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Tobruk – Wild On The Run [1985]

PhotobucketPerhaps one of the most underrated and overlooked melodic rock releases of the mid-80s was Tobruk’s “Wild On The Run”. Unfortunately, unless you were a hard rock aficionado back then, this one might have been released right under your nose
without you ever hearing about it. Tobruk was another one of those bands that are loosely associated with the vaunted New Wave of British Heavy Meatl (NWOBHM) movement, but probably don’t fit the bill musically. They may have had the obligatory Neat Records single release, but Tobruk’s music was more similar to American arena rock than the gritty and aggressive NWOBHM mainstays.

Tobruk were a melodic hard rock band formed in 1980, in Bedfordshire, England, by frontman Stuart Neil (Snake), guitarist Nigel Evans, drummer Tim Bryant and keyboardist Jem Davis, played together in a Bedford-based band, called Stranger. After the addition of a new rhythm section, consisting of bassist Steve Woodward and drummer Alan Vallance, they relocated to a place nearby Birmingham and re-adopted the name of Tobruk. A first demo bought them a session on The Friday Rock Show, which was broadcast in October 1982.

The exposure led to a debut single for Neat Records in September 1983, featuring the songs “Wild On The Run” and “The Show Must Go On”, but Tobruk would have to wait a further two years and break in a new
rhythm section consisting of Mike Brown on bass and Eddie Fincher on drums, before finally earning a proper record deal from EMI subsidiary Parlophone. Tobruk’s 1985 debut “Wild On The Run” is an amazing album of melodic hard rock with no duds, all cuts-cut deep like a knife, which should appeal to all fans of Bon Jovi, Europe, Treat, Fate and the rest of the “kids” out there who like their music melodic yet hard rockin’ as hell. The album recorded in famous Warehouse Studios in Philadelphia and the album co-produced by the band and Lance Quinn, at the time known for producing Bon Jovi as well as Lita Ford.
What we have here is a killer set of tunes with great backup vox, powerful guitar melodies, fantastic raunchy vocals, great song writing and keyboard utilization.

This is the kind of good times “party metal” that makes you either love or hate 80s rock. To these ears, the production and execution of these songs stops at the word stunning… Songs like the excellent “Falling” that brings me back memories from my youth. One of the best songs you will ever hear with tones of keys, great riffs and an amazing chorus line as the flawless song “Poor Girl” with its flashy AOR guitar playing and the great lyrics. Guitars, vocals, bass all sound sizzling. This one rocks so hard… On “Breakdown” except the great key intro features more of the fabulous guitar work that the band they had to offer to their melodic rock fans of the early eighties, with more great vocals as well, while on “Hotline” there’s some great bass guitar work and the vocals sounds great. “Rebound” is another solid track, puts today’s music where it belongs, in a bottmless pit.

The titled song is so great and one of the album’s highlight. Fast, fun and has great guitar work. I’ve even learned how to play the guitar line to this song. Aggressive guitars, great riffs, lots of keys and the crunchy voice of Neil make it a must listening. “Going Down For the Third Time” starts out slow and then burns into an all out attack. An outstanding key intro that sounding more like Journey opens the song and leaving you promises for an impressive continuity, as it happens. On “She’s Nobody’s Angel” there so much talent and style that your ears will melt. This song is my personal anthem, a masterpiece, that shows off the abilities of the band. The opening dark sounding key intro and the incredible guitars that follow will definetely blown you away. No more words, just listen it… “Running From The Night” offer us more power packed fun and “The Show Must Go On” closing the album as a bonus on current releases, a rough diamond rock from the first work of the band in 1983.

How on earth this band did not become huge is rock music’s great mystery. They don’t make’em like this anymore. It’s a crime if you don’t own this. Trust me when I say it’s that good, especially if you like the real good melodic hard rock music. Every 80s music lover or anyone who has good taste will love this lost gem from 1985!

Band Members
Stuart ‘Snake’ Neale -Vocals
Nigel Evans – Guitar
Mick Newman – Guitar
Mike Brown – Bass
Jem Davies – Keyboards
Eddie Fincher – Drums

1. Wild on the Run
2. Falling
3. Running From the Night
4. Hotline
5. Rebound
6. Poor Girl
7. She’s Nobody’s Angel
8. Breakdown
9. Going Down For the Third Time
10. Show Must Go On

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Rating: 9.3/10 (4 votes cast)
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Tobruk - Wild On The Run [1985], 9.3 out of 10 based on 4 ratings
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