Scoring hat-trick is a tricky feat, especally when the concert road doesn't seem to end, so "Rampant" might add some anger to the recycling of its predecessor's title yet fails to reproduce the moulden whole of "Loud 'n' Proud". For NAZARETH the problem lies in the perception, though: the fans have always regarded the band as purveyors of hard rock while the Scots' horizons are much wider than that. That's why their fifth LP tries to lay the heavy blueprint onto the stylistic scale of "Exercises" with quite a mixed result.
It tends to be almost appalling in the finale, the prog rock cocoon pulled over the pairing of THE YARDBIRDS' "Shape Of Things" with the impressive HAWKWIND-like instrumental "Space Safari"; still, in the slightly humorus "Jet Lag" the rifferama pulls the touring drift down to bluesy earth and introduces the vocoder, thus sowing seeds for both "Telegram" and "Hair Of The Dog". More so, the album launches as usual, with a streamline, if sharp, rock 'n' roll of "Silver Dollar Forger" the guitar of which comes cosmic, too, in the second part of the track, but in the first half its strum sets the tone for some rockabilly fare to follow. The album rooted in Americana, "Sunshine" bares the foursome's soft underbelly, and there's a tremulous, echo-drenched loneliness in "Loved And Lost" where the quartet take away their iron mask to look up beyond the atmosphere again. NAZ's record can't exist without some reckless blues re-imagined for a good laugh, though, so in "Glad When You're Gone" the brick-laying verses with their tight vocal harmonies see the countrified release on the cheerful choruses.
The mood rockets even higher when "Shanghai'd In Shanghai" cuts the rug and welcomes Jon Lord's piano boogie, the slider and the "Satisfaction" quote in its sweaty, Southern rock hug, embracing also a rare B-side "Down" - a bonus here, alongside the BBC recordings - whereas in the sluggish "Light My Way" the effects feel jarring. So much for the experimentation, more interesting than pleasant. This way the band delivered their "Revolver", tasty but strange, and accumulated force for the next punch.
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