and solos.  Five, the rankings are NOT based on which anime girl is the mascot for which band; it’s entirely based on the band.  Everybody ready?

Let’s rock!

For an album to suck you in, there are three tries it can do so.  Let’s start with that basic idea.

Best Opening Three Songs:

This one is important as it sets the stage for the attitudes, themes, and style the rest of the album will focus on.  Plus, it’s where any artist looking for stardom will release his major singles from to ensure that radio play and chart certification is likely.  How do these six bands pull this off?

For Poison, it’s both a mixed bag and a promising start.  The first song, “Cry Tough,” is a fist-pounding song about holding on to your dreams and going through hell to make them happen.  Then you have “I Want Action,” which is one pounding song that deals with going out on the night for cute girls and having a trashy night.  While both songs show that the album will deal with dreams and sex, it’s the latter that’s one of the bigger focuses later for this album.  But then you have “I Won’t Forget You,” a ballad about the singer telling his love after a breakup that she’ll still be in his memories.  And this is where the album’s start grinds to a halt, as it’s sappy as all hell and it contrasts with working hard and making love like the last two songs.  Plus it comes off as creepy.  If there’s been a song style that Poison, for my memory, always sucked at, it’s the ballads (yes, “Every Rose Has It’s Thorn” is ass, EAT ME).  And since they decided to dish it out early, it hurt’s this albums chances of getting completed (shame, considering the rest is pretty good, as I’ll explain).

Cinderella is a massive punch to the gut musically for their start.  While going into the night is nothing new in hair metal, these fairy-tale-named rockers dish out the heavy and mystical title track first and bring absolute hell, and a sense that things are going to be dark and mysterious.  Then “Shake Me” hits with its Aerosmith-meets-AC/DC boogie and proves that this album can be a lot of fun.  Then, like in the music videos for the aforementioned song and this one, “Nobody’s Fool” snarls in and somehow blows most other ballads out of the water with the right amount of menace and heartbreak.  Despite the name, these three songs prove that Cinderella are willing to play with the big boys and rock out, and they are all excellent.  Even the ballad.

But where Poison is fun and Cinderella is mean, Winger is definitely the dorkier band with their first three songs.  They’re all about sex, and they are so complex in their instrumentation and composition that I’m surprised that all of them got groupies.  “Madalaine” is an ode to a girl who’d screw Kip Winger over, and the song features a complex, almost solo-like lick and progressive elements like key changes and the way the guitars and drums are played.  Then, before I call the ballad card and give them the Beavis and Butthead treatment, “Hungry” somehow manages to be a ballad AND an anthem about lust with several musical movements and feels like a symphony.  But you’re wondering where the song that made them notorious is, right?  It’s the third track on this album.  And yes, “Seventeen” is as sleazy as it sounds while being as dorky as I’ve mentioned.  That solo, however, I’ll get to that.  But overall, the album’s first three tracks effectively show that this is the hair metal equivalent to geeky prog rock, and, confession time, I love all three of them, even the jailbait anthem.

Then Skid Row comes in to chew bubblegum and kick ass (but they ran out of bubblegum).  “Big Guns” is big, mean, and everything in between with a hook that’ll get in your head with ease.  Then they speed up with “Sweet Little Sister,” which I hope is not along the lines of Oreimo while shredding your speakers.  And while “Can’t Stand the Heartache” might not sound like the title of an anthem, it’s still an ass kicking anthem with the guts to prove it.  In short, without any of the singles anchoring things, Skid Row come in blazing and grab the bull by the horns from the get go.  These songs are awesome and serve as an alternative to bubblegum.  Way to go, Skid Row.

Warrant come in with their sleazy brand of hair metal and good times with heavy riffs and songs about the good life.  Technically, “32 Pennies” is more about the money they had when they entered the scene (not sure if that’s true), but it’s somehow the weakest opening song at this point.  But things pick up with “Down Boys,” their ode with the location guys go to have a good time and meet some ladies, with the instrumentation to boot.  But it isn’t until “Big Talk” and its attitude of backing up your words, plus the groovy music, that things kick into overdrive and you realize that this band might be worth listening to.  Overall, the first track isn’t as good or memorable as its succeeding anthems, but it gives a vibe of cash, girls, and being a legit badass permeating this record.

But once the tribal rhythms that start “Rock on the Radio” kick in, Firehouse begin with pizazz and skill.  And that all permeates into a mid-tempo, but very hot-blooded song about playing so loud that they kill your speakers while being big stars (and for a while, they were).  But if there’s one song that proves just how much they have in common with shonen heroes, it’s “All She Wrote,” a breakup song that has more in common with “Round and Round” than “Every Rose Has It’s Thorn.”  And it somehow kicks ass.  Then there’s “Shake and Tumble,” which is a pure red-blooded sex anthem with the muscle to do so.  We’re introduced to their tendency to add muscle to their rockers, Bill Leverty’s guitar tone, and how surprisingly anthemic their breakup songs are, which should be weird.

But considering everything, I found 4 of these albums to have their first three songs being great-to-awesome, while the other 2 stumbled in this category.  Of the albums I’m definitely excited to listen to, it’s Skid Row and their mentality of needin’ no stinkin’ singles to hook you in.

1.         Skid Row – 5 points
2.         Winger – 4 points
3.         Cinderella – 3 points
4.         Firehouse – 2 points
5.         Warrant – 1 points
6.         Poison – 0 points

But because hair metal is about hit singles as well as big hair and big riffs, we should mention the big hits:

Best Famous Anthem from the Album:

This is a six way battle between 6 legendary rockers: “Talk Dirty To Me,” “Shake Me,” “Seventeen,” “Youth Gone Wild,” “Down Boys,” and “Don’t Treat Me Bad.”
If there’s one phrase that describes the Poison rocker, it’s perfect hair metal anthem.  It’s heavy, sleazy, poppy, and loaded with flair.  It’s also very simple and straightforward in its execution.  The song deals with the usual glam lyrics: being obsessed with this one girl and the night they’ll have in various locations, such as a drive-in movie theater in his dad’s car, in the shrubbery of the Knights who say “Ni”, and in the basement.  For someone to be able to do it three times in a night is nuts, but considering the genre, being called nuts is a complement.  The elements of heavy metal and power pop that define this rocker are both done well and mesh together.  The riff is iconic and easy to play on guitar, while also being melodic in its own right.  The rhythm section takes the glam and punk rock influences and weaponized them for the feeling of pleasure throughout this song.  Plus the guitar solo is good for what it is (C.C. is no Eddie Van Halen or Slash, but he’s a decent guitarist regardless), and the way it’s introduced is pure classic glam rock, with Bret Michaels flirting C.C. Deville into the solo.  Yes, that’s what happens, and it’s somehow awesome.  Definitely a contender.

(See the video above)

For Cinderella, that Aerosmith-meets-AC/DC comparison is exactly what I think when I hear this.  Though technically, it might have more in common with AC/DC than Aerosmith (despite the solo being more complex than anything Angus Young played).  But regardless, the opening drum line kicks things into gear before the guitars bring the thunder from Philly.  Then you get Tom Keifer’s voice-shredding vocals coming in, singing about how this girl he met wants him to, well, give her a high hard one.
Here we go again.

But whereas this might be considered offensive, there’s a sense that he’s rather blown away by this sudden desire, but, seeing the album cover, it’s obvious why she’s into him.  As for the song itself, the guitars rip, including a massive solo, the bass is thick and juicy, the drums are steady and keep things in check, and the use of keys is well done, giving off the classic rock vibe that’ll become more apparent in Cinderella’s other songs.  In short, it’s even better than expected, but not the best thing ever.

(See the video above)

Now that I’ve mentioned it earlier, let’s talk “Seventeen.”  When you get right down to it, this is a jailbait anthem.  Yep, this is about a relationship with a younger girl (though ironically, she could be legal in a year or certain states and countries).  But that doesn’t mean it’s entirely bad.  The opening riff is equal parts melodic metal and sleazy rock with a progressive twist, the verse riffs have enough elements to keep things interesting, the bass is thick and meaty, the drums add to the proggy insanity, and so on.  And for Kip Winger’s vocals, he gives off a vibe that he’s into this girl and having a massive crush on her, and it’s not hampered by the unfortunate fact about her age.  And before you all ask, she’s probably past puberty, so there’s nothing too off about this relationship, especially considering that certain states can let this relationship blossom.  But where I have a gripe with this song is in the guitar solo.  I AM STILL HAVING TROUBLE NAILING IT IN ROCKSMITH!!!  Damn you Reb Beach and your amazing tapping techniques!  But the song rips and is near perfect hard rock, outside of the unfortunate lyrics.
Ha! You admit this song is trouble.
I know, right.  Though this issue really depends on the state you’re in.
I don’t know, but this might be the winner, and Skid Row might really have luck on their side.  What I mean is that “Youth Gone Wild” is pure hard rock master that doesn’t need advanced skills to understand.  The riff is tight, the bass is thick, the drums hit hard, the production adds to the ferocity, and the vocals are fierce.  The singing by Sebastian Bach especially are some of the most angry, blood-drenched vocals you can get in hair metal, and he tears it up throughout.  As for the guitars, you have that iconic opening riff, several great guitar moments loaded with power chords, heay licks, and peppered with pinch harmonics.  All of this leading up to a jaw-dropping solo that showcases the guitar skills of Scotti Hill and Dave “The Snake” Sabo.  Plus the rhythm section by Rachel Bolan and Rob Affuso keeps things in gear.  Plus that chorus.  That CHORUS!  There is a reason it has become a heavy metal motto even after flannel took over as the clothing of choice for dirty rockers.  It’s punchy, catchy, provocative, and iconic.  In short, this is pure excellence.

