Although the New Wave of British Heavy Metal ain't so new anymore, there appears to be renewed interest in the movement. Iron Maiden, Def Leppard, Saxon and Praying Mantis are all NWOBHM heavy hitters that have released material within the past year or so (either through archival DVD footage or new albums). Now add Tygers of Pan Tang to that list. Taking their name from a Michael Moorcock book called Stormbringer — Pan Tang was an evil city and the Tygers were creatures Pan Tang's warriors took with them into battle — these guys simply got lost among bigger bands. But their music, namely 1980's Wild Cat album, along with Spitfire Records' reissues of subsequent discs, have ensured their legacy. The band was even invited to play Germany's Wacken Open Air Festival in the late Nineties and again this year.
Now comes Live in The Roar, a set recorded in 2003 but featuring only one original member: guitarist Robb Weir. A quartet of no-names rounds out the band, and ridiculously low-in-the-mix crowd noise gives this album an air of desperation as singer Richie Wicks zealously encourages an inaudible audience to sing along. Still, much of the music on Live in The Roar sounds fantastic albeit a bit dated. Such melodic rockers as the riff-happy "Lonely At the Top" and the power-chord scorcher "Don't Stop By" fit in rather nicely with newer tracks, including the talk-box rocker "Cybernation," the slow burner "Mystical" and the innuendo-laced "Bad Bad Kitty." But covers of "Cat Scratch Fever" and "Love Potion No. 9" are pointless.
Editor's note: Live in the Roar can be ordered directly from Angel Air Records at : http://www.angelair.co.uk/