Faster Pussycat
Faster Pussycat
Faster Pussycat was part of the second wave of LA glam metal bands to come out of the mid-to-late 80's. Their name was borrowed from a Russ Meyer film. Their first album was released in 1987 but it wasn't until their second album that the band peaked commercially with the gold album "Wake Me When It's Over," and the Top 40 single "House of Pain." With the alternative rock and grunge explosion of the 90's Faster Pussycat broke up soon after the release of their third album, despite the fact that "Whipped" was musically one of their best. After the group's split, singer Taime Downe formed the industrial/goth band called the Newlydeads, along with Kyle Kyle, a former member of Bang Tango. Faster Pussycat reunited for a tour in the 90's and released a collection of old tracks remade as techno remixes titled "Between the Valley of the Ultra Pussy."

Faster Pussycat Faster Pussycat (Elektra) 1987

1. "Don't Change That Song" (3:40)
2. "Bathroom Wall" (3:40)
3. "No Room for Emotion" (3:56)
4. "Cathouse" (3:42)
5. "Babylon" (3:14)
6. "Smash Alley" (3:28)
7. "Shooting You Down" (3:46)
8. "City Has No Heart" (4:19)
9. "Ship Rolls In" (3:26)
10. "Bottle in Front of Me" (3:02)

I was living in Rochester, NY working at a mall record store called Cavages (or something like that) when this album came out. We were given the promo copies to take home with us, and I was lucky enough to score the promo of Faster Pussycat's debut. At the time I was heavily into everything metal, including the second wave of LA Glam 'sleaze' bands like Guns N Roses. So Faster Pussycat was a welcome addition to my collection. Faster Pussycat's self-titled debut is made up of Aerosmith-inspired boogie glam. Unfortunately the band was slammed by reviewers and ended up being pegged as a Guns N Roses rip-off. This was totally untrue although the two bands did come from the same LA club scene and released their first albums around the same time. What Faster Pussycat had was a gritty, charismatic vocalist in Taime Downe and a knack for writing catchy songs that always reminded me more of Kix than anything Guns N Roses. At times I also hear influences of the New York Dolls, Sweet and Motley Crue. Songs like album opener "Don't Change that Song," "Babylon" and "Bathroom Wall" will stick in your head for days after listening to them.

Wake Me... Faster Pussycat - Wake Me When It's Over (Elektra) 1989

1. "Where There's A Whip There's A Way" (6:44)
2. "Little Dove" (5:05)
3. "Poison Ivy" (4:24)
4. "House Of Pain" (5:47)
5. "Gonna Walk" (4:12)
6. "Pulling Weeds" (4:35)
7. "Slip Of The Tongue" (4:32)
8. "Cryin' Shame" (4:51)
9. "Tattoo" (4:56)
10. "Ain't No Way Around It" (4:31)
11. "Arizona Indian Doll" (4:40)
12. "Please Dear" (6:23)

I've read that this disc is 'musically more mature' than the bands debut. Perhaps that is true, but it's not as much FUN as the first album. "Poison Ivy", "Where There's A Whip", an "Slip of the Tongue" are excellent songs, as is the ballad "House of Pain". However, the infectious Aerosmith meets New York Dolls meets a punk bar band vibe of the first album is somehow missing. I think that the grungy, dense production and the darker songwriting holds this disc back a bit as well. I don't want to make it sound like I hate this disc though. I actually do enjoy it quite a bit, but in comparison to that first album, I just think the first one wins. The country parody of "Arizona Indian Doll" is fun. I also dig the occasional harmonica playing in songs like "House of Pain." Incidentally, "House of Pain" was the single from this album and it did quite well for the band, pushing "Wake Me When It's Over" to Gold status.

Whipped! Faster Pussycat - Whipped (Elektra) 1992

1. "Nonstop to Nowhere" (6:57)
2. "The Body Thief" (4:56)
3. "Jack the Bastard" (4:07)
4. "Big Dictionary" (2:56)
5. "Madam Ruby's Love Boutique" (3:42)
6. "Only Way Out" (3:53)
7. "Maid in Wonderland" (5:05)
8. "Friends" (4:47)
9. "Cat Bash" (1:42)
10. "Loose Booty" (3:29)
11. "Mr. Lovedog" (6:30)
12. "Out With a Bang" (4:39)

While retaining the glam/sleaze metal sound, Faster Pussycat manage to sound a bit more experimental than anything they did in the past. "Nonstop To Nowhere" is one of the albums more straight forward rockers, and also one of it's finest. I wonder, had grunge not killer the pop metal movement only a year before if this disc would not have broken Faster Pussycat into leagues of popularity with Guns n' Roses. "Mr. Lovedog," is a heartfelt tribute that offers a sad elegy to Mother Love Bone singer Andrew Wood. Other tracks, like "Big Dictionary" experiment with horns and some funky grooves, not unlike Aerosmith. This is actually another standout cut, although the juvenile sexist lyrical theme in this song is a bit cliché. Despite the experimentation with their sound, this album has catchy, crunchy guitar riffs, plenty of sing-along choruses and sports a good production to boot. Other standout cuts are "Nonstop To Nowhere", "Body Thief", "Madam Ruby's Love Boutique", and "Loose Booty". So, despite the fan backlash for this album I like it, and that is really all that matters.

The Power and the Glory Hole Faster Pussycat - The Power And The Glory Hole (Full Effects Records) 2006

1. Number 1 With A Bullet (3:40)
2. Gotta Love It (4:15)
3. Useless (5:15)
4. Sex Drugs & Rock N Roll (4:05)
5. Disintegrate (4:43)
6. These Boots Were Made For Walking (3:36)
7. Hey You (3:11)
8. Porn Star (4:31)
9. The Power & The Glory Hole (4:30)
10. Shut Up & Fuck (2:14)
11. Bye Bye Bianca (6:45)

Anyone who is even remotely a fan of Faster Pussycat's older albums is sure to be disappointed with this album. First of all, this is Faster Pussycat album in name only; and not just the perverted pun of the album title. Vocalist Taime Downe is the only remaining member from previous Faster Pussycat incarnations. The rest of the lineup comes from the Newlydeads, Downe’s post-Pussycat industrial band. Second, Downe attempts to mix sleazy Hollywood glam, punk and an industrial vibe to an overall boring result. The vocals are all saturated with annoying vocal effects and distortion. Guitars are mostly used as effect. Apparently Taime Downe has a major Marilyn Manson fixation, because that is exactly the sound he went for on this release. Had some of these songs been recorded as straight forward rock and roll numbers, without all the studio effects, industrial noises, and vocal effects, it may have been a more interesting album for longtime fans. “Sex Drugs and Rock-n-Roll" gives a hint at what this album could have been if you listen closely underneath all the studio effects. If the album title and obvious song titles didn't give it away the lyrics are anything but subtle and are quite sexist, not that this is anything new for this band."These Boots Were Made For Walking" is a Nancy Sinatra cover. Megadeth also covered this song back in the early 80s. Though I am totally unfamiliar with the original, I have read that "Shut Up & Fuck " is a Betty Blowtorch cover. (Who? I have no idea.) I guess that the Newlydeads couldn't make a splash in the world, so they tried using the Faster Pussycat name instead to push their music on the masses.

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