Chapter 6 (1986): 3-Piece Re-Born, Kommander of Kaos, KOK Tour, Moat Extreme Vocals Ever

In the meantime, material for the next album was accruing.  Mainstay guitarist, song writer and core performer Wes Beech had to take a sabbatical for personal reasons and would not tour with the band on the next outing.  At first there was the thought of getting at least a temporary replacement for Wes to round out the band to its usual 4 pieces but that soon gave way to using this situation to fulfill a dream of Wendy's and Rod's from the beginning which was to play, at least for this tour, and do an album as a 3 piece.  This was how the band had started out at the very beginning but the musicianship then wasn’t able to pull it off at the level it needed to be done. Historically, real rock bands that have been able to really pull off a three piece and do it well have been few in number.  Everyone realized it was now possible.  Rod produced the album and Wes came in as Associate Producer,  and worked on writing, arranging and recording, but the recording would be Michael, TC, and Greg Smith  (who would go on to play with Alice Cooper, Richie Blackmore and others and who had been brought in as the touring bassist for the WOW album).  

The touring band for this album would remain a 3 piece too.  There was tremendous excitement in tackling the project a kind of minimalist, stripped down concept, or rite of purification.  The songs, including the lyrics would be also be minimalistic or archetypal again giving Wendy a chance to take her vocals step further. The tempo of the WOW album had been slower than previous albums in an effort to open it up, but the new album “Kommander of Kaos” or “KOK” was to bring back the speed of some of the earliest albums and then some. Songs would be played at breakneck speeds, with screaming leads and vocals.  The recording was done in Fairfield NJ at the giant Broccoli Rabe Recording complex (“The Broc”) which would be home to numerous Wendy O./Plasmatics projects including three studio albums with what the group fondly called "The Fairfield Sound".  A white Cadillac Eldorado appeared again on the Kommander of Kaos album as it had on the first album cover (New Hope) only this time seen crashing through a wall with Wendy riding on the hood.

Having laid down what Chris Knowles of Classic Rock would call Wendy's most extreme vocals ever, and the album in the can but not yet released Wendy and the band flew to London to perform at the Camden Palace for the TV show "Live From London" which would be broadcast throughout Europe.  Thirty days later Komander of Kaos was released worldwide with Glenn O'Brian from Andy Warhol's Interview Mag writing in a rave review that Wendy "completely blows Motley Crue and all the rest away", and Chris Knowles of Classic Rock would write "Kaos brings back the lightning-fast tempos of early Plasmatics, this time not as punk but speed metal (and) Wendy's scorching vocals are her most extreme rivaling the overdriven guitars for sheer glass-shattering power."

Wendy had done a part for the film “Reform School Girls” that was now in post-production.  Neither she nor Rod liked the film much when it came out, saw it once and never looked at it again, but at this point the producers had heard Kommander of Kaos and wanted to include 3 tracks from the album in the movie score.  They also approached Rod about producing the title track for the film and having Wendy sing it. The song was not something he or the band would have written or Wendy would have ordinarily sung but it was an up tempo song and under the circumstances they agreed to do it.  Uncle Brian, musician, producer and owner of “The Broc” joined Rod as co-producer and also played sax.  He also appeared in the video that the film company had asked Rod to produce and direct playing the sax and wearing a tutu. The video consisted of live footage shot of Wendy singing the song at the Ritz in NYC cut with scenes from the film.