It’s quite amazing, at some thirty eight years remove, to remember just how exciting a band Tysondog were in 1984. They’d just released their debut album, Beware of the Dog (for this writer, still one of the best British debuts of all time alongside the first Tokyo Blade album and, of course, Rankelson‘s Hungry For Blood), and the world really did appear to be their oyster. At least the bits of the world where heavy metal was of paramount importance, anyway…

It wasn’t, of course, and the band, like so many before and since, were condemned to walk for eternity labelled as nearly men. Injustice? Certainly. Inevitable? Doubly so.

So here we are in 2022 with the latest iteration of the band, and a new album, Midnight; As expected, it fails to stoke the innermost fires in quite such exuberant fashion as that much-loved debut, but, if truth be told, it still kicks up a bit of a storm – enough at least to ensure that you give it a thorough listen at your earliest convenience.

Tysondog today promise much the same as they always have – the pounding rhythms, unforgiving, bottom-heavy riffage and the odd infectious chorus are pleasingly all present and correct – with the added bonus of a muscular, superbly put together production job that gives everyone in the band their chance to shine.

Opener Battalion is the album in microcosm – fast-paced, riff-heavy and memorable enough that you’ll find yourself barking out it’s one word chorus at the newsagent days after you last heard it – and, if standout cuts are thin on the ground that’s only because everything here is of such uniformly high quality that you’ll find your own personal fave cut changing from day to day.

That said, the chortlesome It Lives is a bit of a fave chez Strickmann, especially the line “the corpse in the back of my car is beginning to smell”; but Waiting For God, Defiant and Hellbound are equally worthy of places at this band’s top table. Have a listen, take your pick – you won’t be disappointed, I promise you.

Midnight releases on April 29th.