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Y&T - Facemelter

by Grigoris Chronis at 21 May 2010, 10:05 AM

If you have not ever came across Y&T’s name and judge yourself as a loyal fan of American Hard Rock then maybe it’s time you reconsider your level of know-how status, to say the least. In my mind, along with KISS and AEROSMITH and VAN HALEN, this band from Santa Clara, California can easily be considered as equally influential in what we the fans like to refer to as 80s Hard Rock. Breathing nearly 35 years of life – they begun under the YESTERDAY AND TODAY moniker in 1974 – the band around highly leading songwriter/guitarist Dave Meniketti (born in 1953!) now strikes hard with their newest album, the first in 13 years, lustily called “Facemelter” (what a kick-ass artwork, really).

The significance of Y&T’s music during – especially – the early 80s is way too rich to be caged in a couple of words: with brilliant studio recordings such as “Earthshaker” (1981), “Black Tiger” (1982) and “Meanstreak” (1983) this outfit topped the quality of guitar-driven blues-based energetic yet emotional American Rock gaining commercial recognition in the USA and Japan/UK/Germany/Scandinavia. The high-octane riffing and exquisite warm voice of Dave Meniketti stood as a golden statue for Y&T’s sound and style, while further studio works showed likewise significant results in a more commercial (at the time) production and harmonies writing. With only two albums during the 90s but with a nonstop touring activity in the 00s decade, it’s really motivating to see what Meniketti and Co. are up to these days studio-wise.

Checking out the video shot for “I’m Coming Home” (check below) the news were just fine: the up-tempo fury of the rhythm section along with the hammering guitar riffs and the velvet moody vocals brought to mind pantheon classics of the band like “Midnight In Tokyo” or “Forever” (I believe that’s what the banded aimed at, too). Descending into “Facemelter”’s tracklist was a more-than-pleasant experience (apart from its duration, maybe, since non-core Y&T fans may feel looking at the clock at some time) since in 60 minutes what every fan has loved in this dominant quartet is virtually present, and I’d dare say the songs’ level is higher than someone would expect bearing in mind there’s been a 13-year studio absence around.

Dave’s voice is sensational, nothing less. He cries out the words, his bluesy voice shall nail you down again if a dedicated Y&T fan and he exceeds originality fronting a band that surely had a good time recording for this new album; there’s a great vibe allover with mid-pace shakers (“Shine On”, “I Want your Money”, “Hot Shot”), rolling rockers (“On With The Show”, “Blind Patriot”) and velvet bluesbreakers (“How Long”, “Don’t Bring Me Down”, “If You Want Me”) filling your guts with emotional Hard Rock from one of the godfathers. The production is quite vintage but not over-classic, leading you to successfully assume there’s a classic band playing new material here.

Original members Dave Meniketti and Phil Kennemore, alongside John Nymann on guitar and Mike Vanderhule on drums, are in charge of a lethal new Y&T album. “Facemelter” is rocking all the way, there’s no fuckin’ chance you’ll pass this dynamic total if a friend of the band or American hardridin’ Rock as shaped in the late 70s and 80s. Not willing to wait for another 13 years for a new album, let’s feel lucky if Y&T comes to town this summer (seen them live 2 years ago – they take no prisoners) to rock your world. R U willing to have yourself getting melted?

4 Star Rating

  1. Prelude, On With The Show
  2. On With The Show
  3. How Long
  4. Shine On
  5. I Want Your Money
  6. Wild Child
  7. I’m Coming Home
  8. If You Want Me
  9. Hot Shot
  10. Blind Patriot
  11. Don’t Bring Me Down
  12. Gonna Go Blind
  13. One Life
  14. Losing My Mind
Dave Meniketti - Lead Vocals, Guitar
Phil Kennemore - Bass
John Nymann - Guitar
Mike Vanderhule - Drums
Record Label: Frontiers Records


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Edited 29 November 2022

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