Alexx Michael of Shameless
The Good, the Glam & the Ugly: Record reviews and other unnecessary bullshit by t.Odd
Now first and foremost I have to mention ahead of time that this record, like the previous “Cold Blue Rebels” review features numerous friends of mine from “back in the day”. As you’ll see that doesn’t mean that I’ll let them get away any crap songs, but I may be a bit gentler than I would be with a band I didn’t know. Actually, fuck that! This is basically a Glam “Super Group” made-up of Sunset Strip refugees and masterminded by German glam impresario Alexx Michael, so they fucking better bring it! This is like the 30th Shameless record too, so they should have this down to a glam science by now!
Record: “Beautiful Disaster”
Label: Red Skunk Records
1st impression of the CD:
I got a digital version so no CD or booklet, but I assume the CD will be loaded with tons of cool photos of the various players, most of which will be wearing hats and bandannas NOT because they’re bald, but because it’s fashionable!
Shameless resembles a matured Dave Matthews Band type dichotomy, mixed the southern flare of a Kings of Leon essence… just fucking with you, it’s fucking GLAM! Like 1989 Sunset Strip Glam, but in 2013, which could only be done by the likes of Steve “Sex Summers and Stevie Rachelle. The only missing piece is Marky from Revlon Red, those 3 together would be PURE magic! There is a sliver of “Glitter” as well with the inclusion of Runaways lead vocalist Cherie Currie and a “T-Rex” cover, which throws some 70’s cred into the mix!
Before I go into individual song review one overall observation is that the production is fucking KILLER. Produced by Alexx Michael with Adam Hamilton at the controls, its sounds like a million bucks.
“Greed is God”: The lead-off track begins with some “Leather Boyz with Electric Toyz” type sound effects, and then kicks in with dual vocals with Summers and Rachelle, which actually sound pretty good. The chorus is killer, super catchy, great 1st song.
“Dear Mum”: Cherie Currie sings this one, but since they spell it “mum” instead of “mom” I assume it’s about someone from Europe’s mom (the continent, not the band). Super catchy, albeit a bit sad lyrically.
“You’re Not Cinderella” – Rachelle sings this one, cool play on words with the whole “fairy tale” vibe in the lyrics, another strong song, so far 3 killer tracks in a row.
“Forever Ends Today” – Holy fuck! If it was 1989 this would be all over pirate radio in LA, best song on the record by far! Super catchy & great lyrics. Now I did have a copy of this song before the others, and the lyrics happen to have become an omen for a certain situation in my life, but that’s what great songs are about, being the “soundtrack” to our lives. I must admit that if you told me 20 years ago that the “soundtrack” to my life in 2013 would be sung by Steve “Sex” Summers I probably would have punched you in the face, but I can’t deny the facts, this songs kicks tremendous amounts of ass!
“Fiction and Reality” – My son loves this song, its sung by Stevie Rachelle and its pretty heavy, even has a little Rob Zombie style riff going on. I like it, but not as much as the previous tracks.
“You’re Not Coming Home” – This is the 1st ballad on the record, and I must admit I’m a bit under whelmed. From “I Wanna Be With You” to “So Many Seasons” Glam bands usually have at least 1 killer ballad on each record. Maybe it’s because Cherie Currie sings it, but to me this song sounds like a Heart song from the 80’s. Even more surprising is that it was co-written by Aeriel Stiles, who wrote most of the songs on “Leather Boyz”. Not a bad song, just too 80’s AOR radio sounding for me.
“Train to Hell” – This is probably the heaviest track on the record, sounds like something that could have been on TUFFs “Fist First” record. Not my style, I like my glam more wussy! This is the type of song roadies from Blackfoot would like!
“Eighteen” – NOW we’re talking! A hauntingly awesome cover of Alice Coopeers classic, featuring Rachelle on vocals and Teddy ZigZag (Guns and Roses) on piano. This song should be in a movie trailer. Remember that “Donny Darco” movie where some guy did a slow creepy version of a Tears for Fears song (Mad World I believe)? This is just like that, slow and haunting, fucking killer cover!
“Hold on to your Dreams” – UGH another ballad that just doesn’t do it for me. Sounds very early 90’s, Bad English/Damn Yankees vibe. Doesn’t work for me.
“Rock N Roll Girls” – This song takes a decidedly political turn, exposing the atrocities of the Middle East in audio form… Fucking PLEASE! If this song wasn’t about strippers and the debauchery that goes along with that lifestyle I’d be pissed! It’s no “Nothing but a Good Time” but I can see it being a fun live song. I would have named it “Gerry Gittlesons Life Story” though!
“Life’s a Gas” – A cover by the magnificent Marc Bolan and T-Rex, which sounds surprisingly good when sung as a duet between Steve Summers and Cherie Currie. Great song to finish the record.
3 songs to buy on itunes and add to your “Going to see Shameless live in Europe” playlist: “Greed is God” “Forever Ends Today” & “Eighteen”
Although bands like TUFF and Pretty Boy Floyd still tour, this record is a great combination of musicians from that era collaborating to create the type of “classic” glam album that you’re just not going to find anywhere else these days. Alexx Michael did a phenomenal job, so buy the whole fucking record, and if you’re lucky enough to live in one of the cities they’re playing this fall in Europe >dates here<, go see the show! I’m sure it’ll be a fucking spectacle, and these fuckers aren’t getting any younger, so go see em’ live before Summers and Rachelle loose what’s left of their hair!