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POP MUSIC REVIEW : Warrant Does Its Darndest to Put On Distasteful Show

October 18, 1991|CHRIS WILLMAN | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

LOS ANGELES — 'If this doesn't make you feel sleazy," promised Warrant lead cusser-singer Jani Lane at the Universal Amphitheatre on Wednesday, "nothing will."

Would he settle for sleepy? The hit-making hard-rock quintet did its darndest to be distasteful at this hometown show, from the $10 souvenir G-strings to all the Tipper Gore-baiting bad language a brave fifth-grader might muster.

And, almost in spite of the band's most diligent efforts, bad taste was arrived at, along with that special kind of tedium that comes only from mixing the witless and the profane.

This was half a rock concert and half the Jani Lane Variety Hour, with the host lengthily prattling on between most songs. So much for momentum. Beyond that, four-letter words do not "street" make. Warrant has the form and posturing of metal down, but is too pretty and has too many pop hooks to attract true headbangers.

Kitschiness aside, some of the band's pop song craft isn't bad. And unlike such pretty competitors as Poison, these guys, who also play the Pacific Amphitheatre in Costa Mesa tonight , at least can play live--given the chance, that is, when Lane deigned to sing instead of belching, advocating the legalization of pot, making racial epithets about Arsenio Hall, lecturing youngsters about the history of the blues (!) and, at the end, cursing anyone who felt offended by his cursing. What a mouth he has on him, and not a thing to say.

Trixter and Firehouse rounded out the bill.

Warrant, Trixter and Firehouse play tonight at 7:30 at the Pacific Amphitheatre, 100 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa. Tickets: $11. Information: (714) 979-5944.

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