Booze, Broads And Beelzebub (Nuclear Blast)
Second round 'round for this fun-time biker metal diversion for Dimmu's Shagrath, who admirably proves his mettle by being one of Chrome Division's two guitarists, adding background vocals, but leaving lead throat duties to Eddie Guz, who really makes these songs roar with beery belching pride. Not many will remember The Boyzz or (the Canadian) Fist or Handsome Beasts but this guy sounds like he's earned his patches like Dirty Dan and Ron and Fat Guy. Essentially, musically, this is high quality, uptempo biker metal with way better riffs and sequencing and flow than the first one (you know, it's sort of metalcore compared to the debut's hardcore - more going on this time). The production is bulbous and explosive yet warm with fat drums and grinding guitars like Motorhead meets Hammerlock. And you wouldn't think 'Sharp Dressed Man' could turn out all that impressive, but the band chugs and grooves it and basically renovates until it rumbles like Bible Of The Devil or Brand New Sin. There's a Turbonegro or Nashville Pussy vibe as well, with everything shot to hell, so let's drink. Mischievous yet earnest stuff, with huge pure metal riffs that help move the band beyond its previous polite joke status, indeed, a good 58% of the time sounding like the dirty hair metal of Slash at his heaviest.
Outa Hand (Rock Candy)
They only made three albums, but Toronto's Coney Hatch got out on tours with the greats (notably Priest and Maiden), charming crowds with their unique heavy-handed sound, an irresistible mix between the simplicity of fat, hanging AC/DC chords and the burgeoning hair metal sound. Two singers, constantly chattering guitars, great radio rock writing and cavernous production... those were the trademarks of Outa Hand, the band's second album, issued in '83 to quite a bit of fanfare, at least in Canada and the UK. Although most fans pick the self-titled debut as the favourite (and Friction, the last, as a bit of a drift), Outa Hand would have to be deemed the most accomplished and crafted, a "cusp" album, the exciting fulcrum between two sounds. Opener 'Don't Say Make Me' is the unforgettable highlight (did I mention chattering guitars?), but stop the presses, pro reissuers Rock Candy have included three bonus tracks, the almost Stonesy 'Nobody Gives You', a serviceable enough demo called 'Fly' and a killer AC/DC-styled rocker called 'Your Kinda Love' which was dropped for no other reason than the label wanted nine tracks on the album, not ten. The liner notes are about as rich as you'd like, with the two leaders of the band, Andy Curran and Carl Dixon, penning a good long set of notes each, plus proffering a few rare band shots (label honcho Derek Oliver even makes sure to get the story on the bonus tracks). Of note: Rock Candy has issued the definitive version of the debut as well - can Friction be far behind?
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