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Full Throttle Rock

Album Review: Julian Angel's Beautiful Beast - California Suntan

Posted on July 29, 2013 at 1:15 AM

Julian Angel’s Beautiful Beast – California Suntan

Written by the Rock Man

I loved the 1980s. A lot of cool stuff happened in the 1980s, there was the rise of Nintendo, the invention of the Rubik’s Cube, the launch of MTV, Miami Vice, The Transformers, the fall of the Belin Wall, Ray-Ban sunglasses, Rambo, The Terminator, Live Aid and lots of Denim. There was also the music, sure a lot of the 1980s was dominated by the likes of Michael Jackson, Madonna or Duran Duran, but an undeniable force that refused to go away was the hard rock and metal scene. Bands such as Motley Crue, Ratt, Poison, Whitesnake, Iron Maiden and Judas Priest refused to be ignored and defiantly flew the flag loud and proud for rock. Today that same attitude is being embraced and saluted on the new Beautiful Beast album California Suntan.

For the benefit of those not up to speed on Beautiful Beast, the band is the creation of German musician Julian Angel. Angel has released two albums as a solo artist, Angel-rock.com (2001) and Choreography Sucks (2007), but in recent times has focused his energy on putting together Beautiful Beast. In 2011 the band released its first album Adult Oriented Candy and now the group is ready to turn up the heat with its new collection of tracks on California Suntan.

In the movie Back To The Future, star Michael J. Fox jumps into a time travelling Delorean and finds himself in 1955, well the same sort of thing happens here with Beautiful Beast, you put on California Suntan and it is like you have been time warped back to the 1980s. The opening track is Wet Wild Willing, the title alone should give you a clue what you are in for. The opening riff contains all those complex guitar techniques made popular during the era by the likes of Eddie Van Halen and Yngwie Malmsteen, while lyrically it captures the vibe of the decade perfectly, yachts, bikinis, excess and debauchery. The record continues on its 80s journey with Dance Little Sister and Rockschool, the latter could have been on an Autograph album. Fair Weathered Friend and Something In The Air are the album’s two ballads and really have something to say. Fair Weathered Friend deals with those people we all know, who say they are your friend, but when the ship starts to sink are the first ones off the boat, and Something In The Air is dedicated to Angel’s father who passed away a year earlier. Of course mixed in between are plenty of songs about girls, driving hormones and partying.

As a teenager growing up in the 1980s this is the kind of stuff I was drawn too. So this kind of style brings back a lot of memories, they were good days and I foolishly thought they would just continue on throughout the 90s, how wrong was I? Today I am much older, but I still maintain my devotion to all those bands of yesteryear and it is great that others like Julian Angel do too, because if impersonation is the sincerest form of flattery, then all of those great “hair metal” bands should be proud as punch at what Beautiful Beast have created on California Suntan.

Categories: Album Reviews

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