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New release from: THE RODS – Heavier Than Thou (Re-Release) (December 23, 2021)
Although things had been pretty quiet since The Rods had released Let Them Eat Metal in 1984, Heavier Than Thou was in effect the band’s second release of 1986. Earlier in the year had come Hollywood, an album of songs which didn’t fit the band’s usual template and which featured a singer, Rick Caudle, fronting the more familiar line-up of guitarist/vocalist David ‘Rock’ Feinstein, drummer Carl Canedy and bassist Garry Bordonaro. Hollywood was released under the name Canedy, Feinstein, Bordonaro and Caudle.
Heavier Than Thou, the band’s seventh ‘proper’ album, saw The Rods back on familiar musical territory, although by now Bordonaro had left the band. His replacement was Craig Gruber, who had been a bandmate of Feinstein back in Elf days and who’d been with The Rods for a short while before Bordonaro had joined in January 1981 (Bordonaro does however feature on the song “Make Me A Believer”).
Perhaps more interestingly, The Rods had now become a four-piece with the addition of Shmoulik Avigal, a vocalist of some note who’d previously fronted Horizon and Picture. Canedy recalls that Shmoulik accompanied him to the studio one day. At the drummer’s suggestion he’d sung a Rods’ song, and Feinstein was astounded: “that’s unbelievable! We’ve got to have him sing the whole album.” And he did.
Heavier Than Thou boasts an interesting collection of songs, and it was “Crossfire” that radio stations picked up on. But just when things were starting to look up their label in the States, Passport, folded, and overnight the band lost all the headway they’d made. The Rods never actually split up, they just took an extended break; but twenty-five years would pass before a new album – the aptly-titled Vengeance – appeared in the shops.
Original transfer by Marcus Mossmann at Phonographic Artifacts. Audio restoration and mastering by Patrick W. Engel at Temple of Disharmony in November 2020. Cutting by SST Germany on Neumann machines for optimal quality on all levels
01. Heavier Than Thou
02. Make Me a Believer
03. Angels Never Run
05. I’m Gonna Rock
06. She’s in Trouble
07. Born to Rock
08. Chains of Love
09. Communication Breakdown
10. Fool for Your Love
11. Cold Sweat and Blood
12. The Music Man
13. Life on the Edge (outtake)
14. Communication Breakdown + Whole Lotta Led (live)
15. Evil Woman – Rabid Thunder Drum Solo (live)
16. Witches Brew (live)
Shmoulik Avigal – Lead Vocals
David “Rock” Feinstein – Guitars and Vocals
Carl Canedy – Drums, Keyboards, Rhythm Guitar, Guitars Synth. and Vocals “She’s in Trouble”
Craig Gruber – Bass
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