Thursday, May 08, 2014

AIN'T TOO PROUD TO BEG

* WANTS LIST * WANTS LIST * WANTS LIST *

 Howdy, i was just wondering if any of you could help me out with some stubborn items which have been on my "Wants" list for a looong time.
I've had no luck tracking these down whatsoever.
If any of you could help me out with digital rips of any of the following, i'd be forever in your debt.

Thanks.

BENHATZEL : Undeniable (1983) USA
BERINGER REEF : Pacific Illusions (1982) USA 

RUSTY BUDDE BAND : Main Man Stan (1980) USA
CIRCUS OF POWER : Live At The Ritz Mini LP (1991) USA
DARKSTAR : Escape Routines (1980) Canada
EMERALD CITY : Return To Oz (Live) (1976) Canada
FOX & COMPANY : Fox & Company (1977) USA
FREEWAY : Off The Streets (1979) USA
HOLY MACKEREL : Holy Mackerel (1972) UK
IMAGINE : Playin' Around (1981) USA
LUST : Red Hot And Rock Hard (1982) USA
MAIN STREET : Rock & Roll Is Serious Business (1983) USA
MESSENDGER : Back (1996) (Compilation) USA
NO QUARTER : Birds Of Prey EP (1985) UK
BARBARA PENNINGTON & TEMPEST : Second Thoughts (1982) USA
RAISIN KANE : It's About Time (1978) USA
RESISTANCE : Resistance (1979) USA
ROCKEN HORSE : Rocken Roll (1981) USA
ROLLS ROCKS : Rolls Rocks (1981) USA
SAVANNAH : Livin' High 7" (1975) USA
SCATTERED ACES : Six Pack Mini LP (1984) Australia
SCATTERED ACES : C'mon Everybody/Waltzing Matilda 7" (1984) Australia
SHADOWFOX : Stealer EP (1983) USA 

SOLAR WIND : Runnin' With The Wind (1984) USA
AL STAHALEY : Stahaley's Comet (1982) USA
(aka AL STAEHELY : "Al Staehely & 10K Hours")
STARCHILD : Detroit Rocker/No Control 7" (1981) Canada
STARFOXX : Nockum Nekkid (1979) USA
TASK FORCE : Forbidden Fruit (1982) Canada
TEEZER : Deep Rock Style (1980) USA
UNCLE : Up Against The Wall (1979) USA
UNION : 10 Jewels (1976) USA


And don't forget to check out the comments section, you'll be glad you did!
;)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

WHEN THE MUSIC'S OVER...

All posts on this blog have now been edited. 
This site contains no working download links to material which allegedly breaches copyright.
As a result of Blogger.com's suspension of this site, it now only exists as a source of information about obscure vintage Hard Rock & Heavy Metal bands.
Thank you all for your support of the blog over the years.
BFK

Saturday, January 19, 2013

LANDING A SHARK

Greetings, and a happy new year to all of you who continue to visit this electronic ruin.
I'd like to take the opportunity to wish you all good health and happiness in 2013.
Oh, and kick arse rawk'n'roll too!
Tonight i'm truly pleased to present an international batch of vintage Hard sounds to gladden the heart and stimulate the ole saliva glands as well.
Let's get 2013's started without further ado, beginning with...
Japanese Heavy Metal/Hard Rock quartet BOW WOW were formed in Tokyo during 1975.
The group first performed live in July 1976, making a bold statement with an impromptu gig on a flatbed truck outside of a film studio in Tokyo before debuting with the "Bow Wow (Hoero!)", album in December of 1976 on the Invitation label.
The band's inaugural line-up comprised vocalist/guitarist Kyoji Yamamoto, vocalist/guitarist Mitsuhiro Saito, bass player Kenji Sano and drummer Toshiri Niimi.
Yamamoto proved himself early on as an accomplished guitarist famed for his hammer-on tapping technique long before Eddie Van Halen.
A great deal of exposure was afforded the band whilst promoting the second album "Signal Fire", when they supported KISS on their 1977 Japanese tour, and then AEROSMITH the year after.
The band's third studio album "Charge" arrived in December 1977, with their fourth, "Guarantee", released in 1978.
A June 1978 concert was recorded for the "Super Live", album, which included the band's take on EDDIE COCHRANE's "Summertime Blues", which owed something to BLUE CHEER's version of the song.
Kyoji Yamamoto issued his debut solo effort "Horizons", in 1980, an industrious year for the man as Bow Wow also issued three new albums in quick succession.
"Glorious Road", arrived in February, "Telephone", in September and "Kumikyoku : X Bomber Suite", in November, the latter the soundtrack to an animated TV show, "X Bomber".
"Hard Dog", was then issued by SMS Records in April 1981.
Somehow, in the midst of all this musical activity Kyoji Yamamoto found the time to appear on 1981's HEAVY METAL ARMY album, "1", under the pseudonym of "Mr. X".
Spreading their wings internationally in 1982, Bow Wow played at both the Reading Festival in Britain and the world famous Montreux Jazz Festival.
Capitalising on their European exposure Roadrunner Records then picked up the band's new "Asian Volcano", album, this being the first time the band had an album issued throughout Europe.
Their presence would be felt on the continent still further with the licensed releases of "Warning From Stardust",  in September 1982 on Heavy Metal Records and "Holy Expedition-Live", through Roadrunner in July 1983.
Both of these records drew significant media praise, initiating considerable fan support in the Western world.
A further Yamamoto solo album "Electric Circus", featuring LAST FLIGHT vocalist Rob Hawthorne, found the Yamamoto's reputation growing in the West as interest in Japanese Metal began to spread.
Bow Wow then morphed into VOW WOW, changing the name in order to avoid confusion with Malcolm McLaren's Pop act BOW WOW WOW, as original vocalist Mitsuhiro Saito lost his position.
The band was brought back up to strength by former NOIZ vocalist Genki Hitomi plus SENSE OF WONDER and MOONDANCER keyboard player Rei Atsumi for June 1984's "Beat Of Metal Motion", album.
This record showed a more commercial side to the band's sound, a trend that (sadly) continued throughout their time as Vow Wow.
During their period as Vow Wow the band released 7 albums: 1984's "Beat Of Metal Motion", 1985's "Cyclone", January 1986's Tony Platt produced 'III', July 1986's "Vow Wow Live", (titled "Hard Rock Night", in Japan) and 1987's "Vow Wow V", recorded in Ibiza with producer Kit Woolven.
By this time the band had relocated to London, England in order to focus on "breaking" Europe.
Bassist Kenji Sano departed to make way for ex-WHITESNAKE, NATIONAL HEALTH and GARY MOORE bassist Neil Murray.
Various band members somehow also found the time to contribute to TOM GALLEY's "Phenomena II" concept album during this time period.
UK headline dates took place in March 1989, with the London Astoria gig filmed for the concert video "Live In The UK", prior to German concerts in May backing WARLOCK.
Album output continued apace with 1989's "Helter Skelter", produced by Tony Taverner, (titled "Vibe", in Japan with a slightly different track listing).
Murray quit in 1990 following "Helter Skelter", the bassman then joining BLACK SABBATH.
Vow Wow continued, recruiting American bassist Mark Gould, and releasing a new album later that year entitled, "Mountain Top".
"Mountain Top", proved to be a difficult recording for the band, with co-production shared between Nick Griffiths, Brian Christian and Bob Ezrin, and it ended up being the final release by Vow Wow.
Vow Wow split soon after the record's release with Yamamoto creating a new band called WILD FLAG.
Wild Flag released three albums between 1992 and 1994, which were only issued in Japan.
Yamamoto then reverted back to the Bow Wow name for the August 1995 mini-album "Bow Wow #0".
Two months later the full-length "Bow Wow #1", arrived in Japanese stores.
This record was made by a much revised line-up, with Yamamoto being joined by vocalist Tetsuya Horie, second guitarist Hiroshi Yaegashi, bassist Shotaro Mitsuzono and drummer Eiji Mitsuzono.
The band, bolstered by the returning Saito and with Toshihiro Niimi back on drums after a two album stint with LANCE OF THRILL, then put out "Bow Wow #2 (Led By The Sun)", in July 1996.
Slimming the line-up down to a trio of just Saito, Yamamoto and Niimi, they reformed yet again during 1998, testing the waters with an April live mini-album "Still On Fire", through Tears Music.
The subsequent "Back", album, released by East West, included three new songs alongside 7 Bow Wow classics.
Bow Wow's energies were renewed and further releases came quick & fast during this time.
Yamamoto released a new solo album, "Mind Arc", in 1998
"Ancient Dreams", released in July 1999 on the Mars label, was recorded by Yamamoto, Saito, session bassist Daisuke Kitsuwa with Niimi on drums.
For live work the band re-drafted original bassist Kenji Sano, with this line-up captured on "Live Explosion 1999", issued that December.
Sano soon left once again and the band often employed producer Daisuke Kitsuwa to handle studio bass duties.
A new Kyoji Yamamoto solo album, "Requiem", was then released in 2000.
Successive releases in Japan included "Beyond", in 2000, "Another Place", in 2001, "What's Going On?", in 2002, with both "Super Live 2004", and "Era", arriving in 2005.
Yamamoto's solo career picked up pace with "Solo Concert - Time", released as both a double CD and as a DVD in 2006.
A further live Yamamoto DVD, "Solo Concert 21 July 2007", was then issued in 2008, as well as a compilation album called "Healing Collection".
His most recent solo album is 2010's "The Life Album", which was followed by a further solo compilation, "Voyager".
He also is a sometime member of BLACK SYNDROME in a live capacity, and has played with that band off and on for years, when time permits.
Toshiri Niimi also played with a side project between 2000 and 2002 entitled BAD SIX BABIES.
Bow Wow continue to play live in Japan, but have not released a new studio album since 2005's "Era" album.
There have however been 4 live DVD's issued since that time, and a compilation of the band's material between '95 & '05 entitled "The Bow Wow II Decennium"..
In 2011, co-inciding with the 35th anniversary of the band's formation, Polystar Records issued "XXXV ~Thirty Five Years of Maximum H.R.", a 4CD/1DVD Box Set.
Alongside the vintage material in the box set, there were three new songs specially recorded for the set.

