Alien – Could Have Done Better (Song Review)

“The road has disappeared behind me”

Could Have Done Better is one of just two songs that Alien left behind after their brief visit to a NWOBHM scene in the north east of England that was teeming with hairy life. It was recorded as a demo and selected by Neat Records to open their 1982 compilation EP One Take No Dubs. It’s a bit too simplistic and punky for comfort. Even with the wild guitar sound the full and strummy chords sound dated compared to the next generation riffing that many of their contemporaries were putting out. But you can instantly hear why it was picked. It’s a strong tune that instantly implants itself in your mind and it has the electricity and energy of pub-hardened performers. Even if it’s not quite the real deal, it’s the kind of fun obscurity that makes trawling the depths of the NWOBHM so rewarding.

HMO Rating: 3 Out Of 5

20 thoughts on “Alien – Could Have Done Better (Song Review)”

      1. I think the context of how you hear it is important too. Listening to it on its own is different from it popping up on a compilation. It does stand out from other NWOBHM stuff cause it’s kinda punky/poppy. It’s a refreshing change after a bunch of Iron Maiden wannabes or whatever.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. It has kind of a surf rock 60’s guitar sound mixed with late 70’s new wavey feel. I don’t mind it.
    I like their Absolute Zero song a bit better because it has a Rush feel to it.
    Surprising they didn’t at least put out an album. They had some variety just in 2 songs.
    I will search them out on Discogs. Maybe even look for the band of the same name from Leicester.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I know of the Leicester Alien but have never heard them. This Alien is currently ‘Alien(24)’ on Discogs so looks like there are loads more of them for you to investigate!

      Absolute Zero is a bit better than this, agreed. There is a third song called Who Needs The Army from the same session that one of the band members released a while back. It’s riffier with a wild Hendrix-y solo but it’s the weakest of the three in terms of its tune.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. The Best Of Neat Records comp released last year looks promising.
        I would probably either be in the doghouse, the poor house or both just by buying all the many variable Alien band items.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. I loved this! The punky side of it is part of its charm and, honestly, part of NWOBHM’s complete breakfast. I mean, the first two Maiden albums… and so on. Then again, I’m no expert, but I always thought they were tied (to varying degrees), especially in the early days.

    Liked by 1 person

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