Yep, I did it. I’m throwing up a post about Warrant. So, word on the street, and by street I mean the hair metal shit shoots I have with Mike, is that this album is considered by many high brow critics as Warrant‘s best work. I KNOW. GTFO, right? Since Jani Lane’s tragic passing last week, I thought it would be warranted (bata bing) to feature the fellas on Throwback Thursdays. I honestly think Jani Lane’s biggest drawback was looking too much like Brett Michaels. In fact his pretty boy image, perhaps overtly zealous affection for acoustic balladry and genuine rock n’ roll songwriting talent made him more Brett Michaels than Brett Michaels. Brett was diet Lani. Don’t get me wrong Rock of Love 1 & 2 are my favorite low brow TV trainwrecks. Interestingly, Brett’s public life almost seems to validate Warrant, who at their core were a bunch of great musicians to begin with. Can a hair metal band be tr00?
“Machine Gun” proves that, though Cherry Pie was partially the result of a strong corporate push, Warrant is inseparable from traditional hair metal subject matter. I’m not sure but I think using violent imagery as sexual metaphor is probably my favorite thing since the invention of Bagel Bites.
“Hole in My Wall” is a great illustration of just how many motifs grunge bands took from metal while at the same time dragging it through the mud, forming their pop culture identities very much on what they were not. The track illustrates this irony in that it could easily fit on a Soundgarden album if Chris Cornell was simply wailing over the top of it.
This is track lulls you in for about the first 20 seconds and kicks into high gear with a ballsy 80s flair. Great riffing, amazing chorus hook, heaviness, and chicks still dig it (in the 80s). It’s arguably the perfect hair metal song. The kind of song that would make you impulse buy a Harley. Switch off guitar solos. Right back into the chorus hook. Best song on the album. Hands down.
This tracks effect-laden chords of “All My Bridges Are Burning” scream eighties but Jani’s more subtle vocal approach and what sounds like more mature lyrical content ominously signify the onset of the 90′s. Motley Crue may be more OK to like since they used pentagrams and stuff but these dudes could actually tell their instruments from their own buttholes.
Aaaaaand then there is of course “Bitter Pill”. This is twice the ballad that “Heaven Isn’t Too Far Away” was. RIP Jani Lane. I’ll take this over the garbage Aerosmith paid other people to write towards the end of their careers. You can take that to the bank, bro.