In the late 80s, hair metal was all the rage. It seemed that every other day a new glam band was hitting the airwaves with their latest single. We all remember the well known bands—Motley Crue, Poison, Warrant, Cinderella—the list goes on and on. But what about the lesser known acts? What about the bands that were on the cusp of greatness and for some reason could not break through to the next level?
Here are five great hair metal bands from the late 80s that just missed out on being part of the upper stratosphere of hair metal greatness.
Dangerous Toys burst onto the scene with their self-titled debut album in 1989. On the strength of their hit single “Scared,” the band gathered a large following on Dial MTV as well as rock radio mediums. With their redneck play on hair metal, Dangerous Toys was a beloved band. Their sex-tinged songs like “Sport’n A Woody” and “Take Me Drunk” combined with the fast, intense playing of Scott Dalhover and Jason McMaster’s unique voice made them fan favorites amongst the hair metal scene. The tongue in cheek, humorous lyrics also worked to the band’s advantage and were found somewhat innovative during the time.
Hailing from Austin, Texas, Dangerous Toys developed a cult following on the strength of their eponymous debut. In 1991, during the early stages of the grunge explosion, Dangerous Toys released their sophomore album, Hellacious Acres. While not doing much worse than their debut album, Hellacious Acres failed to be the follow up album that Columbia records expected. The album dropped off the charts after 9 weeks.
Several personnel changes and two more albums would follow (Pissed and The R*tist 4*merly Known As Dangerous Toys) but neither charted and the band was all but forgotten by both die-hard and casual fans alike.
Where Are They Now?
Singer, Jason McMaster tried to keep the Dangerous Toys name alive, but after the release of their live album in 1999, even he had to admit that it was time to move on. In 1999 he formed Broken Teeth with former Dangerous Toys guitarist, Paul Lidel. Lidel left the group in 2006, but McMaster still sings for the band. Their latest album is 2010’s Viva La Rock, Fantastico. McMaster is also fronting the heavy metal band Ignitor.
Drummer Mark Geary and bass player Mike Watson formed the Austin based band, Proof Of Life.
In 2008 all the original members of Dangerous Toys reunited for their 20th Anniversary show in Austin, Texas. The band performed a two hour gig that while not well attended (approximately 200 fans) was well received by critics and fans alike.
Rumors exist that the band still gets together annually to perform live shows. Perhaps they will be asked to perform at a future hair metal festival.
Did You Know?
After the release of their second album, Dangerous Toys was the opening act for the Judas Priest/Motorhead/Alice Cooper tour. The tour was a complete failure and was cancelled 10 weeks in.
Formed in 1989, the Electric Angels were a Hollywood strip, sleaze band that did not get even close to the amount of recognition they deserved. Their self titled debut album still holds up to this day as an incredible glam metal record. After moving to New York City, the band signed with Atlantic Records and recorded their self-titled debut. The album was released in 1990 just as the fall of the era of glam metal had begun. Unfortunately, the timing for Electric Angels was catastrophic, and Atlantic did almost nothing to support the band or the record.
Where Are They Now?
Guitarist Ryan Roxie went on to record for Alice Cooper and Slash as part of Slash’s Snakepit. In 2005, he started blogging and hosting a podcast called, The Big Rock Show which he still hosts to this day. At that time Roxy also moved to Sweden, where he currently resides. He has released two albums, Peace, Love and Armageddon & Two Sides To Every Story with this band Roxie 77.
In 1995, lead singer, Shane, bassist Jonathan Daniels, and drummer John Schubert formed the band, The Loveless. They released one album, titled A Tale Of Gin And Salvation. Reviews of the album were favorable, but fans did not flock to buy the record and the band split up soon after.
In 2000, Electric Angels performed a one off reunion show for The Tour Bus. The band has not performed together since.
Did You Know?
Electric Angels recorded a sophomore album titled, New York Times that was never released.
Formed in 1987, Junkyard was a sleaze glam band that was poised to take off in the world of metal. They released their self-titled debut album in 1989. Fronted by the insanely talented David Roach, Junkyard’s eponymous album produced a modest hit with the song “Simple Man.” The ballad of the album, “Hands Off,” was another classic Junkyard song that fans of the band loved.
Unfortunately, Junkyard hit multiple walls when hair metal gave way to grunge, and their second album, Sixes, Sevens, And Nines succumbed to the sophomore jinx. After the fatal collapse of that album, the band disappeared and was not heard from again until the dawn of the new millennium.
Where Are They Now?
Guitarist Brian Baker has been a member of Bad Religion since 1994 and regularly records and tours with that band.
In 2007, lead singer David Roach joined local band, Dealer.
