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Hydra : rock the World
(Polydor - 1977)
Category : overlooked
3,5 stars

There's more than one band and artist called Hydra, but this is the 70's Southern Rock band. They released three albums. I have only heard this one. It's their third.

Most songs on the album are merely decent to good, but the reason why I decided to try and bring this release under your attention is the following trio of songs. They are really outstanding and to any fan of classic 70's Hard Rock they'd be a thrill.

'Wasting Time' is an entertaining Southern Rock tune with catchy vocals. What's immediately made clear by this song is that the band has a very capable singer in Wayne Bruce.

'Shame' is something special, as it's in fact Speed Metal avant la lettre but with a classic Hard Rock sound. Remember. This is 1977. It would be years before Metal bands would start experimenting with double bass drumming (so, kudos to Hydra's drummer for being one of the first). Metallica's 'Kill em All' lay half a decade in the future as well. So, it's very surprising to hear this kind of music being made in the 70's. It's a full frontal assault of fast drums and savage riffs and in a way it sounds like early Ted Nugent in overdrive.

The strongest track, certainly from a compositional point of view, is the surprisingly subtle ballad 'To the Willowed'. It's one of the most graceful ballads I have ever heard, and there's nothing syrupy about it.


(Footnote: Hydra has regrouped! Click on the link here above to find out about their new live CD.)

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