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Fastway - 'Eat Dog Eat' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/bc/07/8e/1816_FastwayEatDogEat_1325109010.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     December 28, 2011    
 
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An album that reminds us why we loved Fastway in the first place.

Fastway was formed in 1983 by 'Fast' Eddie Clarke and Pete Way, as both became disillusioned with their own bands. The band personnel list is quite numerous and with 'Eat Dog Eat' they have continued their knack of bringing together successful band mates. 'Fast' Eddie Clarke enjoyed success of course with Motorhead, whilst Toby Jepson had a long career fronting the ever youthful Little Angels, and a few years back, the reformed Gun.
Fastway's sound was always based on no nonsense Blues rock, 'Fast' Eddie (although compared to todays 'shredders' is rather more 'restrained', than 'fast') was always an honest player, and whilst the band never really hit the heights; save for the 'Trick And Treat' soundtrack in the mid 80s, they and their numerous line ups on the whole delivered the goods.

Jepson was approached by Clarke initially for live festival gigs, and the resulting chemistry lead to the news last year that the band were writing and recording their first new material since the 1990 album 'Bad Bad Girls'. As a fan of this debut album, and a huge admirer of the Little Angels I was fascinated to see what kind of a noise these seasoned musicians would make.

'Eat Dog Eat' kicks off with the crunching 'Deliver Me', a straight forward slow tempo rocker, Jepson's vocals are as ever full of heart and Clarke's guitars are full of menace and prove he's still got the chops. 'Fade Out' with its brooding bass-line is a wonderful showcase for Jepson's vocals, simple and unfussy blues based rock. The band crank it up a notch for the wonderful 'Leave The Light On' this has so much swagger and tips a nod to Fastway's past musical glories, Clarke wringing every inch of attitude out of his guitar.

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They are not breaking any new ground here, but the honesty is what stands out; 'Dead And Gone', for example, sees the band stripped to the bare bones, heart on sleeve vocals and an acoustic guitar opening, the type of song Jepson can write in his sleep seemingly. As this is Fastway, it's all simple, no bells and whistles. The tempo is picked up with the infectious 'Sick As A Dog'; Clarke peeling of some sublime blues licks that would make Billy Gibbons proud, a real bar room anthem.

The album closes with 'On And On' and it's at this point I have to mention Matt Eldridge: his drumming here is solid and nails the whole song down, his work is never fussy allowing the songs to shine. I think that is the secret to Fastway's success; never overly fussy, they let the music do the talking. 'Eat Dog Eat' in fairness never fully gets out of third gear, but this is no bad thing.
Quite simply messrs Clarke, Jepson and Eldridge have created an album that reminds us why we loved Fastway in the first place - and surely that's got to be good?

Dave Evans

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