Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Forgotten Gems-Shooting Gallery-s/t


The year 1992 was an odd for music. The musical landscape was changing as grunge was solidly in style and hair bands and other was on the way out of favor. So a lot metal hard rock acts were changing styles or scrambling to keep their careers going. It was a very good year for death metal but most metal sub genres were hit and miss. One album I was excited about was Shooting Gallery's self-titled release. Why? Well being a huge Hanoi Rocks fan I went after any post HR solo albums and other projects that any of the members churned out. They weren't all good, but I looked forward to them. Shooting Gallery was a new band founded by HR guitarist Andy McCoy and for some reason I had a feeling this project might be something worth checking out. I was right although practically no one else at the time agreed with me or even cared that this album came out. Rounding out the line-up was bassist Dave Tregunna (played with McCoy in the Cherry Bombz), vocalist Billy G. Bang and drummer Paul Garisto. Tregunna and Bang had previously played together in the Kill City Dragons. Out of the twelve tracks there are three covers with Van Morrison's "Brown eyed girl" being the only not from a band Andy McCoy was in. The others are Hanoi Rocks "Don't never leave me" and "House of ecstacy" which was orginally done by one of McCoy's other post HR bands -the Cherry Bombz. Normally that many covers on an album throws up a red flag for me, but all three are entertaining so no gripe there. Still it's the originals that grabbed me. Some of the best songs here are the hard puching force of opener "Restless", the slight quirkiness of "Teenage Breakdown" and the catchy "Little bit of magic". Shooting Gallery were closer to the Cherry Bombz than Hanoi Rocks, but they had some elements of both. Plus there was a touch of bringing some of the sound of those bands into the 90's. This isn't a perfect album because there were a couple of alright songs and many of the best tracks were in the first half. This kind of glam sure wasn't what bands like Poison and Warrant were churning out at the time. Which is great for me, but I can see why this album got overlooked back then. The band did get to open for KISS when that band embarked on a short clun tour around the time "Revenge" was released. That move should have provided them with a great deal of exposure, but unfortunately internal arguments lead to the band breaking up just a few months after the album had come out. I wore out my cassette version of this long ago, but picked it up for a buck on CD several years ago.

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