WASP are one of the 'Hair' bands that have lived in the neighbouring street to me for many years now. I say neighbouring as I have only dipped in and out of their music the last 25 years or so, never being in it for the long run with them. Its like living near a rough area. You know where it is but you don't want to go there, unless you really have to. Thats been me and WASP over the last 20 years. They always seemed a novelty band to me, but so what, so are KISS. As long as the music is great, you can have whatever gimmick you like, and in WASP's case, they had gimmicks by the shitload. (Exploding cod-piece! Explicit song titles *uck like a beast, fans thowing slabs of meat onto the stage, and so on, etc.) Gimmicks however good though will only take you so far....
A long time has passed since they were one of the eponymous LA bands to emerge out of Sunset strip alongside Ratt, Poison, Crue, Van Halen etc. Who can forget one of THE celluloid images of the 80's with Chris Holmes getting absolutely shit-faced in his swimming pool whilst his mum sat back watching her son self-destruct (Decline of Western Civilisation)
Again I seem to be writing about long lost bands from the 80's. Unlike the others, WASP never really went away to begin with. Here we are, eighteen albums in with Dominator. Title alone, you'd expect Blackie's usual subversion of women, or even some other mammal!! No! Blackie Lawless has gone all political on us with an attack on his own US Governments Imperialism. Obviously a patriot, Blackie sticks the knife in Bush, US administration handling of Iraq War and New Orleans disaster. Basically he sees the US Government being the Big Bully, using their size and weight to Dominate the smaller guy
This is without doubt their best album of recent years AND one of their best. Period!
Dominator delivers the metal goods alongside a truly moving melodic ballad. 'Mercy' starts with a growling galloping riff switching to melodic (Typical 80's WASP). 'Long, Long Way To Go' has a thunderous drum playing that never lets up for the whole song. 'Take Me Up' is more of your melodic offering suited to the US radio market, with a bit of a Led Zep style bridge thrown in for good measure. 'Heaven's Hung In Black' is the song by which Blackie is hanging his hat on to make this album stand out from other political releases. The longest track on the album about a dying soldier refused admission to Heaven because there is no more room from all the other war casualties. It is reprised later on towards the end of the cd. Some may feel that this is a little slow compared to the rest of the album, but us such a standout track it deserves its place
WASP have an album chock full of riffs, melodies, crunching solos, pulsating rhythm, and most of all Blackie's trademark vocals. Definitely the best album they have produced in quite some time. Essential WASP! Don't miss 'em on tour in the UK late '07