W.A.S.P. - W.A.S.P. (1984)
The frenzy surrounding W.A.S.P. and much of the early part of their career often disguised the fact that aside from them displaying what some felt to be shocking sexual audacity and beastly intent, they actually released one of the best debut albums of the time. After the furore over Animal (Fuck Like A Beast) the band didn't bat an eyelid and got on with pushing their debut down the throats of whoever would listen. Taking the traditional rock elements and adding more than a fair few coats of shock over the top still should not be the only reason Lawless and co are recognised for their achievements in metal. The self-titled debut is strong, full of hooks and catchy lines that stayed in your head long after the curtain fell on any associated theatre.
The album might be seen as a romp in more ways than one but at the end of the day this was the album the band wanted to put out and it sounds like it too. There genuinely were no fucks to be given on this record and the band made this record for nobody else other than themselves, the fact that not only did it wind the PMRC up to epic proportions but also went on to sell gold in the US and Canada only added to the irony of Tipper Gore and co's derision.
Anthems just kept coming from all sides on the album. Whether it was I Wanna Be Somebody, L.O.V.E. Machine, Hellion or The Torture Never Stops the album was destined to stay in the hearts and heads of all who heard it. The ability to write obtuse and shocking lyrics was tempered also by the fact that the same band could deliver softer tracks like Sleeping (In The Fire) and still retain that garrish edge whilst doing so. W.A.S.P. weren't as primitive as people would have fans believe.
Yes, there's some filler on here (hence the 3.5 stars) but this was the debut and if ever there is a time to forgive a bit of filler it is on a bands first outing into full length release territory. Rock out with your cock out folks!