Sunday, March 25, 2018

Recovery Road

Ten days ago, I was having a normal, everyday kind of day. I did some writing. I played some guitar. I pondered whether or not the part of me that still loves Girl X would ever die. You know, everyday shit.

I decided to go get lunch, then chose to sit at the duck park while stuffing my face. I wended my way on the backroads.  I played Weezer really loud and sang along. You know, everyday shit.

Upon arriving home, I sat down to finish a piece of writing. I was in the middle of a swig of water when I noticed the side of my face felt funny. It felt similar to when your foot goes to sleep, that uncomfortable blend warm tingles and porcupine quills. I began to choke on my water, followed by uncontrolled slobbering. While I never lost consciousness, I did feel rather confused.

But I discovered the worst part of it when I tried to speak. I know what I wanted to say, could see the words in my head, but I could not make those words come out of my mouth. It took a good ten minutes for me to slur "Something's wrong." I've never felt frustration like this.

A trip to the emergency room revealed that my heart had thrown a blood clot which traveled to my brain before dissolving. The doctor said the technical term is "transient ischemic attack", or "TIA" for short. I received a cat scan, followed by an MRI. They put me on an anticoagulant to lessen the possibility of future clots. And I get to go see the cardiologist this week to see how to treat the atrial fibrillation which caused this whole mess.

I've had heart trouble my whole life. I was born with it. It's always been a part of life, so I've never been particularly motivated to take care of myself or do any more than the bare minimum to keep myself above ground. On top of that, I live in a country that has THE WORST health care system of any developed nation on Earth. So taking care of this sort of condition properly is massively expensive. So I've chosen to just ignore shit I shouldn't ignore.

My perspective that was radically altered in the wake of my TIA. And the precise moment when everything was a small moment. Upon arriving home from the hospital, I decided to take my meds and go to sleep. I sat at the top of the stair, sharing a long embrace with my mom. She apologized for not being there when I needed her, which was tough to hear. But what really hit me was the fear, regret and failure in her eyes. It was absolutely shattering.

In that moment, I realized that it wasn't my mom's fault. It was completely my failure. But, unlike what normally happens, I didn't feel guilty. I didn't feel worthless. I didn't focus on the damage I had caused or the wounds I'd inflicted. Instead, I was consumed with the determination to do all I can to make sure I never EVER see a look like that on my mom's face again. I don't care enough about myself to get healthy for myself. But I DO care enough about my family to get healthy for them.

So, I FINALLY found motivation beyond just not dying. I found a reason to not just go through the motions. I used to do as little as I could get away with to avoid being hassled. I don't know how I'm going to pay for what I need to do, but I have to do it. My family has done so much more for me than they ever needed to. This is the least I can do for them.     

Saturday, March 10, 2018

That One Time I Had a Story Idea...

So... a long time ago, driving around on an Idaho back road not so far away...

I seem to have my best ideas in one of two places: either whilst driving or riding in cars or whilst sitting on the toilet. As near as I can guess, driving allows me to keep the workaday part of my brain occupied so it doesn't short-circuit my imagination. Meanwhile, the rest of my brain can take off and fly off to where ever the fuck it wants to fly to.

For some reason, I feel completely creatively unfettered while driving. I don't feel a need to impress anyone else with my ideas. I don't need to care if my writer friend like what I come up with. I can just daydream, stretch my mind and explore where the tendrils of my imagination go.

As for why the potty is such a good place to find inspiration, well, your guess is as good as mine.

Anyway, a few years ago I had an idea I quite liked. It was different for me, a little more substantive and not just more of the same heavy metal and sci-fi inflected comedy I usually write. I was fascinated by the question the story would pose. Even though I felt it would be a hard sell should I ever decide to do anything with it or show it to anyone else, I was intrigued enough that I thought I should at least give it a shot.

But life distracted me, as life so often distracts all of us, and I put the idea on the backburner. The recent end of my closest friendship has me asking some same question I was asking when I was putting that story together. I'm seriously thinking about dusting it off and writing it out. Before I do, I wanted to pitch it to whoever actually reads my blog (, like... maybe Clifton?...) so youse guys can see where my head is at. Here goes:


The story opens with a man desperately struggling to save the space station he currently inhabits from becoming a midnight snack for a black hole. Obviously, gravity ALWAYS wins, so homeboy and his ship are sucked down and spaghettified into particles. All is dark and silent and complete.

