Thursday, September 20, 2007

An ode to Heavy Pettin', the best 80s pop-metal band you've never heard of

If I may ask you one thing, gentle reader, it's that you please overlook the Spinal Tap-ness of that name for the duration of this essay. It really is their name.


Yes, Heavy Pettin' was a good band, one of the few to actually get better with each album. Some have called them Scotland's answer to Def Leppard, and their singer sometimes does something similar to that David Lee Roth yeeeooowwww thing. But anyone who has discovered them knows that they have their own unique virtues, foremost among them the ability to rokk out with extreme prejudice.

I mean, their lead guitarist is named Punky Mendoza for Pete's sake.

Lettin' Loose, 1983: "Love on the Run" has a killer intro and wicked ricochet guitar effects that threaten to make your ears bleed and your head explode. "In and Out of Love" is just killer. Featured lyric: "I met a girl about five foot two / long blonde hair, eyes of blue / I wanted her to be mine all mine / she said 'another place and another time.'"

Rock Ain't Dead, 1985: And these guys prove it. The cover has them in soft focus, striving valiantly into the distance, holding high the red and yellow banner of all that is metal. For those about to rock, indeed. If the title track saves rock and roll, the #2 track, "Sole Survivor," propels it back into the stratosphere. Plus your girlfriend loves "Dream Time." Trust me on that one.

Big Bang, 1989: The legendary "unreleased" final album. The band had competed unsuccessfully in the 1987 Eurovision Song Contest with "Romeo", and this album has the feel of a more pop-oriented direction. Which isn't a bad thing. This is smooth, cool 80s power balladry at its finest. From the crunchy "Born to Burn" to the soaring "Heaven Scent" and the smoky synths-and-sax outro in the aforementioned "Romeo", it's all good. Dang good. Heavy Pettin' good, folks. Listen to this album on a cool summer night, with the windows down.

They don't make 'em like this anymore.

Love On The Run - Heavy Pettin

In And Out Of Love - Heavy Pettin



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