Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2019
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

Perfect Friends - 95%

SweetLeaf95, September 2nd, 2017

To those in search of an '80s metal record that does a solid job at reviving the classic '70s grooves while blending in the '80s fun glamour, this is your record. With the perfect distribution of powerful capability, solo highlights, and melody, no Deep Purple fan should pass this up. While it certainly isn't the same as Machine Head or Fireball, it deserves a spot right up in there with those records. Most importantly, any band that can combine accessibility with a stern level of technicality needs some recognition.

There's not a moment on Perfect Strangers that lacks a lot of complexion. Hard guitar riffs backed by keyboards are all over the place, and Ritchie Blackmore and Jon Lord take turns showcasing their capabilities. While "Mean Streak" gives Blackmore the spotlight with a crushing solo, "Nobody's Home" gives Lord the torch, containing a ferocious keyboard solo that would make the track nothing without it. Of course, the heaviness is presented everywhere, and the two together create a very thick atmosphere where its heavy enough, but isn't too intimidating. When one is in charge of driving the song, the other never fails to back it up with superb rhythm. Plus, this much keyboard work would help it fit right in with what was going on in the music scene of 1984.

Every song has a lot of strength in melody, focusing on the instrumentation or not. Ian Gillan's vocals are as strong as ever, with melodic and clean outbursts from cover to cover. "Knocking At Your Backdoor" and the title track are the two most obvious examples of this, showing his ability to be raucous without needing to scream or use harsh vocals. This fits perfectly with one of my favorites, "Under The Gun". It's played in a minor key, giving it an angrier aura, as well as a deep distortion. Gillans smooth vocals fit right in with that, altogether making this one of the speedier tracks on the record.

Most of the tracks are catchy to some degree, making it accessible to many different music lovers. But the closer, "Hungry Daze" definitely holds the title for catchiest. Ian Paice's drumming and Roger Glover's bass playing are what keep this one heavy, to side with the catchier, more poppy sounding keyboard that takes charge of the rhythm part here. If you can put out a record that is catchy, complex, and heavy in equal doses, then there's almost no doubt that it will be spectacular. How some fans turn this down or won't give it a chance? I'll never know. Their loss.