Until it isn't. We come out of the black hole on the other side of the universe. It is now that we meet our protagonist, subatomic particle J3L2404, a particle with a murky memory. (Yes, that's a reference to Fargo.) J3L is floating through the vacuum of space with no purpose, although he feels pulled in another direction, in search of something he can't remember but that he feels strongly that he lost.

As J3L tries to go his own way, everything he tries to be a part of falls apart and the longing and feeling he's missing something torment him more and more intensely. After growing tired of being pulled in too many directions a once, he gives in and begins to chase this mysterious goal. He eventually finds that the pull he was feeling was emanating from X9P3390, a particle he's entangled with and had been bonded to for his entire existence. They reunite and everyone lives happily ever after. So some such shit.

This story has several obvious problems, chief among them being making the main characters work. I mean, who the fuck's gonna buy into anthropomorphic subatomic particles? But if I can get those characters working, I have the opportunity to research questions I've always wanted answered. Do we really have any choice in who we're attracted to? Is there someone out there I'm gonna end up with, whether I want to or not? If we're fated to orbit in pairs, how can we be happy if we can't find an orbital partner?

I'm not gonna pretend that this is scientifically accurate. I'm no physicist. I'm not even very smart. I would have to do research into quantum mechanics, entanglement, and the behavior of little tiny particles. But George Lucas once said he wanted Star Wars to be artistically accurate, not scientifically accurate. And I think that applies here.

So what do you think? What are you doing with that baseball bat?! Wait. Did that really piss you off THAT MUCH?! Dude, chill the fuck out! Seriously, you want some aspirin- (Whack... Thud...)

Thursday, March 1, 2018

You Handed Me the Scissors

"I miss all the things we could have done..."

That's how I found out that you were gone, moved clear across the country. That's how you chose to tell me that you abandoned me. That was the last straw. That was reality kicking me in the head, the very instant I FINALLY woke up and began to realize that it was time to cut you out of my life. Completely.

Let's jump in the Way-Back machine real quick and survey how we got here. I met you through a writing group of which I was once a member. It was actually quite some time before we actually spoke to one another. I remember thinking you were really attractive, but I had nothing to say to you, no reason to try to get your attention. For months, you were nice window dressing for our monthly writers meetings and nothing else.

Then, someone referred me to you, as someone who could help you with a screenplay you were working on. I agreed out of a sense of obligation. Like, if I have this knowledge, it's my duty to share it with anyone who needs it. With great power comes great responsibility, right?

So I met with you. And this didn't unfold the way two people getting to know one another usually goes. Nope. Almost immediately, I recognized that you were different. Special. We had conversations I always wanted to have with a woman. No bullshit about church or your kids or your exes. We talked about art cinema, astronomy, and spirituality. We talked about ghosts and dreams and aliens and all kinds of other crazy shit. We talked about life and love. It was awesome. YOU were awesome.

Before long, I was feeling something beyond a friendly attachment for you. I loved you. Full-blown fucking LOVED you. I saw a future of us together, traveling and adventuring together, holding each other, finding peace and enlightenment together.

I tried to keep a ceiling on my feelings cuz I wasn't deluded enough to think I had a legitimate shot with you. I fought it for months, and it fucking hurt. I finally gave myself permission to feel love for you. I knew I had no shot, but it was nice to something to hope for. For the first time in a long time, I didn't feel rudderless.

And that's where the problems started. Once it got out that I was in love with you (through a series of events that was a clusterfuck in its own right), it was time to do the Disappointment Tango. I don't know why finding out you didn't reciprocate my feelings for you was such a blow. It certainly wasn't a surprise. But it was a definite blow, and I tried to handle it in as mature a way as I could. We were friends, close friends. I wouldn't have fallen for you if we weren't friends. I believe that's how love starts: it begins as friendship and blossoms into something deeper, more intimate, and more profound.

So, I made the decision to keep you in my life in spite of the fact that you didn't love me the way I loved you. And, GOOD GOD, did I ever suffer for that decision. The low point? The day you asked me to hang out and you brought along the guy you just started dating. I had no idea that was going on, so when you two started putting your hands all over each other, it was like someone dropping an anvil on my nutsack.

