Here's an interesting little album courtesy of the fellows of DOCTOR ROCK AUSTRIA. I was very tempted to label this Glam Metal, but while the general tone of the songs and the name of the album ("Foolz & Playboyz") may take a few cues from the Hair Era, there are also quite a few other influences that give the album a very different tone from typical Glam stuff. Most of the time it works fairly well, but it does occasionally fall short.
The album starts off in style with the pounding rocker "Keep Comin'", the highlight of which is the excellent SCORPIONS-style chorus. When he's not harmonizing, singer/guitarist Reini Fischer has an almost Punkish quality to his voice, which is one of the things that sets DOCTOR ROCK AUSTRIA apart from all the other '80s influenced bands. It gives them the punch to pull off ballsy songs like "Doctor Rock" and "Wicked Show", and it makes the sleazier songs like "Highspeed Lovin' " seem even sleazier.
However, it doesn't always work out, especially toward the end of the album. By this point, things start getting a little stale with "Clock Strikes Midnight", "Vote For Rock", and "Not Your Savant". Fortunately, "Wicked Show" ends the album strongly enough.
DOCTOR ROCK AUSTRIA is a band that's at its best when it's writing songs with sharp choruses to supplement the rockin' verses. When the chorus comes in, and it has that slick SCORPIONS quality to it, like on "Keep Comin'", or that smooth quality, like on "Good Times" (the chorus of which actually sounds like a continuation of POISON's "Ride The Wind"), it just makes the entire song. So, "Foolz & Playboyz" is worth a buy for fans of '80s-inspired Hard Rock, but the quality of the songwriting could be a little more even throughout.
(Online January 9, 2008)