Album review: WAYSTED – Vices

Rock Candy Records [Release date 12.02.21]

In 1983, after an enduring love affair with UFO, a brief flirtation with Ozzy, and a frustrated liaison with Fastway, bass player extraordinaire Pete Way founded Waysted. Around him, he assembled a shit hot band… Fin Muir on vocals, Paul Raymond (UFO) on keyboards, Ronnie Kayfield on guitar, and Frank Noon on drums.

The band’s debut, Vices, has now been reissued by Rock Candy Records, in remastered form (with 6 bonus tracks). And it’s a blast.

Paralleling the rise of Glamrock and Hair Metal, it was an album that tried to bridge the gap between the honest hard rock of the seventies and the burgeoning bandana rock of the early eighties, accidently creating sleaze rock in the process.

It roams the cellars and basements of the down’n’dirty denizens of subterranean rock’n'roll, feeling its way through smoky, sweaty rooms, howling and wailing in among the cranked up electric guitars and thudding drums. Mick Glossop’s unpolished production lets the raw, unadulterated hard rock do the talking.

Kayfield is clearly the driving force, pushing the music along with simple, spare riffs or embellishing it with clanging guitar motifs and wiry axe work. The first three tracks, the strutting ‘Love Loaded’, the dark and downbeat ‘Women In Chains’ and the jangling, pacy ‘Sleazy’ are the picks. That said, ’Night Of The Wolf’, full of smouldering atmospherics and NWOBHM energy, and ’Right From The Start’, a bluesy, Faces like manifestation of post seventies hard rock, aren’t far behind.

Half a dozen remixes, done at Maison Rouge Studios, giving the songs much more of a seventies’ hard rock feel, have been added to the original album as bonus tracks, and are a genuine ‘find‘, worth hearing in their own right. Surprisingly, given its provenance and critical acclaim, Vices failed to gain traction in Europe or the US. Listen and wonder. ****

Review by Brian McGowan

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