Point Blank

The Hard Way

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Point Blank is the kind of '70s hard rock band everybody has forgotten or written out of history: the six-piece behemoth, complete with two guitarists, a keyboardist, and a lead vocalist that doesn't play an instrument, all banding together to rock really hard. There are a lot of piledriving riffs, keyboard arpeggios, falsetto shrieks, even the odd slow-blues number and a cover of Deep Purple's "Highway Star." Evidently, the band and its producers believed Point Blank was in its element on stage, so there are three live tracks on their 1976 debut, and they're not devoted to the second side. They're just peppered throughout, which keeps the group from developing true momentum on the record. Then again, it's questionable whether they would have gained a head of steam if they crafted a full studio album since they're attempting a little bit of each hard rock style, from Purple to Bad Company to Zeppelin and BTO boogie. Consequently, they never develop their own identity here, but the scattershot approach makes the album a mildly amusing period piece (especially with the ridiculous sexual pun on the cover, an illustration of a screw entering a nut, where the nut's opening looks to be red and hot; there's a reason why there are still a lot of jokes about '70s hard rock). Not too amusing, however; only people with a true love for mid-'70s album-oriented hard rock, or knew the band back when, will need to seek this out.

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