FASTWAY
Trick or Treat: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
80sclassicbutton3.gif (5086 bytes)80s Classic for November 200280sclassicbutton3.gif (5086 bytes)

Track Listing
1. Trick or Treat
2. After Midnight
3. Don't Stop the Fight
4. Stand Up
5. Tear Down the Walls
6. Get Tough
7. Hold On to the Night
8. Heft
9. If You Could See


Sony 1987

fastwaytrick.jpg (29318 bytes)

 

More Releases by Fastway:
Fastway (1983)
All Fired Up (1985)
Waiting for the Roar (1986)
Related Releases (members):
Katmandu (1991) [King]
Motorhead - Ace of Spades (1980) [Clarke]
Fast Eddie Clarke - It Ain't Over Til It's Over (1993)

 

If there ever was a cd tailor made for everyone's favorite excuse to parade around the neighborhood block (or beyond!) in a strange costume, take candy from strangers and deal out suffering to those who refuse, this is it. For the autumnal weirdness of Halloween, this cd should be playing on your stereo on the 31st instead of those cheesy atmospheric sound effects compilations. It promises to rock your house and instantly turn it into the most happenin' party spot on this date for haunting. This puppy is the soundtrack to a horror movie which ended up becoming one of the most beloved cult flicks of the 80s... we could only be talking about Fastway's "Trick or Treat: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack". The movie itself was jam packed with metal references, heck it was *all* about a metalhead who made a pact with a dead rock star in league with the devil and featured appearances by Gene Simmons and Ozzy Osbourne. For whatever reason it never hit it big mainstream-wise but yet managed to touch a chord with its intended audience, that being the poofy haired, two finger saluting youth of the metallic generation. Their heroes brandished a mic and attacked brutally with a six string, so a movie with a bit of gore, some satanic rituals and lots of head banging music was right up their alley, now fondly remembered as a campy classic.

A little backhistory on the band leads us into the heart of 1983 and the craptacular self titled. Yes, alot of people love this one and they are welcome to it. Its like an AC/DC wannabe band minus the attitude or catchy song writing. "All Fired Up" fared better with a bluesier approach as the outfit struggled to mend influences with their own identity. 1986's "Waiting for the Roar" removed alot of the metal crunch and added keyboards to spectacular effect. "Kill Me With Your Heart" is perhaps their finest single achievement.

"Trick or Treat" was next up, a soundtrack that was completely composed by Fastway and masqueraded as their fourth studio album. Having a disc tie-in with what was a major motion picture, even if B grade, its still the ultimate opportunity for any band to breakthrough into the mainstream and claim the crown of gold and glory. Unfortunately, Fastway squandered it by squabbling to the point disbanding in 1987. Of course that lasted no time at all and they were back together one year later toting a new vocalist for a grand comeback with "On Target" but by then it was a little too late and the ship had sailed away. Success is fleeting my friends, grab it while you can or you get left at port watching your dreams fade into the distance. But "Trick or Treat" stands as one of their best, altering their sound that took them from a mid range hard rock group to blistering metallers that could compete with the softer images of the *new* "Ram It Down" Judas Priest and Fast Eddie Clarke's former band, Motorhead. Original Irish vocalist Dave King was on hand to give it that rough twirl in the lead catagory that pulses with bluesiness and everything flies with the menacing grace of a bat against the yellow full moon backdrop on All Hallow's Eve Night. It had the edge their other discs lacked, King was at the top of his game and Clarke's guitar work was so hot you can feel the blisters rising from the heat generated by his masterfully played six string. This isn't quite Yngwie caliber, but its damn good and suited to the music. Alot of the fluff plastered on for "Waiting for the Roar" had melted off for this rockin' affair and in comparision to the multilayers of "Roar", it does indeed sound rather stripped at times.

 

01.] "Trick or Treat"
Throwing no punches and taking no prisoners, its a rougher Fastway that is really waiting to roar this time. The lyrics are kinda shlocky with such genius lines as "Knock, knock, knockin' for a sweet surprise, it's a trick or treat!" Yep, gimme some candy baby. The riffs are thick and scorching and King's voice draws comparisions to a gravely Jack Russel, in an almost a dead on carbon copy/evil twin from an alternate universe kind of way. This leads to comparisions to Great White and I suppose in a twisted way you could trace the blues end of the roots back to their scraggly limb world tree. The rest of the fierceness is pure straight up hard rock with a stomping opener that is no holds barred stadium heavy metal a'la Quiet Riot when they grasped the essence of having "Metal Health". A strong chorus barrels in like a pack of hungry werewolves and the guitar strikes it down with its silver bullet, aiming for the heart. Not too heavy or overdone to charring but juicy in a raw fresh blood kinda way, a bit crispy on the exterior, and just right.

02.] "After Midnight"
Everyone knows that its after midnight when things really go down, that's why its called the witching hour and many underworld type dealings are associated with the clock striking twelve. For this quick n catchy rocker, the ghoulish guitar is unleashed, fueling a spooky vocal chase twisting through the obstacle course of the backbeat that surrounds and devours the simplistic grooves whole. Power chords and an AC/DC-ish anthemic rhythm drive it with precision and ease. "Gonna shock you, shock you after midnight, get you..."

03.] "Don't Stop the Fight"
The thundering stomp of this track conjures a cauldron bubbling with horrors. Remiscient of a really good Killer Dwarf track (think "Dirty Weapons") but with a more slow burner feel that begins fuming at its beginning and slowly expands in heat and sound for the wide open chorus that is positively inspiring, rippling with energy.

