UHF - Timeless Voyager. 1981 USA
At CD Baby, there's an album you can buy from a Chicago band called The Seiche (1979 Seiche Demo). When listening to UHF, I was reminded of The Seiche. At its core, both bands are heavily influenced by late 70s Rush, minus the epic aspirations. More of a streamlined approach, similar to how Rush would emerge themselves, but with a rawer edge that is to be expected on a private production. But Miami, Florida based UHF take it one step further by adding a bit of a metal component. There's a certain riffing style that identifies it as such, though it doesn't fit comfortably into what is generally known as heavy metal - even for the early date. In fact, it wouldn't be a reach to compare UHF to Manilla Road at this 1981 stage (again, minus the more grandiose compositions and themes). And it's not just hard rock and metal, but a very strong progressive component can be found, with unusual meter breaks, and well placed keyboards. This is one of the best new-to-me albums I've heard in a long time. Great stuff.
The review above was for the CDRWL from a CD-R listen (2010). I've recently sourced the original LP, and if anything, my appreciation has only gone up since then.