In this issue of G&G: Hollywood Teasze; Stratosphere; Tuff; Plan 9; Silver City Bandits; Bangtoy 69; Prom Queen Starz & Shotgun Messiah

Hollywood Teasze     "No Flakes"

Hollywood Teasze, Germany's glamdolls finally release their long-awaited second CD. It's been two years since the release of their debut "Glamdolls in Toyland". An album that found the way to every glampunk hearts. Their endless touring has increased the interest even more.

When I hold a band's second CD in my hands, there's always a lot questions in my mind. It's been a couple of years, what do they sound like today? Has the band progressed in any way? Have they jumped on any bandwagon? As these questions are bouncing in my head, I put Hollywood Teasze "No Flakes" in my CDplayer. Wow! This release really smokes! Hollywood Teasze has matured in some areas but they still play the poppy glampunk we all want to hear. The music is a little less basic and the lyrics even handle some serious topics. It's still that typical Teasze feeling though.

"No Flakes" is crammed with hits. "Cheerio", "Big Red Tie", "2n-1" and "Lies", should be blasts on the Billboard. "Girl Power" is chosen as the first the first single. It's an ultracatchy song but a rather strange choice since Shampoo had a hit with the original version just a couple of years ago. Despite of that, it's the most obvious candidate. The punkrockers will be completely satisfied with monstrous melodic punktunes such as "Kill 4 Fun", "Aliens" and "Buyologie".

This follow-up is a phenomenal achievement. More mature but still simple punkpop that works better than anything else. I will certainly nominate "No Flakes" as Best album of the Year.

Visit Hollywood Teasze's Website  or   E-mail

 

Stratosphere   "Time"

Stratosphere is one of the more original acts of today. Guitarist Aeriel Stiles was the founder of Pretty Boy Floyd. Stratosphere has not much in common with Stiles' former band though, this is brand new... or old. These retrodelic hippies manage to give the sound of the seventies a twist of the nineties. Stratosphere is post-grunge psychedelic rock with a b image. "Time", "Too Tired" and "Age of Rage" (also recorded by Stiles' former band Rattlin' Bones) are great songs but it's "I Wear the Scars" that raises my eyebrows. A trippy soulful piece that captures the feeling of peace, love and brotherhood.

Aeriel Stiles' guitarwork was recently nominated to the Rock City News awards, he's a astonishing guitarist and songwriter. Vocalist Jeff Alpin, an old friend of Stiles, is budding star. He sings with the heart of Goethes Werther and a soul one step from Nirvana. In some parts, he reminds me of Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder. The Rythmsection of John Binkley and Jay Rezendes creates a groove deeper than Grand Canyon.

Stratosphere is a very competent band with b songs and an image that matches. Is it finally time for Aeriel Stiles to dance out of the shadows? Probably, as Stratosphere will keep your feet moving. Far out...

Visit Stratosphere's Website  or  E-mail


Tuff   Various Albums

"What Comes Around Goes Around"

Tuff was the last of the 80's glambands that got signed to a major label. Following Pretty Boy Floyd, Vain, Britny Fox, Jetboy, Warrant and plenty of others. Therefore it feels like Tuff's debutalbum "What Comes Around Goes Around" ended an era of lipstick fuzz and jolly power. Just months after this release the focus on the sun of L.A. was replaced by the rain of Seattle. The destiny of Tuff was significant for glamrock in general.

I don't why Tuff didn't get an album out before 1991, their history goes back much longer. Eleven years ago when vocalist Jim Gilette (Later Nitro) was replaced with Wisconsin poutin'-pretty-boy Stevie Rachelle, Tuff as we know it took form. As the nineties approached, Tuff developed into one of the biggest bands on the Strip and a record deal with Atlantic was secured. Howard Benson (of Pretty Boy Floyd , Bang Tango and Child's Play fame) was picked as a producer. I had the highest expectations possible on Tuff's debutalbum, their songs and image was superior to most of the bands at the time. In that perspective "What Comes Around Goes Around" was a disappointing album BUT by no means bad! I just don't agree with the direction that Tuff and Benson chose. Lots of the songs on "What Comes Around..." do nothing but show the heavier side of the band instead of the best. "Ain't Worth a Dime", "Spit Like This" and "Good Guys Wear Black" are heavy, grinding and good. They bleak to white in comparison to some of the songs that were left out though. The gorgeous glamrock of "Summertime Goodbye" and "Down on SinnerStreet" would have been peaks on the album but didn't make it (both songs was later released on "Decade of Disrespect". Maybe Tuff was avoiding the Poison-comparisons by choosing this heavier approach? Maybe it was a natural step?

