REVIEW - BlitZ - 'Take No Prisoners Live' (Album - KSM Records And Entertainment)
Unashamed in their channelling of NWOBHM and 80s classic rock influences (no trying to co-opt a number of other rock / metal tropes into their sound for these guys), Nottingham's BlitZ return with a live album, recorded at shows between 2019 and 2021, featuring eleven highlights from their 'Welcome To The Rock Show' and 'Fight To Survive' albums. By all accounts a fine and thoroughly entertaining live act, 'Take No Prisoners' does a grand job of capturing BlitZ 'ripping up venues' with plenty of crowd interaction to the fore and the band on tip-top form, all reflected in the muscular sound of these recordings. Incorporating Kevin Simpson's impressive riffing and soloing, Stuart Corden's tough sounding vocals and crowd rousing frontman moves and a no nonsense bedrock of grooves and rhythm from Corden's bass playing and Mat Davis' drumming, this release shows BlitZ at their best in their 'natural environment' of a live show.
While the album is strong from the opening chunky power chords of opener 'Damage Is Done', the punchy one-two of that track and the following 'Don't Look Back', and the Maidenesque overtones of 'One In A Million', it's when the more melodic side of the band comes to the fore and the catchy choruses (they have a few!) begin to flow that the album kicks up a gear. 'Breaking Out', the strutting 'Party Time', rock 'n' rolling '99 Ways' and Leppard-alike 'Waiting For A Miracle' all have tremendous crowd pleasing abilities with short, sharp, zestful tunes, choruses that have you singing along at the drop of a hat and a joyous, dynamic feel. If the following three tunes are a little less immediate, both 'Rock City Nights' and the heavier 'Dance Into The Fire' are still well worth a spin and in 'Love Is A War' show that BlitZ can do the lighter aloft ballad as well as anybody. Set closer 'I Believe', another song with a commercial edge and a hugely singable chorus, begins with Corden exclaiming 'Keep believin' in rock 'n' roll people' and you can tell that the guys in BlitZ certainly do, as this live record proves.
.....and yet there's more! As well as a band interview, 'Take No Prisoners' also has a new studio track from the band, 'Keep Movin' On'. It's a fabulous track that could take BlitZ to the next level, coming as it does with an even bigger BlitZ chorus, great groovin' rhythms. Corden's urgent vocals, even a little 'funk' in the middle and has the catchiest intro riff I've heard in a long time. If 'Keep Movin' On' is a precursor to a new album, it should be a belter when it's done! As for 'Take No Prisoners', if as live albums sometimes do, it closes a chapter for BlitZ (and in fine style), then 'Keep Movin' On' proves that on record and live, the band should have even greater chapters ahead of them.
'Take No Prisoners Live' is available from the 17th September and CDs with a sticker and a signed postcard can be pre-ordered from firstname.lastname@example.org. It will also be available digitally from the band's Bandcamp page - www.blitzuk.bandcamp.com and other major digital sites.