A short primer: Not long after icons like Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Deep Purple birthed the animal once simply known as “hard rock,” it evolved and splintered into genres and sub-genres throughout the 80s and 90s. Its most visible progeny was the hair-metal band, a radio-friendly, spandex-clad beast that attracted mates easily via its striking plumage. It dominated the video landscape for the better part of a decade before being caught from behind by glum suburban metal and grunge aggressors at the dawn of the 90s. However, the crowd-pleasing nature of this creature has allowed it to make a limited comeback, and it has even been spotted in northern Indiana in the form of Allister Scream.

If putting Ratt and Poison together might sound like a bad idea, you’d be surprisingly mistaken in this case, because Allister Scream bring back the pop-metal elements of both. The driving “Go Away” jumps out of the speakers replete with arena rock drums, big riffs, whammy flourishes and vocals that lend themselves well to rockin’. “Lay Me Down” chugs along with controlled crunch and a nice twist in its clean solo section, while “Alone” opens and closes the disc (the second instance is a “radio edit” version) with all the pomp and bombast you’d expect. This is obviously a band that understands the importance of putting on a good show, playing all the way to the back row so everybody gets their money’s worth. This effort is well recorded, with lots of energy and big-sounding instruments. Allister Scream prove with this release that their brand of rock is far from extinct.