Raven

Crash Bang Wallop EP

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Raven were on an absolute tear in the early '80s, slamming their way between manic concerts and wild recording sessions on the strength of their supercharged speed metal -- or as they preferred to call it: "athletic rock." Whatever the nickname, before pummeling the world in 1982 with their second long-player, the lads decided to unleash the Crash Bang Wallop EP -- possibly as a means of cushioning the blow...NOT! In actual fact, as the title tune eagerly proceeds to rumble and tumble all over itself in an apoplectic frenzy (including what sounds like a rabid Tweety Bird voice-over), it becomes abundantly clear that never has a heading been more representative of the contents. But even though Crash Bang Wallop's remaining numbers -- "Rock Hard," "Run Them Down," and "Fire Power" -- all match up well enough in terms of adrenalin-fueled intensity, their scarcity of memorable licks and tricks quickly pegs them as the album outtakes that they are. No matter, EPs shouldn't be held up to the same standards as full albums, anyway, right? And the bottom line is that all four of these tracks revel in the same outrageous, over the top, and subtlety-free ethos that had made Raven's raucous debut of the previous year an instant New Wave of British Heavy Metal classic.