KERRANG! ISSUE 79 October 1984

WILDFIRE: “Summer Lightning” (Mausoleum Skull 8338)

‘SUMMER LIGHTNING’ is a far cry from last year’s unsatisfactory debut Wildfire LP, ‘Brute Force And Ignorance’, wherein a badly produced collection of simplistic riffs did little to enhance the band’s arrival or indeed their future.

The band look better now. Comprising some of the less lucky survivors from the Dark Age (NWOBHM), notably vocalist Paul Mario Day from the late, great More and ex-Weapon guitarist Jeff Summers and drummer Bruce Bisland, their image has been shaped and teased so that they now look like a band and notjust an ad-hoc committee from an ethnic musicians collective.

Displaying a continuous flow of uproarious mighty melodies, ‘Summer Lightning’ bursts forth from the speakers with serious intent and Shuttle-shaped combustibility. The tendency, for the most part, is to shell-shock rather than gently persuade, with opener ‘The Key’ the meanest example. Cruising on 10, the duelling guitar rift cascades with a rampaging similarity to Sabbath’s ‘Neon Knights’ – speedy, effective and actively enjoyable.

But it’s not all cranium crushing, far from it ‘Gun Runner’ and ‘Natural Selection’ may both be fast and furious, but a copious quantity of intellectual class has been retained via the use of snappy time changes and chunky Metal solidarity.

‘Nothing Lasts Forever’ and ‘Passion For The Sun’ are also worthy of individual mention; the former a considered and stylish stab at commercial pop rocking garnished with a catchy chorus and fine melodic arrangement; the latter an adventurous trek into spacey atmospherics and the cellular complexities of U2 and, perhaps, the Police. Touchingly different, yet essentially (very) Metal.

An excellent release then, dogged only by a less than sympathetic production (a bigger name would have been a shrewd move) and a rather contrived (typical) ballad, ‘Give Me Back Your Heart’. Can we have some more live shows please?


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