I should've moved on then. I tried. I gave you back the paintings you painted for me. But after a couple of weeks without you in my life, I caved. I justified coming back because you didn't mean to hurt me. You just didn't think. You didn't consider what seeing you hanging all over some other dude would do to me. If I didn't know you better, I would think what you did was incredibly cruel and heartless. But I knew you well enough to know it wasn't malicious.

So I came back. Then some jackass you were dating decided to lie to you about me and run his mouth about me to my friends. When I tried to talk to you about it, you flipped it around on me and it became an argument about why I was the asshole.

Then there were all the times you got pissed at me for things I never even did. And the times you took off without telling me. No chance to say goodbye. No chance for closure. There were all the times you flaunted your love life in front of me. Oh my Lord. Did I really let you do all this shit to me? What was wrong with me?

Oh, but it gets worse. What about all the new age bullshit I tried to study and understand, despite the fact that I don't believe in any of that crystals, chakras, energy bullshit. There was all the stuff I tried to feign belief in just so I could be closer to what I thought you wanted. I was soooooooo dishonest. I lost my love for life. I lost my edge as an artist. I lost who I really am. For what? What the fuck was I holding on to?

Well, that's easy to answer. There was a point in our friendship where you were leaving on a trip to Hawaii. I knew you wanted the fuck out of Idaho, and I figured you wouldn't come back. As we conversed, I told you that I didn't know if I wanted to marry you, or date you forever. I just wanted a chance. And you said that the timing was bad but at some point in the future, you might actually give me a chance.

I clung to that like a drowning sailor clings to a piece of ship debris. I soooooo believed you. You have no idea how much power that one statement had over me. So, I hung on. Through all the shitty boyfriends who mistreated and abused you. Through all the pain of not being able to be what I wanted to be to you. It took years for me to finally realize that my chance would never come. And through that time, I got my heart broken over and over and over.

But everything ends, and so that's where we find ourselves now. I got over the desire to be your boyfriend, although I never got over being attracted to you.  I realized you and I would never work. Eventually, I began to question whether I even needed you in my life anymore. Then you left and forced me to wake up and realize I needed to completely sever that tie.

And after waking up, I realized that how blind and stupid I've been. What hurts the most is the knowledge that I have no one to blame but myself. I chose you over and over and over. I sabotaged my own personal progress in hopes of being able to be available when you needed me. I was stupid. I was blinded by fantasy. I completely recalibrated my definition of friendship to accommodate my relationship with you.

I lost important relationships because I was too blind to see things from their perspectives. I completely centered my life around you, and you couldn't even treat me the way friends treat friends. And it's my fault. I wasn't strong enough to walk away from you. I didn't love myself enough to do what was best for me. I lied to you about how you impacted my life. I was a complete asshole. On and on and on...

And yet, I've also come to realize that while I bear the ultimate responsibility, you definitely didn't help. I always drove you around, and while I was happy to do it, you never made any effort to come see me. When I needed someone to talk to, you were never there. Whenever we had issues to talk about, you never listened to me. My feeling were never important to you. Friendship is supposed to be a two-way street, but your lane was super wide, and my lane was basically nonexistent.

I saw a meme or something like that around the time I was stripping myself away from another friendship that had become toxic. It said "If I cut you out of my life, chances are you handed me the scissors." That seems to fit here. Although I take the blame for not standing up for myself and not being honest with you, the way you treated me ultimately led me to walk away. You've left before and have always come back. But this time, I really hope you stay gone. Even if you don't, you're no longer part of my life. I'm finally ready to move on.

In other words, snip snip, motherfucker. Sorry for the novel. Phewwww. Who else needs a drink?

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Hair Metal Justified #3

Most of the records I look at in this series are here because I think they’re great pieces of music that undeservedly get overlooked because of the “hair metal” stigma attached to them. But not this record. This one’s here because I LOVE it and that’s the only reason it’s here. Let us begin.

There was this record store in my hometown called Rainbow Records and Tapes. I spent A LOT of time there and got to know the staff pretty well. Because I grew up in a town that was like 90% Mormon, I didn’t know anybody who liked metal, even the lightweight stuff. Everybody seemed to like stuff like Depeche Mode or (ugh) country.

But there was one girl at Rainbow who was into metal, and one day when I waltzed through the door, she told me about this new record by a band called Heaven’s Edge. She popped her copy into the store’s stereo and I was immediately interested. Heaven’s Edge walked the sonic line between the typical metal-light of bands like Poison and Warrant and heavier metal alloys like Judas Priest and Iron Maiden. I picked up a copy and drove like a bat out of hell to get home so I could play loud on my bedroom radio. (At the time, the stereo in my car wasn’t working. It was hell.)

