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Stupid record labels - 41%

Face_your_fear_79, March 8th, 2018

If I didn't know any better and someone had played "Pack Is Back" for me and told me it was Raven, I would not have believed them. This is not the mighty metal machine that gave us such manic metal classics as Wiped Out and Rock Til You Drop. Hyperactive may very well be the worst song Raven has ever recorded and features a horn section. Gimme Some Lovin' is a Spencer Davis Group cover and has scary resemblance to The Knacks' My Sharona. This song features synth guitars not unlike Priest's Turbo. Youngblood starts off with a cool riff that sounds like Raven but is completely destroyed by horns and a synth solo. Shit! Likewise Don't Let it Die features a horn section that is totally out of character for Raven. Just about the entire album is forced, happy, schlock rock. This may have worked for a band like Def Leppard, but for Raven it was a disaster.

Fans of the band's manic metal style turned away in droves. There were a few songs that were decent like Nightmare Ride and Rock Dogs, but even these songs are drug into the ground by the glossy production. Raven were such a unique band with their own sound and style that were drug into the ground by a clueless label. Oddly enough, Pack is Back was produced by studio legend Eddie Kramer who had worked miracles with Kiss and Jimi Hendrix, among others.

You know it's funny though, I have read countless reviews that state that Raven are posers because of this album. Granted, they look like Twisted Sister in hockey gear and the music is cartoon anthems, but it's not terrible either. I'd still rather listen to this than a laughable song like Pour Some Sugar On Me by Def Leppard. Other bands have had serious missteps in the past yet nobody dismisses these bands as worthless. It was probably the big label pressure of Sony/Atlantic that had everything to do with Raven's sound change on Pack Is Back. For some reason, big labels tend to destroy good metal. It's just an observation, but I think Raven have redeemed themselves from this fiasco over and over.