TRICKSTER was founded in Birmingham, UK around 1976 by singer Phil Bates who previously played in Kwil and other local acts (He would release the terrific album 'Power' with the band Atlantic in the '90s). Trickster was signed by Jet Records, the same of ELO, so it isn't strange that after the debut album in 1978 Trickster toured Europe supporting them. For the second LP "Back To Zero" the band turned their sound into a more sophisticated affair adding strong Melodic Rock and AOR elements to their music following the trend arriving from America at the end of the seventies.
Encouraged by their continued success as a touring unit, Slaughter reorganized following the tragic death of guitarist Tim Kelly with Back to Reality, which introduces new guitarist Jeff Blando. Regardless, it's still the same old Slaughter, albeit a touch heavier than they were in their hit-making prime – they're catering to hard rock radio rather than power-ballad-hungry Top 40 programmers (which actually serves them well). Still, it's knowing their audience that's kept Slaughter around this long, and that audience wants straight-ahead, melodic, meat-and-potatoes hard rock. So even if most of the music on Back to Reality will sound somewhat rote and by the numbers to listeners who have no appetite for '80s-style pop-metal in 1999, it simply wouldn't pay for the band to take any chances or alter their sound – and, actually, as Back to Reality proves, they're still pretty good at it, delivering decent songs and convincing performances demonstrating that they aren't just phoning it in. There's nothing earth-shattering here, but the level of quality is pleasantly surprising, and certainly not that far below their commercial heyday.