Sheer Greed

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Sheer Greed crackles with the riotous swagger you'd expect from glam metal merchants on the make, and that's only fair: Girl dedicated itself to equal opportunity plundering from the New York Dolls and UFO, as "Hollywood Tease"'s buzzing guitars and leering Phil Lewis vocal make plain ("When I've broken your heart/I'll quickly depart"). These guys knew what they had and weren't afraid to let everyone know it (as Lewis did when he recut the song after joining L.A. Guns). Judging by the creamy vocal backups spicing "Little Miss Ann," the Faces' rooster-topped mops loom large as an influence, too (along with their penchant for archly humorous cock rock). "Do You Love Me" is one of the earliest Kiss covers, which brims with Paul Stanley's near-statutory trademark: a chorus that's shouted into infinity. The song became an encore, though serendipity likely had little bearing on its inclusion (since Girl also supported some of Kiss' May 1980 U.K. tour dates). "Passing Clouds" and "The Things You Say" delve into reggae, which few bands of the era -- hard-rocking or not -- touched. "Heartbreak America" closes on the same strongly confident note on which the album started, serving up the same ambivalence and snarkiness ("My cards are named and numbered/And my love life is vile") that infused many British bands' views of the country (such as Mott the Hoople's "All the Way From Memphis"). Chris Tsangarides' crisp, coherent production style kept Girl poised toward mainstream success without watering down the group's personality quotient. Lewis and his mob rose to the occasion while they hoped for a stronger riff to insure the breakout hit that only seemed three chords away. The task would prove more elusive than the boys imagined, but Sheer Greed marks a promising start.

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