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Classy, Strong Effort - 75%

DeathRiderDoom, December 23rd, 2009

#19 In My NWOBHM Rarities Review Series

Trespass weren’t content to fall by the wayside with the ease of so many hundreds of their NWOBHM contemporaries. Indeed, this hard working (young) band stuck to their guns for several years, releasing 3 official releases in the NWOBHM heyday, as well as some other materials in the early 1990’s before finally laying down their axes. Their best known work from the ‘80s is this powerful EP, released on Trial records, (after the fantastic success of their cult single ‘One of these Days’) entitled ‘Bright Lights’. Trespass amassed quite a bit of buzz after the release of said single, and were known to have played some fairly decent sized shows. Evident on this EP is a band, though still young, playing with some refinement, professionalism, and some adequate dollars (or should I say pounds sterling) for a decent quality recording. While this is isn’t my favourite NWOBHM album, it is strong, like I said, and pretty classic sounding; what it comes down to is if it’s your sorta style of NWOBHM I guess.

‘Bright Lights’ has a nice ambience to it; nostalgic, a little deep and reflective – it reminds me of (good) 70’s rock quite a bit. It is delivered passionately by vocalist Mark Sutcliffe, and the guitars (which are a real highlight of this band) are played expertly by Dave Crawte, not to mention they sound about as crisp as you can get in a NWOBHM recording from this time. The only other NWOBHM recording from this early that sounds this good is (well, I guess there’s a couple – but it is really good) Quartz’s work, and they had a pretty big record deal. ‘Man and Machine’ might be the heaviest song on the album, but it’s not on par with Savage or Buffalo. Having said that, the sound displayed here is very melodic, but brilliantly written and executed, but not as soft as say Bronz. In this track we are treated to some great fantasy lyrics about the steel and battling machines. The guitar sections are protracted and feature awesome melodies, and there are soothing vocal melodies throughout. ‘The Duel’ opens with a roar, and again highlights the brilliant guitars of Crawte, and also makes use of the crisp recording to showcase the percussion skills of Mark’s brother Paul. There are beautiful guitar melodies throughout this song that invoke plenty of emotion. This one has a very Saxon-ish feel to it, and it kicks a lot of ass.

This is one helluva kickass record from one of the better bands of the genre. Trespass gained an intermediate degree of fame, and success for a reason; they really were very good. Song-crafting ability is high, and axe-brandishing skills are right up there. Guitar sections dominate beautifully throughout, and unlike a lot of other NWOBHM bands, these guys actually sound polished and professional, like veterans even though they were young at the time. If you like the awesome guitars mated to brilliant melodic tunes that NWOBHM is so adept at offering, try your hand (ears) to this strong EP. The quality of the recording, and the songs ensures replayability. It’s kindof a shame these guys went on to form the more glam/hard rockish Blue Blud, who interestingly I heard many years before Trespass, because some full-length efforts from this band would have been great. Reminds one of Saracen, StormQueen (1984 Demo) and Holland, amongst others.

-DeathRiderDoom