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Behind the Mask

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Album Review

Ubiquitous on the U.K. pub and club circuit of the early 1980s, the intriguingly named Danielz & Tara Zara were one of the small handful of acts that dreamed of a full-scale glam revival, and looked to have the audience to provoke one. Like Zaine Griff before them and Sexagisma immediately after, venues were rarely less than packed; the audience seldom less than dressed-to-the-nines and never anything but riotously enthusiastic. But critical disinterest kept the record labels at bay, and you had to wonder just what these bands had to do to make a dent outside of their own constituency. Danielz & Tara Zara were especially unlucky in this regard; they almost signed a deal with Atlantic, but only after turning down the independent FM Records. Bad move. Atlantic lost interest at the last minute, FM was no longer enthusiastic, and an album's worth of electrifying glam metal — part Kiss, part Whitesnake, and part classic Sweet — was left on the shelf. The final recordings and four studio demos capture the band's strivings and, in truth, the group does not so much capture its in-concert brilliance as go off in other directions entirely. There's a hard-riffing heaviness to a lot of the material that utterly eschews the sheer idiot mayhem of the live show: too much of the album hangs around the same sort of corner that Hanoi Rocks had already made their own. A point, incidentally, that a couple of live tracks at the end of the disc somewhat mischievously bring home. But still, there is a fecund ferocity to Behind the Mask that cannot help but leave the listener dreaming of lost opportunities.

Behind the Mask, Danielz & Tarazara
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  • $18.99
  • Genres: Rock, Music
  • Released: 06 September 2010

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