BOW WOW - Signal Fire (1977) Japan



Workington’s NWOBHM heroes HAMMERHEAD released one cult classic single, "Time Will Tell" b/w "Lonely Man" , in 1981, before being consigned to obscurity.The band initially formed in 1977, with it's members having cut their teeth in obscure acts like JUDAS, BITTER HARVEST & DESTROYER.
A five song 1978 demo was quickly recorded, with the band then expanding from a trio to a quartet in 1979.
The "Time Will Tell" single was issued in 1981, and garnered glowing reviews and cemented the band's future reputation.
In 1984 the band had their song "Lochinvar", (inspired by the poem by Sir Walter Scott), included on the highly prized NWOBHM compilation LP, "It's Unheard Of".
Throughout the 1980's the band continued to gig and record but no further product was forthcoming.
Members pursued other musical interests, but would still occasionally come back together for the odd Hammerhead gig over the years, but the band made their final studio recordings in 1996.
In 2004 the band resumed activity and began gigging and recording once again.
Disparate studio tracks recorded between 1981 and 1984 and a pair from 1996 were then collated for the long overdue "Will To Survive" compilation album.
There’s a guileless charm and real musical passion across the collection that makes you glad that so much time was spent piecing it together.
The 9 songs of "Will To Survive" initially saw the light of day on compact disc only, released by the Sonic Age/Cult Metal Classics label in 2005.
Guitarist Buzz Elliot was not 100% satisfied with the way the sleeve of the CD version turned out:
"It is quite a good design, but maybe not the right style for Hammerhead, it reminds me of Marvel Comics style of drawing.
I think it was loosely based around the lyrics of the title track 'Will To Survive', the song has a few lines within it referring to the aftermath of a nuclear war, hence the warrior emerging from a post apocalyptic scene.
Sonic Age were supposed to let me see the design before it was produced, but in their haste and eagerness to get the project off the ground I didn't get to see it until it was too late to make any changes.
The sleeves had already been printed, so what the hell, at least we're finally getting some kind of recognition for our work."
The 2011 High Roller Records vinyl re-release featured an exclusive bonus track, a recent live rendition of "Mushrooms & Beer", and different cover artwork.
It was released in a limited edition of 500 copies only, on heavyweight orange vinyl, and is now out-of-print.
In between, a second Hammerhead album, "Headonizm", was released in 2006.
It was comprised of songs written and performed by the band in the '70's & '80's, but not recorded until 2005.

HAMMERHEAD - Will To Survive (1981-1996) UK



SIX TON BUDGIE was formed from the ashes of the post BUDGIE outfit TREDEGAR, by original Budgie & Tredegar drummer Ray Phillips, who also played with WOMAN, FREEZ & TITUS OATS in the late '70's.Six Ton Budgie was actually the original 1967 name that the first Budgie line-up went under, before eventually shortening it in the early '70's.
The new Six Ton Budgie was formed in Gwent in Wales in 1992 with fellow ex-Tredegar members Jason Marsh on Bass and Sam Lees on Guitar.
Following initial recording sessions, Phillips' son Justin was installed on guitar, and another ex-TREDEGAR member, and former PHANTASM bassist, Tom Prince came into the fold too.
The band's first album, 1995's "Unplucked!",  featured 15 songs, including five re-recorded classic BUDGIE numbers.
As well as handling drums and vocals, Phillips senior also contributed Guitar and Bass parts on some of the songs.
Some recordings featuring the band's original personnel were also included on the disc, which was released through the band's own Axel Records in conjunction with the NWoBHM specialist label Vinyl Tap Records.
This album was followed in 1996 by their second, "Ornithology Volume 1", again released through Vinyl Tap/Axel.
With both of the discs long out of print, Phillips self-released a further Six Ton Budgie album in 2007 entitled "A Bird's Eye View".
This disc compiled tracks from the two original albums in remastered and remixed form, with additional instrumentation added, and also included four previously unreleased songs.
This brought the curtain down on Six Ton Budgie, as the band had folded before the record's release.
In 2010, as work neared completion on his debut solo album "Revelations",  Ray returned to the stage with the RAY PHILLIPS BAND, a new band also featuring his former Tredegar and Six Ton Budgie band mate Tom Prince on Bass alongside hotshot young Guitarist Adam Healey.
The band are now gigging extensively, and Ray's solo record, on which he plays the majority of the instruments himself, was released recently.

SIX TON BUDGIE - Unplucked! (1995) UK



DAMIEN were a four piece Heavy Metal/Hard Rock band formed by former RICOCHET bassist Neil "The Finn" Finnegan, who had opted to stay behind in Germany after the NWoBHM band toured there in 1980.Settling in Frankfurt, he set about forming a new act, recruiting two other ex-pat Brits, vocalist John Cadden and Guitarist Tony Clark, and German Drummer "Tiny" Rudy Matthies.
The band set about gigging locally and writing and rehearsing the songs which they recorded for their 1982 demo tape.
A second demo was then circulated in 1983, and this one grabbed the attention of several record companies.
Securing a four year deal with Steamhammer Records in 1984, the band opted to debut with a Mini LP to be recorded with producer Wolfgang Eicholz at Recordland Studios in Berlin.
However, before the recordings took place, vocalist John Cadden decided to leave the band and was replaced by former DEMOLITION man Mark Wederell.
Wederell and guitarist Tony Clark had known each other for years and had previously played together in SAVAGE.
The five song "Damien" Mini LP (also known as "Words"), was released later in '84, and was greeted with some enthusiasm by press and fans alike.
Clark was the outstanding force on the Mini LP, showing off all over the place with some outstanding lead work.
Contemporary reviews saw him compared favourably with then OZZY OSBOURNE axe man Jake E. Lee.
The band built up a considerable reputation as a live act during this time, and completed the tour in support of the record in style, appearing before a huge crowd at the "Rhein-Main In Concert" Festival.
Mark Wederell was then replaced by former DETROIT singer Andy Pyke (who had provided backing vocals on the Mini LP), during preparations for the recording of a full length album, due to be called "Cold Fingers".
Wererell went on to join the Swiss Metal band MANIAC after his stint in Damien, appearing on their self-titled 1985 LP on Hot Blooded Records.
Unfortunately, despite the Damien album being announced and advertised in the press, the recordings were never to be released.
Damien's record deal was terminated, as sales hadn't matched the label's expectations, and in disarray, the band called it quits.
During 2000 a collection of Damien rarities looked set to surface on the Heavy Rock Records label.
"The Story Of Damien", was set to include rare demos alongside live material featuring Pyke, but sadly that release didn't ultimately materialise either.
Post-Damien, Vocalist Andy Pyke succeeded Marco Paganini in German Hard band VIVA, but eventually returned to the UK in 1986 when this new Viva line-up failed to gel.
He then joined MARSHALL LAW, fronting that band from 1987-1992 and recording 2 albums, an EP and a demo with them during this time.
Marshall Law split in 1992, before again reconvening in 1995, with Pyke reinstated in the vocalist's role.
A live record was followed by three further studio albums before Pyke announced his departure from the band's ranks in 2010.
Pyke also found time in 1997 to provide backing vocals on "Victim Of Changes", the fourth solo album by former JUDAS PRIEST vocalist AL ATKINS.
Drummer "Tiny" Rudy Matthies, found himself playing with original Damien vocalist John Cadden once again, when they both joined the Frankfurt band VANDAL in 1986.
Damien bassist "The Finn" rejoined his former Ricochet band mates for 2 weeks in 2000 and re-recorded their NWoBHM classic "Midas Light" in a Coventry studio, together with some other tracks.
These tracks along with vintage version were made available on CD through the Ricochet website, as the six song "Midas Light" mini-album.
The band members then went their separate ways again.
In 2005 "The Finn" was managing a music festival in Northampton, and with his former band-mates available, Ricochet returned to the stage playing a three song set comprising "Midas Light", "Dreadnought" and "Off The Rails".
In 2010 the Ricochet band members found themselves all living once more around Birmingham, for the first time in 30 years.
After meeting up for a beer it transpired that they all missed the Ricochet times and decided to give it one more throw of the dice.
The revived Ricochet have recorded a new single, "The Blue Eyed Beggar & The Teenage Captain", and are reportedly working on a full length album.

DAMIEN - Damien Mini LP (1984) UK



Pauline Gillan, the younger sister of DEEP PURPLE & GILLAN frontman Ian Gillan, formed the GILLAN/DEAN project with former JERUSALEM and PUSSY singer/bassist Paul Dean in 1983.Signing to Thunderbolt Records, the duo recorded the "Rocks On!" album in a variety of studios including Ian Gillan's own Kingsway Studios, Bath and London, with additional sessions taking place in Mallorca.
The reviewers of the time seemed mystified by the LP, and this combined with Thunderbolt Records poor distribution and promotion to scupper the fledgling act who folded soon after the record's release.
After the Gillan/Dean project bit the dust, Pauline subsequently created PAULINE GILLAN'S NORTHERN DANCER, with ex-AVENUE guitarist Dave Bell, ex AXIS guitarist Dave Little, ex-GLACIER bassist Chris Wing and former AVENUE drummer Keeth Naylor.
The band debuted with a three song self-titled EP on the Stoke based indie label Bullet Records in 1984.
This group eventually became the PAULINE GILLAN BAND, signing to the Powerstation label for the release of a full blown album, "Hearts Of Fire", in 1985.
After long months spent touring the record in the UK & Europe where they built up a reputation as a fine live act, the band finally took time off to write the follow up album.
The new material was much darker than the debut and far harder hitting, and the record company, who had been pushing for a softer pop-rock sound, (and less clothing for Pauline), were anything but pleased.
Following a set of even heavier demos recorded at Fairview Studios with producer John Spence, Powerstation finally dropped the band.
By 1990 Pauline Gillan decided that she'd had enough and exited the group.
The remaining band members persevered as a unit, working with MEAT LOAF vocalist Lorraine Crosby as their new vocalist.
Crosby then departed to join her boyfriend's band EMERSON and was replaced by Jackie Fox.
This line-up recorded an album, but were forced to scrap it because Fox was unwilling to commit to long term touring, and was thus shown the door.
The vocal tracks were then re-recorded by new member Gail Hunter, but the LP still didn't see release as the group eventually fell apart.
Dave Little returned to his native North East but did not pursue music again for many years.
He finally returned to the scene recently with LIES OF SMILES, an excellent new project also featuring his former Pauline Gillan Band band-mate, Keeth Naylor on drums.