In 2008, Junkyard put out a CD of unreleased material that was recorded in 1987. The songs were from the original demos the band used to get signed with Geffen records. A short tour followed the release of the album.
In 2009, Junkyard was schedule to perform at the inaugural Rock Gone Wild event in Iowa which was cancelled due to financial issues. The band has not been heard from since and it is not known if they are working on any new material or have any plans to tour.
Chris Gates, lead guitarist and main songwriter for Junkyard has released a new southern rock CD with his band Chris Gates & Gatesville. The new CD is called Welcome to Gatesville.
Did You Know?
Junkyard recorded their third album in 1992, but the album was never released. The band split up shortly after recording the album.
In 1990, just a little late to the hair metal party, Love/Hate released their stellar debut album, Blackout In The Red Room. Backed by the popularity of their strong single, “Why Do You Think they Call It Dope?” Love/Hate got some instant recognition and developed a strong fan following. After touring as a support act for Dio and then AC/DC, Love/Hate went into the studio to record their sophomore album, Wasted In America.
When sales of Wasted In America failed to meet Columbia’s expectations, the band was dropped from the label. Love/Hate went on to record Let’s Rumble at their own expense. The album was picked up by BMG Records for distribution. Unfortunately for Love/Hate, the release of the album was delayed several times and by the time it was released, sales were poor.
Love/Hate would go on to record three more albums (I’m Not Happy, Livin’ Off Layla, and Let’s Eat) but none of them would match the initial success of their debut album. By 2000, with the release of a greatest hits compilation, the band had gone their separate ways.
Where Are They Now?
Lead singer Jizzy Pearl joined LA Guns in 1999 and remained there until 2002 when the band decided to reunite the original lineup. Pearl then joined Ratt as their lead singer until 2006 when original singer Stephen Pearcy rejoined the band. Pearl went on to release two solo albums, both of which failed to chart. Jizzy rejoined L.A. Guns (with Tracii Guns) in 2009.
Guitarist Jon E. Love is now a music producer in the Southern California area. He occasionally performs with two bands, The Hard Rock All Stars and The Dirty Rats. He has also worked scoring major motion pictures.
Love/Hate reunited in 2007 for a one-off show that was held at Club Vodka in Hollywood, California. Although the band had a great time with that performance, no reunion came out of the performance. Currently there are no plans for a reunion, or Love/Hate shows of any kind.
Did You Know?
Lead singer Jizzy Pearl has written three books — two novels and a book of short stories.
Steve Stevens Atomic Playboys
Moving forward from his stint as lead guitarist for Billy Idol, Steve Stevens formed Steve Stevens Atomic Playboys in 1989.The band consisted of Steve Stevens on guitar and bass, Perry McCarty on vocals, and Tommy Price on drums. Atomic Playboys did not fare well either critically, or commercially and it is the only album this band released. Usually referred to as a Steve Stevens solo album, there were plans for the band to tour and produce future records that never came to fruition. Led by the amazing vocals of Perry McCarty, and filled with brilliant guitar work by Stevens,Steve Stevens Atomic Playboys is one glam metal album that needs to be added to your collection.
Where Are They Now?
Steve Stevens tried to release a couple of solo albums in the mid-nineties that met with neither critical nor commercial success. In the early 2000s, he rejoined with Billy Idol for whom he still does guitar work. He is currently in the studio with Billy Idol working on Idol’s next studio release.
Perry McCarty went on to record a demo with Robbin Crosby of Ratt after Atomic Playboys disbanded. In the mid-nineties, he rejoined his original band, Warrior, and they released an album in 1998.
Did You Know?
Artist H.R. Geiger, best known for his visual effects work on the movie Alien, did the cover for Steve Stevens Atomic Playboys.
Did you miss the Hard Rock Hideout Radio Show this week? If so, not only did you miss a killer set of tunes, but you also missed our interview with Dangerous Toys / Broken Teeth front man Jason McMaster! You can listen to the Hard Rock Hideout Radio show every Wednesday night at 9 P.M. CST at KACV FM 90 in Amarillo, TX, and ONLINE at www.kacvfm.org!
Check out the play list from Wednesday night’s show below.
