Thursday, April 26, 2007


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!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


Just a quickie to keep you occupied 'til i finally get up the all Canadian megapost.
These were both gifts from the comments section which i'm reposting on the main page in case you missed 'em.
Courtesy of Slava, we have the 1977 Bad Axe 7", "Cry For Me/All You Can Stand". Both tracks are exclusive to the 7" which came out on the Progrezzive label, if you enjoyed the album, this is more of the same, although with slightly better production & tighter arrangements. Nice stuff Slava, thanks again.

BAD AXE - Cry For Me/All You Can Stand 7" (1977) USA

This one is bang up to date, and comes courtesy of Stu Anonymous. It's the 2007 demo from London based Thrash Metal quartet Tiberium. It's good stuff, full of youthful vim & vigour, with nods to all the right influences, give them a listen & see for yourself.

TIBERIUM - 2007 Demo (2007) UK


As i said, short & sweet, the BIG post is imminent, look for it before the week's out.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Rare Goodies

We've got some great rare stuff for you this fine evening, most of this stuff would individually set you back a months pay to buy, if you could find them to purchase in the first place that is. Get it here, now, free.
Trust me, you need every last one of these. Delete some of that crap that's taking up space on your HD & let's get going.
For starters, here's a nice one that comes our way courtesy of my Russian buddy Usergei, on behalf of all our visitors, thanks a million my friend! This is "Ducks In Flight", the 1978 solo album by Peter French. You may be scratching your collective heads wondering where you know the name from, allow me to clue you in. Peter was one of Rock's nearly men, but he came far closer to making it than most. The possessor of an excellent set of bluesy Rock pipes, Peter started off in Big Bertha with a certain Cozy Powell, before jumping ship to join The Brunning Sunflower Blues Band. With them he recorded the "Bullen St. Blues" album in 1969, before leaving to fill the vacant vocal slot in Black Cat Bones, passing Paul Kossoff on the way, as he left BCB to join Free. BCB underwent some more personnel changes & decided to change their name to Leafhound, who recorded the legendary "Growers Of Mushroom" LP before going their separate ways. French was soon back in the spotlight however, as new singer for Atomic Rooster, featuring on their classic "In Hearing Of..." LP, however Rooster split soon after, leaving Peter again without a band. He bounced back quickly, reappearing in the USA as replacement for Rusty Day in Cactus, appearing on their "'Ot & Sweaty" LP, before, you guessed it, Cactus split too. Peter filled in the next few years with unsuccessful auditions for Deep Purple, Uriah Heep & Manfred Mann's Earthband, before hooking up with German funk rockers Randy Pie in time to appear on their "Fast Forward" album, their final record as luck would have it. Whilst in Germany following Randy Pie's demise, Polydor offered him a solo album deal, the result of which was the album in question, "Ducks In Flight". Now as a visitor to this blog, all that info should be enough to have you reaching for the download button, but if you remain unswayed, allow me to give you more reason to get this little gem. French gathered together a hell of a band to back him on "Ducks In Flight", as well as roping in his former Black Cat Bones & Leafhound partner, Mick Halls on guitar, he was also able to persuade ex-Thin Lizzy axe slinger Brian Robertson to play on the album, with ex-Snafu & future Whitesnake slide guitarist par excellence Micky Moody appearing too. Add to that impressive display of six stringers former Jody Grind pianist Tom Hinkley and former Faces/Small Faces, future Who drummer Kenny Jones, and you've got a veritable who's who of 1970's British rock music. If you remain unmoved by all that you're probably in the wrong place buddy! It's a great little record too, good songs, good playing, rockin' sweetly and nicely understated when necessary. Peter French has been fronting the newly reactivated Leafhound since 2004, i'd like to wish him all the luck in the world, he's payed more than his fair share of dues.

PETER FRENCH - Ducks In Flight (1978) UK

Nextly, courtesy of another friend of the blog, Rainbow Hugh, we are proud to present the wasted rock'n'rollin' sounds of Bad Axe from 1976. This Californian bands only album was privately produced for demonstration purposes only in a run of only five (!) copies. Of those only one copy is known to still exist, from which there came a 500 copy ltd repress in 2004. There are few scarcer records out there people, even fewer that sound this good. I'd heard that it was in the vein of Sabbath & Deep Purple, and i hear that, but the guitar work is wilder, like Sir Lord Baltimore or something, with the songs reminding me more of "Kings Of Oblivion" era Pink Fairies, especially the Larry Wallis-esque vocals. A nice one then for lovers of rare toasted 1970's Hard Rock.
Apparently there was also a 1977 7" single from these guys, if anyone has that how's about posting it.

