Once upon a time, American guitarist Randy Weitzel was in an Extreme Metal band called FLATLINE. His latest project, THREE THIRTEEN, is something of a departure from his past work in that it’s...well, a Glam Metal band. THREE THIRTEEN harkens back to the early, Punk-infused days of MÖTLEY CRÜE, when the beats were quick and the guitars ran on raw diesel. Weitzel’s new album is a blast from the past, full of old-school charm and classic riffs, but is it enough to satisfy ‘80s Rock fans who have heard it all before?
For the first three tracks, the album certainly lives up to its name. “Blaster,” “One For The Road,” and “Skool Daze” are all fast-paced, heavy, and mean, and they do a great job of evoking the proto-Glam of the early ‘80s. All three tracks combine really raw-sounding instrumentation with a rebellious Metal attitude, and all three tracks are worthy of repeated listens.
After the trashy and underwhelming “Skool Daze,” things pick back up again with “City Of Devils,” which is a much slicker cut than anything heard on the album up to that point. The track blends Glam Metal and AOR themes to create an energetic hit-single type of song. “The Dark Of Yesterday” takes the commerciality even further, creating what’s basically an edgy AOR track. Amazingly, these tracks are likely the best songs on the album, proving that Weitzel is incredibly adept at balancing heaviness and catchiness, all while staying true to an ‘80s Rock sound.
“Full Tilt” is a solid ‘80s Hard Rock album that will definitely appease fans of edgier Glam fare. It’s not full-on NWOBHM stuff, but it’s not as fluffy as POISON either, comfortably straddling the line between the two. While it does have a few weaker tracks that seem bogged down by an excess of heaviness without a sufficient counterbalance of melody, the majority of the tracks are catchy, fun, and full of energy.
(Online June 18, 2011)