Label Spotlight: Neat Records
By starting business in England's North East in 1979, Neat Records was able to get in on the ground floor of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, a grassroots movement it went on to dominate (somewhat) through the early '80s. David Wood, the recording studio owner who got the ball rolling, put out the label's frequently primitivist metal on 7-inch singles even more than on albums. But where full-lengths are concerned, two bands on Neat's roster clearly overshadowed the rest: Venom, who presaged thrash and basically invented demonic black metal, and Raven, who also raced pretty fast but were perhaps more notable for dressing up like football players.
Other noteworthy NWOBHMers to make noise on the Neat imprint included Blitzkrieg (whose theme song "Blitzkrieg" wound up covered by Metallica), Jaguar (who wound up inspiring Metallica as well), Tygers of Pan Tang (whose singer wound up owning the label and then selling it to Sanctuary in 1995), White Spirit (whose guitarist wound up in Iron Maiden), Persian Risk (whose guitarist wound up in Motörhead), Bitches Sin, Tyson Dog, Cloven Hoof and Warfare. All of these low-rent platoons stink up this gnarly playlist, along with oi! boot boys Cockney Rejects and more, plus a couple hellish selections each by Venom and Raven -- the latter with fire-hydrant-like Accept frontman Udo Dirkschneider lending an eager hand once.