by Electric Angels
~ When the unreleased bootleg is better than most things record companies were churning out at the time ~
These guys got unfairly tarnished as a late ’80s hair metal band because of their look more than their songs. There was definitely a harder edge to them, and the glam sound brought by Ryan Roxie on guitar did put them more in line with Faster Pussycat and Mötley Crüe than any of the up-and-coming grunge acts from Seattle, or any of the boy band pop music that was starting to grow everywhere
After an incredible debut album (including some songs featured elsewhere in this series) they decamped to New York, had a second album in the can, and got shit on by Atlantic Records. This album finally got released over 20 years later under the amusing double entendre of “Lost in the Atlantic” but bootlegs of it had snuck out even in the mid-90s.
The songwriting was impeccable, with important, modern themes and nice, big, booming choruses. Go back through the lyrics and tell me this is in any way out of place with Alanis Morissette’s Generation X slacker aesthetic. With some different instrumentation, this would have fit perfectly on the soundtrack for Reality Bites or Feeling Minnesota. What we get, though, is Ryan riffing under the verse lines, playing single-note leads that complement Shane’s singing rather than distracting from it, and who even tries to pull that off any more?
Instead, we had to wait two decades for an official release of an incredible song whose resonance is now all in the rearview mirror because the people they were writing about are all in their 40s and 50s and looking at their own kids going through a different set of generational-defining circumstances