The city: Los Angeles, some call it Butt Town. When theyíre not shooting horse, shooting movies, or turning tricks, theyíre churning out cheesy hair metal. Which in this case is masquerading as cock-rock funk-punk. But if you canít skate to it, and it features blistering guitars, itís metal. Too Loose would have you think they are the next Chili Peppers Addiction. While there is some of that, letís not forget L.A.ís other favorite sons, Guns Crue Ratt Poison.
Guitarist Rick Migaudís ongoing love affair with his distortion pedal produces some nice Floyd-heavy guitar work. And bassist Scott Golding lays down thumping funky bottoms, but any dirty grooves that they slip into are ruined by weak lyrics and vocals. Singer/backflipist Gary Golding exhibits unsure phrasing and a stunted sense of timing. Matt Sherrod is inventive in his drumming without sacrificing energy.
"Animal" is a similar feel and theme to a W.A.S.P. song calledÖ umÖ "Animal." A slowed-down Stray Cats groove chock full of bravado. Spacey guitar echoes and a stellar rhythm mark "Rattle My Cage", to which Gary G throws in STP accents.
Vocally, "Window Knocking Windy" is an unforgivable chunk of crap. Written to appeal to junior high aged boys, it extols the beauty of underage love through amateurish lyrics. "We would jump around, naked to that rockiní sound, whenever mommy and daddy werenít around!" (Liner notes full of exclamation marks.) Musically, itís impeccable in Chili Pepper style. Exactly how Van Halen would craft a sonic masterpiece and shove Roth out front to posture and spout infantile rhymes.
Free-form Zeppelin inspired vocals lose their focus on the air guitar fostering "Ego Driven Madness." This track and "Slip Into You" contain oedipally suspect references to Mama. And counting one in "Windy", that's a trifecta.
"Love Cuts a Hole" has a nasty bass line flowing through it and blinding guitar wizardry. Sherrod reveals what he's been building in "I'm Not the Same." But even with this solid foundation, Gary manages to slip. "I'm not the same. I've shedded my cocoon. So far I have came. I'm so ashamed." That may be an apology for his grammar. The guys do a great job of making every song sound unique, as in "Heaven's Threat." Fantastic changeups bridge the Floyd spaciness with sonic assaults. "When Will It Stop" brings in Issac Hayes/Chips guitar and slapping funk bass. Migaud borrows a page from King Crimson for the backdrop of "Feed On Me." Pure metal drives the blues repetition of "I'm Dying." "Feed the Fire" tries political rap-rock with the cartoon inspired cry "super power."
"Break Away" is the standout track. Another nod to Zeppelin with more intelligent lyrics than we have seen from the band: "We break the wings of angels, and watch them come crashing down. We bust the legs of lambs, and leave them wounded on the ground." This stark tale of societyís abuses is quite a stretch from the locker-room messages delivered previously. Presented with a psychedelic blues platter. And while I havenít praised Garyís singing, he is more palatable than Robert Plantís screeching.
The dirtheads in the smoking lounge and tone-deaf frat boys are going to eat this up. Mysogonistic lyrics, nostalgic riffs and whitewashed funk. For some reason, I kept trying to call them To Lose. Go figure.
- Rattle My Cage
- Window Knocking Windy
- Ego Driven Madness
- Love Cuts a Hole
- I'm not the Same
- Heaven's Threat
- When Will it Stop
- Feed On Me
- I'm Dying
- Feed the Fire
- Break Away