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Wolfsbane - 1989 Live Fast Die Fast

ARTIST: Wolfsbane
ALBUM: Live Fast, Die Fast
LABEL: Def American
SERIAL: 9 24215-2
YEAR: 1989


LINEUP: Blaze Bayley - vocals * Jeff Hately - bass * Jase Edwards - guitar * Steve 'Danger' Ellet - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Man Hunt * 02 Shakin' * 03 Killing Machine * 04 Fell Out Of Heaven * 05 Money To Burn * 06 Greasy * 07 I Like It Hot * 08 All Or Nothing * 09 Tears From A Fool * 10 Pretty Baby


Formed in Tamworth, England in 1986, Wolfsbane were once one of British heavy metals finest hopes. After years of rejection from the major labels, Rick Rubin took a chance on the lads and signed them to his offshoot Def American label, the metal portion of the famed Def Jam rap empire. Led by wild man Blaze Bayley, the Wolfsbane debut was shoddily produced by Rubin, who forgot to add any bass to the mix. It couldn't overshadow the energy and raucousness evident in the music, Wolfbane's main trait. Popular back home in England, 'Live Fast' scraped into the top fifty, but singles 'I Like It Hot' and 'Shakin' made no impact.

The Songs
Wolfsbane were at the time archetypal English rockers, leather clad and boorish. Their no frills style of metal gets right in your face with 'Manhunt', a blitzkrieg that comes close to speed metal, setting an instant course for a classic debut. 'Killing Machine' has nothing to do with Judas Priest, it's better than that. A devastating slice of traditional metal with a strong melody. 'Money To Burn' sees a bit of Eddie Van Halen inspired soloing over yet more frenetic backing. 'Greasy' takes an anti-social lyrical stance, Blaze's defiant vocals screaming 'they're just a greasy whores....fuck!' 'I Like It Hot' is semi AOR, especially with the made for radio chorus that one suspects was supposed to be a hit. 'All Or Nothing' is all of two minutes long, another fast track. Blaze sings 'if you don't like my tape then there's an SAE', a reference to the companies who turned them down. 'Tears From A Fool' is the obligatory ballad, showing their 'soft' side and not bad either. 'Pretty Baby' is again Van Halen inspired, mainly in the harmonies this time.

In Summary
Panned for the production in 89, this is still a classic metal debut that has aged well. Wolfsbane were genuine rockers who took their influences from legends like Iron Maiden and Saxon and put them together. Blaze Bayley could even have been the next Bon Scott, such was his charisma and wild stage persona. Typically Wolfsbane plummeted post Cobain, releasing quality albums until 1994's split. Bayley joined Iron Maiden for an ill fated liaision which lasted until 1999 and two albums. By this time his former image as a rebel had been neutered to the point where he was a shadow of himself. He turned serious and brooding which has carried on to his solo career. Do yourself a favour and remember Blaze and co the way they should be: dirty British rockers playing maximum good time metal.

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#1 | reyno-roxx on July 16 2008 15:19:06
I have a lot of time for Blaze. He was usually the ringleader behind many an amusing moment around the 'Kerrang!' office back in the day. The band once got kicked out of the pub round the corner for finishing their pints and starting on the cans they'd brought with them in a Tesco bag....

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