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Pretty Boy Floyd | Kiss of Death A Tribute to Kiss | review | rock | Lollipop
Pretty Boy Floyd
Kiss of Death: A Tribute to Kiss
by Scott Hefflon
While they probably ain't so pretty anymore, Pretty Boy Floyd is responsible for Leather Boyz With Electric Toyz, perhaps one of the best end-to-end glam rock debuts of all time. It was 1989, they were signed to MCA along with a bunch of other up-and-coming hair bands, and then the rug got pulled out from the whole genre cuz grunge wandered in, mumbled something about scaling back and being sincere in a plastic world, and wandered off to find more flannel and heroin.
But hairspray and spandex aside, PBF wrote some amazingly catchy songs, a high percentage of them, had slick but thumping production (what essentially killed fellow gutter rockers Faster Pussycat was shitty production on good anthems), and had the chops to solo, harmonize from here to the heavens, and were naughty little sleazeballs with good skin, great hair, and twinkles in their eyes.
Sure, as time dragged on, they struggled as all glam bands did, cuz the world hates aging strippers. If you were once hot and arrogant, the mediocre masses cheer as you fall apart and are humbled by time. While some might see it as pathetic that the band held on, and keeps hanging on, you'll find style and skill scattered throughout their 20+ year career. Uh, not as many gems as also-rans in recent years, but seeing as I can sing nearly every song on Leather Boyz from memory, they've already written more memorable tunes than most flash-in-the-pan cool bands, dig? Just for giggles, if you can find the "Do You Wanna Touch Me" single, it's worth a listen. While most know it from Joan Jett's cover on Bad Reputation (the album just before I Love Rock and Roll), it's a Gary Glitter tune, as is "Rock'N'Roll pt II," which is chanted mindlessly at sporting events cuz the masses are dumb. The song was also covered by D.I. on the same album as "Richard Hung Himself," but I digress. "Do You Wanna Touch Me" is a little creepier once you know that the '70s UK glammer is a pedophile and has convicted and been deported repeatedly since 1997. And we're talking about getting kicked out of Vietnam and Cambodia and other really swank places known for taking the moral high ground. The other two songs on the single are Glitter's "I Didn't Know I Loved You Til I Saw You Rock N Roll" and "The Wild One," (also called "Real Wild Child") which has been covered by everyone who's ever existed since the dawn of time.
Kiss of Death: A Tribute to Kiss: Seriously, you're still interested? It's a fuckin' Kiss tribute, released in 2010 by a band who peaked with their first album in '89. It's mean, but true. There are 15 covers here ranging from classic Kiss to who cares? The old songs have been covered by bands better and worse than Pretty Boy Floyd, but sometimes it's kinda cool to hear that signature nasal nyah-nyah sing 'em. Other times it's just annoying. The band is solid, sure, but I've played these songs since year two of picking up a guitar, and there's not a lot new anyone can bring to these songs anymore. Production is decent to skimpy, kinda cardboard here, little tinny there, kinda timid when it should shake foundations, but maybe they didn't want to mess up their hair or something. Some tunes are obviously favorites of the band and they're simply having fun, others efforts are phoned in, and their lack of enthusiasm is almost kinda funny. Sure, lazy singers are considered hip now, I guess, but hipsters are douchebags, and I don't get why anyone would bother to record a song if they weren't even going to put in a little effort.
You can hear all kinds of streaming this'n'that on the band's site. The music starts automatically, which I always find annoying. The band has had highs and lows, great songs and lame ones, and anyone who's listened to Mötley Crüe and Poison should check out Pretty Boy Floyd. They've written some amazing songs, covered some amazing songs, and they'll still get you nodding your head and slapping the steering wheel to the beat.