Down and dirty bar room style hard rock coming from the streets of Philly. That is one way to describe the young rock trio, On Top. This band is following in the footsteps of all those eighties LA bands who drove around drinking, messing around with groupies and eventually would need to find new jobs once the nineties hit.
Now, I do enjoy some of the eighties hard rock acts who used too much hair spray. Also, there have been some recent up and coming bands who have incorporated elements of that style and done really well. On Top is really unique because they seem to go for your basic bar room style hard rock. The music is catchy and the songs are presented with a tough sounding edge. However, I was not really fully grabbed by the four songs on this EP titled, "Topless." I felt as if I was listening to watered down version of Skid Row or Mötley Crüe.
The opening song, “282,” was a sleazy hard rock cliché. For the song’s lyrics, the band sings about the life of a prostitute. Of course this is not the first hard rock band to sing about the life of a street walker and probably won’t be the last. I will say the drummer, bassist and guitarist had a solid main rhythm going, but there was not much added to the song to really make the piece standout. I also thought the solo was bland and needed more dynamic variation.
Track number two, “Go Crazy,” was a slight improvement from the last song, but not by a lot. The chorus is very catchy and has a stronger delivery. I would even say the guitar solo offered more variation and strengthened the band’s sound. Still, I just could not fully get into the music. There are so many bands like this and I really think the lyrics are extremely cheesy. Then again, cheesy lyrics sell sometimes, so can’t say that On Top might not be able to win over beer drinking rock fans who want to relive the Sunset Strip Days.
The final two tracks “Got Me Runnin’” and “Lie to Me,” were not bad and I started to see where On Top was coming from musically. This trio wants to make some catchy hard rock songs and just have a good time. Their singer is a fierce sounding frontman and definitely gives the songs a punch of energy. The overall sound is not outright horrible, but I think this is a type of music that is more for straightforward hard rock fans.
I really hate having to be critical on young hard rock and heavy metal bands, but that is my job unfortunately. In all fairness, I rather see a band like On Top getting their music played on radio over some rap artist who talks like a moron and needs to pull up their damn pants! Also, I must point out how On Top is very bold using the backside of a tattooed topless chick for the EP’s cover. These days ravenous feminists will lose their cool if they saw the cover and accuse the band of exploiting women. Personally, I think those feminists should calm down and go get a beer at an On Top show and have a good time.
Although I was not completely won over by this EP, I would still recommend all hard rock fans who like that sleazy eighties rock sound to check this band out. Who knows? With more practice and gigs this band could put out the next, “Shout At the Devil”...Or, just keep playing the bars.
On Top Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/ontoprocks