So many well-known albums turn 30 this year and Steve Taylor-Bryant and Susan Omand travel back to 1987 to revisit some of the sounds of their youth that made parents shout "Turn that noise down!" This week, Steve says Faster Pussycat...
Got your number off the bathroom wall
And I decided it was about time I made the call
Yeah, I got your number off the bathroom wall
Boy am I lucky that I didn't use the other stall
In a changing time for rock music, the 1980's saw a shift towards softer music, more melodic tunes to fill the charts. The likes of Poison, Cinderella, Bon Jovi and Motley Crue took the place of The Ramones and The New York Dolls and, with it, lipstick rock took off. There's nothing wrong with the likes of Poison mind you but their ilk certainly took an edge off what had come before, they were stadium filling beauty boys that girls wanted to be with and boys wanted the girls so it's no surprise that the world fell in love with them. There was still a small undercurrent of bands though that wouldn't quite give up their roots. Club bands, excellent live and recorded acts that went glam in their look but just couldn't let go of what they grew up listening to. Instead of singing about love they sang about fucking, instead of playing about with party music they got in a studio and had a party instead. They weren't as commercially successful as the likes of Poison but they were musically pleasing when you unearthed them in your local record shop.
What happens when you mix punk sensibilities with 80's glam rock? You get Faster Pussycat! Faster Pussycat bridged that gap between the US punk scene and the make up driven chart stuff and, whilst they were probably not hugely successful, certainly not until Wake Me When It's Over, it's their self titled debut release I still love to this day. Don't Change That Song and Cathouse (pussy ain't no feline! What a lyric!) along with the awesome Babylon and City Has No Heart gave a great listen but one song in particular stood out for me and that is Bathroom Wall. Big echoes of drums, subtle driving bass, lead into an electric guitar driven tune that just rocks. Then comes Taime Downe spitting lyrics and raunchily talking about toilet stall phone numbers. Motley Crue couldn't sing smut like Downe, Poison couldn't keep the driving guitars going for a whole song and it's a real shame Faster Pussycat didn't get the audience their prettier compatriots got. They were the US equivalent of The Quireboys. They were brilliant.
Image - Amazon