Toilet Boys

Toilet Boys

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Crawling out of the Big Apple's rotten core packing more gimmicks (leather, spandex, makeup, cross-dressing, etc.) and, well, fun than is usually allowed in rock & roll these days, hometown favorites the Toilet Boys finally issued a proper full-length album with this self-titled 2001 release. The members of Mötley Crüe may have looked like chicks in their heyday, but the Toilet Boys go one better, looking like a gang of their pissed-off brothers while backing notorious lead vocalist/transvestite Miss Guy -- who, of course, is prettier himself than any product of 1980s glam metal (except maybe that drummer from Enuff Z'nuff). The band's bombastic live show is legendary for combining this none-too-subtle visual presence with a Kiss-sized pyrotechnics display, making any attempt to translate it onto disc a challenge in itself. And yet, for the most part, Toilet Boys pulls off this difficult task in spades, as the guys (and "guy") power through a set of convincing, hyper-energetic rockers like "Party Starts Now," "Heartstopper," and "Another Day in the Life." One of the secrets behind this achievement is that, unlike most proponents of '80s hair metal, who rarely acknowledged their punk influences (and even more disturbing, were often unaware of them), the Toilet Boys, being tried and true New Yorkers, live, breathe, and smoke it, making their decadent party anthems sound all the more relevant and powerful. These punk roots are especially prevalent on the start-stop riffing of New York Dolls-derived tracks like "Saturday Nite" and "Runaway," while on the semi-ballad "Hollywood," the boys also show they can tone down the flamethrowers without nary missing a beat. All told, except for a few generic tracks toward the end of the disc, Toilet Boys makes for a hell of a party record. Throw in a multimedia section including two videos for non-album cut "Millionaire" and hidden track "You Got It," and the even the band's explosive visual element is also accounted for -- highly recommended.

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