WICKED JESTER – Royalty Sux (2011)
Wicked Jester born in 1987. Three guys from Illinois (Shane, D.D., and Rob) that relocated to Biloxi, Mississippi to join the native Kenny Kweens and became big fish in a little pond.
The stage performances were incredible for a band of their indie level: pyro, lightshows and big sound systems. The band sold their self-financed recordings on tape after the shows with great success.
In 1991 they headed West to Los Angeles to make a noise but it was a little too late. Even though they sold out shows and were critically acclaimed by the local rags, the band called it quits in 1993.
An independent label resurrected these tapes a couple years ago and offered the band to release their first official CD ever.
Shane and the boys have gone back in the studio and re-cut the entire record from start to finish.
The result is “Royalty Sux”, a trip back to the Sunset Strip years.
I don’t know how the band used to sound 20 years ago, but I can assure you that Wicked Jester 2011 really rocks!
Compact, tight and perfectly oiled musicianship, and better than that, the artistic production on this album is first rate.
Obviously, Wicked Jester is a glam ‘n sleaze band, but they aren’t limited to this genre.
On the kick-ass “Shot To The Head” their style is more close to Skid Row’s ‘Slave To The Grind’ than anything else. This is a melting hard rocker with terrific guitar work and big drums.
Or in “In Need Of Love” the guys are very melodic yet powerful, reminding me L.A. Guns. Again, guitars are the stars here. Very commercial and catchy song. Twenty-five years back in time this track would be a hit.
Lynch Mob’s influence is present on the ferocious “Glitter In The Gutter”, a song with a great hook and a monster riff.
“Champagne In The Rain” is a radio-ready power ballad, very well arranged and performed. This song is great, seriously, one of these tunes that stuck in you forever.
Of course, Wicked Jester is sleaze too: “Ways To Be Wicked”, “Screamin´” and specially the filthy “Get Back M.F.” (what a great rocker!) are clear examples that this band has learned the lesson perfectly.
Maybe you are not into sleaze, a genre many times considered (wrongly) inferior.
Well, if you dismiss this album ‘cos the title or the band image, you’ll be committing a big mistake.
“Royalty Sux” is one of best old school American Hard Rock discs in recent years. It’s fresh, raw (but polished), with lots of attitude.
There’s many points that makes an album a winner; good (I mean, good) songs plenty of hooks and melodies, great vocals, killer guitars and first rate production / mix.
“Royalty Sux” has it all. A really explosive Rock ‘N Roll cocktail.
Crank it to 10 and enjoy.
01 – Ways To Be Wicked
02 – Shot To The Head
03 – Screamin
04 – In Need Of Love
05 – Glitter In The Gutter
06 – Champagne In The Rain
07 – Hollywood Slide
08 – Web Of Desire
09 – Get Back M.F.
Shane Tassart: Vocals
D.D. Ehrlich: Guitars
Rob Wood: Drums
Dev Gilmore: Bass
IF YOU LIKE IT, BUY IT!