Various Artists

Metal for Muthas, Vol. 2: Cut Loud [EMI]

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Immediately following the epic epoch documentary Metal for Muthas, this sequel corrals less successful and more notorious entries, but maintains the rollicking spirit of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. The reissue actually dogs itself in the linear notes (which also mention Quartz, who's not even present). While this collection may not measure up to the first, Metal for Muthas, Vol. 2 exhibits some fine lost artifacts. The encroaching squeal of keyboards begins to rear its ugly head in only the second song, but "Telephone Man" packs a bundle of fun anyway. In fact, the whole record is amazingly quaint and guiltily enjoyable, and should amuse beginners and experts. These are totally lost gems, cultivating the seeds of the golden era of AOR and prog rock. "Lady of Mars" is a cosmic keeper, and "You Give Me Candy" rages brilliantly. "Chevy" puts a foreign hatchet to Southern rock, and "High Upon High" hits the sky. Great stuff the majority of the universe missed out on, and regardless of how often Metal for Muthas, Vol. 2 actually lands on your turntable, the slab remains an essential history lesson.

blue highlight denotes track pick