NAZARETH — Surviving The Law (review)

NAZARETH — Surviving The Law album cover Album · 2022 · Hard Rock Buy this album from MMA partners
3/5 ·
Kev Rowland
Nazareth are one of the longest-running and most important rock bands to ever come out of Scotland, and even if we discount the years that most of the founders were playing together as The Shadettes, here is a band who has celebrated more than 50 years together. ‘Surviving The Law’ is their 25th studio album, released last year, by which time bassist Pete Agnew was 75 years old, and his son Lew had been drummer in the band for more than 29 years. Jimmy Murrison has been there since 1994, which makes him the longest serving guitarist the band has ever had, while singer Carl Sentence has been there since 2015.

Between 1971 and 1977 nine (yes, nine) studio albums, and quite a few of them are classics, although in honest none of them stand up against ‘It'sNaz’ (known by many as ‘Snaz). It was one of the most epic live albums of all time, absolutely essential, featuring the classic line-up of Dan McCafferty (vocals), Manny Charlton (guitar), Pete Agnew (bass, backing vocals) alongside Billy Rankin (guitar) and John Locke (keyboards) which allowed them to have an immense sound, but they were a quartet for the first ten years of their existence, and after bringing in a few other people, it was back to the core four in 1983 and they stayed that way until 1990 (when Manny left, Billy came back, and they stayed that way until 1994).

Carl has a great voice, but to be honest I can’t think of Nazareth without the gravel of Dan, and they have never been the same since Manny left. The original proud boys of Dunfermline were special, and while this is a pleasant old school British hard rock album with hints of metal, there is nothing here to make it stand out from anyone else. I am sure they are still a blast on the live circuit, but while there may be a few songs from this album included, most people will be holding out for the classics. For any band to be in existence for more than 50 years is sensational, and in many ways they have been at it for more than 60, but this album is fairly standard hard rock with nice vocals and little in the way of memorable songs, which is pretty much what I said about the last one, ‘Tattooed On My Brain’ as well. I think I may just put on ‘Razamanaz’, as there is the real Nazareth.
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