NWOBHM WEDNESDAY: ROGUE MALE
As you can see for this weeks NWOBHM choice Metal Mark has already done a great job covering the short career of England's Rogue Male:
What more can be said than has been said already by Mark? Being dubbed by Kerrang as the "Next big Thing" does not in fact guarantee success. Rogue Male were a late entry into the NWOBHM movement. Formed in the early eighties by vocalist/guitarist Jim Lyttle (who had been in the Northern Irish punk band Pretty Boy Floyd and The Gems) after he had relocated to London. Exposed to the British metal scene he decided to take his punk rock roots and mix in some metal and thus Rogue Male was born. With a band put together Jim hit the road to bring his "new" sound to the masses (think Motorhead, Tank, Raven, Saxon and Judas Priest all mashed together) and sure enough before too long a record deal was in place. First Visit (released in 1985 on Music For Nations) established the band. Animal Man (also on Music For Nations) was released the following year. Both albums were well received and things looked promising for the band. As is par for the course with far too many NWOBHM acts though label issues would deal a death blow.The band would play their final show in late 1987. Fast forward to 2009 and Lyttle picked up the pieces and carried on. No doubt helped by the positive response to the Metal Mind re-issues Rogue Male released Nail It in 2009 to positive reviews. With retro metal bands all the rage these days Rogue Male just might be able to grab that glory that eluded them the first time around. If you haven't already make sure you check out First Visit. Despite the bands futuristic space theme (which made them look like they shopped at the same store that David Bowie did!) their music is what matters. First Visit is an album that while dated by 1985 is still a worthwhile NWOBHM release.
Metal Mark says-
Poor Rogue Male, every time they have or will ever be mentioned that unfulfilled prediction from Kerrang will always be brought up. I think that Kerrang was looking a new British band to hang their hopes on, but this wasn't the right pack. Now that doesn't mean these guys were not worhtwhile. Despite the prediction and their rather silly look this band were quite decent particularly on their debut. They sound like kind of a Motorhead lite with some early Tank thrown in. So they couldn't be accused of being the most original acts of all time. Yet they handled their rough and ready style of metal quite well as eveidenced in songs like "Crazy motorcycle", "Get off my back" and unemployment. The hooks are solid and I took to most of the tracks on this album right away. I can't quite say the same for the follow-up "Animal Man". Their sophomore album lacks the punch and the good production values of "First visit". It's not bad, but comes across as being rushed and contains ideas that are not quite fleshed out all of the way. I have yet to hear "Nail it" so can't really comment on it. Truthfully this is a band I was surprised to see return just because it had been so long sice they broke up, but credit to Lyttle for giving it another run. They may always be strapped with that label they never lived up to, but that doesn't change the fact that their debut is certainly worth a listen.