Sounds like it just fell out of a time warp from 1978

If you’re tired of what today’s music scene has to offer, then Uriah Heep’s Into the Wild may be the cure for what ails you.

Recorded between December and February last, this album sounds like it just fell out of a time warp from 1978. It’s like Mick Box and the lads have spent the last thirty years listening to nothing but their own back catalogue and the Gillan-period Deep Purple albums.

They kick the album off with a couple of decent if non-essential 70s-style hard rock tracks. I can understand them starting out like this, but really these two songs are among the weakest on the album, especially “I Can See You” with its cheesy “She’s the candle that lights my room/Better watch out coz it’s coming soon” line. Still, they let you know to be prepared for some rock, and the Heep certainly deliver. When the keys float in and the organ starts to surge at the beginning of the title track is when Into the Wild takes off as Box chops out a classic driving rock riff and vocalist Bernie Shaw really hits his stride. The catchy, organ-driven rocker “Money Talk” follows, with Box sprinkling bursts of guitar all over, and “I’m Ready” follows the same template. At this point, Uriah Heep switches to prog mode with the glorious six-and-a-half minute “Trail of Diamonds” that could have come directly from their fabled past and will surely bring a tear to the eye of any old 70s rocker in the audience. The back half of the album has its share of gems also, particularly the hook-ridden “Lost”, although “Kiss of Freedom” is rather twee and I could have done without the 80s melodic rock throwback “T-Bird Angel”. Overall however, this is really quite a good album that doesn’t pander to any kind of modern trend whatsoever and wholly the type of album you’d expect from a band that’s been in business longer than your dad has probably been alive.

For fans of classic rock, Into the Wild is like buying a brand new armchair that already has your arse-groove in it. Just open a few cans of KB and you’ll be right at home.

 

1. Nail on the Head
2. I Can See You
3. Into the Wild
4. Money Talk
5. I’m Ready
6. Trail of Diamonds
7. Lost
8. Believe
9. Southern Star
10. T-bird Angel
11. Kiss of Freedom