Released: 2014, Shadow Kingdom Records
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
Inner City Wolves is the debut record from Australian Heavy Metal band JOHNNY TOUCH. The band itself is comprised of veteran members of the Australian metal scene, and after releasing a demo tape and two split 7” records, they were picked up by Shadow Kingdom Records. The production gives the record a 1980's feel which compliments the band's old school Heavy Metal approach. While not new or groundbreaking, and some of the riffs may cause a slight feeling of déjà vu, the album is an entertaining one that will attract fans of JUDAS PRIEST, IRON MAIDEN and YNGWIE MALMSTEEN.
The songs pretty much draw a lot from IRON MAIDEN, with melodic dual guitar parts, and even some stolen riffs. One of the things listeners will immediately notice is that JOHNNY TOUCH are a band who stay within mid tempo territory, and seldom break into fast Thrash Metal territory; instead, they prefer to build songs from lots of guitar melodies and catchy choruses. Still, the album offers some special highlights: the instrumental "Radiation Axeposure" is a slab of seering guitar riffs and great solos, while the slower "Lady Stutter" is an attention grabbing piece that builds itself up through the use of acoustic passages until the band breaks out with some pretty inspired stuff. "End of Daze" and "Black Company"also follow this approach with pretty good results. Actually, one complaint is that one of the weaker tracks is used as an opener: "It's Alright" lifts riffs from IRON MAIDEN and SAXON here and there, and is not as potent as the rest of the material.
Even though there is the case of some stolen riffs, and some may find some of the stuff as being done before and better, I can't really nag on this record. It is succesful in at least recreating the aesthetics of classic bands, and the musicians are pretty talented. I could say that if the band keeps on going at it, they could finally reach an individual style; however, as it is, Inner City Wolves is not a bad album, just not a very original one.