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Concrete Jungle - 1988 Wear And Tear

ARTIST: Concrete Jungle
ALBUM: Wear And Tear
YEAR: 1988


LINEUP: J.C. Ryan - vocals * Chris Young - guitars * Marc David Gambino - bass * Michael X Gambino - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Right On The Line Of Love * 02 How Can Love Just Fade Away * 03 Nobody Moves * 04 When I'm Gone * 05 Wear And Tear * 06 Great Balls Of Fire * 07 Ladies Of The Night * 08 Sweet Missy * 09 Between The Lines * 10 Cuts Like A Knife * 11 Head Over Fist * 12 One Nighter

New York band Concrete Jungle are well overdue a mention on this site, probably for the wrong reasons rather than the right. This band contain four tight musicians dishing out a sound which fuses glam and melodic hard rock. Signed to indie label ICBM, their album 'Wear And Tear' raised some eyebrows back in the day, with articles written about them in Kerrang and Metal Edge (most probably their 'On The Rise' section), but the limited supply and availability put this album in the 'too hard to find' basket, and it wasn't until the Internet and Ebay came along ten years later that the communication channels opened up - seeing this album regularly on people's wants lists, and being easier to get a hold of. Surprisingly, bigwig producer Max Norman works the dials here, but is unable to get anywhere the high class production stakes he achieved that same year on the rather superb 220 Volt album 'Eye To Eye'.

The Songs
Despite its reputation as a quality album, I'm afraid 'Wear And Tear' falls short on a number of fronts. Without doubt, there is so much cheese on this album I can see the house mice lining up at the front door. The arrangements border on clichéd, the drum mix is a shocker, plus really there is nothing on display here that demands a 'shout out' for attention. There were many other bands out there in operation, and doing so much better. Only a handful of songs do it for me. The title track 'Wear And Tear' is one of those, fast and furious though the chorus is pretty lame. 'How Can Love Just Fade Away' is a great sounding ballad, and is the only one on the album. 'Ride On The Line Of Love' is a rocking opener, but a bit rough around the edges, as it is for most of the album. The cover of 'Great Balls Of Fire' is admirable, but a waste of space.

In Summary
Reading up on this band, I managed to read their page on the Heavy Harmonies site. You would think (judging by the posts there), that this is some kind of masterpiece. Unfortunately it isn't, though don't get me wrong, it's ok in parts. The problem here, is that the hair metal scene during 1988 had reached a point of excess, and the gazillion bands which surfaced during this time weren't that good to be honest, though their image might have suggested otherwise. I wasn't a big fan of the hair metal scene back then, unlike the HH brethren who have found a happy home over at Dan's place. Back to Concrete Jungle, the band continued through to 1994 it would seem (though with a different lineup), and despite there being rumours of a major label signing, nothing eventuated as the band failed to extricate themselves from their ICBM record deal. Members of the band moved onto other projects, none of which had anything to do with hair metal.. not surprising really.. This album will interest those of you who haven't grown up yet, you still have your hair intact (no Propecia or hair extensions) and you still have your glam threads in the!

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#1 | reyno-roxx on May 31 2009 11:48:07
I obtained this on vinyl when it was released (still have it) - may have even reviewed it for 'Kerrang!' - and I remember seeing the CD version for a few quid in a Brighton second hand store on a few occasions in the early 2000's but stupidly failed to buy it.
A decent enough album but there were better at the time of release.
#2 | reyno-roxx on October 01 2016 20:19:11
If anyone has this on CD, was there a barcode on the back cover insert?
#3 | gdazegod on October 01 2016 21:55:40
There is no bar code visible pn the back cover.
#4 | gdazegod on October 01 2016 21:58:52
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#5 | reyno-roxx on October 01 2016 22:50:28
Thanks George. I seem to recall there wasn't one on the vinyl either.

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