• Crazyhead
  • Desert Orchid (Food/EMI) 1988 

Taking its cues from grebo mongrels Zodiac Mindwarp and the Love Reaction, this cheeky Leicester quintet — whose personnel employ such sobriquets as Porkbeast and Reverb — gleefully gooses heavy metal with a poppy irreverence that is absolutely infectious. Bolstered by two superb singles (“Time Has Taken Its Toll on You” and “What Gives You the Idea That You’re So Amazing Baby?”), Desert Orchid is a fine debut that somehow manages to sound both fresh and classic. Producer Mark Freegard (who’s worked with New Model Army) lends the requisite punch to songs like “In the Sun,” “Down on You (Dragon City)” and a rambunctious cover of the Sonics’ “Have Love Will Travel.”

[Doug Brod]