Category Archives: Warrant

Warrant – Rockaholic

Warrant – Rockaholic (2011, Frontiers Records)

1. Sex Ain’t Love … 3:57
2. Innocence Gone … 3:40
3. Snake … 3:44
4. Dusty’s Revenge … 4:26
5. Home … 3:28
6. What Love Can Do … 4:19
7. Life’s A Song … 4:10
8. Show Must Go On … 2:48
9. Cocaine Freight Train … 3:04
10. Found Forever … 4:15
11. Candy Man … 4:05
12. Sunshine … 3:54
13. Tears In The City … 3:35
14. The Last Straw … 4:14

Band:
Robert Mason – Lead Vocals
Erik Turner – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Jerry Dixon – Bass, Backing Vocals
Joey Allen – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Steven Sweet – Drums, Backing Vocals

Producer: Keith Olsen

So there’s a new Warrant album and yet again Jani Lane is missing. Jani briefly rejoined the band in 2008 (sending Jaime St. James back to Black ‘N Blue) but now Big Cock/ex-Lynch Mob vocalist Robert Mason has been with them for the last four years playing live shows and finally that relationship has paid off in the form of a studio album.

The loose rock ‘n’ roll feel from 2006’s Born Again has been polished up on Rockaholic but like that album, it doesn’t really sound all that much like Warrant. This is not an album I think the band would have or could have written with Jani. That isn’t a knock on Jani Lane, the band or Robert Mason. It’s just different chemistry. Janie was a great thoughtful lyricist who excelled at ballads, with Robert Mason the band just wants to rock. They don’t try to repeat the past and make an “eighties album” or “Warrant-sounding” songs with one exception: I felt a bit of an old school Warrant vibe on “Life’s A Song”.

If anything, I think the album sounds like Lynch Mob. It’s just so hard to wrap my head around anything as being Warrant without Jani on vocals. Luckily, that has deterred NOT me from enjoying Rockaholic. Robert Mason sings his butt off on this album and proves once again why he is one of the best vocalists in rock right now. He doesn’t try to sing like Jani, he’s just being himself and kudos for that! It’s easy to say Mason is the best singer Warrant has ever had.

But how does this album compare to the band’s early releases? Pretty well, I must say. Though I was really looking to this release, I wasn’t sure how it was going to sound and I have to say that the album is great! Anyone who is a fan of ’80s rock/metal will should love this album. It has that whole vibe while still sounding fresh and relevant. You want rockers? You’ve got “Sex Ain’t Love”, the defiant “The Last Straw”, “Show Must Go On”, the fantastic and sex-charged “Cocaine Freight Train” (which I think may be one of my favorite Warrant songs… ever) and the cowboy rocker “Dusty’s Revenge”. You want ballads? There’s “Home” (another real standout), “What Love Can Do”, “Tears In The City” and “Found Forever”.

This is a very well done release from top to bottom. While I certainly have my favorite tracks, I really don’t think there’s any filler on this album. Overall, Warrant sounds even more revitalized and energetic than they did with Born Again and while I don’t think Warrant has really ever turned in a bad album (though maybe they didn’t always go in the direction I would have preferred) Rockaholic is easily the best thing they’ve released since Cherry Pie. We now finally have a recorded document of the Mason era and hopefully this is just the first of many albums they do with him.

Highlights: “Sex Ain’t Love”, “Snake”, “Home”, “What Love Can Do”, “Life’s A Song”, “Cocaine Freight Train”, “Candy Man”, “The Last Straw”

http://warrantrocks.com
http://www.facebook.com/pages/WARRANT/125089977508792

Buy ‘Rockaholic’ at Amazon.com!

