I've expressed my love for glam metal in the past, and now I'm hitting myself in the ass for not bringing up this band. What makes Dangerous Toys so great is that while everyone and their mother was trying the copy-and-paste Guns n Roses or Poison approach, these bad boys didn't care to be polished and pristine; they were filthy and nasty. The guitars, bass, and drums just will never fail to get you moving; you can't help but get down and boogie to "Teas'n, Pleas'n" off of their self-titled debut album. Jason McMaster's voice resembles Axl Rose's but delivers more with a certain je ne sais quoi... that and I'm sure he won't show up to the gig late. Although their last album, The R*tist 4*merly Known as Dangerous Toys, made a sharp turn left into grunge/college rock territory, the transition is well-done and maintains attitude that hearkens back to their roots.
The band hasn't made an album since R*tist back in 2001. They've had one-off shows over the years, so I guess you can say they're semi-active. However they've not done much since everyone in the band has other projects going on in their hometown of Austin, Texas. However, I think DT needs to reunite seriously and get back in the studio. Wherever their musical compass points them, I'm sure it'll be interesting.
Number 2: Cranium
I don't remember how it was I came across these guys, but I instantly fell in love. The best way I can describe the Swedish thrashers is that when it comes to ridiculousness, they're on a level that rivals Gwar. They may not dress up as aliens or anything, but their pseudonyms alone suggested that their music would overflow with violence and debauchery like an overfilled tube of toothpaste: Chainsaw Demon, Grave Raper, and Necro-Nudist. Then there's the album artwork...
That's the cover art for their debut album Speed Metal Slaughter. I have to say that this puts Cannibal Corpse's artwork to shame. A woman has a bottle up her butt, for God's sake!
If you think this image is to make up for a shabby sound, you'd be mistaken. I'm convinced that if the band had released Speed Metal Slaughter a decade earlier, they'd be regarded one of the Kings of Thrash, maybe lumped together with Kreator, Sodom, and Destruction; they'd fit right in since the members snarl with a German accent. Speaking of snarls, Chainsaw Demon produces some of the most wretched growls and shrieks. The dude's truly a Hellspawn. The guitar and drums command you to mosh and bang your goddamn head. Look into songs like "Slaughter on the Dance Floor", "Dentist of Death", "Nymphomaniac Nuns", and "Pestilential Penis" and you'll find the charmingly demented lyrics that are both hilarious and fucked up.
Sadly, Necro-Nudist (real name Johan Hallberg) took his own life in 2001. It's going to take a truly exceptional drummer with a dark sense of humor to fill in for him. As unlikely as they are to return, I would be absolutely thrilled if these guys came back for some festival dates.
Number 3: Pantera
Surely this is the band that comes to everyone's mind when this kind of topic is discussed. One of the most loved metal bands in the world, I don't think there's a metalhead out there who wouldn't be thrilled to mosh to "Cowboys from Hell" one more time. Of course with the death of Dimebag Darrell, a lot of people will say that a reunion wouldn't be the real deal. And then the bad blood between Phil Anselmo and Vinnie Paul just makes matters even more difficult; Rex Brown's just in the background like "I just wanna play bass".
Here's how I think a Pantera reformation could work: the remaining members, along with guest guitarists, tour the world to celebrate the music and life of Dimebag Darrell. Get Robb Flynn, Zakk Wylde, Dino Cazares, Scott Ian, and other axemen the man considered his friends. I'd even be thrilled if the band decided to try out the catalog of their glam metal past and had some of the men who influenced him pay homage to their student, including Eddie Van Halen and Ace Frehley. Now that I think of it, I wonder how Frehley would sound playing "Walk".
Bonus! A Band I'm Totally Okay with Not Reuniting
Now, I'm sure there's people out there who's jaws just dropped upon seeing this. "But Toxic Ty, how could you not want to see the return of one of the most influential metal bands of all time?!" Well, friends, I'll tell you why. Because Celtic Frost is essentially Tom Gabriel Fischer's child. He's the driving force of the band and everyone else is an afterthought. His new band, Triptykon, IS the new Celtic Frost, right down to the H.R. Giger cover art; some people may argue it's even better than the legendary band. Triptykon could be even better is if they played Celtic Frost songs during shows. Hell, Fischer can probably do some legal magic to merge the two together.
Well friends, what do you think? Who would you like to see return to the stage and studio? Anyone who's broken up you're okay not getting back together? Tell me what you think.