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TKO - 1979 Let It Roll



ARTIST: TKO
ALBUM: Let It Roll
LABEL: Infinity
SERIAL: INF 9005
YEAR: 1979
CD REISSUE: 2005, Retrospect Records, RR-101 * 2008, Divebomb Records, DIVE002 * 2016, Rock Candy Records, CANDY316

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Brad Sinsel - vocals * Rick Pierce - guitar * Tony Bortko - guitar, keyboards * Mark Seidenverg - bass * Darryl Siguenza - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Let It Roll * 02 Ain't No Way To Be * 03 Only Love * 04 Gutter Boy * 05 Kill The Pain * 06 Come A Day * 07 Rock 'n' Roll Again * 08 Bad Sister * 09 What In The World


Background
I remember giving this album a bit of a serve back in the day. I did own the LP back during my senior high school years, but couldn't quite understand what all the fuss was about. It took me many years later to finally get to grips with this LP, and this band. It probably wasn't until I heard the magnificent 1984 LP 'In Your Face' that made me scratch my head and revisit 'Let It Roll', with a five year appreciation. And here we are in September 2016, and this album gets another reissue, this time from Rock Candy Records. Originally named Mojo Hand back in 1978, they changed names and were signed up by Infinity Records. So let's take a listen, and re-explore this piece of Seattle history.


The Songs
It must be said, that Brad Sinsel's image through this early era of TKO was a glam one. You can assume acts like the The Who and Roger Daltrey, New York Dolls and David Bowie were influential, but the resulting music, produced by Heart's producer Mike Flicker, sounds like prime-time GDM material to me, as evidenced by the title-track 'Let It Roll' which leads the album off. A nice keyboard pattern precedes 'Ain't No Way To Be', the band settling into a good groove. Love Brad's tough vocal and the keyboard intrusions which pop up throughout. 'Only Love' emphasises TKO's tough pop rock sound, and this is improved on with 'Gutter Boy'. Though the song-title would suggest otherwise, 'Kill The Pain' is an orchestrated acoustic ballad, the first change-up moment on the album. 'Come A Day' touches the new wave genre (especially on those verses), but it's given a hard rock make-over. 'Rock N Roll Again' is probably the track that tells us what TKO were all about in 1979, a fine example. 'Bad Sister' is one of the better tracks here, including a searing solo section. The album finishes up with 'What In The World', a mild rocker, and I'm thinking perhaps a sound similar to The Babys during this timeframe.


In Summary
Thanks to the mismanagement going on at Infinity Records, which duly went bankrupt (gee thanks Ron!), 'Let It Roll' died on the vine, despite selling well over 100,000 copies. Strangely, LP copies of this and other Infinity releases such as New England and jazz exponents Spyro Gyra made their way to New Zealand, which is where (and when) I picked this up. As for this version of TKO, they went through various line-up changes, but Sinsel would take the band into heavier territory with a new line-up for 'In Your Face' with a far more metallized sound. There is a good bit of history on their roller-coaster ride over at Wikipedia.


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Tags: TKO 
 
Comments
#1 | gdazegod on March 11 2017 00:49:28
Finally got around to finishing this article. It's been in my queue for the last 6 months or so.. DOH!
#2 | gdazegod on March 11 2017 00:49:58
TKO - 1979 Let It Roll (the song)

YouTube Video:
#3 | rkbluez on March 11 2017 01:30:07
Love this album...it is TKO's best IMO from songs to production to performance it's an obscure classic that deserved to be a huge success...it had a very original quirky kind of hard rocking sound and some smokin' guitar work...their other albums went more in a heavy metal hair direction and were excellent just not on par with Let It Roll musically or sound wise...a real classic IMO.
#4 | Nick C on March 11 2017 09:27:37
A very different beast here than on the later TKO albums. But I'm with rkbluez here, this is also my fave TKO album. I picked it up many, many moons ago and like George it took me a while to get into it, it was in my secondary 'relegated to a cupboard' collection for a while along with another Infinity artist (New England ...can you believe that??) but somewhere along the line it clicked and like NE became one of my fave albums. As an aside I picked up a Combat 12' single prior to the In Your Face album coming out with I wanna Fight / Give in to the Night and could barely believe it was the same band.
#5 | reyno-roxx on March 11 2017 12:10:59
As much as I was a fan of 'In Your Face' ( especially the keyboard less original mix) over the years I have also come to love 'Let It Roll' a great deal more. The material they recorded after this record for the intended follow up is really fantastic and I believe there are plans to now get this finally released too. Will be worth the wait.
#6 | tompa on March 13 2017 17:24:08
Definitely My fave TKO. More variation, melody and hooks as opposed to later more metalized releases .
#7 | Eric on March 17 2017 12:07:46
Like George, I also bought this in my High School senior year, but unlike our editor and chief, I still don't get what the fuss was all about? neutral
 
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