Hollywood Hairspray - Volume 5

I've been buying CDs form Perris for more years than I can remember. Back when the Internet hadn't really taken off, they were placing full-page ads in Metal Edge and every couple of months I'd be ringing them and placing an order. They were one of the very few that kept the glam flag flying during the dark days of grunge by either signing bands directly or distributing their independently released CDs. I could always rely on them to provide my glam rock fix.

They've maintained this commitment to the genre by this series of "Hollywood Hairspray" CDs on which they showcase little known bands who take their inspiration from the glory days of glam rock. Whether or not I'd class all of these bands on this, Volume 5, as "glam" or "sleaze" is debateable but there's a nice spread of styles that stops this 16 track CD from getting dull.

"Dancin on My Grave" by Sweet Cheater is pure 80's rock, which is no doubt a sign of the time they spent spotlight dodging in the late 80's. Having failed to make it then, they've been on hiatus for 15 years but 5 of the original members got back together to do a reunion gig. If this track is representative of what they're doing then welcome back boys! Superb vocals, a killer chorus and verses that don't make you wish that they were shorter. Sure, it's a nostalgic little treat but when it's this good, who the hell cares.

It's always good to hear Kory Clarke's distinctive vocals and here he's put them behind the thunder of his new outfit Dirty Rig. These guys are far more sleaze than glam (though even that's pushing the term) and their track "Suck It" manages to marry his trademark snarl to a bruising, track underpinned by an insistent bass line all of which would cause a mosh pit to positively wet itself. If there's more like this on the way and if they finally get some decent promotion this lot would pick up a sizeable fan base in no time and the world would be a better place for it. They tour the UK in September and are definitely worth checking out.

At the more traditional Glam end of the scale we have Irelands very own Nice`n`Sleazy. These guys are complete unknowns, which isn't really surprising as their average age is 16.4. Yes, you read that right. They've either got very cool parents or siblings because this lot wear their influences on the sleeves with they're big lipstick, tousled hair and glittery influences. "Rock `n` Roll Addiction" is one of the finest slices of glam I've heard all year. Superb vocals, great playing, catchy choruses, and handclaps, its sheer glam rock heaven. Even the production is pretty damn fine and to all you bands that settle for a flat, muddy sound, shame on you! This shows how well it can be done. The band has got a live video on Youtube that's accessible via their band site or their myspace page and it's clear this lot know how to have fun. I want to see them live - NOW!

Although those are my personal highlights, there's not a truly duff track on here and the variety will mean that there's something for everyone and definitely worth checking out. However, I'm afraid it's back to Nice'n' Sleazy for me.

by Phil T.

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