Picks and Pans Review: Raging Slab

updated 09/04/1989 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/04/1989 01:00AM

Raging Slab

Niceties be damned. This is a band that comes right at you with its fangs bared. Of course, with a name like Raging Slab, it's obvious they don't play cotillion music. Add to that the fact that all the songs on this debut are written by a guy named Greg Strempka, and you can be sure that you're in for a raucous experience. (Strempka is the New York-based quartet's lead singer.)

Raging Slab delivers on its implied threat with some melodic hard rock that has the attention-grabbing impact of a falling safe. Songs such as "Don't Dog Me" and "Shiny Mama" compare favorably with Aerosmith's Permanent Vacation. The blues-oriented tracks, say, "Sony's All I Got," recall late Savoy Brown. In fact Strempka's fierce, thirsty voice often recalls Savoy's vocalist, Lonesome Dave.

Slab's style is all cinder-block chords, buzzing slide guitar and thumping back-beat. The lyrics aren't profound, as you might guess from titles like "Get Off My Jollies." The song quality is erratic, and the production is crude. But somehow it all suits Raging Slab, a band you wouldn't mind taking along to a rock fight. (RCA)

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