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Articles Home » 1985 Articles » Heavy Pettin' - 1985 Rock Ain't Dead
Heavy Pettin' - 1985 Rock Ain't Dead

ARTIST: Heavy Pettin'
ALBUM: Rock Ain't Dead
LABEL: Polydor
YEAR: 1985
CD REISSUE: 2003, Majestic Rock, MAJCD016


LINEUP: Steve Hayman - vocals * Punky Mendoza - guitars * Gordon Bonnar - guitars * Brian Waugh - bass * Gary Moat - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Rock Ain't Dead * 02 Sole Survivor * 03 China Boy * 04 Lost In Love * 05 Northwinds * 06 Angel * 07 Heart Attack * 08 Dream Time * 09 Walkin' With Angels * 10 Throw A Party

A much admired act in their day were this Scottish five piece, who delivered an excellent melodic hard rock debut in 1983, 'Lettin' Loose'. Initially signed by legendary metal label Neat Records, Heavy Pettin' made a name for themselves in the Glasgow metal scene originally known as Weeper, but changed their name, inspired by the UFO album 'No Heavy Petting'. Major label Polydor saw money signs and snapped HP up, and in a grand move supplied Queen's Brian May to help produce the debut. Apparently some of the band weren't happy with the production, but there's no doubting the inescapable melody and hard rock attack, which was taken even further here, to tremendous effect.

The Songs
This album rarely misses among its quota of pure hard rock. The title track is a predictable anthem, but the quality of the hook and the riffs leaves Def Leppard in the dust, a band HP were accused of being similar to. Finding a flaw with 'Sole Survivor' is nigh on impossible, the backing vocals are impossibly smooth, and the chorus is taken straight from AOR heaven. Keyboards aren't out of the question and they bounce away swiftly during 'China Boy', which I do concede has a similar rhythm to Leppard's 'Rock Of Ages.' Elsewhere 'Heart Attack' is an absolute classic, non stop melodic stabs in the verses and chorus, the flair for the dramatic in the highest AOR traditions, although this is still heavy. You'll be asking yourself how these guys weren't superstars after hearing this. 'Northwinds' broods like Leppard's 'Billy's Got A Gun', but no worries, 'Angel' cops a few AC/DC riffs to keep things varied. The watered down ballad 'Dream Time' is too soft for my liking, but the band fires back with a pair of melodic gems, 'Crazy' and 'Walkin' With Angels'.

In Summary
The end for Heavy Pettin' came when they were entered in the 1987 Eurovision Song Contest and performed dismally, which you really can't blame the band for. A third album appeared in 1988 but the momentum was lost as was the quality of the earlier albums. The band then split, never fulfilling the potential which is evident so clearly on 'Rock 'Aint Dead', which comes as close to melodic hard rock perfection as humanly possible.

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#1 | gdazegod on March 19 2008 09:54:15
Still can't get a grip on Stevie Hayman's vocals. Sorry to say.. hmm!
#2 | Hardlover on February 26 2010 20:51:25
Hami has an unique voice which can be unbearable for some, though. Great riffs, melodic solos, memorable choruses all make "Rock Ain' Dead" an instant classic.
#3 | reyno-roxx on February 28 2010 10:22:39
I thought Heavy Pettin' were a much better band before Polydor ruined them. I used to correspond with Punky Mendoza back in the early days. Nice guy. And, yes, he was a big Angel fan!Smile
#4 | super80boy on May 26 2014 19:31:05
The lead singer's voice is different and you need to get used to it, it's not bad, just a bit high pitched. 'Sole Survivor' is just stout melodic hard rock of the first order. 'China Boy' has some nice melodic melodies and arrangements traveling at a mid-tempo pace, along with 'Lost In Love'. The gang choruses sound great in 'Heart Attack', which is a standout track. The obligatory ballad 'Dream Time' is an okay melancholic interlude from the hard rocking proceedings. The metal closer 'Throw A Party' reminds of Quiet Riot exploits and is forgettable with it's rather dumb lyrical content.
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