Heavy Metal Kids (1974)


"Formed in London, England in 1973 the band consisted of Gary Holton (vocals), Mickey Waller (guitar), Ron Thomas (bass), Danny Peyronel (keyboards/vocals) & Keith Boyce (drums). Signing surprisingly quickly to Atlantic Records the band released their self-titled debut album in 1974. Quickly gaining popularity on the live club circuit in and around the London area, playing brash street metal, the band followed up their debut album with "Anvil Chorus" in 1975. However, Gary Holton's volatile nature got the band into trouble at various gigs. He even broke his leg on an ill-fated American tour. Danny Peyronel departed at this point to join UFO. Subsequently dropped by Atlantic Records, the band was undeterred and released their third and last album. "Kitsch" appeared on RAK Records in 1977, full of tough street metal rockers. It still did not give the band the break it needed and Heavy Metal Kids folded shortly after its release. Gary Holton went on to pursue an acting career and will best be remembered for his role as Wayne, a streetwise cockney jack-the-lad in the hit television series Auf Wiedersehen Pet. Sadly, he died of a drugs overdose during the timing of the series."

The Heavy Metal Kids never became stars, never won any readers polls, never had a hit record. But, if you could roll back time to that moment in 1974 when the very first needle hit the very first pressing of their eponymous debut album, it would be impossible to predict that sordid fate. Quite frankly, Heavy Metal Kids rises so far above the rest of the period pack that -- Sparks and Cockney Rebel notwithstanding -- there was no more exciting proposition to be found on the new-release shelves. Part unrepentant boogie band, part pub rock leviathan, and part good-time distillation of the best of Slade and the Faces, fronted by the utterly irresistible cackle of singer Gary Holton, the Kids' flash, slash, and sashay assault had a cosmic energy that could transform even the ballads ("It's the Same," "Nature of My Game") into fists-in-the-air anthems. A decade later, the band could have so rewritten the notion of the power ballad that suffering through the 1980s might never have been necessary; a decade earlier, the British Invasion could have been the new prog. Imagine Jim Steinman producing Them, and you're close to the majesty of Heavy Metal Kids. As it is, the only people who seem to have truly noted what the Kids were doing were the Rolling Stones -- the laconic reggae of "Run Around Eyes" is a dry run for the Stones' later romp through "Cherry Oh Baby." Heavy Metal Kids hits so many peaks -- "Ain't It Hard," "Always Plenty of Women," "Hangin' On" -- that the end of the album comes so quickly that even they seemed to be taken by surprise. The closing "Rock n' Roll Man," heralded by one of the most triumphant roars in rock history, is followed not by the sound of needle scraping label, but by a violent reprise for what remains the Kids' finest hour: the stomping, storming "We Gotta Go." And that is not only a juxtaposition that will have you talking Cockney for the rest of the day, it also tells you everything you need to know about the Heavy Metal Kids. Nothing can be taken for granted -- and nothing was. Including the fame and glory that this album still demands.


Heavy Metal Kids - Ain't It Hard


Anonymous said...

Heavy Metal Kids: excellent! I like them! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Wow, fantastic stuff...excellent vocals, just great overall production. Thanks for posting the Heavy Metal Kids, they're drivin me outta me mind! - Mark from Portland Oregon USA

Manu said...

Hi, Crotchbat,
Thank you for this and many other wonderful albums!
For years I only knew Heavy Metal Kids by name, but now after hearing them I have to say I'm an instant convert. Each and every song is terrific. Not a bad one in the lot. This band should appeal to fans of Silverhead, Left End, etc.
Thanks for the effort you put in that great blog of yours, one of
the best on the net.

Crotchbat said...

mirror: http://link-protector.com/147783/

Residentevil2 said...


pisspuck said...

Fantastic stuff, have an old copy on vinyl, but this sounds better as it is worn.

Jamey said...

OK, I listened to 'Ain't It Hard' but it didn't really grab me. Then I watched the video... WOW, what a great track, simply smokin'! Damn, it's not on this LP... bummer!! Now I gotta track that LP down.

Thanks anyway for this one, I'll save it 'til I find more and burn 'em together!

luckyboy1 said...

This is great stuff, but hey! You can now get all the HEAVY METAL KIDS albums and more, including a terrific DVD, at their website: www.heavymetalkids.com
If you love this, do check them out and support them, they put everything back into producing more excellent stuff both from the old days as well as new super powerful cd's!
Check out their latest, HIT THE RIGHT BUTTON!