You may be somewhat familiar with a Band which is more or less gave birth to the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. A band which has enjoyed (ahem) “moderate” success ever since selling albums by the Pantechnicon load, never mind the truckload. Can you guess who they are yet?
Of course the answer is Iron Maiden. Back before Maiden burst out in to the big time they had a number of formative line-ups. Many of the former (i.e. pre debut album) members have arguably not left their mark on the music scene. Two of those former Maiden members from the real really days were vocalist Dennis Wilcock and guitarist Terry Wapram.
The pair would exit Maiden in the late 1970s and put together a new band – V1. Things looked to be falling in to place though soon things fizzled out for V1 without them leaving a real mark in NWOBHM history.
That has now changed as Wilcock and Wapram have re-ignited V1 putting the band back together with a couple of new cohorts and a fine debut album which rings true to their NWOBHM heritage.
The punchy opener drops a large hint about what’s to follow (“V1 rocket gonna rock your house down”) as it fairly gallops along managing to be both hard-hitting yet musically economical.
The band stretch their muscles wider with the elongated Taking You Higher with enough rifferama and frantic fretwork to keep the ears happy.
Don’t Cause a Scene has a nice sort of stuttering riff and catchy chorus. A short-sharp rocker in a similar style to V1. Here’s the video.
Lights is a proper epic approaching nine minutes or so as it meanders around with occasional passages approaching jazz-rock territory. The stand-out cut on the album for me.
She’s So Easy is a straight ahead of a rocker as you may imagine form the title. Though it does have a huge hook to recommend it.
Croydon Boys is the work of madmen. One to skip over. However the next cut, Rockstar, makes up for the preceding teensy snafu.
The strong closing trio of Train, Runner and Armageddon demonstrate enough variety, variation and all round rockerama to suggest that the re-birth of V1 is much more than a couple of people trying to trade on the “former Iron Maiden” tag. There’s more than enough on this album to show V1 has the talent to do the talking for them.
Much more than a NWOBHM-related curiosity. More than worthy of your attention.