WARRANT – Rockaholic

Warrant - RockaholicWhen we wrote 1989 / 1990 in our calendar, Warrant was huge, at least in America. With albums such as Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinking Rich and Cherry Pie, they sold millions. Lead singer and only song writer Jani Lane had a way of writing great hard rock tunes that were extremely catchy and ballads that the chicks loved. Producer Beau Hill did a fine job polishing the hardest edges off where the music were too metal for commercial radio. But times were a-changing and when the band released their third and, in my mind, finest album to date, Nirvana and their likes had turned the metal community upside down and Dog Eat Dog flopped. An album too hard for the melodic freaks and for the alternative fans, the name Warrant was an ugly word. They tried to jump on the grunge bandwagon with albums like Ultraphobic (a brilliant album) and Belly To Belly (a crap album), but failed miserably. Lane was the first to leave the band and without their songwriter there was no use to keep on going and the band split. Since then, Warrant have tried several times to reunite, but due to Lane’s alchoholism and drug abuse they became a parody of themselves.

However, in 2006 the original line up minus Lane got together with former Black ‘N Blue frontman Jaime St James and recorded Born Again, a decent CD that contained melodic hard rock, but unfortunately it wasn’t to be, much to the fact that it didn’t have the Warrant sound and sounded just like any old 80’s band. The band tried it out with Lane once more, but Lane screwed it up and the band kicked him out and replaced him with former Lynch Mob / Cry Of Love singer Robert Mason, toured a bit and now in 2011 they released this. Rockaholic is an album much in the vein of Born Again, only better. But still it doesn’t really cut it all the way. Because, even though many of the songs are really good, they all are somewhat indifferent and it’s clear that no one in this band are half the song writer Lane was. But still, there are some cool stuff on here. ”Sex Ain’t Love” is a good 80’s rocker, ”Snake” is pretty heavy, ”Dusty’s Revenge” is groovy on the bluesier side, ”Home” is a killer ballad with no extra cheese and both ”What Love Can Do” and first single ”Life’s A Song” are very good pop / rock songs that in another dimension might have been hits. The ballad ”Found Forever” also has some hit potential. But best of all is ”Cocaine Freight Train”, a hard rocker with a heavy groove that stands out here.

This is a good album and a foundation to build something on. It feels like the guys may have a new start here, they just needs to be a bit more original in the songwriting area. Because even though this is good, it doesn’t stand a chance against their first three albums. Let’s just hope they don’t quit again and gives us a real killer next time.

Jon Wilmenius (7/10)

Tracklist:

01. Sex Ain’t Love
02. Innocence Gone
03. Snake
04. Dusty’s Revenge
05. Home
06. What Love Can Do
07. Life’s A Song
08. Show Must Go On
09. Cocaine Freight Train
10. Found Forever
11. Candy Man
12. Sunshine
13. Tears In The City
14. The Last Straw

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