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Ear Danger - Still Going Strong

Ear Danger
Still Going Strong
by Chris Hicklin at 18 April 2022, 7:07 AM

Plagued by constant line-up changes, EAR DANGER only managed a four-year run starting in 1981.  They delivered three demos in this time before breaking up for twenty-plus years. They then reformed in 2007 and since then they have put out a steady stream of new material.

The first four tracks on this album are a re-recording of the band’s first demo back in 1983. This is curious because the production techniques are absolutely 1983 as well. You would really have a hard time saying that this isn’t a demo recorded in 1983, from the tortured Marshall guitar tones to the top-endy snare and clear yet bass-less bass. First song “Beelzebub’s Friend” opens with a quite bland Metal riff, even for 1983 when it was written. It’s an awkward performance with rudimentary leads, the timing is imperfect in places, although the lead vocal is quite competent. “Give ‘em Hell” has a likeable chorus and a cool guitar solo as well, which sounds a lot more modern in the delivery.

You Need Warmth” features a catchy lead vocal and some slick dual guitar leads, while final track from this first section of the LP “Still Going Strong” has a good acoustic intro with some clever finger picking and nice solo overdubs. The vocal harmonies are very soothing and well performed, and the whole thing has a slightly Proggy feel to it. This concludes the rerecording on their old EP and the next section of the album is a rerelease of their 2018 EP “Storming the Gates”.

First song on “side” two is “Wave the Flag” a very NWOBHM sounding stomper with a good solo and several tempo shifts to keep you on your feet. The melody is not particularly memorable though and it’s hard to make the lyrics out as it sounds a bit woolly. “Storming the Gates” was originally the title track when this was a four track EP, this one is a bit doomy and BLACK SABBATH sounding in the riff.

Blood on the Beach” has very serious lyrical content about the D-Day landings, but the writing doesn’t really capture the imagination as it is quite repetitive and dirge sounding. The screeching backing vocals don’t do much to help. “Wall of Shields” has some Punky drumming and chanting backing vocals, the chorus is quite catchy, and the riffs are very chunky on this one.

The production is indistinct in places but there’s nothing critically wrong with it, the guitar tones sound a bit flat occasionally and the vocals are often thin or obscure sounding, but it is perfectly listenable. The band sounds stuck in the 1970s though, which is bad because they are from the 1980s, so they were already behind the times to start with. The song writing is often unadventurous with a handful of exceptions and while they are all decent musicians the performances seem a little plodding sometimes, starkly contrasted by unexpectedly virtuoso deliveries of the occasional guitar solo. The album was not a complete wash-out, but it failed to really grab me at any point.

Songwriting: 6
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 6
Production: 5

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Beelzebub's Friend
2. Give 'em Hell
3. You Need Warmth
4. Still Going Strong (Winterfest Version)
5. Wave the Flag
6. Storming the Gates
7. Blood on the Beach
8. Wall of Shields
Lineup:
Dick Vijgen - Drums
Matt Verschoor – Bass
Leon Lohmann - Guitars
Sander Pastoor - Vocals
Antal Lohmann - Guitars
Record Label: Emanes Metal Records
     


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Edited 07 July 2022
 

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