Thursday, January 15, 2004

Review: Funny Money - Skin To Skin (2003)

Funny Money [ Website | MySpace ]
Skin To Skin

In order for this review to be meaningful, we have to set the "way back" machine to 1988 when East Coast glam metallers Kix released Blow My Fuze, making singer Steve Whiteman a household name - at least among '80s hair band fans. Having been relatively successful in their own region, the radio & MTV hit "Don't Close Your Eyes" propelled the band into the national spotlight. Now fast forward to the grunge explosion of the early '90s. Kix, as well as just about every other hair band, is suddenly finding themselves cast to the wayside and eventually breaks up. Whiteman is committed to carry on the sound he loves, though, and forms Funny Money. Back to the present day and we have Funny Money's latest studio release Skin To Skin. If you're at all familiar with the Kix sound, and that of other contemporaries such as Poison and Fastway, then you know exactly what Funny Money is all about.

Overflowing with bluesy riffs and crunchy guitar leads, songs such as "Bad Luck" and "Just One Dance" bring back the party rock of days gone by. Former Kix axeslinger Ronnie Younkins even drops in to deliver a wild solo on the lead-off track. Whiteman is true to form throughout the album, not having lost a step since the good ol' days. He even belts out the harmonica solos with gusto. Guitarists Dean Cramer and Louis Coppola (who has since left the band) deliver the catchy hooks with precision while Mark Schenker works the groovy bass lines with style. The title track, as well as "Do Ya Wanna?" and "Bump & Grind", delivers that southern-style boogie rock reminiscent of late-'80s Aerosmith and Flesh & Blood-era Poison. My favorite song on Skin To Skin is "Good Boy Gone Bad". Whiteman's catchy vocal melodies are the best of the album you and get you singing along with the chorus. Pretty straightforward drum lines from former Kix skinpounder Jimmy Chalfant blend seamlessly with Schenker's bass. This is just a good, solid party rock tune that you can get up and groove to.

The one spot of tarnish on this little good-time rock gem is the production. Certainly raw and at times muddy, it's not bad enough to detract from the album and is really just a nitpick from me. Besides that, and the annoying sound effect kicking off "You Rub Me The Wrong Way", Skin To Skin is sure to be a hit for all the fans of '80s hard rock. Stop by their website and pick yourself up a copy.

Track Listing
1Bad Luck
2Do Ya Wanna?
3Skin To Skin
4Good Boy Gone Bad
5Just One Dance
6Sharp As Knives
7Ain't Standin' Still
8You Rub Me The Right Way
9I'm Your Whore
10Bump & Grind
11I Don't Care About Everything
12She Turns
13Nice Guys Finish Last

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