(See the video above)

But can Warrant compete?  With the opening guitar part ending in the main riff, you enter a sleazy good time with the “Down Boys.”  This mid-tempo rocker is driven by a riff that equal parts is both one of the catchiest and heaviest riffs the band is capable of.  Then you have the lyrics, where Jani Lane sings about how he has the desire to go out on the town where other like-minded men like to go for a good lady.  He also sings this with the proper amount of gusto.  You also have the rhythm section, keeping things in check and sleazy.  The use of keys in the chorus is alright, but not completely necessary.  They’re just there to keep things considerably pop metal.  And the guitar solo is decent, if not completely workmanlike (I’ll explain below).  IN short, it’s a good anthem, but no “Cherry Pie.”
And for our final contender, things get a little interesting.  For this song, Bill Leverty decides to use an acoustic guitar for the vocals while furiously strumming chords before exploding into electric guitar awesomeness in the chorus.  As for C.J., he sings about how he should not be screwed over by this woman who he has a thing for, but treats him (or her, in case this involves a lesbian couple) like this:
I’m sure you were wondering when that’d show up.
And the chorus is essentially telling her to treat him right or he’ll leave her.  Adding to the mix of anger and lingering love is a pounding rhythm section, with thick bass and noticeable drumming.  The production mix, I’ll explain later, is a lot like Dream Theater’s Images and Words, but with glam rather than prog.  Plus, there’s a killer guitar solo that’s not as shreddy as Billy’s other solos, but fits the song’s tone well.  And I do have to admit that the ballad-ish elements give this song a much more noticeable identity than most other bands (even if they’re great with traditional anthems and doing this again).  Overall, it’s a fun song to sing to your girl if you feel she treat’s you like dirt.

Overall, this was a hard one.  Each and every one of these anthems are great in their own way, but Warrant had the “good” anthem, while everyone else had an A- at worst.  Each one was still catchy, something to belt to, and so on.  From that, you could consider “Talk Dirty To Me” the reliable base, with the others providing something distinctive, with “Shake Me” having a classic rock vibe, “Seventeen” being progressive metal in execution, “Don’t Treat Me Bad” having a more angry vibe, and “Youth Gone Wild” being pure, unfiltered heavy metal.  If there was a noticeable winner, the first three would tie, but I’m not doing ties, so the elimination would be the fact that “Shake Me” never charted and “Don’t Treat Me Bad” NEEDS TO BE IN ROCKSMITH!  From that, you can tell that “Youth Gone Wild” was the clear winner.  Yes, “Seventeen” made second, with “Don’t Treat Me Bad”, “Shake Me”, “Talk Dirty To Me”, and “Down Boys” being the order of third to last.

1.         Skid Row – 5+5 = 10 points
2.         Winger – 4+4 = 8 points
3.         Firehouse – 2+3 = 5 points
4.         Cinderella – 3+2 = 5 points
5.         Poison – 0+1 = 1 points
6.         Warrant – 1+0 = 1 points

How about the flipside in intensity?

Best Ballad:

This is a fight between 6 songs: “I Won’t Forget You,” “Nobody’s Fool,” “Headed For A Heartbreak,” “I Remember You,” “Heaven,” and “Love of a Lifetime.”

(See the video above)

Poison is the clear loser here with “I Won’t Forget You.”  What I mean is that while it isn’t their worst or most overrated ballad (I’m looking at you “Every Rose Has It’s Thorn”), it’s nowhere near as iconic or memorable as the competition (EVEN WINGER HAS A BETTER BALLAD HERE).  The song’s lyrics deal with how Bret handles the events of a breakup and how this girl he was with will be in his heart.  I can’t say if this is horse****, but I can say that Bret sounds like he’s reassuring her that he’ll remember her rather than singing like he means it.  The instrumentation here is fine with okay guitar lines, chords, licks, and solos, the bass is there (I can say that), and the drums are alright.  I could go on, but I am so underwhelmed by Poison’s skills at doing ballads in my eyes (I bet you want to call me an ass for that) that I’m moving on.

(See the video above)

For Cinderella, THIS is how you do a metal ballad.  Soft and delicate, dealing with themes of love, heartbreak, and betrayal, and also mean as hell.  The mix of clean guitars and airy synths begin the song before Tom Keifer sings in a tone that’s not high, nasal, or trying to be a mix of Steven Tyler and Brian Johnson.  I kind of dig the fact that the song deals with him being man enough to cry and try to reconnect before deciding to declare himself his own man, not to be the fool in this relationship.  It’s arguably one of the ballads where I was impressed by how pissed it sounded.  The guitars do get heavier and more aggressive, and the solos give off a “Bringing On The Heartbreak” vibe to them while being distinctive on their own (that’s impressive in its own right).  The use of bass and drums also adds to the ferocity when they come in, and they do keep things chugging along extremely well.  In short, this is probably the breakup ballad to end all breakup ballads (now if that actually happened).
Now for a surprise.  Winger’s genres, according to Wikipedia, are both glam metal and PROGRESSIVE METAL.  The mix of the two doesn’t get more noticeable until this power ballad if you focused on the singles (even if there were complex-sounding moments in “Madalaine” and “Seventeen”), and it works well here.  The opening chugging guitars, mixed with the keyboard arpeggio, starts this track before Kip sings about how this relationship he’s in is strangling him and he needs time to be on his own.  Effectively, where some of these songs are about the aftermath of a breakup, this is supposed to be occurring DURING that.  But just because the lyrics are sort of progressive and brainy doesn’t mean the instrumentation isn’t.  It’s as progressive, with the music and Kip’s vocals matching the tone of each part of the song, may it be soft and reflective, loud and confrontational, or loaded with heartache and loss.  Special points go to Reb Beach and his guitar work here, as he plays a shredding but melodically tasteful at not just the bridge but in the outro, where his progressive influences start to shine with one long but amazing guitar solo.  Plus the bass by Kip Winger is great, the synths add to the tone, and the drums are stellar.  In short, this is a definite winner in my book as a geeky music nerd who’s more into musical ideas than sounds.
But just because they rock hard doesn’t mean Skid Row has a soft side.  Dealing with a breakup (yay, how original), this is about how Sebastian’s wondering if the girl he broke up with still has him in her memories.  This is because he has her in his memories.  But since they’ve broken up, there’s the possibility that the memories are so harsh for her that she represses her memories of him.  Despite that, the song still has some more guts to it.  Specifically how the guitar is played, with a slightly more complex acoustic guitar line than what is possible by most WGWAGs.  As a result, I don’t want to do this to Scotti and Dave:
To be fair, it wouldn’t be a good idea anyway.
But that doesn’t mean the more metallic moments don’t slay.  They are as great as you’d think.  The riffs are excellent, the bass riff is thick and chunky, and you have a great drum line.  Plus you also have another good guitar solo that matches ferocity with melodicism.  While I do mention the more ferocious elements of this song, don’t let that think this song is angry or savage.  It’s a rather nice and sensitive song from these New Jersey bad boys.  And it’s decent to listen to, though seriously overplayed for me.
But does that mean Warrant have a shot?  I mean, “Heaven” is a pretty iconic power ballad (as long as Bryan Adams or Los Lonely Boys don’t factor in this).  It has everything: acoustic guitar lines, lyrics about dealing with a breakup and how Jani’s still having feelings for her, a soaring chorus, a melodic guitar solo, and touches of an orchestra.  It has everything, and it’s about as predictable and obvious as any hair metal ballad can be.  So what gives this song credibility?  It’s cheesy as hell.  Its cheese level is so high that you could consider this song audial cheddar.  And it’s surprisingly good at being cheesy.  It’s the ultimate cheese fest, being so goofy and melancholic that you’d think that this is the ending to a romance anime with a fanservice shot or two.  But does that mean this song is bad?  No, but it means that this song can’t really compete with the big boys.
Now for Firehouse, we get to a theme that’s, to me, something of a breath of fresh air.  Instead of how he broke up with this girl or is in the process, they are happy together and that their love will stand through the troubles of life.  And he’s so happy that he’s going to be like this forever as he feels his love for her is strong enough to enter battle with.  To match this, C.J. Snare delivers a vocal delivery that screams happy and confident in his love.  And the music is just as moé as the vocals, with great keyboard work, the great guitars, both acoustic and electric, from Bill Leverty, and all the great bass and drum playing.  Plus the production is top notch here, turning this into a definite concert staple in sound and power.  In short, I really like this track.

