The American heavy metal band Hawaii originally came to life as Vixen in Hawaii in 1981 later changing their name to Aloha and then Hawaii. In 1982 when the band was still known as Vixen, Mike Varney from Shrapnel Records selected the second demo version of "Angels From The Dust" to appear on his compilation album "US Metal II" causing the band to gain a cult following. Several demos, compilations, and EP and two albums later, the band was dissolved by Marty Friedman around 1986 when he moved to San Francisco to pursue a solo career. Of course Marty later went on to form Cacophony with Jason Becker and later moved on to fame with Megadeth.

Loud Loud One Nation
Hawaii - Loud Wild and Heavy/One Nation Underground
(Cavern) 1983/1984

Loud Wild and Heavy (1984)
1. Bad Boys Of Metal (3:38)
2. Loud, Wild And Heavy (5:39)
3. Escape The Night (4:07)
4. Rhapsody In Black (7:13)
One Nation Underground (1983)
5. Living In Sin (3:16)
6. Silent Nightmare (2:58)
7. One Nation Underground (3:59)
8. You're Gonna Burn (4:05)
9. Escape The Night (3:52)
10. Nitro Power (4:22)
11. The Pit And The Pendelum (3:08)
12. Secret Of The Stars (4:35)
13. Overture Volcanica (3:52)
1. Call Of The Wild (3:52)
2. Turn It Louder (4:32)
3. V.P.H.B. (4:09)
4. Beg For Mercy (5:11)

Hawaii was a heavy metal band formed in 1982 by guitarist Marty Friedman, originally formed as Vixen (obviously not to be confused with the 1980's all female band of the same name) in 1981. "One Nation Underground" (1983) is the title of the first full-length studio album from the band, while "Loud Wild and Heavy" was the band's follow-up EP (1984). This CD compiles both albums as well as a few cuts from "The Natives Are Restless" as bonus tracks. 

The CD wisely starts off with the four cuts from "Loud Wild and Heavy". The production quality on these tracks are far superior to the harsh, roughly recorded debut. The band delivers exactly what you'd expect from a band on Shrapnel Records in the early 1980's; heavy metal with plenty of an emphasis on the guitar work. Hawaii were obviously influenced by the NWOBHM, and Iron Maiden in particular. One listen to "Rhapsody In Black" showcases the galloping NWOBHM influence. The vocalist on the band's debut, Gary St. Pierre, sings with a high, piercing style that reminds me of Lizzy Borden or perhaps Jason McMaster during his WatchTower years. On the follow-up, Eddie Day handles vocals and has a lower register, slightly raspy voice not unlike John Bush of Armored Saint. The whole thing has a very underground vibe, which makes it all that much more appealing to this long-time, die-hard metal fan. 

After the two albums and EP Hawaii folded, Friedman leaving to form Cacophony with Jason Becker and later joining Megadeth for a spell. 

Moonflower Lane Hawaii - The Natives are Restless
(Axe Killer) 1985

1. "Call of the Wild" (3:52)
2. "Turn it Louder" (4:32)
3. "V.P.H.B." (4:11)
4. "Beg for Mercy" (5:11)
5. "Unfinished Business" (4:34)
6. "Proud to Be Loud" (4:08)
7. "Lies" (3:37)
8. "Omichan No Uta" [instrumental] (3:36)
9. "Dynamite" (4:48)

This is one of those albums that's been on my want list for a looooong time. As long as I have been into metal, and as big a fan as I was of the "US Metal" compilations back in the 80's, I never did get the chance to hear either of the full length albums from Hawaii. Of course my interest was really peaked when I became a Cacaphony fan in the mid 80's and found out that extraordinary guitarist Marty Friedman had played in this band before Cacaphony. Still, I never ran across a vinyl copy of this album. Once I became a CD collection I had basically give up hope of ever hearing this band, figuring the chances of it being put to CD were slim to none. Well, much to my delight, Axe Killer from France issued "The Natives Are Restelss" to CD in 1999. So, was it worth the wait? Absolutely. Hawii are classic American heavy metal with a definite NWOBHM influence. After a short Hawaiian intro, the band blows through nine songs of furious heavy metal. Hawaii are not as flashy as the speed metal of Cacaphony, instead sticking to pure testoterone injected heavy metal that reminds me of bands like Armored Saint, Exciter and even early Ratt at times. "Omichan No Uta" is the one exception to this rule, as this song features some sweeping guitar melodies and certainly allows Friedman to show off a bit. "Call of the Wild" reminded me of some of that hyper metal that Exciter was so known for. Lyrically, there are several of the typical heavy metal clichés. Unlike much of today's music, in the 80's it wasn't about the complexities of life, rather it was all about rockin' out and having a good time. "Turn it louder, make it louder than hell, turn it louder, louder than hell." Absolutely! "Turn in Louder", "Dynamite" and the instrumental "Omichan No Uta" should all leave smiles on the faces of any metalhead that grew up during the heyday of real heavy metal. Friedman isn't as prominent as he will become in his band's to follow, but his leads are still unmistakable.

For anyone interested, you can hear samples of this CD at: http://www.vibrationsofdoom.com/test/Hawaii2.html Turn It Up Loud and enjoy!

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