The thing I remember most about Slaughter was how likable they were.
Slaughter rose out of the ashes of Vinnie Vincent Invasion when singer Mark Slaughter and bassist Dana Strum got sick of Vincent’s bullshit and quit his band to start up their own.
They seemed like really good guys in interviews. I wanted them to do well and I supported them to the point of writing the name and logo of their first album ‘Stick It To Ya’ on the back of my denim jacket in magic marker over what was supposed to be a heart with a knife through it, but ended up looking more like an apple.
Which was an odd decision on my part, because even back then, I didn’t think Slaughter was very good.
Vinnie Vincent Invasion’s ‘All Systems Go’ is a better album than ‘Stick It To Ya’ in every possible way. I would go so far as to consider ‘All Systems Go” as the platonic ideal of late eighties pop metal--shiny production, catchy hooks, high pitched lead vocals with shouted or harmonized backing vocals, fast, technical guitar work and sex-obsessed lyrics (“Come together in serenade/Pull the pin on my love grenade“). Meanwhile, visually, Vinnie Vincent & Co. were all leather and denim and hairspray. Hair metal doesn’t get any hair metal-ier.
Vinnie Vincent Invasion never really caught on though. Slaughter on the other hand--well, nobody remembers them now, but “Stick It To Ya” made its mark in 1990 with the songs “Up All Night“ and “Fly To the Angels.” Along with Ugly Kid Joe, they were one of the last bands to break out into the mainstream from the metal genre. Their next album, “The Wild Life” was better, but by that time, hair metal was making its last stand, caught between the Scylla and Charybdis of the rise of grunge and the commercialization of Country & Western.
I‘m not sure why. Like I said, their songs weren’t very good.
I guess we just liked them for some reason.