GIFT TO WOMEN - Adam West (People Like
It's immediately obvious on "God's Gift To Women" that with Adam West, what you see is what you get. Everything from the cover shot of a power-packed woman's torso clad in a pair of short shorts and a bikini top to song titles like "Trying To Be A Man In A Woman's World," "There's A Bimboo Under My Bed," and "The Floozy" probably make it a cinch these guys will never appear on a National Organization of Women-approved playlist, despite their tongues hovering in very close vicinity to their cheeks. Something tells me they're not losing any sleep over it.
As the liner notes proclaim, Adam West is first and foremost a "rock-n-roll band, period." Each and every track is a certified alcoholic slammer, powered by singer Jake Starr's dead-on Glenn Danzig pipes and Dan-o Deckelman's howling, metallic guitar. "Eye To Eye" is simply brutal, a bruising kick in the head, Deckelman's stomping blues-based riffs overpowering everyone else in the band save Starr. Even drummer Ben Brower has to fight to keep his head above the unharnessed wattage.
As much as I abhor labels when it comes to music, Adam West veer dangerously close to metal territory here even though they like to think of themselves as some sort of sonic juggernaut comprised of equal parts Stooges, MC5, Black Sabbath, Misfits, Kiss, and AC/DC. Granted, "Hotsy Totsy" could pass for a "Rock And Roll Over"-era Kiss outtake and there's a definite Angus Young flavor to Deckelman's stiff, hard-rock chording on "Gets Me Off," but it's difficult for this scribe to see how two of Detroit's finest fit into the equation.
Make no mistake - on "God's Gift To Women," Adam West come to rawk and rawk is what they do. Barflies looking for a battering, musclebound racket that kills with power need look no further. This is one menacing, wrecking ball of an album, and while it's obvious Starr has fire in his belly, I just can't seem to get past how much he sounds like Danzig. No, you're not imagining things - that is a faint whiff of disappointment you're smelling.- Clark Paull
ON! - Adam West (Telegraph)
I'm sure the guys in Washington D.C. band Adam West are kind to animals, don't park in disabled spaces and ring their mothers on their birthdays. On disc, however, they have balls the size of tractor tyres and play tiddlywinks with manhole covers. The song title "Sultry Motherfucker" says it all. This is one tough outfit.
A prolific one too. Vocalist Jake Starr is the head of Fandango Records, who have put out a long string of singles and split-singles by Adam West and other notables (including the Hellacopters and Australia's own Powder Monkeys.) So many, that I had them pegged as a singles band. Not the case, although this album did take a while to grab me. When it did, it was on the score of being a torrid mix of punk and metal - Sabbath meets Acca Dacca at the 100 Club - the likes of which rarely heard in these days of long shorts, day-glo mohawks and designer flanelette shirts. This is cocksure, cock rock of a high order.
Adam West is a leather-and-denim-clad rock beast, inside the heart of which pumps Kevin Hoffman's toxic guitar tone and Jake Starr's electric vocals. Their singularly named bassist Steve (whose bio reads like a paen to, um, beer) and drummer Tom Barrick (now departed but I presume he played on this) anchor the whole thing admirably, but it's the Hoffman-Starr axis that makes it memorable. Jake Starr, a shy and retiring flower by all accounts, who alternates between a hoarse roar and a lewd growl, has a string of Washington "best hard rock vocalist" awards to his credit. You can hear why here.
The are 13 tracks here - and six of 'em clock in at two minutes or less. The Adam West ethos is surely "hit 'em hard, then cut and run". "C'mon and Bludgeon Me" does what it says. "Blueblood" and "Flower, Fist & Bestial Wall" are stand-outs (the former a breakneck harangue that borders on speed metal, the latter 1min52sec of menace.) Contrary to its chorus ("not fucking you") "Hot Chocolate" has the potential to if listened to loud enough. Adam West even pop it up in "Shield Your Eyes", a direction that could bear interesting fruit if they continue to pursue it. They close with a knuckle-duster take on the Saints' "Erotic Neurotic" that sits pretty well.
It might all be a bit too metal for some folks' liking, and I'd love to hear what an outside producer might do in the area of light and shade, but I don't hear too many reasons not to keep giving this airtime.
- The Barman
BACK TO THE REVIEWS PAGE
BACK TO THE BAR