Cold Shot - Cold Shot

Cold Shot cover
Cold Shot
Cold Shot
2014
8
Cold Shot’s long awaited self-titled CD released on August 26th, 2014; Eonian Records took the reins on the release of Cold Shot’s debut CD, just 20 years after the band hung up their guns for the last time. For many, the wait was well worth the effort. For those in attendance at the performance and CD release party, it was a chance to live the dream just one more time.
 
The Sunset Strip scene in theme in the mid to late 80s held promise for FM rock radio and up and coming bands who were willing to pay their dues, and maybe pay a few favors to get their name on the billboard signs that once lined the West Hollywood streets. It was a time before Myspace, Reverb Nation, Soundcloud and YouTube; bands earned their keep and postered the streets with handmade flyers and on the spot meet and greets, back alley deals and when the weekend rolled around, the stages were as alive as any show that ever played at the Forum, regardless of being set in front of what often turned out to be just a handful of fans and friends looking to score and maybe tip back a couple of cold shots to ease the week’s stresses. It was world of leather, cowboy boots, Aquanet hair spray and guitarists who honed their craft by playing ‘til their fingers bled. It was the 80s and hard rock was king. This was where Cold Shot, the band, was born.
 
If you were here at the time, you would remember Tony (Anthony) Gallo (read the interview with Tony here) and his six string wizardry in places like Gazzarri’s and the Troubador, on stages where people have taken the memories and created books, movies and legendary stories. This was the place where the foundation of this CD began; where Gallo met Adam Murray and formed the union that would unfortunately become Shark Team – a very short lived moniker that would ultimately change for the band’s first billing and be forever etched in stone as Cold Shot! Teaming with local bottom end 4-banger Erin Bartley and drummer Rikki Baggett, the four would pen songs that breathed the essence of living in a time when nobody feared sexual disease, it was all curable with penicillin, and the thought of getting signed wasn’t that far out of reach. Before leaving the house, girls dolled up for the boys, and everyone took a shower… it was far before the whiney pre-grunge era of mood enhancers and daddy’s bank account. It was also the time the band got signed to a deal with Virgin Records.
 
MTV was boasting images of Brett Michaels, Stephen Pearcy and Vince Neil and in a matter of months, everyone would know what a Pretty Boy Floyd was, but there was still a soul in the music, and it was driven by a passion to kick ass, get laid and create memories that would last forever. It was what rock and roll was and it was enough to get the attention of promoter Sam Sarkiss, the man who would put the boys on stage with every artist you know from the era. The band ran the gambit of traits common to all the pros in Los Angeles with photos by Zlowzower, studio recordings with Russ Castillo and Mark Eisenstein and even co-writing songs with artists including Quiet Riot’s Carlos Cavazo. The band had tracks that were picked up for films and their name was in lights from Doheney to Highland and all points in between. The light was not just out there at the end of the tunnel, it was shining bright on them… until someone recorded a song by Nirvana and the rug was pulled out from under the dream. It was five years during the best times of our lives, and those amazing recordings, if you didn’t have them on cassette back in the day, were something you could only reminisce about.
 
On July 25th, 2014, fans lined up outside the newly renovated hot spot, Paladinos, in Tarzana, CA and the band was on stage to celebrate more than just a CD release, but a 25th anniversary of the day they became a band and blew everyone away at Gazzarri’s on the Strip. On stage with the band were local modern rockers including Prey for the Fallen, Systematic Chaos and Midnight Sky, but fans knew what they came to see and nobody was let down. Blazing out with the same originality that marked an era for hard rock fans, the band brought it all back for a night of nostalgia and a chance for those who hadn’t lived it, to see what it was all about.
 
So how about that CD? For starters, it’s 11 tracks. This is a full CD of hard rock music!
 
The track list is as follows:
01. Juicy Lucy
02. Foolish Pride
03. Cold Shot
04. No Time
05. Give Me What I Need
06. Mine All Mine
07. Heart of the City
08. Long Legs
09. Captured
10. Without Your Love
11. Higher
 
“Juicy Lucy” opens with a hard snare drumbeat and kicks in to a barroom brawling harmonica. As the harmonica fades down, the vocals slide in with Murray’s classic edgy hard rock voice, grabbing the listener and pulling them into the music. Easily as familiar as any Guns n’ Roses song, the riffs are a halcyon vision of glam’s best years.
 
“Foolish Heart” begins with a trickling guitar and thumping bass that leads into the up-tempo feature similar to how Lizzy Borden draws listeners in. It’s a winner from start to finish.
 
The self-titled “Cold Shot” is a straightforward rocker that begins with Murray’s rasp and leads in to a riff that gallops into the verse. It harkens to the likes of Contraband’s “Intimate Outrage” but with an up-tempo speed.
 
“No Time” leads the listener to think there’s a ballad at hand, but the song becomes a hard rockin’, soul speaking riff-laden empire of awesomeness. It’s a stand out track!
 
“Give Me What I Need” is all about the stages of the Sunset Strip in the 80s. It’s a bouncy track that offers a sing along chorus and a great solo with driving drums. It’s a song that would have had the ladies of the eighties dancing in the clubs.
 
“Mine All Mine” opens with high-speed riff-fest that pushes down the gas pedal while you’re driving and showcases the intensity that sold the band to listeners from the day the music hit the street.
 
“Heart of the City”, “Long Legs” and “Captured” all continue the consistent excellence of the band as a staple in the rock market. There is no shortcoming of rhythms and melodies that entice the listener to hit the repeat button and hear each track a second or third time.
 
“Without Your Love” stands as a marker of what ballady type rock songs were in the hard rock era. It’s about a boy, his feelings about a girl and his life with, or without her. They don’t write them with this kind of authority anymore.
 
“Higher” finishes the album by taking the listener from the ballad back in to kicking ass and wraps up a stellar album release with a pure head banging hard rock song.
 
Along with the CD release, fans can find two tracks by the band being placed on the Eonian Records release titled “The Rock n’ Roll Rebels” & “Sunset Strip” box set to feature 80 bands and more than 150 songs that came from the streets of Hollywood and the days of decadence.
 
Overall, this is an excellent and highly recommended release for fans of the MTV hard rock era of the 80s. For those who lived it, they know what this band brought to the table; and for those who weren’t around at the time, this is one of the CDs you want to add to your collection to let you know what the era was all about. The disc stands up alongside classics from artists like Dangerous Toys, Bang Tango and even the Killer Dwarfs.