PAULINE GILLAN'S NORTHERN DANCER - Pauline Gillan's Northern Dancer EP (1984) UK



FUZZ were a French Hard Rock/Heavy Metal band formed in Marseille in 1979 by the 16 year old Mardirossian brothers (Norbert "Nono" on guitar and Gilles on bass and vocals).Adding Jeannot on drums, they came up with the band name and began rehearsing; mixing cover versions with the original numbers they soon started to write.
The band expanded to become a quartet at this point, but the second guitar slot proved hard to fill initially with a few different players coming and going.
During this time the band began to play live in the Marseille area, honing their craft on the stage in front of growing audiences.
They also managed to aquire a lyricist, with Alain Le Diabat matching his words to the band's music.
With permanent guitarist Ted now completing the band, 1980 saw the band record a few tracks in the studio.
The songs turned out well enough for Les Productions Amicalement Vôtre to offer Fuzz a deal to put out a 7".
The single, comprising "Satan's Fans" and "Renonce Pas!", is issued in 1981, with the band being presented at the Disk '81 expo in Cannes where they were feted by the hip press as a major discovery.
As the toast of the town, the rest of the festival passed in a blur of cocktails, photo shoots and TV interviews.
Heading back to Marseille on a high, the group went back to work and set off on tour.
Their Cannes experience led Fuzz to believe that they were on the verge of a big breakthrough, but despite touring throughout 1982, they were no further forward by the year's end.
In 1983, a disillusioned Fuzz split up, leaving that lone 45 as their only legacy.
But what a record it is, a primitive, scratchy, fuzzed-up, MOTORHEAD-channelling gem, all snotty attitude and clumsy Motor City inspired dynamics.
A triumph of cranked up amphetamine fuelled ambition, unhindered by lofty ideas like finesse or subtlety.
The B-Side is slightly more musical, like a basement Acca Dacca on glue and gallic laissez-faire, with the amps set to induce nose bleeds..
The record's picture sleeve shows the band members in stinky denim and leather looking glazed and lost atop a wrecked silver Rolls Royce.
It's just perfect in it's thrown together style, and tells you exactly what to expect from the record's filthy grooves.
Car-crash Rawk et Roll.
Formidable!

FUZZ - Satan's Fans 7" (1981) France



And finally, SILVERTRAIN were a four piece French Hard Rock crew utilising distinctive weaving melodies, vitriolic guitar leads and high-pitched vocals.
They were formed in Strasbourg, Alsace in 1978, with all the members deciding to adopt Anglicised pseudonyms in order to make the band more appealing to an international audience.
To this end, they also bucked the trend amongst French bands of the era and sang in English, which ultimately may have hurt the bands chances.
This Anglicization caused many collectors to later assume that they were in fact an English band, which explains why their records show up on many NWOBHM wants lists.
Musically the style of Hard Rock/Heavy Metal the band played was often very similar to that being plied by young bands on the other side of the channel.
They released their only album "Which Platform Please?" in 1979 on the Omega Studio Music label.
Amongst collectors, this album is considered by some to be one of the best obscure late 1970’s Hard Rock albums, with it's SCORPIONS/UFO influences combining to great effect.
The band then got some great exposure opening for MOTORHEAD on the European leg of their "Bomber" tour, much impressing Lemmy who introduced them onstage at several dates.
They then followed those dates by heading out on the road once again, this time in support of Antipodean rockers ROSE TATTOO on part of their first European tour.
A further single, the catchy "Keep The Flame" was issued by Omega Studios in 1981, and went on to sell 10,000 copies, but the band would sadly split soon after that.

SILVERTRAIN - Keep The Flame 7" (1981) France



So there y'go, we've spanned the years 1977 to 1996, and stopped in Japan, Germany, the UK and France, surely there's at least one thing amongst tonight's sonic smorgasbord that's gonna blow your mind?I'm pretty confident that that's the case.
If your mind remains resolutely unblown, p'raps you're in the wrong place.
Hope you enjoy 'em, and i look forward to hearing your opinions, remembrances, ill-informed conjecture and barely concealed contempt.
'til next time, adios mi amigos!

Monday, December 31, 2012

THE LAP OF HONOUR

Hi folks,
it's the last few hours of 2012 as i type this, another year gone in the blink of an eye.
Here's to all of you who stop by this place, here's to more of the same in 2013.
Up first tonight, many thanks to Anders for hooking me up with a copy of this rare item.
The compilation LP "Bonehead Crunchers Vol. 1" was released early in 2012 on the obscure Belter Records label.
It was a vinyl only release, limited to just 300 numbered copies.
So what do you get for your bucks if you can find a copy?
14 tracks by 14 obscure US bands recorded between 1969 & 1977, released, for the most part, only on rare 7 inchers in very limited quantities.
Musically this is Heavy Psych, Heavy Rock & Proto-Metal, the more unrefined and pounding the better.
Or in the parlance of the Belter Records press release, you can file them all under the catch-all phrase, "Bonehead".
Here's how they put it:
"Welcome to Volume 1 of the primitive but essential world of Bonehead.
14 Fuzz-drenched '70s bone crunchers from the USA at the cusp of Garage, Hard Rock and Proto-Metal.
Loud, unrepentant  and reeking of attitude; these artifacts of cool were uncovered from 45's pressed in minute quantities between 1969 and 1977.
These cuts forge a direct link between Pebbles/Nuggets Garage to the blow out of '76 Punk, circumventing Progressive Rock and Singer/Songwriter putridness.
These slices of pure high energy will blow the top of your head off, ingrain themselves into the remnants of your brain by way of a high octane lobotomy leaving you a blubbering mess insanely smirking at today's musical endeavours."
Hyperbole aside, this is a damned fine comp of sounds from the early years at the Heavy end of the musical spectrum.
Whilst not all the acts are quite as obscure as the press release would have it, (HEAVY CRUISER, LEFT END & TIN HOUSE all released at least one LP each on major labels), the music is every bit as relentless as you'd hope.
The choice of songs is spot on however, it's wall to wall big, dumb, fun, all as fuzzy & Heavy as those vintage tube amps could support.
In fact the compilers have gazumped me on quite a few items i was going to post here, and cherry picked the best sides to boot.
Still i'm not one to bear grudges, especially when the perpetrators have such awesome musical taste.
So, jump in this rickety old sonic time machine called "Bonehead Crunchers", and enjoy the ride.
Incidentally, Volume 2 dropped a couple of months ago, under the title "Bonehead Crushers".
Same label, same limited quantity. If anyone has a rip of it, i'd be much obliged.
Let it all hang out, maaaan.

Various : BONEHEAD CRUNCHERS Vol. 1 (1969-1977) USA


Next, Pauline Gillan, the younger sister of DEEP PURPLE & GILLAN frontman Ian Gillan, formed the GILLAN/DEAN project with former JERUSALEM and PUSSY singer/bassist Paul Dean in 1983.Signing to Thunderbolt Records, the duo recorded the "Rocks On!" album in a variety of studios including Ian Gillan's own Kingsway Studios, Bath and London, with additional sessions taking place in Mallorca.
Recording musicians included KARRIER guitarist Ian 'Wes' Hall, bassist Tony White, keyboard player Paul Hale, drummers Clive Deamer and Kim Brodie plus GILLAN musicians John "Gus" Gustafson and Colin Towns.
A live band intended to support the album with gigging featured Dean, Gillan, bassist Robbie Vincent and ex-AVENUE drummer Keeth Naylor.
An odd album, "Rocks On!" whilst well played and sung, seems to suffer from a bit of an identity crisis, with many of the more straight forward Hard Rock songs buried beneath an '80's production sheen more suited to New Wave.
The variety of musicians employed also doesn't help the fledgling act, as they struggle to nail down their sound.
There are also an over abundance of cover versions, which sometimes work well, ("Sunshine Of Your Love", has a clever arrangement featuring some very very nifty slide guitar), and other times fall flat, ("Light My Fire" is a gloomy synth-heavy dirge).
There's also a cheeky romp through Purple's "Black Night", which whilst fun, hardly helped Pauline's chances of stepping out from beneath her older brother's long shadow.
The reviewers of the time seemed similarly mystified by the LP, and this combined with Thunderbolt Records poor distribution and promotion to scupper the fledgling act who folded soon after the record's release.
So whilst an interesting listen, this is probably only for Deep Purple & Gillan completists who absolutely have to hear everything connected to those bands, however tenuous the associations.
Paul Dean gave up being a jobbing musician after GILLAN/DEAN, but kept himself involved in music in a production capacity.
In addition to his production duties, he went on to become a professional golfer for a time, and then a golf coach.
The albums he recorded in the early '70's with Jerusalem & Pussy, (both produced by Ian Gillan), have recently been remastered and re-released by Rockadrome Records.
Now living in Asia, Dean is not a part of the newly reconvened version of Jerusalem who recorded 2009's "Escalator" album.
After the Gillan/Dean project bit the dust, Pauline Gillan subsequently created PAULINE GILLAN'S NORTHERN DANCER, with ex-AVENUE guitarist Dave Bell, ex AXIS guitarist Dave Little, ex-GLACIER bassist Chris Wing and former AVENUE drummer Keeth Naylor.
The band debuted with the "One More Time" EP on the Stoke based indie label Bullet Record before the years end.
This group eventually became the PAULINE GILLAN BAND, signing to the Powerstation label for the release of a full blown album, "Hearts Of Fire", in 1985.
After long months spent touring the record in the UK & Europe where they built up a reputation as a fine live act, the band finally took time off to write the follow up album.
The new material was much darker than the debut and far harder hitting.
The record company, who had been pushing for a softer pop-rock sound, (and less clothing for Pauline), were anything but pleased.
Following a set of even heavier, far darker demos recorded at Fairview Studios with producer John Spence, Powerstation finally dropped the band.
By 1990 Pauline Gillan decided that she'd had enough and exited the group.
The remaining band members persevered as a unit, working with MEAT LOAF vocalist Lorraine Crosby as their new vocalist.
Crosby then departed to join her boyfriend's band EMERSON and was replaced by Jackie Fox.
This line-up recorded an album, but were forced to scrap it because Fox was unwilling to commit to long term touring, and was thus shown the door.
The vocal tracks were then re-recorded by new member Gail Hunter, but the LP still didn't see release as the group eventually fell apart.
Dave Little returned to his native North East but did not pursue music again for many years.
He finally returned to the scene recently with LIES OF SMILES, an excellent new project also featuring his former Pauline Gillan Band band-mate, Keeth Naylor on drums.

