Updated: Jan 29, 2020
With the help of bands like STEEL PANTHER, a band that poke's fun at the glam/hair metal era of the 80's and early 90's, There has been a resurgence of new Sleaze/Glam metal bands like POISON, RATT, DOKKEN and TWISTED SISTER from the 80's.
Sometimes called "New Wave Of Sleaze/Glam" and including bands like CRASHDIET, BABYLON BOMBS, CRAZY LIXX, DYNAZTY, H.E.A.T, THE POODLES, MAMA KIN, VAINS OF JENNA, LIPSTIXX 'N' BULLETZ, WILDSTREET, RECKLESS LOVE and so many more, the genre is chalk full of amazing bands! Although STEEL PANTHER set out to be a tongue in cheek look at the "Hair Metal" era, their popularity only proves that people are starving for this music. "Sex, Drugs & Rock N' Roll" party music is what a lot of people are listening to again. Gone are the years of doldrum grunge with depressing lyrical content and boring concerts. This guy (two thumbs pointed back at me) won't complain if "the show" comes back to rock n' roll again. Despite the jokiness of STEEL PANTHER's lyrical content the band itself is no joke. The musicianship and singing are all top notch. Aside from the lyrical content and goofy stage antics. Fun bands like STEEL PANTHER are what drove the beginning of this resurgence of Sleaze and Glam bands. Th market has returned for glam and fun music again.
Moving on to my whole point for writing this piece. I received an EP (Extended Play) from a band called TRIGGER (yes there are 40 bands called Trigger), but this one hails from Brazil. Joking aside, this month I got two submissions from bands called TRIGGER. A Glam band from Brazil and a Grindcore band from Germany. Obviously, today's review is for the glam band from South America based on my introduction spiel, huh?
TRIGGER has been together since 2014 (right around the time this new wave of glam began). Originating from Salvador, Brazil, the trio comprised of Gabriel Heiligen (Lead Vocals/Guitars), Ícaro Bastos (Bass/Keyboards/Backing Vocals) and Ákillas Gomes (Drums/backing Vocals) have released their first 'Self-Titled' EP. There are four tracks on this EP "Born Again", "Satisfaction", "Rhythm of Love", and "Don’t Stay Away". Lead vocals come from Gabriel Heiligen complete with a few high pitched screams here and there to metal things up. Although everything is sung in English, you can really hear a strong accent in his singing which can be a tiny bit distracting. That aside, he does a pretty decent job on first track "Born Again", which is my 2nd choice of the four songs on this EP. Gabriel also handles Guitar work, and delivers exactly what you would expect from a glam band, although nothing new or original. Definitely nothing that stood out for me or got me excited to talk about. The band does complement each other very well, and Drummer Aquilas Gomes did a very good job with the songs he had to work with on this EP.
TRIGGER - "Satisfaction" (Song Stream):
The songs included in this collection are all filler tracks, except for maybe closing track "Don't Stay Away". None of the 4 songs has real staying power though or true radio hit potential. The songs aren't bad, they're just forgettable unfortunately. More time on songwriting would serve this band well for the next release.
TRIGGER has some real potential indeed though. I just couldn't find anything I could sink my teeth into on this EP or these particular 4 songs. There were no hooks or catchy choruses that Glam bands are known for and what drew me to Glam/Sleaze in the 80's and still draws me to the great new bands like CRAZY LIXX and H.E.A.T. The attempt at the obligatory "ballad" with "Don't Stay Away" was a solid try in my books. It started out great, with the cool piano bit thanks to Icaro Bastos the Bassist and Keyboardist in the band. It also had a catchy intro riff that had my attention peaked if only for a second. Of all four songs, "Don't Stay Away" is the best written song and the only song with "single" potential if there are any. Vocals are very strong on "Don't Stay Away" and that illusive hook I mentioned is just about there. So close I can taste it. Still, more focus on songwriting next time would do TRIGGER a great service and bump them up from garage band to the next level.
(Left - Right) Icaro Bastos (Bass/Keyboards), Gabriel Heiligen (Vocals/Guitars), Aquilas Gomes (Drums)
Now I would be remiss if I didn't pay some attention in this review to the band's image. After all this is a Glam band. Remember how I started out mentioning STEEL PANTHER and how they are a joke band and purposely want to look like they are poking fun at 80's Glam? In the case of TRIGGER I seriously can't tell if they are joking with their image, and trying to look like the butchiest dudes in drag (a-la-TWISTED SISTER)? Or maybe they truly are trying to Glam out and do their best POISON look-a-like and don't know they make ugly pinups? Unfortunately, either way it's a serious fail in my books! Glam is as much visual, as it is audio. Icaro the bass player/keyboardist is the only dude who might pass and fit in with any 80's Sleaze or Glam band. As for drummer Akillas though, someone get him a drumstick (bah-dum-dum). I mean Chicken, not actual stick for drums. He needs to lay off the heroin and eat a few good meals before he wastes away (I only Joke of course). Now Gabriel (Vocals/Guitars) looks to me like a chubby Alexis Arquette and is definitely leaning more to the butchy TWISTED SISTER side of Glam, not a pretty site at all.
So, if TRIGGER is a serious Glam band and not meant to be tongue in cheek, then I would remind them that the whole Glam movement was mostly about image. I personally bought POISON's 'Look What the Cat Dragged In' album because of the cover image and how shocked I was that those 4 dudes looked like women. If TRIGGER posed for the same album cover, I would run away screaming (ha ha).
In conclusion, the EP wasn't something to write home about. More time on songwriting will improve this band greatly in my opinion. "Don't Stay Away" was the strongest track, and nothing could make TRIGGER as eye catching as the classic Glam bands or even the new crop. So there isn't anything "Glamorous" about TRIGGER but their music does have hints of future greatness.
TRIGGER - 'EP' Track listing:
01 - "Born Again" 02 - "Satisfaction" 03 – "Rhythm of Love" 04 – "Don’t Stay Away"
Favorite Track: "Don't Stay Away"
Rating (out of 5 stars): 2