Shameless (Ark 21)
by Craig Regala
These guys started as an analogy to middle-American noise rock a decade ago and have since moved to the center of the hard rock road. With ’80s blister/pop/noise moderne as your “thing,” the desire to hone in on rock radio parameters is either a) ironic, b) careering, or c) ‘fessin’ up. If this was better it’d be Pat Benatar’s “Heartbreaker,” a good AOR rocker and that band’s high point. To acheive that, they’d need to record at the Blast Furnace and let those guys heavily handle their approach, and listen to Deep Elm’s series of emo comps to pick up some suckerpunch tricks. The guitars sound great in a processed way, much like the latest Cult disc. And like that record, Shameless is empty of any significant rhythmic blaze from anyone involved.
I really wanted to like this, I’m a big huge fan of the 3:30 ballbuster rock tune, and it just ain’t here. In one of the tunes, the film Heavy Metal Parking Lot is name-checked, laying open Therapy?‘s intention to write “Living After Midnight” with “meaningful” lyrics. Oh yeah, the first song cops a smidgon of Turbonegro’s magic but without the personality/firepower to do much with it. The second bites down on Thin Lizy’s dick but doesn’t swallow enough seed to choke, let alone get off on it.
(14724 Ventura Blvd. Penthouse Sherman Oaks, CA 91403)