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No sophomore slump

All Fired Up
All Fired Up
By Fastway

Columbia Records: 1984

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This review first appeared in the October 26, 1984 issue of The Daily Aztec.

When a group's debut album does as well as Fastway's did last year, it's rare for the second album to fulfill the expectations created by the initial success.

However, with the release of "All Fired Up," Fastway has exceeded the standards set by their debut, and the addition of Charlie McCracken on bass has strengthened an already excellent lineup.

The title track opens the first side of "All Fired Up." Besides the strong melody, this song features great guitar work by Fast Eddie Clarke. He seems to explore every note on his guitar in his solos, while Jerry Shirley's performance can only add to his reputation as one of the top drummers in hard rock.

On the second track, "Misunderstood," McCracken comes into his own. His riffs on bass set a strong background, although Clarke and vocalist Dave King seem too restrained, not meeting McCracken's enthusiasm.

But Fastway's sound is primarily the voice of King, and on most of the songs here, he picks up as strongly as he left off on the first album.

The second side opens with "Tell Me," a song that rivals "Say What You Will," their huge hit off the first LP, for intensity and energy.

The album ends strongly with "If You Could See," a slow blues ballad atypical of Fastway's hard-rock style. King's voice handles the shift in style just fine, and the effect is a melancholy sound that shows new breadth from this group.

But Fastway's sound is primarily the voice of Dave King, who returns as strong as he left off on his first album.