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Released: 2015, Independent
On one hand it is sad that this iconic band had to crowd-fund their new album EXTERMINATION, record labels should be lining up to throw money at Raven they are so good. But on the other hand user-pay systems (like crowd-funding) mean that the band can still keep going strong. Raven’s first single back on Neat Records in 1980 was “Don’t Need Your Money”. Times change and maybe they do need a little help and I decided to ‘put my money where my mouth is’ and I contributed to the campaign to make EXTERMINATION. One of the cool incentives was the bonus CD that this review is for.
PARTY KILLERS is an 11-song bonus CD that consists entirely of cover tunes! These types of covers CD’s are incredibly rare, thus increasing their value and interest to fans. One cool aspect is that the band did not just collect all of their previously recorded cover tunes and re-packaged them, like man bands have done before. Mind you, Raven has never recorded many cover tunes, maybe seven or eight over the years, but still, these are all-new specifically for this bonus CD. All the cuts are tunes from the 60’s and 70’s that influenced the boys and drove them to the waiting arms of the music business. The band return to the well doing second cover versions from bands that they have covered before namely, Sweet, Queen, and Thin Lizzy. Another pleasing component of PARTY KILLERS is they did dig a little deeper, they don’t just go for the predictable hits, they dug deep into the catalogues of David Bowie, Slade and more, for some nice rare cuts. The production is fine and it is obvious the boys had fun busting out these fast ‘n’ lethal versions. The guys in Raven are just a touch older than me so many of these songs were not a big part of my influences or youth, so it very nice to hear these ‘new’ songs to me, although I can’t accurately compare because I’m not as intimately familiar with all the originals. The only disappointment perhaps is the packaging, it is one of those really slim-cardboard cases, not even a digipak. There is no booklet but there is a quick note from the band for each of the 11 songs. The cover art is awesome with the iconic steel-belted font and a humorous graphic.
Sorry to be a party-pooper but PARTY KILLERS was limited to 500 and they are already gone to the die-hard Raven lunatics like myself. If you missed out maybe it will get re-issued or turn up as bonus tracks or in a box-set or something. This is rare treasure from this legendary band.
1. Fireball (Deep Purple)
2. Bad Reputation (Thin Lizzy)
3. He's a Whore (Cheap Trick)
4. In for the Kill (Budgie)
5. Is There a Better Way (Status Quo)
6. Ogre Battle (Queen)
7. Queen of My Dreams (Edgar Winter Group)
8. Too Bad So Sad (Nazareth)
9. Cockroach (Sweet)
10. Tak Me Bak Ome (Slade)
11. Hang On to Yourself (David Bowie)
Mark Gallagher-Bass, vocals
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