Who were they?- Blacklace
Welcome to the debut of "Who were they?". This will be a monthly segment where I briefly give a biography of a lesser known band and tell a little bit about their sound. I decided to start with New York's Blacklace just because I had been listening to them lately. They were formed in 1982 by brothers Carlo (guitar) and Anthony Fragnito (bass). The brothers quickly added vocalist Maryanne Scandiffio and a drummer. They began playing clubs and recorded a demo. Belgian based label Mausoleum records signed the band to a contract. Some time prior to recording their debut the band changed drummers as they brought in Steve Werner and their line-up was complete. They released their debut Unlaced in 1984 which was co-produced by Manowar's Ross the boss. They got some notice and toured opening for Twisted Sister, Manowar, Zebra and others. They were quickly back in the studio and recorded a second album called Get it while it's hot in 1985.
Later that year the band had a track on Hit Parader's cassette only compilation "The Wild Bunch". That's where I first heard them although I had seen both albums at my local record store. After that the band faded a bit as they never did another album and some reports say they broke up in 1987. Masoleum released the two albums on a CD a few years ago and it's of good quality. The band reportedly did a few reunion shows in the New York area back in 2004 and were contemplating doing an album, but I don't think anything has happened over the last two years.
Okay that the history lesson. My view is Blacklace were a fairly straightforward metal band. Their sound was maybe somewhere between early 80's Judas Priest and early Warlock. I thought the guitars had a great sound that was very riff heavy and not afraid to do something new. The vocals were strong and somewhat unique. The rhythm section were solid and the production did them justice by letting you hear them. The lyrics had maybe a bit too cliche at times with lots of songs about loving rock and roll and having a broken heart. Both albums are fairly similar in style, but I probably prefer the debut. They really didn't break any new ground on the second album. I bought the CD a few years ago and still enjoy it. I later picked up both on vinyl for fair prices on eBay. They are not a band that was exactly a lost gem, but certainly a good band that may be worth giving a listen to.
***Hope you enjoyed the first segment of "Who were they?". Next month we will get into a bit of a soap opera kind of story as I talk about Vyper.