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Articles Home » 1980 Articles » Budgie - 1980 Power Supply
Budgie - 1980 Power Supply

ARTIST: Budgie
ALBUM: Power Supply
LABEL: Active Records
YEAR: 1980
CD REISSUE: 1993, Repertoire, REP 4336-WZ * 2006, Griffin, GCD-624-2


LINEUP: John Thomas - guitar, vocals * Burke Shelley - bass, vocals * Steve Williams - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Forearm Smash * 02 Hellbender * 03 Heavy Revolution * 04 Gunslinger * 05 Power Supply * 06 Secrets In My Head * 07 Time To Remember * 08 Crime Against The World * 09 Wild Fire * 10 High School Girls * 11 Panzer Division Destroyed * 12 Lies Of Jim (The E Type Lover)


Since their inception in 1970, Welsh hard rock legends Budgie have hardly been strangers to lineup changes and a number of stylistic departures. One guaranteed aspect is the quality of material and constant metal bludgeon. One of the most interesting periods of the bands lengthy history was during the late seventies and early eighties when founding member Pete Bourge left the band and was replaced by John Thomas. Taking their pioneering hard rock direction another route, the band turned to AC/DC type boogie, first heard on the 'If Swallowed Do Not Induce Vomiting' EP which was a far cry from the days of 'In For The Kill' in the early 70's. Tracks like 'Wiildfire' were steaming twelve bar boogie and it led to a natural continuation on the quite superb 'Power Supply'.

The Songs
It appears someone in the band had been listening to AC/DC's 'Let There Be Rock' and 'Powerage', as the material closely resembles those all time favourites, with same riff approach and aggressive, raw production. 'Forearm Smash' rumbles along with a main devastating riff, the type of boogie that rivals Status Quo for sheer effect. 'Hellbender' is slightly more heavy metal, keeping up with the NWOBHM movement, indicating Budgie were far from over opposed to the newer (and inferior) British acts cropping up by the dozens. Comparisons could be made with Krokus to a degree for a track like 'Heavy Revolution', but 'Gunslinger' is unlike anyone but Budgie themselves and a direct link to their groundbreaking past, with some quieter interludes and build up to an epic guitar solo. The title cut is more unstoppable boogie, the riffs simple yet so effective, proving when done right, boogie is in a class of its own! There's quite a melodic chorus to be heard during the otherwise solid metal blast of 'Secrets In My Head' and the lumbering riff that accompanies 'Crime Against The World' has the same charms as other stalwarts of the genre like Rose Tattoo.

In Summary
A storming set that really deserves more credit. In that regard Budgie are almost as forgotten as Uriah Heep as originators of the hard rock and metal scene, with both debuting in 1970 but somehow slipping from the consciousness of metal historians except for the most devoted! While 'Power Supply' was just one stop on their journey, it never comes off as derivative or a copy of other acts. Budgie had been around longer and maintained a sound of their own, even if it had changed tack slightly. Just two years later Budgie embraced AOR with the fantastic 'Deliver Us From Evil' which should earn a separate review of its own, such is the quality, but proves how easily the band could shift styles without compromising their integrity.

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