Friday, January 12, 2007

Faster Pussycat Returns...

Faster Pussycat
The Power and the Glory Hole
Full Effect Records

For me Faster Pussycat along with Guns N’ Roses and Motley Crue represent the holy trinity of 80s rock. While there were many other bands from that period that adequately represented the essence of the Sunset Strip and the Hollywood way of life Faster Pussycat had them all beat when it came to projecting vibes of sex and sleaze. On top of that the band just flat out rocked, their first, self-titled album and Wake Me When it’s Over are some of the best of the era. The bands third album, Whipped, wasn’t anything to sneeze at either even though it was eclipsed by the rising popularity of grunge rock.

That said, I was ecstatic when I heard that the band was finally releasing their first proper studio album in 14 years. Now that I’ve listened to it a few times my reaction is a bit mixed. It’s sort of like a close, straight, long-time friend of mine who took a lengthy sabbatical and upon returning announced that they were gay. Now of course this person is still my friend, as I believe in personal choice and only hate people who earn it, but we don’t have as much in common anymore.

To break this down to musical terms, I’m saying that The Power and the Glory Hole is still the Faster Pussycat I know and love in many respects but the new elements are a bit alien to me. There are still great grooves on songs like Sex, Drugs and Rock N’ Roll, Number One With a Bullet and the Betty Blowtorch penned Shut-up and Fuck but the band is missing the melodic sensibilities that graced tracks like Poison Ivy, Non-Stop to Nowhere and Smash Alley.

Of course, as anyone who heard The Newlydead’s, or Taimie Downe’s stint in Pigface for that matter, knows that Downe’s tastes started leaning to industrial beats and tempos and S&M visuals long ago. While this isn’t the same Faster Pussycat that put the sleaze in the L.A. club scene, I admire Tamie’s resolve in following his musical heart. The Power and the Glory Hole is not a bad record by any means just a bit different than before, sort of like the friend I mentioned earlier.

Brandon Daviet

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