Gamma Gamma 1
- Released: August 20, 2013
- Label: Rock Candy
- 1.Thunder and Lightning
- 2.I'm Alive
- 3.Razor King
- 4.No Tears
- 5.Solar Heat
- 6.Ready for Action
- 7.Wish I Was
- 8.Fight to the Finish
Gamma: Davey Pattison (vocals); Ronnie Montrose (guitar); Jim Alcivar (synthesizer); Glen Letsch (bass); Denny Carmassi (drums).
Additional personnel: Genya Ravan (vocals).
Originally released on Elektra Records.
The second LP from Gamma, an unlikely hard rock group on Elektra Records, features future Robin Trower vocalist Davey Pattison doing his best to sound like Bad Company during Paul Rodgers' "Rock & Roll Fantasy" period. With Jim Alcivar on synthesizer and Denny Carmassi on drums, you have a goodly portion of the band Montrose, since the guitarist/producer is the guiding hand behind this project. "Skin and Bone" might as well be Bad Company, while the cover of Thunderclap Newman's "Something in the Air" misses the mark slightly. The revolutionary theme of that great tune from the film The Strawberry Statement gets lost in the translation and doesn't have Pete Townshend's clever production. Though the attempt is interesting enough, memories of the original are so strong that this version is a bit of a letdown, the risk of treading on hallowed ground snagging the group here. Ronnie Montrose, Alcivar, and Pattison combine to write the leadoff track, "Mean Streak," which distorts the "Jumpin' Jack Flash riff just enough to create something new with a metal edge. "Four Horsemen" is Black Sabbath with '80s polish, while "Dirty City" goes back to the Ken Scott sound of the first Gamma LP, copying Foreigner's "Hot Blooded" from two years earlier. Ten Wheel Drive vocalist Genya Ravan is listed on "Dirty City," but Pattison's voice is what producers Gary Lyons and Ronnie Montrose bring up in the mix. "Voyager" is a dreamy metal blues number, and it gives Ronnie Montrose a chance to shine. It and "Cat on a Leash" are two of the more original titles from a group that was highly derivative. "Mayday" ends the album with a hard rock mutation of the Knack's "My Sharona." For a group that sounds so much like two acts on Elektra's sister label, Atlantic, Gamma may have fared better elsewhere. Still, Ronnie Montrose's guitar work makes it worth a few spins, and there's no denying the craftsmanship on sounds you've heard many times before. ~ Joe Viglione
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