MORE: Warhead LP. USA print 1981. Great N.W.O.B.H.M. Check samples
Label: Atlantic SD 19295
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album
Genre: Heavy Metal
A1 Road Rocket 3:54
A2 Fire 3:31 [Arthur Brown cover version http://youtu.be/NOErZuzZpS8 ]
A3 Soldier 4:52
A4 Depression 5:00
B1 Warhead 3:46
B2 Way Of The World 3:42
B3 We Are The Band 4:30
B4 I Have No Answers 5:42
More! Though rarely mentioned as one of the luminaries of the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal movement, these ballsy Brits were actually one of the few NWOBHM bands to get scooped up by a major label in the early years of the scene. Following an impressive radio session performance on BBC Radio Ones Friday Rock Show, Atlantic Records came calling. One can be sure that Atlantic were hoping to score another hard rock money-maker like they did just a year earlier with AC/DCs Back In Black, but unfortunately Warhead did not make much of a splash in North America, although there were pockets of success in Europe. Nevertheless, Atlantic kept More around for another album, 1982s Blood And Thunder.
The centrepiece of the More line-up was guitarist Kenny Cox, a talented axe man that played with a muscular heavy metal style. Coxs guitar playing also showed a definitive 70s blues rock influence. Mores vocalist on the Warhead album was Paul Mario Day, an ex-member of Iron Maiden, believe it or not, and a future member of Wildfire. Day left More before completion of their 1982 album Blood And Thunder (after a clashing of egos with Cox). The U.S version is slightly different compared to the United Kingdom (K50775)version. In the UK version the text Warhead appears above the band logo on the European version as opposed to below the logo on the U.S release.
More were easily one of the more professional bands wrapped up in the NWOBHM movement. They had the musical chops and the advantage of major label production values. Indeed, this certainly feels like a veteran band at work. Kenny Cox was a technically proficient guitarist, and vocalist Paul Mario Day was a capable (though unremarkable) singer & Warhead has the endearing or adventurous quality that many of the early NWOBHM albums had to offer. This, despite Mores superior musical skills. This is an essential album.
More – Road Rocket (it is working, but only has audio):
From the explosion of fast buzzsaw guitars, driving vocal melodies, and general wall of sound approach of the opening track Warhead you know youre in store for some raucous, hard rockin and fun NWOBHM in this one. More has an interesting sound the speed and nastiness of Tank riffs, a very slight touch of the evil riffage of Angel Witch or Sabbath, the 70s rock retention of many other NWOBHM acts, but a focus on catchy melodies thrown in the mix something they do better than many of their contemporaries. As you may already know More had major label support, something that eluded many bands from the era and here it shows, professionalism in the songs, as well as a solid, crisp mix benefits this LP well. Vocalist Paul Mario Day had a stint with NWOBHMers Wildfire who sound very similar to these guys. What we have here is a band with some decent heaviness, and even some ever-so-slight evil undertones, yet with prominent major label influence coming through; clean sound, with catchy melodies and production effects (see the almost doomy number Lord of Twilight too see this blend at work).
Anyway, I guess for points of comparison we could cite Witchfynde. Witchfynde also had some label success for a time riding the crest of the movement; in addition there is based on a similar approach gloomy, epic scariness (doomness at times) scattered throughout what is primarily energetic, catchy 70s rock. Heavier parts can be found in the album and speed, but never abandons those strong vocal hooks.
Way of the World rocks almost as hard as Riot at the same period. Simple power chords, screaming high shrieks, rockin out, biker style leads make up 70% of a track of which the main focus is the gentle melodic vocal delivery of Well I know, the way of the world In the last verse, the attitude picks up a bit, and Paul Mario Day sounds a bit like DiAnno with a certain London gruffness coming through. Either way, if Atlantic wanted to take a heavy band and stir it up with commercially acceptable power melodies thats what they get with album. Tracks like Warhead a very metal number even retain this same stylistic approach.
Lets talk Warhead anyway. Pretty much that NWOBHM proto thrash thing going on here. Definitely large traces of metal to be found in this one, fast crunchy riffage and the nuclear war lyrics to boot; something we all know became a staple feature of songs in the thrash metal years. One of my favorite cuts along with the excellently done Fire. Another heavy cut which kicks total ass totally simplistic, catchy riffage intertwined with excellent vocal catchiness. The chorus vocal kills, with the tough and effective Fire! Ill take you to buuuuuurn! excellent and it WILL be getting stuck in your head believe me. This one with its mixture of riffage and catchy chorus melodies is definitely likely to draw comparisons to Samson.
The rest of the album offers some strong tracks, catchy with a definitely toughness in the riffs. The most interesting parts in guitar come probably near the end of I Have No Answers or maybe the lead in Soldier.
In general the album has a strong mixture of heavy riffs and great melodies (these being perhaps best evidenced in We are the Band). Some cool bass comes out from time to time really mathematically sitting well with the strong guitar/vocal formulas. Highlights are definitely the Thin Lizzy-ish We are the Band, Fire and the energetic title track.
I would have no problem recommending this offering particularly if you like Samson, Wildfire & Witchfynde. Classic NWOBHM here.
More – Warhead
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best NWOBHM LPs you never heard.They were as good as early Def Leppard, Diamond Head or Saxon. (The vocalist on this album, Paul Day, sang for an early incarnation of Maiden.) Heavy-fast-but-melodic, typical UK metal c.79-82.
More – We Are The Band Live @ Hard Rock Hell VI Pwllheli Wales (1-12-2012)
with Chris Tsangarides on guitar and Mike? Freeland on vocals (vocalist with Praying Mantis)
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good album
This debut by MORE is a very good album. It has fierce vocals by Paul Mario Day (one of the guys that went through Iron Maiden berfore the band recorded its first album), and an incredible level of energy. I would not dare to say this is better than their second (and last) album BLOOD & THUNDER, because I think that album is a masterpiece of metal, one of my all time favorites. Even so, WARHEAD is sheer British heavy metal from the early eighties, you will sense a smile forming up in your face, like a surprise visit of a long distance beloved friend.