Fastway

All Fired Up

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Though not as raw and aggressive a set of rock songs like their debut, Fastway, All Fired Up nonetheless churns nearly a dozen middle-of-the-road rockers. Historically, Fastway was a second-rate act, hardly the sum of their parts. On one hand, the band's moniker derives clearly and obviously from guitarist "Fast" Eddie Clarke, Motörhead's second -- Larry Wallis of the Pink Faries was the first -- and most well-remembered, guitar player. And drummer Jerry Shirley formerly played with Humble Pie. Sure, Fastway probably borrows the melodic, soulful rock of the latter, while beefing up and stripping down with a touch of Motörhead. But the most salient influences, which were even more obvious on the first album -- too much so, in fact -- are Ted Nugent and Led Zeppelin. Vocalist David King certainly sings an awful lot like Plant, but that was the template of the day adhered to by many. But with songs like "Station," which reads like "Custard Pie," even Shirley -- an excellent drummer in his own right -- is borrowing Bonham's heavyweight percussive economy and style. Overall, it's a good album, a few tiers up from bar rock. Not cutting new ground any more than, say, Kix, but satisfying nonetheless as no-nonsense, good-times, blues-based rock & roll.

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