WARRANT’s debut is just about what you’d expect it to be considering their reputation: brief but catchy Glam Rock with a good sense of melody, but a total lack of energy. No ballsy riffs, no “in-your-face” attitude, no reason to lock up your daughters on this one. Even when the band kick the tempo up a notch (as in “So Damn Pretty”), it still sounds pretty limp. The only thing these guys really had going for them was their vocalist, Jani Lane. I think they knew it too, as his melodies usually end up grabbing the listener’s attention before anything else does (excepting a bit of competent guitar noodling). He’s a good singer, but it does reinforce the fact that this is one of the tamest Rock releases of its time.
The songs on “Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinking Rich” are rife with stop-start Glam riffs (you know, those ones where the guitars stop halfway through the sequence and its just vocals and the drum beat. The ones that by 1988 were totally cliché…) and lots of gang vocal sing-alongs. Opener “32 Pennies” is probably the only song that really works well. The rest are low-grade rockers, with the occasional cheesy ballad to round ‘em out (“Heaven” is particularly bad, though not as much as the ones that would end up on their next album).
Final word: there’s certainly worse out there, but WARRANT are pretty close to the bottom of the barrel as far as Glam Rock is concerned. Cookie-cutter Cock Rock without any sharp edges, sure to leave a bad taste in the mouth of any 80’s Metal fans. You wanna get into Glam? Start elsewhere.
(Online May 15, 2008)