Death Breath - Stinking Up The Night
Entombed are almost a rock 'n' rollsy parody of serious death, The Hellacopters are in possession of their own elusive ironies, and now Nicke Anderson from both those winking units winks again with an excellent collection of beard-pullin' traditional madness which recalls another band that is just plain ironic these days, Unleashed. OK, Bloodbath did this already, and did it well, but no one's sayin' there isn't room for more wet and sloppy hollerin' and punkified riffing. Adding to the wobble of the thing is drum production that sounds hand-carved at 16 rpm and then pushed and shoved to fit California hardcore velocities from 1983. A bunch of old saws show up to help Nicke, and their bog-blasted enthusiasm makes explosive switch-hitters like Flabby Little Things From Beyond bubble over and light the place on fire.
Heavy Pettin - Pettology
Heavy Pettin' were essentially Scotland's answer to Def Leppard, rocking with heft and only a slightly post-NWOBHM sense of chaos - fantastic songs, but bad timing and management decisions found them floundering after their second and slightly stilted album Rock Ain't Dead was issued via Polydor. This box set gathers up that record, along with their stupendous, coal-fired, On Through The Night-slaying debut Lettin' Loose, along with four non-LP studio tracks. That, along with a detailed band history would be enough to make this essential for folks giving a toss about one of the great AOR bands that never got the breaks they deserved, but the package also adds - in both CD and DVD version - a loosely conceptualized live set from 1984, captured at The Astoria, cheesy romance scenes added for your amusement. Very impressive, with spot-on lead vocals and vocal harmonies as well as effortless headbanged execution of the band's glimmering yet considerably hard-tailed anthems such as Love Times Love, Hell Is Beautiful and especially In And Out Of Love, which would have been High 'n' Dry's best song had it perched there. Lead vocalist Hamie was always a bit controversial, given his twang, and seeing him live makes it even a bit worse - he had a few ghey, hair-tossing Coverdale'd moves in his repertoire. Still, what a rocking lot Heavy Pettin' were. And surprise... now they're back with both a rarities set as well as the consideration of an all-new record. By the way, nice to see a box set out of Majestic Rock - hope there are more to come, even if the graphic details of this one are a bit on the rudimentary side.