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M-16 - Locked And Re-Loaded (Reissue)

Locked And Re-Loaded (Reissue)
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 01 April 2013, 5:15 PM

One more trip down the path. I found another reason to get away from the massiveness of the current Metal scene, taking a ride, while being dazed and amazed, back to the clutches of the tasty years of the 80s. Whether the end result would satisfy or not, I don’t care, it is just fun and thank god for the invention of the “reissue” and “remastered”. Heaven & Hell Records sent me a message from 1988. That message said M-16. At first I thought that it is a pretty solid name for a Speed / Thrash Metal band, even though if thinking about it today, it is kind of ridicules, maybe a bit childish. But since it is an American act, it is possible that is it another way to show the old American mastery against the Soviet AK-47, but enough with that because that war is long gone. “Locked And Re-Loaded”, originally called “Locked And Loaded”, the New Yorkers sole album before departing from the world of steel, surprised me by doing the opposite of anything that is Speed or Thrash Metal. These find gentlemen rocked it like a Hair Metal band but with a bit more toughness, well at least a certain measure of it. From end, I thought that I was listening to a different version of mid 80s DOKKEN, 86’ JUDAS PRIEST (“Turbo” era), 85’ SAVATAGE (“Fight For The Rock” era), KING KOBRA and several twists and turns of late 80s DEF LEPPARD and WHITESNAKE.

In overall, I was emblazoned by the sound, engineering process ensured a good quality, fit for the era, administering a fine mid 80s impression.  However, I have to be honest with you, at first I didn’t feel right at home with this album, especially after the three four tracks seemed to me rather laid back, yet with well written music, for a band that eventually kicked ass with an attitude. Lastly, I liked those songs and I think that they turned out above your average rocker, always having something attractive and memorable to indulge. Nonetheless, I promise you that what I am about to say next will have you eating this release for breakfast, or at least having a go with it.

Throughout the album M-16 served the 80s right, justifying Metal’s old dominance. Their material carried flashiness but without any dots of pink, meaning not as sissy as you would expect from a Hair Metal band. Sure the themes are about the babbling about Love and such, but you can escalate Love and compel it to be tough right? I believe that the true emergence of M-16 gradually began with the mid to fast tempo punching of “Shot Down”. As a fan of DOKKEN, I first thought to myself how much “Playing With Thunder” there is within this gem, riffing following the same vibe, utter catchiness and those George Lynch style of shredding. Yet there is also KING KOBRA’s “Ready To Strike” lurking beneath. This is one of the album’s toughest, meanest and classy tracks. “Waysted Love”, another DOKKEN follower, not too crafty but surly can be recognized as one of the band’s best calling cards. It might drench within the slow tempo reservoir most of the way, but the damned soloing, cool melodies and ecstatic vocals will beat that. “Guilty Of Innocence”, potshot through the heart but not with BON JOVI. I felt the Bluesy vibe of early WHITESNAKE right until the PRIEST and LEPPARD riff and rhythms came out banging hard. This is what you might call Glam / Hard Rock, yet didn’t turn out to be a cheap shot. “The Game” and “Play It Loud”, two special demo tracks that were recorded after the album’s release right before the band punched the quit button. The former presents a more or less Heavy Metal band in the act, still catchy with a Hard Rock pre-chorus, yet with a main riff that slams and spectacular bass work. I would have become a hit for sure, an excellent track. The latter is the opposite, slithering Hard Rock, pompous, in the range of 80s KISS, ALICE COOPER and a bit of early DEF LEPPARD, quite a performance, also this baby could have been a hit.

Well this is M-16 for you, not a Speed / Thrash Metal band, but a good band nonetheless. This is a good brand of Hard N’ Heavy worthy for your ears to explore, so why not stepping from the modern ladder and come right down, back to the basics. 

4 Star Rating

1. Much Too Young For Me
2. Tonite (It's You)
3. Dreamgirl
4. R.U. Hot Tonite
5. Shot Down
6. Guilty Of Innocence
7. Waysted Love
8. Why
9. The Game (89 Demo)
10. Play It Loud (89 Demo)
Steve Vandyke – Bass
Pete Sivaslian – Drums
Kevin Egnor – Guitars
Glen Oliver – Guitars
Lenny Thomas – Vocals / Keyboards
Record Label: Heaven & Hell Records


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