Friday, August 12, 2011

No big hair

I never expected to write about Warrant, but with nothing much else jumping to the fore and the death of lead singer Jani Lane in the news, I guess this will have to do for today's blogging.

Warrant and other hair metal bands were inescapable when I was in high school. I liked some of it. Certainly if you listened at all to the mainstream rock radio stations in town, you were going to get plenty of it mixed in with the '70s standard bearers. It was pervasive on pop radio too. I can't say that the music means much to me, although it's not unpleasant to sample stuff I haven't heard in ages. Still, while I heard lots of hair metal in its heyday, I bought very little of it. (I do have a Slaughter cassingle, though. For shame, right?)

News of Lane's passing caught my eye, perhaps because he had an Ohio connection. With this story being out there, I watched some of their videos for the first time in a long time. Frankly, as far as I can remember, I was never all that crazy about Warrant. The videos don't shake that opinion, but I can respect the ability to write catchy--sometimes maddeningly catchy--songs. For instance:

Look, I can't in good conscience or in good taste call "Cherry Pie" good, but try to get that chorus out of your head. The video was ridiculous when it was released and is even more so now. If the straightforward lyrics left any room for doubt as to the song's undisguised subject matter--trust me, teenage boys were not missing the finer shadings--the promotional clip couldn't spell it out any more directly. It would be worth being offended by if it weren't so unbelievably dumb. (And this peaked at #10 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart!)

If I had to pick a favorite Warrant song, I'd probably have to go with "Uncle Tom's Cabin". Not that I've looked all that hard, but wasn't the video for it controversial for a blip on the pop culture radar? While I have nice things to say about Warrant, "I Saw Red" is a solid hard rock ballad.

I now return to my regular listening habits.

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