Black ‘N Blue is an interesting band. Interesting in that what they are best known for has nothing to do with their music. What they are best known for their connections to KISS. Black ‘N Blue was the first band signed by Gene Simmons and was his pet project. Sadly, the hype wore off and did not result in any memorable songs. When the band faded away, their legacy was now being known as the training ground for future Ace Frehley imitator/replacement guitarist Tommy Thayer. My big recollection of them was that their CD’s were never available in the States but had been in Japan. I remember seeing them available on eBay for $150 for the 3 of them.
You have to love collectors.
Like many of their peers, Black ‘N Blue reformed and have released several new albums including their latest offering Hell Yeah. Now I would like to say that Black ‘N Blue have followed RATT and Warrant in releasing a good album. However, my Mom always told me that it is not nice to lie. Hell Yeah is 15 songs of hard rock banality that proves why Black ‘N Blue are not known for their music.
The album starts out alright with “Monkey” a fine hard rocker and is soon followed by “Hail Hail”. A nice enough ode to rock n roll, a theme that is sorely lacking in today’s songs. Unfortunately, that is about it. The rest of the album is just filler, lots and lots of filler with nothing standing out. The musicianship is decent but nothing notable. Singer Jamie St. James has no real presence in the songs nor does his voice make up for that. It is a little of a misnomer to say that there are actually 15 songs when three of the tracks are jokes. One is about singer Jamie having beer and that shows you the level we are dealing with.
It’s rather fitting that the last song on the album is called “ I Smell a Rat” because this album stinks like a dead rat you would find in the basement. Hell Yeah is the perfect tombstone for a band that should have died the first time around. Fans would best served by saving their money and spending it on lost gem CD’s that were overlooked when the first came out.