THE SECOND WAVE
25 Years of NWOBHM Communiqué Records
Reviewed in "Cutting Edge USA"
Finally after the dust has settled from the Saxon controversy (and lawsuit) original founders Graham Oliver and Steve Dawson are back at it with their rightful name emblazed across their monarch. A tour has recently been assembled in celebration with Tygers of Pan Tang and, believe it or not, Girlschool. Now admittedly it's been awhile since I¹ve listened to any of these bands, yet in high school they were among my faves. So it was with great anticipation that I put on this recent compilation boasting five all new recordings from each of these metal icons.
Smiles all around when the lazar struck "World Gone Crazy". O/D Saxon are as heavy as ever with a lethal paring of "munchy" guitars and hammering bass. Fans of good ol' headbangin' could easily imagine the band rocking in unison as they storm the stage with "Nursery Crimes" ,"Reeder Aus Stahl" and a searing version of "Ghost" where the six-string axe takes complete control of the song. The Tygers prove just as energetic with revised versions of "Love Potion No. 9", "Hellhound" and the mind-blowing "Firepower" all a testament that these bands are playing better, harder and with true conviction.
Most surprising is the greatness that is Girlschool, a band which was almost completely obliterated from my vocabulary. Here, they come roaring back with a full-on guitar barrage and vocal prowess that almost surpasses the other two bands before mentioned. Their tight, clean, well-rehearsed harmonies showcase a female foursome in diva form after their own right. Knockout versions of "Passion", "Mad Mad Sister" and the monster "Believe" prove that though the years have been quickly clicking by, these girls have not only maintained their chops but come ready for the fight in exceptional shape.
This disc is so much more that I hoped for and will remain in the disc changer for months to come.