In 2022, in Keywest, Florida, there’s a festival called Rockisland. Amongst the bands and artists on the bill are Brett Michaels, Warrant, Skid Row, Firehouse, Vixen and Faster Pussycat (there’s about a million more). When my mate text me the poster earlier he simply said: “we’d have killed for this as kids…..”

I mention it here for three reasons. First, he’s right. Second, I am sure all the “tastemakers” in those documentaries that don’t have a clue about rock music tell me that the very second Kurt Cobain sang about wanting to be entertained all those bands died (if this website stands for anything it will always rail against that lazy bollocks) and third, someone needs to get Wildstreet on that bill sharpish.

Most of “III” works on the idea that its still 1986 and everyone is still in the Cathouse in Hollywood (not the Rainbow, this is definitely a Cathouse band) and that’s just fine (something odd happens halfway through, we’ll get to that).

The opening to “Tennessee Cocaine” tells you how shit gets done around here. Essentially, it fancies a scrap, it’s a little heavier than you might think and its as catchy as you like. Frankly, you can’t listen to it, without putting your fists up in the air, while Jimmie Marlowe and Dominick Martes play the same sort of solos that CC Deville used to do when he picked up that guitar and talked to me.

“Three Way Ride” is about exactly what you think it is, with all the subtlety of Babestation. And yes, you could, if you so desired balk at a chorus that goes “scream if you’re dirty, yell if you’re horny” but that would be to miss the point, no one here cares what you think.

“Set It Off” heralds a change. I mean, its still annoyingly catchy, but this thing swaggers. “Still Love You” does the power ballad thing, essentially, as far as I can tell, because it thinks it should have one on the record, but it does something else. It changes the record.

That is to say, the second half of three, is different, and if I might say, it’s a bit more 2021. “We Are The Children” seems to fancy being an Alice Cooper song, while “Born To Be” dusts off some H.E.A.T material, and does it well – plus they sound like a real gang on this too.

“Raise Hell” reprises the sneering attitude of the openers, but does it in a little more of a clever way, and there’s a proper AOR thing in the guitar here, that all being said, though, pretty much everything has to play second fiddle to the brilliant “Mother”.

If ever there was a record that you didn’t think was going to have a seven and a half minute quasi prog metal thing, that kind of broods like Danzig playing the soundtrack to one of those true crime programmes on TV, its this – which just goes to show you should never assume you can second guess rock n roll.

“III” in truth, is a strange record to review. It’s by turns ludicrous (although by design) and innovative. Ultimately its best to say that however much you try and resist it, if you ever liked 80s metal then you’ll enjoy it. And moreover, Wildstreet enjoyed it too, which was surely the point.

Rating 7.5/10

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