December 22, 2008
Good Day for a Hanging
LA's Wasted Youth came out of the same scene that gave us The Adolescents, TSOL, Bad Religion, and The Vandals. Their debut, Reagan's In is a punk classic. But like many of their contemporaries, as the years went on, their lineup changed significantly, and as a result so did their sound. Black Daze is their final record, and it sounds a whole heck of a lot like a heavier early LA Guns. In other words, this is vaguely sleazy heavy metal that flirts with thrash on occasion, but mostly just melts your face with blazing guitar solos and wicked riffage. And vocalist Paolo Rossi is a dead ringer for Phil Lewis at times. They cover Van Halen's "I'm On Fire", and it's great, even if Rossi can't hit Roth's high notes. Oh, and this lineup has recently gotten a little notice because it featured Dave Kushner, who is now in Velvet Revolver, on bass and Queens of the Stone Age's Joey Castillo on drums. Both of those guys also played with Danzig at one point, though Kushner's tenure was brief.
At any rate, Wasted Youth were by no means the only band to attempt a transition into metal, but they were one of the more successful in my opinion. Of course successful to me and actual success are two very different things, so it's no real surprise this was their final record. The punks wouldn't stand for their bands going metal, and the metal heads didn't trust anything that came from the punks. It's sort of strange to think about now, but boy those scenes were at odds back then. But I digress...