Bachman-Turnder Overdrive - Head On
Mercury Records


Deep inside a man's beat up exterior, and buried down below the accumulated pile of failures, 
disappointments, and despairs which continually rain like hail upon his worn out and scuffed 
up body, there exists a tiny glimmering marble of persistent concentrated hope.  Always 
scheming and theorizing, justifying and rejuvenating, this jellybean of strength can suddenly 
be as powerful and inspiring as easily as it once was smothered.  Upon its swift and often 
unannounced appearance, the body and soul is reminded of an inherent sense of pride, which 
simply and earnestly refuses to let the man sink any lower. 

HEAD ON, the 1975 release by rock superstars BACHMAN-TURNER OVERDRIVE specializes in summoning this inner beast, and helping the man to get on top of the situation before the situation gets on top of the man. Aided by profound lyrics and a stunningly appropriate lead guitar, the album fuses itself to the listener with ease.
The first track, "Find Out About Love" uses an especially resounding chorus to focus the mind, but it's the second song that really begins to uncover the muse within. That song, entitled "It's Over", definitively attacks the watery demon of denial, which so easily can find a way to seep into the pores and drown out a man's better judgement. "It's Over" is kind of like the all-purpose cleanser under the kitchen sink. It'll get rid of all that dirt and grime that prevents the counter-top from shining, and leave nothing but the entity to stand for itself. Track number three, "Average Man", plays an exceptional vocal performance to huge success, while also building up adrenaline in the listener. Not only does front man Randy Bachman sound like an average man, but the lyrics are set up so simply and clear that you really do picture some regular dude with a goofy grin inventing his way through the verses during a Saturday afternoon basement rock fantasy session. The song reassures that problems run rampant everywhere, putting the listener's tribulations in clearer perspective. Song four, "Woncha Take Me For Awhile" really unleashes the pride inside. Through a pounding guitar-driven ballad, it ensures the self of personal importance, and in doing so suggests that the insufferable can be conquered. Followed by "Wild Sprit", which appreciates the bad ass who knows he's a bad ass, the middle songs rock so hard that inspiration is the natural result.
Despite Track 6's very agreeable title and guitar solo, "Take It Like A Man", actually lets a little air out of the balloon. Unfortunately, the percussion of track 7's "Lookin' Out For #1" also doesn't help much, but halfway through this dreamer (and again due to one helluva guitar solo) the absolute beauty of the song explodes right in your face. Bachman proposes that it is a relaxed man who has his shit most together, and is able to think through the toughest of difficulties while coming out in a favorable position. I defy anyone to go this far along the album without suddenly realizing at least three fundamental actions that would improve their personal standing. Tracks eight and nine rock steadily enough, but if by then you haven't discovered the power which can be generated by one person alone, then maybe you have deeper issues to solve than the one you're trying to tackle. Though it doesn't contain the BTO smash hits "Takin' Care of Business" or "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet", HEAD ON is a complete work that affirms the band's serious songwriting talent. If it's not the vocals that hit you, then it'll be the guitars. The sheer power of the two working in conjunction, driving down deep to clear out the haunting monsters of the tired and weak, can't help but unlock the man inside of the man.
...kris keeker...

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