"This is a hard album to love": Grand Slam's lack of originality tires on second album Wheel Of Fortune

Phil Lynott's old band are back for a second spin

Grand Slam: Wheel Of Fortune cover art
(Image: © Silver Lining Music)

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Oddly, this record is released alongside Hit The Ground – Revised, a revamp of the current line-up’s 2019 studio debut that revisited demos from 1983-84 made by the Phil Lynott-fronted version of Grand Slam. 

Wheel Of Fortune features all-new songs and the HTG quartet of Mike Dyer (vocals), Benjy Reid (drums), Rocky Newton (bass) and the one man there at the beginning, guitarist Laurence Archer. Full marks for persistence, Laurence, and for unashamedly Thin Lizzy-esque opener There Goes My Heart. 

Dyer is no Lynott, of course, but he can carry a tune. There are shades of Lizzy too in Come Together (In Harlem) and I Wanna Know, but elsewhere such lack of originality gets tiresome. 

Star Crossed Lovers and Trails Of Tears are by-numbers melodic rock, while two slower numbers border on ponderous. Archer’s skill as a guitarist shines through, and Pirate’s Song tries to be different, but this is a hard album to love. 

Neil Jeffries

Freelance contributor to Classic Rock and several of its offshoots since 2006. In the 1980s he began a 15-year spell working for Kerrang! intially as a cub reviewer and later as Geoff Barton’s deputy and then pouring precious metal into test tubes as editor of its Special Projects division. Has spent quality time with Robert Plant, Keith Richards, Ritchie Blackmore, Rory Gallagher and Gary Moore – and also spent time in a maximum security prison alongside Love/Hate. Loves Rush, Aerosmith and beer. Will work for food.