Although musically easily in the same league as Lynryrd Skynyrd, Molly Hatchet and other great US acts, Point Blank didn't seem to enjoy the same acclaim as these other bands. They were formed in Texas in the mid seventies by guitarists Rusty Burns and Kim Davis, vocalist John O'Daniel, drummer Buzzy Gruen and bassist Phillip Petty. Their first, self-titled album, released in 1976, is a prime slice of Texan boogie, produced by Bill Hamm of ZZ Top fame, as was their second album, "Second Season", released the following year. The third album, '' Airplay", featured keyboard player Steve Hardin and new bassist Bill Randolph and saw the band veer in a more AOR direction. 1980's "The Hard Way", a part live, part studio album, saw Karl Berke replacing Hardin on keyboards and the album featured a stunning live version of Deep Purple's "Highway Star". By the time this album, "American Excess" came around in 1981, yet another keyboard player in the form of Mike Hamilton, ex-Kenny Loggins had joined the ranks, replacing Berke, and vocalist Bubba Keith, ex- England Dan and John Ford Coley and The James Gang stepped in in place of O'Daniel. This album, in keeping with the previous four, was very good, with some really neat riffs and hooks. The band's final album, "On a Roll", released in 1982, was probably their weakest, as it was obviously aimed at the commercial market, but it wasn't successful and they disbanded soon afterwards. Point Blank albums aren't that easy to come by on CD, as the last four were released on pricey Jap imports a number of years ago. The first two, however, were released on the German High Vaultage label a few years ago and are a bit easier to find. If you're into good, solid Southern tinged hard rock, you'd do a lot worse than have a few of this great band's albums in your collection.