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Sunday, June 23, 2024

Strife - Back To Thunder (1977-78 uk, stunning hard rock, 2021 remaster and expanded)

Liverpool based three piece Strife emerged during the mid-seventies amassing a strong live following on the club circuit and releasing an impressive debut album 'Rush' on the Chrysalis label. It was a work of intriguing possibilities, embracing both progressive and harder rock. Their songs were long and convoluted yet also signalled a penchant for melody and purpose that elevated them above the run of the mill units operating at the same time. Sadly, their label failed to recognise the potential and allowed the band to slip between the cracks, and ultimately, due to a contractual production dispute, the band was left in limbo.

Despite facing almost overwhelming odds, the band managed to eventually pick themselves up and negotiated a new record deal with the Gull label, the same outfit that signed Judas Priest and released their first two albums. The resulting Strife album, 'Back To Thunder', was as impressive as their debut, but less flamboyant and more focussed. Indeed, if it wasn't for the fact that they were just ahead of the rejuvenated interest in British hard rock (the NWOBHM) they could well have been sitting comfortably as one of the key acts operating on the scene.

Housing eight tracks, the album boasts a number of standout compositions, including 'Feel So Good', 'Shockproof, 'Sky' and the intriguingly titled 'Fool Injected Overlap'. All solid, punchy hard rock tracks that saw the band embrace a new stylistic approach whilst keeping their progressive rock influences proudly on display. Housed in one of the era's most attractive album sleeves, the record also boasts the appearance of keyboard wizard Don Airey, who was at the time a member of progressive giants Collosseum II."
by Derek Oliver

1. Shockproof - 3:34
2. Let Me Down - 5:15
3. Feel So Good - 2:51
4. Sky - 6:07
5. You Are What You Are - 3:53
6. Red Sun (Gordon Rowley) - 3:33
7. Fool Injected Overlap - 6:32
8. Weary Traveller - 3:50
9. You Don't Know - 2:54
10.School - 4:08
11.Go - 2:33
12.Unknown - 4:36
All songs by John Reid except where indicated
Bonus Tracks 9-12

*Gordon Rowley - Bass, Gong, Vocals
*John Reid - Vocals, Guitar
*David Williams - Drums, Percussion, Backing Vocals
*Don Airey - Keyboards (Tracks 4,7,8)