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Warrant: Rockaholic

80's hair metal stars Warrant return on Frontiers Records with their latest release Rockaholic. This one also sees the studio debut of new lead singer Robert Mason (ex-Lynch Mob), and he fits right in here, helping take the band even further from their Jani Lane "Cherry Pie" days to a sound that is more in line with the bluesier hard rock of Lynch Mob or Whitesnake than the glammy metal the band were known for 20+ years ago.

Lots of groove laden, riff rockin' numbers here, including "Sex Ain't Love", "Snake", "Dusty's Revenge", and "Candy Man", as well as the more commercial "What Love Can Do" & "Life's A Song", either of which could have have easily been a hit single back in the day.The guitar work from Joey Allen and Erik Turner is front and center throughout, as the two have channeled their 'Aerosmith raunch' for some meaty licks, which work perfectly against the effective vocals from Mason. For all out hard rockin' party music, you can't go wrong with "Sunshine", a fun tune complete with crunchy, mean, blues metal riffs, heavy grooves, sneering vocals, and catchy hooks. "The Last Straw" even reminds of the early days of the NWOBHM, specifically the first two Def Leppard albums.

I'll be the first to say that I viewed Warrant as more of a poor mans Dokken/Motley Crue/Winger/Bon Jovi back when they first arrived on the scene, but Rockaholic sounds like the work of a band that has been rejuvinated and born again. Though the pop hooks are still there ("Tears in the City" will get in your head and refuse to get out), there's a gritty, blues/hard rock thing happening here that is quite enjoyable. Though there might be a few too many songs on the CD, there's still enough winners on this one to call Rockaholic one of 2011's big surprises.

Track Listing
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

Added: June 20th 2011
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 2547
Language: english

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Warrant: Rockaholic
Posted by Steven Reid, SoT Staff Writer on 2011-06-19 15:00:05
My Score:

Although I did play the Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinking Rich album quite a lot back in the day, by the time that Cherry Pie had somehow managed to dumb down cock-rock (quite an impressive achievement when you think about it!) even I had begun to lose interest in a band that were definitely style over substance. I did dabble with them again with their lacklustre Dog Eat Dog release and the Jaime St James fronted effort Born Again which came after the departure of long time singer Jani Lane. The latter of the two actually was a pretty decent stab at recapturing the early Warrant sound, but when Lane was welcomed back into the fold, things took a turn for the worse and at one stage it looked like Warrant were finally going to hang up their cowboy boots.

Update to 2011 and Lane is gone again, with one time Lynch Mob singer Robert Mason adding a more refined, bluesy edge to the new album Rockaholic. Musically the band, which is once again made up of the line up that first made Warrant a household name - Joey Allen and Erik Turner on guitars, Jerry Dixon on bass and drummer Steven Sweet would appear to be headed somewhere between their 80's beginnings and a more contemporary sound that results in a solid album of good time, but slightly harder hitting songs. Mason is actually the stand out performer on Rockaholic with his voice bringing a maturity to the Warrant sound that Lane never could have, although in truth the songs themselves lack the real killer touch needed to be as memorable as music of this sort really needs to be. It's not that this is a bad album, or indeed that it contains any poor songs, it is just that you can't help but feel that you've heard tracks like "Life's A Song", or "Candy Man" umpteen ties before and usually done slightly better.

Teaming up with the current melodic rock heavyweights Fireworks Records with this album will undoubtedly ensure that Warrant get enough exposure to re-enter the consciousness of the rock brigade, but without a few really top notch songs I'm not sure that will be enough to keep them there. More a stepping stone to reinvigorating their career than the type of monster comeback that we have seen from so many bands recently, you'll need to be a real Rockaholic to stick with this album for any great length of time.

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