If there’s a clear winner, it ain’t “I Won’t Forget You,” and I’m sure that “Heaven” is nowhere near the top.  But due to overplay, “I Remember You” will cause Skid Row to be below 4th place because I liked the other songs more (or I found them more musically interesting).  What I mean is that “Nobody’s Fool” has the guts despite the ultimately basic lyrics.  “Headed for a Heartbreak” and “Love of a Lifetime” have more musically and lyrically interesting ideas, but I’ll give a basic love song the win, considering the month, over a progressive breakup anthem.

1.         Winger – 8+4 = 12 points
2.         Skid Row – 10+2 = 12 points
3.         Firehouse – 5+5 = 10 points
4.         Cinderella – 5+3 = 8 points
5.         Warrant – 1+ 1 = 2 points

6.         Poison – 1+0 = 1 points

What about the other singles, too?

Best Set of Singles:

Poison has “Cry Tough” and “I Want Action” to contend here alongside the other songs I’ve mentioned.  For Cinderella, it’s the aforementioned songs and “Somebody Save Me.”  Winger brings the first two-mentioned songs, “Madalaine” and “Hungry” while I give shout outs to “Higher and Higher,” “Hangin’ On,” “State of Emergency,” and “Poison Angel,” which will be covered in detail in the next section.  Skid Row bring to the table the aforementioned songs alongside “18 and Life,” a song that’s both an anthem and a ballad, so I talk about it here.  Warrant comes swinging with the other singles mentioned alongside “Big Talk” and “Sometimes She Cries.”  And while I may have mentioned Firehouse’s biggest songs from their album, they get “All She Wrote” and “Shake & Tumble” to fight with them.

(See the videos above)

For Poison, the singles chosen are pretty decent at giving a good impression of the album overall.  What I mean is that “Talk Dirty To Me” is so iconic that it might make you forget that “I Won’t Forget You” is on the album.  But that doesn’t mean that the other singles would be recognizable.  As I’ve mentioned, “Cry Tough” and “I Want Action” were released as singles as well, and they are the first two songs on the album, so they paint a better picture of how this album starts.  For “Cry Tough,” you get a song that deals with being beaten down and forced to deal with crap, but you have to be able to go through it all to ensure that your dreams can be fulfilled.  The chorus makes this more apparent as Bret sings “You’ve gotta cry tough/out on the streets/to make your dreams happen.”  Plus the mix of clean and distorted guitars throughout the song adds to the mix of wish-fulfillment and stuff happening that derails that.  You also get good bass and drum work, the solos are good, and I do get the sense that this is where I think Poison excels at in songwriting.  As for “I Want Action,” it’s just a fun sex anthem about going out on the town to find a pretty girl for the night.  It’s pretty basic, with a power-chord driven riff, a few flamboyant guitar lines before and after the main solo, a sort of mild punk rock energy that has more in common with classic glam rock, a thumping rhythm section, and a lot of sensual energy.  Is it perfect?  Not really, but I’m sure that Poison perfect their take on sexy, party-hard anthems on their next album with “Nothin’ But a Good Time,” but this is still a fun song that I wouldn’t mind repeating.  I’ve already went into depth about the other songs, so I don’t need to write anymore anyway.
What’s weird about Cinderella is that while “Shake Me” is beloved among hair metal fans, it didn’t chart.  The success of “Nobody’s Fool,” another banging song, led to their next single “Somebody Save Me” having some chart presence.  And it shows, as this is one hell of an underrated anthem (or is “Shake Me” the underrated anthem, which was the one that convinced me that Cinderella can rock harder than I originally thought).  With its opening riff being pure glam metal bliss with some added keys and guitar licks, it starts one banging song dealing with the issues of being a bad boy and how it’s one really hard life to live.  And the chorus is a pure call for someone to save Tom from self-destruction and being ostracized from society.  But to give this song power, the ass-kicking riff is used throughout the song and serves as the musical backbone for the song, like how rock ‘n’ roll should be.  Adding to that is the thick bass lines and headbang-friendly drum beat.  And do I need to mention that this song has a great riff before the guitar solo begins, and it’s a great mix of blues and shred work.  In short, it serves as probably the perfect package, giving this song serious credibility as a hair metal anthem that’ll probably have more depth than most of them.

(See the videos above)

Like with Poison, Winger made sure that their first three songs on the album were singles as well.  You know “Seventeen” and “Headed For A Heartbreak,” but “Madalaine” starts the album with the sense that this band has more skill up their sleeves than most other bands.  The opening acoustic guitar line with Kip’s opening wail of “Yeah!” bringing in some of the drums and bass.  After that, you get the opening riff that’s both hard to play but catchy as hell while also bringing in the rhythm section.  Then you get to another catchy but metallic riff while Kip Winger sings about a girl, the girl of the same name as the title, who’s pretty much bad news.  The kind to pretty much screw him over, bring him bad luck, and curse him to ridicule from Mike Judge.  Effectively, he’s in this situation overall:
Context is everything.
And fitting Kip’s and Natsuru’s dilemma, the riffs to this are some of the heaviest Reb Beach has played for this band (there are other heavy riffs on this album as I’ll explain).  Seriously, play these riffs with a death metal rig, and they might fit with your repertoire of brutality.  Adding to the heaviness is Kip’s bass being thick and heavy and Rod Morgenstein’s pounding drums.  But then you get the shredding solo that, if this is your first time listening to Winger, then this will confirm to you that Reb is a guitar hero, an extremely underrated one (there’s a reason he has gigs with Dokken and Whitesnake).  In short, “Madalaine” is a much better song than you’d think, and “Hungry” continues that trend.  The next song starts with orchestral elements while Kip sings about how desperate he is for the love of this girl he likes.  Once the pre-chorus hits, the rest of the instrumentation comes in, and Winger’s secret weapon, their instrumentation, comes to become the focus of the rest of the song.  Included are banging riffs, thick bass, and pounding drums, and you get surprisingly good singing from Kip Winger.  Plus you have a short guitar solo that also proves Reb’s talents, then that segues into a symphonic bridge that ends with an acoustic guitar section and another pounding riff.  Throughout the final chorus, you also get various guitar licks that ends in another amazing guitar line in the final outro.  In short, it’s the moment when you realize that this band’s style of glam metal is progressive and crazy.  Definitely a strong contender.
But I’m sure that Skid Row might be the winners here.  Why?  Because while “Youth Gone Wild” is a perfect metal anthem and “I Remember You” is a scorching ballad, “18 And Life” is a legend in its own right.  You dig it, I dig it, we dig it, and chicks dig giant robots.  The clean intro before Sebastian Bach starts crooning about Ricky and his life of destitution and crime at a young life pretty much tells you that this is going to be unlike any other ballad you’ve heard.  It’s not going to be sweet or longing for love, it’s going to be dark, bleak, and intense.  It about Ricky’s stuck in this way of life of crime, destitution, alcoholism, violence, and possibly murder (which will definitely get him sentenced to life in prison), and there’s no way for him to truly change.  He’s truly stuck to this mentality, and there’s no stopping him.  And thus, we get heavy riffs, thick bass, pounding drums, soaring vocals, a catchy hook, and melancholic melodies, punctuated by the guitar licks and one show-stopping guitar solo, all set to this tale of tragedy.  It’s not just one of the most brutal songs to come from the 80s metal scene on the commercial side, but it’s also the point where Skid Row showed that they were tougher than their contemporaries.  So tough that their next album would be straight heavy metal rather than glam metal, and it would become one of the most successful traditional metal albums of all time.  And this was the song that made us realize that.  Clearly a success overall that will sway the score.

