More – “Warhead” (1981)

More!  Though rarely mentioned as one of the luminaries of the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal movement, these ballsy Brits were actually one of the few NWOBHM bands to get scooped up by a major label in the early years of the scene.  Following an impressive radio session performance on BBC Radio One’s Friday Rock Show, Atlantic Records came calling.  One can be sure that Atlantic were hoping to score another hard rock money-maker like they did just a year earlier with AC/DC’s Back In Black, but unfortunately Warhead did not make much of a splash in North America, although there were pockets of success in Europe.  Nevertheless, Atlantic kept More around for another album, 1982’s Blood And Thunder, before dispatching them from their roster.

The centerpiece of the More lineup was guitarist Kenny Cox, a talented axe man that played with a muscular heavy metal style.  Cox’s guitar playing also showed a definitive ’70s blues rock influence.  More’s vocalist on the Warhead album was Paul Mario Day, an ex-member of Iron Maiden, believe it or not, and a future member of Wildfire.  Day left More before completion of their 1982 album Blood And Thunder (after a clashing of egos with Cox).  He does not appear on that sophomore outing.

The cover you see above is the Warhead cover that appeared in the U.S. and Canada.  This version (#19295) contained only eight tracks.  Meanwhile the version of Warhead released in Germany and the United Kingdom (#50775) had a ninth track called Lord Of Twilight.  The cover was slightly different, too.  The text “Warhead” appears above the band logo on the European version as opposed to below the logo on the North American release.  Furthermore, the track order differs on the two versions.

My Worthless Opinion:  Call this a middle of the road NWOBHM entry.  On the plus side, More were easily one of the more “professional” bands wrapped up in the NWOBHM movement.  They had the musical chops and the advantage of major label production values.  Indeed, this certainly feels like a veteran band at work.  What seems to be lacking on Warhead is a sense of excitement.  Kenny Cox was a technically proficient guitarist, and vocalist Paul Mario Day was a capable (though unremarkable) singer, but Warhead does not have the endearing or adventurous quality that many of the early NWOBHM albums had to offer.  This, despite More’s superior musical skills.  That said, Warhead certainly didn’t deserve to be cast off to the delete bins, as was its unfortunate fate, yet I would not consider it an essential album either.  My score: B-

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4 thoughts on “More – “Warhead” (1981)

  1. Very underrated band.Played at donnington with genearrally good live reviews. The music world has been cruel to More. I was 15 when it came out an it’s stiil sounds unique and fresh today.
    Chris Dodd, Huddersfield.

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