220 Volt – “Mind Over Muscle” (1985)

Again, Swedish hands at work, bringing you the best in Euro-metal awesomeness.  This third album from 220 Volt proved to be their best yet; the band improving with each record.  Album opener The Tower crashes through the gates with turbo-charged vigor.  The Tower is the album’s fastest number, showcasing the lethal right hands of guitarists Mats Karlsson and Peter Olander.  Try not to grin like an idiot when this tune is blasting through your waxy ear holes!  Mind Over Muscle packs twelve tunes for your listening pleasure, ten of which hit their mark due to white-hot riffage, tasty and well-composed solos, and the spirited vox of one Joakim Lundholm.  Oh, and that guy on bass does a hell of a job, too.  220 Volt mixed up the tempos real nice on this well-rounded record, sometimes sizzling with metal glory, other times simmering with hard rock acumen.  Only Secret Dance (Xymania) and Pavement Song fail to reach Valhalla-esque heights.  At times (dare I say it), the rhythm guitars sound almost Randy Rhoads-like in tone and style.  (Yes, I went there.)  Check out the verse riff on Touch Of Fire and the pre-chorus riff on Halloween for two prime examples.  Mind Over Muscle is one of my favorite albums of 1985.  An instantly likeable record from a highly likeable band!  My score: A


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