Budgie-In for the kill, 1974
Like most people on this side of the Atlantic, I got into Budgie after hearing Metallica cover their songs "Breadfan" and "Crash course in brain surgery". Of course after hearing the originals, I realized that Metallica's versions were just average covers. During the 1970's Budgie were actually a bit ahead of their time and really a special band that gets overlooked at times. The first four albums are particularly interesting and "In for the kill" was their fourth album. Oftentimes they are referred to as sounding like both Black Sabbath and early Rush. The Black Sabbath comparison is not without just cause, but they only sound like Sabbath here and there. The early Rush comparison is a little more accurate except that it should actually say early Rush sounded like Budgie since Budgie came first. Budgie are not what you would call accessible to everyone because they obviously didn't write songs for everyone. They may be off the wall at times, but they were also quite brilliant and probably a bit ahead of their time. "In for the kill' may be a bit more focused than some of their other albums in that the songs tend to wander off a little less and be a bit more on track. Budgie always amaze me because of the amount of sound they were able to get from just three instruments. They are easily able to blend heavy pounding riffs with blues rock and they are able to go from a simple riff to an involved jam at the drop of a hat. They had their own take on what the music should be like and that's a lot of what makes them special more than thirty years after the fact. Metallica loved them and I think Rush were likely influenced by them early on and Budgie were probably a big influence on a number of New Wave of British Heavy Metal bands as well. My favorite songs include the title track, "Crash course in brain surgery", "Zoom Club" and "Living on your own". If you have never heard Budgie before then I would recommend this album or their third effort "Never turn your back on a friend".