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SLASH PUPPET were one of those bands arriving too late into the Melodic Hard Rock scene, thus, never made it big. But their musical quality was on par with any major North American '80s band in this genre.
This Canadian 5-piece made a name in the Toronto area with some energetic shows. The band recorded 8 songs and put 'em on cassette only, with the 2,500 copies sold out soon. Titled "No Strings Attached" bust mostly known as "The Demo", it was in fact a vehicle created to get signed by a recording label.
That never happened but Slash Puppet gained better exposure (also helped by a video featured on MuchMusic channel) and secured many gigs in the US. "No Strings Attached" / "The Demo" was a collectors piece until in 2007 Australian label SunCity Records remastered the original tape and released the album for the first time on CD. Despite of being a self-financed recording, the sound quality is pretty good.
By 1993 Slash Puppet released their first 'official' CD via small label Fringe, in fact an EP simply titled "Slash Puppet" quite well produced & recorded. But with the musical climate drastically changing, the band split next year.
And, what's Slash Puppet sound & style?
On both recordings, the band keeps faithful to classic second half of the '80s L.A. fancy Melodic Hard Rock with a touch of glam. Many references come to mind ranging from Britny Fox, Ratt or Autograph to country-fellas Sven Gali (Canada's answer to Skid Row).
There's punchy, energetic but a the same time melodic and polished rockers in 'Slow Down' (also re-done for the EP), the groovy midtempo 'Squeeze It In', the sexy 'Hard On Love' or the hook-filled 'Evil Woman' with a sound akin Autograph's catchiness.
'Some Kind O' Lady' is among my favorites, the kind of songs that made this genre so great including clean guitars mixed with distorted, a Dokken-esque riff, lots of harmony vocals and an overall Skid Row sonic vibe. Also power ballad 'Eyes Of A Child' has great atmospheres, and the Tesla-like bluesy 'Hitch A Ride (On A Train)' provide more variation.
All Slash Puppet members contributed banking vocals all over (not only during the choruses) resulting in a highly harmonized material and very melodious.
"No Strings Attached" & "Slash Puppet" are really good albums, quality musicians and quality songs.
No Strings Attached '89
1 - Slow Down
2 - Squeeze It In
3 - Hard On Love
4 - Bad Girls
5 - Turn It On
6 - Evil Woman
7 - Some Kind O' Lady
8 - Overload
Slash Puppet '93
1 - When The Whip Comes Down
2 - Rippin' On A Wishbone
3 - Eyes Of A Child
4 - Stop Tellin' Me Lies
5 - Hitch A Ride (On A Train)
6 - Slowdown
Anthony 'Mif' Mifsud: lead vocals
Frank Bartoletti: guitars, backing vocals
Lou Garscadden: guitars, backing vocals
Pete Dove, Dave Carreiro: bass, backing vocals
Franklin Wyles: drums, percussion, backing vocals
SLASH PUPPET No Strings Attached + 1993 EP