Tigertailz - Bezerk 2.0

"In the year 1990 they drove the whole world Bezerk. Now, get ready to go Bezerk all over again!"

In a parallel universe somewhere, there is a world that has never witnessed Nirvana or Grunge Music, no Big Brother on the TV or Carling Premier Lager on draft. Some might say that world exists and it is actually the microcosm known as the "British Rock Nightclub". But having recently witnessed Hanoi Rocks and Twisted Sister live in the same night and now having a reunion CD from Tigertailz in my possession, I'm actually starting to think that decade known as the Nineties may never have happened.

But, saying all this implies Tigertailz have not moved on since the original Bezerk, now some 16 years ago and this does them and us the listeners a severe injustice. So let me bring you up to speed before I get drowned in nostalgia here.

If you hadn't already guessed from the album title, this is singer Kim Hooker, back and raring to scream and back; firing on all cylinders also are guitarist Jay Pepper, bassist (sex god) Pepsi Tate plus new drummer Matt Blakout. Kim and Pepsi seemingly split the band in 1996 after the live album "You Looking At Me?" that had followed 94's "Wazbones" album where the band had taken a darker more metallic "Clockwork Orange" direction. Reforming in 2004, a majority of the songs on this, their self-financed 5th studio album were in fact written way before that date. So of the 12 tunes on offer here you do get 2 songs from the Wazbones era reworked and revitalised for the new line up.

Bezerk 2 has loads to offer, but lets get one thing straight, this album is a full on "mega sonic glam bastard", the fact that Tim Lewis has taken a self financed album and made it sound bigger and also strangely more intimate than most arena produced budgets is a credit to the bands unofficial 5th member.

Things kick off with the quasi "A Team" intro I quoted above over a "Bezerk" (geddit) Arabic metal intro that strangely sounds like Peaches "Fuck The Pain Away" jamming with Torme, and then before you know it your carried into the melodic glam of "Do It Up" and grunge really never did happen. This is an arena call and response rock platter with "Get Real" caught somewhere between Def Leppard and The Sweet and with the CrashDiet like "For Hates Sake" coming home just in time for dinner to be hurled at them on the way back out. The atmospherics of this album are so upbeat and feel good that you can't help singing along to 70's glam influenced "TVOD" and "Sugar Fever" after only a few spins, and for that immediacy alone these are 2 of my fave songs.

Fans of Tigertailz will know they do huge ballads and "I Believe" carries on that tradition a huge choir (they are Welsh after all) singing out loud and proud over some supreme guitar work from Jay Pepper, and at this point in the album I really did believe I was listening to something very special.

I can't emphasise how much of a surprise this album was for me, from the glash (that's glam/ thrash) Metal of "Dirty Needlez" to the heavy indie dance influence of "Falling Down" this is an album of diversity and indulgence and it simply rocks like a like a mega metal mutha. With some recent UK and European shows playing with the likes of Whitesnake, Journey, Twisted Sister and Hardcore Superstar the guys have already been slaying crowds with these songs, and NOW with the album finally hitting the streets, it really is time for the world to go BEZERK!

Quite possibly an early contender for my album of the year; I have no hesitation in giving this album 5 out of 5.

by Johnny T.

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