Friday, March 9, 2012

RATTLESHAKE: "Rattleshake"

Rating: 7-Track Mini-Album

Label: Eonian Records 2012

Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom

Oi! Everybody do the Rattlesnake shake! Having devoted much blood, sweat and tears to every darn club in the Bay Area while opening for major acts such as Winger, Warrant, Tesla, things went belly up when Kurt officially proclaimed that hair-metal was dead in 1992. Indeed, it's the same old sob story as always and you're kind of fed up listening to bands bitchin' about it? Especially since it's been twenty years, Kurt's long dead, grunge too, and trends will always come and go. With the sole exception of Rap? Seriously, they've been playing the same old song and dance number to death for the past 20 years! Where's the new "black" music? Flavour Flav and co. - the last originals? Anyhow, Public Enemy and Run-DMC rawks!

And just for the record, black music should simply be "music" as it's everything really, jazz, blues, soul, R&B, pop, rock'n' roll, and even the first hardrock guitar hero (Jimi H!). No white people came ever up with any modern music, they stole it. Truth be told, Rattleshake will never ever be originals and these seven tracks, recorded, mixed and produced by Rob Beaton (Guns N Roses, Sammy Hagar, Santana, Sea Hags, etc.) are at their best fun, but hardly groundbreaking or even close to original.

In the belly of the Rattleshake snake is the sleazy and sneering attitude of acts such as Ratt, Faster Pussycat, Tuff, the first Lynch Mob (the debut). It's a pretty straight forward, standard template, spiced up with the groovy backbone of the band. Vocalist Don McBee (Flame) spits out the lyrics like a proper sleaze rocker and you're tapping and humming along to the melodies. You can't help thinking... this must be some kind of guilty pleasure? It's so, 'been there, done that', but the fact is that Rattleshake are pretty darn good at keeping things sleazy and catchy at the same time.

Man, the songtitles are sort of lame too, "Shootin' Whiskey", "Gypsy Queen", "Take Me Down", "Mudbone, Delight", "Jump On Me", "Rattleshake Boogie". And not to mention, "Never Say Goodbye", the typical power ballad of the time, sounds like any other sappy number of the era. Guardian had a similar one and so did others. But, when everything's said and done, this 7-track mini album goes by quickly and I keep hitting repeat for another spin. Final verdict: Forget about "original", simply call it hair-metal and deal with it - sucker.

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