Alcatrazz

No Parole from Rock 'N' Roll

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Though blessed with a potent voice, Alcatrazz leader (and purported star) Graham Bonnet was heavily dependent on the songwriting skills of his cohorts. Each album is therefore a reflection of the particular guitarist involved, resulting in a stylistic inconsistency that failed to attract a loyal following for the band. As such, their 1983 debut No Parole from Rock'n'Roll sounds a lot like guitarist Yngwie J. Malmsteen's later solo albums. Still, this is an excellent record, successfully fusing Bonnet's tuneful screaming, Jimmy Waldo's tasteful Rainbow-derived keyboard textures, and Malmsteen's blinding dexterity and speed. The nearly perfect "Island in the Sun" is the album's absolute high point, and it's a wonder the song didn't become a huge hit. And while "Jet to Jet" sounds like little more than a Rainbow outtake, the epic "Kree Nakoorie" showcases Malmsteen and Waldo at their best. Other highlights include the amusing "Too Young to Die, Too Drunk to Live" and "Bigfoot," with its scorching Malmsteen riff. In short, a fine record that any hard rock enthusiast will appreciate.

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