NWOBHM WEDNESDAY: DEEP SWITCH
Deep Switch was a truly bizarre, one of a kind heavy metal band from Norwich, England, that was formed in 1984. Even though the band existed in the same time and place as bands like Iron Maiden, Diamond Head, Saxon, etc. they were in their own little world and definitely marched to the beat of their own drummer (who by the way had the alias Simon De Montford ). The band issued two demos before unleashing (and yes, unleashing is the best word to describe the act of "issuing" this lone-LP) "Nine Inches Of God" in 1986. There is no easy way to describe the band's sound or live act other than to say both were quirky and strange. While live reviews are near impossible to hunt down from the looks of pictures taken during shows (and obviously we can take a cue or from the band's promo picture above), Deep Switch were as much about image as they were sound. With a strange Rocky Horror meets Alice Cooper theatrical show and , as hinted at by the drummer's name, the band's use of alias their niche was certainly carved in the scene. As "interesting" as their image was the music was also quite varied. With opener "Pigfeeder" trying to take Venom, Alice Cooper and Demon apart of fit them haphazardly back together the album starts off so odd it makes you wonder if you should dare trek on. It isn't a terrible opener as it is heavy and crunchy here and there. It is simply a strange way to start off. Thankfully you have the Satan meets Merciful Fate/Hell like numbers "The Poison Lake" and "The Dark Angel" and the heavy title cut. Many have mentioned the odd ballad "Lovers Of The Dream" and frankly it does throw me off. Yet there is something about it I like. "Time Machine" is also odd with its crazy Rush meets Iron Maiden in pop-music hell vibe. Honestly as weird as it all sounds the band did at least try to do something different during an era when far too many bands sounded alike. I give them props for that and this is an album I turn to when I just want something "different". Yes, the album is very inconsistent no matter how you slice it. Thankfully the 2010 re-release from Shadow Kingdom Records comes packed with bonus demo tracks to make up for that. Interestingly enough some of those demo cuts are better in a more "heavier" and "raw" kind of way. The 2010 re-release also features some unreleased material if I'm not mistaken. Here's the thing though: the album is dirt cheap. Even brand new copies are easy to find under $10.00 with shipping! Sure, this self-financed release was probably the final straw for the band (supposedly they folded mere months after it's release) but it isn't just for NWOBHM purists. Those looking for heavy metal bands that don't conform to the strict standards of traditional heavy metal will appreciate just what these guys brought to the table. Even the album's back cover quote is different: "If you are not satisfied for any reason, return your copy, (stating where and when purchased), to Deep Switch and we guarantee that you will be tracked down and killed. BEST WHEN LOUD". How can you not love that?