GILLAN/DEAN - Rocks On! (1984) UK



CIRITH UNGOL began with Greg Lindstrom, Robert Garven, Jerry Fogle and Pat Galligan, (who later played guitar for ANGRY SAMOANS), playing in their first band TITANIC whilst still in high school.With a desire to play heavier music, the band parted with Galligan and relaunched themselves in 1972 with Neal Beattie on vocals, as Cirith Ungol.
The name came from a place in J.R.R. Tolkein's fantasy novel "Lord Of The Rings", a book the band would return to for lyrical inspiration.
Robert Garven recalls, "In retrospect I wish we had picked something easier to remember because a lot of our trouble has been over our name.
People couldn't pronounce it or remember it, we've been called "Sarah's Uncle" and "Serious Uncool".
It was not until 1980 that they released their first album "Frost And Fire", the band by now featuring the distinctive Tim Baker on vocals.
Musically, their first album was a cross between 1970's Hard Rock and Heavy Metal, with songs written by bassist Greg Lindstrom and drummer Robert Garven.
From 2nd album "King Of The Dead", they played a more Progressive style of Doom infused Heavy Metal with songs primarily written by vocalist Tim Baker.
Album number three, "One Foot In Hell" was issued in 1986, and saw the band play shows in support of the record with bands as diverse as ARMORED SAINT and RATT.
Following their fourth album, the patchy "Paradise Lost", Cirith Ungol split up, due in part to frustrations with their new label Enigma Records and members personal and inter-personal problems.
Founding guitarist Jerry Fogle sadly died from liver failure on August 20, 1998.
Despite their obscurity for most of their time together as a band, Cirith Ungol's reputation has grown immensely in the time since.
The now enjoy a greater degree of respect and influence than they ever did whilst they were active, thanks in part to the internet.
In 2001 a new Cirith Ungol album, the 2-CD "Servants Of Chaos", was released.
The album which contained old previously unreleased demos and songs, was issued by Metal Blade Records.
The album was supported by both Lindstrom and Garven, but not by Tim Baker.
In 2005 a tribute album, "One Foot In Fire" was released by Solemnity Music featuring a host of international bands performing Cirith Ungol cover versions.
Some of the songs were originally recorded for other projects, sometimes years earlier, whilst others were created specifically for the album.
The booklet for the CD contained linernotes written by Cirith Ungol co-founder Robert Garven.
Garven was very impressed by the finished tribute album, saying, "I was blown away by the covers that just came out on the Cirith Ungol tribute album.
I think some of their versions of our songs are better than our originals!"
Greg Lindstrom now plays with a new band called FALCON, who have released two albums to date.
Baker and Garven no longer play music.

VARIOUS ARTISTS - One Foot In Fire : A Tribute To Cirith Ungol (2005) Various


ASHHOLLOW were an unusual quintet formed in Oklahoma in the early 1970's, who mixed Hard Rock grit and Psychedelic melody with a rural Southern Rock feel.Their lone release appears to have been a six song self-titled (bootleg?) CD issued retrospectively by Limited Records in a limited edition of 1000 copies.
According to the scant info in the booklet, the tracks were recorded in 1973 and originally only pressed as an acetate.
At times their music brings to mind early EPITAPH or Muscle Shoals period LYNYRD SKYNYRD with a little WISHBONE ASH mixed in for good measure.
Fellow Okies ASHBURY also come to mind during the quieter passages in their songs, especially in the second track, "Cat's Eye".
The tight and complex jazz-flecked drumming combines beautifully with the taut basswork and subtly psychedelic guitar melodies throughout to give the band's a distinctive sound, that becomes more compulsive with each successive play.
Don't expect wigged out guitar-heavy abandon, this is carefully constructed and artfully melodic stuff, but it does rock, albeit in a slightly woozy late night fashion.
The band appear to have fizzled out by the mid to late '70's, a real pity as they plainly had serious musical chops and songwriting suss aplenty.
Who knows how far they could have gone with the right breaks, a sympathetic producer and a supportive record label.
Gary Bruce returned to playing drums with a new band called ZAZOO in the late '70's.
Zazoo had a song, "Glorify It On The Screen", included on the Various Artists compilation LP, "Oklahoma City Live Vol. 1", released by Backstage Music/Producers Workshop in 1980, but appear not to have released any further music.
Bruce also played on some solo recordings by Bill Kirtley, his former Ashhollow bandmate, in the early '80's.
If you're open-minded in your love of obscure old-school vintage rock music, give Ashhollow a listen.
They're a treat for the ears.
Intriguingly, whilst researching this blurb i found another band called Ashhollow, also from Oklahoma.
Only this 3 piece were formed in 2004 and play grungy Garage Rock, but they have at least one thing in common with their predecessor, a member with the surname Kirtley.
I wonder if this Kirtley is following in the footsteps of his father or uncle, right down to the band name?

ASHHOLLOW - Ashhollow (1973) USA


HAMMER WITCH was a US Heavy Metal band founded in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1985, by Bassist Wayne Abney, Guitarist & Vocalist Frankie Dee, Guitarist George David and Drummer Terry Sims.With enough songs for a complete set of their own music, the band toured the New Orleans area club circuit and occasionally opened for national acts too.
After recording their first demo, (the six song "Demo '86"), the realization set in that the band needed to explore new territories and expand its horizons because their material was proving to be too Heavy for local audiences.
Frankie Dee's former band mate from TRASHED, Bo Topousis had since moved to Ft. Worth, Texas and formed the band IRUN consisting of displaced Louisiana musicians seeking a more liberal metal environment.
Upon seeing the scene, Bo urged his friends in Hammer Witch to "come to the promised land", which they did in late 1986.
When George unexpectedly left Hammer Witch, Bo stepped in as guitarist and brought Irun’s drummer Sal Torneo in to replace Terry.
Topousis left the group in February of ’88 thus beginning the 3 piece format of the band, consisting of Wayne Abney, Frankie Dee, and Sal Torneo.
The band then booked time at Inside Tracks Studios in Denton, Texas with producer Randy Williams, and laid down the tracks which would become their debut on vinyl.
In 1987 the band released the six song Mini LP, "Return To Salem", which perfectly showed off the band's PRIEST, WARLORD & METAL CHURCH influenced sound.
Only 1000 copies of the Mini LP were pressed (on DTA Records), and it was only ever on plain black vinyl, beware the picture disc bootleg!
Buoyed by positive reviews of the record and some airplay too, the band kept up a punishing live schedule over the next few years, until personal differences resulted in the exit of Frankie Dee in late 1989.
Wayne took over vocals and Darrin Kobetich was brought on board as guitar player.
In 1991, they released the cassette only "Legacy Of Pain" album, which saw Hammer Witch go in a totally different direction from the first release.
This heavier more aggressive Groove/Thrash Metal style divided opinion amongst fans, and the badly distributed cassette sold poorly.
Scott Shelby, lead guitar player from GAMMACIDE joined the line up in 1993 and helped fill out the live sound during the last year of the band’s existence.
During this year the band released a final demo, "Carve Your Own Doom", which consisted solely of the title track song.
1994 saw Hammer Witch split.
Darrin and Sal immediately went on to form A MILLION POUNDS with Darrin's brother Adam on vox, guitar and banjo and bassist Chance Lehman.
After 10 years and two recordings this band also called it quits.
Sal then played with THE STINK for some time before joining MAX CADY.
He also plays live with TEXAS METAL ALLIANCE.
Wayne and Scott formed the short-lived NULL & VOID before Wayne put together another band, MOTHER THUMB.
Hammer Witch have recently re-released their "Legacy Of Pain" album on digitally remastered CD for the first time.
You can get a copy through CD Baby.

HAMMER WITCH - Return To Salem Mini LP (1987) USA


This, the lone release by GENEVA is an odd one, it's sought after by many different types of record collector, but doesn't really fit any of the genres you see it associated with.Perhaps because of this, it changes hands for relatively small amounts of money, and copies always seem to be in circulation.
I've seen unscrupulous record dealers list this one as NWOBHM, New Wave, Mod, Punk and Powerpop and at points during the record's playing time you can hear why.
The best comparison i can give that would chime with NWOBHM fans is that they remind me a little of LIGHTNING RAIDERS here and there, so if you have a soft spot for their releases you might enjoy Geneva.
So, to use a phrase of Nightsblood's, this is "borderline NWOBHM" at best, not for the purists, but a decent record nonetheless if you are musically open minded.
I think Geneva (who i could find absolutely no information about), missed a trick by putting "Two Minutes Thirty", on the A-Side as i far prefer the song on the flipside.
With a beefier production, and without the vocalist's Paul Weller impersonations, this track would have fitted the NWOBHM sonic blueprint quite well.
That B-Side, "Geneva Street", would later appear on the retrospective 1999 Various Artists bootleg compilation LP "Powerpearls Volume 4".

GENEVA - Two Minutes Thirty 7" (1980) UK


VOLTZ were an obscure American Heavy Metal quintet from the state of New Mexico.There's very little information to be found about them on the web, but here's what little i did discover about Voltz;
They released just two records, both in 1982, both on the Golddust Records label.
A full length album, "Shock Treatment", and a 7" single, "Rock Stomping Rock'n'Rollers", shared here courtesy of the very generous Nightsblood.
Both discs are as hard to find as the gold dust that their label took it's name from, and as a consequence mucho expensive on the odd occasion when copies do surface for sale.
The music sits somewhere between a couple of different styles; mixing brash US early '80's Hard Rock with a more European NWoBHM influence.
The singer is something of an aquired taste, but i came to quite enjoy his slightly fey delivery after a few spins.
Musically the players are very good with some particularly impressive guitarwork on both tracks, especially the harmony guitar part leading into the solo on the A-Side.
Because of the low-budget nature of the recordings and production there's a certain ramshackle charm & naivety present in the overall sound that's very evocative of the times.
I've never seen a pic of the band, but i'm almost certain from hearing the 45 that they owned at least one pair of stripey skintight strides, and headbands may very well have been worn.
So whilst not the most original band of their era, this is definitely worthy of a place on your I-Pod, and if you luck upon an original copy at a reasonable price, your record collection.
From the contents of the single I'd most certainly like to hear their full length LP.
Hint hint.
Much thanks to Nightsblood for this one.
Note : This band is not related to the UK band also called Voltz who released the opinion-splitting "Knight's Fall" LP  in 1982.

