shout - in your face
In Your Face

Having spent half of my fledgling adolescence in the later part of the 80s, and getting into metal about that period, I feel I’m qualified enough to look back at that part of the 20th Century’s metal scene and say confidently, “What the heck were we thinking?” Take this CD from guitarist Ken Tamplin’s 80s pop metal band Shout- the front cover is a photo of all four members wearing outfits that are, in a word, shiny, with big hair that appears to be susceptible to open flame.

Once you get past the cover photo, though, this sophomore release is possibly one of the better collections of Christian melodic pop metal from the era. No surprise, as head ego Ken Tamplin is not only a spectacular session guitarist, but is also reportedly one of the most professionally anal retentive studio producers in both mainstream and Christian music. ‘In Your Face’ is definitely one of my favorite guilty pleasures. The musicianship is tight and the production is top-notch, and being a guitar fanatic myself, the lead work is perhaps the best I’ve heard in Christian music in that era. I still get tingles with the opening attack of “Borderline”. “Faith Hope & Love” is a great fist-in-the-air, cruising around with the stereo cranked anthem that ranks up there with Def Leppard’s “Pour Some Sugar On Me”. And for leaping around with an air guitar strapped around your neck, title track “In Your Face” sports not just one, not two, but seven area guitar slingers (including Lanny Cordolla and former Megadeth guitarist Marty Friedman) shredding it up with Mr. Tamplin. The highly touted single “Give Me An Answer” is on this set. There’s the fair share of stragglers here as well, including “Getting On With Life”, “Waiting For You” and “Ain’t Giving Up (The Pay The Bills Song)”. Of interest, there’s a rendition of Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” played in 32nd notes, which renders the tune done in 30 seconds and quite unrecognizable. Still kind of cool, though… .

For collectors of metal past, this CD by Shout remains a classic, and hard to come by. Good hunting…..