For many, ‘In For The Kill’ ranks as the best of Budgie’s early works, but don’t go past 1975’s ‘Bandolier’ either, as a classic rock extravaganza.
Written by: gdmonline
ALBUM: In For The Kill
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Wales
LINEUP: Burke Shelley – vocals, bass * Tony Bourge – guitars * Pete Boot – drums
TRACK LISTING: 01 In For The Kill * 02 Crash Course In Brain Surgery * 03 Wondering What Everyone Knows * 04 Zoom Club * 05 Hammer And Tongs * 06 Running From My Soul * 07 Living On Your Own
WEBLINKS: Site Link
Cardiff is the city of origin for Welsh rockers Budgie. More famous for its pubs and their national rugby team, this power trio are a testament to longevity over the years. Kicking off in 1967 as the band Hills Contemporary Grass, sense finally prevailed with a name change to the (shorter and more concise) Budgie.
Over the years, the budgie-head has been prevalent in their marketing, and has appeared on most (if not all) of their record covers, in one form or another. Their brand of hard rock was closely aligned to Birmingham HM band Black Sabbath, with BS’s producer Rodger Bain in charge of their musical output.
The band released their debut in 1971, ‘Squawk’ in 1972, and ‘Never Turn Your Back On A Friend’ in 1973, featuring perhaps their best known track ‘Breadfan’. However, the turning point in their career came with their fourth and monumental ‘In For The Kill’ LP.
Set sail for 41 minutes of primo 70’s rock, the title track ‘In For The Kill’ is a relentless track which fuses early Black Sabbath with that early bluesy vibe that the Pat Travers Band tapped into while based in England.
‘Crash Course In Brain Surgery’ features some dominate bass lines from Burke Shelley. The mid-song vocalisms resort to Robert Plant-isms a la ‘Led Zeppelin IV’. Of course, Metallica would go on to cover this song on their 1987 EP ‘Garage Days Revisited’. The beautiful and poignant ballad ‘Wondering What Everyone Knows’ touches all the right places with its acoustic emphasis.
The first of the two ‘epic’ tracks on this album is ‘Zoom Club’. Tony Bourge is the ringleader on this one, the riffs are stolen (he would say ‘borrowed heavily’) from Jeff Beck, and again a bit of Pat Travers thrown into the mix. This is one of the best traditional hard rocking tracks from the extensive Budgie back catalogue.
‘Hammer And Tongs’ takes on early Black Sabbath characteristics again, surely Bourge must be Tony Iommi’s long lost brother in the guitar stakes?
‘Running from My Soul’ has a fluid bluesy feel to it, and enables Bourge to riff all over the standard twelve bar structure. Again, Pat Travers is a reference, though of course, he wouldn’t make his mark until at least four years later.. The second ‘epic’ track ‘Living On Your Own’ clocks in at 8 and half minutes. It traverses different patterns throughout but never loses intensity and purpose.
For many, ‘In For The Kill’ ranks as the best of Budgie’s early works, but don’t go past 1975’s ‘Bandolier’ either, as a classic rock extravaganza. Guitarist Tony Bourge would leave a few years later, to be replaced by John Thomas. The band moved their sound into the mainstream ranks by the 80’s, as evidenced by their melodic efforts ‘Power Supply’ (an AC/DC doppelganger if ever I’ve heard!) and ‘Deliver Us From Evil’. A great band, well respected among fans and fellow musicians alike.