Released on April 19, 2011 (Hessler)
01. Shark Attack
02. Crash ‘N Burn
03. Windy City Wild Child
07. Bad Blood
Lariyah Daniels – lead vocals
Igz Kincaid – all lead/rhythm guitar, all bass and backing vocals
Dano – lead/rhythm guitar and backing vocals
Alex Spadavecchia – bass and backing vocals
Marcus Lee Cox – drums, percussion and backing vocals
Produced by Adam Arling and Igz Kincaid. Mastered by Tony McQuade.
Heavy metal has always been ruled by men, but never more so than in the mid-’80s when female rock artists had to exploit their sexuality to get even a sniff of attention. Chicago’s Hessler takes you back to that time frame, for better or worse, by flaunting vocalist and model Lariyah Daniels‘ stunning good looks while bashing out ’80s inspired anthems. And let’s be honest, with Lita Ford entering her 50s someone had to become the new assless-chaps covergirl.
There is a certain low-budget charm to the band’s debut Bad Blood, not so much in sound quality, but in the way they deliver their songs — it keeps reminding me of what Leather Leone and Bitch tackled during the ’80s metal uprising. As I spin the opening track “Shark Attack” I keep wondering if someone sent me an old Metal Blade cassette from 1984 by mistake — the song just screams of an era long since passed with its guitar shredding, pounding rhythm section and stop ‘n’ start chorus intro. The album’s first single “Windy City Wild Child” pays homage to the band’s hometown with some fierce lead guitar work layered over top a chugging rhythm before Hessler explode with rapid fire drumming and a sense of urgency on the appropriately entitled “Kamikaze”. “Scarlett”, the obligatory ballad, does nothing for me, but the title track ends the CD on another retro high note.
As I listen to Bad Blood I think to myself, ‘damn, this sound was done to death almost 30 years ago!’ Yet it is the old-school sound and delivery of Hessler that keeps drawing me in, because even though the formula being used is decades old, there really aren’t many new bands taking this approach — or maybe it’s the seductive photos of Daniels on the group’s website that is clouding my judgment.
Reviewed by Skid for Sleaze Roxx, August 2011