Currently THE most expensive NWoBHM demo single I know of. So what does your two grand of hard-earned wonga get you?
Well, apart from a refusal, since the last time a copy came under the hammer, it sold for a colossal £152 on top of the 2k, it gets you a rather cool couple of songs, and, if it was me, a bit of a feeling of complete let-down.
This is not a true gem like anything by Bleak House or even a belter like High Treason's "Saturday Night Special", rather it's a slightly repetitive, somewhat plodding affair with keyboards and out of tune vocals.
It's dead catchy though, I'll give it that - and so is the flip side.
Rockin' Steady sends you up the garden path with a meandering keyboard line which suddenly gives way to an almighty and highly satisfying Marshall crunch. Then the song kicks in, with the keyboard drifting over hot n crunchy guitar chugging, throbbing walking bass lines and a steady 4 to the floor on the kit.
The keyboard is given a solo slot over a power metal guitar rhythm - and this shines quite brightly. It's not Jon Lord, but is actually very close to Mark Kelly of Marillion fame. The guitar solo blisters your fingers simply by hearing it, and the returning verse/chorus ends up sounding somewhat tame, and the guitar fills extremely familiar as the song comes to a close. The keyboard tierce de picardie is real overkill.
Last Night is another of those ballads you try to turn away from, but are hooked, especially by that simple keyboard line - no good reason for it, there's nothing technically good about it, it's just damn catchy. Like Measles.
The guitar solo slams in more than convincingly, and there's a nice modulation for the keyboard solo, which again has me thinking of Mark Kelly - then there's another guitar solo with some satisfying arpeggios, followed by another keyboard solo, then what sounds like the arpeggio middle section of Highway Star to finish. Cross that out - it IS that section of Highway Star!
If this single was available for, say, £2,100 less, then I'd consider it a superb investment, especially the B side - classic NWoBHM and all that.
If the vocals were in tune, I'd award it 4 stars instead of 3.
It's good, it's catchy - shoulda been a hit - but there are a lot of other great demos to explore in the world of the forgotten heroes of NWoBHM.
Anyone with an interest in this area of metal should check this out - but keep your wallet firmly buttoned up (unless the band do a re-release, in which case, buy it and convince them to re-record it and write more like it!).