Return of the UKAC!
U.K. quartet Acid Reign were, for me at least, one of those bands that I knew of and heard a track or two and dug what I heard. Even though I always saw their albums and tapes (yes I’m that old!) in my fave import record stores back in the day, I never really did get around to picking them up. This was for no other reason than limited funds and plenty of records to choose from. By the time I was able to increase my spending on music, these guys had disbanded and their releases soon became unavailable. Typical, really. Whilst available on the likes of Musicstack and Ebay for sometimes extortionate prices, little known label Lost and Found Records has come to the rescue. Not only have they made these long out of print titles available to the masses once more, but they have also been remastered by none other the Bill Metoyer (Slayer, D.R.I.) and feature a few bonus tracks to boot.
It makes sense then to tackle these reissues in chronological order to really “get” the band’s direction and try to understand just why they only had three releases during their career. Before the band found their first home at Under One Flag Records (a division of Music for Nations), they released their first demo - 1987’s Moshkinstein. For the first time, this demo is available alongside the band’s original Moshkinstein EP which hit the stores a year after.
As the EP kicks off with Goddess, I’m instantly reminded of the group’s shallow yet gravelly guitar tone and Howard “H” Smith’s inimitable vocal style. Their approach to thrash was a relatively simple one compared to the likes of Exodus, Dark Angel and Nuclear Assault – some of the groups they would later go on to tour with. The likes of Suspended Sentence showcase what the band was capable of although they would really have to dig deep and step things up if they wanted to rub shoulders with the bigger names of the genre.
All three Acid Reign reissues offer bonuses, but this is by far contains the biggest prize - the aforementioned Moshkinstein demo from 1987. Ironically, the demo has a thicker (and to my ears better) guitar tone than the finished original E.P. but that is quite subjective.
Fans of the band will love the bonuses on here and if you’re looking to replace that well worn vinyl or tape, then you ought to be all over this and all of the remasters.
(Lost and Found Records)