China Rain

Bed of Nails

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Here the underrated leader of Zebra throws his hat into the extinguishing hair metal ring. Randy Jackson wields more than enough skill with a melody, and nothing can stop his penetrating falsetto, but the timing of Bed of Nails couldn't have been worse, as the record evaporated in the wake of grunge. Regardless, many of these tracks really cook. Jackson creates some very wild harmonies on mean openers "You're Only Lonely Today" and "Bang on the Wall." This is all before "Psychedelic Sex Reaction" (not quite as good as its title). The lean title tune gets high on big Squier beats. Falling metal stars Mark Slaughter and Dave "Snake" Sabo even show up on a few numbers. Of course this short-lived posse of poodleheads can't touch the legendary Zebra oeuvre, but Jackson fans won't be disappointed, even when the randy man tries out some new moves. The songs swing, the guitars flail, and surprisingly, China Rain throws a wicked party.

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