(Video for "Big Talk" above)
But what about Warrant?  How do their other singles aid “Down Boys” and “Heaven” in this regard?  They’re pretty good.  First off, I don’t merely like “Big Talk.”  When I first heard it, I LOVED IT!  AND I STILL DO!  It’s bouncy but hard-hitting.  It’s meaningful but anthemic.  It’s catchy but interesting.  It has a drum beat that sucked me in.  It has several sweet guitar licks (that I’m not sure if are played by Joey Allan and Eric Turner or by Mike Slamer) and riffs, a great bassline.  And do I need to mention Jani Lane’s vocal performance and catchy hook that you’ll be singing along to.  The two solos are some of the best I’ve heard on the album, regardless of who’s playing them, and add to the melodic tour-de-force of this song.  Plus there’s the fact that this song is about making sure that you’re able to back up your words or else they’re just merely words that you say.  But does that give this band a shot at glory?  Well, “Sometimes She Cries” is a decent ballad.  It deals with a girl who had it all, but is now lonely and heartbroken.  While I’m not sure if she actually cries sometimes, or if he shows up sometimes, but she’s definitely miserable.  The guitars here are more subdued and based around acoustic chords and arpeggios outside of the chorus and solo.  The opening guitar line, however, does a good job of setting up the tone of the song and its emotional focus.  And you have Jani’s vocal delivery, which is also pretty good, being soulful and full of range.  The guitar solo is good, and the rhythm section, when used, is pretty well done here.  I could say more, but this is a song that’s worth listening to.

(See the videos above)

Now for our final contender, Firehouse.  While the two singles I’m going to discuss are more straightforward here than the ones I’ve already discussed, “Don’t Treat Me Bad” and “Love Of A Lifetime” are distinctive enough on their own that they help with the overall score here.  But don’t let that fool you think that “All She Wrote” and “Shake and Tumble” are bad.  “All She Wrote” has the advantage of how the music’s intensity and beat contrasts with the lyrics.  What I mean is that, on its own, the music is loud, hard-hitting, and badass, evocative of Ratt and Dokken, but the lyrics are closer to being about the moment where a grown man in love will start crying when their girl sudden leaves him.  Essentially, think what would happen if Ratt got their lyrics from Don Dokken or if Dokken wrote a Ratt-sounding song, and that describes this breakup anthem.  It has everything evocative of both legendary bands: catchy but merciless guitar riffs, a lot of natural and artificial harmonics, guitar licks with skill, thick bass, pounding drums, melancholic lyrics, C.J. Snare’s soulful vocal delivery, heavy production with a focus on sonic power, and a shredding solo with a keen sense of melody.  In short, this is the song that should have convinced us that, because both bands were ALREADY having problems in the early 90s, that Firehouse were the fusion dance of Ratt and Dokken, but southern-fried.  Then there’s “Shake and Tumble,” with its very perverted lyrics dealing with a night of passion that’s driven by the hook.  Thankfully the riff is hot, the bass is thick, and the drums are throbbing.
Caption: That euphemism was intended, wasn’t it?
Thanks for revealing that.  This mid-tempo rocker may not have hit the chart not because of the dirtiness but because it wasn’t as subversive or speedy as their other songs on the album.  Despite the kickass riff and beat while, yes, having another stellar solo from Bill Leverty while hearing C.J. doing a great job at showcasing how he’s like a member of the Joestar bloodline.
“Susie Q, did you mention my unlimited sex drive to the guy from the firehouse?”
I meant Josuke.
“Seriously, you’re bringing me into this.”
Plus the instrumentation is on point, being like a heartbeat when a man sees a woman who gets him hot and bothered.  Overall, “Shake and Tumble” is a fun song to listen to, and one of Firehouse’s catchiest, but it isn’t even close to their best.

In short, this was a difficult one, but there was a clear winner in “18 And Life.”  Hell, listening to it again proves my point.  But if there was a second place, it was definitely a close tie between Winger and Cinderella, with the latter edging out the former.  Warrant having “Big Talk” ensuring that they aren’t in the bottom 2 this time.  I enjoy “All She Wrote” enough to keep Firehouse from last, but “Shake And Tumble” was weak enough lyrically (musically it rips) to give this in the same standing as Poison, who are practically the base here this time (which gets them last).  With Poison in last place, despite the strength of “Cry Tough” and “I Want Action” and my enjoyment of them, it proves just how good the singles as are selected singles and guides to understanding what you’re getting into with the albums as well as on their own.

1.         Skid Row: 12+5 = 17 points
2.         Winger: 12+3 = 15 points
3.         Cinderella: 8+4 = 12 points
4.         Firehouse: 10+1 = 11 points
5.         Warrant: 2+2 = 4 points
6.         Poison: 1+0 = 1 point

But there’s more to an album than singles.

Best Deep Tracks:

Essentially, I talk about every song that A) wasn’t a single released and B) not the opening or closing songs.

So for Poison, I only discuss 5 tracks briefly.  No other words on “Cry Tough,” “I Want Action,” “I Won’t Forget You,” and “Talk Dirty To Me.”  Starting with “Play Dirty,” you get a sleazy, nasty rocker that hits hard, brings the thunder, and speaks of rebellion and fighting.  Then you get the title track, which is probably one of the best songs on the album, being trashy, sleazy, heavy, hard-hitting, and outright filthy, dealing with being a sleaze ball.  Meanwhile, “Want Some, Need Some” is more about how Bret wants the right kind of girl for his nighttime desires.  Or just because he’d rather stick with one chick because Enigma Records demanded a bubblegum metal rocker.  But if that’s the case, then why is “Blame It On You” such an sleazy mid-tempo rocker versus the slight faster track before that?  I’m not sure.  At least it’s about a girl that’s hard to get.  “#1 Bad Boy” rounds out the tracks with its energy, catchy hook, and claim of notoriety.  If there’s one defining factor in every song, it’s that they have big guitars, big bass, and big drums in each.  Some with touches of keyboards, but nothing outside of the title track that stands out.  But what gives these songs some good vibes is the amount of fun that was inserted into each.  They’re all fun to listen to once in a while.  Ultimately, I give this album some kudos outside of a massive show-stopper at the end, which I’ll save for later.

Cinderella’s big weapon here is the heavy sleaze that is on display on each track.  More accurately, they are closer to heavy metal alongside another band here.  “Nothin’ for Nothin’” deals with going through enough issues to ruin your life, and getting nothing as a result, and the song is as savage as the scenario, instrumentation and vocals.  “Once Around the Ride” is definitely about living the wild life, and the tempo and riff definitely fits with that idea.  Plus I’m sure this was the YOLO anthem before Drake’s “The Motto” came into existence.  If you’re looking for a driving song, then I’m sure “Hell on Wheels” is your jam from this album, with its driving beat, fast riffs, pounding drums, and wild solo paired with a catchy chorus.  But it’s weird to hear Jon Bon Jovi on the bouncy “In from the Outside,” despite him singing in a lower pitch here that could be confused for Tom Keifer.  But regardless, it’s a bouncy rocker that might be the best of the deep cuts due to just how metallic it is, as well as a sneak peek to their later blues-rock sound.  Stopping here with “Push, Push,” a sex anthem with elements of Aerosmith, KISS, AC/DC, and Led Zeppelin, with a bluesy riff, sleazy lyrics and vocals, and a retro, old-school solo.  Overall, their deep cuts are nowhere near as fun or as iconic as their hits, but they do the job they’re set out to do fine.  As in rock your face, dish out heavy riffs, thick bass, and pounding drums, and ear-piercing screams.  The singing is an acquired taste, so of Tom Keifer’s tone is annoying to you, then you’re not going to enjoy the album as much.  I think the songs are fine.

Now for Winger, these songs do showcase their progressive leanings.  Starting with “Without the Night,” the band go into ballad territory while giving off a sense of interesting musical elements such as more symphonic keyboards, a shredding melodic guitar solo in a different key from most of the song, and more sentimental lyrics.  It’s a breakup anthem that’s focused on the more passionate elements the relationship used to have, but now he’s not a fan of the nighttime due to the breakup.  Then there’s “Purple Haze,” which is a massive misfire. 
"Is that a Hendrix cover?"

Can we all admit that covering Hendrix’s straightforward acid rock anthems as prog metal is musical heresy?  Why not one of his longer, bluesy tracks?  Oh well, points deducted.  But “State of Emergency” is good enough that you forget that it happened, with its driving beat and multiple key changes alongside Kip’s lyrics dealing with a bad relationship and some great guitar and keyboard work.  Then the crushing “Time to Surrender” pummels you like a rock before you realize that you’ve been musically crushed while Kip rants how he won’t be nobody’s fool (jeez, it’s not as if you’re aping Cinderella or anything).  Plus there’s all the heavy instrumentation alongside that.  But if you think doing prog-based mid-tempo glam metal is Winger’s shtick, then “Poison Angel” will blow you away.  It’s practically a speed metal song with themes dealing a girl Kip would describe as a succubus.
Eh, close enough.
Adding to that is the ferocious guitar work, the shredding solo, and the fast rhythm work from Kip and Rod Morgenstein (that sounds like the name of a jazz-fusion drummer, don’t you think?).  Then you have “Hangin’ On” which is album-ending material with its outright epic tone, shredding guitar work, soaring vocals, pounding rhythms, and show stealing hook.  Plus it involves trying to get the affections of a girl.  If this is what John Cusack played in that scene from Say Anything, then his crush should have known he was truly in love in her and wanted more.  If there’s a reason all these songs work, it’s because the songs each have something different from each other in some way, even from the singles.  May it be the key, the beat, the tone, the subject matter, or so on, but each song is distinctive in its own right.  You never feel like you just heard the same song twice in the same time frame.  This all leads to each song having their own distinctive identity.  And they’re all interesting to listen to in their own right and individually.  If you thought Dream Theater didn’t have enough songs about love and lust, and never did an album entirely based on that, then this is the album for you, definitely.

