Editor’s note: Holy Glam! Anso DF of MetalSucks.net fame is a visiting columnist today. He’s giving it to us good and presenting the awesome band T-Ride. Read on, comment and be nice. He likes us here.
Back in July, I was able to rope Allyson into a thankless and work-intensive project for MetalSucks.net, the home of my column Hipsters Out Of Metal! The reason was simple: I needed an outside voice, an expert, to bolster my claim that most if not all glam metal is perfectly legitimate, often transcendent, and way more fun than all the bummer shit that took its place on our radios and TVs. After a few calls and emails, we decided to co-author a guide to the essential glam metal library. Its readers would be equipped to get a start in the genre; old hands could reminisce with two party-metal loonies.
Our little project was big neon fun to write, and ended up running over four freaking days. It was super-gratifying to have Allyson’s totally sane-sounding points of view and non-creepy band devotion to balance my own paranoid, stalker-ish shrieking. We’re like fire and ice, Ritchie and Ronnie, chocolate and peanut butter. And we listen to all the same records!
But with one exception! One album under discussion was Crashdiet’s debut, Rest In Sleaze, aka the album that my neighbors are hating of after four weeks of semi-daily blastings. I love that record and I heard about it from Allyson, so it represents a glistening cherry atop the sundae of our collaboration for MetalSucks. That’s what friends do!
It’s to return that favor that I write about T-Ride’s self-titled debut album here today. It’s a weird little record released by a young label at the end of glam’s heyday. The trio featured oddball guitar virtuoso Geoff Tyson (a proto-Buckethead shredder and chord wiz) and drummer/producer Eric Valentine, who’d go on to shepherd acts like Good Charlotte and Lostprophets to their biggest successes. These guys were pros looking to make a distinctive entry to the hair rock canon; as such, their only album is packed with ambitious backing vocals (a la Boston, Def Leppard) throughout brief, bursting songs that play like roller coaster rides. Just as exhilarating, too!
All three T-Riders could sing and play, but lead vocals were handled by bassist and songwriter Dan Arlie, an unusually mealy enunciator and deft lyricist. His best couplets are the stuff of bumper stickers for the badassed, like “Don’t give me that righteous rap/And all that ‘live and let live’ crap” (from “Ride”) or “I don't ever have a problem getting my army going/All I have to do is play that marching beat” (from “Hit Squad”).
Though T-Ride poked its nose into the mainstream via soundtrack spots (lost amid heavy hitters on The Last Action Hero, damned to universal indifference on Encino Man) and an opening slot for Tyson’s teacher, Joe Satriani. But in 1992, hot-wired hair metal rivaled Whoopi Goldberg nudes for commercial non-acceptance; sadly, T-Ride’s classic disappeared. But it’s a singular masterpiece that scratches your itch for big hooks and musicianship -- and, at 35 minutes, it might shock you with its Reader’s Digest-style brevity. One description calls T-Ride a jam war among Eddie Van Halen, Queen and Prince. Yeah, that’s worth a half-hour to check out! Happy glamming!