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Stray

Live at the Marquee

Review by Gary Hill

This is a new reissue of a live album from the 1980s. The band was known for the live shows, and had released their first album in 1970, but never before released a live album. This particular edition includes three bonus tracks. The first is another live performance. The other two are sides A and B of a single released by their singer Del Bronham. These guys (as a band) produced a sound that was part Jimi Hendrix, part Rick Derringer, part UFO and part NWOBHM. The single doesn't really fit that well, but those are bonus tracks. If you've never heard this band, I recommend this as an introduction. It's a killer live performance. If you are a fan, it's a "must have."

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2018  Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Houdini
This hard rocker is tasty stuff. It reminds me quite a bit of UFO in some ways. The instrumental section later in the track is so classy. It also reinforces that UFO comparison to a decent degree.
One Night in Texas
I dig that rhythm section as this number powers into being. This is another killer hard rocker. It has some tasty guitar soloing built into it.
After the Storm
This one is even more straight ahead than the previous two were. It makes me think of something Rick Derringer might do. The guitar really shines on this killer tune. I love the fast paced instrumental movement later. That section is extensive and takes us through some shifts and twists. The closing section on this feels a lot like early Rush to me.
Percy the Pimp
I love the riffs on this rocker. It has a cool groove and some catchy hooks. I can make out some of that early Rush thing along with Rick Derringer and more on this killer tune. It drops back mid-track for some guitar soloing and then fires out from there in style and class. That instrumental section takes the piece to its close. The tune is one of my favorites here.
Running Wild
I wonder how many songs have this title? I bet it's a lot. In any event, this feels a lot like the early sounds of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal movement. This is screaming hot.
All in Your Mind
This comes in gradually, building out with a rather metallic tone. In fact, I'd consider this sound to be a distinct predecessor to NWOBHM, too. This is another hook-laden hard rocker that works really well. The instrumental section mid track has a great classic hard rock sound to it. The tune continues to drive forward nicely from there, too. This has some smoking hot guitar soloing further down the road.
Suicide
Coming in with some killer riffing, this feels quite a bit like something Led Zeppelin might do. The instrumental introduction is more than a minute and a half long. As the vocals join, this again starts to take on elements of NWOBHM. The jam around three minute mark has some Jimi Hendrix like things underway. It also has some more killer guitar soloing. The closing jam on the tune is a powerhouse, too.
Bonus Tracks
Feel Like I've Been Here Before
This screaming hot hard rocker is another with leanings toward metal. It's catchy and has some rather intricate stuff built into it.
Del Bronham
           
Who Do You Love

This is much more of a pop rock tune. It has some great hooks and a classic sound. It's a lot of fun.

The Best Friend I Ever Had
Landing in the same basic musical style as the previous tune, this one isn't as strong as that one. I do like the guitar fills, though.
 
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