So how does Skid Row fair here?  Their contenders are “Piece of Me,” “Rattlesnake Shake,” “Here I Am,” and “Makin’ A Mess.”  Starting off, “Piece of Me” begins as a sleazy track, and it never lets up, getting sleazier as the track goes on, with heavy guitars, a heavy rhythm section, horny vocals, and enough bite to showcase his libido.  And despite having the same title as a Motley Crue song, “Rattlesnake Shake” is a groovy as a rattlesnake’s rattle, and it’s as horny, loaded with the kickass instrumentation to boot.  All including that awesome riff, some hints of glam metal melodicism, and the awesome vocals.  “Here I Am,” which is hard-hitting, is pretty damn good, and while I’m fine that there’s no “Rock You Like a Hurricane!” after the title is spoken, it’s a fantastic anthem.  The Aerosmith-inspired swing is also welcome here.  “Makin’ A Mess” should have been a mess, but it’s about as tight and intense as ever, while also being as catchy and fast as it is.  I also find the counting-based chorus to be a lot of fun.  If there’s a linking factor for these tracks, it’s that they’re all hard, heavy, sleazy, and loaded with hedonism, bad behavior, and rock star strutting.  The hard nature is due to the production, the killer riffs, the shredding solos, and the thick rhythm section.  The sleaziness definitely comes from Sebastian Bach’s vocal mastery.  And it’s heavy because this is HEAVY METAL!  It’s proof that this was a fantastic album.

Warrant’s other tracks may have some issues.  The mentioned songs will be “So Damn Pretty (Should Be Against The Law),” “D.R.F.S.R.,” “In The Sticks,” and “Ridin’ High.”  The first one, “So Damn Pretty (Should Be Against The Law),” is rather fast-paced, with hard riffs, great rhythms, and a catchy chorus that can describe a lot of iconic anime waifus.  Plus the speed fits with the song’s theme of a girl causing Jani Lane wanting to do the dirty deed with her immediately, and you get a strong, shredding solo.  Then you get to “D.R.F.S.R.,” which you’d think should be as critical of the %1 as the cover art is, but isn’t as critical as I’d think.  Though with the excessive lyrics dealing with being like our 45th President of the United States and how he was before he became a political nitwit (with a platform I’m mixed on as a moderate); as in as rich as Superman is powerful.  The beat is good, the riff is good, the lyrics are fun despite what they’re about (though I do get the sense that they were trying to be satirical), and there’s a flashy solo.  Plus, it’s where we got the opening chant in “Cherry Pie.”  “In The Sticks” might be interesting because of the opening ambience, giving off a swampy vibe, but then the song decides to be about taking a city girl with him to the boonies for sex.  It’s pretty similar in structure, beat, and lyrical content to other songs on this album, so it feels like generic filler.  Too bad, because the setting is interesting due to how many bands tend to stick with the urban jungle rather than a real one.  But does “Ridin’ High” do anything to improve the album?  It’s a fun little ditty that unfortunately constitutes as filler on this album.  It’s lyrics are fine, but based in traditional rock clichés, the riffs are basic AC/DC-worship with elements of Aerosmith, the hook, while catchy, doesn’t hold up to a critical mind.  The solo is alright.  Not to say it sucks, but it needed some more time cooking.  So we have two underrated songs and two filler tracks, all with the heavy and catchy guitars, thick bass, pounding drums, scorching vocals, and catchy hooks that this album runs on.  In short, where this fails is the half-and-half quality on the album tracks here.  Not to say that this is an issue, but this album deserved better.

Now for Firehouse to come in with to get the flames going further.  The songs mentioned will be “Oughta Be a Law,” “Lover’s Lane,” “Home Is Where The Heart Is,” “Don’t Walk Away,” “Seasons of Change,” and “Overnight Sensation.”  And “Oughta Be A Law” proves itself a winner from the get-go, with its theme being about a girl that driving C.J. nuts, so nuts, that he’s demanding that there’s a law against her entire existence.  The riff is as savage and angry as you’d expect, the rhythm is tight and sleazy, and the guitar solo is sinfully great.  So great that it complements the hook and its gang vocals.  Then you get “Lover’s Lane,” which is probably the most recognizable indicator of why David Prater would produce Dream Theater’s Images and Words two years later.  Starting with a weird chant that leads into a headbanging rhythm that sets up a thrashing riff and a lots of distorted guitars, plus the use of double-bass drumming (or does Michael Foster have a rabbit’s foot?).  As for the song itself, it’s about taking a girl to where she lets him lose his sanity (they make love, if you’re wondering).  The vocals are on fire as well, and the guitar solo is pure melodic shred from a guy who’s a completely underrated guitarist.  But don’t let that fool you into thinking they’re done.  “Home Is Where The Heart Is” is a banger that starts with acoustic guitars and airy synthesizers, but it all builds up into a mid-tempo rock anthem about being nostalgic for C.J.’s childhood, but he’s still on his big adventure.  Let’s say that when the distorted guitars and bass come in, you realize that this is no ballad but a battlecry.  One that’s about dealing with wanting to relive the past but having to travel into the future.  The hook is still hot-blooded and the guitar parts really evoke the sense of nostalgia while melting your face, while the drums go into double-bass mode.
This is you after Bill Leverty’s solos.
“Don’t Walk Away” is slightly more about dealing with the kind of crap that would split a couple apart and telling your girl that she shouldn’t leave you at this point.  You can also apply this mid-tempo melodic croon-fest to dealing with someone who’s about to abandon your team before the final boss, but this is more about the relationship aspect.  The riffs are noticeably heavy, as in this band gets heavier when the songs deal with heartbreak instead of softer, and the swing is melodic, soaring, and leads to one hell of an earth-shattering hook.  Plus the solo is melodic shred bliss.  But there’s nothing much to say about “Seasons of Change.”  It’s merely an acoustic instrumental that has a lot of skill and texture put into it, showing Bill Leverty’s raw talent without distortion.  But as atmospheric build-up to the next track, it’s worth it.  If I can describe “Overnight Sensation” in on phrase, it’s “shonen action hero-level hot blooded.”  The main riff is hot blooded, the drums are hot blooded, the bass is hot blooded, the singer’s vocal fire goes from Roy Mustang to Human Torch-levels of hot.  The lyrics dealing with hitting the big time and being hot on the scene, while empowering those who go by their own rules.  In short, this is MY empowerment anthem.  There is a reason why I love this; this song is arguably the most badass thing to have come out of the hair metal movement, especially the much-maligned second-wave.  If this was the reason why Firehouse beat Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Alice and Chains at that AMAs, then I have to give that joke of a ceremony some credit.  Then there’s the guitar solo.  That solo is the equivalent of an shonen fight (without the multiple episodes), and it features sweep picking, tapping, and some of the most beautiful melodic lines I’ve ever heard.  It’s the kind of melodies that I want when I go out to conquer a dungeon or save heavy metal from demonic forces.  No wonder why this was in Brutal Legend’s soundtrack.  In short, all these song’s kick ass!  I don’t need to mention the great instrumentation because I already did.

If there’s a clear winner, it has to be Firehouse, with the ordering for the others being Skid Row, Poison, Winger, Cinderella, and Warrant.  That is what happens when “Overnight Sensation” exists, and you cover “Purple Haze” in a stupid way.  Plus stuff about filler and being fun overall.

1.         Skid Row: 17+4 = 21 points
2.         Winger: 15+2 = 17 points
3.         Firehouse: 11+5 = 16 points
4.         Cinderella: 12+1 = 13 points
5.         Poison: 1+3 = 4 points
6.         Warrant: 4+0 = 4 points

But does the show end on a bang?  Or does it end on a whimper?  Let’s find out.

