Faster Pussycat came together during the prime of glam metal on the Sunset Strip, sharing the scene with bands like Guns N’ Roses and L.A. Guns. They dropped their first album in the same year as Guns N’ Roses, but despite their potential, the Pussycat never quite made it big on the international stage.
Vicky Hamilton was managed Faster Pussycat, she was also handling Poison and Guns N’ Roses. However, while the latter two bands went on to achieve great success, Faster Pussycat was still struggling to make a name for themselves outside of Los Angeles.
Vicky Hamilton has played a crucial role in shaping the music scene on the Sunset Strip. she helped Mötley Crüe with their first album, Too Fast for Love, she didn’t last long when they signed with Elektra. She managed Stryper for a while, but they parted ways due to conflicting beliefs. She even helped Poison, but they left her behind when they signed their first album. And just like with Guns N’ Roses, they kicked her out when they signed with Geffen.
Even though some of these artists didn’t reach the global level, Vicky’s influence has been significant in shaping their careers. As I was researching Guns N’ Roses for my FR!DAY ! AM !N ROCK blog, I stumbled upon an interview with someone – I can’t recall if it was Axl Rose, Slash, or Bret Michaels – who spoke highly of Vicky Hamilton’s talent for spotting promising bands.
However, it was noted that while she had the ability to push these bands in the highly competitive Sunset Strip music scene, she seemed unable to propel them to the national or global level of success. It was a thought-provoking reminder of the challenges and limitations that exist even for those with a great eye for talent.
While Faster Pussycat may not have achieved the level of commercial success as other prominent bands from the L.A. scene, they still enjoyed a considerable level of success. They may not have become superstars in the traditional sense of the word, but they were successful enough, perhaps comparable to L.A. Guns. After a few hits in the beginning, they faded into relative obscurity, but they continue to have a loyal following.
It’s hard not to wonder what separates successful bands from those that never quite make it. Despite their talent and potential, some bands simply don’t gain the traction necessary to propel them to the next level.
As I was tuning into a podcast interview featuring Greg Steele, the co-founder and guitarist of Faster Pussycat with Taime Down, Looking back now, Greg feels that their first album was more like a demo tape. Although he likes the songs on the album, he dislikes the production quality, which he considers to be poor. He gotta do with just one guitar and one amp. To make matters worse, the amp broke down on the final day of recording, resulting in a raw audio recording with no overdubs whatsoever.
It’s worth noting that the band had a meagre budget of only $38,000 for the production of their first album, which may seem paltry compared to Guns N’ Roses’ Appetite for Destruction album, released in the same year with a production budget of $370,000 provided by Geffen Records.
This revelation begs the question of whether the amount of financial backing is a significant factor in a band’s sound in debut album.
Producer: Ric Browde
- “Don’t Change That Song” (Taime Downe, Greg Steele) – 3:40
- “Bathroom Wall” (Downe) – 3:40
- “No Room for Emotion” (Downe, Brent Muscat) – 3:56
- “Cathouse” (Downe) – 3:42
- “Babylon” (Downe, Steele) – 3:14
- “Smash Alley” (Downe, Muscat) – 3:28
- “Shooting You Down” (Downe) – 3:46
- “City Has No Heart” (Downe, Muscat) – 4:19
- “Ship Rolls In” (Downe, Steele) – 3:26
- “Bottle in Front of Me” (Downe, Muscat) – 3:02
- Taime Downe – lead vocals
- Greg Steele – guitar
- Brent Muscat – guitar
- Eric Stacy – bass guitar
- Mark Michals – drums
But for FR!DAY ! AM !N ROCK, Faster Pussycat’s first album is one of my favourites.
Back when I first discovered this band, they were about to drop their album “Wake Me When It’s Over” (1989). However, listening to their first ablum, I couldn’t help but feel their first album is better. “Wake Me When It’s Over” didn’t have that same rawness and gritty edge that made their sleaze rock sound so appealing. Perhaps it was also a sign of changing music trends at the time.
Let’s take a look at the Faster Pussycat album. The opening track is “Don’t Change That Song,” which instantly hooks you in. The following track, “Bathroom Wall,” was also a hit from the album. It was even featured in the documentary film “The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years,” which prominently featured Faster Pussycat.
This Album has a great sound that mixes the styles of Aerosmith and The New York Dolls. Their music is filled with sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll attitude. The album features hit tracks such as “Bathroom Wall” and “Bottle in Front of Me,” as well as raw ballads like “Smash Alley” and “City Has no Heart.”
Faster Pussycat’s sound is a unique blend of glam metal and rock and roll, characterized by clear guitar riffs such as the ones in “Cathouse.” The band cleverly adjusted their sound to suit the era, infusing it with piano by guest artist Darling Cruel. Interestingly, the track “Cathouse” was originally named “Whore House,” which later became the name of Taime’s nightclub.
Taime may not have the most technically perfect singing voice, but what he lacks in traditional talent, he makes up for with his undeniable self-confidence and swagger. That’s exactly what you want in a frontman for a rock band! Listening to him sing is just plain fun.
And while the music may be a bit standard for the genre, overall, this album is an absolute joy to listen to. It perfectly captures the essence of glam metal from the LA scene, and it’s impossible not to feel a little bit happy and energized while you’re rocking out to it.
There’s something about Faster Pussycat’s first album that always takes me back to my youth. Even though it didn’t achieve much commercial success, I can still listen to it after all these years. It’s a throwback to the 80s glam metal scene, and every time I hear it, it’s like a trip down memory lane. Listening to it takes me back to a time of innocence and carefree fun.
It’s not meant to be taken too seriously – just pure, unadulterated enjoyment for those who love this genre of music.