Hittman

Hittman

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Some may find it odd that this debut album from New Yorkers Hittman was originally released most everywhere on earth but the U.S., but that's sure to change once they sample the clean, melodic style of hard rock and metal contained within. Don't forget that America was positively swarmed by the juggernaut of thrash during most of the late 1980s, and that even Queensrÿche were still struggling for attention until this very same year, when their monumental Operation: Mindcrime LP finally gave them their big break. Alas, Hittman's eponymous opus was sadly nowhere near as life-altering, but it did boast a handful of solid heavy rockers, at once sleek, efficient, and instrumentally impressive, in a manner halfway between pre-Mindcrime Queensrÿche and, say, Fifth Angel. Chief among these was opener "Metal Sport" (originally recorded for their demo, three years earlier), the very Queensrÿche-y but still enjoyable "Breakout," and Hittman's lone concession to speed metal, "Caught in the Crossfire," with its vigorous double kick drums. Unfortunately, most other tracks either suffered from repetitive or unimaginative choruses (see the otherwise excellent "Will You Be There," the Lizzy Borden-like "Backstreet Rebels," and the mildly interesting closer "Test of Time"), or simply fell flat for lack of any memorable hooks and riffs (see the nondescript tandem of "Dead on Arrival" and "Behind the Lines"). And then there's Hittman's steel-plated cover of "Secret Agent Man"...no comment. In short, things might have been different at another time and place (and the album did garner decent reviews in Europe, where its accessible metal never went out of style), but, as they were, Hittman's debut was a resounding commercial failure, and their sophomore effort would only emerge five years hence.

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