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WARRANT – Dog Eat Dog

Warrant – Dog Eat Dog (1992, Columbia Records)

1. “Machine Gun” … 3:45
2. “The Hole in My Wall” … 3:30
3. “April 2031” … 5:05
4. “Andy Warhol Was Right” … 3:37
5. “Bonfire” … 4:21
6. “The Bitter Pill” … 4:07
7. “Hollywood (So Far, So Good)” … 3:47
8. “All My Bridges Are Burning” … 3:37
9. “Quicksand” … 3:58
10. “Let It Rain” … 4:16
11. “Inside Out” … 3:40
12. “Sad Theresa” … 3:25

Band:
Jani Lane – Lead Vocals, Acoustic Guitar
Joey Allen – Guitar
Erik Turner – Guitar
Jerry Dixon – Bass
Steven Sweet – Drums, Backing Vocals

Additional Musicians:
Scott Humphrey – Keyboards
Ron Feldman & Scott Warren – Piano
Dee Dee Bellson & Yvonne Williams – Backing Vocals (“Let It Rain”)

Producer: Michael Wagener

And this is where Warrant started to get a bit heavier as the ’90s rolled on. Janie & Co. must have seen the writing on the wall by this point with the rise of grunge and tried to develop a tougher sound and image while still not straying too far from the pop-metal that made them so successful. Must’ve worked because while radio didn’t support this album it still managed to go gold. Funny thing, while bands these days would kill to go gold, back then for a multi-platinum act, having a gold album was considered a disappointment, at least as far as the labels were concerned. Sure enough, Warrant found themselves dropped from Columbia after having “only” sold in excess of 500,000 copies of Dog Eat Dog. To me, that’s pretty impressive for a Warrant album in 1992 when Alice In Chains, Pearl Jam, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Soundgarden and Nirvana were dominating the charts.

Anyway, Dog Eat Dog serves every sale it got because it’s a really strong album. I still prefer the pop-metal of Cherry Pie but the band does a fine job of delivering a similar slice of hair rock with “The Bitter Pill”, “Quicksand”, “Let It Rain”, “All My Bridges Are Burning” while going more metal than they ever had before with “Machine Gun”, “Inside Out”, “Hole In My Wall” and “April 2031”. Meanwhile, I can’t help but think “Hollywood (So Far, So Good)” sounds like a re-working of Jane’s Addiction’s “Jane Says”. Perhaps it should be have called “Jani Says”?

I have to point out the album’s best track — the ballad “Let It Rain”. Before I discovered this album, I discovered this song. I was searching online years ago and found a site that listed every Warrant ballad and thought this song was amazing when I first heard it. Still do. Had this been on Cherry Pie and had it been released as a single, it could’ve been huge. One of the genre’s best ballads but then again that’s almost a formality when it comes to ballads written by Jani!

The photos of the band around this time are pretty funny. All the white spandex and glitter, neon colors and ruffles and what have you are gone. It’s all been replaced by black leather. Jane Lane actually looks A LOT like Dee Snider with the black leather pants, black leather vest, shades and his bleach blond hair pulled back tight in a ponytail. And Joey Allen and Erik Turner look to be doing their best KK Downing and Glenn Tipton impersonations with the leather studded jackets.

The band would stumble for direction over the next decade and then find some redemption with 2006’s Born Again but Dog Eat Dog remains Warrant’s last great album.

Highlights: “Machine Gun”, “The Hole In My Wall”, “Andy Warhol Was Right”, “The Bitter Pill”, “All My Bridges Burning”, “Quicksand”, “Let It Rain”

http://www.warrantweb.net
http://www.myspace.com/warrantband

WARRANT – Belly To Belly: Volume One

Warrant – Belly To Belly: Volume One (1996, CMC International)

1. “In the End (There’s Nothing)” … 3:12
2. “Feels Good” … 2:51
3. “Letter to a Friend” … 4:33
4. “AYM” … 2:50
5. “Indian Giver” … 4:54
6. “Falling Down” … 3:56
7. “Interlude # 1” … 0:11
8. “Solid” … 3:13
9. “All 4 U” … 3:40
10. “Coffee House” … 4:37
11. “Interlude # 2” … 0:18
12. “Vertigo” … 2:36
13. “Room With a View” … 2;59
14. “Nobody Else” … 4:13

Band:
Jani Lane – Vocals
Rick Steier-  Guitar
Erik Turner – Guitar
Jerry Dixon – Bass
Bobby Borg – Drums

Producer: Jerry Dixon, Erik Turner, Jani Lane, Rick Steier and Stefan Neary

This was a weird phase for the band when they tried to blend into the alternative rock scene. I’m not sure how serious of an effort this was but it looks like they even went for a name change wanting to be known as “Warrant 96” because that’s how they are referred to on this album and in the liner notes and I’ve seen sources online list this album that way. With the image makeover and style of music on this disc, they should’ve gone and changed their name completely because being known as Warrant wasn’t doing them any favors at this point.

