“Waiting for the Roar” is the third album from Fastway and an album in which “Fast” Eddie Clarke didn’t write a song on this album. For a band which carries part of his name, it’s confusing how that can be.
However he did allow the other members to flex their song writing chops or the label flexed their chops at getting the other members to deliver a radio friendly melodic rock album.
The band is Dave King on lead vocals, ‘Fast’ Eddie Clarke on lead/rhythm guitars, Shane Carroll on rhythm guitar, Paul Reid on bass guitar and Alan Connor on drums.
Production is handled by Terry Manning.
The majority of the songs are written by the other band members with producer Terry Manning who also plays the synth.
I read some reviews of this recently, which called it a misstep and pop metal and a commercial failure.
I like melodic rock music regardless of who does it.
If you are a fan of Fast Eddie and his Motorhead output and that’s all you want to hear from him, then this will disappoint you greatly.
For starters, vocalist Dave King has a decent range in his voice, so he will always come across melodically. It’s strange how critics were not kind to him however those same critics did embrace Mark Slaughter which is confusing as they sound very similar.
But if you want to listen to a melodic rock album, slickly produced with production sounds borrowed from Mr Mister, Tears For Fears and Cutting Crew albums, then this album is a good listen.
Waiting For The Roar
Arpeggios and a lot of midi sample triggers.
Check out the main guitar riff, it’s like Bad Company, with elements of the blues and a whole lotta hard rock.
The World Waits For You
It has a Chorus that reminds me of “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” from Tears For Fears.
At 7 minutes long, it has an orchestra added to the last 2 minutes which sounds very much like symphonic Metal.
Little By Little
The verse riff is sleazy and bluesy and Dave King delivers another melodic rock gem with his vocal melodies. At times I thought that Mark Slaughter made an appearance on this as the sound of the vocals can be interchanged.
It’s a ballad. 6 minutes in length. If they were going for radio songs, the length of the songs would require heavy edits.
Synth chords and bluesy melodic lines start the song. The bass sounds like many of the Brit Pop bands at the time. The drums are heavily processed with midi triggers so the sounds could be manipulated.
And I like it. The mood it sets gets me and the idea to include the orchestra in the final minutes of the songs is excellent.
It wouldn’t be an 80’s album without a song title that didn’t include the word “Rock”.
That’s probably why the movement known as “Thrash” metal really took off during this period.
Tired Of Your Love
It’s catchy and it sounds like the melodic rock tracks that Slaughter would write in a few years’ time.
A Janis Joplin cover. A synth with a flanger like effect just hums along while the vocal melody is delivered. When the Jethro Tull inspired riff kicks in, the foot is tapping and I like it.
Kill Me With Your Heart
It’s Chorus is Jim Steinman worthy like the work he did with Bonnie Tyler and an orchestra again enters for the last minute of the song.
Very synth heavy, which is no surprise as the song is written just by vocalist Dave King and producer Terry Manning.
At the 50 second mark, the guitars make an appearance but they are buried behind the synths and the Tears For Fears bass sound.
The guitar is basically used the way keyboards are used in some other bands, as an instrument that is heard from time to time and hidden more in the background, instead of being the instrument that carries the song.
The chorus is catchy, with its “Girl” chant, however corny the lyrics sound.
And the lead break is full of blues playing, however it is buried
Back Door Man
Janet Jackson would have a hit called “Black Cat” in 1989, with a guitar riff very similar to this.
Everything is judged on sales, especially in 1986 and this didn’t sell as expected. Then again, Fastway albums were never seen as big sellers and from memory I don’t recall any certifications on em either.
While a section of fans of heavy metal and blues rock embraced Melodic Rock, there were also fans who didn’t, choosing to remain within their blues rock and metal worlds. A lot of bands suffered from this splintering in styles.
But all was not lost as one of my favourite Fastway albums is coming up next, with the soundtrack to the “Trick Or Treat” movie, also released in the same year.