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Heavy Pettin’ - The Big Bang (Reissue)

Heavy Pettin’
The Big Bang (Reissue)
by Mike McMahan at 14 January 2020, 10:58 PM

By 1989, Heavy Metal/ Hard Rock was once again evolving, or had already evolved, into a more dangerous, edgy style and sound; with the likes of GUNS ‘N ROSES and their groundbreaking “Appetite for Destruction”, amongst other acts, such as TESLA, BADLANDS, and BLUE MURDER changing the Hair Metal scene and turning the style on its collective ear. I felt, going into this review (after reviewing HEAVY PETTIN's “Lettin’ Loose” reissue), that by the time “The Big Bang” hit in ’89, the timing should have been perfect. HEAVY PETTIN’ released “Lettin’ Loose”, their phenomenal debut album, in 1983. It was a very strong release; hard, heavy and very reminiscent of a better day and time, musically speaking, falling back to the sounds of some of the better mid to late seventies rockers like UFO and earlier WHITESNAKE. There wasn’t a ballad within a mile of that record, and it ripped from end to end.

I had high hopes, going into this review for the Cherry Red Records reissue of “The Big Bang”, for some true fireworks from this Scottish quintet, having never actually sat down and listening to the album in full when it was first released. Sadly, I was disappointed in the entire record.

The first thing I noticed with the opening track “Born to Burn” was the addition of keyboards (artist unknown, as I wasn’t able to find a keyboard credit anywhere) to the mix. That is not something I typically have a problem with, and it wasn’t necessarily a problem here. The song is solid enough, but the production feels forced. Hayman’s vocals here, and throughout the record, really, have a sound not unlike Steve Whiteman of KIX fame. They are delivered at a higher, almost nasally approach across the board.

Where I mentioned before the absence of a ballad included on “Lettin’ Loose”, I count four here…five if you include the bonus cut “City Girl”. Again, I have no problem with a well written ballad, and a couple of these are terrific songs. “Romeo” has some tremendous vocal work, as well as a great guitar solo going for it. Again, it is kind of keyboard driven, but it is pulled off well. “Two Hearts” is another example.

The songs here feel like the band was trying, or being strong armed by a label to try to be more radio friendly, and in its day it was probably three plus years too late. Unfortunately, HEAVY PETTIN’ disbanded at the release of this originally, but have since reformed with some lineup changes, and are releasing new music. My sincerest best wishes to them.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 6
Production: 6

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Born to Burn
2. Romeo
3. Lonely People
4. This is America
5. Looking for Love
6. Madonna on the Radio!
7. Don’t Call it Love
8. Heaven Sent
9. Two Hearts
10. City Girl
11. Rock You Endlessly
Lineup:
Steve “Hamie” Hayman - Vocals
Gordon Bonnar - Guitars
Punky Mendoza - Guitars
Gary Moat - Drums
Brian Waugh - Bass
Record Label: Burnt Out Wreckords via Cherry Red Records
     


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