Tokyo Blade

Lightning Strikes EP

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Tokyo Blade's second EP of 1984, Lightning Strikes, marked another step in their transformation from British metal purists to American-leaning hard rockers -- probably spurred on by the big business done by Def Leppard's monumental Pyromania over in the States (aka the promised land for young British rock hopefuls). So not only had the bandmembers begun writing songs that prioritized catchy choruses over ripping riffs, but they'd even gone so far as to eject original vocalist Alan Marsh and replace him with the still competent but notably shrill Vic Wright before recording this transitional extended-player. And to say the resulting musical makeover was significant would be an understatement, as all three cuts already sound like U.S. citizens, born and bred, thanks to their compact concision (i.e. "playing it safe"), anthemic qualities (that is, titular choruses repeated ad nauseam), and tinny production (the equivalent of talking louder than everyone else in the room). All of the character traits, in sum, that successful '80s U.S. metal was all about -- except carried out by Brits with misplaced musical genetics and dubious intentions for a decidedly substandard result.