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Monday, August 22, 2011

Metal Louvre: Whiplash - Ticket to Mayhem

If you're a Gen X headbanger, chances are you were like me and your bedroom was plastered wall-to-wall with cutouts and page tears from Hit Parader, Rip, Metal Hammer, Metal Forces, Circus and all the rock and metal rags of the day. My room was a mix of metal and horror posters, band photos, oozing monsters, gory still shots and of course, yanked-out album advertisements.

One of my favorite record ads was for Whiplash's sophomore album, Ticket to Mayhem. I know I must've stared at the album cover on that ad for minutes on end at a time. Sure, to the CGI-weaned eye, parts of this artwork looks primitive in comparison to today's glossy, mechanized animation.

Still, when you consider the actual accoutrements going into the Ticket to Mayhem cover, this is some damned effective silly-creepy conveyances using dolls, a miniature skeleton, a diorama and shifty lighting to bring out that eye-popping color and the snaky shadows behind ol' Bonesy the ticket taker of death.

Given what we see with the ramshackled rollercoaster and the flushing red, orange, yellow and pink hues, we're to assume these young lovers have unwittingly crossed the threshold into Hell. Or are they really that unwitting? Teenagers believe themselves invulnerable after all.

Blame it on the thrash, not pot, that jarred my mind into strange places back in my old bedroom from the eighties...

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