Air Raid’s pompous arrangements, tempo changes galore, and some impressive vocals by Offen, make this a great listen for fans of late 70’s/early 80’s pomp.
Written by: gdmonline
ARTIST: Air Raid
ALBUM: Air Raid
LABEL: 20th Century Records
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
LINEUP: Arthur Offen – vocals, piano, synthesizers, guitars * Rick Hinkle – guitars * Tommy Walker – bass * Rick Brown – drums
TRACK LISTING: 01 Nowhere Without Your Love * 02 You’re Mine * 03 Anything Anytime * 04 Love The Way You Look Tonite * 05 Longships * 06 Love Wave * 07 Mystery Man * 08 Soldiers Of Fortune * 09 Ballad Of Anymore * 10 Air Raid/Drill
WEBLINKS: Site Link
‘Air Raid’ is is a nice slab of period AOR, and definitely for fans of Styx, circa ‘The Grand Illusion’ and ‘Pieces Of Eight’ albums. The guys had played in other bands prior to this, including Radar, a popular Atlanta-based outfit. Formed as far back as 1973, Air Raid go all out to cement the pomp king’s title.
This is the sort of band to keep our good pomp friend Stephen B Allen happy, as they sort of swagger (or is that stagger) between bands like Trillion and Russia in the red corner, and Queen and Styx in the blue corner. With Eddie Kramer acting as the referee (producer), there’s a good chance the songs come out sounding reasonably OK. And they do.
Air Raid’s pompous arrangements, tempo changes galore, and some impressive vocals by Offen, make this a great listen for fans of late 70’s/early 80’s pomp. I must say, I’ve had this in my collection for years, and only now am I starting to appreciate its quality. Shame on me.
The opening trio of ‘Nowhere Without Your Love’, ‘You’re Mine’ and ‘Anything-Anytime’ border on pomp bombast, and are as good as you’ll hear in this sub-genres. ‘Love Wave’ has some Billy Squier flavours running through it, while ‘Mystery Man’ stops and starts like a car having hiccups.
Otherwise, the album is propped up by a strong collection of other tracks such as ‘Longships’, ‘Soldiers Of Fortune’ and the very strange outtro called ‘Air Raid/Drill’, which I’m sure only Todd Rundgren fans will appreciate.
A mention must be made of vocalist and keyboardist Arthur Offen, who’s fine pipes resemble Dennis DeYoung. He is obviously the star of the show here. Air Raid are definite contenders for the one-off wonders award, as they walked off to the far end of AOR Boulevard without being seen of or heard of again, only with the exception of the history books and sites like GDM.
However, as luck would have it, Arthur has been sighted down a back-alley, with a band called Flag: essentially a duo, who released the ‘Across The Stars’ album in 1997. For a complete discourse of Air Raid’s interesting history, check out Arthur Offen’s website (above). Come 2006, this Air Raid album is now available on CD via CD Baby.
Nowhere Without Your Love