BAD AXE - Bad Axe (1976) USA

Part One:

Part Two:

For lovers of doomy 70's style Heavy Rock, here's another treat. Some of you may be familiar with Sorcery's "Sinister Soldiers" album, but did you know that the Chicago band also recorded a 2nd LP? No? Well they did just that, and here it is, this is their "Till Death Do We Part" album from 1980. It's a slightly more sprightly set than their debut, moving away from the downer-drone of it's predecessor at times, to incorporate a slightly more "Modern" sound. It's nice stuff & rarer than rocking horse shit, so dig it brothers & sisters!

SORCERY - Till Death Do We Part (1980) USA

Next, we're chuffed to bring you the excellent "Knights Of Metal" Mini LP from San Antonio's Wyzard. I don't know too much about the band i'm afraid, they're from the (early) Maiden/Priest school of Metal, but give it their own twist. Some clever arrangements & nice guitar slingin', complement the most Metal voice of 1984. I'll bet they were awesome live in some sweaty Texan dive. Give it a whirl, you'll probably love it.

WYZARD - Knights Of Metal Mini LP (1984) USA

Finally, another friend of the blog has very kindly served up essential slabs of early Swedish Metal from Mindless Sinner for your enjoyment. All three links are courtesy of Pontus, and on behalf of all of the blog's visitors, a big thank you Pontus, for sharing these great records with us! Essentially, Mindless Sinner had quite a lot in common with blog favourites Axewitch, in fact they came from the same town, Linköping, and stylewise there are many parallels throughout their careers. After the demise of the two bands, members of both acts came together in a band called Skinny Horse and released an album entitled " No Pain No Gain".
Their 1st release was the Mini LP "Master Of Evil", which was released (like Axewitch) on the Fingerprint label, it consisted of four excellent tracks which doffed their caps at the likes of Priest & Sabbath, whilst retaining an individual element in the style.

MINDLESS SINNER - Master Of Evil Mini LP (1983) Sweden

Here's some live ass-kicking from the same year by these guys, six tracks from 2 separate dates. Good stuff.

MINDLESS SINNER - Live 1983 (1983) Sweden

Lastly, here's their debut full length from 1986, "Turn On The Power". The sound is slightly more commercial, with better production, and more emphasis on the choruses, but this is still some excellent stuff.

MINDLESS SINNER - Turn On The Power (1986) Sweden

Eventually they decided to pursue the more commercial route fully and shortened their name to Mindless. I've not heard their material, but those i know who have are singularly unimpressed. So there you have it, the complete Mindless Sinners discography. Thanks again, my friend.
That's one mighty post folks, and i'm working on something of a similar scale for the weekend (or thereabouts) which will be an all Canadian special. No particular reason why, it just happens that i'd been listening to a few of these upcoming records & noticed that the artists were Canucks and thought, why the hell not, eh?
So keep your eyes peeled for that soon, until then, there's plenty to occupy you here, enjoy them people.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

The "WIND" Beneath Your Wings

A nice little post for you all this Sunday. Something for everyone, (or at least for everyone with the good taste to visit NILOOB), some classic NWOBHM, some rare US Metal, something a little more up to date, and one of the rarest, and best punk 7''s of all time. Interested? You should be, come & see.
For starters, here's the excellent "Direct Line" album by Leeds based rockers Dedringer. They had a pretty high profile at the time this album was released thanks to tours in support of MSG, Gillan & Triumph. However fate dealt them a cruel blow just as they were riding this wave of acclaim, when their guitar duo were seriously injured in a bad car smash. By the time they recovered from their injuries, their deal & momentum were both long gone. At this stage members started to come & go and they faded from view for a few years, eventually resurfacing on the Neat label for the "Second Arising" album, which failed to set the heather alight. Sadly, they split in 1985. This is their complete 1st album, bolstered by 3 non-album b-sides from the same era. Basically everything they recorded during their time on the DinDisc label. Sounds as good now as it did then.

