Oh bloody hell fire! Enough is enough!! I am really sorry about this folks but, once again, I have judged a book by it’s cover and very nearly missed out on an absolute gem of an album. Sure, it comes along in the wake of Davey W’s new found love of things much heavier but don’t get me wrong, I liked this album on my first listens last year. So why so long in reviewing it? I could come up with a string of excuses but I think it’s because I just wasn’t sure where to place it.
Comprising of Paul Hume and Neil Ogden from Demon along with Howie G (Persian Risk) and Josh “Tabbie” Williams (HeadrusH) what we have here is an album from a British band that we can finally say can compete easily with the music that comes from Scandinavia and the USA. Just like all the great sports invented in Britain, Johnny Foreigner has really started to show us all how to rock – and when you look at the greatest bands of the 1980s, name one British band who could truly match the Americans for chart success?
Don’t misunderstand me here – “Rock Savage” is no attempt to replicate the sounds of the 80s – rather the four Midlanders have created a modern sounding hard rock album (heavy in parts) that also blend some of the best bits of that great era for rock music. Paul Hume’s voice is able to wail like the greats, but with a melody and clarity that has all the right elements to create sonic images. Additionally, by providing a second guitar to Howie G’s soaring lead, Lawless have a sound that is immediately heavier than AOR elements would suggest (and would come across much more obviously if the sounds were embellished with keyboard).
A couple of the track titles (“Heavy Metal Heaven” and “Metal Time”) could suggest elements of parody – but there is none of it. Again, once I got over myself, and just let the songs wash over me, there is a good element of self deprication, but Lawless is no joke. The blend of AOR, hard rock and touches of metal really is a mark of the love for the genre that these guys hold dear. Not just on record wither, avid readers will know that I got the chance to catch the boys in Crewe on their recent travels with the mighty ColdSpell (http://www.rock-zone.co.uk/2014/04/01/coldspelllawlessjunker-the-box-crewe-march-24th-2014/)and the band prove that this is no studio project as the songs really come to life in the live format. With chant along audience participation in songs like “Step In”, these are songs that not only stand up to repeated listens they are also the soundtrack to a great rocking night.
For those of you in the North West, you to can see Lawless along with Mia Klose (as reviewed on her recent jaunt with Steel Panther http://www.rock-zone.co.uk/2014/03/16/steel-panther-and-mia-klose-wolverhampton-civic-hall-15th-march-2014/) at the fabulous Railway Venue in Bolton – advance tickets £5.50 or £7 on the night. Do yourselves a massive favour …. get a copy of “Rock Savage” and get to see the band as soon as you can.
1. Heavy Metal Heaven
2. Black Widow Ladies
6. Rock n Roll City
7. Step In
10. Where Heroes Fall
11. Metal Time
“Rock Savage” is available now via Escape Records
For more information:
For tickets to the Bolton show check www.railwayvenue.com