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Waysted: Vices (reissue)

Having parted with legendary rockers UFO, bassist Pete Way intended to team up with Motorhead man "Fast" Eddie Clarke in Fastway, before record label politics intervened. A brief stint helping out in Ozzy Osbourne's touring band then found Way forming the band Waysted with Scottish frontman Fin Muir, drummer Frank Noon (ex-Def Leppard) and guitarists Paul Raymond (also ex-UFO) and Ronnie Kayfield. Vices was their debut and while it never set the heather on fire in terms of sales, it is an album which has always been held in high esteem by those in the know. Bridging the gap between UFO's classic rock template and the more commercially focused 80s hard rock scene, this 1983 album hits hard, even if its production hasn't aged as well as could be hoped for. Still, with this HNE/Cherry Red reissue coming replete with an Andy Pearce remaster, some of the intended snarl has been restored to a set of songs which really do surprise with their vibrancy. Fin combined a sharp delivery to a real shot of aggression and it is his voice which often takes the likes of "All Belongs To You" by the balls and squeezes until its knees go weak. However not to be outdone is the guitar pair of Raymond and Kayfield, who between them set the solos for stun and the riffs for riot. The likes of "Toy With The Passion" and "Love Loaded" dart in for the kill, revealing the groove that Way made his UFO name with and yet they also have the sort of choruses that would set the charts alight in the 80s. However it is possibly the least expected track which makes the longest, lasting mark, "Women In Chains" an eerie, yet bristling rocker which adds an atmospheric threat which illustrates Raymond's keyboard skills, while standing the test of time in a most unexpected way; Fin's vocals an Ozzy-esque revelation.

Producer for the album was UFO collaborator Mick Glossop, a decision somewhat foisted upon the band (who had already been working with John Fiddler in pre-production) by their record label Chysalis. Talk has long been that Glossop's production took the edge somewhat off what the band had hoped for and it is borne out through the (for the first time on CD) addition of the 'Maison Rouge Mixes', where six album tracks are delivered with a sense of urgency the album itself often lacks; "Sleazy" and the Jefferson Airplane cover "Somebody To Love" prime examples.

The Good, The Bad And The Waysted album would follow two years later, before Fin departed and Danny Vaughn (of future Tyketto fame) was introduced in an effort to enter the more commercially minded USA market. The resultant album, Save Your Prayers, is still revered by melodic rock lovers, yet it spelled the end for Waysted, as Way rejoined UFO. The band did return in 2000, Way, Fin and a revolving cast delivering a further four albums before an acrimonious split between the main pair seems to have ended the band for good. However for many Vices is still Waysted's finest moment and it's one well worthy of this excellent reappraisal, where liner notes featuring contributions from Way, Fin, Raymond and Glossop make for a further interesting addition.

Track Listing
1. Love Loaded
2. Women In Chains
3. Sleazy
4. Night Of The Wolf
5. Toy With The Passion
6. Right From The Start
7. Hot Love
8. All Belongs To You
9. Somebody To Love
10. Love Loaded (Maison Rouge mix)
11. Sleazy (Maison Rouge mix)
12. Night Of The Wolf (Maison Rouge mix)
13. Right From The Start (Maison Rouge mix)
14. All BelongsTo You (Maison Rouge mix)
15. Somebody To Love (Maison Rouge mix)

Added: April 18th 2015
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Vices at Cherry Red
Hits: 3303
Language: english

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