domingo, 20 de janeiro de 2013
CHARLIE 'UNGRY (UK) - The Chester Road Album (CD, ONR, 2003)
Maybe it's because I listened to it quite a lot, but fact is I actually came to create a sensible sympathy for Charlie 'Ungry. Although far from being bashed or rejected, their "The Chester Road Album" compilation CD is not that well regarded among dedicated NWOBHM collectors, being widely considered as one for the completists. It's not that I completely disagree with this notion (let's be honest, their music is far from being archetypal NWOBHM and may be really unappealing for most die-hard metalheads), but I think they were a good band with a respectable repertoire, being able to craft some interesting - sometimes heavy, sometimes very individualistic - songs in their own right. Even though sometimes they lose the plot completely, I must add.
The humble begginings of Charlie 'Ungry date back to 1976, soon after the splits of Yellow Bird (who came as far as to release the "Attack Attack" single in 1974) and Scruff. From Yellow Bird came Jeff Gibbs (B) and Tony Sando (V), also the main songwriters in Charlie 'Ungry, and Scruff contributed with Steve Protheroe (G) and Andy Demetriou (D). They were hugely influenced by bands such as Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple, as they admit themselves in the booklet of this CD - but were also more than happy to embrace elements that would span from glam rock to psychedelic music, incluiding some Beatles-esque feelings here and there. Not a recipe for skull-crushing Heavy Metal, that's for sure, but nothing too objectionable either. Most of the songs were recorded in a single session in 1978, that would remain totally unreleased until early 1980, when they issued three of those songs ("House on Chester Road", "Preacher" and "Who's My Killer") in a self-financed 7'' EP.
"The Chester Road Album" compiles the full recordings from 1978 and the two songs from 1980, and this CD makes clear for everyone's ears that their association with NWOBHM was much more by chance than design, really. Several songs here have little or nothing to do with Heavy Metal - which is no tragedy at all, as they make quite a pleasant listen nonetheless. From the original 3-track EP, "Who's My Killer" would be the pick of the bunch - a good, heavy song with nice guitar work, although it almost loses direction completely halfway through in a pointless (albeit mercifully brief) interlude that just makes you wonder what the hell they were thinking, honestly. "House on Chester Road" is good too, an energetic rock'n'roll tune with a mellower, catchy chorus, whereas "Preacher" is a melancholical semi-folky song that comes and goes without leaving any lasting impression, to be honest.
Tony Sando (V), Steve Protheroe (G), Jeff Gibbs (B), Andy Demetriou (D).
Also perform: Tony Nurse (G).
01. Who's My Killer 5:43
02. Sometimes I Go Out of My Mind 6:00
03. Try it Again 5:11
04. Where Are You Now Christina 3:53
05. House on Chester Road 4:29
06. To Get Back Home 6:02
07. We're Gonna Ride 4:43
08. Digby Rising 5:31
09. Preacher 3:31
10. Time to Go 3:34
11. Keep the Peace 4:00
12. Memories 4:55
13. Let it Ride 4:49
14. Poor Boy's Blues 4:39
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