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Album Review

Fated never to rise to any heights at all, Hard Stuff — formed by guitarist John Du Cann following his unceremonious firing from Atomic Rooster — had already been through two names before they were signed to Deep Purple's Purple label; Daemon lasted a few rehearsals; Bullet survived a single; they became Hard Stuff after another Bullet fired a legal complaint at them, and Bulletproof was their riposte. It is heavy and it is loud. Period reviews mused on the Purple influence and they are not far from the mark, but only if organ were excised from the mix, to be replaced by guitars, guitars, and more guitars. Du Cann showboats through the album, a ferocious assault that is at times reminiscent of a lot less bluesy Cream or Taste, but fellow Rooster alumni Paul Hammond (drums) and veteran bassist John Gustafson are equally on the ball, to create an album that was hallmarked by virtuosity as much as volume, and truly deserved to be heard. Instead it slipped away, alongside a second single ("Jay Time"), and Angel Air's 2011 remaster, with 45-rpm bonus tracks intact, marks its first reappearance in 40 years. It is a welcome return.

Bulletproof, Hard Stuff
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