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Among all the cases that I always claim as "could have been...", this is probably the worst of them all. London was an LA based glam/heavy metal band that was around as far back as 1978. During their early years their line-up featured future rock stars as Nikki Sixx, Blackie Lawless, Slash, Izzy Stradlin, or Fred Coury and last, but not least, they were a really good band. What happened to these guys is something beyond my comprehension.
They were at the correct time, in the correct place, they had the songs, the attitude, the image, and a charismatic singer, but somehow they failed to attract the attention of major record labels. But what we have to judge here are concrete facts and the case is that "Don't Cry Wolf is a hell of an album!
Have you ever imagined how would be the missing link between W.A.S.P. and Mötley Crüe? Well, stop searching, you've found it here. In fact, Lizzie Grey was around 1976-1977 together with Blackie Lawless and Nikki Sixx in Sister and I'm sure that their common musical background would have a lot of weight here.
The album starts with the quite slow, but pounding and catchy "Drop the Bomb" and carries on with the slightly heavier "Set Me Free". A good start, but things become even better with "Hit and Run Lover", and its infectious chorus, and the incredibly cheesy "Under the Gun". Ok, this one sounds so 80's that it can be even too much for some and the keyboards are cheesy as hell, but I can't help to love its LA glam metal vibe (think in "Hard Ride" from Pantera's "Power Metal").
Side A ends a bit disappointing with a cover of The Beatles' "Oh Darling", but you'll forget this bitter taste as soon as you turn the LP to side B and feel the power of "Fast as Light" and "Put Out the Fire", two incredible speed metal monsters that raise the level of intensity and show how a glam metal band can create great heavy fucking metal. "Killing Time" slows down things a bit, just to increase the level of speed again with the fantastic "We Want Everything".
The closer, "For Whom the Bell Tolls", will sound very familiar to the W.A.S.P. fans as a slightly different version of the same song was included in a re-release of "The Headless Children" and later remade as "The Gypsy Meets the Boy" in "The Crimson Idol".
"Don't Cry Wolf" is far from a perfect album, as you'll find some filler as "Oh Darling" or "Killing Time" and a better production would be more than desirable, but if you like good 80's heavy/glam metal you wouldn't find many things better than this.
Originally written for Ample Desruction 'zine.