"some music was meant to stay underground..."

Asphalt Valentine - "Strip Rock Roll" (CD)

Asphalt Valentine - "Strip Rock Roll" CD cover image

"Strip Rock Roll" track listing:

1. Never Lose It (4:09)
2. Dirty Little Secret (4:33)
3. It's Not Me (4:20)
4. Hard Life (5:24)
5. Love And Gone (4:08)
6. Don't Come Easy (5:01)
7. Be Your Drug (4:00)
8. Strip Rock Roll (4:21)
9. Down To The Aces (4:26)
10. On That Line (3:10)
11. Bombshell (3:38)

Reviewed by on October 10, 2010

"These upbeat, poppy, sex, drugs, and rock n roll anthems will make suburban teeny boppers feel like they're living vicariously through these long-haired, black leather pants wearing rockers."

Get ready Crue Fest fans, because I'm placing bets now on whether Atlanta hard rockers Asphalt Valentine will be included in the next tour. After listening to their debut "Strip Rock Roll," I can attest to the fact that they not only sound like a young version of Motley, but their mix of poppy, radio-friendly sleaze and southern rock is sure to make them popular among the Hinder crowd. Unfortunately, what is one man's heaven is another's hell, and for those who prefer non-top 40 sounding tracks, Asphalt Valentine quickly becomes a thorn in the side.

There seems to be a movement in the music industry to resurrect the glorious glam of the 80's, which I'm ok with, as long as there's something new too. But Asphalt Valentine doesn't cover any new territory, nor do they really measure up to the bands like Motley Crue and The Ramones, whom they're trying to emulate. And while "On That Line" lyrics "Need a drink, need a smoke, need another line of coke" might have been catchy in 1984, today they sound silly, especially coming from a band whose members aren't old enough to remember the days of 80's excess.

In an era where it's now debated whether Quiet Riot should be considered metal, tunes like "Down To The Aces," with its intro that is really just a watered down version of "Bang Your Head" leave even fans of glam deflated. The addition of rushed vocals make the song a muddled mess.

The one solid track I recommend for fans of classic rock is "Be Your Drug." This isn't the Ramones, but it does have a slightly tangible punk feel to it, and Joe Flynt's vocals are a bit more edgy on this one. The grinding southern rock guitar isn't bad either.

What "Strip Rock Roll" does have going for it is its sing-along ability. There aren't any soaring vocals or strange tempos; in fact most of the tracks sound pretty much the same. These upbeat, poppy, sex, drugs, and rock n roll anthems will make suburban teeny boppers feel like they're living vicariously through these long-haired, black leather pants wearing rockers. Add to that their recent remake of Pink's "Just Like A Pill" and these guys may be destined for a VMA award.

Highs: "Be Your Drug" is a little edgier, with a hint of early punk influence.

Lows: From the shreds to the lyrics to the vocals, everything sounds like it's already been done.

Bottom line: A weak attempt at resurrecting the sounds of Ramones and early Motley Crue, Asphalt Valentine's debut promises to garner favor among young mainstream listeners and ridicule among more seasoned ears.

Rated 2 out of 5 skulls
2 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)