I made a rediscovery of a Heavy Metal band and album. Black ‘N Blue is the band, In Heat is the album. Just last week, I was in my 2000 Ford Tauras running errands. Realizing that my urge to hear some Heavy Metal was peaking, I began to rummage through the car glove compartment for some cassette tapes… that is cassette tapes – you just read. Understand that I was not rummaging for a cassette tape while I was driving, the car was in park. This car of mine does not have a CD player, (back in 2000, the auto industry was not regarding CD players as part of any standard equipment, obviously). So, instead, my trusty 2000 Ford Tauras has a built in cassette player instead. That is… a cassette player – you read. I have not listened to this Black ‘N Blue cassette for quite some time, so it proved to be quite a cool listen.
While I have listened to In Heat a few times since last week, I cannot help but be grateful for not getting rid of my Hard Rock and Heavy Metal cassettes. Quite a bit of titles are rather pricey on CD nowadays, being imports or out of print altogether. In Heat is selling for around $27 on Amazon Music as an import CD… now that is reason enough for me to hold onto this cassette and play it on my car stereo and combo home stereo – until it wears out. Gee whiz… import regardless, sometimes the prices out there for Heavy Metal CD’s border on the outrageous.
Black ‘N Blue released In Heat back in 1988, I do remember seeing their videos on the MTV rotation… and of course, Headbangers Ball. Call Black ‘N Blue a Hair Metal Band or just good ol’ Heavy Metal, it makes no difference to me. This band made an album that is loud, melodic, riff and groove laden and infused with every flamboyant aspect of late 1980′s Heavy/Hair Metal. While I listen to In Heat, the thought comes to my mind of just letting it’s good time sound and feel take over any negativity that is currently weighing in on me. The Metal pluses are numerous with In Heat, here is a breakdown of why I feel this way:
#1 Reason why Black ‘N Blue and this album, uh, cassette Rocks hard is – Tommy Thayer on lead guitar. KISS was in his future then… who would have predicted that?
#2 – Genes Simmons produced In Heat. Believe me, you can tell… song structure and power.
#3 – Jaime St. James on vocals. He doesn’t whine when he sings and the flamboyancy and bad boy image of Heavy Metal just resonates from his voice. In other Metal words… a classic front man.
#4 – There are no sappy songs to be heard on In Heat. Stranger is about as close as it gets here… and I really like this song, a power ballad that, uh, Rocks.
#5 – Each song is saturated with enough hooks and grooves that it is flat out – ridiculously great.
#6 – Did I mention Tommy Thayer on lead guitar?
#7 – It’s all about the songs, man. Infectiously good songs all, on In Heat.
#8 – How can I not get enthusiastic about a song as good as – Get Wise To The Rise?
In a Metal nutshell, In Heat should be considered as a late 1980′s Heavy Metal listening experience of dual guitars, anthems and power slick songs. Riffs abound on In Heat… for all of you riff addicts out there. Woop on guitar proved to be no slouch either. Patrick Young on bass guitar and Pete Holmes on drums make for a dominant rhythm section, very good at what they do on In Heat. Listening to Black ‘N Blue on In Heat, gives me the impression that they had a real good time making this album. Hopefully that was the case.
If you are looking for a patented good time Heavy Metal album… well then it is In Heat. Black ‘N Blue made a name for themselves for sure, rediscovering their sound again and listening to In Heat makes this Metalhead… Metal content.
Track listing for In Heat:
Sight For Sore Eyes
Heat It Up! Burn It Out!
Live It Up
Gimme Your Love
Get Wise To The Rise
Great Guns Of Fire
* Check out Black ‘N Blue’s official myspace music page: Black ‘N Blue – MySpace Music Page
Black ‘N Blue is currently planning to finish and release a new album, titled: Hell Yeah!
Look For This New Black ‘N Blue Album In 2010!
The current 2009 Black ‘N Blue band lineup:
Jaime St. James – vocals
Jef Warner – guitar
Patrick Young – bass
Pete Holmes – drums
Shawn Sonnenschein – guitar
This is what the Import CD cover of In Heat looks like . My cassette front cover only has the band logo that you see in this import version, (no band photo).