Album review: Judas Priest, Ram It Down (1988)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 5, 1988

By Steve Newton

Those of you who thought the Priest may have been mellowing out a little on its last record, Turbo–forget it. With the latest, the band’s back to the freewheelin’ raunch that made Defenders of the Faith such a dangerous chunk of vinyl.

From the Rob Halford shriek that opens up the LP, right on through, there are enough nasty guitar licks here to keep Mom miles away from your bedroom door. Dueling guitarists Glenn Tipton and K.K. Downing are always inventive in their search to find the ultimate solo, bending and twisting hot licks every which way.

On “Come and Get It”, one of the album’s top tunes, the band’s message comes through loud and clear: “Do you like it heavy/Do you love it mean/Do you want it dirty/We don’t play it clean.”

There are a couple of duds on the record, like “Love You to Death”, and the ploddingly inept “Monsters of Rock”, but a nifty version of “Johnny B. Goode” helps balance things out.

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