VOLTZ - Rock Stomping Rock'n'Rollers 7" (1982) USA


And that's it for 2012.Many thanks as always to all of you who took the time to comment, share your opinions, contribute music to the blog and your remembrances of bands of yesteryear in this year now almost gone.
I'd like to take the opportunity to wish you all a happy, healthy and prosperous 2013, and welcome you all back here for more vintage voltage in the new year.
Here's to your very good health.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

PUT THE OIL WHERE THE SQUEAK IS

Recent events have had me thinking about the best way to proceed with this blog, and trying to come up with different slants to keep on doing what it is we've been doing here for so long.
Tonight's post is a result of that thought process.
A recent conversation with a friend about what will happen to Rock & Metal once the current crop of big bands retire really got me thinking.
Once the likes of MAIDEN, METALLICA, PRIEST, SABBATH, KISS etc finally hang it up for good, who will take their place on the stages of the world's mega-stadia?
It's a tricky one, as bands obviously no longer sell records in the kind of quantities which they once did, so the lion's share of their impetus and revenue now comes from touring and merchandise.
Ergo, the bands who tour hardest and build a strong following that way are most likely to be the ones who "move on up" to become the top of the pile in the future.
With that in mind i thought i'd use tonight's post as a way to showcase a few newish bands who play music that visitors to this blog are likely to enjoy, all of whom are deserving of your support and patronage.
I'll still be sticking with posting vintage material here most of the time, but if i encounter a new band which moves me you'll hear about it here from time to time.
If you like what you hear, please support these acts by buying their music or merch and seeing them live, it really is the only way that bands on the lower rungs of the ladder can survive and progress.
Just maybe, one of these acts might wind up playing on the biggest stages and having a long lasting and sustainable career.
The only way this can happen is if people get behind them and support the music they love.
You never know, maybe you'll find your new favourite band in the post below.
Let's get on with it.


MOON CURSE
Doom Riff Rock Stoner Milwaukee

Matt Leece : Guitar, Vocals
Rochelle Nason : Bass Guitar
Keith Stendler : Drums, Hammond Organ

With music that is simple and to the point, yet as raging as a werewolf, Milwaukee Heavy Doom Rockers MOON CURSE have quickly made a name for themselves.
Though the band has only played a few shows together, the trio shares a long history.
Guitarist and vocalist Matt Leece played with bassist Rochelle Nason in the heavy psych-rock band MOTHER ORCHIS, and Leece has known drummer and Hammond organist Keith Stendler since high school, having played in bands with him off and on.
The band's sound might not be revolutionary, but it's pure rock 'n' roll delivered with precision.
If there's one thing that might differentiate Moon Curse from other Doom & Stoner Rock bands, it's the short and concise manner of the songs.
"It's pretty much based on how catchy of a groove we can make, and make a good song out of that, as opposed to a really long, psychedelic, drawn-out thing."
While he's known for adding the Hammond organ-punch to FATHER PHOENIX's later works, Stendler primarily plays the drums in Moon Curse.
He's a force behind the kit, the result of touring the world with TEMPER TEMPER.
On occasion, though, he still pulls out the Hammond organ.
During a late night of recording for the band's debut, Stendler's work on the keys helped to flesh out the songs even more.
"It was eerie because he was just sitting in the booth and playing these crazy songs on the Hammond," Leece says.
"Our friend set up a microphone and got it.
After that we thought it would be a good idea to put some more Hammond on the album.
It's really subtle, the stuff he put down."
Leece describes the recording sessions for the group's debut album as being relaxed and organic.
"We recorded everything on analog tape, which we always wanted to do, and we did tit live."
"We just jammed in a room like we do in practice."
The band's self-titled Mini LP was released on the 5th of June this year.
You can stream or purchase the Mini at this link:

MOON CURSE - Moon Curse Mini LP (2012) USA


















http://mooncurse.bandcamp.com/


MIDNIGHT CHASER
Traditional Heavy Metal Hard Rock Pittsburgh San Francisco

Forged in the blast furnaces of Pittsburgh and tempered in the waters of the San Francisco Bay comes a new force in the art of bad ass ; enter MIDNIGHT CHASER!
Influenced by the gods of 70’s and 80’s hard rock and heavy metal, MIDNIGHT CHASER was originally conceived of by guitarist Stephen Lauck and bassist “Texas” Josh Hunt while both still living in Pittsburgh, the Rust Belt of Pennsylvania.
However it wasn’t until both rockers found themselves relocated in 2008 to the fog cloaked Bay Area of California that MIDNIGHT CHASER began to take shape.
First recruiting the steam hammer drumming skills of Brandon Thomas, the pair immediately knew that they had found the missing piece of their rhythm section
that they had been searching for.
All that was lacking now was a voice that could suitably realize their ambitions.
Unsatisfied with the pool of vocal talent in their new surroundings they imported fellow Pittsburgh native Scott Atwood in order to fill the final void and complete that which is MIDNIGHT CHASER.
The line-up finally completed, the band whipped themselves into a creative furor, writing and rehearsing original material while playing shows up and down the West Coast,vrocking any venue that would have them from bars and theaters to strip clubs and basements.
A five song demo "Awesome Party" was recorded, and straight away began exciting the be-denimed and the lank of lock.
Fans of early Heavy Metal such as SAXON, MOTORHEAD & JUDAS PRIEST took note!
They debuted with a six song self-titled EP in 2010 which immediately got a buzz going for the band in Metal circles.
The CD included four original studio tracks plus a cover of “Turn Your Head Around” by NWOBHM legends TANK.
The vinyl version also added a sixth song, a cover of the ZZ TOP classic "Heard It On The X".
Their first full length album "Rough & Tough" received a February 2011 release on Heavy Artillery Records to rave reviews and the band hit the road in the US to promote it with a vengeance.
Since the album's release the band have expanded to become a quintet with the addition of second guitarist Sven Soderlund, formerly of MERCENARY, LAAZ ROCKIT and MORDRED.
With Heavy Artillery recently having been bought out by Earache Records, Midnight Chaser is now ready to hit the rest of the world like a runaway train.
Here's the band's 5 song 2008 "Awesome Party" Demo to download :

MIDNIGHT CHASER - Awesome Party Demo (2008) USA


















VISIGOTHTraditional Heavy Metal Power Metal Salt Lake City, Utah
File beside : [Pharoah, Judas Priest, Blind Guardian, Nocturnal Rites]

Jake Rogers : Vocals
Jamison Palmer : Guitars
Leeland Campana : Guitars
Matt Brotherton : Bass
Mikey T. : Drums

VISIGOTH was formed in the unlikely environs of Salt Lake City, Utah by DESTRUCTINATOR guitarists Jamison Palmer & Leeland Campana.
More Power Metal in style than their Thrashy prior act, they were soon joined by FOLKODIA vocalist Jake Rogers.
The band's debut release, the 4 song "Vengeance" Demo was released on the 17th of November 2010 and included 3 original tracks alongside a cover of OMEN's "Battle Cry".
The band's line-up was further solidified in 2011 with the arrival of bassist Matt Brotherton of Thrashers KILLBOT and drummer Mikey T. of Sludge act HULDRA.
Despite their diverse musical backgrounds, the band has found common musical ground in their mutual love of Melodic 1980's Heavy Metal.
This new line up was responsible for the 4 song EP "Final Spell", which was released on the 14th of August this year.
Visigoth's "Final Spell" & "Vengeance" releases have also now been combined for a limited edition cassette release on Steel & Fire Records.
Due in November, there will only be 100 numbered copies available, with copies 1-30 numbered in "Blood Of Your Enemy" Red Ink and 31-100 numbered in "Steel" Silver Ink.
A CD release is apparently also due next year through Stormspell Records.
You can listen to & buy "Final Spell" at the Visigoth bandcamp page, and the "Vengeance" demo is also available there to stream or to download for free!


VISIGOTH - Vengeance Demo (2010) USA/Final Spell EP (2012) USA


















http://visigoth.bandcamp.com/


VEKTOR
Heavy Metal Progressive Metal Thrash Phoenix, Arizona
File Beside : Atheist, Coroner, Voivod

Conceived by front man and guitarist David DiSanto, a spark of energy gave rise to Vektor in late 2004.
With the addition of lead shredder Erik Nelson, the band began playing shows around the local Phoenix area in 2005.
Implementing technical, speed thrash, and progressive influences, Vektor quickly found their own unique sound, setting them apart from the rest of the Phoenix metal scene.
The band soon made a name for themselves throughout the southwestern United States, playing local shows and opening for acts such as Testament, Sigh, Hirax, Dark Tranquility, Iced Earth and Municipal Waste.
Vektor released their self-financed CD entitled "Demolition" in early 2006, generating a massive response throughout the metal underground and earning the band a growing contingent of die-hard fans.
In 2007 the band followed up with the two-track "Hunger for Violence" demo to even greater fanfare, putting the band on the radar of many international fans for the first time.
In search of the perfect rhythm section to complete their vision, Vektor's line-up continued to evolve throughout 2008, before finding drummer Blake Anderson and bassist Frank Chin, finally cementing the ideal like-up to realize their goal of galactic conquest.
17th November saw the release of their first album for Heavy Artillery Records the mind-boggling "Black Future".
Refusing to be pigeon-holed into any metal sub-genre, Vektor employs an array of intricacy, virtuosity and a wholly unique sound which few others can claim.
2011 brought their newest & best release to date, the diabolical Space Metal of the "Outer Isolation" album.
Thrash? Prog? Jazz Fusion? You decide.
With Heavy Artillery recently bought out by Earache Records, Vektor are now perfectly placed to make the leap into the big leagues.
Welcome to the future; prepare to have your brains melted.
You can stream the whole of Vektor's "Black Future" album at the address below:

