Released: 2010, Frontiers Records
Guitar icon Dave Meniketti and Y&T have been rocking across stages all over the world for an unbelievable 36 years now. The band has been kinda quiet throughout the new millennium (their last album was 1997’s ENDANGERED SPECIES), but are back with a vengeance with a new album, and another packed touring schedule that sees them on the road throughout 2010. It sounds like the band is as hungry as ever, and with an album called FACEMELTER, the stage is set for a big return.
Skipping the intro track, “On with the Show” sets the hard rock mood right away, as Meniketti and long-time sidekick Phil Kennemore (bass) lead charge with a groovy, stomping rocker. Fortunately, it’s clear that the band stayed far away from their weaker commercial years (mid-‘80s to the band’s initial break up in 1991), time and perspective obviously giving them a new focus on doing what they do best (rock!), without compromising themselves or their music. Unfortunately, as always seems to be the case with Y&T, the rest of the album is a mixed bag, equally full of great rockers (“Blind Patriot”, I’m Coming Home”), dull ballads (“If You Want Me”), and good songs with cringe-inducing lyrics (“Hot Shot”, “Gonna Go Blind”). Thankfully, the good outweighs the bad.
Despite his advancing age, Meniketti is fine form throughout the album. His voice has lost none of its power, while his guitar-playing is as sharp as ever. It’s unfortunate that he’s never been able to release an album that is 100% rock solid as he’s undoubtedly talented. For example, FACEMELTER contains 14 songs, arguably 4 or 5 of which are filler, dragging the album down from the 4/5 territory. Why an obvious joke song like the paean to masturbation “Gonna Go Blind” is included I’ll never know, especially given the boys’ age. If they’d have just trimmed some of the fat, this would have been a truly ripping album. Still, it’s cool to have a new Y&T album, and the worthwhile moments make it a definite must-hear for fans.