It's not that
often when a band releases it's debut (and only) album, and
it sounds like a lifespan of work from over a few years!
Cold Shot were from the era in the late 1980's when hair was
sprayed BIG, trousers were tight, and makeup was also for
the girls, believe it or not!! Unfortunately for the band,
by the time they had their album released, Grunge had taken
over the world, and both band and album disappeared along
with a lot of others in the cull. Now, after 20 years
or so after Cold Shot called it a day, original members
vocalist Adam Murray and guitarist Anthony Gallo are about
to embark on another journey for stardom, with bassist Erin
Bartley and drummer Rikki Bagget along for the ride.
This 11 track offering just goes to show how much these lads
fitted into the scene at the time, opening up with the all
balls to the walls, power-chorded 'Juicy Lucy', which incidentally
was used for a certain Brad Pitt's first Indie film 'Across
Obvious L.A. sleaze scene traits are all over as 'Foolish
Pride' takes off, laid back tempo to start with, before the
track breaks into another powerful rocker, very similar to
how Skid Row went about introducing '18 and Life' to the
masses, and with a solo that beefs up the song, they couldn't
go wrong. The only thing that is a bit of a bug bear,
Murray's vocals are just a bit too raspy and high pitched in
places, wince-inducing to be honest to the point that at the
end, it's painfully dragged out. Not to try and be
over awkward, but the vocals again are as rough as a badgers
arse throughout 'Cold Shot', as if he's trying too hard to
get the style that fitted in with the scene that they were
aiming for, though musically, the band have got it spot on
with an almighty drum 'n guitarfest, only to be spoiled by
the off-key squallering by Murray at the death.
'No Time' settles the ears down a bit as the acoustic intro
mellows proceedings, but not for long a a humongous riff
tears the track apart and away they go! There's a hint of
Motley Crue meets Poison here, no doubt Murray trying his
hardest to be on par with each band's singer, and give him
credit, he's got Vince Neil down to nearly a tee! Strangely
enough, the bluesy rocker 'Gimme What I need' is straight
out of early Cruesville, a chest-pumping, all boys together
chorus that gives the impression that this is a blokes song
to bond around. YEAH DUDES!!! 'Bark At The Moon!!' Ma-an,
that opening riff from 'Mine All Mine' just screams out 'OZZY'
so much you'd think they were going to do a cover version of
that almighty 1983 hit from The Prince Of Darkness, it even
has that fast as f*ck tempo which gets the blood rushing
like Valentino Rossi down a straight section of racecourse!
Not quite a carbon copy, but it's damn close, and funnily
enough, it's the best song up to now, and you get to notice
something about their sound is changing, but more of that
later! It should come a no real surprise that Cold Shot have
played with such established acts as Guns N' Roses, Bang
Tango, Bulletboys and the legends that are Motorhead, seeing
as the band's look and sound would complement these acts on
their shows, though what they would have made of Lemmy....?!
By now, there'll be one or two who may think that this band
are just a poor man's Faster Pussycat, trying a bit too hard
to be taken seriously, especially in the vocal department,
because with 'Heart Of The City' they are way too forced and
harsh, to the point where it all gets off-putting.
Even the rest of the band seem to have caught the bug,
sounding tired and lack lustre in parts, so you could put
this track down as one of those 'filler' moments.
'PANAMA!!' That guitar riff and its sound from 'Long Legs',
ma-a-an, have these guys no shame! I know bands are
influenced by others sometimes, but come on, close your eyes
and there's EVH on the 6-string in the studio! Yet again,
funnily enough, this mid-paced rocker hits the spot as
another strong contender as top song on the album. Now
is the time to mention that statement about their
sound. It seems that from this moment (Panama!), Cold
Shot seem to have realised that their music shouldn't have
them sounding like an erection on legs all the time, that
there is a more mature edge to Rockland to explore, and
they've gone for it with arms wide open. 'Captured'
has a lovely rich bass feel to it, Erin Bartley must've been
so happy with his input here, as it is the heartbeat to this
grown-up track, hell even Murray seems to pull back on the
dry, raspy notes and comes across ... normal! The whole vibe
of the album has taken a more advanced, better developed
outlook to it's soul, for example: Poison (Talk Dirty To Me)
- Poison (Stand)! As if to prove a point, the
heart-wrenching acoustic-led ballad 'Without Your Love' is
their 'Every Rose ...' their 'Wanted Dead ...' their 'Mamma,
I'm Coming ...' all rolled into one. It is that
good. Now this IS the best song!!
They just wouldn't let it lie, would they?! 'Higher' kicks
off with so much venom you'd think a rattlesnake had bitten
it's own tongue and thought 'Oh, shit!' and taken a radgie!
The pace is fast and furious throughout, Baggett and Gallo
matching each other all the way on drums and guitar
respectively, the solo as frenetic as he's done anywhere
else here. They can have this one though, as it still
sounds like a band totally in control of themselves and
they're relishing the challenge.
Cold Shot had to start somewhere, and well, it was in the
decadent days of 1988 L.A., so you can't really blame them
for trying to fit in to the scene, which is
'enthusiastically' shown in the earlier part of this album,
but it's in the latter part that you get the better deal
from Cold Shot, where it all came together and gave them a
touch of quality in the process. Other bands would
need to have been going for a few years to reach this
eventual standard, it took one album for Cold Shot!
by: Rob Baldwin