VEKTOR - Black Future (2009) USA


















So that's it for tonight's post.If you give these bands a chance i'm pretty sure you'll find at least one of them are likely to "float your boat".
And if not, at least you gave a few promising young bands a chance.
If you encounter any new bands that you feel could benefit from a little free exposure on the blog put a link in the comments section and if i like what i hear i'll do a little something on them for the main page at some point.
Next post will be of a vintage nature, business as usual, until then i hope you enjoy these tasters of a few modern bands who carry the torch for the old school shit we all love so much.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

TAKING HER TEMPERATURE

Howdy mo-fo's, it's that time again after a slightly longer than anticipated break.
My apologies for that, but when the sun shines in this neck o' the woods you've got to take advantage of it.
I might not be receiving any further natural doses of Vitamins C and B12 until 2013, so i have to splash it all over when the opportunity presents itself.
Why am i telling you this?
You don't care.
You just want the music, so let's get to it shall we?
Up first, MANILLA ROAD are an American Heavy Metal band from Wichita, Kansas, founded by Vocalist/Guitarist Mark "The Shark" Shelton in 1977 with high school friends Benny Munkirs, Rick Fisher and brothers Robert and Scott Park.
Their first album "Invasion" was released in 1980 on the band's own label, Roadster Records.
Between this time and their next release the band recorded material for an album to be titled "Dreams Of Eschaton", however these recordings went unreleased until 2002 when the album was finally issued as "Mark Of The Beast".
The next record was "Metal", which began to define the future musical direction of Manilla Road.
Their "classic" sound was solidified with the release of "Crystal Logic" in 1983.
The next five Manilla Road albums (along with a live release, "Roadkill"), featured new drummer Randy Foxe, who replaced Rick Fisher.
Along with "Crystal Logic", the new lineup's first two albums," Open The Gates" and "The Deluge", are generally considered to be the band's classics.
Next album, "Mystification" was released in 1987, and was then followed by "Out Of The Abyss", which was widely criticised at the time for showing a marked Thrash Metal influence.
The band released one more album, 1990's "The Courts Of Chaos", before splitting up.
In 1992 Mark Shelton recorded a new album, "The Circus Maximus" with Aaron Brown and Andrew Coss.
Despite having never been intended as a Manilla Road project, the album was released under this name at the record company's insistence.
At this point Shelton decided to pursue other interests outside the field of music, an absence which would last almost a decade.
Manilla Road reformed in 2001 and released "Atlantis Rising", again with Mark Shelton as the only original member.
On this occasion, however, the sound was much more consistent with the Manilla Road of old.
The albums have continued to come, with "Spiral Castle", released in 2002, "Gates Of Fire", in 2005, and "Voyager" in 2008.
These were followed by the release of an archival live set from 1979, "After Midnight - Live", which was originally recorded for a local radio station.
To mark the release of their newest studio album "Playground Of The Damned", a European tour took place in 2012, with the band playing their first ever UK show on these dates.
In 2007 the German label Solemnity Music released this album, "The Riddle Masters : A Tribute To Manilla Road".
This double-disc release contains songs from 18 international bands including SLOUGH FEG, CRYSTAL VIPER & EMERALD, playing their versions of the Manilla Road classics.

VARIOUS : The Riddle Masters : A Tribute To Manilla Road (2-CD) (2007)


Secondly, Born in Los Angeles, California in 1982, DIVINE RITE were a traditional Heavy Metal quartet formed by guitarist Randy Pevler and drummer Jim Hansen, who had previously played together in a band called THE RABBLE.
After many auditions, the band's original line-up was completed by  Jerome "J.P." Powers on lead vocals and Joe Hall on bass.
Influenced by the likes of JUDAS PRIEST and IRON MAIDEN, they became a huge draw on the Sunset Strip selling out such venues as the Whiskey-A-Go-Go, The Roxy & the Troubador regularly.
In 1984 Divine Rite released their self financed debut album "First Rite", which became a solid domestic seller.
This led to Divine Rite signing a deal with Greenworld Records who re-released the album later in the year with a different sleeve and two extra songs added.
Greenworld's distribution helped bring the band to the attention of European audiences, with the album selling particularly well in Holland.
However Divine Rite hit problems the following year with Hall and Hansen leaving to pursue other projects.
New blood came in the form of gifted musicians, bassist Robby Pagliari and drummer Donny Sarian, which led the band to add more progressive elements to their sound.
Two albums with this lineup followed, the heavier and more complex "Divine Rite II", and the self explanatory "Divine Rite Live".
Drummer Sarian left the band at the close of 1987 to form MACH 1, to be replaced by Terry Offut.
This line up of Divine Rite stayed together until 1991, but at the end of that year J.P decided to leave.
With Powers gone the remaining three members decided to continue with a new singer, under a new name, NOMAD RAILWAY.
In 1994 with Nomad Railway having split up, guitarist Randy Pevler decided to embark on a solo career.
Since then he has recorded four solo albums, "Back When I Was Sane", "Inside Looking Out", "Chrome", and "Directions", as well as recently releasing an album with his side-project band GLASSHAMMER.

DIVINE RITE - First Rite (1984) USA


KAOS, a Canadian traditional Heavy Metal quintet were formed in 1982 in remote St. John's, Newfoundland, by a young Bavarian emigre, guitarist Rainer "Rhino" Wiechmann.
After hooking up with drummer Sandy Forbes, the fledgling band performed on a CBC TV talent show called "The Fame Game".
After installing CBC voice-over artist Cindy Wiechmann as vocalist, (she soon became Rhino's wife), Kaos released the critically acclaimed "Total Kaos", Mini LP on their own Mole Records label in 1985.
The highlight of the seven song self-released record is the amazing instrumental, "March of the Gremlins", a must-hear for fans of epic '80's riffing.
"Total Kaos", now commands a ridiculous price-tag, with copies changing hands amongst collectors for around $200 in online auctions.
In 1986 the band landed some support slots on HELIX's Canadian tour, bringing Kaos to the attention of larger audiences.
A cassette only Mini album entitled "TV Eye" was released in 1987 following some line up changes within the Kaos ranks.
The band's video, "Summer Of Love", then began to get airplay nationally leading to further gigs opening for acts such as HEADPINS, SASS JORDAN and CHILLIWACK.
This in turn led to more widespread dates playing with international acts like ALICE COOPER, MOTORHEAD and DIO.
After that round of touring ended, the band planned to move to the mainland to be better placed to take advantage of any possible future opportunities.
However, one by one, the other members decided they were unwilling or unable to commit to the move, sadly bringing Kaos to an end.
Undeterred, the Weichmann's moved to London, Ontario and worked in various bar acts for more than a decade, eventually opening their own recording studio.
Following some Helix recording sessions at the Wiechmann's studio in London, both Wiechmann's were invited to become members of Helix.
Their tenure in the veteran Canadian band lasted from 2003 to 2006.
Rainer Wiechmann has also become a respected producer, working with THINE EYES BLEED, BLOOD OF CHRIST and KITTIE.
The Weichmann's now have a new band called NAIL which includes another former member of Kaos in it's line up, drummer Dale Penney.
To date, Nail have released two very impressive full length albums, 2007's "Nail" and 2010's "Power And Greed".
The power of Cindy's awesome voice remains undiminished by the passing years, and Nail's music is an impressively muscular mix of Traditional Metal with a strong Progressive edge.

If you want to know more about the history of Kaos, check out this exhaustively detailed interview with Rhino:
http://www.metal-rules.com/interviews/Helix-RainerWeichmann-2004.htm

KAOS - TV Eye Mini LP (1987) Canada


DIAMOND CLAW were an all female Heavy Metal quartet formed in Long Beach, California in 1984.
The band was formed in 1984 by vocalist Debra Lynn Billingsley and bassist Mary Jo Godges who was also a radio DJ on Rock N Rhythm 105.5 KNAC at the time.
The line up was completed by guitarist Jenny Thornburg and Pam Reene Galloway on the drums.
After building up a strong local following with their energetic live shows at venues like the Golden Bear in Huntington Beach, Diamond Claw were signed to a record deal by Black Jack Records.
The band's lone official release would be the excellent five song "No Hate In Paradise" Mini LP in 1987.
Things did not quite work out the way Diamond Claw had hoped as the small label struggled to distribute the record effectively, and thus band and label parted ways soon after the record's release.
With no new recording contract forthcoming, they self-produced a one-song demo cassette titled "Sex Thing", which was shopped around the labels in 1989.
Unfortunately, no-one snapped the band up, and disappointed, Diamond Claw split up before the year's end.
Singer Debra Lynn Billingsley would later join the jazz/pop band TOKEN ANGEL, releasing the 1996 album "Let It Go".
Bassist Mary Jo Godges later re-appeared as a member of PHANTOM BLUE, appearing on their 1998 "Full Blown" EP.
She is now a film director & a producer at Traipsing Thru Films Ltd.

DIAMOND CLAW - No Hate In Paradise Mini LP (1987) USA


BLACK SHEEP are a relatively unknown cult Hard Rock band from Los Angeles, California, masterminded by vocalist/bassist Willie Basse, which has been a stepping-stone for several big names over the years.
Formed in the early eighties, former OZZ member Basse has been the only constant members over the years.
Among the musicians to be a part of Black Sheep over the years are Slash (GUNS 'n' ROSES, VELVET REVOLVER etc.), Mitch Perry (STEELER, MSG, etc.), Randy Castillo (OZZY OSBOURNE, MOTLEY CRUE, etc) and Kyle Stevens (BANG TANGO).
Their debut album, 1985's "Trouble In The Streets", featured guitar leads from Paul Gilbert (Mr. BIG and RACER X) and Kurt James (STEELER) that complimented Basse's Paul Stanley-ish vocal delivery.
However the album failed commercially, and Basse spent his time engineering, opening a rehearsal studio and founding Rock For Recovery, a "a non-profit prevention/awareness fundraiser for artists troubled by drug & alcohol abuse."
Black Sheep finally made their comeback in 1999 by releasing the four song "Sacrifice" EP on Quicksilver Records.
Basse was joined on the EP by a new line up consisting of drummer James Kottak (SCORPIONS, KINGDOM COME etc.) and Guitarists Brian Conroy and Marshall Harrison.
A new album with this line-up was purportedly in the works, but it has yet to see the light of day.
Now recording under his own name, Willie Basse issued his debut solo album, "The Money Grind" in 2008.
It featured contributions from many guest musicians including contributions from the late Randy Castillo and former HORSE, ATOMIC ROOSTER & SPINAL TAP drummer Ric Parnell.
A new solo record is due soon, to be called "Which Side R/U On?".

