Thanks to Sea of Tranquility, I became fascinated with the new wave of British heavy metal (NWOBHM). Pete Pardo and Martin Popoff shared their top 10 NWOBHM albums and one of the albums mentioned was Savage’s Loose ‘N Lethal (1983). Savage turned out to be a very obscure band; there are no Wikipedia articles for their albums. I thought it’d be cool to have at least one lesser-known band in my album collection, so I said, “hey, why not!”
The members that played on Loose ‘N Lethal were Chris Bradley on bass and lead vocals, Andy Dawson on lead guitar and vocals, Wayne Renshaw on guitar, and Mark Brown on drums. Before we get started, I want to point out that I knew what I was getting myself into when I bought this album. I knew the production was rough and the guitar sound was hard on the ears, and I’m fine with that. It just depends on my mood. With all that said, let’s get on with the music!
The album kicks off with “Let it Loose” and first of all, this song has no chorus! The singer literally just sings a line and follows it with “let it loose.” Right off the bat, the vocals are terrible! Bradley sounds like he’s singing the lines with no emotion and no melody whatsoever. On the plus side, I like the guitar riff.
There are some tasteful guitar solos and fingerings in “Cry Wolf.” However, it’s hard to hear them with the heavily distorted guitars playing the main riff in the background. Depending on your distortion level, some may find this song really cool or really hard on the ears. I love the war theme on “Berlin” because it fits with the past times. You know, the new wave of British heavy metal was about rebellion and not fitting in with society. Also, I love the main riff on this song quite a bit; it’s very aggressive.
I was getting Def Leppard’s “Wasted” vibes from the riff on “Dirty Money.” Everyone hears things differently. The production is a lot better on the Def Leppard track, though. If I didn’t have the lyrics, I wouldn’t be able to understand a word Bradley was singing; it’s that bad.
I liked the acoustic bit during the first minute of “Ain’t No Fit Place.” There’s a slight breather before the chaos continues. I thought the harmonies in the chorus were decent. This lyric kept on bothering me throughout the entire song: “If you listen loud enough / You can hear it said / This ain’t no fit place.” Do these guys not have grammar skills? It’s a good song, but it’d be nice if the lyrics made sense.
“On the Rocks” is another one of those songs where the heavy distortion can be too much for some people. This one is a filler for me because the lyrics feel incomplete. After the second verse and chorus, there’s no bridge or anything. So, the guys keep playing until it fades away (since they couldn’t think of a better way to end the track). “The China Run” has a good beat; from what I can hear of the drummer, it sounds pretty good. Also, what are these lyrics: “See the heroin dealer / Stealing off the kids getting high”? If that’s reality, then that’s sad.
I already don’t like Bradley’s vocals, but on “White Hot,” it sounds like he’s just had way too many beers and started doing karaoke in some bar. Don’t even get me started on the chorus! I love the guitar riff, though. I think it’s so bada**!
Next up, we have the three bonus tracks: “No Cause to Kill,” “The Devil Takes You,” and “Back on the Road.” These are 1980 demos and the guitar distortion is more bearable on the ears. Sadly, the vocals are soft in the mix. But on the plus side, the drums and hi-hat are louder in the mix. The hi-hat is extremely noticeable on tracks like “No Cause to Kill” and “The Devil Takes You,” while “Back on the Road” has a bit of swing to it. Too bad the songbook didn’t include the lyrics for the demo tracks.
I’m going to include the bonus tracks in my score. So, I enjoyed 6.5 out of the 11 songs (seven tracks got half points because of the heavily distorted guitars); that is about 59 percent. With that in mind, I’m going to give Savage’s Loose ‘N Lethal a rating of 3 out of 5 stars. I enjoy this album as background music and I love the vibe that it was going for, but the production is terrible. These are just my thoughts, though.
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