This bit of coolness comes to us from Cleveland, Ohio circa 1987. The cover art was fairly atypical for an eighties heavy metal release. One could mistake Get Tough! for a punk, hardcore, or nineties alternative album based on the cover. But nay, this is a straight shot of eighties metal right to your nut sack.
Released by Ohio’s premiere cult metal label, Auburn Records, Breaker sounded like a band primed for major label attention. There’s little doubt that Breaker had the skill to excel further than they did, but I guess Lady Luck wasn’t on their side. I’m particularly impressed by the smart lyrics on Get Tough!, which stay away from the usual metal conventions of the day, allowing the album to stand the test of time extremely well. Breaker were a long way from Hollyweird, and in this case that’s a good thing. Breaker’s lyrics were grounded in real life — feet to the street and nose to the grindstone. True grit straight outta Cleveland. Throw Jim Hamar’s excellent vocals into the mix, and you’ve got yourself a real winner. Again, this album has aged remarkably well.
Prime cuts include Ten Seconds In, Get Tough, and my personal fave Black And White. (Check out Black And White here.) I have Get Tough! on cassette, which adds a heavy bonus cut called Touch Like Thunder. My score: A-