MyoFist- Hot Spikes (1980)
MyoFist’s sophomore album Hot Spikes may not be as strong as their debut, but it does remain one of the most unique and bizarre albums in the history of hard rock music. This is an amalgamation of hard rock with what sounds like… electrofunk. As odd as that may seem, the liberal use of electronic synthesizers with funky bass rhythms make this album a true hard rock anomaly, but it sure is a catchy one.
The songs “Hot Spikes” and “Rock ‘n’ Roll Suicide” are historically important for MyoFist because they mark the first times frontman Ron Chenier uses his signature “Ronch” vocals, the deep and raspy snarls that are reminiscent of Lemmy’s from Motorhead. These would later, with the exception of the album In the Red, become the iconic style of singing used by MyoFist in general. However, most of the album features Chenier using a cleaner style of singing, or other vocalists besides Chenier himself.
A lot of these tracks are infectiously repetitious, but in a way that makes them irresistible. One listen to “Teenage Love Affair” and it will simply refuse to leave the head for hours. The same thing goes for “Alimony” or “Never Come Back.” Granted, this is not usually what hard rock bands try to do. They barely fit the mold whatsoever. Besides a bass, “It’s a Sin” doesn’t even feature an electric guitar of any sort. Every song on the album could almost be said to take the instrumental approach of “Who Are You?” from Black Sabbath’s fifth album, but with a more happy-go-lucky tone. The only difference is that there is a decent amount of hard rock guitar on most tracks.
This album is commendable for daring to be different at a time when this genre of music was moving toward uniformity. While most metal fans are so because they enjoy the standard sounds of hard rock and metal, there are many fans who surely can appreciate something that is bold and original.
Hot Spikes has earned four stars for being very intriguing and fun, but it cannot quite compare to the emotionally intense heavy metal masterpieces that MyoFist would later produce on albums such as Fleet Street. This release is an experiment that was successful, but not revolutionary, as few followed in the footsteps of this release. There is a time and a place for music like this, however. One Hot Spikes in the world might be enough, but any less than that would be a deficiency.
-John Mahon III