Strutz - 'Through The Ages'

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Strutz - 'Through The Ages'

As good as the Strutz album was, you get a few more quality songs here too.

This review is part of 'The Lost UK Jewels Collectors Series' by Steelheart Records,  showcasing .all those unknown or half-remembered US-influenced UK acts of the eighties ...

Last and certainly not least we have Manchester's Strutz (Vol.1), a band who stayed together longer than the rest and even got around to recording a nine track LP, even if it was on their own label and was limited to five hundred copies, most of which were destroyed in a fire! Formed in the mid-80s and featuring guitarists Graeme Wood and Dave Hellon, bassist Alan Harter, keyboardist Geoff Potts and drummer Andy Davies, the band recorded singles with different singers before finding the excellent Noel Fraser, who appears on their album. Their sound was a little more original than some of their ilk, mixing Fraser's Jaime St James/Jack Blades tones with big guitars, some staccato arrangements and the huge virtuoso synths of Geoff Potts. 'Late Nights' is a brilliant upbeat opener complete with a Gregg Giuffria-style intro and riffy guitars, whilst 'Heartache' and 'Alright Mama' are also cut from the same cloth, but there's plenty of variety with the moody 'Danger', the old-school pomp of 'Sweet Dreamer' and the infectious 'What You Gonna Do' - watch out for that Aldo Nova steal during the instrumental bit!

Those Bon Jovi keyboard and guitar licks have certainly gotten a lot of mileage over the years, and not least in the enjoyable 'Never Surrender', but as good as the Strutz album was, you get a few more quality songs here too. 'Mixed Emotions' and 'Come Back' may still have the crackle and pop of their 1985 vinyl 45 but they're still great songs sung by Fraser's predecessor, ex-Sam Thunder singer Tex Alexander, whilst a change in tack after Fraser's departure saw the soaring Karen Sambrook front the more keyboard-driven hi-tech AOR of 'I Still Love You' and 'Won't Cry' before band finally gave up the ghost in the 1990s.

Phil Ashcroft

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