Thursday, August 6, 2009
Turn On Your Receiver
After putting themselves on the hard rock map with Razamanaz, Nazareth took their new, forceful style even further the next year on Loud & Proud. With Roger Glover once again at the controls, the group added even higher levels of distortion and energy to create one of the hardest rocking items in their catalog: "Go Down Fighting" starts the album with a sonic boom thanks to its blend of furious riffing with a breathless tempo, and the group's cover of "Teenage Nervous Breakdown" transforms this Little Feat into a runaway locomotive of hard rock riffing. However, the album's definitive moment of heaviness is their extended reworking of Bob Dylan's "The Ballad of Hollis Brown," which drenches the tune in ungodly levels of feedback to create an ominous, horror movie-style feel. Loud & Proud also produced another hit single for the group with a cover of Joni Mitchell's "This Flight Tonight," which transforms the wistful original into a throbbing rock song. The end result of this ultra-heavy approach is that the album lacks the accessibility and high level of experimentation that characterized Razamanaz. That said, the album does retain a few stylistic curve balls to keep listeners on their toes: "Turn on Your Receiver" is a mid-tempo slice of country rock (complete with an exaggerated Southern accent in the vocal) and "Child in the Sun," a stately ballad dominated by acoustic guitars. In the end, Loud & Proud lacks the crossover appeal of Razamanaz but remains a bracing collection of rockers that will entertain Nazareth fans and anyone else with a yen for 1970s hard rock.