Review: Badlands

(Koch Records)

This is a reissue of Badlands 1989 release. The band released two albums, their self-titled debut, and another in 1991 before disbanding. Most of the fellows are still involved in the music industry except vocalist Ray Gillen, who died in 1994. Badlands consisted of a bunch of guys who came together after doing various work under the shadow of others such as Ozzy, Black Sabbath, Lita Ford and Gary Moore in order to create an identity for themselves. Vocalist Gillen croons and hollers in the best fusion of Coverdale and Palmer he can muster to good effect. The guitars rail and wail away in traditional glam metal wankery, but stay relatively cemented in the blues arrangements from which rock and roll was, after all, originally born. For the late eighties this is much better than the glut of buffoonery clogging the airwaves and the cable lines via MTV. Badlands were much more rooted in the history of rock and roll than latter day Poison, Warrant, Mr. Big, Britney Fox and the slew of others of varying and often disappointing talents. This album is wheat deserving of another look separated from the chaff of its period of initial release, but when listening, remember, the next seven years were to be dominated by the rock armies marching forth from Seattle, WA.