Live Outloud

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In the 1980s and early '90s, Chicago's suburbs had a small heavy metal/hard rock scene that gave us Diamond Rexx, Joker, Barracuda and other bands. The suburban scene never attracted much attention nationally, and even in Chicago itself, suburban headbangers were neglected by rock clubs that much preferred alternative bands. The most impressive unit to come out of the scene was Tattoo, a Motley Crue-influenced quintet that acquired a small local following. Recorded live at the Thirsty Whale (suburban Chicago's main venue for metal at the time), this obscure CD probably would have been a major hit had Tattoo enjoyed greater promotional resources. "Big Time Car," "Bitch Animal" and "Roll Like Thunder" may not be the most innovative songs on earth, but they do show how fun and exhilarating Tattoo's rowdy, in-your-face songs can be. Tattoo never fails to sound inspired and confident on Live Out Loud, which could prove difficult to track down but is definitely worth obtaining.