Aftershock Spread Eagle (MCA) 1990

1. Broken City (5:34)
2. Back on the Bitch (3:03)
3. Switchblade Serenade (4:43)
4. Hot Sex (3:19)
5. Suzy Suicide (3:29)
6. Dead of Winter (5:44)
7. Scratch Like a Cat (4:05)
8. Thru These Eyes (5:46)
9. Spread Eagle (3:55)
10. 42nd Street (1:06)
11. Shotgun Kiss (4:33)

Spread Eagle are a heavy metal/hard rock band from New York whose sound is a mix of "Slave to the Grind"-era Skid Row and the sleazy shimmer and shake of Dangerous Toys. This band really had everything anyone could want from a sleazy, late 80's/early 90's band; the looks, the big label record deal, solid musicianship, smoking guitar solos, crunchy riffs and a vocalist with a nasty sizzle in his voice. Though it may sound trite to say after comparing the band to Skid Row and Dangerous Toys, Ray West's voice is a cross between Jason McMaster and Sebastian Bach.

Spread Eagle eponymous titled album gained some momentum due to a minor hit in "Switchblade Serenade". The song is a prime example of early-90's sleaze metal with that dirty swagger and nasty guitar sound. For the most part that description fits the entire album. However, "Suzi Suicide" is one of the heavier tracks on the album complete with double bass and some machine gun, heavy metal riffing. There is also the obligatory ballad titled "Thru These Eyes". Surprisingly this ballad doesn't come off as made-for-radio garbage. Instead the song has some genuine emotion and is a solid track on the album. That's not to say every song here is a gem. There are a few duds in the batch. It's unfortunate that they had to write a song like "Hot Sex", which is a blatant and obvious attempt at Def Leppard's "Pour Some Sugar" or Warrant's "Cherry Pie", complete with ubber cheesy and juvenile lyrics. (Of course no more juvenile than a song like "Sportin' a Woody".)

Overall Spread Eagle released a solid debut record. Had this been released a year or two earlier, I wonder if this band wouldn't have been much more popular.

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