ARTIST: Raging Slab
TITLE: Assmaster (Also known as Slabbage / True Death)
YEAR RELEASED: 1987
CHART ACTION: None
SINGLES: Mr. Lucky
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: An early version of Get Off My Jollies.
LINEUP: Greg Strzempka, Elyse Steinman, Niklas Matsson, Alec Morton, Mark Middleton
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: New York City based southern fried band releases an independent record and EP and gets signed.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: One of the great lost bands of the late 80’s, early 90’s was Raging Slab. Not fitting in to hair metal, not grungy, and never catching fire like the Black Crowes, the Slab had the jobs, the feel, and the sound for Southern Rock domination, if that was ever going to be a thing in the 80’s.
This debut is a bit muddy, but the songs and attitude are there (and when True Death, the EP, came out, the sound was clearer for sure), and you can sense they’re on the cusp of something good. Good enough for RCA, who snapped them up soon enough.
It doesn’t all come together, as not everything works 100%, and the production can be a distraction. Better records were to come, and live they were great.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: They had formed in 1983, and early on DJ Dmitri from Deee-Lite was a guitarist.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Assmaster was released with the True Death EP in 1991 and renamed Slabbage and given an absolutely hideous cover. Later, in the streaming world, they’re together with more bonus tracks and demos.
GRADE: B: The production does it in, but the stage is set for domination (or their attempt at it).