Stand Up and Fight

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Stand up and Fight was late-'70s hard rockers Quartz's calculated attempt to revive their ailing career by jumping the New Wave of British Heavy Metal bandwagon. And, therefore, everything about it -- from its song titles ("Revenge," "Stoking the Fires of Hell," etc.), to its Molly Hatchet-approved cover art -- was geared to appeasing a younger generation of fans, most of whom were indeed unaware of the group's earlier misfires. As it happened, though, Quartz had no such luck and the kids weren't fooled -- although it must be said that, aesthetically speaking, there's not much distance between the title track's call to arms or "Charlie Snow"'s mighty riffs and contemporary metal efforts by, say, Def Leppard or Saxon. In fact, both of these, as well as additional, well-composed standouts "Rock'n'Roll Child" and "Questions," qualified among the heaviest, most aggressive material that Quartz would ever pen; but perhaps it was the band's very sleekness on record, as much as their aging mugs in concert, that ultimately gave them away as seasoned pros from an earlier era. Furthermore, one had only to pull back the flimsiest of layers to expose the soft white underbelly of the band's deception, which included sub-metallic fare like the Boston-aping "Can't Say No to You," and the instantly dating, Sabbath rewrite "Wildfire." Add to all this hapless MCA's inability to break an egg on the sidewalk, never mind a heavy rock band, and Quartz's bid for comeback was pretty much stunted before it started. And still, if removed from all this silly subterfuge, Stand Up and Fight remains a solid enough, early-'80s heavy metal record, and, ironically, quite possibly the most consistent record of Quartz's uneven career.

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