Henry Paul Band

Feel the Heat

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Whatever happened to Henry Paul between the release of his band's debut album in 1979 and Feel the Heat in 1980 wasn't healthy. Whereas Grey Ghost was a record full of influences ranging from the Eagles to the Byrds to the Allmans and Lynyrd Skynrd tossed into a Southern-fried salad with Paul's own country, rock, and folk sensibilities, Feel the Heat feels like jarhead, clich├ęd Southern boogie rock. All the gorgeous harmonies, complex dynamics, tight songs, and sparking arrangements have been tossed over in favor of a heavy-handed collection of tired riffs, stupid lyrics, and themes that are saturated with drinking, picking up girls, and yeah, "Let's R-O-C-K." A harder edge isn't the problem; there's nothing wrong with turning up the volume, unless you leave your imagination behind in the process and settle for a lowest common denominator set of songs and even worse rock & roll monotony. There is evidence that Paul hasn't totally lost it on "Running Away," but this is unfortunately fleeting. Whereas the harmonies and arrangements are nice and tight, the track still suffers from stupid lyrics and an overburdened twin-guitar sound. In fact, the band is so riff-heavy and melody is so absent, one would think she or he were hearing a Bloodrock album instead of Henry Paul. Even two guests from Joe Walsh's former band Barnstorm, Joe Lala and Joe Vitale, don't help. Man, what were they thinking and who at Atlantic let this piece of crud hit the bins. Feel the Heat is unintentionally hilarious as a parody of Black Oak Arkansas. For those who are HPB completists, you'll be happy to know that this waste of an album is available remastered on CD from Wounded Bird. But the advice is to get any album by the band except this one.

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