|White Wizzard - 'Flying Tigers' (Earache Records)|
|Written by David Whistance|
|Friday, 09 September 2011 04:55|
After listening to 'Flying Tigers' the follow up release to White Wizzard's widely acclaimed debut 'Over The Top', I have to confess to feeling highly disappointed and a huge wave of sadness washed over me. Was it really that bad, I hear you cry? On the contrary, the reason for my disappointment is that placed in my bedside draw is a ticket for their recently cancelled UK tour and after listening to this "inspired" album I feel totally disappointed that I'm not now going to hear these songs live, and believe you me these songs are simply going to destroy on the live circuit.
Back to the album in question then. Now if I did have the power of time travel and was to say.... meet my younger self back in my formative years, and Master Whistance were to ask my older years advice on what was great about rock music, I could suggest various albums in my record collection to explore or to make things simpler I could simply suggest 'Flying Tigers' by White Wizzard, as it visits every genre that got me into the scene in the first place. Opening number 'Fight To The Death' is a glorious visit to the days of old school metal, these guys may come from Los Angeles but they have one foot set firmly in the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal.
Talking of the band's L.A. roots 'West L.A. Nights' tackles the more cheesy metal origins associated with their hometown with aplomb. I did read recently a rather unconstructive remark in a certain metal magazine (who shall remain nameless) concerning a well known L.A. metal band who they lambasted for their "cheese metal anthems", even though the very same band sold copies of their magazine during their eighties heyday...Ho hum. Now I; brave enough to hold up my hands up and admit to loving the very same cheese metal anthems that dominated the 1980's and I welcome their return, especially when they are this good.
Whether the track 'Starchild' was written about an ageing rocker sporting a ludicrous syrup and stack heels I cannot confirm, but what I can confirm is that the number is grandiose, overblown even, a touch pretentious yet 100% incredible. 'Night Train To Tokyo' meanwhile is an infectious piece of work that will get even the most cynical of you out there singing along with glee. 'Fall Of Atlantis' is another perfect example of old school metal that displays some fantastic bass lines, along with another great traditional metal number in the shape of 'Night Stalker'. And to prove White Wizzard aren't just about writing great songs there is some mighty musicianship on display throughout 'Flying Tigers' and what better platform to display their talents than on the instrumental track 'Dark Alien Overture'? Two minutes of sheer musical indulgence.
I do have to wonder whether White Wizzard came up with the title track from this album after watching Lowestoft rockers The Darkness on their debut Arena tour? I mean it's not every day you get to see a man with bad dentistry in a jumpsuit aboard a white tiger, either way the track 'Flying Tigers' is another fine example of brilliant old school metal.
I also have to commend label Earache for branching out from the more extreme end of the metal spectrum recently and putting their faith in bands such as Rival Sons and White Wizzard proving there's a great range of metal and rock out there to explore.
Overall I have to admit to loving 'Flying Tigers' and if there's any justice in the rock world I won't be alone in my opinions, and more importantly with you guys added to the band's growing army of fans we can get White Wizzard to reschedule that cancelled UK tour!