Before Steel Panther was Dangerous Toys, a hard rock band with a sense of humor that loved sex and melody.
Dangerous Toys was a Texas band formed in 1987 (initially called Onyxx then changed to Dangerous Toys in 1988) with the members Jason McMaster (vocals), Tim Trembly (guitar), Scott Dalhover (guitar), Mike Watson (bass), and Mark Geary (drums). Once the band got signed Trembly left and was replaced by Danny Aaron. In 1988 they released their self-titled debut album, a release that eventually went Gold.
In 1991 the band released their second album, ‘Hellacious Acres’ which featured “Sticks and Stones” and “Line ‘Em Up.” Neither single was a hit and their tour was cancelled. After, Aaron left the band and was replaced by Kevin Fowler who was then replaced by Paul Lidel.
In addition to their first album going Gold, Dangerous Toys also released lots of videos from their first two releases. If there is ever a college course Crotch Thrusting 101 then Dangerous Toys’ “Teas’n Pleas’n “ video must be required viewing. “Gimme’ No Lip” was a low budget feature with McMaster doing his best Axl Rose impression along with scenes of a distressed hooker using a payphone (bonus crotch thrusting against the microphone stand). Another video, “Line’Em Up”, showed a band with the ability to write heavy and catchy songs full of energy and a fuck you attitude. It wasn’t often that Dangerous Toys first two albums were in the conversation with Skid Row, Faster Pussycat, etc…, but maybe they should have (at least been considered).
Their third album was a major change in attitude. Released in 1994, ‘Pissed’ was an angry and dark album that most fans turned away from. Where was the fun loving group that wanted to fuck every girl they saw? Apparently that band had been murdered by Kurt Cobain and his following. After ‘Pissed’, Watson was replaced by Michael Hannon who also left shortly after. They should have changed their name given the change in direction, but stuck with it and released a fourth album in 1995 titled ‘The R-tist 4-merely Known as Dangerous Toys.’ The fans had already lost their sense of humor (Kurt Cobain and his following squashed that as well) and the album hardly sold any copies. In 1999 the band released ‘Vitamins and Crash Helmets Tour – Live Greatest Hits’, after that the band was no longer a full-time project.
Today Jason McMaster is part of several Austin, Texas rock bands including Sad Wings, Capricorn USA, Gahdzilla Motor Company, the Kiss tribute band SSIK, and Broken Teeth, a band formed in 1999 with Paul Lidel. Lidel would leave Broken Teeth and is now part of Adrenaline Factor as well as a music instructor. Mark Geary and Mike Watson are part of the Austin band named Proof Of Life.
Dangerous Toys still do get together and play at least one live show a year. In 2008 the band played a 20th Anniversary show in Austin, TX with all the original band members.
Were Dangerous Toys underrated or overrated? Regardless, a lot of their music is fun to listen to and is rock and roll that still holds up, more than can be said for others from the hair band genre.