Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Grand Halls 35

ASIA – “Asia / Armed To The Teeth” – (Orginally private, ASI ’78 / ’80, Re-issued ’95, The Wild Places, US) – Melody, especially in hard rock, has always been important to me. Think of the best: Thin Lizzy, Riot, Winterhawk, Rush…. The melodies are so searing and deep that your brain is branded with them. In fact, I read an interview with Riot’s Mark Reale once in which he said “I can’t even listen to anything without melody.” Then listen to these 2 records by ASIA (and NOT the shitty pseudo prog group with John “I ruin every band I join” Wetton). This pair of beauties, which I learned about thanks to the CD re-issue in ’95 by the late Michael Piper, is the absolute king of this theory. I always hate using comparisons but ASIA reminds me of a cross between UFO and old Kansas! Or, for the more obscurely-inclined of you, how ‘bout chewing on a lunch of Full Moon, Winterhawk and Asbury. While the self-titled debut record is damn good, and verging on essential, I must say that “Armed To The Teeth” is nearly in the godly variety, up there with Rush’s “Fly By Night” and Winterhawk’s “Revival.” This is gorgeous progressive hard rock that is world class in everything except the level of acclaim that it received. The vocals of Michael English and Larry Galbraith are devastating and the guitar work of Mike Coates is beyond ridiculous. Listen to “Thunderrider” or “Genghis Kahn.” I mean, Jesus Christ, how do you top that?! Some people will say, “Well, Ray, it’s not that heavy.” Well, go listen to some Satan’s Penis death metal album then and leave me alone. The original LP’s are super rare and have been known to bring big dollars, but if you poke around online I’m sure you can find the nice CD package that includes both records. Carnivorous

1 comment:

Sir Lord Doom said...

A shame, Michael Piper passed away...man, this record is awesome...how many more jewels did he dig out after this reissue? This is from 95...so...there should be some...do you have a list of Michael's rereleases? Anyway, a real shame he's gone...

And for ASIA...a real shame how it all came to happen that the british pop ASIA deprived them of their name and everything