If I Were King of the Jungle?
Unfortunately, the debut from Jaguar features the vocals of bassist Jeff Cox, who, fortunately was later relieved of his microphone duties by the far more able Rob Reiss.
However, there is a reason why Back Street Woman became an instant NWoBHM classic, and at least part of is because both it, and even more the B-Side, Chase The Dragon, are fine, tight, muscular and above all fast examples of NWoBHM at its best.
There's a distinct Vardis feel to the title track, reminding me a little of the frantic classic "If I Were King", which pretty much seems to have inspired the growth of speed metal and thrash single-handed.
Back Street Woman assists ably in this process, with a catchy tune, predictable but (I many have mentioned this already) fast riffing, super-tight Philthy Phil inspired drumming, and a fantastic tempo change with ear-splitting feedback - and more Marshall crunch and Wah-wah than you can feasibly bang your head to without breaking your neck.
Flip it over and there's no remorse - the speed increases and those mighty power chords slam in faster than you can say "Hit The Lights", and the thrash style back beat pummels your stomach like Lars Ulrich, but in time.
The instrumental is a bit messy, and I may have mentioned the awful vocals - but hey, this is possibly the first thrash metal record ever, with the equally possible exception of Vardis, and commands respect on those terms alone.
Shame about those rotten vocals - but never mind. They're much better - and, unbelievably, the music's even faster - on Jaguar's 2nd single, "Axe Crazy".
If this doesn't bake your cake on the first listen, come back and listen again, but with more volume. It's better that way.
Did I mention it was fast?