BUDGIE: DELIVER US FROM EVIL (1982)
1) Bored With Russia; 2) Don't Cry; 3) Truth Drug; 4) Young Girl; 5) Flowers In The Attic; 6) N.O.R.A.D.; 7) Give Me The Truth; 8) Alison; 9) Finger On The Button; 10) Hold On To Love.
The less said about the last Thomas-era Budgie album, the better. I wish things could be explained as easily as «they hired themselves a keyboard player, and it totally ruined them», but even without Duncan Mackay's keyboards (which are not the worst sort of keyboards played on a metal album, no) these songs seem absolutely pitiful in the era of classic Judas Priest and Iron Maiden, not to mention absolutely unworthy of Budgie's own legacy.
At least Power Supply had those jagged Priest-like riffs, and Nightflight tried a bit of a pop-metal approach that was essentially listenable — here, the band goes for «power», with lots of power chords, gang choruses, brawny-hero screaming, and stadium appeal. Bad move for everybody involved: Shelley is about as natural in this "scream for me Long Beach!" role as Woody Allen, and the guitarist's modest, but non-zero talents are more or less wasted on this collection of completely interchangeable power-fests.
The influence of the pop style of Nightflight is still evident — most of the choruses aim for catchiness, though usually of the super-stupid kind (ʻHold On To Loveʼ is a particularly annoying example, with an anthemic refrain that probably took five seconds to write and whose simplicity is not redeemed by its stupidity, because when you deliver simple-and-stupid with such grand pathos and no signs of irony, how can you truly convince the demanding fan of how important it is to "hold on to, hold on to love, everyone hold on to love?").
Respecting the spirit of the times, they do a political song that wishes to offend politics but ends up offending countries (ʻBored With Russiaʼ is really one of the most misguided titles in the history of Cold War-related pop songs) — fortunately, the song is so bland that it should have been called ʻBored With Budgieʼ instead, with a chorus that is more adult contemporary than solid hard rock or metal. They also do a ballad on which the synthesized strings drown out the vocals and the vocal melody seems to be written only up to a certain point, after which the singer just takes the sentimentality wherever it takes him (ʻAlisonʼ). And they do an «epic» number (ʻFlowers In The Atticʼ) about abandoned children or something like that with a power ballad chorus and not a shred of personality.
Overall, this was a clear sign that the band had better vaporize before it put out something even more embarrassing (and this was only 1982, the decade still being so young), so upon getting the predictable thumbs down from just about everybody, Budgie were no more.