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New Beats Old - 70%

OzzyApu, December 27th, 2010

Now this is where things really, really start to pick up from a historical perspective. These two tracks would both be featured on Nightlife, making this the first Lizzy single where there tracks would be featured on the original full-length to follow. Vagabonds… would see a ton of songs from singles featured on it, but that wasn’t until later. These two would be part of the original, final product, and both are good in their own respective ways. They aren’t insanely showy, but they are starkly different from past material while maintaining the same calmness that kept the band going.

“Philomena” preserves the folk influence Lynott is always fond of, crossing between Asian and Irish, I guess. Whatever it is, it’s slick and superb in melody and enough to drive the song home with a fat, trotting bass line to back it up. Lynott’s vocals are also melodic, though his lyrics are a bit hard to understand because this time he’s actually singing with an Irish accent. He still has the low-end singing style, but he’s executing his lines in an accent, which explains the subtle change that actually makes a bigger difference than expected.

“Sha-La-La” is the faster jam with Robertson and Gorham playing a sweeping riff together, showing us for the first time Lizzy’s true protrusion of the twin lead method. The funk addition by Lynott meets the funk of the leads, and Downey smacks the kit louder than he ever has. This song goes in and out between heavy and soft riding, with the riffs of the outro equaling pure heavy metal aggression beside Downey’s rolls.

By this point, the band knew where they wanted to go and fans had a good idea of what the next album was going to sound like. Nightlife would be released shortly (at the time) and to me it’d be the next in line to lead Lizzy to stardom. It was the first album I heard and sort of ended up being a good indicator of both worlds, but nothing on it was substantially heavy. I’d need to skip to the full-length after it to get my heavy metal fix, but what we get with this single and the rest of Nightlife was commendable material.