DEDRINGER - Direct Line (1980) UK

I don't know much about our next nugget, "Kamikaze Killers" by Takashi, except that they were from New York City & signed to the short-lived but very collectable Mongol Horde label, also home to Thor & Alien. I just got this one & at the time of posting have yet to hear it myself, i'm led to believe it's cool early '80's Metal and is held in high regard by those who care about such things, judge for yourself.

TAKASHI - Kamikaze Killers Mini LP (1983) USA

Here's something a little more "here & now" for y'all, this is the "Southern Fried" EP from Atlanta Georgia's Artimus Pyledriver from 2002, which they released on their own Mine's Bigger Than Yours label. It's long out of print & i thought the discerning visitors to this here blog might get a kick out of their Skynyrd meets Sabbath meets Dwarves styled racket. Their debut album was released last year via DRT & they're currently on tour with Fu Manchu & Valient Thorr through the USA. Five "Dixie Fight Songs" for the price of none!

ARTIMUS PYLEDRIVER - Southern Fried EP (2002) USA

A couple of nice rare NWOBHM releases up next, one English, one Scottish. The first is "Out With A Vengeance" by Nightime Flyer from waaaaay back in 1979. This one was ripped from the ltd Phoenix Records rerelease from 2003, but the music is still defiantly 1979. Sweet baby Jesus, the B-Side is called "Heavy Metal Rules"! Need i add anything further?

NIGHTIME FLYER - Out With A Vengeance 7'' (1979) UK

This next record is one of the rarest of the NWOBHM era. This is "Snake In The Grass" by my fellow countrymen Hazzard. This failed to receive any distribution at all at the time & was only available to buy at their gigs, so there are very few surviving copies left which is reflected in the asking price should you actually find one for sale. Have this one for nothing on us, it's a minor classic which passed almost everyone by back in the day, great Hard Rock with melody from a talented Scottish quartet.

HAZZARD - Snake In The Grass 7'' (1981) UK

From one of the rarest Metal records to one of the rarest Punk discs in one fell swoop. This is the ridiculously rare 1st release from Bad Brains, "Pay To Cum". Really, anyone who thinks they know something about music should know Bad Brains, they were one of the finest bands of any genre to walk the earth ever. Their influence is vast and ongoing. No one else however gets close to playing the way they do. This is where the legend began. Educate yourself here and now if you've never had the pleasure of making their acquaintance, you'll be forever changed.

BAD BRAINS - Pay To Cum 7'' (1980) USA

That's all for tonight, but i'll be back midweek with a couple of special records that will set your pulses racing.
Also keep them peeled for a forthcoming all-Canadian megapost. More on that soon.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

International Feel

A grab bag of groovy goodies from all across the musical globe for to tantalize your ear buds this evening, starts with Axewitch's "Visions Of The Past". This was their 2nd full length album, and the last made with the original line up, it's an overlooked riff-tastic 1980's Heavy Metal masterpiece for those of you, (and it seems like most of you who visit these parts), who love that olde tyme Metal sound. They released one further album, the ill-advised glam-tinged "Hooked On High Heels" before calling it a day. Remember them this way. If you like what you hear, all their earlier releases are posted here in the archive. Go gettum!

AXE WITCH - Visions Of The Past (1984) Sweden

Staying in the frozen North, here's the "Metal Bird" single from Sweden's Rising. This is stylistically in the same ballpark as their better known countrymen, but with a rawer edge, whilst still remaining catchy. I don't know anything much about this bunch, so if anyone would care to give us some background, use the "comment" function and give us the scoop on Rising.

RISING - Metal Bird (1982) Sweden

A couple of NWOBHM BBC Sessions for you now, beginning with a 1982 recording from Scotland's Chasar. The band were from the town of Alloa and recorded one highly prized album during their lifetime. That LP "Chasar" aka "Gypsy Roller", was posted here a while back and seemed to go down well, so here's some more of their Prog tinged Metal for the good of your ears & your souls. Look out for the excellent intricate guitarwork of band mainstay Alex Pollock, for a finer fret-fiddler you're unlikely to hear.