Anyway, Belly To Belly: Volume One (They were planning more of these?) continues the evolution to a alternative sound that the group started with a few songs from 1992’s Dog Eat Dog and fully realized with most of 1995’s Ultraphobic.

Once you get past that this is Warrant, a quintessential hair band playing alternative rock, this is actually a pretty good album. Despite the change in sound and mood, Jani still hadn’t lost his knack for writing great lyrics. He’s one of the best song writers to come out of the pop-metal scene. From what I’ve read, he was going through a divorce at the time of this album and that makes sense when you pay attention to the lyrics, which are probably some of the best he’s ever written. Also, the lyrics were influenced by the band’s rise and fall in the music industry and the changing of the times. It’s easy to feel a connection to these lyrics and understand the pain he must have been going through.

This isn’t really a heavy album but it certainly isn’t “lite metal” of the glam persuasion. On their last two efforts, the band seemed to be getting heavy on a number of songs just for the sake of not coming across as a fluff act but they’ve mellowed a bit on these songs in order to fit the somber, introspective mood.

This is not an album that has any room for pop-metal anthems and Bic-waving ballads but Belly To Belly still turns out more than a handful of quality tunes with some real meaning behind them. Maybe it’s not what people wanted to hear (Warrant fans wanted another Cherry Pie, non-Warrant fans just wanted them to go away), but the album is a success in my book.

Highlights: “In The End (There’s Nothing)”, “Letter To A Friend”, “Indian Giver”, “Falling Down”, “Solid”, “All 4 U”, “Room With A View”

http://www.warrantweb.net
http://www.myspace.com/warrantband

WARRANT – Born Again

Warrant – Born Again (2006, Cleopatra Records/Deadline Records)

1. “Devil’s Juice” … 3:28
2. “Dirty Jack” … 4:02
3. “Bourbon County Line” … 3:52
4. “Hell, CA” … 4:20
5. “Angels” … 4:33
6. “Love Strikes Like Lightning” … 3:56
7. “Glimmer” … 3:31
8. “Roller Coaster” … 2:48
9. “Down In Diamonds” … 4:00
10. “Velvet Noose” … 3:01
11. “Roxy” … 3:16
12. “Good Times” … 4:10

Band:
Jaime St. James – Lead Vocals
Joey Allen – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Erik Turner – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Jerry Dixon – Bass, Backing Vocals
Steven Sweet – Drums, Backing Vocals

Additional Musicians:
Pat Regan – Keyboards

Produced by: Pat Regan

Ah, Warrant. They just can’t keep it together, can they? Musically, throughout their entire career, they’ve done fine, but as far as keeping the “classic” lineup going (the lineup that gave us the classic hair metal albums Dirty Rotten Stinking Filthy Rich and Cherry Pie), it’s been quite a struggle.

In 2006, the “classic” reunion almost happened. The version of Warrant that enjoyed the most commercial success just missed getting back together. In January of that year, singer Jani Lane left the band and the following month “classic” members Joey Allen and Steven Sweet rejoined. Coincidence? Or conspiracy? I seem to remember some rumors swirling around that the one thing that kept Joey and Steven from ever rejoining the band was the fact that Jani was still in it. So he was out, and in very short order, they were both back in.

