The glam scene is a much maligned one.
Or to be more accurate the eighties and nineties mainstream glam scene is much maligned, and in my opinion deservedly so as it tainted everything that would follow.
Once the major labels stepped in, to absorb and then dilute it for the masses, to make a buck it was all pretty much over for me.
Everyone who was anyone grew their hair out and reached for the hairspray and eyeliner.
The guys with the punkier attitudes were squeezed out by their hair metal brethren and that as they say was that.
Who can forget the fat bloated Ozzy Osbourne of the time. He looked like an over the hill tranny with one foot in the grave and the term glam - image wise or music wise - really couldn't be tagged onto him.
He was simply playing heavy rock with an updated look that his label considered would allow him to extend his career into hearts of the next generation of metalheads.
That they were right isn't really the point.
All that carry on really fucked up what the trailblazers of the scene had set in motion. Isn't that always the way though?
The public view of what glam rock was, as promoted by mtv and such, really had nothing to do with the darker, wilder and more debauched foundations it rested on.
On saying all of that I don't really have a problem with hair metal, AOR or whatever you want to claim many of these bands were.
It's just that I would take issue with them being considered glam rockers. They are simply rockers and I fail to see where the overlap into what I consider sleazy glam rock is.
That's my own take on it and I don't have a problem with others disagreeing as opinions are like assholes. We all have them and they're full of shit.
That was then though, and this in now, and in recent years we seem to be seeing the hair metal bands slipping into the shadows and the punkier glam rock terrorists slipping out of them to reclaim what is rightfully theirs.
So where does that leave “Pretty Little Suicide” then? Well pretty much in no man's land trying to aim for something a bit harder and darker while keeping their eye on not alienating the hard rock fans.
On listening to their five track album I'm swinging from really liking some tracks to wondering what it is they really want to be, and then thinking that they really need to commit to either one sort of sound or another. That they have the talent to make the choice isn't something that can be disputed, but some soul searching seems to be needed and an identity settled on.
To my ears they are moving in the right direction, but just need to throw their hearts and souls into it
The opening tune “Working Man's Blues” has a swaggering roll to it that really pulls you in and hints at something rather special. Then they cement their rock and roll credentials with “Hollywood Moonlight” before faltering a bit with KMAG that leans too far into the heavy rock sound and eases away from the blue collar fuck you attitudes that were on display on the opening tracks.
That's not to say that it's a bad track. The guitar soloing and vocals are spot on and any light criticism I'm putting out there could well be something I will regret.
Maybe it just feels like too much of a homage to Motley Crue and GnR in places without ever hitting as hard.
Thankfully “Cope” sees them getting back behind the wheel and setting course for the gutter. While album closer “Pretty Little Suicide” once more slips and slides into heavy AOR territory and adds to my feeling that they need to tighten things up a bit. The guitar solos in this are well to the fore and instead of adding something to the song serves as a distraction.
Sometimes less is more and I would have preferred the same song to be played with a bit more aggression and belligerence.
There is more good about this band than bad though and I'll be keeping an eye out for their next studio release and keeping my fingers crossed that they can key into their internal bad boy and let him out a bit more.
Maybe they should have a week immersed in listening to the Ramones, Dead Boys, NY Dolls, Clash and Sex Pistols to see how that works for them.