Review: The Rock Pit

30 years after their first album Slammin’ Gladys release sophomore album, the cunningly titled ‘Two’ on Feb. 12th almost 30 years after debut record. It’s an interesting proposition isn’t it – a band you’ve only vaguely heard of reboots and the pressure is on. I mean with only 9 new songs  in 30 years they better be good! 

Opener ‘Toxic Lover’ gets the party started with a song that quite frankly makes you wonder why they disappeared with the onslaught of Grunge? I mean as the bio says “Loud guitar, impassioned vocals, and tight, forthright, emotional songwriting never went out of style. And Slammin’ Gladys always had all of those qualities in spades.”  and that’s just what this is but it’s not Hair Metal – it’s catchy Pop Rock with a little new wave sneer and pop punk attitude. It’s rather good. 

I love the new track – the funky ‘Dragon Eye Girl’ that follows, but again it’s hardly a song that Nirvana fans would have stomped on back in the day, and its good enough to make you wonder why these guys didn’t make a second record back in the day. It’s as much Dan Red as it is Chillis and I imagine good to dance to, if we were still allowed to dance in public. 

From the bio: “For those who know and love Slammin’ Gladys, the 1992 full-length that established the quartet as a band to watch, all of this will sound pleasantly familiar. That album, which was executive produced by Jani Lane of Warrant, was marvelously lascivious and wildly catchy, and is now rightly regarded as a landmark of underground ‘90s groove-rock. The group barnstormed across the country to support the album, earning raves from Metal Edge and launching a music video into regular rotation on Headbanger’s Ball.” 

There’s plenty more to love here though – like the bluesy crawl and melodies of ‘Lose My Mind’; the wonderful bluesy ballad ‘Durango’; the classy mid-tempo ‘Hold Up My Blue Sky’ and the raucous harmonica-dipped hard rocker ‘Lost In Texas’ just for starters. 

Then there’s the wonderful groove of  ‘Light Up’ and the swampy blues of ‘Ice Water’ before the almost Black Crowes vibes that ‘Poison Arrow’ gives out closes out the second chapter beautifully. Those last three songs are simply wonderful nd so different to the opening. 

With a sound smelted with rock, blues, funk and pop-metal, this is classic party fare. Frontman Dave Brooks roars with the best of them and he’s ably backed by guitarist J.J. Farris, bassist Al Collins and drummer Stephen DeBoard. Nice work guys, it might have taken 30 years but this is a fine return (even if that works out at over three year a song)!

by Mark Diggins

The Rockpit