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Budgie In for the Kill! album cover
3.81 | 166 ratings | 7 reviews | 35% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1974

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. In for the Kill (6:32)
2. Crash Course in Brain Surgery (2:39)
3. Wondering What Everyone Knows (2:56)
4. Zoom Club (9:56)
5. Hammer and Tongs (6:58)
6. Running from My Soul (3:39)
7. Living on Your Own (8:54)

Total Time 41:34

Bonus tracks on 2004 remaster:
8. Zoom Club (single edit) (3:26)
9. In for the Kill (2003 version) (3:32)
10. Crash Course in Brain Surgery (2003 version) (2:41)
11. Zoom Club (2003 version) (6:04)

Line-up / Musicians

- Tony Bourge / lead guitar
- Burke Shelley / vocals, bass
- Pete Boot / drums

Releases information

Artwork: John Pasche @ Gull Graphics with Phil Jude (photo)

LP MCA Records ‎- MAPS 7413 (1974, UK)
LP MCA Records ‎- 5373425 (2017, Europe) Re-mastered from original tapes (for the first time)

CD Repertoire Records ‎- RR 4027-C (1989, Germany)
CD Noteworthy Productions ‎- NP5 (2004, UK) Remastered (?) with 4 bonus tracks

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and to projeKct for the last updates
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BUDGIE In for the Kill! ratings distribution

(166 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(35%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(42%)
Good, but non-essential (20%)
Collectors/fans only (3%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

BUDGIE In for the Kill! reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Certif1ed
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Kill 'Em All

Now enjoying a renaissance and deserved place in the history books, mainly thanks to the tributes paid by Metallica, Budgie are a Welsh hard rock power trio that until the 1980s sounded like a cross between Cream, the Groundhogs and Black Sabbath - and the high-register vocals of Burke Shelley must surely have joined Robert Plant as an influence on the young Geddy Lee.

This is also the only Budgie album to feature drummer Pete Boot, who was given the, um, boot shortly afterwards in favour of long-term replacement Steve Williams.

Like so many hard rock / heavy metal groups of the classic 1970s era, Budgie wrote in various shades of their chosen blues-based genre, and did not stray out of those confines, proclaiming in no uncertain terms that the music they played was not Progressive Rock.

However, we take no notice of what the artists themselves say or think as we listen to the music - we simply enjoy the slabs of riff that epitomise the phrase heavy rock, and Budgie's own production rivals that of original producer Rodger Bain (who also produced Black Sabbath and Judas Priests' earliest outings) in setting the bass well below and in stark contrast to the guitar, rather than blending it in as is modern practice.

In Budgie's music, the process of separating the voices out in production leads to a rather miraculous union in the overall power trio sound, and In For The Kill is an excellent example of this - although you could dip in at random in Budgie's back catalogue and pull out a good album. Tony Bourge, particularly, pulls out consistently excellent performances of blues guitar licks with a metal edge: Similar in many ways to, although lacking the technical finesse of Michael Schenker, his style is a halfway house between Alvin Lee and Tony McPhee - fast and accurate, but dangerous and gritty where necessary.

I'm not particularly keen on the opening title track, as it's much too close to the Groundhogs/Sabbath root of the band, and has little of interest, but thanks to Metallica, I do enjoy the uptempo version of Crash Course in Brain Surgery that follows (CCIBS was Budgie's first single, although until now, it was never on an album), Shelley's bass growling deeper than ever before - and going out of time in the trickier moments...

Then, by way of complete contrast is the Sabbath / Sam Gopal-esque Wondering What Everyone Knows, the acoustic guitar and bongo backing lending the same sinister air that is prevalent in Sam Gopal's debut. Sometimes, when Shelley sings in his lower register, he starts to sound like a less monotonous Jon Anderson, or even John Lennon in places.

Zoom Club is based on a kind of heavy Kraut style jam, only a bit more interesting structure-wise, as it introduces the pedal-point shifting chord technique that Judas Priest were to come around to a couple of years further down the line. This song even sounds like a kind of Proto-Priest track in places, although anyone who's ever jammed in a garage situation will recognise the kind of riffs that are repetitively trotted out - especially the Hey Joe riff towards the end.

Hammer and Tongs has an interesting minute and a half introduction that leads to a Black Sabbath paced riff with Led Zeppelin style interjections and Jimmy Page styled soloing, faster than you can say Dazed and Confused. Running from My Soul is a kind of Groundhogs meet Ten Years After number - with all the skills that such a fusion requires, and some Wishbone Ash flavoured guitar overdubs.

Finally, Living On Your Own is a lengthy composition loaded with the unique Budgie sound, as well as flavours from all over the place - a Stevie Wonder influence on Shelleys vocals is almost tangible in places, but this is the most unique, least obviously influenced and as a consequence, most proggy track on the album - pretty much worth the purchase price on its own.

If nothing else, by laying down such a high calibre hard rock/metal output in the 1970s, Budgie put Metallica into sharp relief as the band that really did progress just about everything in Metal - Budgie themselves are only really related to Prog as one of many bands that influenced Metallica. They don't even sound Prog, as In For The Kill evidences.

In summary, then, a consistently good guitar-driven hard rock album that doesn't set out to break any rules or moulds, but nevertheless manages to stamp out its own patch of turf in loud style. A good addition to any rock collection - but Never Turn Your Back on a Friend is probably a better starting point with this band - not least because it contains Breadfan, another song made famous by Metallica's inspired interpretation.

I'd also highly recommend Nightflight as the perfect illustration of how Budgie responded to the NWoBHM with the excellent Turned To Stone, and Keeping a Rendezvous. Neither of which are Prog, of course, but they're great headbangers!

