Quartz – Too Hot To Handle.

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On 31 January 2015
Last modified:19 December 2016


16 quality NWOBHM tracks from the vaults of Quartz!

COVER QUARTZ FULLWhen the NWOBHM came to be in the late 1970’s it brought forth bands of various rock/metal styles, some of which made the big league and some of which did not and split but reformed to give it another try. Birmingham based Quartz are a prime example of one of them who had the songs and even though they supported the likes of Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Saxon, Gillan, Rush and played at three Reading Festivals, unfortunately never got the recognition to propel them further.

Formed in 1974 and originally known as Bandy Legs, they signed to Jet Records in 1976 who released their self titled debut in the same year, produced by Tony Iommi and toured the album supporting Black Sabbath. A second album Stand Up And Fight in 1980 was followed by Against All Odds in 1983 which proved to their last was the last we heard of Quartz until their reformation in 2011 with four out of five original members still in the current line up. So this latest release Too Hot To Handle is not new material but sixteen demo tracks originally written between 1981/1982 engineered by Phil Savage but have been re-mastered by Bart Gabriel, chief executive officer of Skol Records who have released the album on January 31st 2015.

Some of the songs were re-recorded in different versions back in the day and used on the Against All Odds album so in effect Too Hot To Handle is unreleased material. All sixteen songs hit hard and there is not one filler on here. The title track opens the album full of riff heavy hard rock as a thundering mid section is followed by powerful guitar solos with a soaring vocal from David Garner, the new member who joined in 2011. In complete contrast, second number ‘Crack The Sky’ opens with a mournful vocal over an acoustic guitar which leads into  early Scorpions like heavy metal.

Other highlights are ‘Just Another Man’. It’s Magnum like pomp rock with prominent keyboards add texture to some muscly riffs. ‘Silver Wheels’ is a defining example of what NWOBHM was all about, giving Saxon’s ‘Wheels Of Steel’ some competition in the on the road subject matter. ‘Frontline’ is like a heavier take on Judas Priest’s ‘Diamonds And Rust’ featuring a headbanging mid section with guitar solos to match. With a song title of ‘Love Em And Run’ I was expecting a ballad but was proven wrong with a slice of hard edged Ted Nugent riffing rock.

The opening line of ‘Madman’ is the same as ‘Under The Blade’ by Twisted Sister so I wonder who wrote it first? ‘Madman’ is another fast one with some serious guitar frenzy throughout. ‘Buried Alive’ thuds along with a ‘Symptom Of The Universe’ like main riff giving a dark vibe in the vein of Venom. ‘The Lawman’ is a short slice of heavy blues built on a rolling, catchy riff. ‘Revelation’ has a space rock vibe with David’s vocal delivery reminding me of Jack Bruce. The pace of the album is brought down again with the guitar drenched ‘Avalon’ and the album finishes in style with ‘Gold Digger’ (my favourite track) and ‘It’s Hell Livin’ Without You’. ‘Gold Digger’, at six minutes long is a tour de force similar to the heavier side of UFO and the album closer is the most metal track with some precision riffing perfectly capturing the spirit of NWOBHM.


Quartz band line up :-

David Garner – Vocals.

Mick Hopkins – Guitar.

Geoff Nicholls – Guitar/keyboards.

Derek Arnold – Bass guitar.

Malcolm Cope – Drums.


Album track listing :-

Too Hot To Handle.

Crack The Sky.

Hard Road.

Just Another Man.

Silver Wheels.


Love Em And Run.


Buried Alive.

The Lawman.

Tell Me Why.



Right Above Myself.

Gold Digger.

It’s Hell Livin’ Without You.



16 quality NWOBHM tracks from the vaults of Quartz!

About Dennis Jarman

Full time downtrodden album/gig reviewer and part time rock God!