Lord Tracy

Deaf Gods of Babylon

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1989 had more than its share of one-album wonders -- artists who provided one album and, for various reasons, never came out with a second album. Lord Tracy, a little-known hard rock/heavy metal/arena rock combo, turned out to be among 1989's one-album wonders -- which is regrettable because their first and last album, Deaf Gods of Babylon, is generally decent. While this Mark Dodson-produced CD falls short of excellent, it is a respectable effort that is fairly unpredictable. In 1989, there were plenty of faceless hair bands in the metal/hard rock field -- headbangers who figured that the quickest and easiest way to achieve commercial success was to sound exactly like Guns N' Roses, Motley Crüe, or Bon Jovi. But Lord Tracy avoids the knee-jerk, formulaic approach. Depending on their mood, the band will incorporate influences that range from AC/DC ("Submission") to Aerosmith ("Rats Motel," "East Coast Rose") to Motörhead ("Piranha"). Although metal and hard rock are a big part of this release, a few of the tracks aren't headbanger-oriented -- "Chosen Ones" and "Foolish Love" are glossy arena rock numbers that wouldn't have been out of place on a Bryan Adams CD. And Lord Tracy makes an unexpected detour into rap-rock on "3HC," which is the sort of tune that Run-D.M.C. or the Beastie Boys would have recorded in the 1980s. So why did an album as decent as Deaf Gods of Babylon fall through the cracks? Inadequate promotion probably had a lot to do with it. At any rate, this long-out-of-print album is worth obtaining if you can track down a copy.

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