The original incarnation of Shameless was formed in April 1989 by bassist Alexx ‘Skunk’ Michael, but after the singer left in 1991 they called it quits. But, in 1998 Alexx decided to reform the band with guitarist BC, and through his friend Eric Singer managed to get a lot guests names to be involved which resulted in ‘Backstreet Anthems’. The theme of getting others involved has continued to the current day, and with their sixth album they have convinced Cherie Currie (The Runaways) to make her first trip to a recording studio since 1980 and join them for some songs. The result is nothing short of a good time, this is an album all about having a blast, both the band and the listener.
This fits squarely in the realm of glam metal, with obvious influences being Mötley Crüe, Kiss, Alice Cooper, Poison, and Marc Bolan. I’m not sure why they feel the need to include cover versions of songs as their own material more than stands up, but “Life’s A Gas” is interesting, with Steve Summers doing a wonderful Marc Bolan imitation, and Cherie providing backing vocals. But, it is nothing dramatically new as it is very close to the original. Much better is their take on “Eighteen’, with vocals by Stevie Rachelle. This has a delicacy and tenderness that takes it to a whole new level.
This is a solid glam album, which while not classic is definitely worthy of investigation – it is the sort of an album that finds the listener with a smile on their face from start to end, and isn’t that what music is all about?