Popoff, Martin Smokin’ Valves: A Headbanger’s Guide To 900 NWOBHM Records (Book Review)
Released: 2014, Power Chord Press
Reviewer: Celtic Bob
SMOKIN’ VALVES is exactly what the title suggests, a guide to the albums of the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal. For this book Martin compiled all of his reviews for the albums tat made up the NWOBHM and put them all in this one definitive book. Yes there are reviews that you may have previously read but many you have not. Some have been revised to keep things fresh. He also has all the albums rated on a scale of 1-10 to help the beginner out.
To begin I would like to say that this genre is new to me as I have never dug deep into it. I became aware of it just at the end of it when I was getting into music then again in the late 80’s through Metallica’s covers of Budgie, Diamond Head...etc. I always enjoyed the stuff I heard and owned (early Def Lep, Maiden, Motorhead...). Recently I started to dive deeper into this genre and this book has been a massive help. I see a band name so I check them out in the book then search out the tunes on YouTube and then go and search out the album to buy.
The book itself is well written and filled with photos of the album covers which is a big help in searching out what ones to buy. Martin’s reviews are short, precise and to the point. I find that his views are very similar to my own and I can relate to what he says for the most part. All the essential albums are covered along with many, many obscure ones. Martin even gives a bit of a history lesson in some of the reviews.
This book is packed with a wealth of info that is guaranteed to satisfy any Metal fan and those looking to discover the NWOBHM genre. This book will be my go to guide for many years to come.