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Friday, February 12, 2016

Budgie: Deliver Us From Evil


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.


  1. I suppose Flowers in the Attic is inspired by the Virginia Andrews novel. Now I should be one of the last ones to complain about lyrics, but when I read that I cannot help noticing that the clever, slightly ironical metaphors are gone: "You're the biggest thing since ...." for instance.
    I'm OK with changing direction. I'm also OK with jumping bandwagons. Not everyone can be a visionary genius like Beethoven. Mozart, one of the greatest of all times, also jumped a few.
    But please, please, make the stuff your own. Put your stamp on what you do. Then it's at least interesting.

  2. Now this one, I remember picking it up from the rack....glancing at the cover...reading the song titles....pouting a bit...and then returning it.

  3. This wasn't the last album with John Thomas, they recorded another one in 1983 that didn't get released until much later. Get the album 'The Last Stage' it contains the album as well as more tracks up to 1985.

  4. I'm sure this album sucks but I can't imagine what's so unspeakable about having a song called "Bored With Russia." I say distribute the boredom equally. Why should the USA have all the fun?