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The trio from Newcastle brought out under the Neat Records label what became their most memorable release, and it proved to be much more consistent and fresher in terms of songwriting than what the band released afterward. Their musical offer is pretty much summarized by the album’s cover; basically, an explosion of demonic proportions, widely inspired by the 70s British glam rock (more specifically, Sweet) and by Judas Priest. The result of the mix is quite astonishing; while the traces of glam rock provided a party feeling and a very happy sound, the band, on the other hand, remained loyal to the heavy, speedish and hyperactive style characterizing the NWOBHM from the outset.
The band opens the album in a surprising fashion with “Hard Ride”, which is perhaps, far from being their most powerful number as it is not really speedish. Still, it is, however, a very fittable warm-up, considering what they prepared in the next numbers. The signs of chaos and speed are present in the next number, “Hell Patrol”, which besides, features a very impacting vocal performance from John Gallagher and an outrageous section in which he shouts for more than 30 seconds! The seven-minute-long closing number “Tyrant of the Airwaves” steps on the border between speed and thrash metal. Its intensity merely owes to the non-stop drumming from “Wacko” Hunter, who constantly displayed his vitality throughout the album. Moreover, the guitar playing from Mark Gallagher also provided memorable moments, as is the case of the riffs included in the lines of “Don’t Need Your Money”, as well as the harmonic progressions played in the song’s chorus. According to the band, this number was inspired by a money lending issue that the group had with Tygers of Pan Tang. Anyway, regardless of the circumstances surrounding its creation, the track remains as an all-time classic for the band, and even, for the NWOBHM.
The album also features a pair of covers from The Sweet, which perfectly fit its predominating songwriting style and shows an essential component of the group’s style. Although the British glam rock influences are very present, it is also true that the Britons‘ own touch played a significant role in their sound, and helped these guys differentiate themselves from other acts. In summary, the energetic and explosive performance displayed herein make of this record a quintessential work that would be never be seen again, and it also represents a very successful debut for Neat Records, regardless of not being as commercialized as a Maiden debut. An essential release for those interested in the NWOBHM history, but also, it is the album that could easily survive in the land of the free and the home of the brave and stand the test of time. If the NWOBHM is your passion, you should immediately get this album.
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