Saturday, July 23, 2016

50SHR #5: Asphalt Ballet (California)


Band: Asphalt Ballet
Release: Asphalt Ballet
Year: 1991
Line-up: Gary Jeffries (vocals), Julius Ulrich (guitars), Danny Clarke (guitars), Terry Phillips (bass), Mikki Kiner (drums).

Track Listing:
1.  Hell's Kitchen  2:55
2.  Soul Survive  4:22
3.  Tuesday's Rain  4:18
4.  Unlucky Mr. Lucky  3:47
5.  End of My Rope  4:03
6.  Heaven Winds Blow  3:55
7.  Blood on the Highway  4:00
8.  Goodbye Yesterday  4:33
9.  Wasted Time  3:40
10.  Taking a Walk  4:03
11.  Hangman Swing  3:42
12.  Blue Movie  3:52
13.  Do it All Over Again  2:19

Fletchanator's comment: Let's face it, I could have chosen from dozens (if not hundreds) of glam metal/hard rock bands that were formed in Los Angeles for this pick. San Francisco also had a good number of hair metal bands back in the day. But I decided to go for a Californian city that doesn't get as much love - San Diego.
From that southern Cali locale came Asphalt Ballet in 1991 with their self-titled debut, which actually sounds like crawled out of the backwoods of Georgia or another state in the old south. Their sound is less Sunset Strip and more southern hard rock, in the style of Dangerous Toys and Sister Whiskey. So expect a bluesy edge and the odd harmonica solo.
The highlight of this album is undoubtedly Gary Jeffries' voice. He has a slight rasp, but rather than going full-rasp like a Tom Keifer he sings more cleanly and keeps the rasp for the edges of his singing. Asphalt Ballet did manage a follow-up album - Pigs - in 1993, but replaced Jeffries with Axl Rose soundalike Tommy Dean. Jeffries went on to front the band Alligator Stew and today tours with his own southern rock band, The Gary Lee Jeffries Band.

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