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...And Rock Until they Dropped they Certainly did - 85%

Superchard, March 21st, 2019

...And Rock until they dropped they most certainly did, whether you want to take that literally within the context of the sheer relentless, raucous energy of just this album, or literally within the sense that they became washed up by the mid-80's. Perhaps more controversial than they ought to be, depending on who you ask, Raven either wrote the compendium on what a new wave of British heavy metal band should sound like, or was destined to be the cheesiest major act of the scene. There would be no inbetween with Raven given their exaggerated, over the top delivery both on and off the stage. In the interest of not sounding like a crotchety old man that just doesn't get it, I'm going to go ahead and declare myself a fan regardless of their major hiccups later on in their career. When it comes down to it, The Pack is Back was nary an afterthought at the time of this release, and Rock Until You Drop simultaneously raised hell while bringing the circus to town, and trust me when I say this; I get it, NWOBHM isn't the "in" thing anymore, but there is certainly nothing more "metal" than a hellish circus.

For those of you unfamiliar with the band, no Raven doesn't isn't an avant-garde demented carnival, quite the opposite.They don't exactly break any new ground for the rock n' roll world at all as a matter of fact, but what they do do, is perhaps inject more ravening energy into the rock n' roll formula than perhaps anyone to come before them. An impressive feat no less, and when accomplishing such a task, it's only inevitable that you will stand out from the rest of the competition. With John Gallagher's voice being one of the most consistently hyperactive set of pipes I may have ever heard, (even King Diamond eased up a little bit here and there) it's easy to make the joke that perhaps the band got its name from John's characteristic screams that are comparable to actual raven caws, but I'm only scratching the surface here. You know the crazy cocaine addicted clown from the show Metalocalypse? Yeah, I'm pretty sure they got the idea for that character from John Gallagher himself.

But this is rock n' roll, a genre entirely dedicated to wearing a freak flag for the sake of expression, aka art. It's understandable that the kids nowadays probably wouldn't understand given how uncool of a concept that's become. Sorry normies, this ain't a Jack Johnson open mic night so saddle up and grow some thicker skin or move on to the shoegazer or dubstep scene all the hipsters are obsessed with for how mature and sophisticated they think it makes them look for listening to it. Newsflash: if you're just like everyone else, there's really nothing sophisticated about you. Lest I digress, let me tie this rant in with this review by saying that Raven are not like everyone else from their respective genre, and I find that very few bands of the era sound anything alike for that matter. They may not be reinventing the wheel, but it's all about one thing with this band: delivery.

That and not sucking, anyway; having the capacity to comprise some really good songs that'll stick in your noggin' long after you've listened to it, and despite his off-kilter vocal delivery, John proves to be able to contend with the highest of shriekers such as Rob Halford himself. His brother Mark is no joke either at his respective instrument, essentially providing the spine of Raven's sound melding punk rock with a pinch of blues and even throwing in the occasional power metal flair with some more epic and grandstanding moments that one would not come to expect from a band to write more straightforward, no bullshit rockers like "Don't Need Your Money" and "Hard Ride". All the while being heavily inspired by the glam rock scene of the 70's, they would go on to cover not one, but two Sweet songs including "Hellraiser" and "Action". Now you might expect me to say that the inclusion of two covers on the album might degrade it at least a little bit, but considering the amount of amazing content actually on the album at an endearing near-hour stretch, six minutes worth of covers is small potatoes, and it's not as if the covers don't fit the mold the band was going for. The only track present that deviates away from the crazed rock n' roll here is the short acoustic instrumental that's over before you can blink titled "39/40", a show of display that bears little impression other than "oh wow, Mark can do that too". Great!

Be prepared for complete and total destruction with this one, and of course keep your mind set on the fact that it was recorded in 1981, so sure, it may be antiquaited... perhaps even obsolete by some more modern-minded listener's standards, but if you're like me and you enjoy taking that time machine back to when the NWOBHM scene was very much alive and kicking, this is one for the history books right alongside classics such as On Through Night, Filth Hounds of Hades, and Tygers of Pan Tang's Spellbound.

Superchard gets super hard for:
Don't Need Your Money
Tyrants of the Airways
Hell Patrol