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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

CD-Review: Pleasure Addiction - "Extra Balls"

Beside the guys of Black Rain France isn't really known for bands, that keep the flag of  Hair Metal/Glam-Rock very high. But in 2012 another band, called Pleasure Addiction, showed up and released their debut album "InDependence". I think this album was sadly overlooked by most people, but with the second album "Extra Balls" Pleasure Addiction claim for the attention they deserve.

I have to say I truely loved the debut album. "InDependence" was so full of fun and infectious melodies, it was pure joy to hear it over and over, although it was a bit short (just 8 songs on it). It set the bar very high for a second record. Now with "Extra Balls" it's a bit more difficult.

But let's have a look at the positive things first: Pleasure Addiction really understand what Hair Metal of the 80's was all about: catchy melodies, vocal harmonies, great riffing, virtuoso guitarsolos and attitude. You all find that here in a very American way. It feels like time has stopped and the album was recorded right at the Sunset Strip back in 1989. So for all nostalgic Glam-Rock-, Pop-Metal- (call it what you want) fans it is a pleasure to listen to "Extra Balls". And it is pretty cool to have a band that understands what it takes to be a Hair Metal/Glam band. Nowadays you've all those pseudo bands out there who call themselves Sleaze/Hair or Glam Metal, but all they do is playing powerchords and screaming around like they were a Punk Rock band. I often ask myself: Did you ever listen to all these great bands from back in the days and why they were so successful? Pleasure Addiction did. On "Extra Balls" you'll be often reminded at Poison, Bon Jovi, Ratt and so on. For sure there is nothing new here, but it is still fun listening to it.

The songmaterial itself is extremly catchy and after a few listens you can sing along to nearly every song. The opener "Don't Let Me Down" shows where the journey will take us. It is the perfect party anthem and one of the strongest tracks on the album, although it ends a bit abruptly. Also the first single "Lights & Wonders", as well as the powerballad "Heaven & Hell" and the feel-good-rocker "Hey Boy" are great examples how this kind of music should be played.

But sadly not everything on this album works for me. While the debut album sounded very organic, especially when it comes to melodies, "Extra Balls" is sometimes a step back for me. There are some tracks on here that simply sound too generic and too contrived ("Can't Stand The Heartache", "Starlight Queen"). Sometimes it even feels like they would use a construction kit to compose a track. For example you don't need to put "Whoohoho"-shouts in nearly every single song and also melodies get a bit repetitive this time, especially in the last third of this album. Yes, I think repetitive describes it correctly. Pleasure Addiction copy a bit too much from themselves this time around and also the arrangements of the songs don't sound that different from each other. It is still fun to listen to, but in my opinion "InDependence", as a whole, had a better flow and more unique melodies.

Then you have to get used to Butcho's voice. To be honest, he is not really the best singer, but that's OK for this kind of (party) music. Bret Michaels was also never the best vocalist and nevertheless Poison delivered some great tunes in the 80's. The rest of the band members did a solid job on "Extra Balls" and also the prodution is a bit better this time. This album was masteed by Harem Scarem's Harry Hess and so the quality is good.

In conclusion I just can say that "Extra Balls" is a very decent album that brings back some great memories at the glorious bands from the Sunset Strip. In the first line it is a party album full of catchy anthems. Sadly it gets too repetitive here and there. But that shouldn't stop you from checking this album out. Glam Metal fans or lovers of 80's influenced Hard Rock should give this band a try. 



01. Don't Let Me Down *
02. Can't Stand The Heartache
03. I Love L.A. *
04. Love Refugee
05. Count 1.2.3
06. Hey Boy *
07. Heaven & Hell *
08. Lights & Wonders *
09. Starlight Queen
10. Dr. Addict
11. Fuel For Soul

* best tracks

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