Stryper debuted in 1984 with a six-song EP called The Yellow And Black Attack (Enigma Records). They would go on to become the best-selling and best-known Christian metal band of the eighties (by far). Stryper came along at the right time, with the right look, the right sound, and the right message to tap into a demographic that very few folks in the industry even knew existed! For some, Stryper was an alternative metal that they could relate to. But Stryper didn’t just appeal to Christian listeners. They were able to do what no other Christian metal act in the eighties manged to do — cross over to the mainstream. Without mainstream exposure, Stryper never would have sold in the millions.
With saccharine vocals over heavy metal riffs, Stryper’s original sound was an interesting dichotomy of styles. On the one hand, Stryper rocked as hard as some of their L.A. peers (such as Ratt and Quiet Riot) but on the other hand Michael Sweet’s girlish vocals greatly softened their sonic impact. One of my biggest problems with The Yellow And Black Attack is the lyrics. I’m not referring to the Christian content — I have no problem with that. But the lyrics do seem to be written by a fifth grader. The lyrics are often cringe-worthy in their corniness.
The Yellow And Black attack was re-mixed and re-released in 1986 by Enigma. They used a different cover (seen here) and added an exclamation point to the title so that it became The Yellow And Black Attack!. Two extra tracks were added. Reason For The Season fits in well with the original six tracks but My Love I’ll Always Show is another story. I don’t know where they dug this song up from but it has to be one of the worst songs I’ve ever heard! Have a listen here and try not to laugh! My score: B-