Tokyo Blade

Midnight Rendezvous [EP]

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Not to be confused (although confusion is par for the course for this band) with the Canadian reissue of Tokyo Blade's eponymous U.K. debut, this Midnight Rendezvous EP was a European four-tracker collecting re-recorded versions of songs dating back to the group's earlier incarnation as Genghis Khan. Ironically, the updated takes gave notice of Tokyo Blade's imminent transformation from bona fide heavy metal powerhouse toward, first, a more commercially savvy heavy rock hybrid no doubt inspired by Def Leppard's recent breakthrough and, second, cheesy L.A. glam metal. At this point, though, "Mean Streak" and "Midnight Rendezvous" itself were still bursting with enough aggression and flurries of guitar notes to counter this slow decline into brainless pop-metal. Meanwhile, "Highway Passion" and first-album stalwart "If Heaven Is Hell," both harked back to Tokyo Blade's fast-fading, short-lived heyday, making this EP a mixed experience for New Wave of British Heavy Metal fans.