Gary Steel is slowly compiling all his album reviews in one place. This is a work in progress, or what we call a “live document”. Today is the letter ‘Y’.
Dec 1981/In Touch
Reactor is the best meal Young’s gone and dished out in years. It’s 100 percent crazed/crazy; a rock record par excellence that has Young taking the piss out of everything in sight. At the same time, he keeps that yearning sad-eyed coyote howl to take us down. The sound is even more distorted and amped-up than the heavy half of Live Rust and its. Rusty nail rock. His intentions are clear from the outset with ‘Opera Star’ and its chicken club take-off. The classic is a funky ‘T-Bone’, which repeats the immortal lines “Got mashed potatoes/Ain’t got no T-Bone” ad infinitum. Every song is a winner. The parting shot, ‘Shots’, which fires its stunning gunning round at us in the night, is an effective serious aside with degenerated ‘Hurricane’ guitar blasting. Young, not Dylan, is the new Woody Guthrie – forget it if that statement means nothing. Young’s more vital, honest and necessary right now than 99 percent of punk’s sold-out shit idols. So enjoy. 8/10