WAY back in the long ago mystical times called the '80s' there was this thing referred to as the 'New Wave Of British Heavy Metal'. Always a slightly awkward nomenclature, it nevertheless became a handy name to categorise a clatter of bands under.
Just before thrash outdid the album sales of many of the acts UK rockers Chrome Molly were selling out the Marquee Club (look it up youngsters) and headlining CBGBs in NYC.
After stalling for a while as fashions ebbed and flowed in 2016 Chrome Molly were back on the road with the Graham Bonnet Band including a Belfast show.
As promised on that date Chrome Molly have released their sixth studio album, 'Hoodoo Voodoo' and it is chock full of riffage appropriate for the band's vintage.
For some many the likes of 'Some Kind of Voodoo' will sound a little dated, but this blog is called Belfastmetalheadsreunited! Echoing with the kinds of songs that had us rocking along to Rainbow it takes the template and brings it bang up to date.
Sure, you'll hear all the influences of the likes of Rainbow, Priest, Maiden and Leppard throughout, and the band even play on that with namechecks of the acts on the song 'Pillars of Creation (Albion). If the bands on this track aren't in your collection then you need some serious revision.
The entire album has melodic metal (not the melodic death/black melodies), nicely balanced solos and choruses, and a tight idea behind each song.
There is one song that sits a bit out of place. 'Now That Those Days Have Gone' is a Poison-like ballad and could have been beefed up a little...
Thankfully the following track redeems all, with 'Indestrucible' a well thought out take on Maiden et al.
The band have said that while it isn't a concept album as such, they wanted 'Hoodoo Voodoo' to echo the glory days of the NWOBHM, and they have more than achieved that.
Steve Hawkins (vocals) said: “We wanted to make
an album that made us feel like we did in the ‘80’s, one that you can turn up
in the car and sing along and play air drums and guitar to.”
Does it achieve that? Well for those of a certain vintage it most certainly does, conjuring up memories of sitting in friends houses, sneaking illicit swigs of beer and comparing band's strengths and weaknesses.
'Rock For You' perfectly captures those feelings, but will a younger audience, now attuned to the various extremes of modern metal 'get it'? If they want to understand the origins of much of what inspired the acts that broke through in the mid to late 80s from the US and Europe then this is an excellent primer (and you'll get an idea of the type of sounds that created all the power metal...).
For the rest of us over 40s and early 50s types this is an album to just wallow in. As the last notes of 'Dial F for Freakshow' fade the repeat button gets hit...leather jackets, cut-offs, tight jeans, white high top gutties, plastic bottles of cider with lager mixed in, and walking tall and proud are but a memory, but one that we can re-live every day and 'Hoodoo Voodoo' makes all the years wandering in the wilderness worthwhile. Welcome back Chrome Molly.