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No looking back,
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This review is from: No Second Take (Audio CD)
Rocky Shades is still probably best known as the frontman of UK glam-metal nearly-runners Wrathchild, who went to the edge then self-destructed in a shower of sparks, mismanagement, record label idiocy and in-fighting.
Now, too many years down the line, Shades is back with the first album from his new outfit, Wildside Riot. And it deserves to raise a few eyebrows.
Very wisely, Shades has kept his motivation and drive intact by surrounding himself with a band of talented, young guns who have helped realise his vision of a band for the 21st century, not exhuming a 20th century corpse. This is about moving forward, not looking back.
Casting superstition to the wind, Shades weighs in with 13 tracks of modern glam metal. Although unmistakeably a British rock record, it's impossible to avoid comparisons with US counterparts. The vibe is rough and ready, very much like a modernised 'Too Fast For Love' or 'Look What The Cat Dragged In', all gonzo riffs, thick and sturdy as an oak tree's roots, stomping drums, wah-ed out solos and rammed full of fists-in-the-air shoutalong choruses ('Wildside Riot', 'That's What Sunday Mornings Are For', 'Glitter Tramps').
There are softer moments too ('Babe I Gotta Go', 'My Paradise') which take the foot off the accelerator, but lose none of the power. There's even a bit of Loverboy-style funk on 'Angel On My Back', complete with some Diamond Dave-style scatting from Rocky.
Sure, there are those who think a bit of fun party metal is all a bit immature and uncool, but if that's how you feel, you're on the wrong page of Amazon. 'No Second Take' isn't going to bring world peace or cure poverty, but neither are Coldplay - and at least Shades isn't pretending anything otherwise. Age, too, has brought a maturity to the party - these days, Shades wants to be here not just for a good time, but for a long time too. So perhaps the single greatest achievement of this album is that, far from trading on past glories and flogging dead horses, it stands up to scrutiny in 2013. Of its type, you'll be lucky to hear many better.