For me, Slaughter is an odd story. I was a huge fan of the Vinnie Vincent Invasion. However, for some reason, I didn't get into Slaughter until many years after their initial popularity in 1990. I had assumed that they were the poser rockers that all my metalhead friends said they were. Of course, with the radio overplaying "Fly to the Angels", this only helped reinforce this opinion. However, upon seeing them live my mind was changed. (See the "Stick It Live" review for more.) My first taste of Slaughter after that live performance was "Wild Life", which was a hard rocking disc with a raw energy. It was soon after that I picked up "Stick It Live" and "Revolution", another raw slab of American rock and roll. I finally picked up "Stick It To Ya", having only been familiar with the two hits, "Fly to the Angels" and "Up All Night". I was fairly sure I wouldn't like this album as much as "Wild Life" and "Revolution". Those two songs just seemed so slick, radio friendly and pop for my liking. The live versions of these songs on "Stick It Live" are heavier and a bit more raw so I guess I just got use to hearing them like that. With that in mind, I didn't really like "Stick It To Ya" as much on the first couple listens. However, over time and after seeing Slaughter live a few more times, I have really grown to like and appreciate this album much more than I had originally. The production is slick, but the songs aren't bad at all. "Burnin' Bridges", a song I am sure is about former band mate Vinnie Vincent, is a great song and one of my favorites by Slaughter. Other standout cuts are the album opener "Eye to Eye", rocker "Mad About You" and the melodic, catchy "Spend My Life". I even like the party rocker "Sleep All Night" and the sappy ballad "Fly to the Angels". The entire album is actually quite good. I still actually prefer the "Wild Life" and "Revolution" to this platter, but "Stick It To Ya" has also seen plenty of spin time since I purchased it in 1999. Go figure. Maybe I'm getting mellow in my old age. One thing good about Slaughter is that they get better with each album, rather than degressing further into trends.
Slaughter - Wild Life (Chrysalis) 1992
for the Sky" (5:30)
I read on another web page that this cd was out of print. This particular copy had been sitting at a local store for years, literally. Since it was only $5.99 I decided I might as well pick it up before it becomes hard to find. To my surprise this is actually a very good melodic metal disc. "Wild Life" is overflowing with American pomp delivered with a raw energy and a whole lot of attitude. The axe solos are flying all over the place, many times on top of just the bass, giving the whole thing a "live" feel. Not really as pop oriented as I thought, rather it's more of an 80's throw-back to the L.A. metal scene, reminding me slightly of bands like Ratt and Stryper. Who woulda guessed it. Slaughter ain't bad at all; they are just straight-ahead, melodic, meat-and-potatoes hard rock! Oh and this disc, I read, was a disappointment selling only one million copies, so their label dropped them. (ONLY one million?????)
1. "Like There's
No Tomorrow" (5:46)
After the release of "Wild Life" Slaughter hit a time of struggle. The band had been going through a lot of personal issues during the time before the recording of the album. Basisst Dana Strum was rehabilitating from a motorcycle accident that injured his hand while vocalist Mark Slaughter came from a nodule surgery on his vocal cords. As well, guitarist guitarist Tim Kelly was arrested on drug charges. However, with all this behind them the band began recording their third full length album for Chrysalis Records in early 1994. However, by the time the album was finished they ended up on CMC International Records. Slaughter were one of the first bands to sign with CMC, a new label that helped preserve heavy metal in the 90's when the big labels were force-feeding us alternative crap. "Fear No Evil" was finally released in 1995.
"Revolution" is the forgotten Slaughter disc. It's not really a fan favorite and doesn't contain any hits. However, it is my favorite Slaughter album. When I first heard the song "American Pie" I would have swore that it was a T. Rex cover song. That song pays serious homage to the fat grooves and distorted guitars of Marc Bolen and Co. The enire disc actually reminds me of glam rock bands like T. Rex and Sweet, but there are also hints of Led Zeppelin and Aerosmith as well. This is very different from the pop metal Slaughter is known for. However Slaughter also knows what their fans want and haven't completely abandoned their roots. The music is heavier, bluesier, but still your basic American hard rock/heavy metal. "Rocky Mountain Way" is a Joe Walsh tune."Ad-Majorem-Vei-Gloriam" is a trippy psychadelic instumental. I'm not sure why so many heavy metal fans, including myself, despised Slaughter. Perhaps it was due to the made-for-radio, tear-jerker, ballad "Fly to the Angels". However, Slaughter are acutally a very good band and "Revolution" is a very good CD.
This disc is also enhanced and includes photos, videos, bios, discography and the whole bit. There is a short video clip of Slaughter performing a cover of The Beatles "Revolution"live, a couple videos of Mark recording vocals, and the video clip of "Searchin'". Nice package, especially for $5.99!
1. "Rock the
Seeing Slaughter live is what convinced me that these guys were not the "posers" everyone said they were. They put on a spectacular show and play great rock 'n roll. On this (somewhat) live album, the band sticks primarily to material from their two major label albums, "Stick It To Ya" and "Wild Life" and only throw in a couple from "Fear No Evil" and "Revolution." This disc is far better than the short "Stick It Live" as the band is more seasoned on this disc and "Eternal Live" obviously includes more material. The other reason this disc is better is because apparently it has so many overdubs it can barely be considered live, at least that is the rumor. From what I have read, the song "Mad About You" is actually the studio version of the song, remixed with crowd noise added in. Either way, I don't care. It sounds great! Some of the best live albums of all time have had similar studio reworking done. The tracks were initially recorded from a show in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA and one in Mexico. The disc is dedicated to guitarist Timothy Patrick Kelly who died in a car crash while this CD was being put together.
Slaughter - Back to Reality (CMC International) 1999
1. "Killin' Time"
I swear I must have bid on this disc on eBay no less than 20 times. It always sells for around $5 or so, but someone always outbids me in the last minutes. I FINALLY won a copy on eBay for $1.99. Anyhow, "Back to Reality," introduces new guitarist Jeff Blando, who is a competent replacement for Timothy Patrick Kelly as the band doesn't lose any momentum. Slaughter knows their audience and doesn't disappoint to give us what we want--good '80s-style hard rock and metal! Actually I think this disc may be a bit heavier than all the bands past efforts. A tad more groove as well. It wasn't actually until this tour that I started to get into Slaughter. Saw them twice, once opening for Ted Nugent and once with Cinderella.