Armed And Ready – Kerrang! 1982
SCHELL SHOCK: This Birmingham-based band have been together a mere three months and comprise Dave (“Lend us a quid till Friday”) Raven on lead guitar, Pete (“l don’t look like Bon Scott, honest”) Travis on drums, Dave (“No handkerchiefs involved”) Martin on bass and Martin (“Got any fags, Dave?”) Schell on vocals and guitar M Iron whom the band’s name is obviously derived.
The band recently laid down a demo at Steve Adams’ Studio (whoever he is) and despite sending it to a number of record companies have so far garnered zilch response. A pity, for despite its muggy sound and all-too-obvious Zep-style vocal inflections, the cape is really entertaining in a slightly old-fashioned, mid-Seventies way.
There are four tracks ‘Slow Motion Suicide’, ‘East Wind, West Wind’, ‘Highway Angels’ and ‘Woman Fever’. Out of them all the latter is by far and away the best with hilarious lyrics that run:
‘Since my baby left me / Had one thing on my mind / How to get just what I wants out of womankind / l’d take anyone, anywhere / All you women just beware!’
“If they want to be sexiest, why can’t they do it with a bit of style? That’s just sheer doggerel, ” said hot-under-the-collar Sounds scribe Robbi Miller. In other words, l don’t chink she particularly liked it…
Marquee, London February 1983 Review by Dave Dickson
THERE WAS a time, in my younger days, when I would have been quite taken by the likes of SchellShock, what with their flowing hair, flashy guitars and wide-legged stances, but now I’m a little bit older, a little bit harder to please and a little bit more demanding.
Quite honestly, the band failed to leave any lasting impression on me – they didn’t come across as original or inventive and appeared to be adding nothing to an already well-populated clique. Although, to be fair to them, the patchy Sunday night audience did enjoy the proceedings and would, doubtless, have been happy to hear more had time allowed.
Putting your finger on the precise reason you like one band and not another can be a well-nigh impossible task, sometimes it’s just a gut feeling, or as in this case, a lack of one. I remained unstirred, unexcited and maybe even a touch bored Perhaps the incongruity of vocalist / guitarist Martin Schell singing about endangered species (‘Tiger. Tiger’) while clad in a leather jacket, leopard-skin strides and fur boots offended my sensibilities, who knows?
Is there a market for SchellShock out there in Heavy Metal Land? Surely, fans of Motorhead, Tank. Spider et all will find this band treading familiar territory; but if, like me, you’re looking for something just a shade outside the norm then this particular cul-de-sac can be safely by-passed.