Once upon a time, way back in the mid-Eighties, a hair band called Diamond Rexx wreaked havoc with its glammy brand of Alice Cooper-meets-early Motley Crue metal. Hailing from Chicago’s dark side, these guys (with names like Nasty Habits and S. St. Lust) sang about drugs, sex and death for Island Records. No, I don’t remember ’em, either.
The band took a self-imposed hiatus during the grunge years, reforming in 2001 with a slightly altered lineup to record The Evil – a heavy, sludgy record with songs about oppressive governments and pedophilic priests. I don’t hear much Alice Cooper or Motley Crue influence here. Instead, The Evil has more of a Nineties vibe to it – ironic since members of Diamond Rexx supposedly called it quits the first time around because they thought their sound was no longer relevant. The Evil is even more bizarre when you consider the fact that Gary Loizzo, who engineered many records by Styx (!), co-produced this project. Nevertheless, these 11 songs lack all pretenses of Styx pomp and pound with a relentless yet melodic thud.