Classic Rock’s Festive New Releases Round-Up
So, there you are. Stuck on Christmas Eve not knowing what presents to get Grannie, Auntie Flo and Great Uncle Ernest. Never mind, Classic Rock is here to help. So, here are a few suggestions from recently released albums, ones we’ve not mentioned but deserve your attention.
Words: Malcolm Dome
Death Angel have always been among the classiest of all thrash-related bands. And Relentless Retrubution (Nuclear Blast) is a highly skilled yet combative album. The riffs are bigger than Jordan’s chest size, the melodies neat and the pace so quick it makes Usain Bolt seem sluggish, Feel the power.
Indica are the sort of all-girl band who clearly know how to write a good tune. The Finns call their style Mystic Romantic Pop Rock, and their album A Way Away (Nuclear Blast) fits in somewhere between HIM and The Bangles. They’re not unattractive either. Kinda Medieval Baebes with cheekier pouts.
Metal Inquisitor sound like they belong to the NWOBHM movement. In actuality they’re German, but Unconditional Absolution (Hellion) could have been released by Neat or Heavy Metal Records in 1981. Is that a good thing? Of course. The Germans have a long-standing fascination for that era, and the Inquisitor actually do it a lot better than a lot of the authentic bands from 30 years ago.
There are two Giuffria reissues to tempt those who like their music with hair teased to a bouffant, while keyboards (courtesy of former Angel man Gregg Giuffria) are manicured right at the front of the mix. Both Giuffria and Silk And Steel (Metal Mind Productions) drip with tasty 80s melodic rock honey. The former (originally out in 1984) has the edge, thanks to hit singles Call To Your Heart and Lonely In Love. But the latter (1986) is no lame affair either.
The Metal Suvivor Kit (Earache) features three CDs, a DVD, ear plugs, key ring, patch and sticker. All the metalhead could ask for, except a miniature bottle of JD. In reality it’s a huge sample of the label’s wares, from Carcass to White Wizzard, via Evile, Napalm Death and Municipal Waste. It’s a box set available for the price of one CD – well worth it.
Therapy? have always been a fine live band, and We’re Here To The End (DR2) showcases their talents well enough. It’s a double CD recorded when the band played three sold out shows at The Water Rats in London in March. And the songs span the band’s entire career to date.
From Florida, Bang were a hard rock band around in the early 1970s. Despite having a sound that mixed Black Sabbath and Grand Funk Railroad, they never really achieved anything like the success that was deserved. But Bullets (Rise Above) proves their music has stood up brilliantly. This is a four-CD box set, put together with all the love and attention to detail for which the label have become associated.
Finally, Mountain are caught in their pomp on the compilation Crossroader – An Anthology 1970-1974 (Esoteric). When you hear the band both in the studio (on C D one) and live (CD two), you quickly realise why they’re so revered as one of the best bands of the era. Leslie West is a true guitar god.
And if none of that lot appeals, then you could always go for the Gene Simmons Mr. Potatohead. Now that’s a winner. Merry Xmas and don’t forget Santa is just a dyslexic Satan.
Tags: Angel, Bang, Black Sabbath, Carcass, Death Angel, Evile, Gene Simmons, Grand Funk Railroad, Guiffria, HIM, Indica, Leslie West, Medieval Baebes, Metal Inquisitor, Mounntain, Municipal Waste, Napalm Death, The Bangles, Therapy?, White Wizzard