April Wine! This long-running band released a poop load of albums in their career. Their first album came out back in 1971. April Wine were extremely successful in their homeland of Canada throughout the seventies. Eventually they broke through in the United States with 1979’s Harder…Faster, which went gold. But April Wine’s biggest moment came with 1981’s The Nature Of The Beast, which went platinum in the United States. Many consider it to be their best album.
Quite simply, The Nature Of The Beast is loaded with great commercial hard rock songs. The album opens with a potent one-two punch of All Over Town and Tellin’ Me Lies; two catchy, compact rockers. This is followed by Sign Of The Gypsy Queen, a cover, and the only song on the album not penned by April Wine’s leader/dictator Myles Goodwyn. Just Between You And Me is The Nature Of The Beast’s resident power ballad; a song that brings visions of puffy-sleeved prom dresses and wispy, pubescent mustaches slow-dancing the night away in a high school gymnasium. Side one closes with the brisk rocka-rolla of Wanna Rock and the awesomely dated Caught In The Crossfire; a song with “futuristic” sound effects that recalls those glory days of Pac-Man fever and The Empire Strikes Back.
Side two comes storming out of the gate with the heavy riffage of Future Tense. The momentum continues with Big City Girls and Crash And Burn. The penultimate track, Bad Boys, is the only instance where The Nature Of The Beast sniffs filler territory. My favorite cut, the infectious One More Time, closes the album on a high note. Repeat button, where you at? My score: A