CHASAR - BBC Session (1982) UK

Nextly, a 1983 Session from Bristol's legendary Jaguar. Best known for their opening salvo of singles, "Back Street Woman" & "Axe Crazy", the band looked like real contenders for a time, before line-up and direction changes scuppered their once promising career. They re-convened in 1997 and remain active today, but their early days were easily their best.

JAGUAR - BBC Session (1983) UK

To the States now, for some trashy Heavy Rockin' from Witch. This is their 1984 release, the excellent "The Hex Is On" Mini LP. Formed by excellently named drummer Punky Peru in 1982, they released this on their own OTT label to rave reviews in the Rock press of the time. Unfortunately, singer Peter Wabbit (No, i'm not making this up), quit shortly thereafter and the group floundered as their momentum dissipated. A pity, this is good stuff, like a rawer take on early Motley Crue. Get it while it's hot!

WITCH - The Hex Is On (1984) USA

Finally, because you all seemed to enjoy their "Street With No Name" 7" last time out, here's the Pagans follow up release, the chaotic howl of anguish which they called "Dead End America". It's raw Punk Rawk made by madmen, about madmen, for madmen. No offense, but i'm sure you'll love it!

PAGANS - Dead End America (1979) USA

More buried treasure for your listening pleasure coming up soon!

Friday, April 06, 2007

Scars & Bars

An all American post for your aural titillation this evening, which sounds a little rude.
So do most of the bands in tonight's sonic buffet, so that's fine.
All but one of the releases featured in this post are from the years 1982 & 1983, this is coincidence.
All are fantastic, hence their inclusion!
Getting things underway, here's the "American Metal" album by Americade. This is flashy trashy hard rockin' from New York with a serious party hardy Van Halen obsession. With some budget, who knows how good this album could have sounded? As it stands, it sounds pretty damn good to me, and i'm sure it will to you too.

AMERICADE - American Metal (1982) USA

For those who prefer their Metal a whole lot heavier, we're proud to present Seattle's Upper Echelon. This is their sole release, "Surface Tension", which had a stingy run of only 1000 copies. So then, not much scope for stumbling across an original copy in a 2nd hand store, so we save you the heartbreak of the fruitless search. If Manilla Road, Cloven Hoof or Cirith Ungol float your boat, reach for the Upper Echelon.

UPPER ECHELON - Surface Tension Mini LP (1983) USA

With a style that's somewhere between those first 2 bands, Californians Dietrich only left us this Mini LP & a track on "Metal Massacre 2" to remember them by. Memorable hooky riff laden hard rock with guitar heroics aplenty from main mover Brad Dietrich. What happened to this band? By '83 it was all over somehow. Listen & weep at the potential squandered.

DIETRICH - Red Alert Mini LP (1982) USA

By 1982, TSOL had released an EP & a full length LP and had moved a considerable distance from the spiky political blur of their earliest material. Musically, they had begun to incorporate disparate influences into their sound whilst lyrically touching on more personal and reflective subject matter which they'd filter through a darkly romantic perspective. Whether you enjoyed any of the other TSOL material is neither here or there, "Weathered Statues" stands alone in their canon as one of the oddest and most individual releases of their career.

TSOL - Weathered Statues EP (1982) USA

In a perfect world i wouldn't have to tell you anything about the Pagans, because they'd be bigger than god & worshipped as the idiot-genius visionary madmen that they were. This is a less than perfect world however, as i'm sure one or two of you had noticed, make it a better place, fill your head with the gloriously life affirming ramshackle racket of the Pagans & their classic debut single "Street Where Nobody Lives". And yes, this has "What's This Shit Called Love?" on the flip, one of the greatest songs EVER!
Educate yourself fool!!

PAGANS - Street Where Nobody Lives (1978) USA

To finish, here's the gloriously screwed up ".44 Killer" 7" from New York's Black Virgin. BV were one of those rare bands who picked up a lot of admirers from outside their own genre but not too many in their chosen field. In much the same way that a band like St Vitus crossed over to the punk kids but were studiously ignored by the Metallers, so it was with Black Virgin. The hardcore & punk fans they played for loved their speedy Metallic assault, whilst the local Metal kids scratched their heads in stupification. This is pure gold, and those "barriers" matter even less now. Open your ears & your black hearts for Black Virgin. Oh, and Satan too obviously.

