I did give this album a chance...I really did, but there was a musical vacancy in the band that could not be filled. The guitarist position was filled (*ahem*), but the musical vacancy was not.
I just didn't "feel" it this time. You know, that spark that hits you when a really inspired piece of metal hits your ears.
I think that Bruce was doing his humor book "Iffy Boatrace" about this time period, and transferred some of that humor into his lyrics here. Some folks don't seem to recognize the tongue-in-cheek nature of 'Holy Smoke', but I think the hammy video they made for this explains their point: not to be taken seriously. 'Tailgunner' did absolutely nothing for me....'The Assassin'...ugh....'Bring Your Daughter' has more of Bruce's perverted humor, but 'Hooks in You' is a great rockin ditty with some S & M lyrics, and pretty much has the most energy out of any of the other songs. 'Run Silent Run Deep' is probably the best song on offer here, though. And 'Mother Russia', Comrade Harris's tribute to Communism or Marxist philosophy or whatever it is, has some dramatic music, but he did it better in 'To Tame a Land'. Davey shines on his solos for 'Holy Smoke' and 'Public Enema', I must say.
I just wasn't catching a vibe from this music, but I honestly tried. There are a few good moments, but not enough for me to keep this in my collection. As a HARDCORE fan of their heavier, pre-synth days, even the lack of synthesizers on here didn't warm me up to it enough. I'd rather have synthesizers and a melodic guitar player than no synthesizers and some noisy wannabe. The absence of Adrian's melodic riffs and solos is painfully palpable.