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Monday, August 12, 2013

CD-Review: Mistress - "Loveteaser"

Have a look at this cover artwork, the band name and the title ... what do you think? Which genre could that be? Right, Mistress belong to the flood of new 80's Hard Rock / Hair Metal bands. These guys are from New Zealand. This country isn't known for this US-Hard Rock style, so let's see if Mistress do something new with the genre.

"Loveteaser" is the debut album of this new band and luckily they don't practice this exaggerated sexism too much, like other genre colleagues do it (looking at Nazty Dildos or Cream Pie). So the cover artwork is typical, but the lyrics aren't as flat as you might think. Of course it's far away from being sophisticated, but they are ok.

Like I said Mistress celebrate the Hair Metal of the good old days. Their idols seem to be Mötley Crüe, Ratt, Kiss and more. Positive to say is that they capture this sound and feeling of those 80's Hard Rock bands very well. If you listen to this album you will think this was recorded back in 1985.
This can be good for 80's lovers, but at the same time this is a little problem, because the mix and the production isn't as good as it should be. Especially the drum-sound is very thin. "Loveteaser" is simply not up to the production standards of today and even if they want to sound like an 80's band you can expect a bit more nowadays.You need a good example? Listen to the last song "She's A Sinner" - this one was mixed by Beau Hill, who worked already with Alice Cooper, Ratt and Europe and you hear this immediately. Hill gives each instrument more space and also the drums have a bit more volume, so finally you have a nice transparent production. The whole album should have sound like this. Sadly this isn't the case and so you often think it's just demo material, but Ok, maybe the band wanted it that way - who knows? I don't think it's a matter of money, because musicians like Dion Bayman showed how good a none-budget production can be.

Now let's talk about the songs ... in conclusion Mistress only deliver standard fare, although there are several songs, which come along with good approaches, for example the opener "Rock It Tonight", "Turn It On" and especially the very melodic "Don't Stop Now". The latter is the best song on this album and I would have liked to hear more of that kind of stuff. It comes along with a really nice melody. Of course all the other songs are also melodic, but the songwriting itself is a bit replaceable. That means often you just get one chorus line and a riff, which is played to death and that's it ("Live It Up"). What about well-developed choruses and melodies, which remain in your brain for weeks? You really need this to stand out of the mass of Hair Metal bands nowadays - and this is the next problem: due to the songwriting and production Mistress sound like every other band of that 80's era. There is nothing unique here. On the radio I wouldn't realize if a song of this band is played or if it belongs to another band.

Good examples for doing things right are Beautiful Beast. They sound also very old-school, play the same kind of music, but with so much catchiness that it's just fun to listen to it and you remember each song of them. Or have a look at Steel Panther - this is the same here: they have the good melodies and an updated sound, but they are still pure 80's Hair Metal with a characteristic voice.

Speaking about the vocals: they fit very well to the whole band sound. The voice of Siggy Signal isn't very unique, but he is doing a solid job on the microphone.

So you see there is lots of space for improvement here. Yes, it is the first album of this band, so they are still in development and most bands didn't hit the spot with their first release.
Don't get me wrong: this album definitely rocks and it has its moments where you can see lots of potential - it's far away from beeing junk, but it's also not on a very high level ... solid, standard fare, like I said already. I hope Siggy & Co. will use this review to produce a strong second album, where all those critical points are solved. I'm very looking forward to it.
People, who are into 80's Hair Metal and need more food for their player can give "Loveteaser" a listen. Fans, who hope for new pulses within the genre won't find them here. The following applies: listen first, then decide.



01. Rock It Tonight *
02. Loveteaser
03. Turn It On *
04. Don't Stop Now *
05. To The Top
06. Mystery Child
07. Live It Up
08. Late night Call Up
09. She's A Sinner

* best tracks

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