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Nazareth: Surviving The Law
Nazareth - Surviving The Law Album Art

Nazareth: Surviving The Law

Melodic Heavy Rock

The only remaining founding member of Scotland's Nazareth, Pete Agnew, will turn 76 in September of this year. So then, how old does that make Nazareth? The band was formed in 1968: 54 years. However, the band has its roots in a local Dunfermline band, The Shadettes, which appeared in 1961 which included, besides Agnew, vocalist Dan McCafferty, guitarist Manny Charlton, and drummer Darrell Sweet. Do the math. That's 61 years. JFK was president in the United States and Russia was about to deliver missiles to Cuba the next year, and I was three years old. Holy shit. That's a long time.

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As history has a way of rolling along, so does Nazareth. They've been releasing albums, with a few gaps, since 1971. The largest lull was between 1998 and 2008. Of course, oldish fellows and fans like myself cranked out Loud N Proud and Razamanaz on our 8-track car stereos, then seduced chicks after the prom with Love Hurts from Hair Of The Dog. Well. That last part might be bull shit.

2022. Nazareth returns to drop their 25th studio album, Surviving the Law. It's the second album to include (the not so new anymore) vocalist Carl Sentance. It's a rather long album. But not in time, 50 minutes or so which is not uncommon for a Nazareth album. Rather it has 14 songs and so gone are the days of recording nine or ten songs for a vinyl record. Instead Nazareth remains one of the Scottish kings of the quintessential three minute rock song (or radio single).

Once more the band offers fans their traditional hard to heavy rock steeped in some early Seventies blues wrapped in song melody and vocal harmony. The classic elements of brisk beefy riffs, Agnew's tough bass lines, and generous guitar solos remain. Add the standard catchy chorus, and Nazareth taps into the accessible AOR vein of the genre. Ergo, there's nothing terribly novel or new about this Nazareth album.

So then, most Nazareth songs fall into three categories: fast and heavy (Strange Days, Runaway, or Sinner), heavy and steady (You Gotta Pass Around It, Mind Bomb, or Love Breaks: no, it's not like Love Hurts), or bit bluesy (Better Leave It Out or the slowish ballad, You Made Me with its nice Hammond). But my favorite cut is likely Psycho Skies which has a different, more catchy, rhythmic groove and alternatively novel guitar work. All said, with Surviving The Law, Nazareth remains the same, bringing fans (old and new) more of their gritty, yet melodic, Scottish riff rock. Recommended. - New fiction, crime fiction by Craig Hartranft

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The Take Away

With Surviving The Law, Nazareth remains the same, bringing fans (old and new) more of their gritty, yet melodic, Scottish riff rock. Recommended.

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