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Wireless - 1976 Wireless

ARTIST: Wireless
ALBUM: Wireless
LABEL: Atlantic
YEAR: 1976


LINEUP: Steve McMurray - guitars * Allan Marshall - bass * Glenn Beatson - drums * Michael Crawford - guitars * Michael Lalonde - lead vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Spend The Night With Me * 02 Old Fashioned Feeling * 03 Where We Ought To Be * 04 Lady Anne * 05 I Just Couldn't Believe It * 06 Lovin' In Return * 07 Chain Of Fools * 08 Go Now * 09 Love The Way You Feel

Rock Candy Records has done the melodic rock community a great favour by releasing their 1978 and 1980 albums. Numbers 2 and 3 in the brief Wireless discography. Of course, many of us have since cottoned on to the fact that Wireless were originally 3 parts Australian and 2 parts Canadian. You can read about their origins in the RC booklet for 'Positively Human, Relatively Sane', where everything is covered off in great detail. Having landed in Toronto after an attempted UK invasion with their previous Australian band Autumn, messrs Mc Murray, Marshall and Beatson gigged under the monicker Mecca. Hooking on was second guitarist Michael Crawford, and just before releasing their 1976 debut under the new monicker for Atlantic, lead singer Michael Lalonde also joined, making the band a five piece for the Jack Richardson produced album.

The Songs
As typical for the 1976 scene, the debut Wireless is a fertile breeding ground of mild hard rock, blues tinged and pop based at times, with hints of their previous Australian early 70's roots. From the band's perspective, it was perhaps a slightly safe album, but considering the Aussie trio were still finding their feet with their two Canadian additions, the recordings came out pretty well. I liked the cool riffs which abound on 'Spend The Night With Me', this fun-time rocker giving some idea as to the potential of this band. 'Old Fashioned Feeling' takes an early 70's whimsical pop stance similar in style to Autumn though this song is not taken from that period. 'Where We Oughta Be' is hard rock which highlights the dual lead guitar work of McMurray and Crawford. Not unlike Pat Travers and Pat Thrall though not as accomplished. Coming in at number four is the oddball change-up moment with the 6+ minute affair of 'Lady Anne'. This was in fact an old Autumn song that writer Steve McMurray couldn't resist from including on this LP even though stylistically it's quite different to everything else. The guitars are coarse and rockin' for 'I Just Couldn't Believe It', and it turns into a hooky radio rocker, not unlike era peers April Wine and Trooper. Sounding as if this was recorded in Macon Georgia, 'Lovin' In Return' is Wireless' attempt at commercial southern rock, and with Lalonde in full flight on vocals, this sounds fine by me. Considering 1976 was a year where funk was a prevailing genre, it's no surprise that 'Chain Of Fools' captures that style. For a slice of Slade like rock, take a listen to the anthemic 'Go Now' (the Moody Blues have also covered this track), while the meandering mini-epic 'Love The Way You Feel' closes out the album in a light progressive/pop manner.

In Summary
A good start, but changes would be afoot for the band's 1978 album. Michael Lalonde and Glenn Beatson departed, with bassist Allan Marshall (who was also one of the principal songwriters) coming out front to handle lead vocals. Former Goddo drummer Marty Morin was earmarked by the band to replace Beatson, and his addition made for a good fit due to his drumming style and backing vocal capability. So onto 'Positively Human, Relatively Sane' then..

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Tags: Wireless 
#1 | rkbluez on July 21 2012 18:07:49
Maybe Rock Candy will do this one also and complete their catalog.
#2 | tompa on July 22 2012 12:05:52
Don't dig this nearly as much as the following two but still it does contain a few great songs, like Where We Ought To Be, which hinted what was to come and the mini-epic Lady Anne.
#3 | Nick C on July 27 2012 15:15:51
Certainly a band finding their feet not as strong as their later releases but really enjoyable - if I'm in the right mood (after a few beers) I sometimes would put it on par with them.
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