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Articles Home » 1983 Articles » Gus And The New Breed - 1983 On The Verge
Gus And The New Breed - 1983 On The Verge

ARTIST: Gus And The New Breed
ALBUM: On The Verge
LABEL: Nemperor
YEAR: 1983


LINEUP: Gus Papas - vocals, guitar * Dave Reaume, Dave Kiswiney, Kerry Ladd - bass * John Morelli, John Thorpe, Cliff Davies, Danny Taylor - drums * Michael Rosato - keyboards * Bill Butryn - sax

TRACK LISTING: 01 On The Verge * 02 Breakaway * 03 Rock Me Baby * 04 Just A Big Mistake * 05 When You Really Need Someone * 06 No Control * 07 No Time To Lose * 08 I'm Scared * 09 Move Over * 10 Soldier At War

Plucked from the depths of a dusty life on a second hand record shelf comes a hard rock album that deserved a better fate than what it obviously got, a huge sum of nothing! Main player Papas had released a previous album in 1980 titled 'Convicted!', under the simple moniker of 'Gus', and is a fine album in its own right. Not too much is known about Gus, but by 1983 he was looking to make waves, as side one of this album was produced by Lance Quinn and Tony Bongiovi the pair responsible of course for Bon Jovi's classic debut. Gus in many ways surpassed even that, but on a different level, a far heavier one not as reliant on keyboards, which barely play a part here. Side two was produced by Cliff Davies and Rick Browde while the track 'No Control' is handled by Gus and Steve Vaughn. It helps explain the huge difference soundwise between sides, which had me wondering before these facts materialised! A feat repeated on the jekyll and hyde affair that was Duke Jupiter's 'In The Line Of Your Fire' album. Regardless the album is a clinic of hard rock excellence that should have resulted in Gus becoming a major player.

The Songs
A veritable goldmine, the album's whole direction is exemplified by the title track, big on riffs and raunch with powerhouse drumming and a chorus full of sheer bravado aided by Gus' muscular throat. The same description can be aimed at 'Breakaway', which boasts an bigger riff with a slight hint of synthesizers in the mix, but not overwhelming. 'Rock Me Baby' is a track AC/DC would have been proud of, especially lyrics about 'tight blue jeans' and 'if you're gonna do it, do it right' combined with fail safe power chords, that make for a memorable three minutes. Gus delves into new wave on several occasions, those being 'Just A Big Mistake' and 'No Control', which might have been a nod to the flavour of the time, but lack the punch of the heavier numbers, which reach overload on the final four tracks. 'No Time To Lose' sees Gus impersonating Phil Lynott and Thin Lizzy to great effect, perhaps the best copy ever captured. Gus' vocal style is a perfect imitation and the heaviness is believable in it's own right, frighteningly so. The double punch of 'I'm Scared' and 'Move Over' typify the difference opposed to side one, rougher and heavier, lacking Quinn and Bongovi's sheen. Speed and layered riffing are preferred, as well as some wild guitar solos from Gus who had been studying Jimmy Page intently it seems! 'Soldier At War' is sludge like metal, grimy and ominous, with a British feel, comparable to Saxon's 'Power And The Glory'. The lyrics regarding the futility of war stand up strong, insightful and scathing.

In Summary
What happened to Gus? He indeed was on the verge, but seemingly disappeared overnight. Despite much searching info on his exploits are absent totally and if it wasn't for 'Mr Pomp' Stephen Allen we wouldn't even have the band lineup or production notes. If Gus is sitting at home reading this then get in touch with Glory Daze to fill us in on what went down to make 'On The Verge' a piece of hard rock mastery that went unnoticed. One for the purists.

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#1 | Nick C on June 19 2007 20:51:22
I had this album back in the day and remember picking it up after it got a great review from possibly a fledgling Kerrang??? But I never really got into it and it's another that I let go....and now regret! I can still remember the title track so that must say something ... lol
#2 | gdazegod on June 19 2007 22:20:46
Gus is still out there. I understand he is aware of this review. I did some google searching and noted that this review was linked to a site either directly or indirectly related to him. Nice to have a chat to him at least.. revisit the glory days..
#3 | reyno-roxx on August 02 2016 20:50:37
Recently picked this up on a digipack 2 on 1 CD of Swedish origin that also features his 'Convicted!' release. All these years later I feel that the New Breed album is rathet seriously overlooked. Really enjoyed it.
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