David Byron Band

On the Rocks

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Considering how lackluster some of David Byron's early solo work (and final days with Uriah Heep) sounds today, it is not only refreshing, but astonishing, to run head first into On the Rocks and find the old voice box sounding better than it had in years. Packed with some of the most menacing riffs of his career -- check out "King" -- and a voice that roars on the right side of anger, On the Rocks is the sound of classic Heep, shot through with both the fresh adrenalin of the NWOBHM and an ear for what was going on elsewhere in the world. "Start Believing" layers in Mel Collins' sax to add an almost funky feel to the proceedings, even as "Piece of My Love" echoes on bluesy piano, while "Bad Girl" is simply slinky. Three bonus tracks in the 2010 Angel Air reissue keep the mood hot and hopping, and the accompanying booklet catapults you back to the sessions, and the creation of what should have been a far bigger band than it was ever allowed to become.