04.] "Stand Up"
Slow shifts between bottom heavy verses that let the vocals soar in the spotlight and the powerful chorus that reminds me of the "German AC/DC", Accept. It finds footing especially in the bridge that changes gears by building on backing vocals for an effect that pops with melody. Yearning guitar scrabbles to a fading climax and is flanked by another dose of that chorus. Its not rocket science, definitely lacking elegance, but is the kind of straight up hard rock that seems absent from today's metal scene. Like said before, they don't make 'em like this anymore.

05.] "Tear Down the Walls"
No it is *not* Faster Pussycat, who would streak home with their tails in between their legs at the mere mention of this track. Eerie curtain atmospheric opening reveals an absolutely out of nowhere and equally startling "Hey You!". Instead of "who, me?", one should be asking "WHY ME?" after this pointless track that begins promising enough with its spooky graveyard unveiling and proceeds to circle the bowl down the shitter as King continues his near-screaming attention snapping approach with a cheesy yet enthusiastic chant of "Tear down the walls!" behind him. Then it all falls down and the weird effects are back for closure. Two minutes of total unnecessary strangeness. Another "real" song would have been appreciated...

06.] "Get Tough"
Two in a row? Hopefully not. The opening here is weighted down by more unsettling B movie horror setting studio tricks. The song finds itself shortly and ends up being a scrappy Great White-ish rock workout that drives the theme of "get tough, this boy's had enough" to the ends of madness. Yet! There is the ultra melodic cry of "hold on now!" and the post NWOBM Def Leppard like thunder drums and spark guitar that both crosses the lines between early 80s deaf spotted cat classics "Pyromania" and "High N Dry". Toss in a diabetic shock of "Once Bitten..." from Great White and a splash of pounding hunger ripped from Accept's "Metal Heart" and you've got one hell of a rocker. Short n' sweet but all wrapped in the best of the decade.

07.] "Hold On to the Night"
Deja vu, experience the wonder of the musical double take, because this rhythm section screams Golden Earring. I kept waiting for them to break into the main chorus lines from "Radar Love", although I doubt they were crooning about "he's got a knife, in your back" in that 70s favorite. By the time the pushy chorus kicks in, so does realization. So O.K. this isn't 1970s Holland anymore. Instead its much worse. The kind of insane repetition that have driven more patient people to the brink of insanity. Horrifying enough that the drums insist on being a little bit of an annoyance with their repetitive path, but the way King keeps belting the same five words til you just want to smash the song is insulting to the listener.

08.] "Heft"
Slow and ultra chunky, its almost if Fastway is suddenly the new Black Sabbath. What's next, demons, magic and political commentary? I wish it had been a hefty cinch sack to chuck the awful "Hold on to the Night" into but alas its just a plodding track. That description seems negative so let's clear the air, its a pretty darn good hefty piece that does not deserve the same fate as the already mentioned song. King's vocals flirt with the kind of edge of Danzig in his more melodic moments. Spookily haunting atmospheric backing vocals that seem to be the very spirit of lost souls, add their two cents into the background, with an aire of undead indifference. All of these little extras create a nifty addition to the disc that is a world's away from anything else appearing on "Trick or Treat".

09.] "If You Could See"
Massive! Even if everything else let you down, its almost worth the price of admission to see this fantastic stop of their haunted house tour. Moving with emotion and bursting with melody minus all that cheese (although I'm sure the haters will claim its here in droves, doh! consider the time period!). Some verses are light and airey, sparse landscapes that are dependant on acoustic and voice solely, which of course explodes into absolute melodic bliss, kept heavy with guitars that carry all the force of hell behind it. Clarke's contrasts and transistions are brilliant, weaving multi layered webs of delight. "Get Tough" might have been the 'trick', but "If You Could See" is the 'treat' that makes a little previous suffering all worthwhile. "Darkness unfolds as stories are told..."

 

There are alot of fanatics that have gone wild over this disc, and its easy to see why. Horror flick flavours, simple and satisfying hooks, uncluttered instrumentation, vocals that are far from 'wimpy', and a dose of metal power that stays true to its rock n' roll roots to back it all up. Its the recipe for not a witch's brew, but a slab of musical success. Too bad Fastway's one opportunity was squandered and the movie crashed due to not being the kind of ticket draw the studio had hoped. This bit of bad luck turned on its head to make both movie and soundtrack a kind of underground cult classic that go hand in hand like twisted blankets and a bad dream. Not as popular as other B grade flops like "Army of Darkness" and all the 'numbered' Halloween movies, "Trick or Treat" still has its fans, and Fastway remains in the hearts of many rock jocks and metal mavens. A bit hard to find in the here and now, but if you can track it down, its a solid disc overall that looks great in the collection and will almost assuredly be pulled out for the only mainstream pagan holiday, the Spook-a-thon autumn celebrated...Halloween. Pour up an apple cider or something a little stronger and enjoy a not-so terrifying waltz down metal memory lane.

Ratings and Wrap Up:
7.6
Songs - 7.2, Performance - 7.9, Production - 7.3, Lyrics - 7.0

Hot Spots: "Trick or Treat", "If You Could See", "After Midnight"
Bottom Line: Horrorfying chills and thrills in a straight up hard rock setting.


Review by Alanna Evans -



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