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Honorary Collaborator
1 stars Too little, too late ? Hitting your peak before your time ?

Budgie ended up in a situation familiar to many cult bands - their style of music comes back in vogue, their influence shows up in their successors' music, but the inspiration's run out.

With the coming of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal in the late 70s, it should have been just right for Budgie to go from U.K. cult act to major band status. They'd released a number of classic albums that many NWOBHM bands idolized and emulated. Budgie even managed a headlining spot at Reading in 1982. So what happened ?

Well, as I said, the music wasn't up to the job. Power Supply had a short supply of great songs. It had one to be exact. Which was Gunslinger, its' arrangement bringing back memories of songs like Bona Pt I & II. The title track itself that followed the boogie hard rock tunes that the group had turned to as the earlier releases got some attention in the Southern U.S. . It wasn't bad. But it stood out from the rest of the album because it was at least O.K. . The rest just sounded like most of the second rate one album acts that proliferated in that era. Heck, Hellbender sounded like an out-take from the Tygers of Pan Tang's debut. Forearm Smash wouldn't have made it on to Raven's Rock until You Drop.

It would be easy to point to Tony Bourge's departure, but he was co-writer on Impeckable , which had but one decent tune with Pyramids.

Maybe they had mined all the great riffs they had in them. 'Cause their albums up to & including Britannia had their share of songs that stood in good stead with the best hard rock & metal there was.

Oh well, if you need to own everything Budgie put out, I'm sure you'll find something here to make you content. But then you might want to do some digging in the scene around that time. There's much better music, and many better acts ...

Or , if you can find Gunslinger on, get it. It is that good. But it's the only one here.

Report this review (#242050)
Posted Tuesday, September 29, 2009 | Review Permalink
1 stars After the biggest letdown of their 1970s career, Budgie releases another complete dissapointment. The tracks are strictly a pop metal format, something that the band was extremely far away from back in their 1971 debut. Horrid song structures, dreadful lyrics, and an earful of Burke Shelley.

1.Forearm Smash - The opener seems a bit lazy compared to previous Budgie openings, and it indicates the rest of the album. The sleazy guitar playing from newbie John Thomas is average to say the least; he tries to recapture the old type of playing with a new filtered and processed guitar sound, which equals below average technique. Shelley's vocals are an annoyance here, as he is trying very hard to get as high in the vocal range as the newer vocalists in the NWOBHM, but ends up sounding like a smokers hack with a bit of pitch added in. Steve Williams drumming is extremely average in this track, not really the fastest player, and is totally uneventful behind the kit. A dissapointment at first sight. (3.5/10)

2.Hellbender - If you thought the opening was bad, just listen to this crap. The heavy guitar riff from Thomas is totally uninspired, and the horrid vocals and lyrics of Shelley are wiped out and boring. Williams drumming is about the exact same as the opening; turely neutral to the whole song. Uninteresting to say the least. (2/10)

3.Heavy Revolution - This album does something excellent; rehashing the same riff at different paces. The guitar playing is about the same as the first two tracks and is completely a bore to the listener, and Shelley's wail and excellent bass playing don't add anything because the song is so pop metal that it dosen't even know it's roots! The song is extremely below average to any degree. (1.5/10)

4.Gunslinger - The only song really worth mentioning of the album, as it recalls older days of Bandoiler and In for the Kill!; albeit a bit more western and poppier, the song is a little bit more progressive than the rest of the album. The drumming from Williams is always souless, but the spirit of Shelley's wail and bass is at the forefront. The acoustics and electrics work well with Thomas, as he adds some energy into this new type of song. Lyrics are a drag, but they don't bring down the overall musical journey. (7.5/10)

5.Power Supply - The title track to this album does not add any power, but rather stays the same. The energy is here, as the band seems to be playing well, but the music itself is a blues rip-off of nothing. The guitar riff is a rehash, as usual, and the wails, by now, are very annoying to me, as Shelley tries hard to make something of the words he is singing; he comes up with nothing. A song that, with the right type of music, could have gone somewhere. (5.5/10)

