The hardest thing about being an older music act is trying to stay fresh. Looking back on a band like Warrant, they spent a few years struggling to become successful. Earned even bigger success with their second album – Cherry Pie. They achieved their creative peak with Dog Eat Dog, only to have the industry change around them.
Then Warrant spent the 90s with a few new faces coming in, and original members departing. Their drummer for a while was even nicknamed “The Sack.”
So what happened next? A different singer. A reunion of original members, which failed after a while. Jani Lane then unfortunately departs our Earth, but the rest of Warrant soldiers onward.
Here they are today.
With one of rock n’ roll’s great weapons – vocalist Robert Mason – their new album Louder Harder Faster is exactly what it should be. It’s a well-played, well produced rock record that’s not exactly perfect. Yet at the same time is a solid effort for a band that’s been around nearly thirty years.
Joe Montana can’t be expected to come off the bench tomorrow and lead the 49ers to the Super Bowl. His prime has past. Bands can be like athletes. They have rookie growing pains. Development. Prime career moments. Then they descend and fade away. Or hang in there. Something not well.
With Louder Harder Faster, Warrant shows that they are indeed hanging in there.
So let’s see. How many clichés can be used to describe a hard rock album? Modern sounding? Well, not really. Maybe it’s better to skip trying to describe the music and just call out its finer points.
“Louder Harder Faster” starts the album off to a good pace. It slows down a bit with “Devil Dancer.” Then starts to hit its stride with “Perfect,” one of the few songs with a lighter, pop-rock feel.
Momentum picks up with “Only Broken Heart.” Then Louder Harder Faster hits its peak with the piano ballad “U in My Life.”
“Music Man” starts off slow – but in a nice way. Apparently Jani Lane’s brother joins the band for an acoustic intro. Just like he did on “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.” It chugs along mid-tempo, telling the story of just what you might think – just an old soul singing music man.
Momentum starts up again when Warrant’s pop-rock side emerges again with “Faded.” Its simple chorus is helped quite a bit with nice (but kind of cheesy) backing vocals. The extra ooh’s and aah’s are no charge.
The rest of the album is a bit varied, but the high points of the first seven songs provide enough bang for the buck.
Oops! That’s a cliché – isn’t it?
Things then end fairly well with “Let It Go.”
The best parts of Louder Harder Faster include the overall guitar sounds, solos and Robert Mason’s voice. Formerly known as The Man Behind the Curtain – doubling vocals for Ozzy Osbourne onstage – Robert is also known for his stints with Lynch Mob and Cry of Love.
I saw Warrant perform at M3 in 2017. Robert was pretty much the star of the show, but the whole band itself was nothing but solid. He brings the celebration of Jani Lane’s classic Warrant material to life.
On Louder Harder Faster, Robert makes sure that Warrant sounds like they still want to hand in there. But without just going through the motions. While the lyrics are far from Pulitzer Prize winning, everything else sure falls into place.
These older guys have done well!
Buy Louder Harder Faster On Amazon.