Review: Defenders Of The Faith

Despite being close to the edge of extinction in the early 90s, it was during these final years that glam/sleaze metal produced some of its finest albums. Among these were McQueen Street’s self titled debut (1991), Alleycat Scratch’s Deadboys in Trash City (1993), Kik Tracee’s No Rules (1991), and the 1992 self titled debut from the cheekily named Slammin’ Gladys. Their first and only album came with an equally juvenile album cover that depicted a woman being ran over by a train. I’m sure you can figure out that innuendo. Band name and album art aside, Slammin’ Gladys were a rock solid sleaze metal band who stood toe to toe with Skid Row, Faster Pussycat, and many other more well known names. But like many others of their era, they were too late to the party and fell into obscurity…until now. 

Nearly 30 years later, Slammin’ Gladys have returned with their appropriately titled sophomore release, Two. Unlike the sleazed out stylings of their debut, Two is a stripped down hard rock album which somehow showcases just about every style except hard rock. You see, Two boasts all the common traits associated with a hard rock album: gritty vocals, raucous riffing, and a four on the floor rhythm section. What makes it stand out is the way these elements are delivered through filters ranging from blues and funk, to soul and southern rock. 

The album opens with the upbeat “Toxic Lover”. This infectious power pop tune draws similarities to Cheap Trick and Enuff Z’Nuff. Following this is the funked up finesse of “Dragon Eye Girl”. With its retro riff and gnarly grooves, it sounds like a lost Lenny Kravitz song, as does “Light Up” which appears later in the record. “Lose My Mind” is a bare bones blues rocker reminiscent of Mk III Deep Purple and one of my favorite cuts on the album. 

“Durango” and “Hold Up My Blue Sky” showcases the bluesy southern rock style of The Black Crowes. While I never cared for The Black Crowes or their particular sound, I will say that Slammin’ Gladys does a better take on it than the brothers Robinson. Speaking of southern rock, “Lost in Texas” is a big and beefy rocker about, you guessed it, being “Lost in Texas”. The Enuff Z’Nuff melodies of “Toxic Lover” clash with a gargantuan guitar riff. As great as all these songs are, my choice cut is “Ice Water”. This badass slab of southern sleaze sounds like if Aerosmith and ZZ Top had a baby! 

Slammin’ Gladys is back and just are just as slammin’ as they were during their initial run. Will it be another 29 years until we next hear from them? I sure hope not. They’d be doing the hard rock world a disservice if this were the case. 

By Joe Miller 

Defenders Of The Faith