Terrorvision were one of those acts that really deserved more than they got in the 90s. Forging a sturdy pop metal alloy at a time when so many acts at the time were playing frequently flimsy retro obsessed rock, Terrorvision were no less derivative than their contemporaries, but where others were in thrall to 60s beat groups, the hard rocking foursome tipped their collective hats to the likes of Thin Lizzy and Slade, and therefore boasted a much more durable sound.
How to Make Friends and Influence People was Terrorvision’s second album and the one that hinted that they might just have a future beyond being a cult concern. Hugely front-loaded, the first five tracks of the album tell you all you need to know about Terrorvision, from the opening rallying call of “Alice What’s the Matter?”, via the irresistible singalong of “Oblivion”, to the less jovial “Stop the Bus”, the cock snooking “Discotheque Wreck” and the more mature “Middleman”. All five of these tracks could, and should, have been absolutely massive hits for the band and would have made for a killer EP, and are a big reason behind why How to Make Friends and Influence People remains a fan favourite.
After such a focused start, How to Make Friends and Influence People then struggles to maintain the high standards already set. Although the album doesn’t exactly unravel, the only other track which even vaguely matches the quality of those first five is “Pretend Best Friend”, with everything else being fine but generally struggling to stand out. Nevertheless, it provided Terrorvision with a brace of crowd-pleasing tracks which would form the background of their live sets whenever they hit the stage.
One of those albums that is well thought of because of a brace of killer tracks, How to Make Friends and Influence People is nevertheless a very uneven album, with the highs of the album being so impressive that any track that was simply solid sounded deeply ordinary. Where it does hit those heights, How to Make Friends and Influence People demonstrates exactly why rock fans of a certain age still get misty eyed about Terrorvision.