Review by Nightfly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Budgie have a special place in the heart for many fans of heavy rock in the seventies but they never really reached the heights of many of their contemporaries at the time. Like Led Zeppelin, Budgie knew the importance of having light and shade in their music; lighter, sometimes acoustic moments to complement the bombast on heavier riffs making the music much more dynamic. While their music did contain quite a few twists and turns at times, in the main the heavier moments were built around solid repetitive riffs.

In For The Kill was the fourth album from the band and whilst not being their best it does contain some fine moments. None more so than the opening and title track itself which has a heavy and insistent unison bass and guitar riff so favoured by myriads of metal bands to come. The track rocks along with a steady groove with Burke Shelley's high pitched vocals over the top, changing tack to a slower pace for a mid section including a fine bluesy Tony Bourge guitar solo.

Crash Course in Brain Surgery in no doubt well known to most Metallica fans, being covered by them on their $5.98 EP back in the eighties. In truth it's a fairly dispensable and mundane heavy rocker with little to get excited about. Wondering What Everyone Knows is the band in acoustic mode, pleasant enough but fairly average nevertheless.

Much better is Zoom Club, at almost 10 minutes a bit of a mini epic. It has a great riff and generally features some fine guitar work from the underrated Bourge where he's really let off the leash and includes a strong and lengthy solo.

While nothing on side 2 of the original vinyl album can match up to In For The Kill and Zoom Club it's still pretty good. Hammer and Tongs is built around a bluesy Black Sabbath style riff. Running From My Soul is a short and simple boogie based song. Living On Your Own is another longer track and a fine album closer. Heavy riffs alongside gently picked guitars, Shelley turns in a fine vocal performance and Bourge is given free reign to solo at will including some slide guitar.

So all in all, a good competent slice of seventies heavy rock. If you're new to the band though I'd recommend starting with their classic Never Turn Your Back On A Friend album.

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars After 2 good and one excellent album, Budgie lost something. I call it their drive and urge, their primal scream. Especially the vocalist Burke Shelley doesn't sound as piercing as he used to. Overall the band sounds a bit weary and doesn't manage to progress their sound much beyond the previous achievements.

The quality of the songs is still good though, In For The Kill and Crash Course are short and solid metal classics. Wondering is the mandatory mellow song, but it's clearly a step down from their earlier exploits in that area. Zoom Club is a 10 minute droning workout, a jam on a simple blues riff that is too catchy to resist. Both the vocals and lead guitars have a spontaneous and improvised touch, nice one.

The best part of the album is behind us. Hammer and Tongs returns to the Black Zeppelin stylings of their debut and isn't really remarkable. Another indication of their dwindling inspiration is the inclusion of album filling style-exercises like Running From My Soul, a hard-rock boogie that can't add much to its obvious reference point, Lazy from Deep Purple. Living On Your Own is more deserving. It doesn't have really memorable melodies but at least it's adventurous and a pleasant listen overall.

In for The Kill is a decent hard rock band from a band that was past its peak. But it still has enough good material to push it to 3 stars.

Review by Warthur
3 stars Budgie's fourth album, whilst not quite so groundbreaking as their debut or Never Turn Your Back On A Friend, sees the band continuing to be at the forefront of the early heavy metal scene. The power trio seem more confident than in previous outings, which makes the diverse range of styles they play an engaging listen. Running From My Soul, for example, is a heavy take on fairly traditional rock and roll, whilst thunderous album closer Living On Your Own is a slower, doomier, Sabbath-inspired number.

The album also includes an updated version of Crash Course in Brain Surgery, a track the group had previously released as a single - a pounding piece of proto-speed metal which particularly showcases the skills of Burke Shelley, the group's bassist and vocalist. Shelley's bass style for this album is harder and heavier than ever, at points reaching hypnotic intensities comparable to the sort of performances Lemmy was dishing out in Hawkwind at the time.

At the same time, the album doesn't quite hang together as well as Never Turn Your Back On a Friend. It was churned out rapidly in the space between two intense tours, and whilst the process of touring had clearly made Budgie a tighter unit, they also feel a little bit more conventional - like they're beginnign to compromise here and there to conform to the expectations of a 1970s hard rock audience rather than producing any novelties to match their earlier work. Budgie's career to this point had provided ample proof that Budgie do not deserve the comparative obscurity they've faded away into, but ought to join Sabbath and Judas Priest in the early metal pantheon. In For the Kill isn't a classic that will convince doubters by itself, but it is further evidence in support of that position.

Latest members reviews

4 stars We all have an album that we picked up for pennies off a market stall that sets us off on a journey and a devotion to something deeply unfashionable, even with the then long haired alternative music scene.....Ladeezz and genllmen I give you Wales finest power trio Budgie and their 4th album, 197 ... (read more)

Report this review (#1511276) | Posted by Groucho Barks | Wednesday, January 13, 2016 | Review Permanlink

5 stars While this album may be considered a let down after their all-time greatest, the album is still a masterpiece of proto-metal and proto-progressive metal. When listening to some of the tracks, one cannot help but think of pure heavy metal and increasingly disturbing lyrics and song names. A t ... (read more)

Report this review (#355199) | Posted by Jazzywoman | Thursday, December 16, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars In For The Kill is an essential piece in the early metal history. Budgie is a somehow forgotten metal legend. It can be compared with Black Sabbath and Led Zepplin with it's bluesrock sound and metal riffs. The vocals of Burke Shelly are effective for both the metal riffs as the rock ballads. ... (read more)

Report this review (#199168) | Posted by the philosopher | Thursday, January 15, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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