The highlight of this week’s best rock releases is the new record from Brazilian thrash kings Sepultura but it’s well worth checking out re-releases from Bonham and Molly Hatchet if you’ve got money to burn on Monday.
Led Zep drummer Bonham used to be a decent solo artist in his day and if you’re a lover of Southern boogie-tinged rock then you can’t beat Molly’s self-titled classic.
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So this might not be the classic Sepultura of yesteryear but the boys from Belo Horizonte can still belt out a brilliant Brazilian blend of high-end power metal and some thinking man’s thrash.
This complicated concept record (everybody’s doing it these days) is inspired by Anthony Burgess’s classic read A Clockwork Orange and the tracks are divided into four chapters. But on first listen it’s best to think of this as a typical romp through 18 metal beasts – delving too deep into the story too early will only turn you off what is an exercise in heavy duty entertainment.
A-Lex – which roughly translates as lawless in Russian – is a brave statement from a band which needs to keep pace with the new breed (Mastodon, Trivium etc) and the rejuvenated old guard (Metallica, Kreator etc) at a time when playing fast and furious is suddenly popular again.
But it works on many levels and if you do have time to buy into the concept then tracks like The Treatment and Strike will more than repay your faith. Take a risk, take A-Lex home.
rushonrock rated: 6/10 Lex Is More
If, like us, you loved the lead single from this excellent record but never followed it up by investing in the album proper then this is the perfect chance to put things right. And perfect is excatly what this solo offering from Led Zep’s new drummer – first released 20 years ago – is and always was.
The single in question is Wait For You and while its Plant-esque vocals and off-kilter percussion are very reminiscent of Jason’s dad’s old band (or his 80s contemporaries Kingdom Come) that’s no bad thing. Other highlights include Guilty, Holding On Forever and Don’t Walk Away – all, in their own way, perfect examples of an era when overblown production and FM/MTV-friendly hooks mattered most.
Of its kind this is a record of rare quality, class and cohesion. Make up for lost time(keeping).
rushonrock rated: 9/10 Disregard This At Your Peril
Any record which reels off Bounty Hunter, Gator Country and Big Apple before you’ve even had chance to kick off your cowboy boots, pour a neat bourbon and slip some classic Clint into the DVD deserves fulsome praise. This is a non-stop Southern rock boogie fest from start to finish and it’s about time this often overlooked gem was given a makeover.
Unlike many of today’s lavishly repackaged and remastered re-releases, Molly Hatchet’s self-titled record gets little more than some new liner notes and digi-pak packaging in its 2009 reincarnation. But who cares? If you only own this on vinyl, you did once own it on vinyl or you’ve never got round to converting a great record into a must-have mp3 format then this is an essential purchase.
At their peak Molly Hatchet were a band capable of whipping any crowd into a fret-fuelled frenzy and this nine-track showcase, more than any other, demonstrates why. There is no filler, just killer. From the aforementioned hat-trick of arse-kickers to classics like I’ll Be Running and Cheatin’ Woman there has rarely been a more complete collection of classic rock quality. If you don’t own it – own it.
rushonrock rated: 9/10 Hatchet Job’s A Good ‘Un