Glam's a funny thing - simultaneously exploitative and escapist while also empowering and liberating. '80s glam, mostly in the form of hair metal and arena rock, is built around images of nearly naked women and coked out men, while 21st century glam has taken a more liberationist angle, eschewing the politics and focusing on feeling good and having a good time.
As usual, with 21st century retrospect, modern glam rockers offer a critical reevaluation of former eras, like the way Yacht Rock has brought about a renaissance of '80s lite rock like Hall And Oates or Pat Benatar. On Pray For Noise, the NYC quartet Madam's Animals have achieved the nearly impossible - making '80s hair metal/arena rock like Guns 'N Roses or Van Halen sound exciting and contemporary, while still remaining in line with the energy of the originals.
This is largely due to the fact that Madam's Animal isn't trying to fit into a particular cookie cutter mood or genre. Instead, they're focusing on having a good time and plying the feel good, infectious, melodic hard rock they clearly love so much!
A lot of Pray For Noise's success comes from the production and engineering, impressively and ambitiously handled in-house by Madam's Animal themselves. Each and every element hangs in a rugged equilibrium: rhythm guitars, courtesy of Sean Hanley, are thick as an undiluted milkshake, occasionally launching into bouts of fretboard inspiration, like on album closer “Explode.” Meanwhile, the drums are sharp, tight, taut and focused, cutting through the mix like a hurricane of knitting needles. It all comes together to create a compelling bedrock for Benjamin Raffali's vintage lead vocals, improving on the trebly leads forged by frontmen like Axl Rose or David Lee Roth, occasionally veering into some chorus-y grunge territory, like the first couple of Alice In Chains records.
It's an attractive and compelling slice of revisionist history. For those that wonder what Use Your Illusion III might've sounded like, or what the rockscape could've been had Axl Rose not lost his damn mind (although that particular breakdown yielded some pretty entertaining and compelling tangents), you'll be in heaven, thanking the Gods of rock as you Pray For Noise!
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