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Articles Home » 1984 Articles » Strikemaster - 1984 Good N Ready (Live)
Strikemaster - 1984 Good N Ready (Live)

ARTIST: Strikemaster
ALBUM: Good N Ready (Live)
LABEL: Jayrem
YEAR: 1984


LINEUP: Steve Elliot - vocals, bass * Paul Cullen - guitar * Brian Desmond - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Time Is On My Side * 02 Standing Alone * 03 Good And Ready * 04 Hey You * 05 Let Me Go * 06 The Grind * 07 Wellington * 08 Who Can I Turn To * 09 It's Not My Fight

If there's one thing the music scene in New Zealand's never been known for, it's a major heavy metal band. In the early 80's it seemed new wave and quirky rock bands were the order of the day, leaving contenders like Strikemaster stranded down the pecking order. The Wellington based band were formed in 1980 and built up a significant following in their neck of the woods, supposedly becoming heroes on the pub circuit. According to the band they were obsessed with reeling out original material instead of tried and tested covers, which was the norm in that scene. 'Good 'n' Ready' was their first vinyl effort, although it was recorded in a live setting, as the band couldn't afford studio fees apparently. This is the stuff of legends to a certain sector of the Wellington scene and it was in the 90's I obtained a copy of this album in Wellington itself. Musically the band follows the NWOBHM trends of the time, hardly original perhaps, but yet extremely polished and melodic. What amazed me even more while researching this is the band still exists and released a studio album in 2013.

The Songs
However this is where it began, this album supposedly recorded in Marmalade Studios, with a crowd present. 'Time Is On My Side' introduces the bands agenda, with obvious Def Leppard influences and ubiquitous Kiwi backing vocals. The guitar work has a bite to it and sets the template for the remainder of the album. Vocalist Elliot is enthusiastic with his stage banter throughout and is backed up by the galloping 'Standing Alone', which takes in every notable NWOBHM act you can think of. The title track is slower, on the commercial hard rock side, with what sounds like Ted Nugent inspired riffs. 'Hey You' has Iron Maiden written all over it, to the point it may as well be a lost track from the Paul Dianno era, but hey who wasn't ripping that off back then? A ballad is next on the cards, 'Let Me Go' sounding like Uriah Heep mixed with Kiss, while still retaining a uniquely New Zealand flavor. 'The Grind' picks up steam as it progresses, this one leaning once again towards Def Leppard. 'Wellington' is an odd ode to their hometown, appearing to hurl criticism at the city for some unknown reason. 'Oh Wellington, can't you see what you have done' wail the band. This chorus elicited laughter in my household many years ago and still raises a grin today. 'Who Can I Turn To' is a fairly limp track, a touch too restrained and formulaic in the power metal stakes. One of the best tracks is saved for last, the decisive attack of 'It's Not My Fight' quite the powerhouse. The band must have studied Leppard's 'High 'n' Dry' album note for note to conjure this up.

In Summary
This is far better than I remembered it to be and it was gratifying to learn of the bands continued existence. Given the proper chance in the studio this would have been far more powerful. The band returned with a similar effort in 1985 titled 'Play It Loud' and toured the country with Uriah Heep and Motorhead, before calling it a day in 1992 after not breaking through. In fact a video on You Tube from a Telethon in 1986 finds Elliot bemoaning the lack of record label support in New Zealand. After an impromptu gig decades later the band found the appeal was still there, resulting in 2013's 'Sun For A Change.' It doesn't sound particularly metal, but to finally hit the studio properly 29 years later says something about Strikemaster's longevity.

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#1 | gdazegod on May 02 2017 04:45:52
I remember this band well. Had seen them play throughout various venues in Wellington back in the 80's, and of course those support gigs mentioned above. I made the Uriah Heep gig, not the Motorhead one..
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