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 The Ultimate Review of Crash Bang Wallop

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Date d'inscription : 26/11/2013
Age : 26

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MessageSujet: The Ultimate Review of Crash Bang Wallop   The Ultimate Review of Crash Bang Wallop I_icon_minitimeJeu 18 Déc - 14:16

1982 was another splendid year for British heavy metal, the movement was established, some bands would achieve huge success and support from the music press and media. Those new young groups reinvented the concept of heavy/hard rock, which became predictable as the 70’s came to an end. The big daddies were now surrounded by many rivals, young blood with whom they were sharing stage - it even seems guys like Thin Lizzy were influenced by their pupils as the heavier sound of Thunder And Lightning proved. Raven were one of the most unique among the rich scene, that year they’d record one of their most memorable records, Wiped Out and this Crash Bang Wallop EP, on which their sound evolved into faster, more dynamic progressive music with the contribution of legendary Neat records producer Keith Nichol, getting notably thrashy. They determined the standards of the future subgenre here already so now you know why they call them the Godfathers of thrash. According to John:

“Basically we ran out of room on the Wiped Out album and thought it would be cool to put out an EP later on – the live photos are from a gig we did with Motörhead at Leeds Queens Hall in 1981. Mark sings lead on “Rock Hard” and sounds great! The “Monty Python woman” rap on the title track was me and in an inspired moment was done in one take...the line that really killed everyone on that (and is probably buried under the guitar solo) is “sucking the brains out of dead turnips”...don’t ask me!”.

This EP is plenty of energy and speed, riffs and rhythms are considerably loose and violent, creating an incredibly solid wall of sound, even though there are only 3 guys playing here. Cuts as “Crash Bang Wallop” and “Fire Power” materialize Raven’s explicit determination for aggression and power, defined by those hyperactive abrasive riffs in constant variation, as usual Mark would always add some distinct technique or detail to the main line, designing as well vital modifications to introduce alternative song-structures. John’s vocals are very eloquent and expressive, accompanied by Wacko’s frantic drumming they reach absolute dynamism and intensity, eluding quietness or particular weighty tempos. Yes, evidently the casual vocals keep this music from being totally inaccessible and underground – yet its essence is anyway truly brutal and crude in the Newcastle’s trio peculiar way. Actually, tunes as “Rock Hard” (which inspired the name of the legendary German fanzine) present complete reminiscence of classic rock ‘n’ roll in the nature of guitar lines and the cheerful choruses, combined with Raven lunacy that vintage music influence turns metallic and rough, so you see roughness is omnipresent, coming naturally for them no matter how originally polite the concept of the song might be. The Gallaghers are capable of taking influence from old stuff and make it current, there’s a little touch of blues too but still tenuous in favor of overwhelming speed and predominant punkish attitude. They incorporate their peculiar grace, charm and personality to the music, their sense of humor and hilarious lyrics, at times very catchy – choruses are mostly infectious but the band’s efforts are generally focused on the instrumental configuration. “Run Them Down” exposes a much more progressive approach for instance, on which the group displays admirable technique and creativity.

They were one of the originators, probably the most notable pioneers of early speed metal – the looseness of tempos and speed never stop, elements that constantly determine the character of each composition so each one is absolute energy, vigor and fun. These tracks certainly sound as if they were recorded live, Raven seem to have a really good time, enjoying and believing in it what they’re doing. It all comes fluently and naturally, as you listen to these numbers you can have a vivid vision of Mark & John doing their crazy stuff, Wacko wasn’t wearing his American football helmet yet but he also provides the music of lunacy, electrifying rhythms and passion. As performers, these 3 guys get along in total harmony, something the quality and motivation omnipresent in the music undoubtedly reflects – as song writers, they never run out of ideas, each song presents a remarkably inspired configuration, structures are essentially varied, riffs evolve and lead to a specific direction and the many details added give the songs heterogeneity and continuity, as contrasting sections, stop-times, interludes and assorted alterations from the originals sequence. Raven make it seem so easy, for talented musicians with such skill and potential it all seems to come spontaneous – yet they demonstrate notable attentiveness and strict meticulousness in the arrangements, the development of instrumental basis and the usually lengthy solos in contrast with many of their peers who rather reduced progression and complexity to a minor form. The Newcastle lunatics peculiarly managed to bring together the complication of 70’s formulas, without getting too exhausting, with the innate sonic violence of their music, the punkish attitude inherited from their compatriots and the refinement and classic touch inspired from their admired bluesy-rock idols – the result is unique, conceiving a distinctive sound of technically professional thrashy speed metal.

Crash Band Wallop is another memorable release from Raven’s early material, a period on which their fresh ideas, innovation and grace never seemed to end. These tracks were completely influential, representing the consolidation and supremacy of the NWOBHM over the old-fashioned 70’s classic rock stuff – discovering new possibilities, greater aggression and velocity for their successors and the many metal subgenres yet to come. Keith Nichol deserves some credits for giving these guys, Goldsmith, Crucifixion, Saracen or Steel the proper heavy sound, with Gallagher & co. he made an unstoppable combination – Wiped Out and this EP were particularly spectacular. Certainly, thrash and other subgenres as we know them wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for records like this that reinvented the concept of metal back in the early 80’s. 100% essential.
Final Score: 72 / 100
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