Black 'n' Blue band photo

BLACK ‘N BLUE – Hell Yeah!

Black 'n' Blue - Hell YeahBack in 1984 when I was just a snotty teenager, I saw a picture of Black ‘N Blue in a magazine. They looked like a less extreme version of Twisted Sister and I though to myself ; ”This is probably a good band” and bought their self titled album. I’ve been a fan ever since. Turns out that B’NB had landed a major deal with Geffen records who hooked them up with producer Dieter Dirks (Scorpions, Accept). The year after they released their Bruce Fairbairn produced second album and magnum opus Without Love and I was sure that this album was gonna break them into major league. It didn’t. After two more albums, Nasty Nasty and In Heat, both produced by Gene Simmons of Kiss, they split. Despite being a great band with four great albums under their belt, they never got their well deserved break and they are now most famous for the fact that their guitar player Tommy Thayer now is Ace Frehley’s replacement in Kiss. One or two might mention that singer Jaime St James made one record with Warrant as Jani Lane’s replacement. Sometimes talent just isn’t enough.

So now they have reformed with Shawn Schonnenschein as Thayer’s replacement. In fact, they reunited way back in 2004 and this album has been ready for release since 2005 but has been delayed due to contractual reasons. Still, the same old question, when it comes to old reunited 80’s bands that never went anywhere, has to be: Who is gonna buy this album when no one ever gave a shit, even back in the 80’s? Anyway, the album is here and it is a damn good one. If you were a fan of the band, you won’t have anything to complain about here. The sound is a mix between their debut and In Heat and the songs have the catchiness of Without Love, although not as commercial. ”Monkey” is an ok opener, heavy, but it could be better, ”Target” is a killer, catchy but crunchy, ”Hail Hail” is one big cliché, but still a great song with a cool groove, ”Fools Bleed” is awesome with an early Def Leppard twist and ”C’mon” is hard rocking and pretty cool, although half of the song is totally ripped off from Thin Lizzy’s ”Are You Ready”. One of the problems with this, and many albums, is that it is too long with too many songs. That’s why pointless, boring stuff like  ”Angry S.O.B.” should never have been recorded. The same with dumb stuff like ”Jaime’s Got The Beer”, ”Trippin’” and ”A Tribute To Hawking”, short pieces of music in between songs. There’s no need for them and no one cares about them, so why bother putting them on here? Well, that’s trifle stuff, but I couldn’t help but point that out!

But there’s more goodies here. ”So Long” is a catchy piece, the title track sounds like it is right off their debut, ”Candy” is dirty and sleazy and the lyrics are great and tongue in cheek, some kind of porn poetry. How about ”She’s got style, she’s got grace, she’s got candy all over her face”?. Yes, it’s right out of High School, but hell, I love it. ”World Goes Round” is a bit slower and falls a bit out on the side here, but it is a killer song.

Where Black ’N Blue will go after this album, I don’t know, because I can almost guarantee that this album won’t top any charts anywhere, no matter how good this album is. But I would love to see them on tour because of the fact that this kind of music will be perfect for the stage, and I really hope that they stick together and try their best to make a long-lasting career out of this. In my universe, the world needs Black ’N Blue. At least I do.

Jon Wilmenius (8/10)

Tracklist:

1. Monkey
2. Target
3. Hail Hail
4. Fools Bleed
5. C’mon
6. Jaime’s Got the Beer
7. Angry Drunk Son of a Bitch
8. So Long
9. Trippin’
10. Falling Down
11. Candy
12. Hell Yeah!
13. World Goes Round
14. A Tribute to Hawking

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