Junkyard Junkyard (Geffen) 1989

1. "Blooze" (3:50)
2. "Hot Rod" (2:44)
3. "Simple Man" (4:23)
4. "Shot In The Dark" (3:33)
5. "Hollywood" (3:01)
6. "Life Sentence" (3:09)
7. "Long Way Home" (4:44)
8. "Can't Hold Back" (4:02)
9. "Texas" (3:36)
10. "Hands Off" (5:25)

The year was 2007 and I was sent a copy of "Shot in the Dark" by Main Line Riders. The last song on their CD, for which the album was titled, was a cover of a band I was unfamiliar with, Junkyard. Their cover of the song made me curious so I tracked down a copy of Junkyard's debut album. How I missed this gem for nearly 20 years I don't know.

Junkyard are described as sleaze metal. Frankly, I think their music is a blend of AC/DC and Lynyrd Skynyrd. They blend the blues, Southern rock, L.A. 80's glam and a bit of punk to create something that is quite good. I suppose they would fit in well with bands like Sleaze Beez, Dangerous Toys, Little Ceasar and perhaps even Guns 'n' Roses. However, I think that Junkyard step slightly deeper into the Southern rock sound than any of those bands. Imagine Molly Hatchet playing late 1980's pop metal and you might get a good mental picture. Speaking of Molly Hatchet, longtime Hatchet guitarist Duane Roland makes an appearance here playing lead guitar on "Blooze" and "Shot in the Dark". His solo in "Blooze" is very distinctive. Earl Slick makes a guest appearance playing slide guitar on "Simple Man" and "Long Way Home". (No "Simple Man" isn't a Skynyd cover, thought that would have been cool.) I suppose these guests were brought in at the request of veteran producer Tom Werman, who had produced some of Molly Hatchet's best know releases. Vocalist David Roach has some striking similarities to Vince Neil at times, but at others he pulls off that gritty, whiskey-soaked blues vibe as well.

Favorite tracks are the laid back piano ballad "Simple Man", the bluesy Southern rock of "Blooze" and the track that got me into this band to begin with "Shot in the Dark". "Hollywood" is a starry eyed anthem dedicated to the Sunset Strip and all it's excesses.

I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this album. I'm still in awe of how I managed to miss this album for so many years. With Tom Werman producing and Geffen as the band's label, I'm sort of surprised this album didn't generate more noise back in 1989.

Guitarist Brian Baker went on to join Bad Religion.

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