Big hair, bad production and lost time
The first time I ever heard of Wrathchild was maybe late 1984 in a short article in Hit Parader. Then I never heard their music and didn't hear about until the lawsuit that involved this UK glam band and the one from my area who later changed their name to Wrathchild America. Over the last twenty some years I would occasionally come across some mention of these spiked haired, make-up wearing dudes and wonder what they sounded like. I came across a copy of "Stakk Attakk" on CD eight or nine years ago, but the $17 price tag was too steep for me to take a chance on them so their sound remained a mystery to me until now. Another re-issue this month and a lower price tag made me finally take the plunge. These guys formed way back in 1980 and had some demos and an EP over the next few years before finally putting out the full length "Stakk Attakk" in 1984. So what's like? Well, despite the numerous re-issue of this title it's obvious that no one has bothered to remaster it because most of the songs sound like 80's demo quality. I also think that Poison, Tigertailz and Pretty Boy Floyd all heard this album and pulled from it in their early recordings. There are a few songs here that sound a little like KISS and a few that sound somewhat like Twisted Sister, but mainly they are fairly original. I wasn't completely entertained by all that they did on this album, but largely it's decent. It's simple yet fun, but the first half of the album has a lot more power to it than does the second half. However, after the debut the band had some rough times as RCA noticed them and tried to get them away from their contract with Heavy Metal Records. All this tied them up and kept them releasing new material for several years. Finally in 1988 they re-emerged with "The Biz Suxx". Then they were involved in the above mentioned band name lawsuit and the American Wrathchild had to add on to their name while this band released "Delerium" in 1989. They broke up soon after. Three former members are currently in Psychowrath. Vocalist Rocky Shades has dug up the Wrathchild name this year and put together a new line-up that also includes former Tigertailz drummer Ace Finchum. So maybe we have not heard the last of this band. Now I have mostly heard that their debut is supposed to be their best, but the other two albums are now available so maybe eventually I will track them down as well. Until then I will keep wondering if influencing Poison counts as credit or blame.