Michael Sweet, “One Sided War” (Rat Pak)
If there’s anyone else doing more than Michael Sweet to keep ’80s metal alive and vibrant decades later, I’d love to meet him or her.
The Stryper vocalist-guitarist, who also co-fronted a reborn Boston from 2007-2011, has been writing, playing and recording as if his hair were on fire, cranking out a steady stream of molten metal albums, each one better than the last.
Toggling back and forth among Stryper, the iconic ’80s Christian metal band and MTV darlings, Sweet & Lynch, a side project with former Dokken guitarist George Lynch, and a series of solo albums, Sweet has been among the hardest-working and most productive rockers in the business.
His latest solo album majors in heavy, kicking off with the full-speed-ahead battering ram “Bizarre.” Whitesnake guitarist Joel Hoekstra lends vital six-string assistance throughout.
The title track and “Can’t Take This Life” will delight Stryper fans but also interest new fans as well.
But the highlight comes on “Radio,” a tongue-in-cheek ode to rockers who record country albums in an attempt to regain airplay (I’m looking at YOU, Bret Michaels, Jon Bon Jovi, Steven Tyler, et al).
If ever there were a one sided war, it’s the assault Michael Sweet is making on the heavy metal competition right now.