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Warrant - "Rockaholic" (CD)

Warrant - "Rockaholic" CD cover image

"Rockaholic" track listing:

1. Sex Ain't Love (3:59)
2. Innocence gone (3:40)
3. Snake (3:44)
4. Dusty's Revenge (4:27)
5. Home (3:28)
6. What Love Can Do (4:19)
7. Life's A Song (4:10)
8. Show Must Go On (2:48)
9. Cocaine Freight Train (2:57)
10. Found Forever (4:14)
11. Candy Man (4:04)
12. Sunshine (3:53)
13. Tears In The City (3:34)
14. The Last Straw (4:13)

Reviewed by on September 13, 2011

"...the delivery of tracks like 'Sex Ain't Love' and 'Snake' is so much better than anything from the Jani Lane era that you feel like you're listening to a different band."

As one of my friends recently reminded me, wearing a Warrant t-shirt in school back in the 80's was enough to get a kid beat up. But fast forward to 2010 and there's almost nothing glam or cheesy about Warrant. With the latest release "Rockaholic," Warrant proves that the band is more than just a pretty boy act singing about a love for cherry pie. And even though he came from another glam act, the addition of former Lynch Mob vocalist Robert Mason has changed the landscape of Warrant's sound so much that I'll wager to say that wearing a Warrant t-shirt these days might even become cool.

It's not that the glam is completely gone, or that the songs aren't still basically about sex, love, and rock and roll, but the delivery of tracks like "Sex Ain't Love" and "Snake" is so much better than anything from the Jani Lane era that you feel like you're listening to a different band. The riffs are heavier, the vocals are stronger, and the tunes are addictive. The first four tracks are all great tunes, and though "Dusty's Revenge" isn't quite perfect, the steel guitar reminiscent of Bon Jovi's "Wanted Dead Or Alive" manages to make up for what the rest of the track lacks.

The next four tracks are slowed down, ballad-ish tunes that get a bit draggy, but even though it has an almost new country flair to it, "Home" is a pretty good song. It's a bit sappy, but the chorus keeps it afloat, and those who like ballads will enjoy this one.

"Cocaine Freight Train" carries us out of the melodrama tunnel and the fast tempo guitar provides just the fix we need. This sounds a lot like the more guitar-centric music of Lynch Mob than it does Warrant, which proves to be a very good thing.

Then it's a back and forth between sleazy tracks with lots of guitar and melodic rock ballads that focus on Mason's amazing chops. "Sunshine" is sure to end up on a best hard rock couple's songs list one day, while "Candy Man" is laced with so much sexual innuendo the term “sleaze” serves a double meaning in describing this song.

In the end, "Rockaholic" isn't a perfect album. There are a few moments in the middle that seem to drag, and the more upbeat sleaze tracks are significantly better than the quasi-ballads. But they've managed to combine the best of Warrant's themes and Lynch Mob's musical style to create something that will please established Warrant fans and surprise the haters. If you like sleaze even a little bit, "Rockaholic" is definitely worth a listen.

Highs: Tracks like "Sex Ain't Love," "Snake," and "Candy Man" are fun, upbeat sleaze at its best.

Lows: A couple of the ballads seem sluggish in comparison to the other tracks.

Bottom line: 'Rockaholic,' with its heavier sounds and a killer new vocalist, proves that this is not the Warrant your mother grew up on.

Rated 4.0 out of 5 skulls
4.0 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)