Saturday, November 26, 2016

Nutz - 1974 - Nutz

Nutz 
1974 
Nutz




01. Poor Man — 2:20
02. Ain’t No Thanks To You — 4:17
03. Spoke In A Wheel — 3:33
04. I Can’t Unwind — 2:54
05. Can’t Tell Her Why — 4:56
06. As Far As The Eye Can See — 3:36
07. Love Will Last Forever — 2:33
08. Light Of Day — 4:27
09. Round And Round — 3:44
10. Joke — 3:45
Bonuses:
11. Seeing Is Believing (Live) — 6:46
12. Loser (Live) — 3:55
13. Pushed Around (Live) — 4:19
14. You Better Watch Out (Live) — 6:40

Personnel:
Dave Lloyd — lead vocals, guitar
Mick Devonport — lead guitar, vocals, lead vocals (07)
Keith Mulholland — bass, vocals
John Mylett — drums, percussion
+
John «Rabbit» Bundrick — piano & organ (05,08)
Chris Hughes — brass (10)
John Atnhony – producer



Formed in Liverpool, England, in 1973 by singer Dave Lloyd, guitarist Mick Devonport, bassist Keith Mulholland, and drummer John Mylett, hard rockers Nutz distinguished themselves as one of the decade's most undistinguished second-tier acts. None of their four albums for A&M -- 1974's Nutz, 1975's Nutz Too, 1976's Hard Nutz (introducing keyboard player Kenny Newton), or 1977's Nutz Live Cutz -- fared particularly well, and occasional support tours with Black Sabbath and Budgie (not to mention a Friday night slot at the 1976 Reading Festival) also failed to further their cause.

By 1979 the band was sputtering to a halt, but when their song "Bootliggers" was surprisingly chosen for inclusion on 1980's Metal for Muthas (a compilation of emerging New Wave of British Heavy Metal talent like Iron Maiden, Praying Mantis, and Samson), Nutz decided to cash in on the younger generation by reinventing themselves as Rage. This barely disguised new version of Nutz (not to be confused with the German power metal trio that appeared a few years later) ejected their keyboard player, recruited additional guitarist Terry Steers, and went on to record three more albums before finally breaking up in 1984.

If you like British hard rock from the 70's this first album from Nutz is hard to beat. Released last year for the first time on CD, I was shocked at the great sound - I'd had a version on mp3 that I'd been listening to that didn't do this thing justice at all. These guys recorded four albums from 1974 to 1977, and they got it right the first time out. Despite building a loyal fan base and touring at various times with Black Sabbath, UFO, and Budgie, these guys never had any commercial success, their albums didn't sell well at all.

Their first album was an interesting and varied affair in which the band played with several different styles without losing their identity. Many of the songs use acoustic or progressive rock introductions to lead into blues-rock pieces, sometimes in very inventive ways. There are also some very successful progressive folk songs, a direction the band dropped after this album. It's a shame, as the catchy, carnival-like "Round and Round" suggested that this band could have done some fine things with the style. It's a track that bears repeated listening, the parade-ground drumming overlaid by acoustic and electric guitars and a simple but urgent vocal line. Here and throughout the album the vocal harmonies are impressive, more so than on any of their later works. For me though the highlight is the second track, "Ain't No Thanks To You", it's fecken awesome. A brilliant album of hard but not too heavy 1970's rock. The four bonus tracks are from 1977's "Nutz Live Cutz", by this time they had added a keyboard player.

The first album by Nutz was an interesting and varied affair in which the band played with several different styles without losing their identity. Many of the songs use acoustic or progressive rock introductions to lead into blues-rock pieces, sometimes in very inventive ways. There are also some very successful progressive folk songs, a direction the band dropped after this album. It's a shame, as the catchy, carnival-like "Round and Round" suggested that this band could have done some fine things with the style. It's a track that bears repeated listening, the parade-ground drumming overlaid by acoustic and electric guitars and a simple but urgent vocal line. Here and throughout the album the vocal harmonies are impressive, more so than on any of their later works. Nutz got everything right on their first album, but somehow failed to build on this solid foundation.

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