A 21st Century hold out of classic 80s era Hard Rock.
Despite an ever growing metallic shift as I get
older wiser, there will always be a place in my inner core for well-played 80s Hard Rock. With a pedigree of Rock veterans TOKYO MOTOR FIST’s 2017 S/T debut album is about as good as it can get. A guilty pleasure coalescence of shameless guitar soloing, sappy lyrics, and bottomless hooks.
Remember DANGER DANGER? or TRIXTER? Well, once, long ago, these bands (along with many others) saturated the airwaves. It was a time before grunge and alternative turned commercial Rock into an angst-fueled mess of social commentary and boil-over rage. 80s Rock was all about endless partying, getting laid, and, generally, just having loads of inappropriate fun.
Vocalist Ted Poley (DANGER DANGER), Guitarist/Vocalist Steve Brown (TRIXTER), Bassist Greg Smith (Joe Lynn Turner), and Drummer Chuck Burgi (RAINBOW) join forces for this semi-super group. The name ‘Tokyo Motor Fist‘ may remind of some kind of Japanese S&M Nu-Metal act, but I assure you it’s pure and easy Hard Rock.
Rock music is first and foremost about
sex ear-worm melodies. Opener “Pickin’ Up the Pieces” imbues the best of a SURVIVOR/NIGHT RANGER styled super hit. Just listen to those vocal harmonies and that shred.
Thankfully, with most of these 11 tracks hovering around the 3-4 minute mark any misses are quickly swallowed up. “Shameless“, “You’re My Revolution“, “Put Me to Shame“, and “Done to Me” are solid Cock Rock would have been classics.
An inevitable consequence of this genre is an over dependence on the so-called “power ballad”. Tracks like “Love“, and “Get You Off My Mind” offer potent examples of why the past should (even with the best of intentions) probably stay in the past.
Yet, “Black and Blue” and “Don’t Let Me Go“, at least, offer up something any self-respecting man could play to his wife/girlfriend. –Did I mention getting laid?
If you can stomach the cheese and sappy balladry ‘Tokyo Motor Fist‘ is a commendable way to revisit the 1980s without the bad hair and horrific fashion sense. Call it practicing “safe 80s Rock”.