Friday, February 24, 2012

Blessed By A Broken Heart Kick It 80s Style

The 80s were a decade of excess. It was a decade when everything was bigger, flashier and louder. The bigger the hair, the better. The more outrageous you were, the better. Bands like Poison, Warrant and Bon Jovi were ruling the airwaves and MTV. There were no rules to go by. The guys looked and dressed like girls and the girls at time were manlier than the men. The only rule was to have a good time. That spirit is sorely missing in music today.

The last few years has seen a resurgence of the 80s sounding metal and attitude. A whole generation missed out on those fun times, but bands such as Steel Panther and Blessed by a Broken Heart, or BBABH for short, are trying hard to fill that void. BBABH actually started out as a metal core band in 2003 before shifting gears and sounds in 2005 after adding Shred Sean on the axe. The band then seemed to morph into more of a pop metal style group and it seems to have paid off for them.

They just released a new album entitled “Feel the Power” on their new label Tooth and Nail Records. Lead singer Tony Gambino and his boys do bring back visions of spandex, guy liner and big hair. The solos are flashy, the vocals and harmonies are over the top and the lyrics are kept simple.

Lead guitarist Shred Sean brings such a lethal weapon to the band with his ax skills, yet it’s a mixed bag at times. On some tracks, his solos are at a blistering pace and seem more about how many notes he can play in the allotted amount of time instead of enhancing the song by slowing it down a bit. Sometimes, less is more. Don’t get me wrong, his playing is immaculate and skills are insane and he really excels on many of the tracks.

“Shut Up and Rock” is an excellent example of how awesome this band can be when all the guys are firing on all cylinders. The hooks are sharp, the vocals soar and the chorus is straight up arena rock. The track also has a special guest vocal performance by Dallas Taylor of Maylene and the Sons of Disaster. What would the 80s be without their monster power ballads? Well, BBABH do not disappoint in that field either. “I’ve Got You” starts off with a piano intro before the drums and guitars kick in a third if the way into the song. It’ll have you raising your lighters into the sky in no time.

The band also has a bit of a harder and darker edge at times. Tracks such as “Deathwish” and “Innocent Blood” show that alter 80s personality coming out. These songs seem to show traces of the bands roots in metal core trying to sneak out to play. A bit harder, a bit more aggressive, but still with that 80s flavor ringing through.

As far as the musicianship goes, this band is tight and they sound amazing. If the band is going to stick to the revival of the hair band era sound, then the harness of Shred Sean’s shredding skills needs to be tightened just a bit. The guy is an insane guitar player, but at times his playing overshadows the entire song and swallows it up. That may be the only negative factor about this band and it sounds funny to even say that. How do you tell a guy that he’s too good for the sound you’re going after? It’s almost like being told you are over qualified for a job!

Feel the Power is a really good album from a really good band. I think fans of the old 80s hair band scene will really take to this album. Newer rock fans will also find mutual satisfaction in the songs too. It definitely bridges the gap between the generations. Break out your spandex and aqua net and feel the power of Blessed By A Broken Heart.


KickinAssTakingNames said...

You know I love me some 80's, so I am intrigued by these guys and will definitely check them out. Thanks.

You should look into The Last Vegas if you're not familiar with them. I got turned on to them in 2009 when they opened up for the Supersuckers at a tiny bar/restaurant, and they were awesome! Very 80's-ish and with the glam to go along with it. At the time, they reminded me of early Motley Crue. I told one of the guys in the band that afterwards, and oddly it ends up Nikki Sixx discovered them and produced their first album.

jpdeuce73 said...

Thanks for the tip on The Last Vegas. I will definitely have to check them out!80-ish, glam and Crue inspired......what a combination!!!