Friday, October 11, 2013

BJ's Buried Treasure: Hawaii - Loud Wild and Heavy


Marty Friedman's first band, Deuce, formed in Washington D.C. in 1978, when Marty was all of 16 years old (all of the band's members were teenagers). Deuce released an independent single in 1981 but in 1983 Marty moved to Hawaii and formed a new band (with female singer Kim La Chance) called Vixen. Vixen morphed into Aloha and landed a coveted spot on Brian Slagel's second Metal Massacre compilation. After another name change, to Hawaii, and a switch to a male vocalist, Gary St. Pierre, the band signed with Mike Varney's legendary Shrapnel label and released a highly regarded early thrash album called One Nation Underground. To my ears the production on that record is sub-par and St. Pierre's voice doesn't quite service the songs. Thankfully, from my perspective, St. Pierre (who would end up in Vicious Rumors) was soon replaced by a singer named Eddie Day (who had apparently at some point been a member of Deuce) and this new version of Hawaii released a four song EP in 1984 appropriately titled Loud Wild and Heavy. It is, in my opinion, one of the best metal releases ever. The songs are heavy and snarling but also catchy as hell.

The opening tracks, "Bad Boys of Metal" and "Loud Wild and Heavy" are killer metal tunes with plenty of hooks and attitude and the third song, "Escape The Night," is one of my favorite songs ever, by anyone. Friedman melodic fretwork and driving riff are complemented perfectly by Day's crisp yet jagged vocals. As far as I am concerned eighties metal did not get any better than this song, and it also serves as an excellent example of what a difference production and vocals can make. Friedman had recorded the song with Vixen and it also appeared on One Nation Underground but neither of the earlier versions hold a candle to the goddamn perfection of the song as it appears on Loud Wild and Heavy with Eddie Day ripping it up. Hear for yourself:

Hawaii released one more album, a fun collection of pop metal called The Natives Are Restless. Friedman of course eventually wound up in Megadeth, his first album with the band being, not coincidentally, the band's best, Rust In Peace.

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