TKO – “In Your Face” (1984)

Check out the dude on the cover.  That’s TKO front-man, Brad Sinsel.  I tell you what, if Sinsel ever came at me in a dark alley looking for a fight… well… I like my chances.  Just look at the hilarious way he puts up his dukes.  Nice form!  Brad looks like he’s never been in a fight in his life, but hey, at least he knocked that topless bimbo out cold!  Can I get a “hell yeah!” for domestic violence?  Anyone?  No?  Moving on…

As explained in the liner notes of the 2008 Divebomb Records CD re-issue of In Your Face, this album was actually recorded in 1981, but never saw the light of day until ’84.  By the time In Your Face found a record label to release it (Combat Records in the U.S. and Music For Nations Records in the U.K.), Brad Sinsel was the only band member remaining in TKO from the ’81 line-up.  Except for Brad, none of the guys on the original LP’s back cover actually played on the album.  Those were just the guys in TKO in 1984 when the album came out.

If In Your Face had come out in 1981, when it was originally recorded, it would have been one of the heavier U.S. offerings of the day.  On par with the likes of Riot and Y&T.  There weren’t really a whole lot of record executives clamoring for heavy music in the United States back in 1981.  So I guess that’s why no label bit on TKO.  In Your Face was produced (poorly, I might add) by Rick Asher Keefer, the same guy who produced on of my favorite hidden gems of the ’80s, Illusions Kill by Aaronsrod.

My Worthless Opinion:  Brad had a cool voice, one likely (mal-)nourished with copious amounts of cigarettes and hard alcohol.  In Your Face features rough n’ tumble hard rock/metal that swings a heavy hammer of steel.  In Your Face is a little sleazy, a little glam, but mostly just raw power and street-wise bravado.  ‘Tis a shame the record was produced without subtlety or fidelity.  Brad’s the whole show, and his voice is unfortunately swamped in reverb.  No really great songs to speak of, but plenty of good ones and only a couple of throwaways.  My score: B

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8 thoughts on “TKO – “In Your Face” (1984)

  1. It makes you wonder why they don’t spend more time designing the cover art. I mean, who looked at this cover and said – yeah, that will help sell albums!! Is it laziness? Do we blame the production or the band? Maybe they thought the music spoke for itself…

  2. Holy *&^!….I almost feel out of my chair….I checked this review to get info’s on the Divebomb version of this release…and I saw the original Music For Nations pressing, F*$! YEAH !!!!!!!!!

    Whoa…I have to get the MFN pressing of this.

    To bad Combat stateside did not do this on CD, which they did for MXT 8011 Mercyful Fate “Don’t Break the Oath” and MXT 8012 Tokyo Blade “Night of the Blade”, for the CD era of Combat the MXT was replaced with 88561. The first 88561 was Abattoirs “The Only Safe Place”

    If this came out in 1981…This would be praised in the same breath as Holocaust “The Nightcomers” and the likes.

    I am glad I stop to read this review @ PLAY IT LOUD FOREVER…I was going to hunt down the Dive bomb pressing, but now I know a MFN version exist, I have to get the MFN version, instead.

    Lets not forget that 3 members on this album were also involved in the classic Culprit “Guilty as Charged” which got pressed on CD by Hellion records, with new and improved artwork and also remastered !!!

    Combat Records really believed in this band, but could not find any radio stations to play TKO’s music, there was a single pressed from this album, for the radio stations…but the only Combat band… I heard on the radio back in 1983 and 1984 was the first 2 Talas records (Relativity “Sink your teeth in to that” & Combat “Live High Speed on Ice”. On a music show called Metal Shop.

    • No, I don’t think MFN pressed a CD. That pic I have above is misleading. It is just the LP back cover made to look like a legit CD cover. Fans often use these when they upload an album to a fileshare. They include a pic like this so you can print it out and use it as a CD insert with your CD-R copy. Sorry to excite you so much dude! But I better change the caption of that pic as to not mislead folks. I have the Divebomb version (as well as the Combat LP). The Divebomb includes the entire album (original mix) and a re-mixed version of the album (all on one disc). Plus it has liner notes by Martin Popoff. Pretty good package.

  3. Nah…don’t change a thing…I should of read the first edition cover better.

    All MFN CD’s have CDMFN in that CAT #.

    When a CD has been on a want list since 1984, I was floored to see that.

    Ha…thanks for the info’s on the Tribunal / Timebomb edition, excellent news !!!

    Also I would like to add Metal Mayhem Records did a edition of “In your face” but it was a first recording or a different recording because they called there edition “In your face & Up your ass”.

  4. This album is DA BOMBAY! Seriously, this is like throwing AC/DC, Aerosmith and the Stones into a blender – f’n nasty, dirty, heavy street rock with one of the best rock voices of all time, Mr. Brad Sinsel (who went on to make records with Suicide Squad and War Babies). Out of the 3 TKO albums this is BY FAR their best! To me, this disc is near flawless – killer songs (‘End of the Line’ was on ‘U.S. Metal 4’ and turned me onto these guys in the first place; ‘I Wanna Fight’, ‘So This Is R’n’R’, ‘Danger City’, ‘Working Girl’ – are you kiddin’ me?!), deadly vox, and smoking guitar work by Adam ‘Bomb’ Brenner who barely old enough to drive when he put down these tracks. Thank you Divebomb for finally putting this out on CD (still have my LP and cassette, too) – the proper version that is, not the funky remix on Metal Mayhem.

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