Sunday, June 24, 2007


Howdy, stylistically & geographically, we're gonna be all over the place tonight. The common thread that runs right through these picks however is easy to spot, quality songwriting. Every last one has that hummability, the songs burrow their way into your psyche and make themselves at home for the long haul, and i like that. I'm sure you will too.
First up, a request belatedly filled, this is the lone self-titled album from Canada's Painter, from way back in 1973. Great melodic Hard Rock music, with great choruses, nice harmony vocals and some killer guitar with occasional Hendrixian leanings. Check out epic closer, "Goin' Down The Road", for a sample of that Jimi-esque fret flagellation. Members later went on to bands such as Streetheart and Hammersmith, but this one album & a pair of earlier non LP 45s was all Painter produced.

PAINTER - Painter (1973) Canada

Another in the seemingly endless procession of KISS Tribute albums now, this one being the 4th in the excellent "Larger Than Life" series. This may be the best of the bunch actually, mixing the "hits" and more obscure fan favourites well, and with most of the artists adding plenty of their own spin to the KISS songbook. Great variety of bands too, from BATHORY to JAMES LAST, with outstanding contributions from GALACTIC COWBOYS, PASTEL VESPA and The ALEX SCOLNICK TRIO, to name but three. If you enjoy this one, check the archives here for the 1st three volumes and a whole lot more KISS related tomfoolery. No official KISS stuff though Gene, down boy, step away from the lawyer.

VARIOUS - LARGER THAN LIFE 4 : The KISS Tribute (2006)

To Germany now, or West Germany as it was then, for the 2nd album by Wattenscheid based Hard Rockers, Bullet. This is their "No Mercy" album, which came out in 1984 on the Heavy Metal Records label, or at least it did here in the UK. Their debut, "Execution" is a heavier affair than this one, but i think the songs and production on this one have fared better against the ravages of time. There is a SCORPIONS vibe to some of the material, unsurprising as they shared the same producer, Dieter Dierks, and also a JUDAS PRIEST feel to some of the riffing, nothing at all wrong with that, all in all, this is good stuff, that sounds surprisingly sprightly quarter of a century later.

BULLET - No Mercy (1984) Germany

To the frozen North now, where, courtesy of Dom, we are proud to present for your frenzied headbanging pleasure, the sole self titled Mini LP by Sweden's Parasite. The Karlshamn based quartet released this little gem on the Hell label in 1984, and folks, it's Heavy Metal Thunder from start to finish. Great solid songs, fantastic melodic leads, soaring vocals and all propelled by the remarkable drumming of Johan Billerhag, who would later appear in the line ups of Hexenhaus & Memento Mori. Go, fill your heads with Metal.

PARASITE - Parasite Mini LP (1984) Sweden

A pair of classics now from venerable Coventry based NWOBHM warriors Chainsaw. During their time, they released 3 highly prized slabs of vinyl, we present the 1st and 3rd of those now for your delectation. The year is 1980, the 7" is called "Police & Politicians", the band is called Chainsaw. I think you can probably have a pretty good guess at what this sounds like, and i reckon you're probably pretty close to the truth. Well, you wouldn't really want a band with a cool name like that to be dealing in jazz-fusion would you? This is raw enthusiastic Metal from a rough-round-the-edges working class trio, who almost deliver on the promise of that name.

CHAINSAW- Police & Politicians 7" (1980) UK

Now we fast forward through time to 1984, where we find a slightly different incarnation of the band signed to Thunderbolt Records for their "Massacre" EP. By this time drummer Mark Biddiscombe had jumped ship and joined up with the charmingly named BITCHES SIN, with his spot taken by Rich Carroll. Time had also given Chainsaw some extra chops by this time, with more subtlety and restraint evident here than previously, although they're still more than capable of ripping it up when they want to, and believe me, they want to more often than not folks. I'm sure Leatherface would have approved.

CHAINSAW - Massacre EP (1984) UK

We finish up tonight back in Sweden once more for the debut 7" by Silver Mountain. This is a peach, it really is, Rainbow-esque guitar flurries set against an epic wall of bombast, on a shoestring budget no doubt, but it doesn't show. They went on to record several albums, each more commercial than the last, whilst losing several several members en route, mostly to YNGWIE J. MALMSTEEN's band, but they seldom sounded more urgent & inspired than they did here. Awesome stuff.

SILVER MOUNTAIN - Man Of No Present Existence 7" (1979) Sweden

That's plenty for you to be getting on with just now, look for more soon. For now though, "That's all folks"!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


Time for your obscure rawk fix boys & girls!
Without further ado, here's the sole album by the late great Danny Joe Brown. Danny Joe, was of course, the original vocalist with Southern legends MOLLY HATCHET, and after parting ways with the band in the late 1970's he formed his own Danny Joe Brown Band. This little gem came out in 1981, but before long he was back in the Hatchet fold, taking various DJBB members with him over subsequent years. This is easily as good as any of those classic Hatchet albums, which is no small feat, from rockers like "Alamo" to the more poignant "Edge Of Sundown", there's not a duff track on this whole disc. Raise a glass to the great man and crank it up.

