"S.E.X. Department" (Perris; 2007)

Reviewed by Metal Mark

I seem to remember hearing this band mentioned a few times when this CD came out way back in the fall of 2007. For whatever reason, I never got around to hearing it back then. I recently got a copy and my interest increased when they were put on a bill with Dirty Penny and Gypsy Pistoleros. Did I really think that just because they were slapped on a bill with two good bands that this meant they were also a good band? No, not necessarily, but I was willing to take a chance on it because I am a sucker for glam when it's done right.

Well, it took all of a minute or so into the opener, "Call Me Baby Call Me," to realize that this was going to be 80s style glam very similar to Pretty Boy Floyd and early Poison. The vocals of Kelly "Trash" Mendess sound very much like Steve "Sex" Summers of PBF. Actually, according to the booklet, Mendess played all the instruments and did all the lead vocals here, but they had several people doing backing vocals.

This is light, bubblegum type of hard rock and at times it's very repetitive. I think my biggest gripe is that it flat out did not rock as much as I had hoped. Part of this is that the production is lacking some, but the hooks needed to be much sharper. They glide into too many songs instead of ripping into them. Now, that is all of the negative aspects, but there was definitely some parts to like here as well. Other than the consistent vocals, I definitely liked the sense of control and how they managed the pace. And, despite the oftentimes ridiculous and clichéd lyrics, they still manage to make many of these songs fun just because they present it in such a confident fashion.

S.E.X. Department knows how to produce some solid melodies and that is a major plus. There are several younger bands playing this type of music who are much more creative. However, there is definitely enough here that taps into what is good about glam rock/hair metal. There is also no doubt that the S.E.X Department have their work cut out for them as well. The band has done quite a bit of touring since the release of this debut. So hopefully they'll turn up the volume on future recordings and take a few more chances the next time around.

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"S.E.X. Department" (Perris; 2007)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

If you were looking for a textbook example of what glam metal sounds like, you could do worse than Sex Department's self-titled CD.

With a rawness that rivals early Motley Crue and a sound that falls somewhere between Pretty Boy Floyd and Guns N' Roses, "S.E.X. Department" is pure rock'n'roll candy; it goes down easy but it doesn't stick to your ribs. Its Glam Metal Lite and glam metal is light enough to begin with. The music here is sometimes a little too thin and, as Motorhead proves over and over again, it doesn't have to be, even for a three piece band. Vocalist Kelly "Trash" Mendess doesn't help matters. His voice is reedy and high-pitched and occasionally strangely off key.

Still, the songwriting is on the money for this kind of music and it's difficult not to get caught up in the fun of it all as the CD goes along. If you're a fan of this genre, then you'll find at least some of Sex Department's eponymous debut entertaining.

SEX Department: Kelly Trash Mendess - Vocals/guitar; Doctor Dok - Bass; Milky Milano - Drums.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright © 2009 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 11 Sep 2022 13:46:22 -0400.