For their second album, Long Island’s Blue Oyster Cult stepped on the accelerator and ramped up their multiple guitar attack with enough twisted boogie licks to make them sound like a southern rock band on methamphetamine. Yet underneath the band’s stock hard rock riffs linger a perverse love for the absurd. “The Red and the Black” is a slight tribute to Canadian law enforcement. “O.D’d on Life Itself” basks in the ambiguity of the live-fast-die-young set, while “Hot Rails to Hell” sounds on the surface like a trademark hard rock move with its churning rhythm guitars and harmonized, vibrato-laden chorus (a move that would be copied by heavy metal bands ad nauseum for decades without irony) but its lyrics are tongue-in-cheek and open to question. “Baby Ice Dog” clearly states: “They’d like to make it with my big black dog / but they just don’t know how to ask.” While Spinal Tap would parody many of the hard rock groups from this era – Uriah Heep, take a bow – Blue Oyster Cult were always knowingly savoring the irony, the power and the joke, in whatever order fancied them at the moment.