Heaven’s Edge’s debut came out in 1990, toward the end of the reign of hair metal. The record showcased the riffing of axe men Reggie Wu and Steven Parry (not the Journey dude), the voice of Mark Evans and the booming rhythmic work of bassist G.G. Guidotti and basher David Rath. Wu handled the majority of the solo work, and he apparently went to the Vinnie Vincent school of shredding, where you never play just two notes when you have room for twenty. The songs aren’t very deep, but that was par for the course with glam metal. Still, why did I love this record so much?

The first reason I think this band stuck for me in their sound. That is on full display on the song “Up Against the Wall”. The guitars are loud and grinding, like the guitars on a good Judas Priest song. Rath’s drumming is rock-solid and Wu’s leads have a liquid metal lunacy and precision that a lot of guitarists of the day couldn't touch. And Evan’s voice is in that perfect cocky rocker guy zone that makes wanna punch the air and scream “fuck yeah!”

Another reason I loved this band is because they had a little range when it came to subject matter. “Find Another Way” is like the ultimate broken-hearted optimist anthem, as Evan begs the object of his affection for another chance. It’s not a happy song, but it is hopeful.

The next track, “Up Against the Wall”, finds Evans dodging the angry daddy of an underage girl he hooked up with. He seems to realize just what a dumbass he is, but he keep acting stupid anyway.

“Bad Reputation” and “Daddy’s Little Girl” lament the decisions that led a nice girl down the path to misbehavior, though these songs sound a little too slut-shamey to my older, slightly wiser ears.  

Anyway, you get the idea.

Along with the range in subject matter, Heaven’s Edge was good at mixing tempo and intensity. While there are plenty of hefty mid-tempo jams on the record, the band slows down for the ballad “Hold On Tonight”, which isn’t too original but can still stand toe to toe with any other ballad from the era.

Elsewhere, HE turns on the jets for the rollicking “Can’t Catch Me” and locks into a bluesy grove to kick off “Is That All You Want”. Other bands tried to mix things up, but the Heaven’s Edge boys had the skills to actually pull it off.

HE never broke big, I think for two primary reasons. First, they came out when the market was already saturated with cut rate butt rockers. And grunge came along to knock metal out of the spotlight a short time later. Heaven’s Edge never got the time to really establish themselves.

The second reason Heaven’s Edge never broke big is that they didn’t really stand out from the rest of the hair metal pack visually. They look pretty plain. They might have been able to play the working class rockers of the hair metal scene, but that role was already filled pretty well by Tesla. Other bands that got big back then had more extreme looks. They were easier to spot. HE may have been thinking “We’re here to play, not pose”, but I do think their lack of a more discernible visual aesthetic ended up letting them down.

Whatever the reason, it’s kinda sad Heaven’s Edge never got big, because I think they were a road sign pointing to where hair metal was headed. A rougher, more metallic sound that engaged those who love sharp musical chops just as much as it did lovers of sticky melodic hooks. It’s not extra-special, but this band did have more talent than a lot of other rank-and-file hair rockers. Evans, in particular was a much better singer than guys like Bret Michaels and Jani Lane. Although when he tries to hit those super high notes, it kinda hurts the ears.

Anyway, I still love this record, and it feels kinda cool to be able to share them because they feel like some secret that I’m in on and few others have any idea this band ever existed. I hope, if you choose to watch the vids and listen to the songs I mention, that you enjoy what you hear. I know that this is a band that, when a certain mood hits me, I’m always gonna spin.

Next time: Jake E. Lee joins forces with Ray Gillen and Eric Singer to give us the badass debut by their band, Badlands!

Monday, December 4, 2017

Hair Metal Justifies #2

With their big-ass, poofy hair, cowboy boots and spandex, Cinderella looked an awful lot like every other glam metal band out there. Their debut record, Night Songs, also sounded a lot like the other glamsters, but if you listened hard, you could hear a definite difference in their sound. Cinderella leavened their rock with gritty blues elements, and that helped them stand out a little from their contemporaries.

