Western Xterminator

Drag City
rating icon 2 / 10

Track listing:

01. Western Xterminator
02. Balls to Pass
03. Black Bananas
04. Dude Love
05. Wo-Wo Din
06. Money will roll right in
07. Knightmare & Mane
08. Restoration Sleep
09. Last Ride
10. Rat will Kill

Welcome to one of the first truly forgettable releases of 2007. RTX's "Western Xterminator" plays a kind of sleazy hard rock with melodies that go nowhere and riffs that are beyond recycled. It is the type of album that brings to mind one of the very few negatives about this reviewing gig: having to sit through a crappy album more than once, whether you want to or not.

The album begins with the title track, a tribal-esque piece with Far Eastern flashes and the kind of flute sounds one might hear from a snake charmer (well, something like that anyway). The result is not good and makes one wonder just what this album is all about. The question is answered soon enough as the mediocre-at-best, paint-by-numbers rock of "Balls to Pass" comes along. Vocalist Jennifer Herrema (ex-ROYAL TRUX) possesses a sassy (ala JOAN JETT),slightly distorted style that borders on weak; the attitude is there, but the performance is not convincing. The guitar sound comes with that same distorted edge, resulting in a tone that is unremarkable, to say the least. The same goes with the bad guitar solos that pop up here and there, in this case the fuzzy tone not working at all. In fact, the mix on the album waters down any hint of muscle that might have otherwise been perceptible. The less-than-mediocre tunes just keep coming, songs like "Black Bananas" and "Money Will Roll Right In" in no way helping the band's already weak case. But man, it's on "Knightmare & Mane" that the group hits bottom. Along with the slow pace and sleazy delivery comes a lot of slop and a terrible vocal performance from Herrema that sounds as though she's been drugged and in pain. The stop-start riff on "Restoration Sleep" tries hard to be bad (the good kind) and just ends up, well, bad. The same goes for "Last Ride". I thought someone might start the refrain from BILLY IDOL's "Mony Mony" when the bass line and drum beat of "Rat Will Kill" begins, only making me think that the result would have been better if it was a cover of said wedding-dance classic.

There are so many better sleaze rock albums on which to spend your hard earned money. Even the few moments that are almost tolerable do not save an album that almost never gets it right. There are worse albums, but not very damn many.

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