VARDIS-Red Eye

Steamhammer/SPV

06 May 2016 by Michel van de Moosdijk

Vardis…. My thoughts go straight away to their debut album ‘100 MPH’, recorded live in1980 with ,,If I Were King” as one of the best songs. I remember seeing them opening the Heavy Metal Holocaust festival in the football stadium in Port Vale, England with Riot, Triumph, Frank Marino, Ozzy Osbourne (with Randy Rhoads) and Motörhead as headliner in August 1981. I remember an after show event where paratroopers came down from the air and they were to land in the middle of the stadium and one jumpers parachute did not open. He landed behind the main stand and did not make it. Vardis made an impact in that time, recorded three more studio albums but never fully came to blossom, which was also due to management issues and politics. Singer/guitarist Steve Zodiac left the music scene. He came back in 2014, the band reunited and released the ‘200 MPH’ EP. Officially ‘Red Eye’ is the fifth album of the trio. Zodiac is now accompanied by bass player Martin Connolly and drummer Joe Clancy.  Zodiac’s approach has not changed much in all this time. Vardis comes up with twelve straight kick ass hard rock songs based on a very strong riff (I wonder if he still uses that Telecaster that was so characteristic for him in the eighties) and a steady beat. The production is a bit Spartan. There are no thrills, the band is pounding ahead but does not forget to bring in those old boogie elements from the early days. Listen for instance to ,,Back To School” and especially ,,Hold Me”, where Zodiac plays a mean slide guitar. But as a singer the man has a bit of a problem. He sounds very monotonous and that makes it sometimes a struggle to listen to ‘Red Eye’. But Zodiac will never consider hiring a singer, so it is what it is. A trip down memory lane with a few bumps here and there in the vocal department.







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