Best Closing Track:

If the album has a closing track that rocks, then that can help leave a strong impression on the listener long after the album is finished outside of the songs that are still played on radio or talked about.
While the other songs were fun, Poison’s epic ender, “Let Me Go To The Show,” is the ultimate proof of what made them so damn endearing.  This is an embrace of the best aspects of sleazy, raunchy rock music with every trapping you can expect, with speedy rhythms, rebellious lyrics, Bret Michael’s sleazy vocals, C.C. Deville’s guitar craziness, and every other aspect you can expect from glam metal overall.  There’s a sense of fun here that’s matched by the song being about a kid having to fight his way into going to the big rock show downtown (I expect Motley Crue, Ratt, or Kix are headlining that night), and his parents resisting that idea.  It’s also helping that the song is fast, furious, and outright intense to the point of punk.  Hell, outside of a guitar work during the last chorus and the outro, there’s no main shredding solo.  It’s instead a major bridge.  As for how it ends the album, it ends the album on a very sleazy, rebellious, and fun-loving note, ensuring that this album, even if it loses this competition, will still be a great album to rock out to.  Great job, boys, you ended on a strong note.
So after songs about the dark side of life and sex, you’d think that Cinderella would find a way to cap it all off in some meaningful way.  So how do they do it?  With a song that compares the stage and the rock star lifestyle to being home, as in this is where the band is meant to be.  On the stage rocking your face off (I’m sure they went back to their technical homes after grunge hit).  As a result, you get a fast and furious guitar riff matched with a steady heavy metal rhythm that provides the musical backbone for Tom Keifer’s lyrics about abandoning his old home for rock stardom.  Also featured are lines about how he struggled outside of the stage during his day-to-day activities, and that he prefers the club scene and stadiums.  It’s a story of ambition, dreams, and perseverance, and it’s all backed by some of the heaviest work by the band.  Plus there’s a great guitar solo.  While I do feel that it’s a decent ending overall, and it feels like a closer to the meta-contextual narrative about lust, failure, giving things your best shot, and so on.  What I mean is that this is about the place where Tom feels the most comfortable in.  Plus you have a decent, face-melting solo in the bridge that continues into the final chorus.  Is this song the best one to end on?  Not really, but it is a damn fine song regardless.

(See the video above)

But where some bands would end the album on a massive rocker, Winger ends theirs on the smash ballad, “Headed For A Heartbreak.”  You’d think that this would have been a bad idea, but it actually isn’t.  Like the other two closing tracks, there’s a sense of closure here.  Not in that Winger has a song about a successful relationship, but they let all the heartache that was developing from the bad, unattained, and forbidden romance accumulate into a show stopping power ballad with all the major progressive metal elements elevating it to the level I rated it at earlier.  I did praise the fact that the song is more about the moments during a bad breakup rather than after one, plus it deals with the ramifications of being in a toxic relationship.  Plus I did mention the keyboard use, the hook, the guitar work, the rhythms, and so on.  But I feel that I’ve talked enough about this song already, so I should just remind you that I did.
But continuing the rage, Skid Row come swinging with the aggressive-sounding “Midnight / Tornado.”  This song hits hard with powerful instrumentation and throat-shredding vocals.  IF there’s a tone that describes this song, it would be described by the title.  It’s a musical tornado of melodic mainstream heavy metal, with the glam inflections to give it flair and the pounding metallic attack to scare the prudes.  It’s as if this song was meant to serve as a sort of pounding middle finger to the idea of ending the album with “I Remember You,” with the band deciding to hit hard, fast and furious for the closer.  The riffs are savage, the bass is thick, the drums hit like a rock, and the vocals are like a demon from hell.  The opening is intense, building up to a massive riff and verse.  The verse is lustful, horny, and about as desire-filled as Captain Kirk.  The chorus is the ultimate climax, using fairy tale themes to establish the sensual theme of the song.  Plus the guitar solo continues the melodic savagery from Scotti and Dave.  And after the final chorus, the tempo, which was driving and heavy, slows down and the glam metal equivalent of a breakdown begins to bring the thunder and cause continued mayhem, while a bluesy guitar lines play in the background as the song fades.  In short, it’s an amazing album closer and definitely one of the better one’s I’ve reviewed.
So what are my thoughts on “Cold Sweat” after “Ridin’ High” was considered generic.  Well, it has a lot of influences of Aerosmith, KISS, Van Halen, and AC/DC.  Doesn’t that mean anything good?  Not sure, it’s kind of a bummer as this is arguably the weakest of the closers at this point.  It’s just continuing the themes of the album, the song could have been put earlier on the album, and that this is just another song overall rather than a noticeable closer.  But if there are some positives, the vocals are still good, the riffs have some bite to them, the bass and drums and on point, and the guitar solo is easily the best thing.  As for the hook, it’s a decent one that may work if you’re a hardcore Warrant fan, but I don’t I’ll easily remember it.  Overall, this is a surprising dud of a song.  Shame, really.

But where other bands cause fires, Firehouse is so hot that they negate their existence out of shame and jealousy.  The closer, “Helpless,” might not be the best song on the album, it’s another kickass hot-blooded song by these heavy metal firefighters.  Every aspect of this song is pure glam metal hotness, from the riffs to the solos, the guitars to the bass, the drums to the beat, and the vocals to the lyrics.  Dealing with the helpless feeling that C.J. gets when he’s unable to get with a girl, he belts out he’s unable to function without her help, using the hook to make his plea to her.  It’s as if he’s dealing with a girl that is along these lines:
Who wouldn’t?
As a result, the guitars slay, the singing is desperate, the bass is thick, the drums are pounding, and the solo that occurs is just another amazing solo by Bill.  This fits as a closer because this feels like a last-minute call to his girl or waifu to give him direction in his life.  Overall, this is arguably another amazing closer overall.

So as far as the scoring goes, I’m sure that Winger gets close to the top, but Skid Row, Poison, and Firehouse beating it out, with that the order of the top three.  But if there’s a weird case, it’s that Cinderella is below Winger, but we can admit Warrant is at the bottom here.  All great ending songs regardless, except for “Cold Sweat.”

1.         Skid Row: 21+5 = 26 points
2.         Firehouse: 16+3 = 19 points
3.         Winger: 17+2 = 19 points
4.         Cinderella: 13+1 = 14 points
5.         Poison: 4+4 = 8 points
6.         Warrant: 4+0 = 4 points

Now for the music, starting with the benchmark for metal and rock: the riff.

Best Riffs:

If there’s a part of this comparison that was difficult, it was definitely this one. 

If you’ve ever heard any heavy metal, punk rock, glam rock, or power pop, then you’ll definitely recognize what kind of riffs Poison employs.  They tend to be based around power chords played with palm-muting and very poppy chord progressions.  Sometimes there’s a clean arpeggio riff like on “Cry Tough” or “I Won’t Forget You.”  But if that’s the basic riff style of glam metal, then Poison nailed that aspect; these riffs can be catchy.  But how do the other acts compare?  Cinderella definitely fall into the category of more metallic riffs, but with times to have more subdued moments like “Nobody’s Fool.”  They’re good, and they’re catchy, but they aren’t the best riffs I’ve heard.  But if I want impressive, interesting riffs, I go to Reb Beach and the music of Winger for that.  Each of the riffs on their album are fantastic, and there’s never a short supply of good ones, where if one sucked, the others are fantastic or very good at worst.  And they’re also very catchy and surprisingly heavy, so there’s no denying that you’ll be headbanging to each one.  In short, these glammed-up progressive metal riffs (or the other way around) will get your blood pumping.  But where Skid Row excels is in writing pure, unfiltered heavy metal riffs in a glam setting.  The riffs of songs like “Youth Gone Wild,” “18 And Life,” and even the triple threat of “Big Guns,” “Sweet Little Sister,” and “Can’t Stand the Heartache” are savage as hell.  And that’s less than half of the album.  The rest is as aggressive.  For Warrant, the riffs are basic, like Poison, but I’d argue that they are as energetic and fun, while also being a little heavy.  I mean, it’s sort of guaranteed that Joey Allan and Eric Turner was behind these instead of Mike Slamer, hopefully.  That issue might cause this album to lose points here on principle.  As for Firehouse, the riffs are big, heavy, catchy, and so loaded with great moments that I am sucked in outright.  They are so good, especially “All She Wrote,” “Don’t Treat Me Bad,” “Rock on the Radio,” and “Overnight Sensation,” that I feel that I need to learn how to play them on guitar.

So for this, the winner would be Skid Row, with Winger and Firehouse in close second and third respectively.  Cinderella has some great riffs and guitar licks too, but they miss the top 3 for being nowhere near as awe-inspiring.  And because of Warrant having a few duds in the riff department, Poison manage to avoid last place, and their status of riff-legends made this a close race.

1.         Skid Row: 26+5 = 31 points
2.         Winger: 19+4 = 23 points
3.         Firehouse: 19+3 = 22 points
4.         Cinderella: 14+2 = 16 points
5.         Poison: 8+1 = 9 points
6.         Warrant: 4+0 = 4 points

But hair metal is as known for its riffs as it is for its catchy choruses:

Best Hooks:

Now here’s where most of you will know what I’m talking about.

