Sunday, May 22, 2022

Prowler - Reactivate

Formed in Basildon, Essex in 1975, during the early days of NWOBHM, Prowler steadily built a fanbase playing live shows and opening for bands like Budgie and Atomic Rooster.  At a gig in 1980 they met the legendary producer Chris Tsangarides, who after hearing one of their demos, recorded “Gotta Get Back To You” for the compilation Brute Force, an album that would end up becoming a NWOBHM classic and also included tracks from Fist, Diamond Head and Raven amongst others.  That song, “Gotta Get Back To You” is a gritty NWOBHM styled rocker that has some killer guitar work that even includes a bit of “Hava Nagila”.  A few months later the band recorded three more demos with Tsangarides, all of which are also found here along with a live track recorded at The Marquee Club in London in December 1980.  At the urging of Bronze Records, 1981 found the band changing their name to Samurai.  While the name change was short lived as the band went back to Prowler later in the year before actually calling it a day in 1982, there are two tracks here under the Samurai name, one a studio recording and one recorded live.  For the most part the rest of the songs are really solid twin guitar rockers that are often reminiscent of Judas Priest and Saxon, and in the case of the live version of “Samurai” there’s a little Maiden thrown in for good measure  Having said that they still manage to maintain their own identity.  In 2010 and 2020 the band reunited, first to record a 30th Anniversary version of “Gotta Get Back To You” and then to record a 40th Anniversary version of“Heavy Metal Hero”, which has a Deep Purple vibe to it.  While they are a little more polished and the vocals are a little rougher on the 2020 cut, both tracks stand up to what they did decades earlier.  It's a shame the recognition didn't come back in the day, but it's nice to see Prowler get the album they deserve. 

(HNE Recordings)

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