Enter former Black ‘n Blue vocalist Jaime St. James and a new album was fast tracked. It was great news to me to know a new Warrant album was coming because with Jani at the helm, despite the fact that he was/is a great songwriter, Warrant seemed content to merely be a nostalgia act and to do hair band package tours in the Summer. They never went fully in on the early 2000s hair metal resurgence and it never made sense to me when they didn’t join in and do a reunion/new album like many of their peers had done. I’m sure Jani’s alcohol problems go a long way in explaining just why it didn’t happen though.

To the music at hand, despite my anticipation for a Warrant album, I wasn’t sure if Born Again was going to be any good at all. As I said above, Jani’s a great writer and he was the lead creative force in the band, but founding members Jerry Dixon and Erik Turner (and St. James to an extent) really stepped up and delivered one of the 2006’s most surprising and pleasant rock albums.

It’s not really retro, the band doesn’t attempt to capture past glories, but it still has a cool old school hard rock feel. The album doesn’t sound outdated, but it doesn’t sound like a lame attempt to sound modern either. It’s a little more dirty, raw and bluesy than anything Warrant has done before. Sounds like a bit of St. James’ Black ‘n Blue influence has worn off on the band.

A good effort from a band that I was ready to write off. There’s definite promise in them post-Lane and that fact would become ever more important after Lane rejoined the group and lasted all of nine months in 2008 when he was ousted again due to alcohol abuse.

I hope Jani really pulls it together, his non-Warrant projects are solid, so I know he’ll at least musically be fine without Warrant but I’m also looking forward to seeing what Dixon & Turner wild do next with ex-Lynch Mob/current Big Cock vocalist Robert Mason up front (Jaime St. James has since reunited Black ‘n Blue).

Highlights: “Devil’s Juice”, “Dirty Jack”, “Bourbon County Line”, “Hell, CA”, “Angels”, “Love Strikes Like Lightning”, “Roxy”

www.warrantweb.net
www.myspace.com/warrantband

WARRANT – Dirty Rotten Stinking Filthy Rich

Warrant – Dirty Rotten Stinking Filthy Rich [Expanded Edition] (2004, Sony Music/Legacy Recordings)
Original Release: 1989, Columbia Records

1. “32 Pennies” … 3:10
2. “Down Boys” … 4:05
3. “Big Talk” … 3:44
4. “Sometimes She Cries” … 4:45
5. “So Damn Pretty (Should Be Against the Law)” … 3:33
6. “D.R.F.S.R.” … 3:19
7. “In the Sticks” … 4:06
8. “Heaven” … 3:57
9. “Ridin’ High” … 3:07
10. “Cold Sweat” … 3:33
BONUS TRACKS
11. “Only a Man” (demo) … 4:22
12. “All Night Long” (demo) … 2:42

Band:
Jani Lane – Lead Vocals, Guitar
Joey Allen – Guitar
Erik Turner – Guitar
Jerry Dixon – Bass
Steven Sweet – Drums

Additional musicians
Beau Hill – Keyboard, Backing Vocals
Bekka Bramlett – Backing Vocals

Produced by: Beau Hill

Pretty impressive debut from Warrant and I had forgotten how strong Jani’s voice was in the early Warrant days. It’s weird though, I was thinking this album came out earlier than ’89 (but to be fair it WAS January 1989).  The album went double platinum thanks to the #2 charting single “Heaven”. Definitely one of the greatest power ballads ever.

Most of the album is really strong, though a few songs are your basic filler: pleasant, but nothing that sticks with you. All of what I consider to be the album’s highlights I had already been familiar with for years, thanks to owning The Best of Warrant.

There’s some chaos swirling around the recording of this album. Number One is that all the music was recorded yet the album’s release date was delayed because Jani couldn’t put the vocals down because had a nervous breakdown after catching his girl in bed with one of his friends. Number Two, the rumor is neither Joey Allen nor Erik Turner played on the album and that it was ex-Streets guitarist Mike Slamer who put the work in.

The album was re-released in 2004 on Sony Music’s Legacy Recordings label (which simultaneously re-released Cherry Pie) featuring two bonus tracks.

