|Classic Review: W.A.S.P. - W.A.S.P.|
Label: Demolition Records
Year released: 1998
Originally released in: 1984
Genre: Heavy Metal
Review online: April 7, 2009
Reviewed by: Hermer Arroyo
This is the self-titled debut album from the most shocking and visceral metal band of the "Hair Metal" movement of the 80's. And following their reputation, they released the rawest album from that period. What made this stand above their competition in 1984 was that the record is filled with juvenile energy chock-full of testosterone. This album is full of anthemic choruses by the spades, and contains the two most popular tracks of the band from that era: "Animal (Fuck like a Beast)" and "I Wanna be Somebody."
From that point on, Blackie Lawless and company deliver a fast and furious assault that was much more menacing than any other band at the time. When W.A.S.P. recorded this, they were a young, hungry band trying to make it in the industry and the record is a reflection of that. With his explicit lyrics Blackie Lawless caused such a roar that it led to the now famous P.M.R.C. hearings. That within itself made the band a controversial name in the 80's. In retrospect the lyrics are almost laughable, unlike future releases, but that is to be expected as we're not dealing with Shakespeare here. Anyway, most of the songs kill as this contains some cool stuff like: "L.O.V.E. Machine", the emotional ballad "Sleeping (In the Fire)" and "The Torture Never Stops" among others. The 1998 reissue includes the "Animal (F**K Like a Beast)" single and the Rolling Stones cover "Paint it Black"; to me this is a logical choice because the sound is very similar.
The musicianship here is decent, although better than other bands. However this aspect is not as important because W.A.S.P., like most bands at the time, were more concerned with their image. Blackie Lawless' shrieking voice is perfect for this band; no other singer would have sounded right here. The guitars provided by Chris Holmes and Randy Piper are good, the rhythm session provided by Lawless (bass) and Tony Richards (drums) is very competent.
Although there is some filler like "The Flame", this album is an important landmark in metal as it launched the career of one of the most important bands of that era. W.A.S.P. was one the first bands to strike fear to that audience providing a show that was memorable causing fans to come back. And the music kept those fans making sure that W.A.S.P. has one of the most loyal followings in metal.
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