Archive for No Frills

Great Metal Albums of 1987: Reckless- No Frills

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 3, 2022 by 80smetalman

Sometimes some of the tracks on the tapes my sister would send me were somewhat misleading. Often times, I thought that some of these bands were bigger in America than they actually were. Such was the case with New York band, Reckless. The track on the tape was the closer, “Holding On” from their album “No Frills.” I have always liked the song. It’s good straight forward metal. Plus, lyrics like these have always amused me for the past thirty-four years.

JD and Hennessy are old friends of mine

We get together and have a glass

And talk about old times.

As a result, I was somewhat disappointed at the amount of digging I had to do in order to find out the details about this album. My go to sources, Wikipedia, Heavy Harmonies and Metal Emporium did not house them. Fortunately, a general Google search provided the information I required for the post. Saying that, I didn’t need much back story to appreciate their album. Influences can be heard throughout. The opener, “Nitty Gritty” is definitely AC/DC influenced. Maybe a little of The Who as the opening notes do sound a little like their hit “Substitute” but the AC/DC influence is definitely there. The next track, “Wild in the Streets,” has a Judas Priest feel to it while the third, “Deadly Game,” is the closest to a power ballad on the album. It has a slower pace but does speed up in places and a killer guitar solo from Bob Gam.

It is the fourth track that really gets me. It sounds maybe a little too similar to my favourite Twisted Sister song of all time, “You Can’t Stop Rock and Roll.” Then when I read the credits, I discovered why this might be the case. The album was produced by none other than Jay Jay French and Mark ‘The Animal’ Mendoza, yep, those guys from Twisted Sister. In my opinion, the chose the right Twisted Sister song to emulate.

I thought I would put the picture in the post because it was a good shot of Jay Jay French and Mark Mendoza. Twisted Sister come out and play, taken at Bloodstock 2016

The second half of the album, while in no way bad, isn’t quite as good as the first half. I think the problem is that Reckless were so influenced by other bands that they never really stamp their uniqueness on the album. Another example is that the track “Breakin’ Up” sounds pretty much like what KISS was doing at the time and though they do it quite well, there is nothing that screams, “Reckless is different.” It’s a bit of shame because listening to the album, I can say that Reckless are a very capable band. You get some good riffs and solos from Gam. Chris Cintron is a very good vocalist. He doesn’t have to scream but delivers a sound performance on every song. Furthermore, Gary Kriss and Bob Smith make an excellent rhythm section, as good as any out there at the time.

A perfect example of what I am trying to convey is the track “Railroad Alley.” The performance of the band on this track is absolutely phenomenal. However the song is let down by a rather lackluster chorus. Speaking of influence, I do believe I hear a Motorhead influence on “Eye For an Eye” and it’s another example of a great band playing an “it’s all been done before song.” Anyway, Reckless do stamp their own mark on the already mentioned closer, “Holding On.” Even though I have listened to the album four times now, this song is still the best one on the album. They literally save the best for the last.

Track Listing:

  1. Nitty Gritty
  2. Wild in the Streets
  3. Deadly Game
  4. Voices in the Night
  5. Crazy Over You
  6. Breakin’ Up
  7. Night After Night
  8. Railroad Alley
  9. Eye for an Eye
  10. Holding On
Reckless

Chris Cintron- lead vocals

Bob Gam- guitar, backing vocals

Gary Kriss- bass, backing vocals

Bob Smith- drums, backing vocals

Normally I lament over why a band such as Reckless didn’t go further. They definitely had the tools to do so. However, what they needed is better song writing and to find their own niche instead of letting so many influences dictate. Still, this is a good album which should be dusted off and listened to.

Next post: Def Leppard- Hysteria

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com