Edging their way through busy traffic on the road back from 80s obscurity come Dutch legends and wrinkly rockers, Highway Chile. That would be a Hendrix reference, not a major route through South America.
It's interesting to note that when HC imploded in 1984, the components left intact were used to assemble the equally legendary Helloise.
Now the wheel has turned full circle, with ex Helloise vocalist Stan Verbraak fronting a reconstructed Highway Chile.
From the outset, without close inspection, you would be forgiven for thinking that the band are spraying corrosive anger throughout these blistering slices of fiery hard rock.
But no, these passionate, articulate lyrics are equal parts middle age angst and a clarion call to save the planet. That dislocation between words and music takes a bit of getting used to.
Fortunately, when it comes to sheer, unanabashed, brazen heavy rock power this band have few peers. From the crunching, venomous opener, 'Keeper Of The Earth'
to the singular, concentrated intensity of 'Free Fighters'
. Both strongly spiked with sturdy melodies.
And that's the beauty of this band's hard rock music. It may be loud, it may be intense, it may be delivered with ferocity, but it's always tuneful, it's never out of control and it always has purpose.
Lightning raids on the strident, axe grinding sound of their past result in further earthily melodic songs like 'Pretending
' and 'Heatwave',
with respective nods of the head to Brit legends Uriah Heep
and Deep Purple.
Later, the band go a step further by covering the Dio/Blackmore cowrite 'Long Live Rock'n'Roll'
. Loud, respectful, microcosmic.
Good, old fashioned heavy rock, crafted with the care of veterans, delivered with the gusto of youth.
Nice one, Alfie.
Written by Brian
Friday, February 20, 2009Show all reviews by BrianRatingsBrian: 6.5/10
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