Routine Heavy Metal

By Andrew Harries, Melody Maker, June 11, 1977, transcribed by pwrwindows

The impact of new wave music in the record industry appears to have had a curious spin-off - it sparked sudden success for the more conventional heavy metal bands.

The giants of this genre, like Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and Black Sabbath, are, of course, rarely around, but their absence paved the way for bands like Judas Priest and UFO to break through.

But although Britain has exported it abroad since 1968, it's now being successfully imported back again by bands like the Canadian trio Rush. The undying popularity of heavy music was poignantly displayed at their concert at the Manchester Free Trade Hall on Thursday night. The place was packed and the audience reaction was extraordinary.

Rush delivered everything that was expected. It was a tour de force of their best known numbers like "Anthem," "Lake Side Park," "2112" and "Something For Nothing," all carefully executed with lights, tape effects, smoke bombs and massive searchlights from the back of the stage.

Individually, Rush are more than competent and exciting if you enjoy thundering drum rolls, lengthy guitar solos and pounding bass lines. Their quasi-political lyrics are an unusual feature, but it was difficult to hear them with Geddy Lee's high-pitched shriek.

It was a routine celebration of deafening anglicized rock and I found It dull, depressing and dated. But they did ignite the two and half thousand denim clad youngsters into fits of head shaking frenzy and physical distortion.