Raven: “One For All” CD

Given that it has been a whopping 26 or 27 years since Hasselvander joined the Gallaghers for “Nothing Exceeds Like Excess” and the power trio is still going strong today, it should really have come as no surprise that this is where he feels most at home kicking seven shades out of the kit! Admittedly, it was a few years after “One For All” was originally released before I heard the album and when my friend pressed play my jaw hit the floor. I had no idea whatsoever that Raven had stayed hard and remained so bloody relevant in an era where much in the way of Heavy Metal had faltered. The energy and enthusiasm speak volumes from the very off. That defiant bounce and no-nonsense attitude permeates the music as much as the vocal delivery yet the ear to ear grin is visible on each of their faces. “Kangaroo” is aptly named in that regard with its steady hop and accelerated bursts. “Last Ride” has a full throttle finale too. But it is the lethal left, right, left at the beginning of the round that is irresistible. The later drum break in “Seven Shades” was surely written for jamming the sing-along chorus with the audience. The riff and drum rhythm of “Double Talk” refuses to let anybody slink off back to the bar for another pint. Bang your head instead! Whilst “Roll with the Punches” is somewhat more laidback do not be deceived. That feistiness remains. The drumming is snappy, the lead break stellar and the Quo swagger self-assured. This crowd knows who they are and how to rock. Play and play again.

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