August Redmoon: Heavy Metal U.S.A.
Emerging into the LA scene in 1980, August Redmoon can, with hindsight, be seen as trailblazers in US metal, their approach heavily influenced by the NWOBHM, while setting a sound that the likes of Mötley Crüe would popularise on their early albums. Here Cherry Red/Lemon Records give us the welcome opportunity to reappraise the limited August Redmoon catalogue by reissuing their one and only mini-album, Fools Are Never Alone, and adding seven bonus cuts previously available on the High Voltage Records, Fools… reissue to five live tracks and the Quiet Riot cover "One In A Million", which I believe, had to be removed from subsequent pressings of the initial Fools release for legal reasons.
Fools Are Never Alone itself is a fine, if straight up metal beast, hints of many UK acts revealed with a more American sense of style, as chunky guitars combine with rip-roaring choruses and a real sense of frantic frenzy. Singer Michael Henry could hardly have been considered one of the best, pure vocalists we've ever heard and yet his sass and fire set the likes of "Jeckyll 'N' Hyde" or "Bump In The Night" alight through the sheer urgency of his delivery. It's no real surprise that copies of the original vinyl issue of this release still change hands for silly money. With the correct exposure and the managerial backing that say, Great White achieved, it's no stretch to suggest that this release could and should have been the beginnings of something big.
As it was, the break never came and the rest of the studio cuts are made up of tracks from a stand alone compilation ("Fear No Evil" featured on Metal Massacre IV), band rehearsals ("Soar With The Eagle" being the standout) and a demo cassette from when the band had evolved into Terracuda. Add in "One In A Million" and four hugely infectious, if undoubtedly bootleg quality, live cuts – which truly illustrate why August Redmoon had a rabid following (as witnessed here) in the Orange County clubs – and the Heavy Metal USA collection really is an engaging introduction to a band we really should have known long ago.
Many more cultured exponents of both the US metal style and glam excess that August Redmoon combined so well would go on to achieve mega stardom across the globe. Yet listening to this 17 track release – and especially the original mini-album and Terracuda cuts – you'll struggle to find a band that did it with more conviction, or carefree abandon than August Redmoon. They maybe didn't get an opportunity to refine their sound, but they left a short legacy that stands up, to this very day, in a stronger fashion than many bands who've gone on to become household names could ever have hoped for.
1.FOOLS ARE NEVER ALONE
2.JECKYLL 'N' HYDE
3.BUMP IN THE NIGHT
4.WE KNOW WHAT YOU WANT
5.DON'T STOP ME
6.FEAR NO EVIL
7.SOAR WITH THE EAGLE
8.HEAVY METAL U.S.A.
10.LOUD & PROUD
12.SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST
13.ONE IN A MILLION (BONUS TRACK)
14.OVER THE EDGE (Live 1983 – Previously Unreleased)
15.JECKYLL 'N' HYDE (Live 1983 – Previously Unreleased)
16.SOAR WITH THE EAGLE (Live 1983 – Previously Unreleased)
17.FEAR NO EVIL (Live 1983 – Previously Unreleased)
Added: August 4th 2015
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: August Redmoon at Cherry Red
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