Tuesday, August 27, 2013

40 Year Itch: Some Hard Rock Gems

Welsh rockers Budgie released their finest album in 1973, Never Turn Your Back on a Friend. It kicks off with the heavy riffing of "Breadfan" which practically invents thrash metal. Metallica covered the tune as a B side in 1988. The musicianship is flawless. Bassist and vocalist Burke Shelley has a thin, one dimensional voice that may remind you of Geddy Lee. That, and the ironic name of the band, may be the reason why Budgie never hit it big in America.

If you're going to call your album Volcanic Rock, you'd better deliver the goods. These Aussie badasses do just that on what may be the heaviest, sludgiest, and most criminally forgotten hard  rock album of 1973.

Almost makes up for the album cover featuring a castrated man holding up a giant rock that , on closer inspection, is actually a penis.

America's answer to the British onslaught of hard rock superstars like Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath, Ronnie Montrose ( who played on the Edgar Winter band's "Frankenstein" single) and his band cranked things up on this Ted Templeman produced debut which kicks off with three great rawking classics: "Rock the Nation", "Bad Motor Scooter" and "Space Station #5". If you're working your way backwards from Van Halen, Sammy Hagar finally redeems himself!

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