For Those About To Rock – AC/DC
Mission To Rock – Cockpit
Heavy Metal Love – Helix
Never Enough – Kiss
Fire Woman – The Cult
Radioactive – The Firm
Make You A Believer – Sass Jordan
Sublime – Mike Farris
Shake Me – Taddy Porter
Listen Close – Maylene and the Sons of Disaster
All Night Long – Buckcherry
Next To You – Buckcherry
Highway Star – Buckcherry
Feedback & Distortion – Snew
Viva La Rock Fantastico – Broken Teeth
Blackheart – Broken Teeth
Big Spender – Broken Teeth
Hard Luck Champion – Dangerous Toys
Blood On The Radio – Broken Teeth
Ain’t The Summer of Love – American Dog
Blonde, Bad, & Beautiful – Airbourne
Eat You Alive – The Driving Conditions
Ride With Yourself – Rhino Bucket
I’m With The Band – Stone Gods
Man About Town – Rose Tattoo
I’m So Bad (Baby I Don’t Care) – Motorhead
Knock It Out of the Park – Snew
Back In The Sun – Automan.ca
Let Me Hear You Scream – Ozzy Osbourne
I Wanna Be Your Man – Endeverafter
Save Me – Taking Dawn
Never Enough – Black Tora
No Friend of Mine – Bruce Kulick & John Corabi
Always The Pretender – Europe
Keep On Keepin’ On – Danger Danger
Shine – Mr. Big
You’re So Beautiful – Def Leppard
What A Shame – Tesla
Heaven Sent – Hinder
Golden Frame – Adrenaline 101
In Case You Didn’t Know – Lynam
Power Pack – Snew
Goodbye Rock N’ Roller – Kristy “Krash” Majors
Singer Jason McMaster will be the special guest on tonight’s Hard Rock Hideout Radio show!
McMaster joins DJ Brian Basher to talk about his great new CD, Viva La Rock Fantastico from Broken Teeth, and a whole lot more.
Tonight’s show will also feature a brand new song “Back In The Sun” from Automan.CA, and three songs from the Hard Rock Hideout Pick of the Week, SNEW’s We Do What We Want.
Hard Rock Hideout Radio is a weekly radio program at the 100,000 watt KACV FM 90 in Amarillo, TX.
The show is broadcast live every Wednesday night from 9 P.M. – 12 A.M. CST and can be listened to online at www.kacvfm.org
I have been a fan of Jason McMaster for a long time. From Watchtower, to Dangerous Toys, to Broken Teeth, I have pretty much enjoyed all of the bands he has performed in. With that being said, it is hard for me to believe that Broken Teeth has already matched the number of studio releases as Jason McMaster’s other band Dangerous Toys, but they have done just that. With their latest release, Viva La Rock, Fantastico, McMaster and company may have released the finest Broken Teeth record to date.
Viva La Rock, Fantastico sounds as if Broken Teeth walked into the studio and performed the same kind of high energy set that they do live. It is a no frills hard rock effort cram packed with crank worthy tunes to help you get your party started.
Viva La Rock, Fantastico explodes out of the gate with fast paced rocker “Blackheart”. The Motorhead like feel to this tune instantly had me wanting to play the air drums. “Exploder” delivers that one-two punch for this CD. If “Blackheart” didn’t reel you in, “Exploder” will get the job done with its breakneck rhythm and energetic riffs.
At this point Viva La Rock Fantastico is merciless with its high-speed tunes. You don’t get a moment to catch your breath until the song “Break the Spell”. This tune does a very good job of breaking up the pace with its AC/DC inspired riffs. This song may lack in originality, but Broken Teeth deliver it with such conviction, you will hardly care. McMaster’s razor-sharp vocals, and the riffs of Tuten & Beeson are damn near perfect here.
Jason McMaster has made no secret that he is a fan of Danko Jones. The song “Twister” has similar pacing as some of Danko’s previous work. Borrowed ideas or not, “Twister” is one hell of an infectious tune.
The guitar riff on “Back On The Road” is so insanely catchy that I consider this song, one of Broken Teeth’s best. I can’t this song out of my head.
Much like “Twister” before it, “Bullet” also that similar guitar rhythms as Danko Jones. This is another fun tune that I like a lot.
Danko Jones sings on the title track “Viva La Rock, Fantastico!”, as well as the following tune “Big Spender”. The end result are two classic Broken Teeth songs that make Viva La Rock Fantastico a must own record for all Danko Jones, and hard rock fans alike.
If you like your hard rock raw, and not over produced, you are going to love this CD. The songs are fairly short in length. What they lack in length, they deliver in punch. Viva La Rock Fantastico is one of my favorites of 2010. Don’t miss this!
You can purchase your own copy of Viva La Rock Fantastico at this link.
Rating: Out of 10
3. Spitting Nails
4. Dressin’ Up In Flames
5. Break The Spell
7. Back On The Road
8. All Hail The Altar
9. Get Outta Here Alive
11.Viva La Rock, Fantastico! (Featuring Danko Jones)
12.Big Spender (Featuring Danko Jones)
13.Ride Upon Glory
Broken Teeth is:
Jason McMaster – Vocals
Bruce Rivers – Drums, Backup Vocals
Brett McCormick – Bass, Backup Vocals
Jared Tuten – Guitar, Backup Vocals, Percussion
David Beeson – Guitar, Backup Vocals
Jason McMaster from Dangerous Toys and Broken Teeth has take over as vocalist for the Austin, Texas metal band Ignitor. Check out the clip, “Construct of Deconstruction” below. Their new album, The Spider Queen, will be in stores October 13th. Check them out on myspace, at this link.
