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Not To Be Missed - 85%

brocashelm, September 28th, 2009

Appearing as the last flickers of light from the NWOBHM faded over the horizon, this band of rough but tender rockers appeared with some damn fine straight ahead metal on tap. Which really stinks because by ’85 almost nobody was interested in this sort of no frills, hi-quality basic UK metal. Terribly unfashionable, Chariot had made a name for themselves in the clubs of London and issued a prior record in 1984’s The Warrior (good stuff though not as good as this one).

Their sound, kind of like Anvil but with less goofy charm and more song based smarts, was miles away from the thrash metal then in force, but it with ashamed hindsight that one revisits albums like this these days. I admit I didn’t give the blokes the time of day then, but upon acquiring their records years later I began to see the light. Guitarist and singer Pete Franklin spearheads the band, both of his duties being performed with trusty flair. But what really impresses here are the songs, which are uniformly impressive in the workmanlike way they build from basic ingredients to produce classic tunes. “Screams The Night” is particularly ear-grabbing, while “Strangers” and “This Time You Lose” use the band’s tight and snappy rythym section to best advantage.

Melodic but far from sappy, Chariot were true blue and unflinchingly genuine in their mission, which gives even the lesser songs here an impeachable touch of passion. Great stuff, long gone and missed, so start turning over those rocks to grab one.