FASTER PUSSYCAT - The Power & The Glory Hole [European Ed. +1] (2013)
Infamous L.A. rockers FASTER PUSSYCAT rose to high fame during the late '80s and early' 90s with three respectable LPs performing Californian Sleazy / Hair Metal of their own branch. Breaking up in 1993, little was known until the band desired to reform with some original members while the rest disputed the name at the court.
Frontman Taime Downe won and returned the past decade with Faster Pussycat moniker for live shows and recently with an album only released in America entitled "The Power & The Glory Hole".
Finally licensed for the European market, Faster Pussycat's fourth studio album appears ahead of select European tour dates later in the year with a bonus track - a live version of the album's opening cut 'Number 1 With A Bullet' - a slightly different artwork and a history that makes it an interesting listen.
First of all, "The Power & The Glory Hole" is not a sleazy rock album.
So if you don't like this genre or FP previous albums, keep reading, you might be interested.
On the other hand, if you love the band's '80s dirty style but never heard this disc, keep reading as well.
Occurs that Downe drastically changed sonically Faster Pussycat upon its return. "The Power & The Glory Hole" fuses the typical US Hard Rock song structures with synthesized distortions, razor guitars and some programming, though the drums are human-played.
What? American Hard Rock blended with Industrial Rock? Yes, and the fun thing is it works for the most part. In fact, many bands have explored this field such as Swedes Zan Clan, second era Shotgun Messiah, some work of John5 / Rob Zombie, Sixx:AM, etc.
In terms of lyrics there’s enough reference to sex and para-sexual themes as in the old times yet darker, and the music has a lot in common with '80s Hard Hock having similar tempos, hooks and some solos, just with a different sonic masque.
So, in essence, "The Power & The Glory Hole" is song-wise American Hard with a new sound approach.
Recorded by the band line-up of Downe, bassist (and horn-throwing uber-legend) Danny Nordahl, drummer Chad Stewart and guitarist Xristian Simon - the lineup that remains to the current day, with the addition of guitarist Ace Von Johnson - "The Power & The Glory Hole" features a cast of supporting players and guest appearances that makes it an essential for your record collection on curiosity value alone.
Dregen of the Backyard Babies (and currently playing alongside Michael Monroe) appears on a song, as does Poison's C.C. DeVille. Monster Magnet's Ed Mundell laid down lead guitar on a trio of tunes, as Marc Diamond (ex- Hollywood Roses) on the title track and the album's two cover versions.
Dwarves frontman Blag Dahlia (credited here as Blag The Ripper) contributes vocals to a couple of songs, as does Roxy Saint (Beautiful Creatures) who some will remember for her role in the 2008 Jenna Jameson flick, 'Zombie Strippers'.
Opener "Number 1 With A Bullet" spat in the face of convention and shows, helped by Downe's own impressive production skills, that this black-hearted industrial-hard works, and works well.
"Gotta Love It" follows and, again, threw timeless rock 'n' roll lead breaks over dark subtlety. "Useless", born of chugging guitar and sampled loops, sounds like epic, electronica-fuelled late '80s hair metal, the album's bravest yet most impressive cut.
"Sex Drugs & Rock-N-Roll" amps up the trash. You just knew it from that title and ejaculates out of the speakers with a 'Hey Ho, Let's Go' refrain and is possibly the finest example of the post-apocalyptic Faster Pussycat sound that Taime envisaged when he got the band back together, albeit with himself now as the only original member.
"Disintegrate" oozes with a The Cult-style spirit, and the bursts of lead guitar over the samples sound weird, but innovative for sure.
The cover of Nancy Sinatra's 'These Boots Were Made For Walking' (!) is unrecognisable at first but, once it settles into its chugging guitar-groove, it works in such a way that any song purists will surely cover their ears and rush out of the room lest they be forever damned by this devil music.
Downe's production, with more layers than some of his former bandmates' hair in the '80s, impresses again.
"Hey You", complete with a Poison's C.C. DeVille guitar solo, ups the sleazy factor with a chorus of female backing vocals, but even that is bound and gagged by the compressed sounds of "Porn Star".
The album's title track is as anthemic as this thing is gonna get; chanted backing vocals wrestle with Roxy Saint's cock teasing mouth work, and the guitar slays. The production, more android than analogue, may not be organic but it borders on orgasmic at times.
The album's final tracks are centred around the loss of Bianca Butthole in a car wreck in 2001, singer of the blasphemous band Betty Blowtorch. The rockin' "Shut Up & Fuck" is a cover of them, while "Bye Bye Bianca" is a collection of audio messages from friends and fans of Bianca saying goodbye over a bass-heavy slab of industrial percussions fevered with a on-acid chorus.
Of course, the bonus live track of "Number 1 With A Bullet" on this Euro release follows, and it's cool how it's delivered.
Late '80s / early '90s Faster Pussycat ceased to exist a long, long time ago and they are never coming back to that.
The sound of "The Power & The Glory Hole" is very modern and especially the guitars differ hugely from what you would expect of this band. The music and songwriting, though, has a lot in common with '80s hard rock having similar tempos, riffs and sexual lyrics.
This CD pound on the heart and senses with a sometimes heavy, dense layered production, accentuated by the synthesized sounds added to the mix.
Some may like this album while others may hate it, but you can't accuse Taime Downe and his 'new' Faster Pussycat for recording the 'same old sh#t again', instead he is broaden musical horizons with bravado. So kudos to him.
Different and really interesting.
01 - Number 1 With A Bullet
02 - Gotta Love It
03 - Useless
04 - Sex, Drugs & Rock-N-Roll
05 - Disintegrate
06 - These Boots Are Made For Walking
07 - Hey You
08 - Porn Star
09 - The Power & The Glory Hole
10 - Shut Up & Fuck
11 - Bye Bye Bianca
12 - Number 1 With A Bullet - Live (Bonus Track)
Taime Downe - lead vocals, guitar, programming
Xristian Simon - guitar, vocals
Ace Von Johnson - guitar
Danny Nordahl (ex L.A. GUNS) - bass, vocals
Chad Stewart (ex L.A. GUNS) - drums, percussion
C.C. DeVille (Poison) – lead guitar on 7
Marc Diamond (Hollywood Roses) – lead guitar on 6, 9, 10
Ed Mundell (Monster Magnet) – lead guitar on 1, 4, 5
Dregen (Backyard Babies) – guitar on 5
Charlie Paulson (Goldfinger) – guitar on 2
Todd Miller (Ear Candy) – guitar on 8
Blag the Ripper (Dwarves) – vocals on 8, 10
Roxy Saint (Beautiful Creatures) – vocals on 8, 9
Angela Bruyere (The Deserters) – vocals on 11
Tommy Nordahl (Love Tribe) – vocals on 5, 6
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