toe tappin', head banging heavy metal from Texas!
Take the slither and slide of like L.A. bands like Guns n Roses and Faster Pussycat and mix it with a Texas, southern rock boogie, and you pretty much have an accurate description of this disc. Every song on this disc, despite being of the pop metal variety, has an undeniable hook that will pull you in like a catfish to a slimy 'ol night crawler on a brisk Texas morning. (Man was that corny or what?) OK, the lyrics were a bit typical of the sleaze rock of the late 80's. I mean can you get any more obvious than "Sportin' a Woody"? Nice band pic on the back with drummer Mark Geary sporting a Death shirt. Hair metal with a cowboy hat and boots. Gotta love it! Dangerous Toys' debut would go gold.
Dangerous Toys - Hellacious Acres (Columbia) 1991
I remember going to a small metal club that was hidden within a strip mall in the heights-area of Albuquerque to check out this new band called Dangerous Toys with my brother-in-law. Dangerous Toys were kicking off the tour for their second album titled 'Hellacious Acres' that had just been released. On stage the band looked like they were the offspring of Lynyrd Skynyrd and Guns N' Roses. Musically the band sounded like a mixture of these two bands as well, although a tad more aggressive than both. The band joked several times about how much New Mexicans disliked Texans but that they would change that attitude. They certainly did a fine job that night of winning over an audience that seemed mostly unfamiliar with the band. What can I say, they won us over. After the concert we headed over to a 24-hour cd/video store to snag a copy of "Hellacious Acres" to crank it in my brother-in-law's mustang. The band had all the shimmy and shake of Aerosmith, yet with a strange southern draw that, while not being out front like most Southern rock bands, was still very much present. Album opener "Gunfighter" sounds a bit like Thin Lizzy on speed. "Gimme No Lip" could easily have been an Aerosmith song, both in music and in the Tyler-esque vocal melody. We were loving it. I am now writing this almost ten years later, and I still think this album is a fine example of late 80's/early 90's pop metal. Having said that, "Hellacious Acres" is no where near as commercial as the band's debut, thanks in part to a slightly more dirty production and more aggressive song writing. Besides some rather silly lyrics, "Hellacious Acres" is probably one of the finest commercial metal discs to come out of the early 90's.
Dangerous Toys - Pissed (DOS) 1994
1. "Pissed" (4:10)
Enter new guitarist Paul Lidel (ex-Dirty Looks) and Dangerous Toys record one of their finest records. "Pissed" is to the band's first two albums what Skid Row's 'Slave to the Grind' was to their debut. They lost the "strip mall, hair metal" sound for a new heavier approach. The band still retains their style to a degree but they have added a new ferociousness that wasn't present on their big label debut and follow-up. I can't honestly say that I like those two cds any less. I actually think all three are fine examples of the more commercial side of heavy metal, however, of the three, "Pissed" is the heaviest and certainly give credence to it's title. Of course, this was 1994, the year of grunge and the band didn't have the big buck backing them any longer, so "Pissed" sold poorly. However, had this disc come out just a few years earlier I think it probably would have been a platinum seller.
Dangerous Toys - R*tist 4*merly Known as Dangerous Toys (Deadline) 1995
1. "Share the Kill"
Words cannot describe how much I think this album SUCKS! I mean, I am never quite sure what bands are thinking when they go for a totally new sound in an attempt to "stay current." Maybe Dangerous Toys really should have changed their name. I suppose there are those die-hards fans who will buy anything the band puts out, but a majority of the fans want the music the band is known for. Anyhow, "The R*tist 4*merly Known as Dangerous Toys" is far removed from the boogie metal and pop metal leanings of their first three records. Rather, what we are given is a lethal dose of 90's alt-grunge-rock. AMG compares the disc to Nine Inch Nails, Alice in Chains, and Nirvana. If that doesn't tell you something, then your probably a teenage who thinks of Nirvana as classic rock band. OK, perhaps it's not as bad as I originally said. There are some relatively cool hooks in songs like "Cure the Sane" or the trippy "Transmission" and their lyrical ideas are certainly better than laughable songs of the past like "Sportin' Wood" and "Teas'n Pleas'n" but overall, I'd say let the grunge bands have their grunge. Give me my metal, and this ain't it.
Dangerous Toys - Vitamins & Crash Helmets Tour-Greatest Hits-Live (Dead Line) 1999
1. "Outlaw" (3:46)
Back in 1989 I went to a club to see an unheard of band called Dangerous Toys. My brother-in-law and I walked into the club not knowing what to expect. Simply put, we were blown away! Dangerous Toys were at home on a stage and rocked hard. This CD captures the band live at various locations. There are no overdubs on this disc. It is uncut, uncensored, and 100% ballistic! Tracks 1 through 7, originally released on the '89 studio album, Dangerous Toys were recorded by Westwood One, at the Orpheum Theater, in Boston MA, on November 4, 1989. I am not exactly sure where the rest of the tracks were recorded at. One interesting side not that was included in the liner notes was this: "I, Jason McMaster, had a concussion from hitting me head on a cement beam the night before, at the Ritz." Well, that be true or not, you would never know listening to this disc. This is DT at their best.