Wake Me When It's Over

Faster Pussycat

Elektra Records, 1989


REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


When we last heard from Faster Pussycat, it was almost three years ago, when we dug up (and totally annihilated) their self-titled debut effort. Taime Downe and crew just hadn't impressed with their first effort, though he did show signs of life when I checked out his newer band, The Newlydeads.

So why would I search out a copy of Faster Pussycat's second effort Wake Me When It's Over? Do I like slamming bands? Am I a glutton for punishment? Actually, it was because of the success the band had with this release - especially with the ballad "House Of Pain" - that made me want to give them another shot.

Downe and crew show that they've learned some valuable musical lessons in the span between the two albums, and there is more to smile about on Wake Me When It's Over, but there are still too many times when the band sounds like a poor man's Motley Crue.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Musically, Faster Pussycat's sound has tightened up nicely; obviously spending more time together and on the road served its purpose well for the band. The guitar duo of Greg Steele and Brent Muscat sounds like their riffs have gotten that much meatier, even if the solos still left much to be desired. Drummer Mark Michals acts as the backbone of the group, banging out the time signatures with some powerful fills on the traps. Bassist Eric Stacy seems to be a little more hidden in the mix; I don't know if this was the right move to make.

Even the songwriting on Wake Me When It's Over has more kick to it than their efforts did the first time around. Even though the songs ooze more sex than you'll find on Cinemax any Friday night ("Rock my missile, blow me little dove" - yeah, wish I used that line in my singles bar days... not ), the musical performances help to push things over the edge into catchiness. Tracks like "Pulling Weeds," "Slip Of The Tongue," "Where There's A Whip There's A Way" and "Gonna Walk" all seem to suggest that Faster Pussycat has slipped into a new life. Even "Little Dove," with its sticky-love talk, is a pretty enjoyable song.

Actually, that song brings to mind the one big complaint I have with Wake Me When It's Over: why didn't Downe and crew use harmony vocals more often? I think that's the one major thing missing from "House Of Pain" - admittedly, a song I didn't think very highly of until I gave it a fair shot on the stereo. Without the use of harmony, the song sounds a bit flat - and Faster Pussycat was definitely capable of doing harmonies.

The biggest weakness with Wake Me When It's Over is that the band isn't able to keep the energy level throughout the album. The second half of the album just seems to slip into mediocrity, with sounds like "Cryin' Shame," "Arizona Indian Doll" and "Please Dear" just failing to go anywhere.

Even in the weak moments, Faster Pussycat showed even those who absolutely hated the band that they could put together quality music and make an interesting album. If only Wake Me When It's Over was like that throughout the entire album, it could have meant the band would have had more than one hit to its name. A major improvement, though more work needed to be done.

Rating: C

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2000 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Elektra Records, and is used for informational purposes only.