BLACK SHEEP - Sacrifice EP (1999) USA



This next rare slab o' vinyl goodness comes to you thanks to the generosity of Nightsblood, who kindly decided to rip and share it with the unworthy worms who populate this place.
Bestow lofty praise upon him and buy him fine ales for his thoughtfulness.
US Traditional Heavy Metal quartet BOOTLEG were formed in Fairfax, Virginia, in the the fall of 1980.
Their sole release was to be their privately pressed 1981 45, which paired "Bitch Chaser" and "Hard Up For Love", recorded at Omega Studios that January.
The record is now pretty sought after by early Metal collectors, expect to pay over $100 for a copy with the cool hand stamped "picture sleeve".
And the music?
Charmingly naive in places, but delivered with chutzpa and the self-belief to carry off the more cliche/corny aspects of the songs and raise them above the ordinary as a result.
Nightsblood puts it better than i, saying that Bootleg, "could have ended up sounding cheesier than a Wisconsin Velveeta factory, but they managed to avoid that fate".
Bootleg continued to play live in the clubs in the Washington/Baltimore region until around the fall of 1984.
Drummer Steve Vollmer and guitarist Allen Jackson then went on to play in another band called PUBLIC ENEMY, and later the pair played together again in several other projects.
In June of 1996 Allen and Steve re-united with their former Bootleg bandmate, singer/guitarist Jade Tavaglione.
Joe "Bassman" Belcher was recruited to replace the unavailable Mike Vogel, holding down the low end and completing the band's line up.
After careful consideration they decided to call the new/old project VOLLMER rather than stick with the old Bootleg moniker.
The band then recorded a full length studio album entitled "Welcome To The Rat Race", which was released in 1998 by Bark Loud Records.
2002 saw Vollmer return with the follow up CD, "Motel 69", a further studio album, bolstered by a live rendition of AC/DC's "Overdose".
The band have continued to play live and record, recently replacing Joe Belcher on bass with Carl "Tommy Gun" Thompson.
Look for Vollmer playing live around the clubs if you live in the Washington DC area, and keep yer peepers peeled for further releases from them.
This particular "Bootleg" is no relation to the band of the same name who released a 1982 single entitled "Dagdrömmar".
That recording was by a Swedish band from Lund.

BOOTLEG - Bitch Chaser/Hard Up For Love 7" (1981) USA


Finally tonight, QUASIMODO were an obscure American Heavy Metal quartet formed in Corpus Christi, Texas in the early 1980's.
Their lone release was the 1984 "Down And Out/You Want It" 7" single, released on the band's own Opus Magnum Records label.
Copies of this one have started turning up in online auctions over the last couple of years, and have created a minor stir amongst collectors of obscure vintage US steel.
Both tracks are of a uniformly high standard, with the band proudly wearing their NWoBHM influences on their sleeves, on both sides of the disc.
Of the two tracks, the A-Side, "Down And Out", just shades it for me, with some ripping guitar work and quality vocals, but "You Want It" is a fine piece of traditional Heaviosity in it's own right.
This one is unlikely to remain "reasonably" priced for long, so if you like what you hear here, you best be prepared to shell out around at least $50 (U.S.) to secure a copy, but some recent auctions have finished closer to the $100 mark.
I'm pretty sure this isn't the same band who put out the 1982 "I Can Imagine" 7", but information on Quasimodo is hard to come by, so if you can clue us in with any background on the group please do.

 QUASIMODO - Down And Out/You Want It 7" (1984)



So there you have it.
I think you'll agree with my (completely impartial) conclusion, that tonight's trove of rare musical treasures was more than worth the slightly-longer-than-usual wait.
If you have two working ears and a heart made of steel, that is.
As always, a brief word of thanks to those of you who regularly fill the comments section with your thoughts, humour, praise and bile.
To those of you who don't stop in there, please do, there's always some info or opinion being blurted out, and your interaction can only help keep that good stuff going.
So get to it, right now.
Take the top off your head so we can gawp at what's going on in there.
In a metaphorical sense of course.
It looks as though the promise of an Indian summer is now well and truly over, so you can expect more of the same here at more-or-less the regular interval of time.
That's 3-4 weeks from now, for those not in the know.
"See" you back here then, brothers and sisters.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

THE FLYING HORSE

Hi everybody, not much time for a preamble tonight, just wanted to say thank you to all of you who regularly take the time to comment on the stuff that gets posted here.
It's the grease that keeps my gears turning.
Up first, formed in Cincinatti Ohio in 1973 around the nucleus of vocalist Donnie Singleton and drummer Les Sharp, four piece Heavy Rock act SPIKE became the first recording band to feature the dazzling guitar of future CJSS, CHASTAIN and SOUTHERN GENTLEMEN mainstay, David T. Chastain, who joined in 1975.
The band released their first single, "Porno Queen", backed with "Peaceful And Tranquil", in the late 1970's just before original vocalist Singleton departed.
The frontman position would be filled by Stephen Fredrick, and with the change Spike's following began to grow even stronger.
Around this time the band had the track "You Got What It Takes" featured on the "WEBN Album Project No.5" LP, an album which the Cincinnati radio station (WEBN) put together in an effort to showcase local talent.
The act toured relentlessly, and even landed the opening slot for some shows with BLACK SABBATH and BLUE OYSTER CULT on their "Black & Blue" tour.
They finally made another recording available with the 1981 self released "Leah" 7" single, and quickly followed this up the next year with another 45, "Just Want Your Money" on Starbound Records.
After the latter single's release, singer Stephen Fredrick departed from the band, initially to join BILLY THE KID, and later recording with the likes of KENZINER, FIREWIND and KINRICK.
With bassist Denny Kuller temporarily filling the vacant vocalist post, Spike recorded the track "Bad News" for 1982's "WEBN Album Project No. 7".
For a brief period the band added vocalist Kurt Dobkins, but he would eventually be replaced by Mike Skimmerhorn.
In 1983 the band released their only album "The Price Of Pleasure", on Starbound Records.
The album showcased to dazzling effect the blazing guitar work of David T. Chastain and the powerful vocals of new singer Mike Skimmerhorn.
The rhythm section of drummer Les Sharp and bassist Denny Kuller added just the right foundation to punctuate the music.
This particular line up of Spike was only around for a short time.
The group continued to shop material to labels but failed to get any major interest, so in late 1984 the band decided that Spike had run its course, with David going on to form CJSS and Chastain.
Skimmerhorn and drummer Les Sharp, would both later appear in the ranks of CJSS, and Skimmerhorn also went on to sing and play bass with the band Chastain.
SPIKE briefly reformed in 1998 for a few dates which were recorded for a prospective live album, although to date it has yet to see release.
In 2001 a further Spike album was released on Leviathan Records.
"The Forum Sessions", was an archival release comprised of songs recorded live in the studio at Forum Studios in Kentucky in 1981, but never previously released.

SPIKE - The Forum Sessions (1981) USA


AMERICADE were a traditional Heavy Metal/Hard Rock quartet formed in Brooklyn USA in 1979 by brothers Gerard and P.J. De Marigny.
Setting about building themselves a reputation on the live circuit, the band worked hard on their stagecraft and built a good fan base with their energetic live shows.
A self-titled 4 song EP was issued in 1980, and sold mainly at the band's shows.
With the band's flashy trashy semi-patriotic image it was fitting that their 1982 debut album was entitled "American Metal".
Released on Adem Records, the album was not the success they had hoped for despite some very positive reviews, but undeterred they carried on, despite bassist Dave "The Beast" Spitz leaving to join BLACK SABBATH.
Americade worked with producer Jeff Glixman on a second album with the working title "Rock Hard" but the band split up before having finished it.
In 1989, guitarist Gerard tried to resurrect the band with a new line-up but it didn't last long.
In 1995, Americade released a "new" album, "Americade.com", which consisted of various unreleased studio recordings from different eras and line-ups of the band, mainly from 1988/89, along with a newly recorded track.
"Americade.com", didn't exactly set the world on fire and nothing more was heard from Americade until Retrospect Records announced the release of a 5 disc box set containing the band's complete recorded works.
The box set, "Americadence", contains the albums, "First Cuts", "American Metal", "Rock Hard", "Heroes Are Back" and "Americade.com".
The albums were also all issued seperately.
"Rock Hard", is the third CD in Americade's "Americadence" box set, with all 15 songs being previously unreleased.
The first four tracks are quality demos from 1988 that feature the incredible pipes of vocalist Mark Weitz.
All of the other tracks were recorded in 1983 with the classic lineup of Walt Woodward III (drums), Dave "The Beast" Spitz (bass) and the De Marigny brothers and produced by renowned producer JEFF GLIXMAN.
The track "Black Cloud" is a cover of an old song by Glenn Hughes' pre-DEEP PURPLE band, TRAPEZE.
Apparently, Gerard De Marigny recorded most of his guitar tracks here through GARY MOORE's guitar rig that was set up for a recording session at a studio in Atlanta, Georgia at the time.
You can really hear the killer progression of this bands musicianship and songwriting skills here.

