SLY BOOTS – Bad News Walkin’ (CD version)

SLY BOOTS - Bad News Walkin' (CD version) full

Thanks to massive globalization and a decreasing cost to professionally silver-press audio CD’s, it’s incredible the large amount of bands that find the opportunity to show – at least several years after created – their art. One of these that really worth to re-discover are the York, Pennsylvania based melodic hard rockers SLY BOOTS with their album “Bad News Walkin‘”.

In 2013, Sly Boots was observed via YouTube by FnA Records (Nashville, TN) and contacted vocalist Terry Cole. This led to a new record deal and a full-length release for 2014: the album “Bad News Walkin” contains 11 studio tracks including the several EP’s recorded by Sly Boots at the golden age of the genre in the US during 1989-92 (all released by themselves back in a day) all remastered, plus a couple of songs freshly created after the group recent comeback reunion.

Founded in 1987 by drummer Rick Kunkel and bassist Mark Phillip Wagaman, after some line-up changes the band began playing original musical shows in Eastern Pennsylvania.
In the fall of 1989, with Terry Cole as the new lead vocalist and frontman, Sly Boots entered Soundworks Studio, Hanover, PA and recorded “Da Bootsleg EP”. Countless hours of practice and numerous gigs helped the band to perfect their ‘A’ game which in turn helped Sly Boots to get noticed by major studio manager Richard ‘Vance’ Van Horn who ran the commercial Sheffield Studios in Phoenix, Maryland.

This connection then led the band to being introduced to producer Rob Stevens of One Stone Productions, New York. Sly Boots would enter Sheffield Studios and over the next eighteen months recorded three releases with Stevens as producer: “Three of a Kind” EP, “The Cassingle” EP, and the single track “Dead on the Money”.

All these songs (included here) are in the pure US Melodic Hard Rock vein of the era, with a punchy sound and melodic choruses akin Bang Tango, BulletBoys, Trixter, etc.
Things were moving along smoothly and it seemed as if Sly Boots were making all the right connections to climb that big ladder in the sky to a major label record deal.

1991 was a banner year and with the success of power ballad “Cry for You”, Sly Boots would go on to win the Coor’s Light Pennsylvania Battle of the bands; this victory moved Sly Boots to headline status in numerous venues and appear on many specialized magazines such as Metal Edge, Metal Forces or Kerrang! UK.
And…so the story is often told – the music scene was growing restless, a cookie-cutter blueprint was being used to sign almost anyone with big hair and a heart-wrenching power ballad, and unbeknownst to many… the scene was soon to come crumbling down thanks to… Nevermind.

Sly Boots disbanded in the fall of 1992, with each member moving on to form other projects. Singer Terry Cole relocated in Great Britain and became the lead vocalist for Heaven & Earth, a great arena rock band which was produced by David Richards (Queen). The other guys continued in the music business in one way or another, until the chance to reunite Sly Boots appeared last year.
All the original members recorded a pair of songs for the occasion, the acoustic version of an old song called “Give Your Love” and the rocker “Mad Maxine” with a Motley Crue Dr. Feelgood era feeling.

SLY BOOTS - Bad News Walkin' back cover

All the songs in “Bad News Walkin” are pretty good and with a surprisingly fine sound production.
Some kind of a treasured ‘lost album’ from the US Melodic Hard Rock heyday that deserves to be listened and enjoyed by fans of the genre.
Strongly Recommended

01 – Baby’s Mean
02 – Can’t Cage Me
03 – Cry for You
04 – Bad News Walkin’ 1
05 – Changes
06 – Get It While You Can
07 – Dead On the Money
08 – Ripped On Tequila
09 – Bad News Walkin’ II
10 – Give Your Love (Unplugged)
11 – Mad Maxine

Terry Cole – Lead vocals
Mark Phillip Wagaman – Bass, backing vocals
Mike Shope – Guitars, backing vocals
Mike Kunkle – Guitars, backing vocals
Rick Kunkel – Drums
Bryan Gannon – Drums (1991-1992)


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