For decades, there have been many remarkable excavations and discoveries centering on the Ice Age period. From long gone Pleistocene reindeer to woolly rhinos and the elusive cave hyena, our exploratory scientists have discovered them all. But even science cannot specifically claim to understand the functions of this next anomaly.
Hair Metal Time Machine hail from across the globe. Their place of origin is as strange as their cryptic journey and sets the framework of their story. The tale takes us back to the year of our lord Axl Rose, 1989, in the cold and carnivore cruel sector of Reykjavík, Iceland. Hair Metal Time Machine’s website bio tells a tale of brilliance silenced in midstream of artistic insight shut off by a flash freeze full-speed action that left the group suspended in an animation far from their families and fans.
The story goes that the group was in route to the next gig on the tour, and what happened next, although mysterious and brimming with secretive nuances, can best be described with a quote from the band members themselves. “American Top 40 cover band, Heavy Metal Hit Machine [are] traveling to the next gig in our next tour. The band and its members Davey Lister, Monroe Poole, Kriss Kaboom, ‘Steel E.’ Dan Prestup, and Amanda Tucci, hit a patch of black ice and careen down an embankment. Tragically, our bus submerges into the icy waters below. Despite a modest search and rescue effort, neither our bus, nor our bodies, is ever recovered.”
Well, you might think that this tragic happening would be the last word on a band encapsulated in time, ice, and large, Freshwater Barracuda, but that was not the case. Things were about to change in their favor. The year is now 2009 and the band tale continues, “A fishing vessel spots an unusual glacier that seems to have a large object frozen inside of it. Scientists are called in to excavate the anomaly and discover the band perfectly frozen in suspended animation. Assimilating thus, as best we can to the 21st century, we reemerge victorious, continuing our mission to rock the world, one city at a time.”
Like the woolly mammoth discovered at the base of Snowmass Mountain ski area in Colorado, celebrity status has elevated Hair Metal Time Machine into the illustrious praise channels of journalists and fashion philanthropists everywhere. So it was of no real shock that our paths would cross. I mean myself, a cynical and jaded writer that deals with scads of music and madness, and this day glow emanating cover act born from the hair sprayed exertions of guitar spinners and jump kick pioneers made this click well. Sort of like getting peanut butter in my chocolate, HMTM caught my attention from the beginning and I liked it.
This is a cover band for sure, but this is also a band that’s doing it for all the right reasons. HMTM are no mundane pack of douchebags standing on a stage and playing Hot Chelle Rae songs for a paycheck. Frontman Davey Lister has played guitar in a number of well-known bands such as Mars Needs Women, Frankenstein 3000, and even Los Angeles glam metal legends Pretty Boy Floyd. This is a band that lives and breathes what they play, and they put that aspect into everything from their Floyd Rose equipped guitars, to their leather and “spandexed” stage show. It’s semi-campy overkill and there’s no way you can stand there without hooting and hollering.
If there was one serious message from Hair Metal Time Machine, it would be, “Come on, it’s OK to have some fun once in a while.” Moreover, I concur. You can’t be outrageously cool all the time, right? I mean, sure, we know that on most days, you are the coolest, standing there in your Bon Iver t-shirt, Fedora tilted, refusing to smile, hoping that everyone will see how tragically hip you are as you sip your vanilla stout in the center of the floor. Yes, even you must loosen up and laugh out loud as HMTM blasts your face with ripe and heavy classics from a period where your cell phone came with a giant battery pack and shoulder strap.
Hair Metal Time Machine are a band to behold. Decked out in everything from spandex to leather and fringe, the group takes you on a journey through the very best songs of their youth. From anthems like “We’re Not Gonna Take It” by Twisted Sister to the naughty hijinks of Van Halen’s “Hot For Teacher,” a song that Lister shares vocal chords with the delicious Amanda Tucci, HMTM keeps the crowd on its toes. Microphone stands twirl, drum sticks fly and whammy bars growl into the lower hemisphere of rock and rolls most glittery as the hits keep coming.
There’s not one person I know that doesn’t need a little “Pour Some Sugar On Me” by Def Leppard, or a pinch of Lita Ford’s “Kiss Me Deadly,” and of course, who could resist a thick, greasy slab of Warrant’s “Cherry Pie?” This is a band of great players, all intent on giving in to the desires of their ice encrypted youth and pulling you into their universal world of eye shadowed and glittery greatness.
So the next time you need a break from the serious side of music, head out to a Hair Metal Time Machine show and embrace the pleather. Splits, screams and pyrotechnic kicks take the place of morose, slouching emo bummers and Bob Dylan wannabes. Even the highway jammed with broken heroes on a last chance power drive takes a back seat to a hair sprayed group of dudes (and dudette) that embrace hair metal culture and do it better than anyone I’ve seen to date, including Kevin Dubrow—may he rest in peace.
Hair Metal Time Machine will be appearing in Lakewood at The Strand Theater this Saturday, Dec. 15, at 8 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 for VIP ticket holders, who will be treated like rock royalty with a special reception before the show and where drinks and food will be served.
Special guests Black Reign join the Machine for their off brand cornucopia of all things Black Sabbath. Come see a band that will take you far, far away to a head-banging place that time forgot.
It should be mentioned that when Hair Metal Time Machine were first excavated, no actual scientists were harmed by the band’s irresistible urge to make them “feel the noise.”
For more information on Hair Metal Time Machine, knee slide over to hairmetaltimemachine.com and check The Strand Theater schedule at strand.org.