Night Songs was just the beginning. On their second record, Long Cold Winter, Cinderella cranked up the blues. Slide guitars, acoustic strumming and piano balladry find their way onto this album, and, mixed with the band’s heavier elements and Tom Keifer’s gruff, gutty singing, Cinderella gave us a record that has staying power a lot of other 80s music just doesn’t. It has an immediately identifiable sound that makes you stomp your feet and smile.

Speaking of stomping your feet, the album’s first track, “Bad Seamstress Blues/ Fallin’ Apart at the Seams” will get your fuckin’ foot a-pounding. Fred Coury’s drums hook you and drag you through the mud, while the greasy main riff gets stuck in your head immediately. One listen and you’ll be hearing it in your sleep.

Next up is “Gypsy Road”, one of the most anthemic songs the hair metal boom ever produced. But it’s still a tightly constructed gem of a song, from the bluesy, bendy main riff, to the gang vocals that spice up the chorus. This kind of metal alloy may not invite you to windmill your head so fast, it nearly flies off your body. But it does invite you to crank the volume and sing along.

While we’re on the subject of singing, I need to mention how awesome Keifer is on this record. His gruff, screeching voice perfectly fits the band’s bluesy rockin’ sound. His voice recalls Brian Johnson’s AC/DC work. Any rock singer who can draw comparisons to Johnson is fucking getting it done. Getting. It. Done. I honestly think Keifer was under appreciated as a singer, and his guitar playing was pretty bad ass, too.

The next song on the record, “Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone)” is a showcase for Keifer, who actually sounds like he means what he’s signing. Sincerity isn’t something you find much in hair metal, but it’s all over this song. The pianos here make the song sound kind of majestic. This may be a power ballad, but it’s also a well-written, incredibly affecting song. I’ll admit it. I get a little misty-eyed when I hear this tune.

Let’s jump ahead a little to the album’s title track. “Long Cold Winter” isn’t a bluesy metal song. It’s not a blues rock song. It’s just plain old blues. It winds through the chord changes like a python winding around its prey. Keifer sounds completely at home belting out a blues melody about heartbreak. The lead guitars shower down like rain. I’m not exactly sure how Keifer and co-axeman Jeff LeBarr split the lead playing, but there are some killer blues lick flying around on this one.

Next up is my personal favorite track on the record, the stomping, rampaging “If You Don’t Like It”. Driven by the most aggressive riffs on the album, this song hooks you with with Coury and bassist Eric Brittingham’s immense grooves. And check out the cowbell in the pre-chorus! On top of all that, Keifer’s spitting lyrics like an Uzi spits bullets. And, like all good hair metal songs, it’s perfect for cranking up and screeching along in the car.

“Coming Home” is a gorgeously melancholy tune, replete with jangly acoustic guitars and Keifer screeching and singing in his lower register. This song seems to encompass a lot of regret, like the narrator is happy to be on his way home, but he kind of regrets heading home, too. It’s as if he’s a little crestfallen that he didn’t really accomplish what he left home to do. I love that kind of emotional mixology in music.

Long Cold Winter draws to a triumphant close with another slide guitar-driven song, “Take Me Back”. By this time, Cinderella has left you with a big, stupid smile on your face. It’s the perfect note to leave us on, not too happy, not too sad, and absolutely fucking rocking.

If you dig this kind of music, it’s really hard to do better than Long Cold Winter. It’s a criminally effective fusion of bluesy rock and pop metal and it still sounds pretty fantastic today. This record is something I can still listen to today without feeling like I’m killing off my brain cells. If I had to sift through piles of shitty cookie-cutter butt rock records to find this one, it would totally be worth it.

Next time, we dig into Heaven's Edge and their self-titled debut record. Is this one as musically significant the others we've looked at so far? No. Do I love it just the same? Oh, hell YEAH!

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Getting Giddy Over Infinity War

So, the trailer for next year's Avengers: Infinity War dropped today. And I decided to be a sheep and do a reaction video just like everybody else. I'm not much to look at, but this moment was worth preserving and sharing.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Hair Metal Justified #1

Hair metal. It was vapid, soulless party music made to be blasted from car stereos and boom boxes while kids got drunk and fucked each other at keggers. It wasn’t meant to be important. It wasn’t meant to last.

And yet, somehow, some of the music produced by hair bands actually has managed to survive the test of time and even achieve classic status. Beyond that, hair metal was my doorway into real metal. For me, hair metal is kinda like Die Hard, the first R-rated movie I ever saw. It helped form part of the foundation of who I am now.

