Vardis: Red Eye

NWOBHM heroes’ fifth album, after a 30-year hiatus.

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Vardis frontman Steve Zodiac understands that if you play a guitar really loud, it can’t help but do the job. All the rest – tunes and vocals – is mere window dressing. Witness the title track, Lightning Man or Head Of The Nail.

Red Eye is not all as behemothic as those, and sometimes its steals are blatant (Jimmy Page will recognise Hold Me’s bottleneck), but when Zodiac gets it right, it’s more than a NWOBHM revival, and in places sounds pleasingly like Leslie West playing punk rock.

All this, and an eight-minute 200 M.P.H. – ostensibly a 21st-century remake of Vardis’s 1980 Hendrix-styled freakout 100 M.P.H. It’s enough to make a grown man don a wig and stand bare-chested in front of a wind machine.