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Warning From Stardust

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Album Review

Japan's Bow Wow continued their hard rock renaissance with 1982's Warning from Stardust, which, amazingly, was the ninth studio album recorded during the group's still brief but obviously very prolific six-year career. And although, like its immediate predecessors, it too contained a few escapades into softer sounds unwanted (see the West Side Story pastiche of "Jets" and the usual power ballad "Heels of the Wind"), Warning from Stardust was arguably the band's heaviest statement since 1977's Charge. Bolstered as well by improved production over the preceding Asian Volcano (released just six months prior), Warning delivered a slew of memorable metallic singles, highlighted by the inexorable speed of "You're Mine," the radio-ready "Can't Get Back to You," and the distinctive six-string tour de force of "Welcome to the Monster City" (all hot licks and fancy geetar tricks). Yet, most notably perhaps, all of these songs revealed a band exhibiting virtually no traces of the ‘70s influences (Deep Purple, Aerosmith, etc.) that had characterized their earliest efforts, but rather one thoroughly in touch with the prevailing hard rock and metal sensibilities of the '80s (chiefly Van Halen and Y&T), and therefore ready to compete on even ground with the best of them. Unfortunately, the lure of this competition would soon rupture Bow Wow's founding foursome in half, when lead guitarist Kyoji Yamamoto and drummer Toshihiro Niimi decided to try their luck in England a couple of years later, but frontman Mitsuhiro Saito and bassist Kenji Sano declined to follow.


Formed: 1976

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

If one discounts the pioneering but still largely formative contributions of early-‘70s proto-metal forces like mega-stoners Speed, Glue & Shinki, acid-fueled anarchists Les Rallizes Denudes, and perhaps the country's greatest prog-psych-metal warlords, Flower Travellin' Band, then Bow Wow arguably bear the honor of being Japan's first bona fide heavy metal band — even if, by modern conventions, hard rock might seem a more appropriate label. Founded in Tokyo in 1975 and already bound for...
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Warning From Stardust, Bowwow
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