CHRIS HOLMES – Nothing To Lose

Chris Holmes - Nothing To LoseFor all of you out there asking “who?” when the name Chris Holmes comes up, he was once the lead guitar player and co-song writer together with Blackie Lawless in W.A.S.P. For seven years and four albums between 1983 – 1990, Holmes was Lawless’ sidekick and musical companion until they fell out and Holmes left the band. He later rejoined the band in 1996 for three more albums and left again in 2001 when he and Lawless once more fell out with each other, but this time the cracks were too big to fix and the two still don’t have anything nice to say about each other. Holmes has numerous times tried to get his own bands together while not with W.A.S.P., but bands such as Psycho Squad have been short-lived projects. Ha also hooked up with former W.A.S.P. guitar player Randy Piper with whom he was in W.A.S.P. with for their two first albums, in Randy’s band Animal, but the album they made, 900 Ib Steam, never went anywhere, because of the fact that it sucked and sounded like a demo tape. Holmes’ alcohol and drug problems also made it hard for the band to function and Holmes was left out in the cold when Piper and lead singer Rich Lewis hooked up with Swedish producer / engineer / song writer / guitar player Chris Laney and fellow Swedes Nalley Påhlsson (bass) and J Koleberg (drums) and released two brilliant albums before the collaboration ended. Holmes then hooked up with Piper and Lewis in their new outfit Where Angels Suffer, but nothing came out of that either. And all of a sudden we get the news that Holmes was about to release a solo album where he was working together with former Motörhead drummer Phil ‘Philthy Animal’ Taylor.

The first sign of life from this project was the video for first single “They All Lie And Cheat” and I must say I couldn’t believe my eyes – and ears – when I first saw that video! Let’s speak of the video first. It has Homes standing with his guitar in front of a drum set and a green screen and the only thing that happens is that a girl walks in and insults him from time to time. Holmes himself is a frightening sight. He has the typical look of a meth junkie, looking more dead than alive. You don’t need to be a doctor to see that the guy isn’t well.  And then the song… Jeez, I thought he must be pulling our chain or something because no musician with any self-respect could release something as horrible and useless like this and be serious about it. I mean, the song, a heavy ballad with some Zakk Wylde influences vocally, could have been pretty good with some guidance from a producer and a real band, but this is just plain awful, untight, unfocused and frankly, this sounds like some new beginner kid playing around. And this is why this review has been a long time coming. Yes, I know that the album has been out since late 2012, but frankly, I couldn’t find the album anywhere where I could hear it until now because after said video, there was no chance in Hell that I would spend a dime on this. At least not without hearing how the rest of the album sounded.

Just like I had expected, the rest of the album is just as horrible as I have feared after his debut video. But the album actually starts out pretty cool. The title track starts the album and there are some good riffing, a good melody and it actually sounds a bit progressive – for a minute or so – then the “singing” starts and the whole thing falls apart. Again, untight and the boys don’t seem to know where the music is going. “All Fucked Up” is just Holmes mumbling some drug crap over a no good riff and then chanting the title for a bit and “Jazz Song” is a metal instrumental that goes nowhere, no structure or melody to speak of – I am also pretty clueless over where the jazz is. But with the song “Way To Be” something happens. The song has some structure, a good melody and a catchy chorus and somewhere in there I hear the man who once helped Blackie Lawless pen the first classic W.A.S.P. album. Again, a producer and a good band could have done something cool with this. But that is the tiny ray of light we get with this album. Also, I’m not sure if this is Philthy playing or if this is a badly programmed drum machine. No matter what, the drumming is horrible and has a lot do with why this sounds so lame and shaky. To sum this up: This is garbage, really, really bad. Holmes can’t sing, hell, he can hardly talk, he can hardly play his guitar, the production is a mess and so is the rhythm section. This isn’t good enough to even use as a demo. This is just sad. And the album title really speaks volumes – only someone who has nothing to lose would release something like this.

Jon Wilmenius (1/10)


01. Nothing To Lose
02. Loser
03. They All Lie And Cheat
04. All Fucked Up
05. Jazz Song
06. Way To Be
07. Down In The Hole
08. Heartbeat
09. Mormon Moron
10. A-flat Minor

15 comments on “CHRIS HOLMES – Nothing To Lose

  1. Uhu. It’s tragic. I always thought of Chris Holmes as a pretty cool dude. And out comes this…

    • I wanted to like Chris’ music because I was a huge WASP fan in the 80’s. But They All Lie and Cheat was so terrible…now I see the rest of the album follows suit!

  2. Calm down, dude, it’s just a review. Not our fault the album sucks. It’s not about who used who or who did what to who. I only wrote what I thought about the album. If you like it, then good for you. But something’s wrong if you take a review personal…

  3. I’m sorry if I got a little vulgar. I respect Chris Holmes because despite going through all the shit that he did like drugs and alcohol he never gave up playing guitar. He’s an awesome guitar player plain and simple. He’s been on a lot of radio shows talking about his new album or talking about how Blackie Lawless screwed him out of publishing rights in W.A.S.P. Blackie actually put Chris as a session guitar player while in W.A.S.P. Chris even told how he had to do construction work because Blackie refused to pay him. If anyone here is a loser and a prick it’s Blackie Lawless. I used to have all of W.A.S.P.’s cds, I destroyed them after learning how Blackie treated not only Chris like shit but all of the roadies as well. Look it up, you’ll read how Blackie has an inflated ego about himself.

    • I respect your opinion dalejrfan. As myself a guitar player and producer, I loved Chris Holmes’ guitar playing when he was with WASP, but now hearing this ‘album’ I must say that this is a disgrace to music in general. Drums are completely out of synchronisation and guitars are not at all arranged as should have been. Chris’ voice? Oh dear God….Chris: stop with the meth and get back to music!

  4. I know about all of that stuff, but what it comes down to is this: Chris says one thing, Blackie says another, I don’t know any of them and therefore I haven’t got a clue of what actually went down between them so I don’t put any effort to any of that.
    However, all of that has nothing to do with this album. I really used to like the way Chris played guitar and after what I have read and heard about him, he seems like a really likeable person, but all of that doesn’t change the fact that this album is no good. Fact is, I haven’t heard one single positive comment about it, no matter where I look, which kinda says something.
    But at the end of the day, a review is only one man’s opinion, nothing more, nothing less and what I write here is only that – my opinion.

  5. I like the video and I think the ”faults” make it what it is. If you ever heard Black Flag’s ”Who’s Got The 10 1/2?” you’ll know that despite the production and purposefully off-key playing, it is a classic.

    It is what it is. A solo record that looks and feels like Chris Holmes.


  6. I’m a fan of music that is played by musicians who can play and sing and if you make an album where everything is off key and basically sounds like an amateur who doesn’t know what they’re doing, then it’s not for me. But cool if you like it, I guess there’s two of you now…
    But no, this does not look or feels like Chris Holmes at all – he’s so much better than this. Or at least, he used to be.

  7. I can’t really comment on Black Flag. I haven’t heard enuff of their stuff and the little I have heard wasn’t to my liking.

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