Tokyo Dragons
Give Me the Fear

If you’ve got a longing to return to the hard rock scene of the 1970s, London band Tokyo Dragons gives you the opportunity on their latest effort Give Me the Fear. The 11 songs are heavily laced with the sounds of classic Kiss and Thin Lizzy. In fact, I think Gene and Paul are probably waiting on their royalties for the song “Let It Go.”
The sound is only fitting, since it was that old school rock ‘n’ roll vibe that brought the band together. The members were all fans of the style and, at the time they formed, they say they weren’t really hearing it anywhere. Of course, numerous bands have popped up in recent years playing the same type of music, still its hard to not like the chainsaw rock ‘n’ roll of a song like “Do You Wanna.” Even as you think this sounds an awful lot like Jet and those other bands, you’re bobbing your head to the groove.

Certainly this style of music is not known for its flashy guitar work or intricate musicianship. In fact, it doesn’t matter at all if the songs sometimes come off a bit sloppy. It’s all about cutting loose and having fun, and Tokyo Dragons do that as well as anybody. Though Steve Lomax and Mal Bruk will not likely ever be considered guitar gods, they do offer up some catchy melodies. (Then again, you never know. Look how many guitar careers were spawned by Ace Frehley, and he’s certainly no virtuoso). Lomax’s vocals are perfect for this blast of 70s sound, and the rhythm section of Mathias Stady and and Phil Martini offer up a good, upbeat base. That’s really about all you can ask.

The only real criticism here is that some of the songs tend to run together on the album. While all generally start with an easily recognizable and catchy riff, they sometimes tromp into the same or similar-sounding territory in the middle of the songs. When they avoid that, though, as on “Teenage Screamers” and “Rockin’ the Stew,” they offer up a potent rock ‘n’ roll potion.

If you’re looking for virtuosity, substance and heaviness look elsewhere. But if you’re heading out on the highway for a joyride and need some high octane party rock to blast out of the speakers, check out Give Me the Fear.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Fred Phillips
October 25th, 2005


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