MAPLE LEAF MAYHEM
For no reason other than i've been playing a few of these albums a lot lately, i'm proud to present the long promised, all Canadian post. I'm not Canadian, i don't know anyone who is, but over the years i've come to enjoy & respect a lot of the music that comes out of that much-mocked (by Americans) land. Their Hard Rock & AOR of the '70's & '80's was of a uniformly exemplary quality, few of the bands went further than local notoriety, but that stuff is still highly regarded by fans of the genre. There was always a slightly quirky edge to the Canadian Metal bands, from the cartoonish proto-Speed Metal of the god-like Anvil to the space-rock avant edge of Voivod, as there was to their proggier forefathers Rush & (particularly) Max Webster. Is it a national trait? Avril Lavigne & Alanis Morissette suggest not, but there is much here to support the theory. Anyway, enough of the bunkum & hyperbole, on with the music.
The history of Hanover Fist is a convoluted and confusing one, explained well in the accompanying txt file, so i'll stick to the music here. A solitary gem of an album, the band's stock in trade was memorable powerful anthemic Hard Rock, expertly written & delivered by seasoned pros, with backgrounds in acts such as Wrabit, Moxy & Zon. Business problems caused the album to be released twice, firstly as "Hanover Fist", then with the band name shortened to Hanover, the album was reissued as "Hungry Eyes" in 1985. You'll love this one, they should have been huge!
HANOVER FIST - Hungry Eyes (1985) Canada
To Toronto now, for the sole self-titled album by Metal madmen Kraken. This was privately pressed by the band themselves and produced in a very small run, which is one of the reasons it features on so many collectors "wants" lists. Another reason is the involvement of Anvil main man Lips, who produced the record. Anvil is a reasonable reference point for the bands sound too, although they're not as speedy in approach as their countrymen, preferring a more traditional velocity for their Heavy Metal thunder. They split up in 1984 after a further demo, listen & weep for what might have been.
KRAKEN - Kraken (1983) Canada
Hard Rock now, of an altogether more commercial bent from Quebec's Dagger. Formed as Hell's Dagger in 1982, they shortened their name before contributing a track to the legendary, "Moose Molten Metal" compilation.
Anyone like to post a rip of that particular nugget? This brought them to the attention of Attic Records who snapped them up and issued their only album "Not Afraid Of The Dark", through their Viper imprint in 1985. Despite their outrageous look, (click the cover to see it in all it's "glory"), Dagger were no Glam band, their sound was quite Anglophile, like an amalgam of UFO, Lone Star and Thin Lizzy, with a nice mid-'80's production job & BIG gang style choruses.
DAGGER - Not Afraid Of The Dark (1985) Canada
Staying in the Quebec area, we now bring you DDT's "Let The Screw...Turn You On" Mini LP. DDT were a well established band by the time this came out, having formed as far back as 1979. This helps explain the quality & diversity of the songs on this, their only release. Five years to write a bunch of songs then cherry-pick the 5 best ones for your 1st record, sounds like a good way to do things. From uptempo rockers to heavy pounders, with some more reflective moments too, they show off their skills with aplomb. Sadly they failed to manage a follow up, and disbanded in 1989.
DDT - Let The Screw...Turn You On Mini LP (1984) Canada
Iron Gypsy were formed in Hamilton, Ontario in 1983 around whizkid guitarist Jim Mark. Personnel changes were a constant problem, meaning it was late 1984 before they got around to releasing their self-titled Mini LP. A diverse & powerful set, it brought the band many admirers, and international distribution for their record too. This in turn led to tour supports with Saxon & Accept amongst others. However, just as they seemed poised to step up to the big time, their drummer deserted them to join a Country & Western band, and all the momentum they'd built up disappeared overnight. Iron Gypsy, great name.
IRON GYPSY - Iron Gypsy Mini LP (1984) Canada
Finally tonight, here's an eleven track radio session recorded for CBC by the Hanson Brothers. For those not in the know, the Hanson Brothers are the more straightforward side project of venerable Canadian prog-punk institution, Nomeansno. This is where those Nomeansno guys get to play at being the Ramones & sing songs about ice hockey, beer, and girls who hate ice hockey. It's fast fun stuff, and the interview segment is hilarious too. Go getcha sum!
HANSON BROTHERS - CBC Radio Session (2003) Canada
Phew! Big post!! I'm loaded with the cold and must go for a lie down now, hope you enjoy it people!