Saturday, 24 March 2012

Ashes To Ashes

As you might be able to tell by now, the NWOBHM bands I dig the most are the ones who had obviously laid down solid roots in the 70's and, more often than not, simply injected an aggressive early 80's swagger into proceedings..  Them, or the long-standing but anonymous-till-then outfits whose time had eventually come around and were now cynically seen as worthy of consideration, due to being vaguely commercially viable courtesy of a tentative 'New Wave Of British Heavy Metal' affiliation..  So, with a foot firmly planted in both sides of my hypothetical divide, here's yet another case in point for your careful consideration..  Mansfield's seemingly pseudo-metal, but more like low-key majestic rock-warrior marauders: Limelight!  Whose roots can be traced all the way back to 1967 if you happen to give a shit..  Unsurprisingly, this particular record caught my eye immediately, from the revealing cover photo on, obviously offering enough coiffured clues to the eagle-eyed observer (not to mention one of the axe-master siblings mashing it up on a double neck)..  It's apparent from the off, that these fellas viewed themselves as the semi-logical bastard offspring of those pretentious and decadent decades..  There's no doubt left after an initial spin, that the additional fifteen years immersion in prog and hard rock had certainly left its mark on these crafty veterans..  Remarkably, the brothers Scrimshaw were actually aiming for a chart hit with this release..  No mean feat when you think about it really, technically accomplished as they were, the jams were kept rigorously reined in and commendably concise..  Ultimately renaming the 1984 re-release of their solitary self titled LP from '81, 'Ashes To Ashes' in a final futile attempt at gaining wider acceptance..  As you can probably guess, instead of the hoped-for adoration, our hapless trio found themselves the target of a great deal of gleeful derision..  Has the passing of time smoothed out their eccentric edges anew?  Only you can decide..

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