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BRB: Razorback-First Bite

A little supergroup of sorts, BRB were comprised of guitarist Del Bromham (Stray), bassist Gordon Rowley (Nightwing), and drummer Steve Bartley (Nightwing). The story has it that Rowley tried to convince Bromham for quite some time to join Nightwing to no avail (both Nightwing & Stray were fairly popular bands on the British rock scene in the '70s and '80s) until finally the duo, along with Bartley, decided to form a new band under the name Razorback. The album First Bite was recorded, but never released, as Gordon subsequently became quite ill and the project was shelved. In addition, a fire broke out at the studio and most of the master tapes were destroyed. Thankfully, many years later, the original mixes were discovered, and with the aid of modern technology have been transferred to CD for official release by Angel Air Records. What you have here is pretty solid power trio rock that no doubt would have found an audience back in 1987 when the album was originally recorded.

If you've followed either Stray or Nightwing over the years, you can imagine that BRB (they couldn't title this as Razorback, as since there is already another band with that name) sound like a melding of both those bands. This is melodic hard rock, packed with plenty of guitar firepower and some catchy hooks. "The Book" has a memorable chorus and some great riffs from Bromham, and tunes like "Angel Love", "Give 'em Enough Rope", and "Let's Go" pack plenty of hard rock punch. The band do an atmospheric take on the classic song "Morning Dew", and even churn out a ferocious turn on the Sensational Alex Harvey Band song "Faith Healer", with Bromham delivering some sizzling guitar work. Lead vocals throughout are shared between Rowley & Bromham, and are decent enough though somewhat unspectacular. "Mercenary Man" though contains probably the best vocals on the album, a fast paced blues rocker that also sees Bromham cranking out some scorching slide guitar.

As a late '80s collection of bluesy hard rock, Razorback-First Bite fares pretty well. A few of the tunes might classify as filler to some, but there are still plenty of strong rockers here to make this a worthwhile CD to seek out for any Stray or Nightwing fan. Angel Air has also included a cool booklet with plenty of info on both bands and how these three came together to make this album, plus photos. Another great archival release.

Track Listing
1. Give 'em Enough Rope 3:33
2. Faith Healer 6:36
3. Here I Go Again 4:01
4. Let's Go 3:18
5. Mercenary Man 3:24
6. The Game 4:23
7. Morning Dew 3:41
8. Good To Be Alive 3:21
9. Angel Love 3:02
10. The Book 3:56

Added: September 14th 2014
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Angel Air Records
Hits: 1904
Language: english

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