AMERICADE - Rock Hard (1983-1988) USA


Previously unknown Hard vintage Southern Rock alert!!!
Obviously influenced by MOLLY HATCHET (just check out their name), and SKYNYRD too, this self-titled obscurity was released in a pitifully small pressing and has just come to my attention recently.
There's no info on the plain white sleeve, we have just the song-titles and the band's line up on the labels to go by.
I've been unable to find out where they came from or even when the damn thing was released, (1982 is an informed guess), but it seems this BOUNTY HUNTER bears no relation to any of the other bands who have used the same name who have info on the webisphere.
It pisses me off to have no background to share with you despite my best efforts, but sometimes you stumble across music that just has no available back story.
I knocked up the artwork you see here just for something to look at whilst the album's playing, as i said, the original sleeve is just blank.
So what of the music then?
Well, it's well-played Hard edged Southern Rawk, that has obvious influences, but isn't a slave to them either.
As i said, Hatchet by way of Skynyrd, but there are a couple of songs that are more individual which sound mighty good to my ears too.
Succinct songwriting, short snappy choons, distinguished by some superior geetar work.
Personally i'd have liked those guitars higher in the mix, but it's damned fine stuff nonetheless.
Have a listen, i'm sure you'll be similarly impressed if you have a liking for that vintage Southern fried sound.
Total credit and much gratitude goes to OldMusicOnVinyl1 for digging this mystery record up and for sharing his original rip.
Can any of you shed a little light on this one?

BOUNTY HUNTER - Bounty Hunter (1982) USA


KAOS, a Canadian traditional Heavy Metal quintet were formed in 1982 in remote St. John's, Newfoundland, by a young Bavarian emigre, guitarist Rainer "Rhino" Wiechmann.
After hooking up with drummer Sandy Forbes, the fledgling band performed on a CBC TV talent show called "The Fame Game".
After installing CBC voice-over artist Cindy Wiechmann as vocalist, (she soon became Rhino's wife), Kaos released the critically acclaimed "Total Kaos", Mini LP on their own Mole Records label in 1985.
The highlight of the seven song self-released record is the amazing instrumental, "March of the Gremlins", a must-hear for fans of epic '80's riffing.
"Total Kaos", now commands a ridiculous price-tag, with copies changing hands amongst collectors for around $200 in online auctions.
In 1986 the band landed some support slots on HELIX's Canadian tour, bringing Kaos to the attention of larger audiences.
A cassette only Mini album entitled "TV Eye" was released in 1987 following some line up changes within the Kaos ranks.
The band's video, "Summer Of Love", then began to get airplay nationally leading to further gigs opening for acts such as HEADPINS, SASS JORDAN and CHILLIWACK.
This in turn led to more widespread dates playing with international acts like ALICE COOPER, MOTORHEAD and DIO.
After that round of touring ended, the band planned to move to the mainland to be better placed to take advantage of any possible future opportunities.
However, one by one, the other members decided they were unwilling or unable to commit to the move, sadly bringing Kaos to an end.
Undeterred, the Weichmann's moved to London, Ontario and worked in various bar acts for more than a decade, eventually opening their own recording studio.
Following some Helix recording sessions at the Wiechmann's studio in London, both Wiechmann's were invited to become members of Helix.
Their tenure in the veteran Canadian band lasted from 2003 to 2006.
Rainer Wiechmann has also become a respected producer, working with THINE EYES BLEED, BLOOD OF CHRIST and KITTIE.
The Weichmann's now have a new band called NAIL which includes another former member of Kaos in it's line up, drummer Dale Penney.
To date, Nail have released two very impressive full length albums, 2007's "Nail" and 2010's "Power And Greed".
The power of Cindy's awesome voice remains undiminished by the passing years, and Nail's music is an impressively muscular mix of Traditional Metal with a strong Progressive edge.

KAOS - Total Kaos Mini LP (1985) Canada


Those of you who regularly view my posts will know that i always endeavour to provide some background information on the music i share.
I figure that if you're anything like me that you'll enjoy reading the back story behind the bands and their releases, and if your comments are anything to go by then that appears to be the case.
Every once in a while however i come across a band or release that leaves me stumped as i can find out next to nothing about them.
This is the case with this record, the sole (?) release by Canada's JESTER.
This Jester is no relation, as far as i can tell, to either the Montreal Hard Rock band of that name, (despite what Metal Archives says), or the Prog/AOR outfit from Ontario who also bear the Jester moniker.
Here's what i do know: this 45 was released in 1981 on the Kollato Records label, and it goes for a pretty penny now.
The last auction i could find saw this slab o' wax go for the better part of $200 dollars!
So is it worth it, i hear you ask?
Well, as ever that all depends on your tastes, and your bank balance.
To me, it's a tale of two sides.
The A-side, "Waiting This Way", is, by some distance, the more commercial song of the pair, bending over backwards for a little airplay.
It's very well done for a private pressing from the era, with some mighty fine guitar work lifting it above the average, but it is a little too lightweight for my liking.
The flipside however, is the real ace in the Jester brace.
"Find Out", is a cracking little Rocker, which sounds to me like they were aiming for "Earthshaker" era Y & T, with some prime ACE FREHLEY guitar pyrotechnics sprinkled over the top.
This being a 1981 private pressing however, the budget and production conspire to give us something a little different, but no less tasty.
The guitarist could certainly spank that plank, and the song gels really well, getting lodged in your grey matter for ages.
So on balance, i'd give the A-side a solid C, with the flip earning itself a very enjoyable B+.
Anyone know any more about this bunch?

JESTER - Waiting This Way/Find Out 7" (1981) Canada


The SOUTHERN CROSS BAND was based in Long Island, New Jersey, (a strange locale for a Southern Rock act), and were formed by the Prewitt brothers who had moved to New York from the South.
Both Prewitt brothers, Joe and Sonny were accomplished singers and guitar slingers.
They were very active on the live circuit from the late 1970's to the mid-1980's, building up a big live following, especially in the tri-state area.
Sadly, it doesn't seem that there were any official releases from them, however there were two separate promo 45s issued in 1982.
I'd previously posted the two song promo 7" of "Lady Killer"/"Outlaw (Josey Wales)".
These same two songs also turned up on a few different compilation albums of local acts put together by various New York radio stations at the time.
The A-side, "Lady Killer", is quite commercial, but still gutsy, with a really catchy chorus and a nice Hammond solo too.
The epic flip side, "Outlaw (Josey Wales)", is excellent, sounding like a beefed up version of THE OUTLAWS, with some great tempo changes and extended soloing.
It also reminds me a little of the band ASHBURY, who recorded the album "Endless Skies".
Now Nightsblood has turned up the other promo, pairing "Lady Killer" (again!?), and the previously unknown/unheard "Stay Alive".
More great Southern Rock with a Hard Rock base, catchy, succinct, and artfully crafted.
During their time Southern Cross Band supported Southern Rock legends THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND and THE WINTERS BROTHERS BAND at shows in the NY area.
Singer/guitarist Joe Prewitt is still active, having fronted a band called THE MANGOS for the last 20 years or so, apparently still playing in the Southern style, and they've just released an album called "Ain't Dead Yet".

SOUTHERN CROSS BAND - Lady Killer/Stay Alive 7" (1982) USA


Finally tonight, in our now regular, but still un-named extra-vintage slot, the beat/harmony group GOLDSTAR BROTHERS was formed in 1962 by the Groote brothers, singer André, guitarist Henk, and drummer Ben, in Apeldoorn, Gelderland, Netherlands.
In 1966 they changed their name to G-BROTHERS and recorded three 7" singles before changing their name once more to GEEBROS.
As Geebros, the band recorded several 45's, with the wonderfully named "Henry The Horse", reaching the Dutch charts in late 1967.
By now they played psychedelic music combined with strong close harmony singing, in songs like "Let Me Find The Sun", "She", "Ev'ry Day" and "Shadows Of Stone".
They were then joined by organ player Lol Nijhuis, who was in turn replaced by Henny Backers in 1968.
By this time the band's musical style had changed quite considerably, incorporating a stronger Psychedelic influence into their harmony driven Sunshine Pop.
In 1969 their musical style evolved yet again, and to reflect this they chose yet another name, CRYING WOOD.
By this time they were making Heavy Rock with a strong Progressive Rock flavour incorporated too.
Having secured a record deal with Action Records, they entered the studio to record a 45 for them.
The band's lone single, 1970's "Blue Eyed Witch/Trip", got a lot of airplay on Dutch radio but didn´t trouble the charts, leading to the loss of the Action deal.
A shame, as the record was strong, with the A-side demonstrating an organ heavy driving style akin to LUCIFER'S FRIEND or URIAH HEEP, with the instrumental "Trip", on the flip, having a more progressive, jazzy flavour.
Crying Wood toured intensively throughout the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium, and even recorded an album in 1970, which was called "Forward In Time/Back To The Mountains".
However, they were unable to secure a European record deal and so the album was only released in Canada.
Apparently, the music on it is in the same Heavy vein as the single, with hints of FOCUS and PANTHEON.
Shortly after recording the album however, the band fell apart and split before 1971 was over.
In 1974 an attempt was made to reform Crying Wood by Ben Groote with an entirely new line-up, but despite recording demos they don't manage to release anything.
The band was a successful draw on the live circuit however, touring constantly in their homeland and in Germany.
After several further line-up changes, Ben Groote pulled the plug on Crying Wood in 1976, joining up with his brothers and original Crying Wood bassist Cor Mestebeld once more in a new band called AIR BUBBLE.
Air Bubble were very different stylistically to Crying Wood, playing Pop/Soft Rock with a reasonable degree of success.
Their first single, "Racing Car" in 1976, was a hugely popular record all over mainland Europe, and a string of records followed throughout the remainder of the '70's, with varying degrees of success.
Air Bubble finally split up in 1981, with André and Henk then recording an EVERLY BROTHERS tribute album, "For Everly Yours", under the name CADILLAC!
After a long time away from the stage, in recent years the brothers Groote have occassionally been treading the boards once again, billed as GEEBROS.
Their current set-list includes songs from the Goldstar Brothers, Geebros, Crying Wood and Airbubble eras alongside covers of The Everly Brothers, THE BEATLES and THE BEACH BOYS.
Here's hoping some enterprising reissue label will one day make that elusive Crying Wood album and the later demos available on CD.

CRYING WOOD - Blue Eyed Witch/Trip 7" (1970) Holland


So that's it for another post.
Hope you find something amongst that little lot that excites you.
If you don't, frankly i think you're at the wrong blog.
See you back here in 3-4 weeks for more vintage voltage from the vaults, 'til then, take care o' yerselves.