Megaton Blonde - 2011 Megaton Blonde

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ARTIST: Megaton Blonde
ALBUM: Megaton Blonde
LABEL: Retrospect Records
SERIAL: RR
YEAR: 2011

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: image

LINEUP: Morgan Thorn - vocals * Mark Calais - guitars * Mikky B - guitars * Jerry Knight - bass * Michael Stix - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Digital Doll * 02 Power Of The Mind * 03 Pretty Angel * 04 Jealousy * 05 Set Your Sails * 06 If You Wanna Survive * 07 No More Lies * 08 Sin's Desire * 09 Dance Machine * 10 Thing For You * 11 Time Never Waits * 12 The Girl's In Love * 13 Megaton Blonde

RATING: image

Background

In the overall scheme of things, the state of Wisconsin would probably not rate very highly among you as an AOR or melodic rock hotspot of notoriety.

Unlike Los Angeles, San Francisco or New York by comparison. However, the state which is best known for cows and green grass has achieved the odd success story over time.

Think Bad Boy, Airkraft, Moxy Roxx, all bands featured here.

Another addition to the ranks is the fantastically named Megaton Blonde, an 80's whiplash of melodic rock and hair metal guaranteed to put a dent into Vidal Sassoon's hair product sales.

Though this band were hot on the local Milwaukee circuit back in the day alongside Moxy Roxx and Problem Child, they never progressed to issuing a full blown album.

It's only after the concerted efforts of Retrospect Records once again, that a band of this quality can be heard in full techno-colour glory on their retrospective self titled release.

The album contains 13 tracks, was sourced from the late 80's to early 90's era (1990 is what I'm led to believe), was only ever released on cassette in its original form, but is a great compilation of material to work through.

The Songs

The opening track 'Digital Doll' is bombastic, in the same vein as a band like Agentz in their heyday. Massive guitars coupled with slamdunk drums and outrageous vocals from Thorn sets this album well and truly on its way. The lyrics are interesting, the mention of microchipping back in the 80's was pretty advanced for its time.

The chugga-chugga guitar work is all over 'Power Of The Mind', it's all powerful stuff, really.

'Pretty Angel' features a huge pumping bass line through the middle, 'Jealousy' meanwhile is one of MB's more commercial offerings.

'Set Your Sails' is Megaton Blonde at their bombastic best, it's just an amazing high-energy workout, hearing this live could possibly be one cathartic experience.

'If You Wanna Survive' takes you back on a journey to where 80's hair metal ruled supreme, I really can't say anymore than just 'holy shit, this is wicked stuff!'.

'No More Lies' continues the relentless drive toward hard rock perfection, whereas 'Sin's Desire' could be Lion on steroids.

'Dance Machine' is not some throwaway disco crap, the band still leading a merry (excuse the pun) dance with chugging rhythm guitar complimented by some dive-bombing lead guitar antics.

Autograph fans will love 'Thing For You', there is no let-up on the party vibe throughout, even though the track is probably more rampant than Plunkett's mob.

Both Mikky B and Mark Calais demonstrate their guitar prowess on 'Time Never Waits' which is like a mixture of Iron Maiden and Queensryche. The Bruce Dickinson comparison is one that is made often for Morgan's vocals, and that's a huge compliment.

The band play a contrasting mixture on 'The Girl's In Love', sort of like debut album era Extreme meeting Mr Big.

Just to ensure everyone is left gob-smacked, the closer and title track 'Megaton Blonde' is brutal, fiery and ruthless. What a way to finish!

In Summary

I'm left kinda speechless with this album. How come this band were not in the big-time back in the 80's? There is truly no justice in the world when a band this good are discovered decades after the event. How many more unknown and undiscovered wonders are out there?

Of note, the lead singer Morgan Thorn was also a member of San Francisco rockers Vicious Rumors at one point, singing on their 2001 album 'Sadistic Symphony'. Judging by his OTT performance with MB, that may be a VR album to track down, because it also has drum master Atma Anur playing on it too.

Also, it appears that Morgan's other band High Treason will also have a CD release of their material made available on Retrospect, while according to Morgan's Facebook comments, it would suggest the band are reforming for another run and releasing a new album as well.

Easily available on the Retrospect website, check these 80's lost wonders out at all costs. Hot damn!


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