Review Summary: Catchy, energetic classic hard rock which, while occasionally flawed, is a lot of fun, with easily one of the most identifiable rock tracks.
Nazareth are possibly best described as a Scottish mix of Judas Priest
, mixing a lot of bluesy riffs and solos with occasionally metallic moments. While the band experienced some success after this album with the strong Hair Of The Dog
, Loud 'n' Proud
possesses some of their most consistently strong material and one of their most successful songs, ultimately making it a strong, catchy listen.
The album gets underway pretty quickly with the energetic and catchy Go Down Fighting
, which demonstrates the band's strong guitarwork (including some fun slide guitar in the background at times) and vocalist Dan McCaffrey's excellent higher register shouts, akin to Brian Johnson but with a range similar to Rob Halford's; while simplistic in terms of instrumental technicality the album is nevertheless strong, with simple bass and drum work giving a solid backing to the lead instruments. The following Not Faking It
offers more of the same, while demonstrating some of the more Priest-like tendencies of the band at times. While Turn On Your Receiver
and Teenage Nervous Breakdown
also demonstrate the same bluesy, catchy styling - which is often a bit overplayed and repetitive, Free Wheeler
feels a bit more open, and the excellent This Flight Tonight
(a Joni Mitchell cover) shakes up the structure of the album a bit, demonstrating the heights of McCaffrey's vocal performance. Child In The Son
slows down the pace further, and the raw sounding Ballad Of Hollis Brown
provides an abrasive ending, but these changes feel as though they came too late, as the lack of variation prior makes the early half of the album drag compared to the ending.
Despite the repetitive nature of the first half of this album, all the tracks are still pretty strong. Perhaps the majority doesn't compare to the amazing This Flight Tonight
, one of the catchiest rock tracks ever, but the generally strong instrumental performance and consistently entertaining feel to the tracks keeps it entertaining, if mostly unadventurous, throughout. Perhaps if the band had more moments akin to that track, it would be a truly outstanding album, but it's still a fun hard rock album worth a listen.