Ready to party like it’s 1988? Well, good! Imagine if DOKKEN and RATT had a love child and BAM! Here’s WRAITH, and their new album Revelation (August 4, Ice Rain Records). Apparently these guys have been around since the Golden Age of Hair Metal but for some reason this is only album number five. Well anyway, if you’re looking for something that plants you squarely in the L.A. Sunset Strip’s heyday, then this is the record for you. Hailing from England yet sounding like the American sleaze/rock metal of the 80’s, this band was clearly born on the wrong side of the pond. Guitarist and sole original member Greg Russell has in his arsenal a slew of riffs, and new vocalist Ryan Coggin does a great job singing over them.
Opener “Lifeline” gets this party started in sexy fashion while “Dream Steeler” is the most DOKKEN-esque of all the tunes on the disc. “Into the Fire” has shades of L.A. GUNS, then “Under the Hammer” embodies a melodic quality that reminded me of something from KEEL’S self-titled 1987 record. If you’re noticing a pattern, that’s OK. The music on this record is extremely derivative. But you know what? That didn’t bother me, whereas normally it would tenfold. I guess older me is just happy that bands like WRAITH still carry the torch for the Old Guard.
“No Respect” has one of the coolest riffs on the record and a kickass groove to go along with it. This was definitely a favorite, no question. “Invasion” is probably the best song on this disc and immediately made me wish I was back in my ‘88 Plymouth Sundance cruising up and down The Pike back in Long Island. The guitar solo is choice, and Coggin sings his ass off. Things get past-paced for “Human Hater” which is a pretty cool tune, though not one of my favorites. Closing things out is the bonus track “Hunted.” WOW!! This song fucking jams!! A textbook essay on How To End an 80’s Sleaze/Glam Album 101, and a perfect way to finish the disc.
All in all I enjoyed my first go-round with WRAITH. Sure there were a couple of cringe-worthy moments, but they were few and far between. However, if they keep this unit together I’m sure they can make more records that take us old-timers back to a simpler time when bands sang and played in tune. The women were hotter, the guitar licks burned brighter, and shows were the stuff of legend. I’d give anything to go back to those days, and while I can’t, Revelation is a great look back into the old times. And that made me smile more often than not while I was listening, cliches be damned. Pick up your copy of this one on August 4 and rock your faces off!
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Hunted”, “No Respect”, “Invasion”, “Under the Hammer”, “Lifeline”