“Bed Of Roses”
I am not a fan of hair metal. In the late ’80s nothing would make me change the channel faster than Motley Crue, Poison, Skid Row, Whitesnake, or just about anyone else in the genre. Guns ‘n Roses I could stand, but barely. I would sometimes appreciate the pop element in the sound, and I appreciate it even more now, but for the most part I saw them as preening, self-important buffoons, a description they might take as a compliment. I still feel much the same way, but it’s always important to consider exceptions, even to rules you create for yourself, and this record is one of them. It was never a hit. Released sometime late in 1991, any chance it might have had of success was swept away by the tide of grunge, and suddenly guys with perfectly groomed shoulder blade-length hair and shiny phallic (in both sound and appearance) guitars were no longer in vogue. Radioactive Cats’s sound may have been too pop even for hair metal, and they certainly were different. Hailing from Memphis, at times they reflected more of a pure blues influence than most hair metal bands, and even a bit of country and fifties rock and roll—the album included a track that recreated the echoey Sun Records guitar sound for it’s intro. This could have been just another song about how hot the singer’s girlfriend is, but it has a catchiness, and a romantic quality, that goes beyond what you’d normally hear in hair metal. Yeah, he wants to rock her all night long, just like every other horny, long-haired, blow-dried guitarist in America, but he wants to do it on a bed of roses, and the way he describes her, it’s obvious he can’t get over how lucky he is to have the chance. Even with much of the usual macho preening in the music, there’s a sense of sweetness, almost of innocence, to this record. Maybe these guys were just too nice to make it as a metal band.