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Of all the New Wave of British Heavy Metal hopefuls to sign with Neat Records in the early '80s, Wallsend, England's Tysondog were among the most mindful of commercial metal trends, but like most of their labelmates, widespread success would elude them in the end. Alan Hunter (guitar/vocals), Paul Burdis (guitar), and Kevin Wynn (bass) were all bit players in northern England's highly incestuous but vibrant club scene when they formed the axis of what would become Tysondog (initially using the name "Orchrist") around 1982. Reportedly deriving their eventual name from someone's pet pooch, Tyson, the new group signed with nearby metal label Neat, secured the services of singer Clutch Carruthers and drummer Peter Reeve, and proceeded to record their first single, "Eat the Rich," in 1983.
Some downtime ensued while Hunter helped out label buddies Satan on a European trek, and Reeve quit to become an actor, but Tysondog duly reconvened with new drummer Ged Wolf to work on their first album, 1984's Beware of the Dog. Produced by Venom man Cronos, Beware of the Dog's surprisingly clean and accomplished British heavy metal was well received by both critics and fans, marking Tysondog as favorites of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal's second crop of bands. But Wolf was soon on the outs (off to join speed demons Atomkraft) and yet another new drummer, Rob Walker, was manning the drum kit during the band's 1985 performance at Holland's renowned Dynamo Festival, as well as the sessions for 1985's Shoot to Kill EP.
Things seemed to be back on track for Tysondog, but much of their building momentum would soon to be squandered when Carruthers was sidelined by a serious car crash, and his resulting health issues. By the time Tysondog overcame this latest challenge to finalize 1986's self-produced Crimes of Insanity, founder Alan Hunter was only nominally involved with the group (he'd later turn up on a 1998 comeback album by Pariah), and when their cover of Alice Cooper's "School's Out" failed miserably as a single, the end was near. In another stroke of bad luck, a planned American tour in support of Venom fell through when the band couldn't obtain work permits, and, when Neat committed the final betrayal of dropping them, Tysondog was officially history. ~ Eduardo Rivadavia
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