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Articles Home » 1977 Articles » Heavy Metal Kids - 1977 Kitsch
Heavy Metal Kids - 1977 Kitsch

ARTIST: Heavy Metal Kids
ALBUM: Kitsch
YEAR: 1977
CD REISSUE: 2000, Repetoire, REP 4853


LINEUP: Gary Holton - vocals * Barry Paul - guitars * Cosmo - guitars * Ron Thomas - bass * Keith Boyce - drums * John Sinclair - keyboards

TRACK LISTING: 01 Overture * 02 Chelsea Kids * 03 From Heaven To Hell And Back Again * 04 Cry For Me * 05 She's No Angel * 06 Jackie The Lad * 07 Docking In * 08 Squalliday Inn * 09 Hey Little Girl * 10 Delirious

Formed in London, The Heavy Metal Kids released two albums on Atlantic, 1974's self titled and 1975's 'Anvil Chorus', before being dropped. Supposedly it was for poor sales, but many feel front man Holton's wild on and off stage antics, which led to him breaking his leg on a US tour, was the real reason. The band was known as The Kids at the time, dropping the 'Heavy Metal' moniker, which was considered strangulating for their image. They signed with indy label RAK, giving it one last shot, with a set many consider their best. It is a clever mixture of ferocious hard rock with some early AOR leanings, made legendary by Holton's rabble rousing British vocals.

The Songs
John Sinclair joined the band after Danny Peyronnel left for UFO, and his opening pompish synth instrumental 'Overture', has shades of his similar piece for Uriah Heep in 1983. It leads straight into 'Chelsea Kids', which features broad riffs interspersed with Sinclair's piano. When it kicks in, complete with Holton's crude cockney accent, the results are harsh, pure hard rock. Almost England's answer to AC/DC. 'She's No Angel' is state of the art AOR for late 1976. The opening riff and synth are way ahead of the Yanks for the time, as is the gruffly shouted chorus. 'Jackie The Lad' plays the cockney aspect to the limit, a mother brown knees up type of ditty heard in a pub sing a long. The tale of a London wide boy is given life by Holton's lovable roguish vocals. You could nearly march to the beat. 'Docking In' starts almost identically, but when in full force is more akin to Uriah Heep's heavier 70's moments, just better. Lots of dated keyboards from Sinclair to enjoy also. The epic 'Squaliday Inn' has more brute force musically with a yob chorus reserved for 70's football hooligans. The immortal line 'leave off Benny, she's mine' is the icing on the cake.

In Summary
Although the album failed and the Kids split, their legend remained undiminished thanks to Holton's turn as brickie Wayne on TV's 'Auf Wiedersehen Pet' in the 80's. The tragic drug overdose which ended his life in 1985 was a sad end for a man once offered the vacant spot in AC/DC when Bon Scott died. Holton's place as a rock icon was already secured, thanks to his stint with The HM Kids. Only Brits and those familiar with their lifestyle could really grasp 'Kitsch', it's that thick in nationality. But one thing anyone could agree on is that it is rock and roll of the highest order. In that regard, Holton had few peers.

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#1 | dangerzone on May 05 2007 01:50:14
A review of this album I read eslewhere pegged this as 'a punk wannabe set'. Some truly ridiculous words written by an individual named Martin Strong, who obviously never listened to the album. If this great album is punk I guess The Sex Pistols and their kind were technical speed metal.
#2 | gdazegod on May 05 2007 02:00:59
Yeah right, and Wendy O Williams was a wannabe opera singer! Bless her soul.. RIP. rofl
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