BurntOut Wreckords/Cherry Red [Release date 29.11.19]
Melodic rockers Heavy Pettin’, onetime Kerrang! faves, produced a couple of fine records in the 80s, and with drummer Gary Moat’s own Burnt Out Wreck currently receiving much acclaim, the band’s three albums get a re-release here with a couple of bonus tracks. The box set is long out of print so these will be of interest to fans.
Dubbed the Scottish Def Leppard, the guitar intro to their 1983 debut’s opener ‘In And Out Of Love’ has a strong nod to Pyromania, and if you give the commercial leanings a chance there’s some solid guitar mid song. The vocals are quite high, but it’s quite a strong track. Second track ‘Broken Heart’ mixes commercial, acoustic ballad and full out FM hard rock; again if you stay with the song long enough there’s a more than decent guitar solo.
Co-produced by Brian May, there are some fine touches, although it’s not as fully rounded as it needed; there is a feel that the heavier moments are reigned in rather than let loose as they should be. Maybe that’s why the band never got the credit they deserved. But this debut is really worth a listen, un-prejudged.
1985 and the follow-up ‘Rock Ain’t Dead’ followed in the same vein, perhaps a little too similar. Some great songs and equally good performance, the opening title track features some very FM Friendly shred midsong, the constantly high vocals do take some getting used to. ‘Sole Survivor’ is a good song, def worth cranking up. There’s a hint of Magnum in the album too.
Again, punchy, rocking, underrated, some great moments here.
Sadly, the 3rd album ‘The Big Bang’ would be the end for Heavy Pettin’. The more melodic/radio FM (and the band FM) direction, an intentional nod to the other side of the pond, would be a demise. And while there are still some strong tracks, the failed Eurovision entry of ‘Romeo’ was waving like a warning banner. Opener ‘Born To Burn’ is a good track, but there’s too many others just too innocuous compared to the first two albums.
Wonderful to be able to play these again.
Lettin’ Loose ****
Rock Ain’t Dead ***1/2
The Big Bang **1/2
Review by Joe Geesin
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