Personnel: Jani Lane (vocals); Billy Morris (guitar); Mike Masano (drums).
Under the Influence is Warrant's first set since 1995's Ultraphobic. It's a collection of covers for the most part, although there are two new studio tracks tacked onto the end. Of these, "Face" is stronger, with its update of the classic pop-metal harmony style. But Influence is really about paying homage to Warrant's influences, and letting the band loose on material they've obviously been playing since their own inception. Jani Lane's intonation is perfect during Thin Lizzy's "Hollywood"; he has that slight air of danger down pat. "Surrender" is appropriately sunny, while "Suffragette City" seems to have the showman vibe of David Lee Roth to it. What's best about Influence is the band's care to remain faithful, while still refueling the songs with gallons of the blathering cockiness that has always defined their sound. Need another example? Check out their rocking run-through of the Nazareth gem, "Hair of the Dog," which arrives complete with dirty talk box guitar. The phaser vocals on Badfinger's "Come and Get It" are a little much, but any of these covers -- not to mention the two new songs -- should be thoroughly enjoyable for the group's longtime fans. ~ Johnny Loftus