Probably the other best thing about Poison outside of the occasional empowerment anthem are the hooks.  Songs like “Talk Dirty To Me,” “Look What The Cat Dragged In” and others embody the kind of catchy choruses that glam is known for.  If you’re not humming or whistling the melodies Bret sings, then I don’t think you’ll enjoy any 80s glam whatsoever (or stick with Manowar, either is fine).  Cinderella have more traditional metal chorus in the catchy hook department, and they definitely stick, even if they can easily be written over by better choruses.  Too bad, because they are pretty good choruses.  Winger’s chorus are catchy as hell, and they work even better since they’re practically the most accessible things about their songs due to how many things are going on in each one musically (there’s a reason why they’re considered progressive metal as well as glam metal).  The only issue may be that they’re all based around how a girl makes them feel or is treating them.  There is a sense of danger to them, as singing them might make you look like a complete dweeb such as this kid:
Yeah, you knew this reference was coming.
So how does Skid Row fair on their only truly glam metal album?  The songs will get in your hear faster than a bullet could, and you’ll be chanting along when they come on.  The hooks are meaty, savage, and aggressive.  Warrant is famous for this, and when you have a talented songwriter like Jani Lane providing the lyrics, they should be catchy.  And even on the weaker songs, the hooks are still infectious.  Now there’s Firehouse, whose hooks are as catchy as they are fiery.  While I would sing any of the songs from the other bands when I’m feeling dirty, I would sing these songs at any time when my mood is more like this:
Even on the sadder songs!
In short, this was another tough race, with Poison getting the lead due to how iconic they are, while Firehouse and Skid Row fight for the second, with Skid Row getting second, despite the fiery nature of Firehouse’s hooks.  Winger’s songs get points for how catchy they are, and they ultimately beat Warrant in a close race due to the nature of the songs themselves.  Cinderella may have some catchy hooks, but I also feel that they are lacking in accessibility, or are blown away by the other bands in my opinion.

1.         Skid Row: 31+4 = 35 points
2.         Firehouse 22+3 = 25 points
3.         Winger: 23+2 = 25 points
4.         Cinderella: 16+0 = 16 points
5.         Poison: 9+5 = 14 points
6.         Warrant: 4+1 = 5 points

Another feature of hair metal?  The fact that they hired shred guitarists into their bands.

Best Guitar Solos:

Of course this was going to be a tough one because some of these guitarists are amazing.

While I may have ragged on or ignored C.C. Deville’s guitar skills, it’s because they tend to be way too similar to Van Halen’s solos.  While that definitely means he’s technically accomplished, it also means that he’s just focused on basic riffs and shredding solos, which is a little underwhelming when even Van Halen’s riffs were more technical.  It doesn’t mean he’s a terrible guitarist, it means he’s an okay guitarist.  As for Cinderella, Tom Keifer and Jeff LaBar are the main guitarists on display, with their traditional shred solos with elements of classic rock thrown in, from bluesy to more melodic elements.  Are they fine?  They do the job done, but they’re not as jaw dropping as their influences.  But where the previous guitarists are good, Reb Beach makes them look like amateurs in comparisons solo wise.  The solos are, like the riffs in Winger’s music, numerous, loaded with technique and variety, from short to long, simple to complex, bluesy to classical or jazzy, and even including everything from dive bombs and very advanced two-handed tapping techniques (so advanced that they’re the toughest parts of the solo when I’m trying to play them).  If there was a bad solo, then there are several other great solos, and the tone he uses is so great that it makes any guitarist feel like they need to take lessons.  For Skid Row, the solos are closer to basic heavy metal guitar solos, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t amazing.  As far as guitar solos in heavy metal goes, the ones in Skid Row songs are definitely some of the most savage in glam metal.  Let’s say that where most hair metal solos are like this:
Dave “The Snake” Sabo and Scotti Hill solo like this:
RIP Randy Savage
And that’s for Skid Row, whose solos are most likely genuine.  For Warrant, producer Beau Hill has confirmed that Mike Slamer provided the guitar solos here (link here:  That should give the band a knock here, but the solos are good, so I have to give Beau Hill kudos here for his choice, despite this affecting our ability to judge Joey Allan’s guitar skills.  At least he’s nice about it, and I hope to master them on guitar so I can play the songs the way they were meant to be played.  Even the ballads.  But if there are guitar solos that I WANT to learn outside of the standards, it’s those of Bill Leverty, with their technicality, accessibility, melodicism, and flair.  Seriously, listen to the guitar solos of Firehouse and you’ll understand my fanboying.

So, due to the songs, Winger gets the win as Firehouse and Skid Row follow them closely due to Reb Beach’s status as a guitar hero in my eyes.  Poison and Cinderella are close, but the bluesy elements tickling my Aerosmith-loving bones in Cinderella give them a slight edge over Poison personally, despite me having to give Poison the higher point count due to C.C. Deville’s legacy.  That leaves Warrant, regrettably and rightfully, in last.

1.         Skid Row: 35+3 = 38
2.         Winger: 25+5 = 30
3.         Firehouse: 25+4 = 29
4.         Cinderella: 16+1 = 17
5.         Poison: 14+2 = 16
6.         Warrant: 5+0 = 5

But what about the singer?  I can’t ignore that ball of charisma and ego forever.

Best Singer:

Like with the hooks, you should be able to determine if you know these singers.  Even better, they are distinctive enough that I was able to pick up on certain vocal tropes in each.

For Bret Michaels, he’s more about mixing sleaze and more Americana style vocals.  There’s an element where he’s definitely aping David Lee Roth with his vocal inflections, spoken parts, and the sense of theatricality.  Despite that, he’s definitely singing in a higher range than Diamond Dave, and he’s also not as swing-inspired as him in the vocal delivery, having more of a twang to his voice.  Not bad, but it doesn’t sound good when he’s trying to be softer and sensitive; he definitely should stick with odes to these two things:

Especially the latter.
Now Tom Keifer is a hair metal vocalist.  He has the range, the snarl, and the presence to give him his bite and power.  Hell, his vocals are like a mix of Steven Tyler and Brian Johnson.  While they provide him the necessary anger and snarl for the tougher tracks, he’s able to provide some lower tones for subdued moments.  In short, he’s great, but his style may have gotten out of hand with later acts.

Kip Winger is what happens if you mixed David Lee Roth and Robert Plant with elements of Jon Bon Jovi.  In short, he’s a better singer than you’d think.  And this is important because he is also an established bassist, so his repertoire involves singing songs about sex while playing very complex bass patterns.  And that takes a lot more skill than you’d think.  He’s like Dave Mustaine and Tom Araya where he plays very tricky parts on a stringed instrument while dealing with the fact that he’s also the lead singer, except he’s singing most of the time.  Effectively, he’s somehow a better musician technically than Dave Mustaine (and probably has better politics), while his skill makes up for the lack of evil that Tom Araya usually emits (I’m not going to wonder if Kip can do that opening scream in “Angel of Death,” though).

But if Bret is twangy, Tom is high-pitched, and Kip is old-school, then Sebastian is energic and a natural metal singer.  He’s got the range, the grit, the fire, and the tendency to be a glammed up Steven Tyler expy while being distinctive in his own right.  He’s pretty much a belter, and his tone fits the aggression like a glove.  Said belting manages to make the lyrics work because he’s doing his best to sell them completely.  And he has the presence of a performer from the tone and singing he does, effectively making him a true heavy metal vocal powerhouse.  In short, he’s not one to mess with, while he’ll rock you hard.  

But to avoid possible headcannon of Natsuru Seno being a Drifter, or Alucard having the same powers as Deadpool, let’s get to Jani Lane, whose vocal skills are as strong as his songwriting (later on that).  He has a good tone to his voice, it’s well-captured, and it’s arguably one of the best things about the band’s sound, especially considering the hooks.  He’s arguably at his best when he’s showing his fun side, which is a lot more than you’d think.  Too bad he’s passed on.  He will be missed.  Now for C.J. Snare, who’s arguably the weakest at first, but is arguably the most hot-blooded of the singers, especially in the anthems.  Trust me, while he’s a lot more twangy thanks to being from North Carolina, he delivers the heat.

I think they’re all great singers for the genre, but Sebastian Bach is the best singer with C.J. Snare, Jani Lane, Kip Winger, Bret Michaels, and Tom Keifer following up in order.

Poison: 16+1 = 17
Cinderella: 17+0 = 17
Winger: 30+2 = 32
Skid Row: 38+5 = 43
Warrant: 5+3 = 8
Firehouse: 29+4 = 33

Sometimes you need a good beat to hook you in.

Best Rhythm Section:

This might be the part that may be difficult in certain aspects.

