GRAND SLAM – Hit the Ground
I have been awaiting this album by the ridiculously underrated Grand Slam for what seems like years now and I cannot even begin to describe just how fucking awesome it is. Has it been worth the wait? Obviously! Does it rule beyond belief? Most definitely! The band will forever be associated with the legendary Phil Lynott (Thin Lizzy) who fronted the act back in 1984-1985, but how wonderful it is that guitarist Laurence Archer has resurrected the outfit and re-recorded a few of those overlooked gems from 1984 that he co-wrote with Lynott along with a handful of newer cuts that are right up there with the best of them. Old and familiar tunes ala “Military Man”, “Dedication”, “Crime Rate”, and “Sisters of Mercy” make an appearance and sound both crisp and punchy while new additions to the Grand Slam cannon of songs include such riveting compositions as the title track and “Long Road”. There is diversity aplenty and a tinge of melancholy to the record, which is to say that it is a passionate and heartfelt effort that covers quite a lot of ground in terms of feel and atmosphere. The least captivating piece is perhaps the “Grand Slam” track, but all the rest of them are killer and leave nothing to be desired.
Mike Dyer’s vocals are strong and muscular (and not unlike those of the sadly missed Thin Lizzy front man) and the musicianship is stellar all around. Archer’s guitar playing is inspired and he is clearly firing on all cylinders here. On top of that, the production is suitably beefy and sharp too.
In short, this is a classy and thrilling hard rock album, and there is no doubt that Lynott would be proud of this one, but more importantly; “Hit the Ground” looks to the future and is as timeless as they come. Make sure you grab a copy of this one if big riffs and huge choruses appeal to you. Standout tracks: “Crime Rate” and “Military Man”.