Album ReviewsReviews

Slave Raider, What Do You Know About Rock N’ Roll?


What Do You Know About Rock n Roll, 1988

Slave Raider….In my opinion the coolest band name of the 80’s metal scene. They were from the Twin Cities of Minnesota, fronted by a 6’2″ eye-patched maniac named Chainsaw Caine. Unfortunately, Slave Raider never seemed to break through and always remained a cult band.

If you spend any time believing the All Music Guide review of this album, You definitely will never pick it up. Calling the band a “poor man’s Twisted Sister” without the talent to “move off the bottom rung,” is hardly a ringing endorsement to get you to open your wallet and buy this. The songs are pompous and over-the-top in ways I can’t even begin to describe. It’s outrageous and schmaltzy and slick. It’s a masterpiece of kick-ass glam metal that you won’t be able to stop listening to.

Certainly, having the legendary producer Chris Tsangarides (Judas Priest/Helloween) on board helped. Plain and simple, Slave Raider kicks ass. With their post-apocalyptic garb and “war paint” make up, Big, I mean HUGE, anthemic choruses with enough melody and chops to kick the songs into high gear. Think, “We’re not Gonna Take it” big choruses. What really sets it for me is the unexpected heaviness. Yeah, it’s slick and produced and pop, but damn, they got some big heavy power chords in there and ramrod those mastodon-sized riffs through each song like a brick to the face.

“Is there Rock n Roll in Heaven?” Starting off with an overly slick group chorus,some nifty guitar and a vocalist who is just a bit different. The chorus here is huge in big 80’s hair metal standards, damn, if it isn’t well-written and catchy as hell. The riffs don’t slow up underneath it either. Damn, it should’ve been a big metal hit back in the day.

The guitar riff that kicks off “Youngblood” is heavy and mean, raging right into a stormer of another slamming 80’s metal song. The guitars are solid. Not over the top shredding for no reason, but flamboyant enough to really stand out. “Bye Bye Baby” The tone is dirty and sinister. Chainsaw Caine really unleashes his voice and it’s a damn fine performance. Big backing vocals bring on that Metal melody but it’s the heft of the guitars that keeps it all together. This is a big heavy sound that simply chugs along. Not wimpy metal or sap. It’s a massive crowd pleasing stomp of riff-mania. Damn, if I’d been in the audience when the band played this, I’d be head banging with the lot of them.

By the time 5th song on side one, “Sin City Social” tears through your speakers you’ll be a fan for life.

Is “What Do You Know About Rock n Roll?” a great album? Chainsaw Caine, The Rock, Lance Sabin, Nicci Wikkid, and Letitia Rae crafted a balls out blast of good time fun metal. It’s got big riffs, heavy guitars and choruses that can be heard around the world! Find yourself a copy of this!

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