For the rhythm section in Poison, it’s nowhere near as remarkable as you’d expect compared to the other bands, but it’s decent for what the band is going for.  When the songs need a driving beat, Bobby Dall and Rikki Rockett play a driving beat.  When the song needs to be slow, they play a slow beat.  They do a good job with a swing.  Their skills with playing with speed may actually help with their metal credentials, so there’s that.  While they aren’t super awesome, they are good at what they do.  Same with Eric Brittingham and Fred Coury in Cinderella, they do the job they’re supposed to do, and the production gives them time to show their stuff.  It’s more aggressive, but it isn’t groundbreaking though.  But considering the progressive metal elements of Winger, it’s no surprise that the bass and drum work by Kip Winger and Rod Morgenstein respectively is the way it is.  With wild rhythms, changing rhythms, sudden stops, and moments when they provide some flair, they turn what could have been a traditional hair metal album into a roller coaster ride.  Definitely amazing.  But Skid Row’s rhythm section succeeds in that it hits hard, pounds like a rock, and delivers the goods.  I’m not saying it’s inspiring, but it fits the music almost perfectly, thanks to Rachel Bolan and Rob Affuso.  For Warrant, they’re more on the generic side alongside Poison and Cinderella, despite having production from Beau Hill and the playing of Jerry Dixon and Steven Sweet giving it some punch.  The rhythms of Perry Richardson and Michael Foster may be a little generic, but the added metal elements, especially when the music is more metal than pop, give the songs enough of a punch.

So yeah, Winger, Skid Row, and Firehouse are the better bands here, with that being the order, while Poison, Cinderella, and Warrant rounding out the order, despite a few good beats.

Poison: 17+2 = 19
Cinderella: 17+0 = 17
Winger: 32+5 = 37
Skid Row: 43+4 = 47
Warrant: 8+0 = 8
Firehouse: 33+3 = 36

Now for the part where we judge what these hairspray-teased bad boys are actually saying, and whether it’s substantial or not.

Best Lyrics:

This was easy in a lot more ways than I realized.  Specifically, this is where the artists should not be as successful as you’d expect.

All Poison sings about on their album are sex, bad behavior, determination, past relationships, and girls that are hard to get.  While that’s varied in concept, it’s standard for the genre and doesn’t break ground.  While the songs are trashy fun, and the lyrics have something to do about it, it doesn’t help them differentiate themselves from Motley Crue, Ratt, Quiet Riot, Dokken, or even Aerosmith, KISS, and Van Halen.  As a result, they are only merely decent, but it helps that they embrace all the tropes.

Cinderella are more about screwing up on Night Songs than they are about sex and the wild life, but they manage to do that well.  The songs deal with everything from how you have one life, how Tom needs to be saved from the pain, gaining nothing from doing nothing, the night life, broken relationships and how they affect the psyche when you had enough, not being appealing to this one girl, and the usual sex anthems.  Then you have “Back Hone Again” which is about their comfort on the stage, playing to their fans.  Something that lyrically gives this album some legs.

For Winger, this might be their Achilles’ Heel.  Every song is about love and lust in some way, and while there are variations for each, they do hit every cliché in this category.  From bad girls and jailbait to scorned love and heartbreak, they hit every single one.  Not to say this is bad, but it doesn’t help the songs if your focus is on what the words are rather than, which is why Winger was doing so well, the music.  Where Winger may be adventurous in their music, the lyrics need more of that flair.

Skid Row have the advantage because of “18 and Life.”  If judged without this one, the lyrics would, again, be your basic songs about sex and bad behavior, but there’s a sense of pathos to “18 and Life” that elevates it beyond traditional glam metal, and it also served as the future for their lyrical direction.  In short, while I could go further, Skid Row definitely have the top prize.

If there’s an ace in the hole, it’s Jani Lane’s songwriting.  The issue, it’s in its developing stages and won’t be as interesting and meaningful until their next album (aka. The other big one).  As a result, their odes to material wealth, sex, loneliness, and heartbreak are showing signs of growing pains, but I think that “Big Talk” is a sign of times to come.

Firehouse falls into the love and lust category like Winger, but their detours into rock stardom, like on “Rock on the Radio” and “Overnight Sensation” are so awesome that they almost make up for the cheesier numbers like “Shake and Tumble.”  But the ballad “Love of a Lifetime” is somehow a good-written ballad, so there’s that.

Skid Row take the prize while Poison, Warrant, and Firehouse adding to the list in order.  Cinderella manages to beat Winger, who are the clear losers lyricwise.

Poison: 19+4 = 23
Cinderella: 17+1 = 18
Winger: 37+0 = 37
Skid Row: 47+5 = 52
Warrant: 8+3 = 11
Firehouse: 36+2 = 38

Now for the most important part, the part where I judge the whole package, and determine the most likely to win and/or get their own LTEM entry:

Best Music:

For this, I’ve already discussed the other musical components, so I’ll focus on the production and attitude.  For Poison and Warrant, their focus is on fun, sleazy numbers about being bad boys.  Cinderella and Skid Row have a stronger focus on metallic assault.  Winger and Firehouse are the more melodic, love-focused bands.  As a result, because of my interests, Cinderella and Skid Row should be at the top while Warrant, Poison, Winger, and Firehouse should be in the same category of comedy material for Steel Panther.  However, production tells a different story, as Ric Browde produces Look What The Cat Dragged In with a focus on giving a stadium-friendly drum tone, one that gives the songs more oomph.  As for Cinderella, Night Songs was produced by Andy Johns, contributing to the classic rock-sounding tone of the album.  Winger and Warrant’s self-titled debut and Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinking Rich were produced by Beau Hill, and his production techniques are apparent throughout both albums, from the drum tone to the use of keyboards.  Skid Row has Michael Wagener of Dokken and White Lion fame producing their album, giving it a very heavy sound and tone, and considering his work with Accept, Alice Cooper’s metal phase, Extreme, Megadeth, and Metallica, he has serious metal credibility.  For Firehouse, they had their debut produced by David Prater, who would ultimately produce, as I’ve been repeating, Images and Words by Dream Theater, and you can hear it in the album from the drum tone to the overall heaviness.  As a result, and because of the production techniques, Skid Row and Firehouse are definitely in the running for the top spot, with myself edging for the former thanks for their ferocious take on glam metal anthems and ballads.  That doesn’t mean that the melodicism and great production from Firehouse gives them a serious leg up on the competition.  Thanks to the production and the overall instrumentation, Winger would definitely get third place due to the overall mix of guitar, bass, drums, keys, and vocals delivering probably the most commercial progressive metal record ever created (Tool doesn’t count).  But because of how they define the hair metal scene, they are definitely in the standing for fourth place thanks to C.C. Deville being not as great a guitarist as Reb Beach.  As for Cinderella, their music is great, but considering their acclaimed shift to blues-rock, and my feeling that they are a better blues-rock band and set of balladeers than they are a metal band, they get last.  That leaves, regrettably, Warrant next to last due to the fact that their style, while fun, is derivative while there’s the whole guitar controversy that may paint my picture of the band’s instrumentation in a negative light.  But their sound is still distinctively glam metal, and “Heaven” and “Big Talk” are enough to save them from the bottom in how cheesy and good they are respectively.

Now for the score tally:

Poison: 23+2 = 25 points
Cinderella: 18+0 = 18 points
Winger: 37+3 = 40 points
Skid Row: 52+5 = 57 points
Warrant: 11+1 = 12 points
Firehouse: 38+4 = 42 points

And the winner is:

Enjoy your status as the first Champion of the Metallic Ring of Rock ‘N’ Roll Hellfire, Skid Row.  Now for how these will become Let Them Eat Metal entries:
Skid Row: 100 views of a LTEM entry.
Firehouse: 200 views of a LTEM entry.
Winger: 300 views of a LTEM entry.
Look What The Cat Dragged In: 400 views of a LTEM entry.
Night Songs: 500 views of a LTEM entry.
Dirty Rotten Filthy Stickin’ Rich: 600 views of a LTEM entry.

These will be changed as later entries of this battle come along.

So those were my thoughts on 6 hair metal albums.  What were your thoughts?  What did you thing should be the winner?  Did your respect for me drop because of all this?  Do you feel that I gave Winger too much credit, or were you rooting for Poison?  Do you feel I missed a few hair metal debuts from 1986 onwards for this?  Feel free to leave all of this in the comments.

Also, RIP Jani Lane.  Hopefully Heaven really isn’t too far away.

Next time on Let Them Eat Metal: Just Bring It by Band-Maid (we’re going to Japan next)

Until next time, this is the Rock Otaku.  Live Loud, Play Hard, and Eat Metal.

All used references are done under the rules of fair use and are owned by their original creators.

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