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Pretty Rough - 1984 Got The Fire

ARTIST: Pretty Rough
ALBUM: Got The Fire
YEAR: 1984


LINEUP: Tim Peterson - vocals * Terry Reeves - guitars * Jack Murray - guitars * Curtis Ruptash - bass * Dave Hiebert - drums * Brian MacLeod - guest keyboards

TRACK LISTING: 01 Hold On * 02 Don't Bite * 03 Tearin' Up * 04 Trouble Boys * 05 Movin' Along * 06 Can't You See * 07 Action * 08 You Got The Fire

Canadian band Pretty Rough put in an appearance for two albums during the early eighties. The band, like so many before them, played out a musical career of two halves. Their 1982 debut 'Pretty Rough', produced by ex Hammersmith man Dan Lowe, earned some reasonable brownie points among rock critics at the time. The band occupying a space somewhere between fellow Canadians Helix and early Killer Dwarfs, the vocals of Peterson taking up residence at the feet of high-pitched warblers such as Geddy Lee and Rik Emmett. At half time, the band change their jerseys, and swap their metallic identity for commercial melodic rock on 1984's 'Got The Fire'. The late Brian 'Too Loud' MacLeod turns up as producer and guest keyboardist (and guest guitar solos too), the band leaning more toward the Honeymoon Suite, Loverboy and Orphan side of the fence this time around. Many critics at the time panned them, but having heard them just recently for the first time, I kinda like them, as this is far more commercial than I'd expected it to be. The reason why? Well, the album has a heap of keyboards on it (thanks Brian.. RIP), which more or less guarantees it a mention on this website!

The Songs
There are only eight tracks onboard, and most of them are an engaging listen for lovers of eighties melodic rock. There is a pre-inclination toward an electronic/hi-tech approach, though it doesn't go totally overboard (a la Eight Seconds). The highly addictive melodies of 'Hold On' kick us off, followed by the insistent keyboard taps on 'Don't Bite', on this one the guitar solo is brief but incisive. We get a few power chords going down on 'Tearin' Up', this is a really rockin' track with a nice intersperse of keys as well. 'Trouble Boys' harks back to a style of power-pop similar to Queen City Kids, the foot-tapping drum work keeping the metronome in employment. Some excellent keyboard/guitar interplay makes 'Movin' Along' a compulsory listen, while 'Can't You See' has a sparse sound, though the guitar solo is again sharp, clean and incisive. The closest track to the AOR style is 'Action', and no surprise that MacLeod is dishing out the guitar solos on this one! The album closer is the mid-tempo 'You Got The Fire', a very commercial track to finish up.

In Summary
Just the two albums for this lot. Not a lot known about the personnel or their immediate whereabouts beyond 1984. It appears that neither of the Pretty Rough albums saw a CD re-release, and it would be a brave man to hedge his bets in the name of a 2-on-1 compilation CD being released by (or on behalf of) this band. You'll occasionally see both albums for sale on Ebay as LP's. For those wanting to add to their collection with more Canadian material, add Pretty Rough to your lists - you might well be surprised.

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#1 | Casanna on August 23 2011 15:48:23
Just to clarify, Brian McLeod played a few keyboard tracks, but did NOT play any guitar solos on this album. All solos were either by Jack Murray or Terry Reeves.
#2 | aaasreg on August 17 2014 11:16:17
The drums destroy all

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