"Hollywood Ghosts" (Sansei; 2005)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

According to the bio on their website, Spiders & Snakes was formed in 1990. You'd never guess that from listening to their new collection of 12 studio tracks, entitled "Hollywood Ghosts." Why? Because the band sounds more like a band that was formed and that thrived on the glam sound that inundated the Sunset Strip in Hollywood in the latter part of the 1970s and the early part of the 1980s.

Sounding somewhat like it was recorded by Poison and perhaps more like 70s rockers Sweet, "Hollywood Ghosts" is a surprisingly entertaining rock'n'roll record that never comes close to sounding like heavy metal but that can sometimes be described as hard rock. Like Sweet, much of "Hollywood Ghosts" is the kind of stuff that would have flooded the airwaves back in the late 70s and early 80s. The fact that much of it sounds dated only adds to its nostalgic quality.

"Hollywood Ghosts" begins with probably the hardest, fastest track, "American Baby." This songs edges closer to the raw, early Motley Crue sound than anything else on the CD. There are other just as entertaining tracks. "Freeway" is a strong rocker and "Angelyne" is a humorous but apparently sincere ballad written for the buxom, always-sunglassed, big haired blonde woman famous for ... well, for being famous (if you've been to Hollywood, you've seen photos or posters of here somewhere). A cover of the classic Jim Stafford tune, "Spiders and Snakes," has an irresistible, playful ring to it while most of the others, while not deadly boring, are a little slower -- closer to the classic ballads that so many bands of the era used to garner airplay and sell records.

"Hollywood Ghosts" is the perfect CD for those who love the classic hard rock sound of the late 70s and early 80s ... as well as for those who wish it had never gone away.

Also included is a DVD featuring videos, interviews and a color slide show.

Spiders & Snakes: Lizzie Grey - lead and backing vocals, guitar, bass; Timothy Jay - drums, keyboards, backing and lead vocals.

For more information, check out www.spidersandsnakes.com.   

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 2005 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.