1985COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: LINEUP:
Niki Buzz - guitars, vocals * Chris Aylmer - bass * Ian Roberts - drumsTRACK LISTING:
01 Maniacs Revenge * 02 Get Outa My Face * 03 You Drive Me Crazy * 04 The Big Fiz * 05 Nothing To Lose * 06 The Winds Of Blowhuyven * 07 Attention * 08 Let's Rock * 09 Stoplight * 10 Forevermore * 11 Love Is A Sacrifice
M80 was the brainchild of Buzz (Darrel Young) and Don Costa (bass), both seasoned veterans of the rock scene. Costa's greatest claim to fame was a short stint in Ozzy Osbourne
's group shortly after the release of 1983's 'Speak Of The Devil'. He never recorded anything with Osbourne, kicked out in favour of Bob Daisley. African-American Buzz played with 70's rockers Sun
, before forming the power trio Vendetta
, who recorded a lone 1982 self titled debut. After M80's introductory E.P. Costa left the music industry, leaving Buzz to relocate M80 from L.A. to London, where he acquired ex Samson
bassist Chris Aylmer. The resulting album was full blown hard rock with searing excursions into metal territory. Rumours persisted of a drum machine being used on the album, which seem to ring true with the repetitive electronic sounding beats. Aggravating perhaps, but the sleeve notes claim 'no keyboards or synthesizers on this.'
To get M80's musical point across, the title track is a menacing blur, full speed ahead with a mountain of shredding solos and riffs from Buzz. Buzz's tremendous vocal range is exhibited on 'Get Outa My Face', where he comes off like Marc Storace
at his best. 'The Big Fiz' has a slightly more melodic chorus, giving it a hard rock stance, but the brief bizarre vocal harmonies are rather odd. The Krokus
comparisons continue with 'Nothing To Lose' which sounds like the Swiss legends circa 1982. Buzz's guitar dominates this one, aggressive one moment, restrained the next, fabulous shading. 'Winds Of Blowhuyven' is a title latter day Black Metal bands would be proud of, and M80 deliver the epic metal treatment accordingly with galloping rhythms, although the drumming, hmm, very artificial sounding fills to say the least.. Slightly Eddie Van Halen
like tapping introduces the frantic 'Attention' a showcase of some annihilating riffs, layered to excess. Unfortunately the drumming is a bit suspect again, the mechanical feel letting things down. Listen to Buzz yell 'alright' at the start of 'Let's Rock' and tell me it isn't Storace, the similarities are downright scary. Great anthem all the same. 'Stoplight' takes a more serious direction due to the dark riffs, but consistently maintains a solid crunch. 'Love Is A Sacrifice' verges on power ballad mode, but is slightly too heavy to make that grade thankfully. Finally the drums sound 'real', alternating between 'human' beats and processed ones, a confusing and mystifying situation.
To solidify their status as a full blown metal act, M80 toured with the significant likes of Metallica
, Mercyful Fate
in support of 'Maniacs Revenge'. It proved to be M80's parting shot as Buzz disbanded the trio and moved onto other ventures, including a solo projects The Alarm
and The Midnight Gypsies
as well as stints with Jean Beauvoir
and Curtis Knight
. M80 essentially was Buzz's solo project once Costa disappeared, as he wrote every song, with his astounding guitar work the main factor behind the project's success. The album has gone on to attain a degree of cult classic status for some 80's rock collectors, and is not an easy disc to locate. For all-out hard rocking it's a sure bet. Niki is still a very active musician. He now lives in Amsterdam, and plays in heap of bands.. Sleez Midgets
, Paige Dedaeux
, The Buzzniks
and The Niki Buzz Band
are some where he has been involved recently.
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