Warrant – Rockaholic (2011, Frontiers Records)
1. Sex Ain’t Love … 3:57
2. Innocence Gone … 3:40
3. Snake … 3:44
4. Dusty’s Revenge … 4:26
5. Home … 3:28
6. What Love Can Do … 4:19
7. Life’s A Song … 4:10
8. Show Must Go On … 2:48
9. Cocaine Freight Train … 3:04
10. Found Forever … 4:15
11. Candy Man … 4:05
12. Sunshine … 3:54
13. Tears In The City … 3:35
14. The Last Straw … 4:14
Robert Mason – Lead Vocals
Erik Turner – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Jerry Dixon – Bass, Backing Vocals
Joey Allen – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Steven Sweet – Drums, Backing Vocals
Producer: Keith Olsen
So there’s a new Warrant album and yet again Jani Lane is missing. Jani briefly rejoined the band in 2008 (sending Jaime St. James back to Black ‘N Blue) but now Big Cock/ex-Lynch Mob vocalist Robert Mason has been with them for the last four years playing live shows and finally that relationship has paid off in the form of a studio album.
The loose rock ‘n’ roll feel from 2006’s Born Again has been polished up on Rockaholic but like that album, it doesn’t really sound all that much like Warrant. This is not an album I think the band would have or could have written with Jani. That isn’t a knock on Jani Lane, the band or Robert Mason. It’s just different chemistry. Janie was a great thoughtful lyricist who excelled at ballads, with Robert Mason the band just wants to rock. They don’t try to repeat the past and make an “eighties album” or “Warrant-sounding” songs with one exception: I felt a bit of an old school Warrant vibe on “Life’s A Song”.
If anything, I think the album sounds like Lynch Mob. It’s just so hard to wrap my head around anything as being Warrant without Jani on vocals. Luckily, that has deterred NOT me from enjoying Rockaholic. Robert Mason sings his butt off on this album and proves once again why he is one of the best vocalists in rock right now. He doesn’t try to sing like Jani, he’s just being himself and kudos for that! It’s easy to say Mason is the best singer Warrant has ever had.
But how does this album compare to the band’s early releases? Pretty well, I must say. Though I was really looking to this release, I wasn’t sure how it was going to sound and I have to say that the album is great! Anyone who is a fan of ’80s rock/metal will should love this album. It has that whole vibe while still sounding fresh and relevant. You want rockers? You’ve got “Sex Ain’t Love”, the defiant “The Last Straw”, “Show Must Go On”, the fantastic and sex-charged “Cocaine Freight Train” (which I think may be one of my favorite Warrant songs… ever) and the cowboy rocker “Dusty’s Revenge”. You want ballads? There’s “Home” (another real standout), “What Love Can Do”, “Tears In The City” and “Found Forever”.
This is a very well done release from top to bottom. While I certainly have my favorite tracks, I really don’t think there’s any filler on this album. Overall, Warrant sounds even more revitalized and energetic than they did with Born Again and while I don’t think Warrant has really ever turned in a bad album (though maybe they didn’t always go in the direction I would have preferred) Rockaholic is easily the best thing they’ve released since Cherry Pie. We now finally have a recorded document of the Mason era and hopefully this is just the first of many albums they do with him.
Highlights: “Sex Ain’t Love”, “Snake”, “Home”, “What Love Can Do”, “Life’s A Song”, “Cocaine Freight Train”, “Candy Man”, “The Last Straw”