In the studio and sweating blood, Broken Teeth is hammering out a new album that will crush like an anvil when it lands at the end of the year. Titled “Viva la Rock Fantastico!” and featuring guest vocals by Canadian rock-n-roll killer, Danko Jones, the album is a fireball of scorching new tracks, including “Exploder,” “Spitting Nails,” “Blackheart” and the spiked-with-tequila title track. As always, Broken Teeth will screech their rock-n-roll sermon to the metal church faithful when “Fantastico” ignites a case of road-hard, white line fever across the U.S.A. and beyond. If you bow at the altar of Rose Tattoo, AC/DC and Rhino Bucket, you’re gonna scream for Broken Teeth!
Check out the Broken Teeth clip, “Roll Over” below.
Quite a few bands have mentioned Watch Tower as one of their influences. Watch Tower’s impact on progressive rock and metal can be heard on their debut record, Energetic Disassembly.
This CD is a fairly short listen, clocking in at under forty minutes, but it is definitely worth the time spent.
Not only did Energetic Disassembly launch the careers of Jason McMaster (Dangerous Toys/Broken Teeth) and Billy White., it also influenced the sound of many future progressive metal acts, including Dream Theater.
This Texas quartet’s music is best described as technical thrash. Think early Metallica style thrash with a bunch of progressive style time changes. Those of you who are familiar with Jason McMaster’s work in Dangerous Toys, have never heard him sing like this. Most of his vocals are sung at a higher, ear splitting register. His vocal approach was a lot more common by the speed metal acts of the 80’s.
The musicianship is nothing short of stellar on this disc. Not only does Billy White’s guitar work shine on this disc, but Doug Keyser’s bass work really stands out. Watch Tower’s sound may be a little on the experimental side, but fans of early 80’s thrash, will most certainly like this. If there are any downfalls with this disc, it would be with the production. The production quality is a little on the thin side, but this doesn’t hurt your listening experience.
Those wanting to hear one of the early pioneers of thrash metal music need to seek out Energetic Disassembly. This disc was out of print for quite some time, and was recently reissued by Rockadrome. It can be purchased from CD Baby.com. Check it out!
Rating: Out of 10
1. Violent Change
3. Tyrants in distress
4. Social Fears
5. Energetic Disassembly
6. Argonne Forest
7. Cimmerian Shadows
Jason McMaster / vocals
Billy White / guitar
Doug Keyser / bass
Rick Colaluca / drums
Dangerous Toys is a band that I always thought would be a good poster child for sleaze rock. I have picked up all of their CD’s over the years and I have never been let down by any one of them. I always know that I will get a disc full of hard driving tunes with great vocals.
On Pissed, Jason McMaster delivers the goods once again, and Paul Lidel sounds like he has been playing in the band forever.
There is a lot to like on this disc, and it does not disappoint. The title track Pissed, is a great up tempo number that need to be cranked up to be appreciated.
Paintrain and The Law Is Mine continues the fun with two great in your face rockers back to back.
Promise The Moon is an excellent ballad and something that you wouldn’t expect to hear from the DT guys.
Strange is a heavy track full of sleaze and head banging goodness. Great Stuff! Loser has an AC/DC type of sound, and a great party rock feel to it.
Hard Luck Champion is one of my favorite tracks on this disc, and should be my theme song.
Screamin’ for More is an upbeat song that has a less heavier feel that the rest of the tracks on Pissed. There are more acoustic guitars on this song but it has a great sound.
Oh Well, So What! is one of those songs that you would love to crank up and play in your office when you are having a bad day. This is the closest thing to giving someone the bird in audible fashion.
Illustrated Man is a cool song that would make a good theme song for Miami Ink. It is a great way to close out Pissed.
Pissed is a great hard rock record all the way through. There are no filler tracks, and it is a fun party rock record that is a great listen. Sadly, Pissed was released right in the middle of the grunge movement, and got very little attention. It is one of those nice gems in my collection that I like to break out from time to time. You can still find this one online quite often for under $10.00. It is worth picking up!
3. The Law Is Mine
4. Promise The Moon
7. Hard Luck Champion
8. Screamin’ For More
9. Oh Well, So What!
10. Illustrated Man
- Jason McMaster – Vocals
- Mark Geary – Drums
- Scot Dalhover – Guitar
- Paul Lidel – Guitar & Vocals
- Mike Watson – Bass & Vocals