As reported first in the Kapiti Observer, Strikemaster have finally released their debut album – 35 years after forming. Thundering across your speakers as if 1986 never rolled ‘round the trio have found the perfect blend of pre-glam metal pomp and AC/DC chest-beating. People will no doubt be quick to make Steel Panther references, but there are no jokes to be found here, just three (now) old geezers giving it hell. Having knocked it on its head back in 1992 after a decade of rocking Wellington, three years ago the band performed at Bodega ‘for old time’s sake’. Blown away by the crowds that turned out they haven’t looked back since. Well, two tracks are from their earlier days, but the other eight here are new. Let’s not beat around the bush, their music is dated, but that’s not the point. ‘Sun For A Change’ feels like a thank you to the fans and a victory lap for Steve Elliot (bass/vocals), Paul Cullen (guitars) and drummer Brian Desmond. Recorded by Mike Gibson, care has been taken to make it walk the line between studio record and live album, cheers and jeers can be heard over the top of fretboard heroics. Still influenced by the likes of Deep Purple while heavily informed by the punk/metal mix that shook up the metal world via the likes of Motorhead, tracks Obsessed and Neighborhood Spy show more than a touch of classic Mötley Crue. While certainly applaudable (these boys do have some serious chops), at times the songwriting is more than a tad cliché – the chorus to Dangerous Man downright cringey. They released an album of live takes back in 1984, but there’s no doubting this is the record Strikemaster were (eventually) always going to make.