Monday, November 14, 2016


Hi guys, just a quick note to let you know that House of Hairspray isn't dead, it's just on temporary hiatus.

The reason for this is that in late September I migrated from my native New Zealand to live in the United States (my fiancee is American). We're currently living with family so I don't have the time or space necessary to work on the blog, but hopefully that situation will be changing soon. Until then, rock on!

Friday, September 9, 2016

50SHR #50: Full Blown Mosey (Wyoming)


Band: Full Blown Mosey
Release: Temporal Cadence
Year: 2008
Line-up: Kirk Warren (vocals, bass), Rocky Harting (lead guitar), Greg Scott (rhythm guitar), Dale Ortega (drums).

Track Listing:
1. Mistaken           4:14
2. Saturday Night    2:34
3. Berserker           7:02  
4. In Reverence     2:50
5. Time the Master    6:24
6. Crazy Desire     5:08
7. Nite Drive             4:03
8. You're the Fire    3:30
9. Fast Moving Shadow    4:42
10. Now I Know      4:30

Fletchanator's comment: Closing out this countdown is Wyoming-based melodic hard rock band Full Blown Mosey. Finding a hair metal/hard rock band from this sparsely-populated country music-loving state was no easy task, so thank goodness for these guys!
This is the debut (and so far only) album by Full Blown Mosey. Although it was released in 2008 it doesn't have that "modern melodic rock" sound that a lot of 2000s releases have - it sounds like it could very easily have been recorded in 1990.
The band list influences as varied as Black Sabbath, KISS and Rush, and you can actually hear all of that in their sound. On songs like Berserker they sound like melodic heavy metal, while on songs like Crazy Desire and Fast Moving Shadow they have a 1980s KISS hard rock sound. And there's moments of prog rock influences in there, although thankfully not a lot.
Singer Kirk Warren doesn't have the strongest voice, but guitarist Rocky Harting makes up for it with some kickass guitar licks. Sadly drummer Dale Ortega died during the making of the album, which is dedicated to his memory.
Temporal Cadence is a solid low budget indy release and definitely worth checking out!

50SHR #49: Dizzy Lane (Wisconsin)


Band: Dizzy Lane
Release: It Ain't Easy
Year: 1990
Line-up: Scott Williams (vocals, guitar), Nick Summers (guitar), Brian Lemay (bass), Rob E Dee (drums)

Track Listing:
01. Shot of Your Love
02. Summer Vacation
03. I've Had Enough
04. It Ain't Easy
05. D.W.I.
06. Outlaw Kid

Fletchanator's comment: The penultimate entry in our 50 States of Hard Rock countdown comes to us from the city of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, home of obscure melodic hard rock band Dizzy Lane. Formed in 1988, they sold around 3000 copies of this, their debut album. Five years later they released a second album, Cheap Thrills, which goes for big money if you can get your hands on it.
The band most people compare Dizzy Lane to is Enuff Z'Nuff, mainly due to Scott Williams' voice sounding a lot like Chip Z'Nuff. Overall their sound is a bit glam, a bit sleazy and a whole lot of great hard rock guitar licks. This album won't necessarily blow you away, but it's good stuff and it's as rare as hen's teeth so check it out!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

50SHR #47: Bloodgood (Washington)


Band: Bloodgood
Release: Rock in a Hard Place
Year: 1988
Line-up: Les Carlson (vocals), David Zaffiro (guitars), Michael Bloodgood (bass), Mark Welling (drums).

Track Listing:
1.  Shakin' It  2:57
2.  Never be the Same  4:00
3.  The Presence  3:31
4.  What Have I Done?  3:46
5.  Heaven on Earth  3:49
6.  Do or Die  2:26
7.  She's Gone  4:36
8.  The World (Keeps Movin' Around)  4:14
9.  Seven  4:56

Fletchanator's comment: Washington, and Seattle in particular, are more associated with the death of hair metal than the genre itself. But that city did produce some good hard rock/heavy metal bands, like Queensryche, Metal Church and TKO. It is also the home of Christian rockers Bloodgood, named after bassist and principal songwriter Michael Bloodgood.
Bloodgood formed in 1985 and released a demo that same year. Full-length albums quickly followed in 1986 and 1987, portraying a distinctly melodic heavy metal sound. But for this, their third album, Bloodgood changed to a more radio-friendly AOR/hard rock sound.
Singer Les Carlsen sounds a lot like Steve Perry, so Journey is the best comparison I can make for Bloodgood. They don't have the standout hits that band did, but this album is definitely a good listen - guitarist David Zaffiro (who later joined fellow Christian rockers Whitecross) shows some good axemanship.
After a further two studio albums and three live releases, Bloodgood called it quits in 1994. However, they got back together in 2006 and released a new album in 2013 called Dangerously Close, which features Stryper's Oz Fox on guitar (replacing Zaffiro).

