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CAN U BELIEVE THIS W.A.S.P. JAM???

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In the early ’80s, W.A.S.P. ranked a firm AVOID cuz their jamz reeked worse than their frontman’s drunken caged animal fuck-machine routine. But shut my butt: By fourth album The Headless Children (1989), W.A.S.P. got fully awesome. THC benefits from a roster upgrade (stud Frankie Banali, King Kobra bassist Johnny Rod) and has vestiges of their first phase (dumb songs about living dumb and untamed lol), but really their first classic is characterized by a powerhouse side A, its three peerless epics and a rampaging cover of “The Real Me” by The Who. Its less ambitious second half rips too, spesh this ballad. I love!

Seven years later came the uneven, cheap, and overlooked but awesome Still Not Black Enough, an unrefined blast from frontman Blackie Lawless and crew after the overwrought 1992 opera The Crimson Idol. It’s not promising at first listen: Black Enough‘s cruddy sound, samey composition, and rifflessness kinda indicate a Lawless dismayed by the death of a close family member and exhausted by bringing to bear the unwieldy previous album (and movie I think?). But like THC, the album is a winner via an ace cover, plentiful super-hooks, four mega-ragers, and dramatic use of a Martin Luther King speech that’s at hilarious odds with Lawless’s current politics. “Black Forever” (above) is only one of Black Enough‘s several repeat-button busters (dat first chorus beat!). U jam x1000!

-ADF

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