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Priscilla - High Fashion (reissue)


Stefan
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Originally released through Suncity Records in 2010, this re-release from FnA Records contains 6 bonus tracks:

From FnA Records:

In a time not so long ago, in a galaxy of leather, lipstick, guyliner, and lace…

Sex, Drugs, and Rock and Roll-it was all there in abundance.  From an enigmatic front man, awash in groupie-adorned excess, who nearly died after an accidental drug overdose, to a guitarist who battled his own demons and was at odds with the sudden and immediate glory of success that was thrust upon him and his band and felt he had to get out.   This is a story of wasted youth, not wasted in the classical sense, but in the sense that the rewards  thrust upon the overnight heroes of a local glam generation are sometimes too much for any one group of young men to physically and mentally withstand.  The lyrics to the band’s Z-Rock chart topping anthem, “Wake Up The Neighborhood,” could have easily been “Grab Yourself A Line And A Joint” rather than “Grab A Bottle Of Beer,” would it not have caused the song to be banned from being played on the radio.  But, with the tragedy of chemical and physical excess there also comes the glory and this is also a tale of rock and redemption.  A tale of conquering hometown heroes, set on the streets of a metropolitan city that was begging for something different.

There is no denying that Priscilla deserves their place in the footholds of eyeliner addicts and glam junkies the world over.  Few bands have emerged onto the arena of rock music and immediately garnered the mass attention of audiences, critics, and radio stations alike, that Priscilla did when they exploded onto the scene, from their somewhat unlikely industrial hometown of Cleveland, Ohio.

Cleveland was, at the time, breeding such artists as Trent Reznor and his act Nine Inch Nails and band of an altogether grittier nature than the polished and made-up look that would be Priscilla.  Going against the normal grain that Cleveland had come to accept from its musicians at the time, the five members of Priscilla tucked themselves away in their rehearsal studio and would take the time to craft a carefully thought out and calculated selection of three chord power progressions, largely influenced by the underground glam movement that was taking place at the time on the Los Angeles Sunset Strip by artists as diverse as Motley Crue, Hanoi Rocks, T. Rex, Kiss, and even bands that one would not expect such as power pop bands The Baby’s, Starz, and The Raspberries (influences which can clearly be heard on the band’s slightly softer side on such cuts as “Broken Angel,” “Stay With Me,” and “Just Can’t Stop”).  The group had a master plan that would be assured to get and keep audiences on their feet.  Taking months to properly demo their glam opus in the in the studio with producer/engineer Sean Beavan (Guns N’ Roses, Marilyn Manson, Nine Inch Nails, No Doubt, Depeche Mode, Kill Hannah), the band’s music, upon its initial release immediately caught the ears of nearly every national record label in America.  Whether you loved them or hated them, Priscilla was a band who could not and would not be ignored.  They turned the music world on its collective ear with their instantly recognizable sound and catchy brand of power pop, razzle rock.  Several chart- topping songs, “Wake Up The Neighborhood,” “Lick N’ A Kiss,” and “Love In Action,” on American satellite hard rock radio station Z-Rock (with a listenership of millions and broadcast from coast to coast).  This was further proof of the band’s magnetic hand on the pulse of the nation and only made the national labels want them more.  It was at this early point in the band’s career, with the speculation of a major record deal becoming imminent and with word on the street already turning Priscilla into major hometown heroes that caused Brad Slitt and guitarist Mike Koloda, already veterans of the culture of excess, to celebrate once more to exorbitance.  At a party, alongside members of probably the greatest known motorcycle organization in the world, Brad once more took things to another level, which lead to a nearly deadly drug overdose.  Thankfully, his life was spared that bleary-eyed evening and the group would go on to conquer music halls across the country. 

Not wanting to rest simply on their musical laurels and only the songs that they had to offer, Priscilla took a cue from some of the greatest and most colorful glam and theatrical bands of their time and literally burst onto the concert music scene amidst a blaze of colorful looks and catchy hooks.  The band devised an altogether new way of presenting themselves and began work on an elaborate set with stages unlike anything that had ever been presented on a smaller venue.  Priscilla wanted to showcase their material to their audiences in a setting worthy of attention and did so with a three-tiered stage show that had before this only been reserved for stadium and arena acts.  With their magnetic and energetic live shows, the band made believers out of even their harshest critics and won over audiences near and far.  Even with all that in their favor, there was darkness at the end of the band’s tunnel.  Potential record deals eventually ran dry due to poor executive decisions made on behalf of the band and internal dissension had also reared its ugly head among band members.

The group emerged from their blaze of glory and enjoyed years of acclaim, usually only reserved for mainstream national acts until the grunge juggernaut began with its overthrow of the empire that had been glam rock.  Even before that, singer Brad Slitt, whose drug-fuelled benders met with continued disdain and opposition from several of his squeaky-clean band mates, sensed that something needed to change.  He had, by this time, made his way to the metal bars and rock clubs of southern Florida and at these clubs, crossed paths with a fledgling Marilyn Manson And The Spooky Kids (later simply Marilyn Manson).  It was in part this ideology and vision to take a different musical path, that would cause Brad to return home and finally call it a day with his glam upstarts in Priscilla.  In a final twist of irony, Sean Veavan, who had earlier helped Priscilla with their vision of a new power pop-infused glam concept In the studio and recording of their initial tapes, would end up becoming Marilyn’s producer/engineer/sound technician and would go on to help the shock rocker craft such goth/glam masterpieces as Antichrist Superstar and Mechanical Animals.  And to further the irony, Tony Ciulla, a Cleveland club owner who gave Priscilla their very first concert on the stage of his then club Peabody’s Downunder, would go on to become Marilyn Manson’s personal manager.

So as all good things eventually do, Priscilla had come to an end.  But still, for a time the group were indeed the darlings of the underground glam and music scene.

 

Tracks:

01 Wake Up The Neighborhood
02 Lick N A Kiss

03 Love In Action

04 Can't Wait

05 Gimme Lovin'

06 Some Like It Hot

07 Always Think Of You

08 Just Can't Stop

09 Rocked Outta Love

10 Broken Angel

11 Stay With Me (Demo)

12 High Tonight

13 Fade Away (Demo)

14 High Fashion

15 Blame

16 Six Six Sex

17 Kill Kult Kids

18 Fade Away

19 Eight Lives Gone

20 Locomotion

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Stefan
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