Before renaming themselves Rage, this U.K. band was called Nutz, and they released several albums in the seventies. When the NWOBHM started making waves in the early eighties, Nutz saw the new musical climate as an opportunity for a rejuvenation of sorts. They ditched the Nutz name and became the ill-monikered Rage, a name not necessarily suited for their fairly benevolent brand of hard(ish) rock. They signed to the French label Carrere Records, home to NWOBHM acts Saxon and Demon, and released three albums for the label. Nice ‘N’ Dirty was the second Rage album. The sound was traditional rock (now it could be considered “classic rock”) in the vein of bands like Bad Company, maybe Foreigner, and one would guess, Nutz (though I’ve never heard ’em). Though Rage weren’t exactly keeping with the metal times, Nice ‘N’ Dirty is actually a pretty damn enjoyable spin. Sure, the riffs are dogs, but pretty much every song on the album is catchy and memorable, particularly on the excellent side one. American Radio Stations, Wasted Years, Woman, and Silver And Gold should all sound great blasting from the car stereo on a summer night. Rage prove you don’t have to get complicated to pull off a good tune.
The original sapphic cover to Nice ‘N’ Dirty, featuring a pair of big-haired bimbos, is pictured above. Later, a less racy cover with just the one bimbo came ’round (see below). My score: A-