Tuesday, February 02, 2010


While going through some of the reviews Umlaut wrote in his teenage years, I came across this gem from early 1983:

For the newbies: Back in The Day it's safe to say that most Metalheads liked Def Leppard in the beginning. They were part of the NWOBHM scene out of England that also gave us Iron Maiden; their self-released Bludgeon Riffola EP was almost as sought after as Iron Maiden's Soundhouse Tapes EP. I remember reading an article about the band in Circus magazine and it said how they were around the same age as me... which was impressive to my California suburban teenage mind.

At the time, Def Leppard were pimply-faced English lads and the On Through The Night album was good. When High 'N Dry, their 2nd album, came out they supported the mighty Blackfoot in Sacramento, Oakland, and Santa Cruz... and the Oakland show remains one of my favorite concerts from my high school years. However, while their live show was good, for the High 'N Dry album the band hooked up with producer Mutt Lange and their sound had started to morph into a slick, radio-friendly sound. For the newbies: Mutt Lange basically perfected the "FM Radio" sound for albums by producing everyone from Foreigner and AC/DC in the 80's to Shania Twain and Nickelback in more recent years.

Anyway, by the time Pyromania came out, Def Leppard and Umlaut had become mortal enemies. When I penned that review I had a makeshift Venom - Black Metal back patch on my denim vest (made from a bootleg shirt).. and a band like Def Leppard represented everything I hated about mainstream music. I thought maybe my review would stop the spread of shit music... Okay, not really.. but I was that dogmatic about METAL back then.

Alas, my review was for naught. Fast forward to the 21st Century and Pyromania has sold over 16 million copies worldwide and history tells how that album (and Def Leppard's next 2 Mutt Lange produced albums) ushered in the whole bullshit Hair Metal scene of the mid-80's that destroyed Metal by making it mainstream (which was a bad thing..)... which in turn allowed Grunge to rise from Seattle (which was a good thing!)... and yet the words from that review I wrote as a teenager still haunt me when I see crap like this...

If Taylor Swift wasn't a young tall blonde girl would she still be making millions of dollars with singing that flat?? Discuss amongst yourselves.