Fastway – Eat Dog Eat (SPV/Steamhammer)
For those who wondered if Fast Eddie Clark and Fastway would ever put out another new album, the answer is, finally yes. It took more than twenty years, but Fastway, Clark’s post-Motörhead band, in April 2012 finally and quietly released in the U.S. Eat Dog Eat and it is a decidedly radio friendly rock album. That is if there were radio stations that still played new rock albums.
On internet streaming sites and satellite radio where hard rock seems to have retreated, I’m afraid this excellent effort was completely overlooked. In the past two years I never heard one new cut from Fastway.
In this seemingly temporary incarnation, Fastway is now a three-piece ensemble with former Little Angels front man Toby Jepson, producing the album and providing lead vocals, bass guitar and acoustic guitar. Fast Eddie plays lead guitar and Matt E.(?) is on drums. Though this line-up is just a recording line-up and will probably never play many live dates, it is refreshing to hear new music from Fast Eddie Clark and Fastway. The band brings a 21st century approach to writing and performing some very good songs.
For starters the production and engineering are excellent. Lead singer Jepson has a strong and pure rock voice reminding me of the late Ray Gillen of Badlands.
The eleven songs are straight out rockers – think of Bad Company for comparison.
Fast Eddie has not lost his touch for writing and playing catchy licks as demonstrated on the opening track Deliver Me, Leave the Light On and Sick As A Dog.
If you are expecting classic Fastway with Dave King style-vocals you will hear some similarities. If you are expecting anything sounding like Motörhead, a genre that Fast Eddie has permanently left behind since his parting with that band, you will hear nothing remotely like that. But taken on its own, Eat Dog Eat is a very good hard rock album.
In the meantime, Fast Eddie last month released a blues album with Bill Sharpe called Make My Day – Back to Blues.
Hopefully it will not be another twenty years before Fastway puts out a new album and fans can go see them on tour. It would be great to hear Jepson’s interpretation of classic Fastway tunes.
Below is a short featurette on the recording of Eat Dog Eat.