"Tygers of Pan Tang"
By Colonel Angus
It has been four years since this NWOBHM band released any material and like Diamond Head, they decided to self-title the affair. Tygers of Pan Tang should have been bigger but for some reason (probably record company politics) they never got to the level of, let’s say, Saxon. Right from the start, they had the sound and the songs to make them popular. Hell, they even had John Sykes in their ranks for a couple of years and look what he did for Thin Lizzy and Whitesnake. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter why they haven’t made it to the big leagues, it just matters that they are still around and putting out good records like this one. I though "Animal Instinct" and "Ambush" were decent but this self-titled release takes it up a notch. In fact, aside from “Glad Rags” and “I Got the Music in Me”, the whole rest of the record is great. Tracks like “Only the Brave”, “Do It Again” and “The Devil You Know” are all solid NWOBHM tracks. The riffing on “Never Give Up” sounds a lot like “Stand Up and Shout” by Dio which only gives it even more of that old school metal feel. Even though there are a few “ballad” type tunes, they are still really good songs with “The Reason Why” being the best. All in all, nine out of eleven track makes for a very enjoyable album. Just like Diamond Head, who had a couple of records that were OK, Tygers bounce back with a winner.
If you were a Tygers of Pan Tang fan from the early eighties, you’ll recognize the name Robb Weir as he is still the guitarist of this band he helped create. The rest of the guys are part of the line-ups that were around starting in the late nineties. Micky Crystal helps Weir out on guitar while Gav Gray (bass) and Craig Ellis (drums) create one tight rhythm section. Even though Jacopo Meille sang on the last couple of albums, he sounds fresh and really puts in a great vocal performance on this disk. The NWOBHM was a magical time and I’m glad that Tygers of Pan Tang are still out there putting out records and touring. The old guard still has a lot to teach these new bands how it’s done and this record proves it.
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