by: Babylon A.D.
Hair metal bands of the late '80s tended to lean to either the lighter side (Winger) or the harder side (Skid Row) of things. It turns out that Oakland, CA's contribution to the genre, Babylon A.D., aligned themselves to the latter approach, by and large. And as with many rock bands, Babylon A.D. were probably best experienced on the concert stage, and 1998's Live in Your Face certainly makes a valid argument. Including all the expected Babylon A.D. favorites -- especially their best-known track, "Bang Go the Bells" -- you also get lively renditions of songs that could have easily worked their way onto a Headbangers Ball playlist circa the late '80s/early '90s ("The Kid Goes Wild," "Bad Blood," etc.). And rounding out the set is a pair of covers of bands that were obviously fans of the Babylon lads -- AC/DC's "Girls Got Rhythm" and Aerosmith's "Rats in the Cellar." All in all, Live in Your Face would serve as a not too shabby introduction to this largely forgotten group of headbangers. ~ Greg Prato