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Rampant
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  • Nazareth's second album of 1974 finds the group tempering the four-on-the-floor hard rock attack they developed on Loud and Proud by working a surprising and effective Southern rock edge into the songs. The end result is an album that sounds like a crossbreeding of early AC/DC and Lynyrd Skynyrd at their hardest rocking. Some of the country-tinged highlights include "Glad When You're Gone," a funny kissoff to an unwanted lover that pairs hillbilly-styled singing with wah-wah-drenched guitar riffs, and "Jet Lag," a tongue-in-cheek look at life as a touring rock & roller that is driven by some. However, the finest song in this vein is the powerful opener "Silver Dollar Forger"; this hard rocking tale of an outlaw racing home with the cops on his tail has a suprisingly elaborate arrangement and plenty of driving guitar riffs. It feels like the theme song to the great 1970s car chase movie that never was. Rampant also spawned a hit single and radio favorite with "Shanghai'd in Shanghai," a pile-driving rocker that works an effective stomping beat into its shout-along chorus. The downside of this album is that it lacks the experimental edge of Razamanaz; there is little variation in the style or musical elements from song to song. That said, Rampant is a consistently energetic and engaging collection of Southern-tinged hard rock that will please Nazareth's fanbase and may even win over fans of groups like Lynyrd Skynyrd and Molly Hatchet with its effective grasp of Southern boogie. ~ Donald A. Guarisco
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