Album Reviews
Band: Cold Shot

Title: Cold Shot

Label: Eonian Records

  

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 The Tracks'!


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!

Review by: Rob Baldwin

 

 

Tracklisting:

1. Juicy Lucy
2. Foolish Pride
3. Cold Shot
4. No Time
5. Gimme What I Need
6. Mine All Mine
7. Heart Of The City
8. Long Legs
9. Captured
10. Without Your Love
11. Higher

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