Highlights: “32 Pennies”, “Down Boys”, “Big Talk”, “Sometimes She Cries”, “D.R.F.S.R.”, “Heaven”

http://www.warrantweb.net
http://www.myspace.com/warrantband

WARRANT – The Best of Warrant

Warrant – The Best of Warrant (1996, Sony Music/Legacy Recordings)

Track Listing:
1. “Down Boys” … 4:06
2. “32 Pennies” … 3:10
3. “Heaven” … 3:57
4. “D.R.F.S.R.” … 3:18
5. “Big Talk” … 3:44
6. “Sometimes She Cries” … 4:44
7. “Cherry Pie” … 3:22
8. “Thin Disguise” … 3:14
9. “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” … 4:03
10. “I Saw Red” [Acoustic Version] … 3:46
11. “Bed Of Roses” … 3:14
12. “Mr. Rainmaker” … 3:30
13. “Sure Feels Good To Me” … 2:41
14. “Hole In My Wall” … 3:37
15. “Machine Gun” … 3:45
16. “We Will Rock You” … 2:56

For many bands, I always made my point of entry to be “greatest hits” or “best of” compilations just to go with the more familiar songs and decide if their catalog would be worth diving into. So, this best of comp was my very first Warrant album.

The Best of Warrant is only a retrospective of their first three albums (all from Columbia Records). By the time of this album’s release, they had already been dropped from Columbia and found their way onto the CMC International label. They had already released an album there by the time Sony decided to cash-in with this compilation in the middle of the alternative rock scene. Why did so many hair band “greatest hits” get released during a time when no one wanted to have *anything* to do with those bands?

It’s a pretty great compilation and for casual fans, it’s all they would need. There’s definitely some songs I feel should be counted amongst their “best” though (“Love in Stereo”, the album version of “I Saw Red”, “April 2031”, “Let it Rain”). The album is especially light on the band’s third and least successful Columbia album, Dog Eat Dog.

The band’s cover of Queen’s “We Will Rock You” is taken from 1992’s Gladiator soundtrack and “Thin Disguise” and the acoustic version of “I Saw Red” were both B-sides to singles. The acoustic “I Saw Red” pales in comparison to the electric version that was on Cherry Pie.

www.warrantweb.net
www.myspace.com/warrantband

Oh Jani, you’re all alone…

Hold on, hold on...

Hold on, hold on...

A message from Warrant guitarist Erik Turner, as sent to and reported by SleazeRoxx.com:

“It is with the deepest regret that we have to announce that Jani Lane will no longer be performing with Warrant. From the beginning of our reunion talks to the last note of our last show together in Houston this past weekend we have had nothing but good intentions of bringing a quality original Warrant show to our fans and friends. We wish Jani nothing but the best and remain friends.

We are very excited that we have found an unbelievable voice in Robert Mason (LYNCH MOB), an old friend of the band. We have three dates confirmed, come out and judge for yourself…we don’t think you will be disappointed!”

Well, I can only assume this has to do with Jani’s forever ongoing battle with the bottle and his (drunken) performances at the reunion shows. I really had high hopes for a reunited Warrant. The St. James lineup did fine with Born Again, but Warrant without Jani just isn’t Warrant, IMO, and I think they could’ve delivered a kick@$$ album.

At least they have another singer lined up (Was Jamie St. James busy?) and I hope this means they are still on track for a new album. At this point though, I think it may be time to put the Warrant name to rest and for them to soldier on as a new band and not be tied to the nostalgia/hair metal label (which I think only works if Jani is singing).

WARRANT – Ultraphobic

Warrant – Ultraphobic (1995, CMC International)

Track Listing:
1. “Undertow” – 3:12
2. “Followed” – 3:41
3. “Family Picnic” – 4:43
4. “Sum of One” – 3:37
5. “Chameleon” – 5:23
6. “Crawlspace” – 2:38
7. “Live Inside of You” – 3:17
8. “High” – 4:02
9. ‘Ride #2″ – 5:07
10. “Ultraphobic” – 4:25
11. “Stronger Now” – 3:57

Band:
Jani Lane – Vocals
Rick Steier – Guitar
Erik Turner – Guitar
Dave White – Keyboards
Jerry Dixon – Bass
James Kottak – Drums

Produced by: Beau Hill

I bought this one used about 5 or 6 years ago during my “get everything ‘hair metal'” phase. I never really gave it a close listen because this album was only half hair, the rest was grunge/alternative. But listening to it today, it’s really not that bad.

