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Slaughter - Then and Now Print E-mail
Tuesday, 09 March 2004


Then and Now
format: 24 bit/96 kHz DVD-Audio, 24 bit/48 kHz Dolby Digital 5.1 and stereo options, plays on all DVD players
label: Sanctuary Records
release year: 2004
performance: 7
sound: 6
special features: Artist photos, band bio, speaker setup and weblinks
reviewed by: Jeff Fish

Image When I was asked to review this DVD-A my original thought was, weren’t they a band from the late 80’s? Well yes they were and still are as a matter of fact. Slaughter’s first hit came in 1990 with “Up All Night”. Soon following that up with “Fly to the Angels” and then add on top of that the theme song from “Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey”, pretty impressive resume so far. But to be brutally honest I can’t say that I ever heard any of these songs before. Slaughter's music falls somewhere between Poison, Cinderella and KISS and for me that is somewhere I really don’t go musically. So that being said this DVD-A was a bit of a surprise to me. Musically solid, lyrically weak for the most part and generally fun is the way I’d describe this band. If you were into the “hair bands” of the late 80’s you’d probably really like this disc.

The music is what you’d expect. Plenty of party tunes on this disc “Tongue N’ Groove”, “Get Used To It” and “Let The Good Times Roll” are a few tunes to get your party started. “Fly To the Angels” and “Up All Night” on this disc are live renditions of their biggest hits. The mix on those two live tunes are pretty much what you’d expect with the band in the two front speakers with most of the ambience in the two rear speakers. Just don’t expect Pink Floyd type ambience to come out of your speakers. This music doesn’t really leave much to the imagination though, nor do I think you’d expect that. Most of the songs are straightforward rockers with a lot of attitude, just like the late 80’s. I was expecting to just trash this disc, but I really can’t. Just as I can’t really recommend this disc either. Can they play? Sure, and they’re pretty good at what they do as well. But does that make an album? Nope, at least in my mind.

There are a couple of tunes on this disc that are a little out of the norm “Breakdown N’ Cry”, “American Pie” and “Unknown Destination” are the three that stand out to me. “American Pie” sounds like an outtake from T-Rex’s Electric Warrior; in fact it sounds an awful lot like “Jeepster” (just not as good as the original…). “Breakdown N’ Cry” has some psychedelic tendencies to it which were nice and then it breaks into the typical guitar solo that all songs of this ilk needed back then. Probably my favorite song of the disc is “Heaven It Cries”, an interesting quality to the mix with the background vocals floating across the stereo spectrum in the rear two speakers, probably the most adventurous mix of the disc. But as I wrote earlier this disc is chalked full of party tunes, I just like my party tunes to not be so obvious. Led Zeppelin had a ton of party tunes without being obvious, so did the Stones and Beatles for that matter. A lot of my problems with rock from that era was the overstated nature of the beast. More sex, more drugs, longer hair and faster riffs were the order of the day. Just no subtlety.

While Slaughter can play and I want to make sure that I’m not denigrating their talent (because they definitely can play…) its not all about sex, drugs, hair and the fastest riffs possible. There has to be room left for space and while I did hear some of that on this disc, its still pretty much all about getting laid and oh did I get your name… If that’s what you like in music, then buy this disc. If you like a little subtlety in your music, then this disc isn’t for you. While listening to this I was reminded of why I don’t like much of the late 80’s for rock music. There was no room in the music for my mind to wander. What I mean by that is that when you hear a great tune from the late 60’s or early 70’s there was some space left for the listener, you could get inside of the tune (or at least that’s how I perceive it…). But with Slaughter you get it in your face (…and if they had it their way probably on your face as well!). That’s not a slam either, just my observation.

As far as a DVD-A disc goes, the mix was generally OK. The vocals were a little trebly for my tastes and weren’t any real advantages of the DVD-A format from what I could tell. I could have gotten all I was to get from this disc in the standard CD format and not have any issues at all with this release. In fact the review would have probably been the same. They’re a good band that knows how to play rock from that era and if you’re into that then you’ll dig this release. Just make sure to pull out your spandex out and get your hairspray ready, you’ll need it…


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