Local boys The Vandaliers are a new one on us at RTM, but as first impressions go it was a bit of a cracker. Dealing in the same type of music that latter day Orange Goblin knock out with consummate ease, there is absolutely nothing not to be enjoyed about their set. Songs like “Swamp Thing” and Sweet Temptation tick all the right boxes and, really are the sort of music is impossible to get wrong. The band are supporting RTM favourites Kadavar next month and are well worth getting their early for. Here is one bunch of vandals you are happy to see again and again.
On their Facebook page Monument list their first two influences as “Iron Maiden and Judas Priest.” There are other listed, but really they are superfluous as that is exactly what the band sound like. When last White Wizzard were in these parts, it was Monument singer Peter Ellis who was behind the mic stand. His act was the same then as it is now. Think Bruce Dickinson but even more posh. There is nothing remotely original about the band, but that doesn’t matter. This is metal to be played while you are in your studded leather jacket and to be enjoyed with a smile on your face. Nothing else. The song titles betray their secrets. “Fatal Attack” “Crusaders” (which couldn’t be more Iron Maiden if it tried) and closing track “Rock The Night” are as big, dumb and fun as it gets.
If Monument were made to support any band, it is White Wizzard, the Americans plough almost exactly the same furrow. There are two things that have catrogorised the band since their formation. One is an almost constantly revolving door of band members and two is superb music.
The “Flying Tigers” album from a couple of years ago saw main man Jon Leon exploring his proggier side, while this years “The Devil’s Cut” (from where the majority of tonight’s set comes) is back to straight ahead balls to the wall metal. All of it is excellent, and Englishman Will Wallmer is exemplary on guitar. The hour they spend on stage is as enjoyable as it gets, and concludes with their first ever song “High Speed GTO.”
Nothing is simple, though, in the world of White Wizzard, and in the time since this gig took place the band have virtually disbanded again. Singer Joseph Michael was sacked about three days after this show (claiming he left after Jon Leon stole from him) and guitarist Wallner and drummer Giovanni Durst followed him out of the door. Faced with this turmoil (this is the sixth vocalist they have sacked) Earache records have finally had enough and dropped the band.
Where this leaves them is anyone’s guess, but if this is the end, then tonight at least provided a decent memory. What happened since is a shame, but taken as just a rock n roll show, this was a damn fine affair.