Wolfsbane - Wolfsbane save the world 4/5

Reviewed: 4-1-12


1. Blue sky
2. Teacher
3. Buy my pain
4. Starlight
5. Smoke and red light
6. Illusion of love
7. Live before I die
8. Who are you now?
9. Everybody's looking for something
10. Child of the sun
11. Did it for the money!

"Blaze" Bayley Alexander Cooke - that unforgettable fighter - sure has been through hell and back these past few years, surrounded by sadness, promise and terror. Throughout his solo career, this king of mettle has released some exceptional material. Recently, given all that the man on the edge has encountered in his tragic life, he has really written some affirmative lyrics which inspire and motivate, but for the most part they are serious, subjective, existential and introspective.

While watchin' this guy with Wolfsbane, I have realized that Blaze allows for his "all or nothing" alter ego to shine forth, having been born again in the smoke and red light. With this recusant British band of bad boys runnin' wild, he feels rejuvenated and is all about just having a good time, and living life easy.

If you are familiar with the late-80s Def Jam "live fast, die fast" attitude of these rope and ride rodeo clowns, then this comeback CD 'Wolfsbane save the world' will surely placate and sate, should you have any spare money to burn.

Before he was ever a candidate for being the official frontman for Iron Maiden, this self-professed "Man Cunt" just wanted to celebrate life and live it to the fullest. Until he joined up with Harry and the boys, he just sang about the lifestyles of the broke and obscure. Well, I guess there is always an X-Factor when money talks!

I always viewed Wolfsbane as a mostly mixed vomit bag of Motorhead filth and Van Halen sleaze. Throw in some early Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Saxon, Def leppard, Tygers of Pan Tang, and then haphazzardly toss in classic Queen, The Kinks, The Who, and then add a dash of The Cult, The Damned, and the street cred of Guns 'N' Roses, meshed with that anarchic U.K. punkish charm common with The Sex Pistols, and there you have it - a virtually even virus waiting to spread.

I must admit that I was not a fan when I first heard Wolfsbane. In the late 80s, I initially saw them on MTV's Headbanger's Ball, and I instantly dismissed them. Later, I was very skeptical about this "Fat Bastard" replacing Bruce Dickinson in Iron Maiden, as I wanted that poignant position to go to the unique sonic stylings of Mr. Mike Kiske.

However, if you have ever seen Wolfsbane live, or have heard the CD 'Massive noise injection', then you will understand why Blaze is such a great frontman with his living dedication to whipping the crowd into a frenzy, such that by the end of the set, surely you will not forget what you have just witnessed.

I have come full circle, and I now support all that Blaze creates, with the deepest amount of admiration and respect. When I heard that Wolfsbane reunited and put out the 'Did it for the money!' (EP), last year I was super stoked.

With this full-length - their first in almost 2 decades - The original line-up is fully intact, and this CD just rocks! It is even better than what these greasy mechanics did on their 1994 's/t' CD. In fact, it just might be their best yet!

While ingesting the beautiful dallies, and listening to this CD intensely, you will soon discover that there is something for everyone. Just see how it is done: You have the sexiness and sass of "Teacher" - vocally and lyrically a blatant homage to "Hot for teacher". Then, there are those aggressive, upbeat killing machinations of "Buy my pain" and those shakin' 70s-style crunchy, groovy, and picturesque rhythms from the opener "Blue sky" for fans of early Whitesnake and Thin lizzy.

If you journey back to "a different time... different place... a different destiny to face", then you will feel the fond flashback motif found in the "Smoke and red light". While the somberness of "Starlight" with its moody, bluesy sigh will leave you feelin' a bit dizzy. Here I detect a hint of Warrior Soul mixed with UFO and classic Ted Nugent. "Child of the sun" is the weakest link, but the unchained eruption of "Who are you now?" is much more effectual, especially if you support Deep Purple.

Fans of the aforementioned Blaze Bayley solo material will easily identify with the DIY atomic punk attitude of "Live before I die", and the stone deaf forever feel of "Everybody's looking for something". These cuts along with the closer "Did it for the money!" really remind me of the helpyourselfish bad crazy indolence and innocence of those sleeping my day away dudes in D-A-D. There is even the epic 'Bat out of hell' spawned theatrical "Illusion of love" - a Meat Loaf band based kitsch replete with dual female vocals.

I am fully satisfied with this CD. 'Wolfsbane save the world'... indeed! When I want to reflect on my life, the struggles, the triumphs, and the highs and lows, I will play 'Promise and agony' and 'The king of metal', but when I just want to have a rolickin' good time, and blow off some steam, I will instantly allow myself to be at once bitten, but never shy away from preparing to paint the town red with Wolfsbane and going totally loco!




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