In The Raw, The Rods Live, Let Them Eat Metal
Rock Candy’s remastered & reissued programme often serves to bring a deserving band (and album) to a new audience. The Rods are the perfect example.
Their eighties’ albums were in the wrong place at the right time, handicapped by inexperienced labels and dragged down by chaotic marketing. None moreso than 1983′s In The Raw. It was a real opportunity lost, as the band used the writing and recording process to slough off the remains of their seventies’ musical skin, and stepped confidently into the eighties.
The band’s meat and 2 veg heavy metal was shorn even of anything that looked like it might want to be a frill. The unencumbered dark notes and heavy metal clamour of
‘Hurricane’ and ‘Witches Brew’ bear this out. Sleek, targeted weapons, propelled by ironclad riffs and laser guided vocals.
David “The Rock” Feinstein handled most of the singing. Drummer Carl Canedy and bassist Garry Bordonaro take the lead on ‘Hot City’ and ‘Evil Woman’ respectively. Apart from the occasionally unfocused piece of songwriting, it was a power trio without a weakness.
Some fabulous material among the 5 bonus tracks here. Most notably a ten minute live tribute, ‘A Whole Lotta Led’, and a tastefully titled instrumental, ‘In Your Panties’.
The intensity of The Rods’ live performance is an amazing thing. The Rods Live was recorded on their 1983 tour of the UK with blood brothers, Motorhead. Less a metal band, more a force of nature, they blasted out a veritable cacophany of blissfully thunderous heavy metal, laden with hulking bruisers like ‘I Live For Rock’n'Roll’, ‘Born To Rock’ and ‘Speed Demon’.
They were never a band to short change their fans by feeding them material already bitten off and digested from previous albums. This is an existential live recording, bathed in sweat, full of new material, presented with all the glorious rawness, realism and real talent that this band had in spades.
Again thanks to short sighted label inaction, it barely saw the light of day.
Never mind the cover (so many album covers in the eighties were either outrageously sexist or ridiculously banal), the band’s subsequent album, Let Them Eat Metal was something of a dissapointment. Hurriedly written and hurriedly recorded, you would swear this was a band going through the motions or meeting a contract obligation. The pneumatically powered riffs, motorised rhythms and razor clawed solos just aren’t enough. Previous albums have led us to expect more.
Cliched titles like ‘I’m A Rocker’, ‘She’s So Tight’, ‘She’s Such A Bitch’ give the game away. And yet, songs such as ‘Nuclear Skies’ and ‘White Lightning’ show there’s still a light on, and that the band’s songwriting ability didn’t die from exhaustion after their Motorhead tour. There just aren’t enough songs of that calibre here.
The five bonus tracks help alleviate the gloom, especially the live tracks, which is where the band excel, the raw and raucous ‘Evil Woman’ and ‘Too Hot To Stop’ are worthy additions. You can almost taste the sweat as it drips from the gantry overhead.
Review by Brian McGowan
The latest Facebook Live session from Canadian singer-songwriter Josh Taerk was streamed on Sunday 20 December., imbued with a festive flavour to raise the spirits
More about Josh: http://getreadytorock.me.uk/blog/?s=%22Josh+Taerk%22
David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 20 December 2020 and announces the results of the Popular Poll for Best of 2020.
UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 20 December 2020 and includes Pete’s best of the year selections
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