VINNIE VINCENT INVASION – All Systems Go [Japan SHM-CD Remastered]
More form the recent Universal Music Japan reissue series 2016: VINNIE VINCENT INVASION second opus “All Systems Go” on SHM-CD remastered.
After its melting 1986 debut album, the Vinnie Vincent Invasion followed up with an album – according to times, more melodic hard rock oriented.
The band had a successful debut under their belts, toured the world under the tutelage of greats like Alice Cooper & Iron Maiden, and an obviously broader budget for the aptly titled “All Systems Go” which featured fuller sound and cleaner, polished production.
On “All Systems Go” Vinnie shreds like always but the songwriting is more focused on catchiness, wrapped by a glossy sound. Now with hot vocalist Mark Slaughter firmly established as frontman providing consistency, he is helped by the great Jeff Scott Soto on back up vocals / harmonies.
“All Systems Go” epitomizes the glammy hard rock sound; lightning-fast guitars, high-pitched vocals, sleazy lyrics… and rocks at it.
The album begins with one of my favorite tracks, ‘Ashes to Ashes’. Upon close listening, you can hear the incredible guitar work done by Vinnie on this song. Acoustic, electric, 12-string, wah-wah, a cool Van Halen Cathedral-like sound effect during the solo – Vinnie really kicks your ass.
‘Breakout’ also has a great guitar riff opening. This is one of the heavier tracks on the album with a cool chorus and a great drum beat from Bobby Rock (later in Nelson).
‘Dirty Rhythm’, ‘Naughty Naughty’ and ‘Heavy Pettin’ are Grade A filth that up the raunchy level on the album with great choruses, probably the catchiest songs on the record, but lyrics probably kept them off the top 40 charts! On ‘Heavy Pettin’ Vinnie alludes to his love for the young ‘uns: “Sweet little child… she’s sweet as virgin clover she’s my baby love doll”. Hmmm…pretty subtle?! They just don’t write songs like this anymore!!
‘Love Kills’ (also featured in the film A Nightmare On Elm Street 4: The Dream Master) is another favorite and a classic from the genre. It’s a real departure for Vinnie in terms of songwriting, too, as he slows things down to create a strong power ballad with a catchy chorus and some excellent acoustic guitar.
‘Burn’ follows with a searing guitar performance, especially on the solo. Speaking of solos, Vinnie tackles the ‘Star Spangled Banner’ solely on guitar before the kicking rocker ‘Let Freedom Rock’.
‘That Time Of Year’ is one of those forgotten songs that should have been a hit. It’s a superb midtempo melodic hard rock tune plenty of ’80s magic and even some AOR feel on it. It is definitely one of the stronger songs on the album and should have fit in perfectly with the commercial stuff that was filling up MTV’s The Headbanger’s Ball at the time. Unfortunately, as a single, it fell flat.
The highly melodic, harmonized vocals of ‘Ecstasy’ always reminded me Styper’s finest moments, then ‘Deeper and Deeper’ rocks with a lovely hair metal vice.
The CD version included 2 extra tracks: ‘The Meltdown’ is a mish-mash of instrumentals from drummer Bobby Rock and some indescribable effects from Vincent. If Vinnie is the over-indulgent control freak that everyone claims he is, why does he let his drummer showcase his skin-pounding chops in a bombast style like ‘The Meltdown’?
The answer of course is to lead into a 4-minute ego trip for himself called ‘Ya Know- I’m Pretty Shot’ where he fiddles with some classical guitarwork and a bluesy riff in the middle. Vinnie shows his stuff by moving beyond the wailing solos that he is famous for and concentrates on what he learned in beginner guitar lessons: picking. Pretty impressive stuff. There is also an evil-sounding voice at the end of the track demanding you to “tell your friends about us”.
“All Systems Go” is a criminally underrated Melodic Hard Rock album. Unfortunately Mark Slaughter wanted a solo career and the Vinnie Vincent Invasion announced their breakup 3 months after the album’s release. Mark and Dana Strum would go on to success with Slaughter, and Bobby Rock would resurface with Nitro, as well as on Nelson’s 1990 album After The Rain.
Vinnie Vincent Invasion was the vehicle for Vinnie Vincent to show his true talent which he wasn’t able to do while in Kiss. Sadly, instead of creating new music after this album he make a fool out of himself with court cases against Kiss members Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons claiming songwriting rights and spousal abuse charges, but all Vinnie Vincent Invasion material remains as a truly good exponent of US ’80s hard rock.
Universal Japan ~ UICY-25614 【ＳＨＭ－ＣＤ】
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01 – Ashes To Ashes
02 – Dirty Rhythm
03 – Love Kills
04 – Naughty Naughty
05 – Burn
06 – Star Spangled Banner (Intro)
07 – Let Freedom Rock
08 – That Time Of Year
09 – Heavy Pettin’
10 – Ecstasy
11 – Deeper And Deeper
12 – Breakout
13 – The Meltdown
14 – ‘Ya Know’ – I’m Pretty Shot (Acoustic)
Mark Slaughter – lead vocals
Vinnie Vincent – lead guitar, backing vocals
Dana Strum – bass guitar, backing vocals
Bobby Rock – drums
Jeff Scott Soto – backing vocals
BUY IT !