6.Secrets in my Head - I know I sound like a broken record player, but the song just sounds like what all the pop metal bands were doing at the time. The song is much more disjointed than previous tracks, as the changing beats really don't work well with the myraid of annoying riffs from Thomas. Shelley's wails, again, are totally obliviating (in a bad way) and Williams drumming is lifeless as usual. An extremely unoriginal song from the masters of creativity (at least previously they were). (2.5/10)

7.Time to Remember - Your average pop ballad, now we've seen it all. The song is the last bit of creative spark that was in the band, and was put it no good use. Delayed vocals to the max with nasally vocals, off-beat vocals, awkward soundscapes and totally unrelating lyrics. The song literally means nothing, but could have gone somewhere if the band added some more progressive elements into the song. (1/10)

8.Crime Against the World - After the hopeless of the previous ballad, the band starts with another awkward blues wannabe rocker. The song reminds me of something that would be on crappy FM radio, a total trucker song. The whole song is just awkward, from the fail at triplets pointed in Williams direction, and an odd riff from Thomas that is another copy of previous efforts off the album, and the big chorus make the song just unlistenable. (1.5/10)

9.Wild Fire - Wow. Another copy of another song off of this very same album? Were did the creativity go with the band? I'll tell you were; not in this song, nor with this whole entire album (excuse tracks 4 and 5). (0.5/10)

10.High School Girls - If I though it couldn't get worse than the last track, I was turely wrong. This song is the very very worst off of the album, and thats not saying much. The annoyance of the lyrics and disjointed guitar riff and instrumentation sound almost like a wannabe copy of Catch Scratch Fever from Ted Nugent, but ultimatly fails. This song gets the lowest score I have ever given to a song. (0/10)

11.Panzer Division Destroyed - After the worst song of their career, the band will have a very hard time trying to get back up. This song is actually okay, but is truely nothing special. The slightly out of tune guitar riff is overused, but the music is much better than any of the previous songs, save 4 and 5, and has some bit of energy within. Shelley sings well and refrains from wailing so much at the top of his lungs rather than actually sining lyrics. Sounds like an average Iron Maiden song, if you ask me. (5/10)

12.Lies of Jim - After an actually good song, the band go downhill once again with another pop metal glam rock wannabe track of nonsense lyrics and disjointed playing. The band really just can't get it right on this album. (2/10)

The album is an absolute mess. Budgie had lost just about all creativity with this album, as they pull out tunes from their asses and rehash just about every other track into another track. A 1 star because of the poor effort and lack of any type of creativity, inspiration or lyrical sense at all. Thank god the band would get their act straight for their next album.

Report this review (#362255)
Posted Thursday, December 23, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars With 1980's heavy metal onslaught Power Supply, Budgie stamp their authority on the new, expansive, highly competitive heavy metal scene of the early to mid eighties in an riveting and exciting way that left a lot of those other bands eating their dust. This album is just about the heaviest the band would ever produce, and leaves no doubt to the listener that this band just wouldn't die, and could still hang tough and create music that still mattered.

From the opening chords of Forearm Smash to the end of Crime Against The World, for me, this record gets to the heart of what made metal something not to be ignored, and must have been great music to hear live, like maybe at Budgie's first headlining gig at the 1980 Reading Festival, where they went down fantastically, and were supporting Power Supply at the time.

At the time of Power Supply's release, as an adolescent living in Canada, i had no way of getting to Reading, but this album has such an almost live sounding freshness and excitement to it, well, it is like being there, really. Alas, things were to change with their subsequent two studio albums, both good efforts, but not quite Power Supply. Well, what really was?

If you are looking for more progressive leanings, try elsewhere, like Impeckable or If I We're Britannia, I'd Waive The Rules, but if you want something heavy and in your face, but refreshingly positive in the same breath, this record is for you. I give it only three stars, because it is not the band's most progressive, and this is PA, after all, but if you want the best of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, this is it.

Report this review (#632912)
Posted Sunday, February 12, 2012 | Review Permalink

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