Perry's project ramps up the sleaze, and the fun.
Steve Perry isn't what one would call `subtle.'
Perry is, after all, the guy who fronts a band called the Cherry Poppin' Daddies. With his new band White Hot Odyssey, Perry's traded his zoot suit and wing tips for a powdered wig and makeup.
His aim: the rebirth of gaudy glam rock.
And by glam we don't mean 1980s hair metal. White Hot Odyssey embraces the real glam of 1970s Britain. The glam of David Bowie and Roxy Music and Gary Glitter and Marc "T.Rex" Bolan.
The glam of White Hot Odyssey is giddy, glittery, raunchy and rockin'. The band's self-titled debut, released Nov. 9, is big and blustery, a fun-loving, sexy romp through rock 'n' roll.
Your tour guides for tonight's CD release party at the WOW Hall are five guys wearing puffy shirts, feather boas and platforms. Prudes need not apply.
Glam has always been about sex and sexual identity. That's why Bolan could sing `Get It On (Bang a Gong),' Glitter could ask `Do You Want to Touch Me" and Bowie could exclaim "Wham, bam thank you ma'am" - all while wearing platform heels and massive amounts of eye makeup.
This is where that whole "subtlety" thing comes in. Or lack thereof. `White Hot Odyssey' carries a parental warning label for explicit content. From the opening track (`Good Head') to the last (`3 in Bed'), Perry and pals revel in sex and raunch. For those who would blanch at the idea of listening to songs called `Lick the Pole' or `Ride the Snake,' the White Hot Odyssey album might be one to pass up.
But if you have an adventurous spirit, or if you have a good sense of humor, or if you believe that "sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll' are a perfect combination, you might get a kick out of "White Hot Odyssey." If you like your rock 'n' roll a little juvenile and heavy on the guitars, you can't go wrong with this one.
The second track, `Permanent Juvenile,' sums up the spirit of the disc this way: `Rock 'n' roll's about long hair and getting high/ About hot girls who spend the night/ Aix packs, 8-tracks/ Until you're really (messing) up your life."
Music this raunchy walks a fine line between rock and parody. While Perry's clearly singing with a smile on his face, he avoids overt "nudge, nudge, wink, wink" moments that would push things over the edge to parody.
He's having a blast, and he wants his audience to have a blast, too.
Anyone who is surprised by the muscular musicianship of "White Hot Odyssey" shouldn't be. Perry is joined by some of the best local musicians around.
Ed Cole is on bass, Jason Moss (of the Daddies) and Mark Rogers (the Courtesy Clerks) play guitar and the drummer is Jivan Valpey (Passout Kings). These guys rock hard and rock well, mixing up '70s guitar rock with garage punk touches that are infectious.
On the catchiest tunes - `Permanent Juvenile," "Hot Tub Party," `Spit It Up" and "Siamese Connection" - you'll find yourself tapping your toes, a sly smile growing across your face. `White Hot Odyssey' isn't an album to take seriously, but it is one that's seriously fun.
Carolyn Lamberson can be reached at 338-2341 or clamberson @guardnet.com.
White Hot Odyssey is long on glam and short on subtlety.