Wanna know the worst part about being someone who reviews music? That constant fear that whatever the fuck you’re saying is gonna get old eventually. I literally wake up in a cold sweat some nights from terrors of becoming a Tickle Me Elmo doll with the same fucking phrases said over and over. Then the blood starts flowing and I realize, “Wait, this happens to fucking everything in music!” From singers to guitarists, right down to the damn genres, it’s all one mighty beast of riffs and wails. How I keep writing cock rock reviews is absolutely beyond me, but today, ladies and gents, we’re giving an honest listen to the long awaited debut record Satisfy Me by Montreal’s 80s hair metal maestros, Sleazy Way Out.
This naughty little lass and all of her tantalizing artwork came out earlier this spring. I suck at writing album reviews, but that doesn’t make this record any less worth the listen. Any true fan of the fundamentals of cock rock (get used to the term, you’re gonna hear it aloooooot in this write up) are absolutely going to love this record. Compositionally speaking, it’s a bitching little piece with banging riffs out the fucking wazoo, pummelling drums from start to finish, sleazy, cheesy meows from bottom to top, and of course, bass (yes, I’m making a bassist joke, and no, I’m not funny). Now, you must be thinking that I’m practically talking about a fucking Motley Crue record but, alas, I do have some softer points to touch on.
This is a locally-brewed piece by none other than Kevin Jardine at Uplift Studios, funded entirely by the bands’ die-hard fans and friends (myself included, bitches). The actual song structures are truly respectful of the cock rock style (as I’ve already rambled about). The recording and engineering, however, could definitely use a little slapping around. Guitarist Cleve Hartwick has always been known to pack a crunch worthy of bitch slapping the guy who invented Kit Kat, but it didn’t seem to translate quite as well in the recording. The same thing can be said about the drum tones used in the final release; the actual lines and rolls are great, but the sound felt almost tin-can-ish at points. All of that said, this really just means you should catch these cats in the flesh and see for yourself.
Anybody who may have read my review of Sleazy back at the Corabi gig here in the big MTL might remember me having a slight qualm with the vocals. Singer Stacey Sleaze is the epitome of consistency on this piece, the problem being that consistency can also be perceived as monotony. His trademark purr is akin to that of ACDC’s Brian Johnson, only a little lower on the ferocity scale. Some of history’s most iconic frontmen came from the realm of cock rock. From Vince Neil to Axel Rose, and all the way to the mighty Michael Starr, there are a lot of things that made each of these names scrape the stars, particularly their diverse techniques. Now don’t get me wrong, there are times on this record where the vocal buzz on this album can slice like razor blades. This happens most keenly on opening track “Born to Booze,” and even further down the track list on “Going Wild.” By the time I rolled down the record to something with a bit more of a ballad vibe, specifically “Wasted Chance,” I started to wish for a clean note that wasn’t flying with falsetto.
From top to bottom and back again, after each of the thousand times I’ve given this piece a listen, I can safely say that if you wanna keep a style like cock rock alive, then you most definitely need to give this record your attention. When the dust had settled and the laughter on an outtake after “Voodoo Queen” cuts out, I was left with the need for a rating. Head held high, I gave this record a 7/10. Going forward, I’d love to see something like this recorded or mastered a little differently, with a few more clean vocal lines being sung out. Until then, Sleaze it right the fuck out.
Written by Jason Greenberg
*edited by Kate Erickson