There’s plenty of trademark Warrant songs here, but the harder, more alternative songs aren’t that bad either. “Stronger Now” is a classic ballad and very Warrant-like and I found myself getting into the more modern songs (well, “modern” in 1995 anyway) like “Followed”, “Crawlspace” and “Family Picnic” (which I absolutely love the guitar work on).

The ’90s were filled with hair bands trying to go darker & heavier and failing miserably, but Jani Lane is a great songwriter and Beau Hill is a great producer so the album is balanced well with pop-metal and alternative. Thumbs up on this one, despite a completely awful album cover.

By the way, this is drummer James Kottak’s cup of coffee with Warrant. In 1996, he would go on to join Scorpions and has been there ever since.

Highlights: “Undertow”, “Followed”, “Family Picnic”, “Chameleon”, “Crawlspace”, “Ultraphobic”, “Stronger Now”

http://www.warrantweb.net
http://www.myspace.com/warrantband

WARRANT – Cherry Pie

Warrant – Cherry Pie [Expanded Edition] (1990/2004, Columbia Records/Legacy Recordings)

Track Listing:
1. “Cherry Pie” [3:20]
2. “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” [4:01]
3. “I Saw Red” [3:47]
4. “Bed of Roses” [4:04]
5. “Sure Feels Good to Me” [2:39]
6. “Love in Stereo” [3:06]
7. “Blind Faith” [3:33]
8. “Song and Dance Man” [2:58]
9. “You’re the Only Hell Your Mama Ever Raised” [3:34]
10. “Mr. Rainmaker” [3:29]
11. “Train, Train” [2:49]
12. “Ode to Tipper Gore” [:54]
BONUS TRACKS:
13. Game of War [Demo] [3:38]
14. The Power [Gladiator Mix] [3:00]

Band:
Jani Lane – Vocals
Joey Allen – Guitar
Erik Turner – Guitar
Jerry Dixon – Bass
Steven Sweet – Drums

Now this is a true hair metal classic. It was originally released by Columbia in 1990, but I have the “expanded” & remastered version that Columbia released through their Legacy Recordings imprint back in 2004.

This is Warrant’s high-point and it proved they were one of the best bands of the era. Jani Lane’s voice is as strong as is his songwriting on this album. He is extremely underrated as a songwriter and could probably make quite a career out of penning songs for other bands if he ever chose to do. The lyrics are just grand, especially on “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” and “I Saw Red”, which is one of my favorite Warrant songs. It starts off like it’s going to be a lovey dovey power ballad then turns into a tale of love & betrayal, which I found out actually happened to Jani Lane.

“Cherry Pie” is, of course, their signature song. Legend has it that once the record was done, Columbia Records president told them he didn’t see a big hit rock anthem on the record and wanted one, so Jani quickly wrote “Cherry Pie” within the span of 15 minutes and the rest is history. Jani then went on to famously say in VH1’s Heavy: The Story of Metal documentary series that he could shoot himself for writing that song. It was a pretty creepy moment and you almost believed it. Jani has since gone on to say that he was having a “bad day” when he said that.

Anyway, this album is essential for any hair metal fan. The album was labeled explicit thanks to the last track, “Ode to Tipper Gore” which was outtakes of the band cursing live on stage.

As for the bonus tracks, “Game of War” never made it past the demo stage and isn’t really anything special. But hey, it is a demo afterall. “The Power” is kinda cool and is from the 1992 movie Gladiator starring Cuba Gooding Jr.

Highlights: “Cherry Pie”, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”, “I Saw Red”, “Love in Stereo”, “You’re the Only Hell Your Mama Ever Raised”, “Mr. Rainmaker”, “Ode to Tipper Gore”

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