ALBUM REVIEW!!!

Posted: September 17, 2015 in Album Review
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W.A.S.P. – “Golgotha” (Napalm Records)

Sometime in the early 90s someone told W.A.S.P. vocalist, Blackie Lawless, that from that moment forward he should write concept albums and make sure every song goes for ages and has shitloads of solos and an over-usage of drum fills. He took that on as gospel and released the epic The Crimson Idol; a self-indulgent story of his debaucherous rise to fame and his detachment from his family. It actually sounds better than it appears on paper and he even manages to say the word “doctor” about 400 times through the course of the album… but that’s not important to anyone but the folks at LGL cos for some reason we thought that fact was worthy of a 20 minute rant on one of our podcasts.

Over the years Blackie and Co. have dished out countless albums of ass-kicking heavy metal meets rock n roll. Just take a look at 2001’s Unholy Terror. All killer, no filler. Listen to the track Hate To Love Me for a tasty sample to see I ain’t talkin’ jive. But I digress. In between his love of concept albums, Blackie decided to go right back to the formula used on their debut self-titled album and he released the brilliant Helldorado complete with charming song titles like Dirty Balls and Don’t Cry (Just Suck). Yeah, it sounds juvenile and it totally was but let’s face it, no one is going to award W.A.S.P. an AMA for their intellectual lyrics anytime soon. They’re W.A.S.P. – a band who jokingly referred to their band name’s initials as standing for We Are Sexual Perverts and whose vocalist happily wore a cod piece with the words “I FUCK LIKE A BEAST” emblazoned on it. Stay classy, Blackie!

Golgotha is the band’s 15th studio album. Yeah, really. I had to double count them as well to make sure but yep, it’s true. They may have gone under the radar for the most part but believe me, there’s a lot of gold to be found in their back catalogue (I won’t mention that horrible period in which Blackie thought embracing the idea of industrial metal would be a great innovative way for the band to move forward… just trust me when I tell you it sucked so don’t cry). With Golgotha though, the band have stuck to the one thing the people love in a W.A.S.P. album; those simple chord structures of D to A to E. Its simplicity is more intricate than most albums cos it takes some serious talent to write albums where you play the same chords over and over again.

Golgotha opens with the track Scream and as it builds and builds, it gets you psyched for a wild ride. A great opener and first listen had my foot tappin’ and I possibly played some air guitar but it wasn’t until the second track, Last Runaway, where the band hits their most melodically best. This song is an absolute killer and repeated listens were all the rage in the LGL office. I’m a sucker for a good melody and this song has it all and clocking in at 5 minutes and 20 seconds, I realised that I can only listen to the song roughly six times an hour. What a bummer.

Shotgun follows and is another upbeat rocker with bitchin’ guitar solos while the song Miss You is the token ballad which is a lengthy one at almost eight minutes long. The solo is like that extended version of Sleeping In The Fire where the guitarist (whoever Blackie has at the time when you see them live, it’s a revolving door in the W.A.S.P. camp) just goes on and on wailing away. This is by no means a bad thing cos the less backing tapes Blackie needs live for his vocals, the better. It should also be noted that six of the album’s nine tracks all start exactly the same way; acoustic mellow intro before the big build up to the power chords. Once this started happening from song four onward, I began thinking “haven’t I already listened to this one?” But nope, it was just how they all start. Good times! The album’s title track finale is an epic seven and a half minute closer filled with every W.A.S.P. cliché you could possibly fit. Well, besides using the word ‘doctor’. Basically, it’s awesome.

It has to be said that the playing on Golgotha is solid. Blackie’s double-tracked vocals sound great and the nine songs are all winners. Okay, so maybe Eyes Of My Maker fell a bit short but that’s only five minutes out of an album that goes for about an hour. Just listen to Last Runaway again, that’s what I do.

Even though Blackie Lawless doesn’t acknowledge his fans when they get their albums signed at meet and greets, I’m still gonna go on record and say that this album is classic W.A.S.P. and while Lawless has matured lyrically, he is still delivering the goods and writing albums that are holding up. Hell, he’s doing a lot better than ex-W.A.S.P. guitarist and co-founder, Chris Holmes and his latest album, Shittin’ Bricks. Seriously, don’t even bother, regardless how good the guitar playing is.

I hearby give Golgotha a whopping 4 blind armadillos in Texas out of 5.

Sawblades, fuck the world!!!

www.nervegas.com.au/w.a.s.p.-golgotha-limited-digipak-edition-cd
www.nervegas.com.au/w.a.s.p.-wasp-golgotha-vinyl-2lp

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