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Quartz - 1980 Stand Up And Fight

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ARTIST: Quartz
ALBUM: Stand Up And Fight
YEAR: 1980
CD REISSUE: 2004, Majestic Rock Records, MAJCD037 * 2010, Metal Mind (Poland), MASS CD 1372 DG (Numbered Edition)


LINEUP: Mike Taylor - vocals * Mick Hopkins - guitars * Derek Arnold - bass * Mal Cope - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Stand Up And Fight * 02 Can't Say No To You * 03 Stokin' Up The Fires Of Hell * 04 Questions * 05 Charlie Snow * 06 Revenge * 07 Rock N Roll Child * 08 Wildfire

Often cited as a major influence during the NWOBHM, Quartz will forever be known as the band whos' debut was produced by Tony Iommi, that album being 1977's self titled affair, which obviously was a few years before the actual movement took proper hold. The band were already veterans by the debut, most members having played in various 60's bands, with future Black Sabbath keyboardist Geoff Nicholls leaving Quartz after said debut. It appears the debut was criticised for sounding too similar to Sabbath, Iommi's fault? Surely not. After a live album Quartz secured a deal with MCA, riding the NWOBHM wave. 'Stand Up And Fight' has been heavily glorified in the past, but it's more hype than actual quality. I just cannot find the enthusiasm to recommend this as a metal classic like others have. That's because it isn't.

The Songs
There isn't much of a Sabbath connection here, more an assembly of standard NWOBHM rockers with marginal melody. The title track has a Samson flavour surrounding it and runs through the usual motions of the genre, high pitched vocals and riffs that Grim Reaper borrowed for their own debut. There's a general lack of ideas floating around the entire album, and while the riffs are there, they don't inspire any form of excitement, nor that compelling feeling to headbang! 'Can't Say No To You' is mid seventies in sound, riff based hard rock, 'Revenge' more metallic, with a naggingly incessant bass line that seems louder than the guitar. 'Stokin' Up The Fires Of Hell' is the sound of every two bit band on the NWOBHM bandwagon, better than most but even with Derek Lawrence's production still falls flat. For a genre which always took pride in speed driven metal, 'Questions' is the only example here, which naturally endears it as the best track automatically. The lone Sabbath inspired romp 'Wildfire' is a cut above also, but of course its a little late by this point, the final track.

In Summary
Quartz only lasted on MCA for this album, joining Heavy Metal Records for 1983's 'Against All Odds' before the odds themselves proved too great and the end was nigh. Quartz were probably unlucky to be roped in with the NWOBHM but touring with Iron Maiden and Saxon firmly established them as part of the movement, one which they died along with. It is sometimes hard to fall in love with the NWOBHM, as the glut of inferior bands outweighed the good ones and some of the metal that evolved from the period was disturbingly poor, eclipsed only by the shambles we call metal these days. Quartz as stated weren't the worst, far from it, but this is far from essential despite what you might have read. Stick instead to that worn out copy of 'Wheels Of Steel' as stale as it might be.

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#1 | sabace on December 25 2007 19:55:45
northern English mediocrity
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