There is one question you need to ask yourself before you listen to Rockaholic, the new album from Warrant. How much does one member make?
The one member missing is lead singer/songwriter Jani Lane. He has been replaced by Robert Mason, who some may remember from his stint in Lynch Mob. Bands have changed singers all the time and still succeed in releasing quality material. In fact, many of Warrant’s contemporaries have shuffled singers so many times it looks like a fantasy baseball league. To the band’s credit, all the other members are from the original line-up.
So personnel matters aside, how does it sound? Pretty good actually. There are a staggering 14 tracks and not a stinker in the bunch. Some of the highlights are the opener “Sex Ain’t Love” a perfect hard rockin’ calling card that acknowledges the bands sleaze past without sounding dated. “Dusty’s Revenge”, a great slinky rocker that has the requisite western theme to it. Seriously, what is the deal with hard rock bands and their affinity for westerns?
While there is no talk of horses or sunsets, “Life’s A Song” is a fabulously catchy song that is so good, you can see the video that should accompany it in your head as it plays. The one curious part of the song us that they lyrics seem to have an Alanis influence. Warrant’s use of metaphors seem to have a distinctive “Ironic” feel to them.
For me the highlight of the album is “What Love Can Do”. It is quite possibly the poppiest song the band has ever recorded Definitely more AOR than it is Hard Rock, but it is so damn tasty that it doesn’t matter. It’s the kind of song that automatically brings a smile to the listeners face.
A previously mentioned, Rockaholic does have 14 songs. The band must me commended for laying the tracks out in an order that assures the album has a real nice flow to it.
Now back to the original question. Does Warrant really miss Jani Lane? After listening to Rockaholic, I think the answer is no. While it would have been nice to have Lane’s very underrated songwriting in the fold. The band seems to have done a respectable job of picking up the slack and Robert Mason helps to give the band a new identity. Rockaholic is a nice first page in the bands 2nd chapter.