After releasing a ripping metal debut in ’84 called STEEL THE LIGHT, Seattle-based rockers quickly flew off the rails with a too-commercial follow-up. Subsequent “personal differences” splintered the band, and for many years that was the end. Several members went on to form Nightshade and have some quiet success until they were approached to potentially reform Q5. Obviously the guys accepted and the lineup, featuring 3 original members (vocalist, lead guitarist, bassist), got together and wrote the songs that would become Q5’s first album in 30 years, NEW WORLD ORDER.
With NEW WORLD ORDER, it feels like the guys have tried to create a “best of” of their various styles over the years. You have scorching metal cuts like “One Night in Hellas” and the title track which are heavy and NWOBHM-influenced, and then you have the party rockers like “We Came Here to Rock” and “The Right Way” which could easily have fit into any AC/DC album. It actually makes for occasionally jarring transitions between songs, but all in all, the song-writing is solid regardless of how heavy the individual tracks are.
Musically, the band is still on top of their game. Guitarists Rick Pierce and Dennis Turner fire off quality riffs throughout, and Pierce’s leads are well done. Jonathan Scott K.’s vocals are Bon Scott-ified goodness and still powerful despite a lengthy career. It all adds up to a rocking good time.
The only downside is that, at 14 tracks, there’s too much of a good thing, and some obvious cuts that should have been left in the vault (read: filler). Even so, NEW WORLD ORDER is a proud album that shows that Q5 are still a force to be reckoned with. A great return and certainly a reunion to watch for fans of high-quality early ‘80s metal.
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