Spread Eagle

Spread Eagle

MCA Records, 1990


REVIEW BY: Paul Hanson


Spread Eagle hit the scene in 1990, just as the Hair Metal Explosion (HME) was about to get hit with Nirvana. Too late to ride in on the coattails of Poison, Winger and Skid Row, who by this time had established themselves as headliners, Spread Eagle only had the last few Saturday nights of Headbanger's Ball to get their message across.

If only more people had been turned onto them. I remember first seeing this band on Headbanger's Ball. Their video was for the 7th track "Scratch Like A Cat." The video was a performance video, complete with a black backdrop and a large logo on the stage a la Poison. The band scorched its way through its short song with enough interesting licks and drum parts that made me go out to the record store the very next day and lay down my money for this tape.

The tape starts out with "Broken City," an epic ballad type song, complete with slow parts and then more aggressive parts. Vocalist Ray West does a very impressive Axl Rose squawk when he wants and while recording this track, he must have wanted to sound like Rose. "Back On The Bitch" continues the momentum. Third track "Switchblade Serenade" was/is my choice for a second single. It's somewhat poppy hook, chorus and lyrics "I gotta wicked woman/ Woman got a vicious tongue/ Late at night I come home a little drunk/ and we go one on one/ Sittin' in the kitchen/ Listenin' to your bitchin' / Every night of my life . . . You ain't the same girl/ Same girl I used to know/ Love and hate seems to be our fate/ And it cuts me to the bone."my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The raunchiest track, "Hot Sex" is a laughable attempt at being lewd and crude with lyrics like "Hot sex/ push it to the limit/ Ah yeah, do it till we're satisfied." Yawn. "Suzi Suicide" gets things back on track with an all-out thrash song with lots of double bass pounding and guitarist Paul DiBartolo pulling licks out of his strings that, 10 years later, leave the listener impressed.

Side two of my tape brings the band full-circle, expressing indecision in a relationship in "Dead Of Winter." "Scratch Like A Cat" still is the stellar track on this tape. "Thru These Eyes" is the band's ballad, but even here, the band didn't confine itself to stupid sentimentality. Sure they walk the borderline with these lyrics, "Love's passed by and left me here/ You're so far away/ and time's brought on a change."

"Spread Eagle," easily the band's anthem, is about an exotic dancer as West explains, "In a stripper bar, ready for hot T&A/ Dirty li'l lady thrown down in my face/ Show me all the things you can do." Raunchy stuff here.

The tape ends with "Shotgun Kisses," which would be my candidate for third single. It's story about "Daddy's little baby made my dreams come true" appeals to the bad girl motif that blanketed the early 90s metal scene, Winger's "Seventeen" coming to mind.

In the end, Spread Eagle is a band worth revisiting. Their follow-up CD sucked so bad I won't even peak your curiousity to seek it out. Instead, find their self-titled disc for some excellent epoch metal. Some of the material sounds a bit cliché 10 years later.

But the overall essence of this band is not the lyrics or the sleaze attitude. Instead, check out this band because of guitarist Paul DiBartolo and drummer Tommi Gallo. They steal the show with precision and power examples of playing their respective instruments.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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