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Born in the late 60's, Chesy hails from a Welsh mining village with a long name and was pretty glad when he got the Hell out of there. He got into Rock/Metal in about 1980, thanks to a TISWAS related incident (Rainbow video for All Night Long) and thankfully has never looked back. Chesy often sang solo in the school choir, but thanks to a puberty related incident his voice is now completely bolloxed, although in his own head Paul thinks he sounds like a blend of Coverdale and Dio (R.I.P). He was brought up on the classics - Deep Purple, Rainbow, Thin Lizzy, Rush, Whitesnake and loved melodic rock and the Hair Bands of the 80's. (Nowadays, he has progressed a little and prefers a more technical and/or progressive metal - Dream Theater, Rush, Symphony X, Porcupine Tree, Pain Of Salvation, Spock's Beard. He hates Black and Death Metal (can't stand the grunting) but for some unknown reason loves the magnificent Opeth! He wont stop this blog until his beloved FM finally play the likes of the NEC as a headlining act!!!

Saturday 31 October 2015

Def Leppard - 'Def Leppard' Album review

Def Leppard (album title) is their first album in seven years since the much praised ‘Songs From The Sparkle Lounge’. Seven! In most peoples/ bands timescales, seven years is an eternity. Some bands have formed, disbanded and reformed in seven years. For the Leps though it’s a (Yorkshire) Tea break.

Apparently the band got together with the idea of putting a three track EP out. Before you could say ‘Up The Blades!’ twelve songs had been written. It’s the first time ever that the lads have not had the backing of a record deal in place and because of the freedom in doing something for themselves (and the fans of course) the early word on the streets is that it is a return to form. It’s on release via earMUSIC

The early word on the streets is spot on. Def Leppard is probably their finest release since those heady days of the 80s. Lets face it Leppard don’t need to release a new album. They certainly don’t need the money. It’s a huge testament to them that they wanted to release an album, because anyone that goes to see them in the 21st Century probably isn’t interested on hearing anything after Hysteria. They are sitting on a back catalogue of songs that are massive anthems. I get a sneaky feeling that one or two at least are good enough to break into this ‘classic’ set list they have generated for themselves over their (almost) 40 years together.

There’s a couple of songs on there that could have done with being cut from the album, but there’s a nucleus of songs at the early end of the album that sound as if they belonged to the Pyromania era. In particular, the gorgeous ‘Dangerous’, the funky ‘Man Enough’, and the guitar laden ‘Sea Of Love’ with its Lynyrd-esque backing vocals. Opener ‘Lets Go’ has the hallmarks of ‘Pour Some Sugar on Me’ flowing through the riff. On the ballad ‘We Belong’ is a cool track as all five get a shot at lead vocals. It’s uncanny as to how close they all sound, which is why the harmonies are always so bloody good! ‘All Time High’ adds some welly back into proceedings; It’s a high energy full on rocker, choc full of Leppard’s layered vocals (pat.pending). ‘Battle Of My Own’ is an interesting mix of Led Zep, Coverdale Page and Chris Cornell’s ‘Seasons’.

Why this hasn’t happened with earlier albums is a mystery. Finally Def Leppard have played firmly to their strengths  -huge harmonies, and even bigger riffs.

The ‘older guard’ of rock music has certainly played their part in the music of 2015. Thunder have given us one of their finest ever albums, Bands such as FM Romeos Daughter and Europe have all made considerable valuable contributions – all of whom are proving that rock certainly aint dead.

Def Leppard have produced an album that few in 2015 would have thought was possible.  Its got Def Leppard running through it like a stick of rock, but is still modern and fresh in its approach

If this is to be their final album, then this is one decent way to go out. Def Leppard will certainly be lapped up by their existing fan base and deservedly so. The live gigs will/should be around for some time yet, in the meantime, get onto the retailer of your choice, sit back and enjoy the ride.

Score 88/100

Lets Go
Man Enough
We Belong
Sea Of Love
All Time High
Battle Of My Own
Broke ‘N’ Brokenhearted
Forever Young
Last Dance
Wings Of An Angel
Blind Faith

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