With Badmouth's second effort Heavy Metal Parking Lot, you can judge the book or, in this case, the music by the cover art. The art is a snapshot in cartoon caricature of Eighties arena rock fans tailgating before the big show. The music within channels the great arena melodic hard rock that made those Eighties, with the big hair, torn jeans, button-clad denim jackets, so famous.
Riding comfortably on the coat tails of their satisfying debut, Badmouth packs HMPL with 11 entertaining songs. Once more Badmouth also blurs the lines between melodic hard rock and heavy metal. It's less Iron Maiden and more Dokken. That metal edge is certainly alive on Son of Sam, City Is Burning, and Facing My Demons, all fine tracks with some stunning musicianship. But the underlying current is quite aggressive, quite fun-loving, hard rock, and it's darn catchy too. Radiator, Tired, Bottoms Up are pure party rock with large hooks and huge road trip value. These elements are added into two quick-paced songs, Judas and cliche laden Tired. Yet, the title track may be the real pearl here: part history lesson and part parody, but all arena anthem. HMPL rounds out with a solid, but not painfully sweet, rock ballad in Jake Brakes. Ultimately, these songs are made strong by exceptional composition, musicianship, and production. (However, some may say the overall sound is 'slicker' than the debut's rougher edge.)
Badmouth's Heavy Metal Parking Lot is all good: solid arena ready melodic hard rock. Strongly recommended.