Danger Danger - Cockroach
Sony Music
Hard Rock
Disc 1: 12 songs (54:21) Disc 2: 11 songs (51:10)
Release year: 2002
Danger Danger, Sony Music
Reviewed by Mike
Untitled Document

Cockroach is the previously unreleased follow up the band's highly successful album Screw It. After lineup changes and a dragging lawsuit, this album finally sees the light of day. Well, officially that is. Over the past few years, bootlegs of this album have shown up on the internet. Of course, the quality of these bootlegs is horrendous and do not do any justice to this album.

After the Screw It tour concluded in 1992, keyboardist Kasey Smith separated from the band. Hence, Cockroach is a straight forward guitar driven melodic hard rock release. After presenting the final version of this album to Sony, a dispute arose with frontman Ted Poley who subsequently quit/got fired (depending on who you ask). So, the band asked Paul Laine to join the band and rerecord the vocals. The new "Paul Laine" version of Cockroach was presented to Sony executives (with only the album title, no band name) who were blown away by the album. The executives were shocked to learn that this was the new Danger Danger album. Just as the album was due to be released, Ted Poley brought suit against the band and Sony to block its release. Well, Ted's strategy worked for a few years anyway. Sony decided that they had had enough problems in getting this album released and decided to shelve it when Ted filed his lawsuit. Ted finally lost his lawsuit, resulting in the release of Cockroach. The "new" CD is being sold as a double CD - one version with Ted Poley on vocals and the other with Paul Laine behind the mic.

You may recognize the titles of some of the songs on Cockroach. Slightly different (more modern sounding) versions of Still Kickin', When She's Good She's Good, Afraid of Love, Walk It Like Ya Talk It, Going Going Gone, and Sick Little Twisted Mind appeared on the band's later albums, Four the Hard Way and Return of the Great Gildersleeves. All songs on this album are the original, unedited versions. I find each and every original version of the aforementioned songs superior to it's re-recorded counterpart. First, the band was still on the Sony label at the time, hence the production is much better than what you will hear on their more recent albums. Secondly, axe-man Andy Timmons was still a permanent member of the band rather than a guest musician like he is on the band's last two releases. Therefore, the classic sound of the band is still intact and we are treated to some excellent solos and shredding from Mr. Timmons throughout. Cockroach is the logical follow up to the Screw It album and certainly smells of classic Danger Danger.

As for the music itself, Cockroach continues the heavier progression that we saw going from the debut to Screw It. Like I said earlier, the keyboards have been eliminated on this album, resulting in a straight forward guitar driven hard rock sound, yet it retains the melodic and memorable quality of the debut album. There are only two ballads on the original Ted Poley version. The Paul Laine version features an additional acoustic ballad, Time in a Bottle which was recorded after Ted left the band. The rest of the album features melodic hard rocking anthems that certainly rival classic tracks such as Naughty Naughty, Rock America, Beat The Bullet, and Monkey Business. The party rock spirit is still alive, but in a bit heavier fashion. The band has taken the better qualities from the debut and from Screw It to create Cockroach. This is the type of album that you listen to once and then look back at the track listing and remember each track since they all feature the trademark hooks and harmony vocals that just sit in your mind. The songwriting has matured since the recording of Screw It as well. Gone are song titles such as Yeah, You Want It and Get Your Shit Together. The songs still have that party rock vibe, but they don't dive into the ridiculous range like some of the songs from Screw It.

This album is a must for anyone who enjoyed the band's first two albums as well as fans of Ted's new band, Melodica. Fans of 80's hard rock bands in general should jump on this release as I feel this is the quintessential Danger Danger release. Throw those shitty bootlegs in the trash and buy this CD! The difference in quality was surely worth it to me to pay for the official release. The missing (and arguably best) link in the band's discography has FINALLY seen the light of day as it should have some nine years ago!

 

Killing Songs :
Still Kickin', When She's Good She's Good, Shot O' Love, Good Time
Mike quoted 87 / 100
Other albums by Danger Danger that we have reviewed:
Danger Danger - Live And Nude reviewed by Ben and quoted no quote
Danger Danger - The Return Of Glider Sleeves reviewed by Chris and quoted 73 / 100
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