With all of the hoopla over Lita Ford’s new CD, Wicked Wonderland, I wanted to step back and check out her husband’s solo debut from 1987, Proud To Be Loud.
This CD features the talent of Michael Angelo Batio on guitar. If you have ever heard this guy play, then you know his skill falls somewhere between Vinnie Vincent and Yngwie Malmsteen. He is an impressive shredder, who can play at a ridiculous speed. On Proud To Be Loud sometimes his style of playing works and sometimes it doesn’t.
I would never consider Jim Gillette a great vocalist. He does have an impressive range, and can hit some notes that most singers would never try for. In fact, the only thing higher than the notes coming out of his mouth, is his hair. His lower range where most of his vocals fall is similar to, but not as good as Mark Slaughter. Overall, his voice takes some getting used to, and you will either love it, or hate it. Personally, I am not a fan, so I struggle with his vocals.
There are a couple songs on this CD that I did like, but not much more. On the song, “When the Clock Strikes 12” Gillette really belts the notes out. Michael Angelo Batio’s playing is top notch as well. The band slows things down somewhat for the song “Angel in White”. This isn’t what I would consider a power ballad, but probably the closest thing you will find to a hit on this CD.
If you grab the 2003 reissue of this CD, you will find 5 bonus tracks, some of which come from Gillette’s bands Nitro, and Organ Donor. The Organ Donor songs show Gillette singing in a lower tone that is very similar to his range on Lita Ford’s new CD. It is more of an alternative metal sound, which I could live without. For more information on that group, check out www.myspace.com/organdonorfresno. The bonus tracks don’t really add anything to the CD, but if you must have it, at least you get to check out a few more tunes.
Overall, I can’t recommend Proud to Be Loud. Batio’s playing would probably be the only true reason to grab this disc. As a whole, the majority of the songs on this disc make my head hurt.
This CD is now out of print once more, but you can find copies of it on Ebay from time to time. Tread at your own risk!
Rating: Out of 10
- When the Clock Strikes 12
- Head On
- Angel in White
- Flash of Lightning
- Proud To Be Loud
- Never Say Never
- Nitro – Guitar Solo
- Red Hot Rocket Ride
- Make Me Crazy
- Show Down
- Mirror – Mirror
- Nitro – Bitch on My Back
- Organ Donor
- D.Marks & J. Gillette – Out of Time
- Organ Donor – Six Feet Deep
- Slut – Dr. Monster
Nitro, the band featuring, singer Jim Gillette and guitarist Michael Angelo Batio, released a cover of the Ted Nugent classic Cat Scratch Fever, back in 1992.
Check out the video below!
One of the craziest releases of the late 80’s, was O.F.R. by Nitro. Everything about this four piece band was so completely over the top, it wasn’t even funny. The only thing higher than Jim Gillette’s hair was the octave of his glass breaking screams.
Michael Angelo Batio’s guitar playing was nearly as high pitched as Gillette’s voice.
Former Vinnie Vincent Invasion drummer, Bobby Rock did a pretty good job maintaining the pace of this high speed, high octave hair metal. Nitro only proved to be one of the many sub par bands that he would be a member of.
I wish I could tell you that Nitro’s music was awesome, but quite honestly, Freight Train, is probably the best song on the album, and that isn’t saying much.
Most of the songs are focused around Gillette’s high pitched wails and screams. Although Nitro’s music is above average, Gillette’s vocals can grate on your nerves, and if anything else are some what ridiculous to listen to. When Gillette isn’t breaking glass with his voice, Batio is usually guitar noodling at notes nearly as high as Gillette’s voice. This too can grate on your nerves.
If they band managed to do anything, it was to get themselves noticed with their insane sonic attack.
Aside from Freight Train, the song Long Way From Home, is probably the closest thing resembling a hit on this album. O.F.R is exactly what you would expect it to be, out-fucking-rageous, it just isn’t very good. Migraine sufferers might not want to play this album during an attack.
After listening to this album again for the first time in years, I honestly believe the best thing Gillette did was marry Lita Ford.
This album is long out of print, and I doubt too many of you would want to pay the top dollars it will take to track this one down. That is unless you need some of your old glassware broken.
If you are dying to hear some songs by this band, check out their myspace page.
Rating:Out of 10
1. Freight Train
2. Double Trouble
3. Machine Gunn Eddie
4. Long Way From Home
5. Bring it Down
6. Nasty Reputation
7. Fighting Mad
8. Shot Heard ‘Round the World
Jim Gillette – vocals
Michael Angelo – guitars
T.J. Racer – bass
Bobby Rock – drums