Three out of ten songs are ballads which is too much. "What comes around..." was released as the powerballad-fever reached an absurd climax. I guess "I Hate Kissing You Goodbye" is Tuff's contribution to that strange phenomena. It's a good song but why feature a mediocre Bret Michaels-penned ballad, "Wake Me Up", when you've got an own treasure island of songs? Don't get me wrong, this CD is a very good one. "Ruck a Pit Bridge" is glamrock rebellion at it finest. Stevie Rachelle shouts "Do you wanna, do you wanna go down down!" Yeah, I'd love too! Show me the way. The Rock ´n roll history lesson of "The All New Generation" is the albums most glowing moment, one excellent song which itself make the album worth buying. "Forever Yours" and "Lonely Lucy" are major ones as well.

All in all, "What Comes Around" is pretty impressive affair. If it was the first I heard of the band, I would've probably praised it much more. I can't help but sigh when I look at the tracklist though. There are at least ten songs that should have been there and pushed the album to a ten out of ten rating. One shouldn't judge an album on the songs that didn't make it but on the songs that actually are there, then "What Comes Around" get a well-deserved eight points.



"Fist First"

Tuff's second CD was released three years after their debut, "What Comes Around Goes Around". Drummer Michael Lean and Bassist Todd Chase had both left the band and been replaced with Jimi Lord and Jaime Fonte (later The Mistakes and Pretty Boy Floyd). It contains eight original songs and one cover. Tuff followed the heavier direction started with their first album. Their glamoriented image and music was exchanged for sleazy street rock n roll. I recall that some critics at the time, claimed that "Fist First" blew Tuff's previous album away. I don't agree. "Fist First" is good but a step downhill. "Tied to the Bells", the balladic "Better off Dead", "I Like What I See" and "Good Bless This Mess" are highlights.

This certainly ain't the teenage glamop/rock of early Tuff but if you like sleaze streetwise rock ´n roll, you should get your hands on this - Fist First!


"Religious Fix"

Tuff's third album is pretty much the same as "Fist First". Two songs are added, "Daddy's Money" and "Follow the Loser", of which none is essential. The Package is much more professional on "Religious Fix" than the previous CD. Add the extra songs and you get the feeling of a more mature album.

"Religious Fix" is a hard and sleazy rock ´n roll album. By the way, it also contains hidden track "Makes me Sick"


"Decade of Disrespect"

This 10 years anniversary record was Tuff's last. They dug deep into their personal collection of tuff stuff to describe and show ten years of Tuff (1985-95). Most of the material are livetracks, all of their hits are featured: "Tied to the Bells", "The All New Generation", "I Hate Kissing You Goodbye", "Better Off Dead", "So Many Seasons" and "Ruck A Pit Bridge". I'm not that fond of liverecordings but these tunes really rocks. Even better is "Down on Sinner Street", "Summertime Goodbye" and "Good Guys Wear Black" from their classic 1989 demo. The Two first are pieces of heaven, both would easily make it into a c-90 minutes tape of the best glamsongs of all time.

"Decade of Disrespect" is a fine sum up of a great band. If you like livealbums, this is the Tuff album for you.


"Regurgitation"
This CD was first released as an portugisian bootleg but is now an official album. It contains almost all of Tuff's demos as well as some unreleased livesongs. The focus is on the early demos before "What Comes around" which suits these ears well. "Don't know where I'm going", "School Bell Hell", "Alone Without You", "Want Trouble, You Got it", "Round 'em up", "Money Talks", "Stop Pulling My Chain" and "Put Out or Get Out" are excellent songs and it's a great relief that they finally are released. This album enlightens the capacity of Tuff.

One can't help but wonder what would've happened to Tuff or the musicscene in general, if their debutalbum had some of these songs on it.

All CD*s can be purchased from Stevie Rachelle. "What Comes Around Goes Around"  costs $ 6.00. "FIst First" costs $ 9.00, the others are $ 12.00 . Make all moeyorders and checks payable to: Cheezee Records c/o Stevie. Send to: Cheezee Records c/o Stevie Rachelle P.O Box 371202 Reseda, California 91337-1202, U.S.A. Mail Steve Rachelle for more info.

 


Plan 9    "Dead Inside"   demo

Plan 9 is a fourpiece from Herrljunga, Sweden. The Band consist of Jonny Åska (drums), Turbomas (guitars, vocals), Torpeo (bass) and Reine Raket (vocals, guitars). This demo is a punkrock-injection of 7 songs.

Plan 9 sounds a bit like Swedish colleagues Hellacopters and Backyard Babies. Especially on "Rockaholic" and "Teenage Lament 98". Pretty impressive songs. The Potential of Plan 9 lies within the more melodic glamoriented material though, such as "Rock´n Roll Alcohol" and "Caught in the Act". Premiere glampunk, more songs of that caliber and Plan 9 might be the next rock n roll export from Scandinavia.

Plan 9 has also made a tribute to eighties-glam with covers on Hanoi Rocks, Vain, Faster Pussycat and Dogs D'amour. Their pussycat cover will appear on the Faster Pussycat tribute album on Terminator Records due to release later this year. contact Plan 9: Plan_9@hotmail.com

 


Silver City Bandits demo

After Smack, Havanna Black and The Nights of Iguana, Finland finally has band worthy as processors of Hanoi Rocks. The band I'm referring to is Silver City Bandits, the sleaziest gunslingers I've heard in quite awhile. The band (its) are Candy (vocals), Juha (guitars), Ari (bass), Peki (drums) and Lazzy (guitars).

