segunda-feira, 10 de setembro de 2012
CRYS (UK, Wales) - Rhyfelwr (LP, Sain, 1981)
The success achieved by Crys in the welsh-language rock scene after the release of "Lan Yn Y Gogledd" single may have not been exactly predictable, but it was no huge surprise either, as there was not that much competition to beat in the first place. Embraced by a very larger label this time (namely Sain, surely the largest welsh-language music record company ever), they surely had the necessary support to fulfill their early promises and deliver the goods in a full album. Well, 1981's "Rhyfelwr" may not be the pinnacle of Crys' career (the follow-up "Tymor Yr Helwyr" is markedly better, in my humble opinion) but it still represents a good stab at hard / heavy music, being surely a groundbreaking release for the whole welsh-singing scene.
To understand the impact and the relevance of Crys, is important to keep in mind that Welsh-language music has not only a small potential market (less than 700.000 people speak it in the first place) but also a sort of social relevance, as it is a useful resource to keep alive a enduring culture surrounded by english-speaking omnipresence. Not many kids are that excited to learn Welsh as a second language in school, for instance, and many adults may not be bothered to hand the tradition on to their kids. So, Rock N Roll in Welsh (much fresher than the "old" folk music) is a way to keep the young guys and girls interested, and even proud of their inheritance - something that seminal bands as Edward H Dafis understood very well, and a banner that Crys was more than happy to held high along the way.
"Roc A Rol" is the opening number on this album, and it pretty much gives away the kind of music you will listen here. A mid-paced rocker with a very simple main riff and a catchy (but very basic) chorus, it has some interesting features (as the good solo section) but fails to leave a lasting impression, being perfectly forgettable as soon as it's over. Not bad at all; just not that good. A description that could be applied to several other songs on the album (such as "Nos Sadwrn" and "Dyma'r Band Cymraeg", the latter bearing a not-really-subtle 'resemblance' to Grand Funk Railroad's "We're An American Band") without any dramatic changes. "Cân Lis" is slightly different (and better), as it has a more upbeat riffing throughout, but the vocal lines are pretty much more of the same, unfortunately.
All things considered, "Rhyfelwr" is a respectable album - not a NWOBHM monster, but a mostly enjoyable listening experience nonetheless. The production is basic, even a bit rough sometimes, but it doesn't really ruin the album in any sense. It's not easy to locate a copy these days, and any CD reissues are highly unlikely - but if you ever see this gothic logo and metal-looking warrior for sale at a reasonable price, give it a try. I guess it more than deserves a chance with any serious NWOBHM collector.
Liam Forde (V/RG), Alun Morgan (LG), Scott Forde (B), Nicky Samuel (D).
01. Roc a Rol (Rock 'n' Roll) 4:13
02. Mwg (Smoke) 4:42
03. Cnau (Nuts) 4:09
04. Cân Lis (Song for Lis) 4:15
05. Dyma'r Band Cymraeg (This is a Welsh Band) 3:46
06. Nos Sadwrn (Saturday Night) 3:45
07. Noson Dawel Lawn (Noise in a Silent Night) 4:42
08. Rhyfelwr (Warrior) 7:45
Have you been involved with any of the bands mentioned here? Have any extra info and/or corrections? Please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know!