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Articles Home » 1989 Articles » Molly Hatchet - 1989 Lightning Strikes Twice
Molly Hatchet - 1989 Lightning Strikes Twice

ARTIST: Molly Hatchet
ALBUM: Lightning Strikes Twice
LABEL: Capitol
SERIAL: 7 92114-1 (LP)
YEAR: 1989
CD REISSUE: 1989, Capitol, CDP 7 92114-2 * 1996, Steamhammer/SPV, SPV 085-44342 CD


LINEUP: Danny Joe Brown - vocals * John Galvin - keyboards * Bobby Ingram - lead guitar * Duane Roland - lead guitar * Riff West - bass * Bruce Crump - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Take Miss Lucy Home * 02 There Goes The Neighbourhood * 03 No Room On The Crew * 04 Find Somebody New * 05 The Big Payback * 06 I Ca't Be Watching You * 07 Goodbye To Love * 08 Hide Your Heart * 09 What's The Story, Old Glory * 10 Heart Of My Soul


Ever had the feeling your AOR collection was missing one great Southern AOR band? We all have plenty of Midwestern (cornbelt) AOR, enough pomp rock, west coast and straight-ahead 80's AOR, even the Canadian belt is well represented. However, great Southern AOR is't as easy to find. That's why, when I read my colleague Alun Thomas's review of Molly Hatchet 'The Deed Is Done', I was inspired to get my hands on some Hatchet for myself - like 38 Special, they're from Jacksonville FL, they had the likes of Shooting Star, 707 and Dakota tour with them, and they had Boston, Harlequin, Nantucket and Cheap Trick for label mates. That's an impressive list of contacts within AOR, and they certainly inject more than enough 'hook & melody' into their brand of tough barroom Southern Rock to be considered one of the flagships of Southern AOR.

The Songs
'Take 'Miss Lucy Home' kicks the album off with humour, a typically Southern hook and the time honoured Danny Joe Brown vocal delivery not to mention a razor sharp horn section. There is melody at work, but not really what you'd call 'hook and chorus' AOR. 'There Goes The Neighbourhood' follows suit, another good time Southern rave up, something like the Donnie Van Zant songs on any given 38 Special record. 'No Room On The Crew' is the kind of track that tugs out the Southern Fried cliche from most reviewers - a mid-tempo slide guitar workout dealing with timber felling, long distance trucking and several more blue collar pursuits. Not much melody going on though. 'Find Somebody New' is another matter, this is where the album really begins - out of a honky tonk type intro and a hook reminiscent of Poison's 'Nothi' But A Good Time' (of all things!), a Southern AOR anthem emerges to encourage those who were doubting their AOR pedigree by this point. Well structured and melodic, though in a Southern way, it's thoroughly rewarding. 'The Big Payback' is one of the album highlights for sure .. laid out on a bed of synth, the slow boogie rhythm belies the AOR anthem built on top of it! Great guitar fills from Ingram and Roland and that treasured late 80's 'wall of vocals' approach in the chorus - great tune.

'I Ca't Be Watching You' lets the side down a little by comparison, being a bluesy honky tonk workout that's low on melody or any semblance of a chorus, the saving grace being some superb melodic lead guitar. 'Goodbye To Love' is a soulful AOR ballad if ever there was one, coming across at waltz tempo with hints of early Le Roux. Pity about the wailing gospel divas in the background, they really wreck the song toward the end especially. 'Hide Your Heart' is a cover of the Kiss AOR classic, and quite a cover at that! Molly Hatchet have infused it with Southern atmosphere, without ever changing the AOR feel of this great anthem. It's a treat to hear and a definite highlight on the album, great cascading keys at times and vocally very strong. 'What's The Story Old Glory' returns to more pedestrian Southern fare, not terrible but monotonous and uninspired. 'Heart Of My Soul' closes the album, but it should have opened it - titanic Southern AOR with all the stirring melodies and guitar runs you'd want, laid out on a bed of atmospheric keyboard and crisp backbeat. There's an unstoppable momentum at work that's hard to describe, in fact the only black mark is the return of the wailing gospel divas, who are thankfully limited to a pretty small sonic area.

In Summary
There you have it, certainly not the consistently classic AOR found on 'The Deed Is Done', but there are enough highlights to warrant owning this album. Perhaps not the ideal starting point for getting into the band though, since their 1978 to 1984 studio work is touted as being of much higher quality.

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