Rusted Metal

Fastway - Fastway

By: Vinaya Saksena
Published: Sunday, April 10, 2005
I discovered this obscure hard rock curiosity as a high school junior while scouring the school library’s limited but often fascinating CD collection. Upon examining the CD booklet, I noticed that this unknown act included none other than ex-Motorhead guitarist “Fast” Eddie Clarke. Intrigued, I checked the CD out and popped it into my Sony once home. What I heard was an inviting collection of bluesy, hooky, hard rock tunes in the grand tradition of Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, and Humble Pie (whose drummer, Jerry Shirley, lays down the bruising grooves contained on this album).

And while I find it a gross simplification to compare one great band to another, if such a comparison must be made with Fastway, then Aerosmith is it. Indeed, the Toxic Twins’ influence can be detected to varying degrees throughout the album, “Same Old Song And Dance” being grandly evoked in the snaky riff and more than slightly suggestive lyrics of “Feel Me, Touch Me (Do Anything You Want).”

Elsewhere, we are treated to other rousing invocations of glam, kicking blues-rock, heartfelt, working-class laments of society’s evils, and other dated, but still enjoyable ‘70’s rock traditions. And despite being recorded in 1983, in the midst of new wave and the first stirrings of pop metal, Fastway bears almost no sonic traces of either trend, being relatively rough, low-fi and down to earth.

Anyway, what we have here is a reverent and inviting update on the best traditions of ‘70’s rock, personal favorites being “Say What You Will” and the mellow-then-heavy “Another Day.” All in all, though, the whole album upholds the aforementioned ‘70’s rock traditions beautifully, and aside from a couple of songs being slightly sub-par compositionally, this album is damn close to bell-bottomed, riff-rocking perfection; tasteful, well-executed, but never flashy, and exuding more emotional depth than many other acts in the same genre even bother with.

Note 1: UFO bassist Pete Way co-founded the group with the aforementioned Fast Eddie Clarke (hence the name Fastway), but left to join Ozzy Osbourne’s touring band, only to be fired by Ozzy shortly thereafter. It was only recently that I discovered the identity of the mystery bassist who took Way’s place on this album. Apparently, bass duties were handled by unlisted session player Mickey Fiat, before Charlie McCracken joined as the band’s full-time bassist for their underrated sophomore release All Fired Up.

Note 2: Vocalist Dave King later formed the similarly bluesy, but more modern-sounding Katmandu, who released an excellent self-titled album on Epic in 1991.

[Other Maximum Metal Columns]

<< back >>

. HammerFall. In Flames
. The Kovenant. Mudvayne
. Opeth. Slipknot
. Immolation. Mondo Generator
. Commit Suicide. Overkill
. Usurper. Rawhead Rexx
. Agoraphobic Nosebleed. Manowar
. Johnny Lokke. Pyn Siren
. Goat Horn. Godiva
. Bloodbath. Thunderbolt
. Curriculum Mortis. Runemagick
. Axenstar. Silent Scythe
. Pharaoh. Krisiun
. DevilDriver. Fraise
. Doro. F5
. TNA. Devil To Pay
. Celesty. Outworld
. Jorn. Zaius
. House of Lords. Feinstein
. Destructor. Krokus
. Joe Lynn Turner. Bonfire
. Lilitu. Killswitch Engage
. Metal Church. Shadows Fall
. Dio. Occult
. Lullacry. Nashville Pussy
. Valume Nob. Tartharia
. Incantation. Mirror of Deception
. Karmakanic. Avenue F
. Rush. Of Infinity
. Paradise Lost. Scenteria
. Helgrind. Image
. Divine Fire. Hellfueled
. Astral Doors. Shatterpoint
. Angtoria. Kaamos
. Bruce Dickinson. Drunkard
. Magica. Strapping Young Lad
. Callenish Circle. Grand Magus
. Burden Of Grief. Throes of Dawn
. Shade Empire. Slumber
. Pro-Pain. Def Leppard
. Nightrage. Vicious Art
. Ektomorf. Monolithe
. The Father Panic Riot Orchestra. Nightvision
. Devil Lee Rot. Sheavy
. Clutch. The Scourger
. Future is Tomorrow. Lake Of Tears
. Pagan's Mind. Before The Dawn
. Armored Saint. Penetrator
. Winterfell. Ignarus
. Barcode. Mabon
. Ghost Machinery. Damnation
. Dechrist. Chain Collector
. Torture Killer. Gorefest
. Pile of Heads. Thryfing
. Totalisti. Powerglove
. Cannibal Corpse. Ephel Duath
. Nikki Puppet. Beyond Fear
. Daylight Dies. The Berzerker
. Viron. Theater of Tragedy
. Michael Orlando. Gorgoroth
. Smohalla. Azure
. Swashbuckle. Skid Row
. Mouth of the Architect. Death Breath
. Pretty Maids. Teeth of the Hydra
. Obtest. Sathanas
. Starkweather. Better Left Unsaid
. Steve Cone. Urkraft
. Melechesh. Static-X
. Zyklon. Nagelfar
. Marc Sasso. White Willow
. Almah. Mendeed
. Trouble. Chrome Division
. Mithras. Manes
. The Wonderfools. Fight
. Keep of Kalessin. Temple Of Blood
. Ensiferum. Echoes of Eternity
. Destynation. Spheric Universe Experience
. Rosetta. Ost Est Ima
. Father Befouled. Jesus Martyr
. Witchfinder General. Moonshine
. Intolerant. Cursed
. Sin. Something Beautiful
. Battleroar. Mustasch