November 18, 2021

Circus of Power - Vices (1990)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Hard Rock
Label Number: 2022-2-R

© 1990 RCA/BMG/His Master's Voice
In the '80s, having a Hollywood address wasn't a prerequisite for playing pop-metal -- Bon JoviBritny Fox, and Cinderella were all from the East Coast. Nonetheless, much of the pop-metal action was in Los Angeles, the city that gave listeners Guns N' RosesMötley CrüeWarrantL.A. GunsPoisonQuiet RiotSkid Row, and countless others. Some of Circus of Power's fans wondered if the band would have been bigger if they had been based in L.A. instead of New York; others argued that Circus of Power's lack of commercial success was due to inadequate promotion rather than location. Whatever the reason, Circus of Power's albums weren't big sellers -- although they weren't without their pleasures. Vices, the New Yorkers' third album, is a good example of the type of trashy, decadent, sleazy hard rock that they were known for. Lyrically, Circus of Power embraces the same life-in-the-fast-lane themes that made Guns N' Roses famous; Circus' writing isn't as strong or as consistent as that of Axl Rose and his colleagues, but the parallels are definitely there. Everything that Guns N' Roses wrote about -- sex, drugs, promiscuous women -- is also a theme on Vices, which was produced by Daniel Rey and finds lead singer Alex Mitchell leading a lineup that includes Ricky Beck Mahler and Gary Sunshine on guitar, Zowie on bass, and Ryan Maher on drums. Without question, Circus of Power is highly derivative; no one will accuse tracks like "Last Call Rosie," "Doctor Potion," and "Junkie Girl" of trying to reinvent the hard rock wheel. Nonetheless, the material is decent more often than not, and even though Circus of Power was never in a class with Guns N' Roses or Mötley CrüeVices points to the fact that the band did have their moments.

tags: circus of power, vices, 1990, flac,


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