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Articles Home » 1983 Articles » Geordie - 1983 No Sweat
Geordie - 1983 No Sweat

ARTIST: Geordie
ALBUM: No Sweat
LABEL: Neat Records
YEAR: 1983
CD REISSUE: 2002, Castle Music, CMRCD414


LINEUP: Rob Turnball - vocals * Vic Malcolm - guitar * David Stephenson - guitar * Tom Hill - bass * Brian Gibson - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 No Sweat * 02 This Time * 03 Move Away * 04 Time To Run * 05 So You Lose Again * 06 Rock & Roll * 07 Oh No! * 08 Hungry * 09 We Make It Rock

In all honesty this should be the last place to start when writing about Geordie. Known mostly these days for being the band where AC/DC's Brian Johnson got his start, the band were a tough English hard rock band who were well up there with the likes of Slade when it came to foot stomping anthems. Despite a succession of hits the band never quite made it and fell apart in the late 70's, with Johnson still fronting his own version of the band when the call came from AC/DC to take the gig. Perhaps inspired by Johnson's new found fame the band reformed with new vocalist Turnball in 1982 and signed to legendary heavy metal label Neat Records, more known for being the home for bands like Venom, Raven and even Wishbone Ash. With the NWOBHM in full swing Geordie might have been tempted to change their style to fit in, but the result was an acceptable hard rock album which wisely was updated to suit the 80's but still had the bruising charm of the 70's. Turnball, formerly vocalist of One Way Street, was certainly no Johnson, but he put in a good performance regardless.

The Songs
The opening riffs to the title track are surely inspired by Def Lappard's 'High and Dry' and Turnball sounds like a cross between Glenn Hughes and Biff Byford. There's a raw edge to the production and it's on par with anything the 70's lineup mustered. Not quite as convincing is the half baked melodic rock of 'This Time', where the Byford element is overpowering. Even in the 70's Geordie had toyed with AOR strains, as heard on 'Treat Her Like A Lady', so this wouldn't have come as a shock. The Leppard comparisons abound again on 'Move Away' and overall the track is an average hard rock workout let down by thin production, although the guitar work is somewhat redeemable. 'Time to Run' and 'So You Lose Again' follow in the same vein, the latter boasting an impressively chanted chorus and some solid riffs. With a title as simple as 'Rock & Roll'you'd expect a blatant anthem and that's exactly what Geordie deliver. This recalls the 70's version to an extent, only this time the riffs have an AC/DC feel to them. In all fairness this has more clout than the letdown that was 'Let There Be Rock', one of AC/DC's rare failures. I'm not convinced by 'Oh No!' as a musical piece, more pop than hard rock, shades of Lawton era Uriah Heep perhaps. The title is quite amusing however, resounding through the song relentlessly. The Leppard shenanigans are back in full swing for 'Hungry' and by this point I'm positive that's really Biff on vocals under an assumed identity. This song is a letdown in all categories and the following 'We Make It Rock' has a tinge of Rose Tattoo in the slide guitar antics, sadly though without one tenth of that bands power (circa 1982 anyway). That's not to say it's bad, in fact it's easily one of the best tracks of the album.

In Summary
The band changed their name to Powerhouse following the album and in 1986 recorded a lone self-titled album, which actually is superior to this, taking the plunge into melodic heavy metal with songs like 'Feel The Steel' and the classic 'Heaven Or Hell.' They also re-recorded several of the tracks from 'No Sweat' to greater effect, as by this time the band had added huge synths and sounded more like Shy or Baby Tuckoo. This allowed tracks like 'Time To Run' to reach their full potential. It proved to be another false dawn however and the band was soon pounded in oblivion yet again. The original lineup has reformed with Johnson on the odd occasion since, which is nice to see, old Brian not forgetting where it all started. 'No Sweat' isn't Geordie's best, but for the circumstances and time it was released it is an admirable attempt at contemporary hard rock.

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