Rough Cutt – Rough Cutt/Rough Cutt Wants You (2005, Wounded Bird Records)
Original Release: 1985, Warner Bros. Records (Rough Cutt); 1986, Warner Bros. Records (Rough Cutt Wants You)
Rough Cutt –
1. Take Her … 3:39
2. Piece of My Heart … 4:45
3. Never Gonna Die … 4:20
4. Dreamin’ Again … 5:48
5. Cutt Your Heart Out … 2:29
6. Black Widow … 4:33
7. You Keep Breaking My Heart … 5:14
8. Kids Will Rock … 4:02
9. Dressed To Kill … 4:15
10. She’s Too Hot … 3:27
Rough Cutt Wants You –
11. Rock The USA … 2:59
12. Bad Reputation … 3:46
13. Don’t Settle For Less … 2:34
14. Hot ‘N’ Heavy … 4:50
15. Take A Chance … 4:07
16. We Like It Loud … 3:59
17. Double Trouble … 3:49
18. You Wanna Be A Star … 2:44
19. Let ‘Em Talk … 3:37
20. The Night Cries Out (For You) … 4:53
Paul Shortino – Vocals
Amir Derakh – Guitar
Chris Hager – Guitar
Matt Thorr – Bass
Dave Alford – Drums
Produced by: Tom Allom (Rough Cutt); Jack Douglas (Rough Cutt Wants You)
Wounded Bird have been doing reissues of acts from the 60s-80s for years and it’s a great thing, because they’re priced low and often, they’ll be 2-in-1 releases like this one. And no, I’m not getting anything from Wounded Bird for this, I just think it’s really cool what they do.
Anyway, I had been aware of Rough Cutt for years, but never heard’em until I found this little gem browsing the rock section at CD Universe. You wanna try out a band? 2 albums on one CD is a good way to do it. This is Rough Cutt’s entire studio catalog (outside of an EP and some demos), so this is even better than some compilation.
Paul Shortino, of course, would go on to temporarily take over as lead singer of Quiet Riot, after Kevin DuBrow was fired and eventually went solo. It’s easy to see why, on both of these albums, why he was chosen to sit in for DuBrow. Great pipes.
The music is pleasant, but a some of it is just generic 80s melodic hard rock. Some of it reminds me of what you might hear playing in the background of some 1980s teen comedy or horror movie or as the credits are rolling. There are great moments though. From the first album, “Take Her” is an awesome track and a great way to get the album going, “Dreamin’ Again” is a great song as well. I’m really into “Black Widow”, from the vocal delivery to the pace of the music, it sounds like something you’d hear from a Tony Martin-era Black Sabbath album.
Rough Cutt is definitely a, dare I say, cut above Rough Cutt Wants You (sometimes just title as Wants You!). Wants You is a bit more on the generic side and seems a bit more polished. “Night Cries Out (For You” is the best cut from the 2nd album and sounds like something Joe Cocker would sing.
There’s actually some strong producers behind each album. Tom Allom produced Judas Priest all throughout the 80s and Jack Douglas has done extensive work for Cheap Trick, Starz, Alice Cooper, John Lennon and even Aerosmith’s first five albums.
Also interesting to note is that guitarist Amir Derakh would later go on to find success as a guitarist for Orgy and Shortino now fronts a band called The Cutt (which is not a revamped Rough Cutt).
Highlights: “Take Her”, “Piece of My Heart”, “Dreamin’ Again”, “Black Widow”, “You Keep Breaking My Heart”, “Rock the USA”, “”Bad Reputation”, “Night Cries Out (For You)“