Though musically uninspired, Slave Raider's second album is nonetheless amusing for its pomposity and cornball "attitude." Led by eye patch-sporting Chainsaw Caine, these jokers outfitted themselves in colorful post-apocalyptic rags and headbands, then smeared themselves with individual makeup designs meant to resemble war paint. Slave Raider went for a slightly harder edge than the average hair metal act, but their accelerated boogie is unremarkable. Familiar riffs are rewritten in service to lyrics that pander to standard clichés of pedophilic lust and decadence, though the opening number ("Is There Rock & Roll in Heaven?") flirts with the religious questions all men must face: Will paradise be any fun if there are no hot, rockin' sounds in the clouds? Should one opt for eternal torment just so the head can keep bangin'? An awkward chorus and echo-frosted backup vocals suggest that if Slave Raider is the devil's house band, then an eternity of Lawrence Welk isn't such a bad deal after all. One of the silliest "rock operas" of all time takes up the second side of What Do You Know About Rock 'n' Roll?, concerning a totalitarian state where playing rock music is a punishable offense. The "High Priest of Good Times" is found "Guilty" of being an unrepentant rocker and is sent to the "Iron Bar Motel" for detention. Luckily, he is a "Wreckin' Machine" and leads his fellow prisoners in a successful "Jailbreak" (suggested by a weak version of the Thin Lizzy classic). No one can claim that Slave Raider lacked ambition, though imagination and taste is in short supply.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Fred Beldin