Artist:  Tygers Of Pan Tang
   Title: Ambush 
   Label: Rocksector Records
 

Well its here, the latest album from NWOBHM legends the Tygers Of Pan Tang.  A band that I’ve follow for too many years to mention.  Over the years the band has gone through many metamorphoses, but it's just in past few years that the band have really hit the ground running, mainly down to the vocal prowess of one Jacapo (Jaco) Meille.

But this is no one man band, as we have the guitars of six string legends Robb Weir and Dean Robertson and the powerhouse drums of Craig Ellis.  However we do see one change as new bassist former Whatever four-string thumper Gavin Gray replaces long time member Brian West.

The new album gets underway with ‘Keeping Me Alive’, which starts off with a simple guitar intro and then the album really Ambush's you like a Bengal out of the blue, taking hold of you and shaking your very foundations, as the twin guitars of Weir and Robertson throw out the big licks, led by the thunder like rhythm section, with the icing on the cake being the vocals of Meille, this is the best start to any Tygers album to date, and shows the band are heading in the right direction from the off.

The hard rocking continues with another riff driven monster ‘These Eyes’.  This is Hard Rock at its most purest, with great guitars and driven back beat, plus a vocalist who can reach the points even Heineken can't reach.

The big tunes just keep on coming with the fantastic ‘One Of A Kind’.  This one has an air of the classic Tygers about it, but with enough of a modern edge to show the band are heading forward and not looking back.

You don’t have time to get your breath as the licks come thick and fast, as the album continues to impress big style with bluesy hard rocking of  ‘Rock & Roll Dream’, with Meille bringing a little Robert Plant style fire to the mix on this one.  Not to be left out, Robertson and Weir also display a few fiery licks of their own.

Another song that has displays the classic Tygers sound is ‘She’.  This one wouldn’t have been out of place on the classic 'Spellbound' album and watch out for the Spanish guitar solo mid track! (it just works!), before Meille displays his full vocal might on the superb ‘Man On Fire’.  A song that definitely features up there as one of my favourites off the album.

The tempo is picked up big style with the rocking ‘Play To Win’, before we are giving a little breather with the simply stunning ‘Burning Desire’.  The soaring guitars on this one are just stunning and this also gives Meille a chance to show that not only can he wail, but when needed to, he can bring warmth as well as power to a song.  Definitely one his finest vocal deliveries on the album.

For those of you who wondered what happened to Suzie, well she’s back as drummer Ellis has penned the follow up to ‘Suzie Smiles’ with ‘Hey Suzie’.  This is Suzie all grown up and breaking hearts.  This might be the story of Suzie, but it also shows how this incarnation of the band have really grown and bonded since first coming together.

The album comes to a close in style with two great rockers, first up its ‘Mr Indispensable’, a reflection of modern life driven by a thumping bass line and some old school hard rocking.  

The closer ‘Speed’ is Hard Rock gold.  Driven guitars and thumping drums, a heads down bass line and as ever that seemingly effortless powerhouse vocal.  This song wraps up what is without a doubt, the best Tygers album of all time.  Yes they’ve had some great ones over the years, but never before has there been such a complete Tygers album.  'Animal Instinct' came close, but this one definitely exceeds all that have gone before.

The album's title 'Ambush' has two meanings, one being the act of ambushing, taken by surprise and this album will surprise many.  The second being the term meaning a group of tigers and this is one group of Tygers that still have a mighty bite.

 Tracklisting:

1. Keeping Me Alive
2. These Eyes
3. One Of A Kind
4. Rock & Roll Dream
5. She
6. Man On Fire
7. Play To Win
8. Burning Desire
9. Hey Suzie
10. Mr Indispensable
11. Speed

                  

 

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