Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Re-upped: Flying Squad - Flying Squad (1978)

Flying Squad, a Scottish hard rock quartet from Glasgow, came together in 1976 from the ashes of local rock heroes, Rogue. After a lineup shift and a name change (The Boyz) which was halted by another band in Illinois, the band settled on the name Flying Squad. By now, the band had grown into a quintet, featuring future Waysted vocalist, Finn. Conquering the UK club circuit, the band was spotted at a live gig by a CBS Records exec and were quickly shuffled into the studio to record their debut. That debut came in the form of "Flying Tigers" and was produced by Status Quo's Francis Rossi. Though Rossi's name power and the potent material on the record should've helped the band get a firm grip on the charts, the album was met with indifference, partially due to the burgeoning punk scene that was beginning to take hold in the UK. Management disputes ensued and soon the band collapsed amidst in-fighting and financial woes. Finn would soon form Waysted, and several other members would regroup as The Difference. Finn now enjoys success in Denmark as a karaoke DJ personality.

Though this album has been slagged by many, it's actually a superb example of UK hard rock which takes liberal doses of american AOR to embellish upon its sound. The result is twelve vibrant tracks that gel together well. Finn never sounded better than he does here, folks. If you're a Waysted fan, it's imperative that you give this one a spin. Regardless, there's much to love about this criminally underrated and long forgotten piece of Scotland's contributions to the rock and roll pantheon.