So, I decided to throw together a new feature highlight the records that, at least for me, justify the entire existence of hair metal as a genre. They make all that other stupid, vapid music worth it.

First up, Tesla’s The Great Radio Controversy.

Hailing from Sacramento, CA, Tesla stood out from their bigger-haired contemporaries like a Flock of Seagulls fan at a Slayer concert. These guys came off as blue jean-clad working class dudes in a world populated by androgenous, big-haired girlie-men. And while they never considered themselves a metal band, their sound was heavier and more bad ass than most of the other hair farmers.

Tesla’s first record, Mechanical Resonance, had quite a few good moments on it. But the band really hit their stride on their second record, The Great Radio Controversy. The record is a hard-hitting, hard-rocking, yet wonderfully varied, effort packed full of well-crafted songs. Let’s investigate.

Great Radio opens with “Hang Tough”. Brian Wheat’s bassline hooks us and pulls us in before the song erupts into a storm of pick scrapes, power chords and Troy Luccketta’s pounding percussion. Axeman Frank Hannon and Tommy Skeoch break into an Iron Maiden-style harmonized lead before the song settles into the verse.

Here, singer Jeff Keith takes over. I love this dude’s voice. It’s gruff and tough-sounding without being harsh or off-putting. The chorus gets spiced up with the requisite gang vocals, and instantly you have an anthem. I can see cranking this song up at the gym to get me pumped up do some bench presses or some shit. If I ever went to the gym.

“Lady Luck” follows, with its more sinister chord progression that tells that not all is right. And it turns out that all is, in fact, not right. Keith has been snowed by a beautiful but dishonest woman. I love the line where Keith asks this devil woman “How do you do”, and she replies “I don’t.”

“Lady Luck” is a perfectly solid tune, but it’s just set-up for “Heaven’s Trail (No Way Out)”. One of Tesla’s best songs, “Heaven’s Trail” pounds along riding a heavy dropped-D riff and some rock-steady drumming from Luccketta. The electric guitars drop out as the pre-chorus builds and then the song explodes into the chorus. It’s hooky, hefty and gets your foot stomping. Don’t stomp along if you live upstairs from someone else. It’s rude.

“Heaven’s Trail” is also one of the tracks on Great Radio that features some tasty slide guitar work. The next tune, “Be a Man” opens with some scorching slide guitar licks before morphing into a sing-along working class anthem. Keith’s lyrics lambast close-minded people who might think that what you look like determines what kind of person you are. Growing up in a predominantly Mormon community where folks were way too focused on the length of your hair and how you dressed, I really appreciated this message.

Tesla keeps the energy up for the next couple songs, and really revs it up for “Yesterdaze Gone”. “The Way it Is” is a big, sweet ballad where Keith extols the virtues of working through personal shit in a relationship. It’s got one of those guitar solos that you can hum after you hear it like twice and gives Wheat a little more space to show off on bass.

Great Radio closes with a really great 1-2-3 punch. “Love Song” is another acoustic guitar-driven ballad that opens softly then builds and builds to a tasty guitar solo and an infectious, sing-along outro. “Love will find a way”, get repeated ad nauseum, but you’re so hooked by then that you don’t care.

The next tune “Paradise” is the best song on the whole record. It opens as a piano ballad that Elton John would be proud to call his own. Again, the song builds, shifting to a double time tempo before Hannon and Skeoch break into tag-team guitar solos a la Judas Priest. The song is so well written that it pulls at the heartstrings and then melts your face, all within less than five minutes. It shows Tesla at their most versatile, capable of sweeping emotion and ass-kicking rock.

The last track, “Party’s Over”, is another stomper, with Luccketta providing a beat that kinda staggers around like a drunk ambling around the parking lot looking for his car. The chorus is huge, Hannon and Skeoch provide more harmonized leads that bury themselves in your brain, and when it’s over, you can’t wait to start the party all over.

Tesla may not have been a hair metal band, but I’m really glad stupid record executives thought they were. They were signed when hair metal was all the rage, and we got The Great Radio Controversy out of that deal. It’s a solid record from top to bottom, perfect for blasting from your car while out on a drive in the country. Hair metal history is lousy with records sucked giant bags of dicks. Thank the Maker, The Great Radio Controversy wasn’t one of them.

Coming soon: Cinderella's bluesy and bitchin' Long Cold Winter!