Monday, September 5, 2016

50SHR #45: 8084 (Vermont)


Band: 8084
Release: Eight Oh Eight Four
Year: 1987
Line-up: Randy Smith (vocals), Andre Maquera (guitars), Frank Barnes (bass), Gary Spaulding (drums), Charles Hawthorne (keyboards)

Track Listing:
1.  Bad Man  
2.  Lover's Feel  
3.  Fire  
4.  Beat of the City  
5.  Thunder In Her Heart  
6.  Hold On  
7.  When I Think of You  
8.  Stop Me  

Fletchanator's comment: The band 8084 formed in Burlington, Vermont in 1982 and toured the northeast for a few years before recording this, their debut album, which was released on vinyl in Europe through Dutch label Semaphore Records.
In 1987 they won the Rock Search International competition in Canada and throughout the rest of the 80s and 90s 8084 continued to tour North America while working with the likes of Aldo Nova and Richie Valens. They released two more albums in the early 90s and have also put out a couple more in the 2000s. 8084 continue to play together to this day, albeit as a quartet - keyboardist Charles Hawthorne sadly died in a car crash on Christmas Eve 1989 and Smith took over keyboards after that.
This album is excellent pomp rock/AOR in the style of Honeymoon Suite, Journey and Night Ranger. Highly recommended if you like that kind of music!

50SHR #44: Starbreaker (Utah)


Band: Starbreaker
Release: Love's Dying Wish
Year: 2008
Line-up: Tony Harnell (vocals), Magnus Karlsson (guitars), Jonni Lightfoot (bass), John Macaluso (drums).

Track Listing:
1.  End of Alone  
2.  Evaporate  
3.  Love's Dying Wish  
4.  Unknown Superstar  
5.  Hide  
6.  Building a Wall  
7.  Beautiful Disaster  
8.  Live Your Life  
9.  Hello, Are You Listening?  
10.  Changes Me  
11.  The Day Belongs to Us  
12.  This Close  

Fletchanator's comment: Okay, so Starbreaker aren't actually from Utah, but bassist Jonni Lightfoot is one of the state's most prolific musicians and I wanted to include something featuring him. Lightfoot was originally in a Salt Lake City hair metal band called Skit Skat in the 1990s, but sadly I've been unable to lay my hands on a copy of their work. He was also with soft-rockers Air Supply from 2001 until recently, but their music doesn't really fit on this blog. So Starbreaker it is!
A side-project of former TNT and (blink and you'll miss it) Skid Row vocalist Tony Harnell, Starbreaker has released two albums so far (the first featuring a different bassist). Joining Harnell and Lightfoot are Harnell's TNT bandmate Macaluso on drums and guitarist Magnus Karlsson, who has worked a lot with Norwegian singer Jorn Lande.
Love's Dying Wish has that typical modern sound - well-polished, lots of harmonies - and unfortunately like a lot of 2000s releases the guitar gets lost in the mix, resulting in some of the songs sounding more akin to Evanesence than classic hair metal. But Harnell is a great singer and there is enough good hard rockin' material here to make it a worthwhile listen.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

50SHR #43: Lix (Texas)


Band: Lix
Release: Lix
Year: 1988
Line-up: Paul "Turk" Henry (vocals), Tony Marsh (guitars), Bruce Adams (guitars), Stacey Shew (bass), Mike Reiner (drums).

Track Listing:
1. Out On The Street  
2.  Be What You Want To Be  
3.  On Hold  
4.  Overdrive  
5.  Angelaine  
6.  Witchlein (Tommyknockers)  
7.  Want Me Love Me  
8.  (She's So Nice) Long Way Home  
9.  Guardians  
10.  All The Way  
11.  On The Radio  

Fletchanator's comment: This band hailed from the self-claimed "Rose Capital of the World", Tyler Texas, but its roots were also firmly in Middle Earth. That's because Lix started out as Hobbit, a 1970s fantasy rock band with lyrics about Tolkien-esque adventures. But by the mid-80s Hobbit had "broken up" and the members adopted the name Lix, changing their sound to a more radio-friendly style of hard rock and recording this one album, before eventually returning to the Hobbit name.
Another self release, this album understandably has sub-par production values. But if you can look past the poor sound quality, you'll find a fairly decent 80s hair metal band. Singer Henry sounds an awful lot like KISS's Paul Stanley, making that band's Animalize/Asylum-era the most obvious comparison, with bits and pieces of Quiet Riot and Twisted Sister in the mix.