Burnt Out Wreck – “Swallow” (Cherry Red Records)
Once upon a time in the 80s there was a band called Heavy Pettin’. Named after UFO’s classic album, these 5 laddies from Glasgow took the UK and US seemingly by storm, following in the wake of Def Leppard although with somewhat more to their sporrans than their English peers. It all seemed to go only upwards for these Glaswegians from playing the Reading Festival to touring with Kiss and Ozzy as well as having their albums produced by Brian May of Queen. The big league beckoned. Their major label – Polydor – saw it too and the band were invited to take part in Eurovision ’87. Bad move. It went downhill from there with the label deserting the band, fans deserting the band, and the band deserting the band. Now, 27 years after Heavy Pettin’ sadly passed off the UK rock scene, drummer Gary Moat is back fronting his own band – but as vocalist / guitarist! Always impressed by the big hebie’s pounding, especially seeing he was the only drummer using double bass drum work in a melodic rock band (!), I’m even more taken aback by his talent in the singing department, being a dead-ringer for a youthful Bon Scott. Had I known his capability I’d have flown him to Oz to audition for Beano Johnson’s gig cos he’s uncannily good – just check out the blues rock of ‘Rocking Man’! Despite his famed past, Burnt Out Wreck doesn’t succeed Heavy Pettin’, but is rather classic rock very much in the style of AC/DC especially in the title track ‘Swallow’. Elsewhere, like on ‘She’s The One’ and ‘Flames’ there’s a definite nod to Def Leppard style stadium rock – not surprising given how inspiration the Lepps were to Moat & co during their heyday. Beyond nostalgia, what really got me interested here was just how good the quality of the songs were, as well as the fiery delivery from the band that Moat has recruited, along with some star production from Steve Rispin (Asia, Inglorious) and mastering by Pete Maher (U2, The Killers, Jack White, Rolling Stones). Clearly still a well respected Scottish rocker, the anthemic 80s ‘Burnt Out Wreck’ with its deep n catchy rock riffs proves that Moat still has the fire and is anything but what his band name might infer – and for that I am truly grateful.