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Articles Home » 1985 Articles » Rough Cutt - 1985 Rough Cutt
Rough Cutt - 1985 Rough Cutt

ARTIST: Rough Cutt
ALBUM: Rough Cutt
LABEL: Warner Bros
SERIAL: 25268
YEAR: 1985
CD REISSUE: 1991, Warner Music (Japan), WPCP-4026 * 2005, Wounded Bird (USA), WOU-5268 (2 on 1 with 'Wants You') * 2016, Rock Candy Records, CANDY292


LINEUP: Paul Shortino - vocals * Chris Hager - guitars * Amir Derakh - guitars * Matt Thorr - bass * Dave Alford - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Take Her * 02 Piece Of My Heart * 03 Never Gonna Die * 04 Dreamin' Again * 05 Cutt Your Heart Out * 06 Black Widow * 07 Your Keep Breakin' My Heart * 08 Kids Will Rock * 09 Dressed To Kill * 10 She's Too Hot


Rough Cutt were another of the L.A hair metal brigade. The band were formed back as far as 1981, with its members being sourced from two principal bands: Mickey Ratt (which later became Ratt), and Magic. There was a lot of band-hopping occurring back in RC's early days, with members going on to significant gigs elsewhere. Guitarists Jake E Lee and Craig Goldy would leave to join Ozzy Osbourne and Giuffria respectively, bass player Joey Cristofanilli would hook up with Jag Wire, while keyboardist Claude Schell would become Dio's ivories man. Talking of Dio, both Ronnie and wife Wendy would have a significant impact on Rough Cutt's fortunes, both in terms of song contribution and management. Rough Cutt would eventually sign to Warner Bros, their debut LP released in 1985, produced by Tom Allom who had worked extensively with Judas Priest up to this point.

The Songs
It's noticeable how the human heart is the predominant theme on this album. You see it on the album cover, plus there are three songs with the term in the songtitle while it is scattered among the lyrics of other songs. Paul Shortino is a very powerful vocalist, and in places he sounds similar to Larry Baud (USA, Red Dawn). The dual guitar work from Hager and Derakh is very good too, and right up there among the other dual guitar pairings from L.A bands such as Malice, Armored Saint, Keel and Ratt. 'Take Her' is an inventive beginning, I like the unusual arrangement of this song. The next two songs are covers. 'Piece Of My Heart' was made famous by Janis Joplin, while 'Never Say Die' was originally released by Australian band The Choirboys back in 1983, and was their first hit from their debut album. Both 'Dreamin' Again' and 'Black Widow' have a darker edge, no surprise these are Wendy Dio contributions. For me, the fiery 'Cut Your Heart Out' is Rough Cutt at their heaviest, and they sound great when the brakes are let loose. 'You Keep Breakin' My Heart' is a reasonably sort of power ballad, Shortino's vocals are a standout here, though his mostly shrill style can be grating after awhile. 'Kids Will Rock' is very much in the vein of Keel, similarly too 'She's Too Hot', both hard rock anthems for the youth of the day.

In Summary
The band went on the road in support of the album, becoming the opening act for the likes of Dio, Krokus and Foreigner.. among others. They would return to the studio, and release their second LP 'Wants You' in 1986. 'Rough Cutt' is a reasonable album, though it was overshadowed by other L.A acts at the time who were a bit further up the pecking order, as in Ratt and Dokken.

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#1 | jefflynnefan on March 05 2010 00:50:42
'Dreaming Again' and 'Black Widow' are my favorites on this one. I've got the double cd of this one and 'Wants You' that Wounded Bird put out in 2005. 'Hot -n- Heavy' and 'Night Cries Out For You' are also great songs from Rough Cutt.
#2 | Eric on March 05 2010 00:58:03
LaCrosse, Wisconsin Civic Center Spring 86'. Krokus with Accept and Rough Cutt. Rough Cutt opened with one of the worst and cliched sets I had ever seen. Later after Accept closed thier molten set I headed up to the beer stand passing by and bumping into a completely drunk Paul Shortino who could barely make it down the stairs. He mumbled something like 'sorry dude' and faded in the darkness...
#3 | gdazegod on March 05 2010 02:40:29
The album cover's kinda cool. I added RC into the review mix more for a historical perspective rather than anything else.
#4 | Eric on March 05 2010 04:06:29
That backdrop was a big Part of the Rough Cutt set... seriously...
#5 | englandashes on March 05 2010 13:28:15
Shortino, excellent vocalist, enjoyed his only album with Quiet Riot and his performance on the Hear 'n Aid record, what was his bit.....'and we can all touch the rainbow'
#6 | Eric on March 05 2010 17:50:54
Didn't Shortino have a bit part in 'Spinal Tap'? The hotel lobby scene from what I remember...
#7 | reyno-roxx on March 05 2010 18:22:15
Yes, he was in Spinal Tap. He played Duke Fame. He was, allegedly, so nervous about the part that he actually didn't end up saying any of the lines that had originally been written for him (despite the fact much of the film was ad-libbed anyway).
Agree that the album he recorded with Quiet Riot is superb.
#8 | rkbluez on March 05 2010 21:20:45
Great band and in my opinion one of the better bands to come out of the LA scene along with Malice that were more metal and less poppy...Shortino was one of the better vocalist if not the best from that scene.
#9 | gdazegod on March 25 2016 23:30:12
Now coming to you via Rock Candy Records.
#10 | super80boy on April 03 2016 17:31:11
Wendy Dio's contributions are some of the better songs here as well as the semi-power ballad 'You Keep Breaking My Heart' and slow grinder 'Dressed To Kill'. They fire up the engines in successful fashion on 'Cutt Your Heart Out', a hard hitting standout.
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