Did you know that Y&T once appeared on Dick Clark's American Bandstand? I think it was for Summertime Girls, their most well known song. Honestly, I wonder how many hard rock fans remember this seminal Bay Area band. My favorite Y&T album will always be Contagious, where principal player, guitarist and vocalist Dave Meniketti has a grand time making fun of then superstar David Lee Roth on The Kid Goes Crazy. So here we are in 2010, and Y&T has been in the biz since 1974. Shit! That's 36 years.
The title Facemelter sounds good, but it's not what you would expect. This is not blistering hot heavy metal (enough to melt your face, that is), but it is definitely melodic hard rock, with some strong hints of the blues. The best definition of Facemelter would be an amalgam of the best Y&T accomplished in the 80's. Solid mixes of hard rock and melody for songs that measure between between sober and swaggering. The musical mixture is dynamic but eclectic. I Want Your Money and Wild Child echo blues-based rock. The heavier How Long appears to steal some riffs from Sabbath's Heaven and Hell. Rollicking rock is the order on Hot Shot or On With the Show, and blues surfaces again on Gonna Go Blind.
Meniketti and company are surprisingly solid, thanks to their steely maturity which accomplishes creativity and skilled musicianship. Yet, like many of their early albums, Facemelter can be uneven. (For instance, you can pass on the dull Wild Child.) There's several astonishing moments, but generally this is effortless, though energetic, hard rock. Who'd thought? I'm surprised and pleased. Best tracks Shine On and I Want Your Money.
Between the energy and passion of Meniketti and company, Facemelter delivers deliberate hard rock that puts modern youngsters to shame (listen to the guitar solos and rhythm section). It's very cool, especially the fiery fret work. Is it enough to encourage Y&T to continue their resurrection? I hope so, as do their fans. But modern rock fans will pass. They will not get it. You should. Very recommended!
Between the energy and passion of 60-something rockers, Facemelter delivers deliberate hard rock that puts modern youngsters to shame (listen to the guitar solos and rhythm section). Is it enough to encourage Y&T to continue their resurrection? I hope so, as do their fans. But modern rock fans will pass. They will not get it. You should.