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January 27, 2023

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Say Your Prayers (Self-released)

By: Vinnie Apicella

Okay, they had me going there a second-- But the other band I'm thinking of is Waysted and the album was "Save Your Prayers." Similarities? Hell yeah, actually. Not between the two albums but in that vintage early '80s Hard Rock sound, you know, back when it was okay to say, um, "Rock." The story goes this is a Philly band of English descent. And to that I say, really? Regardless, the direction is clear before even the first scale is played; we're in for a forty minute return trip down Headbanger Way, led by a five pointed five some that's like an unholy cross between Saxon, Samson, Riot, UFO-- give me a minute, I'll come up with about eighteen more, but suffice to say, second rate first wavers of a gone by British invasion came, went, and now sell for something like two or three hundred on Ebay! Jokes aside, "Wastoid" as a name doesn't quite fit the sword crossed style, but then again that's probably what they said about Tygers Of Pan Tang at the time-- And then again, it didn't matter much at that time because there hadn't been twenty intervening years of street thug shit swapping spit with so-called Rock groups' fun starved keepin' it real philosophy that's sucked the lifeblood out of the fans' right to choose in the first fucking place. So how refreshing is it to see a group that not only "says" it but plays it just the same way it began? I'm counting four songs with "Rock" in the titles, made all the more amazing they don't sound a thing like AC/DC. The topics stay the well-worn course from magic, to evil, to fire, to rock and roll as the means for escape that it was always meant to be. "Long Live Rock and Roll" and "Let It Rock," are two very strong up front outings that give ya even the slightest indication that between the high pitched screams and dual guitar scales, these guys deserve at least a momentary straight face at the suggestion of "saving" Rock music. "Magic Journey" is Dio-era Sabbath at the onset; a dark, foreboding, slowly paced anthemic equivalent to "Heaven & Hell" for most of its earliest moments, a little thin at the verse, strong chorus. "Mountain Of Fire" is the staunchest offering here, moving a bit quicker with some restless riffing, dueling guitar harmonies, and hooks aplenty. Closer, "Rock Hott (and burn out)" is another mid '80s clich? tune that sounds like a Rough Cutt leftover, which of course to all us long suffering rivet heads of the once burgeoning banger battalion, makes it the greatest shit since Slik Toxic-- Slik Toxic? Don't know where that came from. So you got eight tracks of pure knee scraped, steel soaked, sign of the hammer, hammer of the gods traditional fuckin' Metal music with no apologies...though I'd appreciate one for including the ridiculous "Countdown To Rock" boogie nonsense; The one Swiss slice that's a day too long in the dairy section-- But quickly forgettable amongst the rest of the album. They've been around a while, having shared the stage with fellow Metal animators Dio, Manowar, and the almighty Priest; definitely some serious company that demands serious competition and they play like they mean it, no question. Give 'em decent label backing and a recording budget and they'll soon be playing center stage at the next big Euro fest. Rock out, Roll on, Say your prayers.
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