BLACK VIRGIN - .44 Killer (1983) USA

I've just reread my text & i can only justify my errratic prose by adding that it's been a long weird week that i'll be glad to see the back of. Normal service will hopefully be resumed next week.
That's yer lot, have a great weekend folks.

More NWOBHM and a Zappa post

Yeah, it looks like the pic sleeve to a punk 7" but the grooves contain a great bunch of hard rock to "Rock Hard" too. The A side, Rock Hard is fun with a goofy synth line over it, but the b side, Batteries Not Included is pure progish hard rock.

Here's Wolf's 1981 7" Head Contact. Great NWOBHM done German style.
Very classy stuff.

Sounding a bit to my ears like early (i.e:when they were good) Def Leppard here is Black Rose's Nightmare EP. Four songs, nary a turd amongst.

This is one homely cover though.

And since Kit posted the Overkill Hell's Getting Hotter, I thought I would add contrast by posting yet another Overkill (the UK NWOBHM band this time, not the NY thrashers) with their 2 song demo. Very nice hard rock. These guys shoulda been a contender.

And finally as a request, a long time LOA visitor requested some Frank Zappa. Since I haven't done any ripping of live shows in quite a while, I grabbed an oddity even by Zappa standards. This is a short recording of FZ at Mount St. Mary's college in 1963 doing some avant pieces inspired no doubt by Cage.

I have some later stuff dug out and ready to rip to look for more FZ in the near future.

Hope ya'll enjoy.


Sunday, April 01, 2007

For The Discerning Ear

Another post so soon? Don't get too used to it, i'm a little more organised than usual, but that's never going to last.
First up we have some tasty Canuck Hard Rockin' from Snowaxe, this is their sole album, "We're All Different", which came out on the tiny Rio label back in 1980. A tight power trio, their stock in trade was melodic Hard Rock with memorable hooks & interesting arrangements, there's also some excellent meaty guitarwork from main man Ed McDonald. A nice find for fans of countrymen April Wine. I know that probably sounds like a lazy comparison based on geographical proximity, but they do remind me of Myles Goodwin & Co on several of the tracks, albeit in a more stripped down style.

SNOWAXE - We're All Different (1980) Canada

Staying in Canada, but moving into Heavier territory, this is the one & only release from Calgary based quintet Breaker. This is preposterously over the top Heavy Metal in a Spinal Tap stylee, complete with quasi-operatic vocalising and epic fantasy themes. This is their "In Days Of Heavy Metal" Mini LP from 1982, and you have to hear it to believe it, you'll love it or hate it but you'll remember it for sure!

BREAKER - In Days Of Heavy Metal Mini LP (1982) Canada

Anyone remember the Def American band Four Horsemen? Before singing with them, vocalist Frank Starr was to be found fronting a weird sci-fi inspired Glam Metal band called Alien in New York. They only released the one Mini LP on the Mongol Horde label, which is now highly prized in collector circles, and this is it. It's an energetic, entertaining & occasionally baffling collection, that's sure to be right up your alley.

ALIEN - Alien Mini LP (1983) USA

On the opposite coast of the USA at around the same time, LA based Punk/Metallers Overkill were falling apart. After releasing their "Hell's Getting Hotter" EP the previous year on Black Flag guitarist Greg Ginn's SST label, the whole thing went tits up for them. Their album was released posthumously in 1985, it could all have been so different if they could have settled on a direction to follow, but the band polarised into Punk & Metal camps and the shit turned sour. A real shame, this was a band ahead of their time, this'll tear you a new one.

OVERKILL - Hell's Getting Hotter EP (1982) USA

There have been some memorably odd Beatles cover versions over the years, but i can only think of one NWOBHM band who dared to deconstruct the "Fab" Four. The song in question was "Eleanor Rigby", the band was called Jeddah. Personally, i prefer the B-Side, "Ghosts", but then i never much cared for the Beatles in the first place. See what you think.

JEDDAH - Eleanor Rigby 7" (1983) UK

Finally, here's the sole single from Pali Gap, "Under The Sun". This is one of the finest records to emerge from the NWOBHM, but i'm afraid information on the band is almost non-existent. You need this, it's that straight forward.

PALI GAP - Under The Sun 7" (1982) UK

I'll be back again midweek, enjoy!