The Bandits have sent me two demos with three respectively seven songs. The First demo is pretty basic streetsleaze from a pre-mature band. The Latest one though, is one hell of an impressive tape. The songs are catchy riff-o-ramas leaning towards Guns n Roses, Hanoi Rocks, Motley Crue and a more aggressive Rozy Coyote. "Ain't my Way", "Red Light", "Beware of the Dogs" and "Ballroom Entrance" are major songs and will probably earn Silver City Bandits some recognition.

Silver City Bandies has got huge potential and with a few improvements, they'll probably be ready for bigger things. Contact: silver_city_bandits@yahoo.com


Bangtoy 69 "The Demo"   demo

BangToy 69 is sleazy hard rock band from Florida. The band formed in the fall of 95 drummer T.J Storm (ex. Rainbow Bridge) and Traci Lynne (ex. Shotgunn Wedding) decided to start the band both dreamed of. Lead Vocalist Marcus Fraunce (Siege) and bassist Rey Rey (ex. Wicked Wille) were added to complete the line-up.

This three track demo was released this spring. It shows BangToy 69 as a competent but a bit colorless band. They play irreproachable sleazy hard rock but need a ber image to get ahead of the pack. It will be interesting to follow BangToy 69 wherever they're going. Contact: bangtoy69@aol.com

 

Prom Queen Starz    demo

This is the one and only demotape from NYC's prime poseurs that recently called it quits. It contains the best material I've heard in ages. Eventhough the quality is raw, it's impossible to not fall in love with catchy glampop like "Prom Queen Starz", "Boyfriend, Girlfriend" and "Teardrops". These aren't songs but true hits! Kari Mandy Lane has got the sweetest most candycoated voice you'll ever hear. Guitarist Kiki Blast surely knows how to pen excellent tunes.

Unfortunately Prom Queen Starz don't exist anymore. Kiki Blast has resurrected his eighties band - Penthouse. He now uses his real name Dale Fenimore. Maybe Prom Queen Starz were too much glam for their own good? Anyway this is essential material that very few ever will hear.

 


Shotgun Messiah         "S/T"

This one is pretty special to me. A Swedish glam/sleazeband that actually were good, something we wasn't exactly spoiled with in the late eighties. Started out in Skövde as Shylock but later modified into Kingpin (after a comic character in Spiderman). This bands was so outrageous that very few in narrow-minded Sweden took them seriously. The line-up was guitarist extra-ordinaire Harry Code, bazztard Tim Tim and Stixx Galore on drums. Ex. Easy Action vocalist Zinny.J.Zan arrived just before the release of their debutalbum on CMM records, a record company known for their popular schlager- and popartists. Kingpin was the stray dog among Siameses.

This CD was first released under the Kingpin moniker as "Welcome to Bop City" with a mix of which some parts were censored on the international version. The album sold about 10000 copies I think, it should have hit the top-ten but the time and, even more obvious, the place wasn't right. Kingpin changed their name to Shotgun Messiah which was much better for their nasty type of glam/sleaze image. The album was then internationally released on Relatively Records and Shotgun Messiah emerged as one of the leading bands of the late eighties glam wave. Their Motley Crue/Hanoi Rocks influenced music has certainly stood the test of time. I often put their selftitled debut in my CD.

"Bop City" is Shotgun Messiah's "Welcome to the Jungle" a great opener, sleazy with a great refrain. I used to play this song at my school, getting everyone to mosh around the room. (well almost...). "Don't care 'bout nothin" is early Motley Crue, the chorus is heaven for headbangers. "Shout it out" was the single and the video actually scored on MTV. It's a very original sleazesong with a rapverse, great bridge, back-up vocals and Na na na na's. This song helped Shotgun Messiah to get an own identity.

"Squeezin Teazin'" is great glam, provin' that Shotgun Messiah we're ready to take over where Motley Crue went wimpy. "The Explorer" is an instrumental song, a quite boring guitarbased trip. I still haven't figured out if the title hints at the Swedish Vodka with the same name (Explorer).

Side 2 hits off with "Nowhere Fast", making you wanna cruise down decadencia drive. The words "...much rather sorry than safe" pretty much sum up what this band stood for. "Dirt Talk" is the weakest song on the album, cool sleaze anyway. "I'm your love" was a personal early- teenage favourite of mine. It has an excellent melodic verse that make the mediocre refrain seem acceptable. Closer "Nervous" a great glam gem 'bout sexual tension on the first date. Ohh I love it!

Shotgun Messiah was a marvelous band and this CD is as high as they got. We all know what happened. Zinny left, their second CD was a disappointment, they went industry etc. It's shame because Shotgun Messiah deserved to be one of the biggest glambands.