1 of 1 thought this review was well written
In every trend, there are the good bands, the great bands, and the so/so bands. The first two categories will probably make it to stardom, the other includes the also-rans who will probably be mocked once the trend is over. A case in point: thrash metal. The great bands – Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax, Sepultura. The good bands: Exodus, Exciter, Forbidden, Testament. The so/so bands: uh…? Does anybody remember their names?
But just like with thrash metal, 80’s hard rock also had its goods, its greats and its also-rans. Bands like Poison, Bon Jovi amd Motley Crue still elicit love or hate reactions almost two decades on. But a large number of other bands have been vastly forgotten with the passing of time. Great White sit somewhere in the middle.
Hailing from England, hard rock five-piece Great White ironically found the largest portion of their success overseas, in America. Their third and fourth albums, Shot In The Dark
and Once Bitten…
sold massive amounts of copies in the USA, propelling the group to superstardom. Once again, ironically, their sound has much more to do with the European streak of hard’n’heavy than with what was being done overseas. The keyboards on this album, for example, constantly remind us of Europe, and some of the acoustic vibes report back to Led Zeppelin. However, there are some definite touches of what was popular at the time – here and there we can hear touches of Poison and Cinderella in the group’s songwriting (the blatant example being the intro riff to Gonna Getcha
). It’s this mix of European and American influences that gives the group’s sound its originality.
However, as original as the songwriting is, it’s also a little inconsistent. Awesome tracks such as Lady Red Light
sit side by side with uninteresting ballad Save Your Love
or Zeppelin pastiches like Rock Me
. However, these few low points never detract from what is in fact an excellent hard rock album.
The record kicks off with Lady Red Light
, the raucous intro of which immediately assaults our speakers. Moments later, the song softens down considerably, but the main riff still rocks plenty hard. Soon, singer Jack Russell comes in singing about a woman (in the booklet, he explains it’s not a whore, although this is doubtful) who «rocks the night» and always has «a way to make it all right». Of course, all of this refers to sex, but one would not expect otherwise. Musically, it rocks with a vengeance, and the chorus is humongous. Halfway through, it evolves into a delicious little keyboard riff, immediately preceded by the equally excellent guitar solo. A couple more repetitions of the chorus and the song is done. A great opener for a great album. (5/5)
But the follow-up is equally excellent. Gonna Getcha
starts on a riff that is clearly ripped off from Poison, but the main riff and Jack Russel’s singing sound to all the world like Night Songs
-era Cinderella. However derivative this may sound, however, it’s still a friggin’ great song. The chorus is once again larger than life and the keyboards are conspicuously absent, making this a more hardened number. If there is any remark at all to be made, it concerns the guitar solo part. It’s excellent, but it could have been just a tad more aggressive, especially in what concerns the backup riffing. Still, an awesome song that clearly deserves (5/5)
And after these two great songs, the third one is…weak. Starting off like a Led Zeppelin pastiche, Rock Me
is uninteresting for the first couple of minutes, then picks up a little in the chorus section, especially due to the cheesy «rock the niiiight» backup vocals ;). However, this is nowhere near as good as the previous two songs. Ironically, this was GW’s biggest hit and the one song in the album everybody talks about. For my money, it’s a (3/5)
Fortunately, All Over Now
brings everything back to normal. An up-tempo anthem about being down and out, this song ranks as probably the best on the album, maybe tied with Lady Red Light
. The chorus is undescribably catchy and Russell is at his best vocally. As for the music, it’s also very, very good and altogether, it is a simply excellent song. My second favorite on the album. (5/5)
follows the exact same pattern as all the others on the album yet somehow is not quite as good. All the elements are here: catchy riff, great chorus and an awesome, thundering guitar solo. Yet it is never as enticing as, say, Lady Red Light
. Notwithstanding, it is
still a great song, just not as good as some of the others. (4,5/5)
Those who say the cheesier a track is, the more charming it also is should base their thesis around Never Change Heart
. This song has the cheesiest set of lyrics in the entire album, and definitely the cheesiest chorus. Yet somehow it is extremely appealing, and another one of this album’s many highlights, This reviewer could have done without the cheesy positive message, though… (4,9/5)
is next, and it’s the more up-tempo of all the songs on this album. Musically, it rips through our speakers in a frenzy of hard riffing and great soloing. It’s the chorus that lets it down, since it takes some getting used to. Once you’ve learned it, though, it’s just as appealing and catchy as any other on this album, it’s just that such a fantastic musical basis could have profited from a catchier chorus than this one. Lyrically, it talks about being on the «fast road to nowhere», a somewhat clichéd subject but which always seems to work quite nicely in rock’n’roll albums. Overall, a good track, but there’s better on the album. (4,5/5)
Unfortunately, the last two songs on the album are quite forgettable. The first is On The Edge
, my least favorite track on the album. It’s generic, the chorus is blah and the riffing is not all that special, either. All in all, the prototypical «skippable» track. (1,5/5)
And in the last song of the album, the ballad that had been threatening to happen does happen. Usually, ballads are the songs to look forward to in glam rock albums, yet this one sucks. Save You Love
is a little too acoustic and bland for its own taste, not to mention it borders on sappiness. The drumming is great, strong and steady as it always is on such songs, but even that is not enough to save this song. Therefore, when listening to the album, I advise you to stop at the seventh track, skipping the last two. It will make it more enjoyable for you. (2/5)
All in all, an excellent hard rock album recommended to all the fans of the genre.
Lady Red Light
All Over Now