Nazareth - No Mean City

No Mean City

"Call off your dogs for I am no fox"

While Hair of the Dog is probably Nazareth's definitive album, No Mean City is the apex of the Scottish heavy metal band's sound before switching to a more pop rock style in the 80's. No Mean City, while including a few softer rock songs as the band always has, is perhaps the band at their most vicious.

This is heard best in the closing title track, with its menacing atmosphere. McCafferty is at his most aggressive, especially with the caustic delivery of such lines as the aforementioned that opens up this review. That coupled with the proto-black metal rapid atmospheric guitar riffing, makes for an ominous finale. Claim to Fame as well, this time a heavy stomp, is a great surge of anger through song.

Songs like Just to Get Into It and Simple Solution (The latter's probably my favorite on the album) makes me wonder why they dropped the metal come the 80's. Simple Solution especially, sounds like it could've come straight from an 80's metal album. Its infectiously catchy chorus brings it right up there with Saxon and Judas Priest classics as one of metal's best melodies.

Like other late 70's heavy metal albums, No Mean City has a perfect balance between the bluesier 70's with the sound of the beginning of the next decade. One of the band's best, and an end of an era, for the band wouldn't bring metal back into their repertoire until much later.