Why am I suddenly looking at a picture of a weirdly young Guns N’ Roses clone? Well, there’s Axl friggin’ Rose, or – at least – a look-alike. Oh, and a young ersatz Slash is also present. All of that in the midst of all those shampooed beings. RMR in full glam mode.1)
Hair Metal on a trve metal blog? That’s heresy, or is it, now? Because, y’know, girls gotta have fun sometimes. And Jones Street here sported a lusty tune back in time. So, let’s unpack some of those shiny objects. No influencers with body hair and no undue fragrances allowed, though.
But behold, Out of the Gutter ain’t no new release.2) It’s actually old material that got recycled by the folks over at Eönian. A rehash of the long-defunct band’s 1995 record Dance with the Devil. Ah, bummer, now we’re disappointed. But – hey – as we’re having fun, the review might as well gain some traction. Good ol’ Sunset Strip fare, when rock was still all the rage and metal just took on steam.
And besides, sometimes you just need that red-hot, cozy feeling of straight-up Hard Rock and Heavy Metal all over again. These were the times when yer rock life was simple, the chicks even hotter, whiskey plentiful, and nobody barked at you because you’re driving a big, gas-guzzling convertible.
And that’s where Jones Street come in, like the undead from a long-gone era. Out of the Gutter sounds authentic – because it damn well is. And that drew us to this record like a honey badger to its favorite dish. It’s all there, the stomping rhythms, red-hot riffs, and the truly metallic solos that soar straight to the sky. And that goes hand-in-hand with Shawn Crosby‘s high-pitched wails that sit so high atop the mix that the RMR crew almost developed acrophobia.
That said, the band probably leaned more into sleaze than proper Hair Metal during their stint on the strip. In other words, they surfed the Mighty Wave o’ Glam but still went for the dustier and rougher Heavy Metal sound that we fancy today.3) And in truth, I am of a mind to point some of today’s wannabe’s towards this old material. It might help them some.
Now, Out of the Gutter won’t hide its influences. You’ll find a lot of Guns N’ Roses, the good ol’ AC/DC rockers, and many others. So, it’s not that Jones Street here really went for some new sound. But, as their album cover suggests, they had their idols written on their sleeves and hammered into their music. Which is cool, by the way. Because that kind of sound is the only thing we wanted back during those times.
Now, once the red-hot rocker Dancing with the Devil started to bounce off the walls of the RMR office suite, the crew was all ears. Where the hell did this suddenly appear out of that pungent morass the genre has become lately? That’s just straight down sleaze road and – actually – the style we’d want to hear more of. The kind of sound you want to enjoy once you drive up the Malibu highway along those stellar beaches with their lazy breakers rolling in from the Pacific.
And then, the influences start to appear. Tell Me Why could’ve emerged straight from Rose’s songwriting cabinet. But the track with its airs of snazzy Country and Blues Rock really is one of the juiciest on Out of the Gutter. Oh, fancy some AC/DC groove? Look no further than What Comes Around. Boy, Jones Street even kinda successfully tried to copy Phil Rudd’s4) unctuous drumming style. And that’s a difficult feat. I could probably namedrop this record to death, so let’s stop here.
Now, the record ebbs and flows down the tracklist with a continuation of similar tracks, some more memorable and others less so. Methinks as well that the second half contains weaker material. With some that nonetheless stand out from the mass, like the staple Razor To My Wrist. Out of the Gutter also contains the never-before-released track On The Edge. It’s a rough demo and it for sure sounds that way.
In the end, the record will serve well for a lazy afternoon of long-gone nostalgia. Perfect for basking in long-lost delights and revered memories. But more importantly, Out of the Gutter showcases a band that clearly had promise and was at the height of their game during their time in Southern California. It’s thus a pity they called it quits because the RMR crew enjoyed every minute of what’s on offer here.
Record Rating: 7/10 | Label: Eönian Records | Web: –
Release Date: 3 June 2022