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Overdrive – Reflexions (Reissue)

Overdrive
Reflexions (Reissue)
by Mark Machlay at 24 May 2022, 4:34 AM

Arguably one of the most revered names among Sweden’s original wave of heavy metal at the beginning of the 80s, OVERDRIVE, saw a reissue of their very rare debut min-album “Reflexions” March 18th, 2022. The band formed from the melding of two local bands – PARADISE who recorded one 7” record and OCEAN who recorded two 7” records and an album. Soon after the band formed OVERDRIVE their self-financed debut record “Reflexions” was released in 1981, now considered a collector’s item. The band also recorded the non-LP tracks “Tonight” and “Damnations Angel” for the local compilation Rockslaget in 1982. OVERDRIVE was soon contacted by Planet Records with which they signed a deal in 1983 and released their tow cult albums “Metal Attack” in 1983 and “Swords and Axes” in 1984. After a short hiatus they returned with a four-track demo titled “Back to Basics” in 1993 that was only released on cassette. They have now since fully reformed, minus original vocalist Pelle Thuresson – being replaced by the younger Per Karlsson, with their appropriately titled “Resurrected” EP. They have since gone on to release a trio of full-length new albums as well as a couple live albums.

“Reflexions” shows OVERDRIVE at a much different stage of their career. Whereas their two 80s full-length albums showed a more speed metal version of the band, this first album, while energetic, showed a band closer to the NWOBHM in style than the band have showed since. This new double cd version of the album shows just how incredibly busy the band were in their early days containing other recordings and live shows that exist from that period. Included with the package is extensive documentation of that era across both disks. Disk 1 features the entire original five tracks of the “Reflexions” album with six additional “live on radio” recordings during December 1980 at the studio Radio Blekinge that could easily be an EP all their own. Disk 2 contains the subtitle “Live in the Raw 1981” seeing the band throughout a 37-minute show containing covers from both APRIL WINE and AXE.

After the seemingly successful reissue of OVERDRIVE’s first two full-length albums, Regain Records dug back further to unearth quite a rare gem from the dawn of NWOBHM past with the band’s first EP. But what really sweetens this deal is all the bonus material you get with this release. “Reflexions” itself seemed like a very raw first experiment for a fresh band and the production reflects that as even the radio recordings that are featured on the rest of the first disks pack much more punch and sound much more polished for a band playing live on the radio. The added tracks - “Tonight” and “Damnation Angel - while not of the same style, has all the quality and polish that an 80s recording could have and could slot easily into a KISS album from that era. But then on the second disk, you get an entire album’s worth of live material with songs that should be classics like “Rock ‘N’ Roll Hangover” and “Hard Rocking Man”. Even the covers of APRIL WINE and AXE songs are done amazingly and get the rounds of applause on the record they deserve. It’s an excellent package and certainly deserves a place on any NWOBHM fanatic’s shelf.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 8
Production: 7

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
CD 1:

1.Lady Luck
2.Girls Will be Girls
3.High Infidelity
4.You (Give me Hell)
5.Reflexions
6.Damantion Angel
7. Tonight
8.Armed & Ready (live radio)
9.Delucive Heroes (live radio)
10.Music for Pleasure (live radio)
11.Doomwatch (live radio)
12.Sign on the Line (live radio)
13.Lost in Time (live radio)

CD 2:

1.Today´s World
2.Rock´n Roll Hangover
3.Hard Rocking Man
4.Sign on the Line
5.20th Century
6.Lost in Time
7. Ladies man (APRIL WINE cover)
8.Doomwatch
9.Sympathise (AXE cover)
Lineup:
Kenth Ericsson – Bass & Vocals
Kenta Svensson – Drums & Vocals
Janne Stark – Guitars
Kjell Jacobsson – Guitars
Pelle Thuresson – Lead Vocals
Record Label: Regain Records
     


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