DANNY JOE BROWN - Danny Joe Brown & The Danny Joe Brown Band (1981) USA

To Finland now, for "No Law'n'Order" by Riff Raff. This is their 1st album from 1981, and later records had more of a typical Hard Rock sound, but i love the vibe of this one. The guitars have more of a rock'n'roll sound, really reverb laden and twangy, which gives the songs a feel quite like anything else i can think of. Shit, they've even got a singing drummer, what more do you want? Hard rockin' rock'n'roll for hard rockin' rock'n'rollers.

RIFF RAFF - No Law'n'Order (1981) Finland

Meanwhile, back in the USA, here's some great Hard Rock/Metal with fantastic pseudo classical lead guitar from 3rd Stage Alert. Guitar god/deluded buffoon (delete to taste) YNGWIE J. MALMSTEEN was so impressed by the axeploits of six-stringer Al Morris, that he volunteered to produce this Mini LP and pops up for a spot of six-string sparring on "Adagio". Another notable guest is HELLION vocalist ANN BOLEYN, who contributes keyboards & backing vocals to a few tracks. The strength of the material is the most striking thing about this release however, not only could these guys shred, first & foremost, they could also write memorable tunes.

3rd STAGE ALERT - 3rd Stage Alert Mini LP (1984) USA

Time for some NWOBHM now, and this is a great one, this is the "Escape From New York" EP by Geddes Axe. Three excellent songs from the Sheffield band, from the drama and bombast of the catchy title track, through the harder edged "The Day The Wells Ran Dry" to the epic moody closer "Six Six Six", there's not a dull moment, not a second squandered from start to finish. If you enjoy this one, and i'm pretty sure you will, check the archives, as i posted their earlier "Return Of The Gods" EP a while back here too.

GEDDES AXE - Escape From New York EP (1982) UK

Continuing the rare Brocas Helm posts, here's a more recent gem from the Helm canon, this is their 2000 copies only red vinyl 7" "Skullfucker/Blood Machine" 7" from 2000. Both tracks later turned up on their "Defender Of The Crown" album, but i'm pretty sure these are different versions, or at least different mixes, sounding rawer and wilder than the album versions. Great stuff, a band this long in the tooth have no business sounding this vital and unhinged this far into their career, must be the molten Metal in their veins!

BROCAS HELM - Skullfucker/Blood Machine 7" (2000) USA

Finally tonight, here's a corking example of 1980's Swedish Heavy Metal, this is the mighty Maninnya Blade, and their awesome "The Barbarian/Ripper Attack" 7". Both tracks are incredible folks, "Ride The Lightning" style riffing, great hooks, breakdowns which stick in your head like Viking Blades in the hearts of those who would play False Metal, just brilliant stuff. My buddy Dom has been bringing me up to speed on a lot of rare Scandinavian stuff which slipped under my radar, look for more to appear here over the next few weeks & months. You won't believe how great some of this stuff is, this here disc being a prime example!

MANINNYA BLADE - The Barbarian/Ripper Attack 7" (1984) Sweden

More great stuff for your dancing pleasure coming up soon, stay tuned to this frequency.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


We're running the gamut from Southern Rock to NWOBHM with this post, stopping off for some Hard Rock & Some Heavy Metal along the way. Business as usual in other words.
From the Sunshine state of Florida came Blackhorse, a Southern Rock three-piece with a strong BLACKFOOT influence. Their sole self released album is one of the obscure gems in the Southern Rock crown, from the opening stampede of "Fox Huntin'" to the sublime epic balladry of "Cannot Find My Way Home", the quality never dips, this was a great great band. It's taken until recently for this one to garner the plaudits it always deserved, courtesy of a bootleg cd issue on Limited Records. The original (very limited) vinyl pressing seldom making it out of their home state at the time. If you enjoy Southern influenced Hard Rocking with great guitar and DJB-esue vocalising, (and let's face it, who doesn't?), then this should have you whooping it up. And i ain't just whistlin' Dixie.

BLACKHORSE - Blackhorse (1979) USA

Now, from Cleveland Ohio, we have the 2nd & final LP from Mistreater. Many of you may be familiar with their classic "Hell's Fire" debut from 1981, but this one remains pretty obscure. After the debut album, they lost guitarist Larry Nottingham when he went to prison for a spell, replacing him with Dave Hall. At this time they changed their name to Scarum & released an impossible to find 7", before changing the name back to Mistreater again. They recorded a couple of demos & contributed a few songs to compilation albums between then & 1986, when Hall tragically passed away. Newly free from incarceration, Nottingham was reinstated and "Swami" was released in '87 on their own label to universal apathy. Discouraged, they split the following year. Mistreater have a strong following to this day in underground Metal circles, their NWOBHM influenced US Metal standing the test of time well. This is good stuff, a time capsule of great riffing from simpler times.

MISTREATER - Swami (1987) USA

Now to Portland Oregon, home of Glacier. A great US Metal band whose self-titled Mini LP surfaced on the Axe Killer label back in 1985. Having been around in one form or another since 1979, they had great material to pick from for this, their only release, and their experience and quality pays off in spades. One of the odd things about this release is that they utilised the services of three different vocalists in it's recording, yet you'd be hard pressed to tell them apart, all have that upper register wail down pat and could strip paint at ten paces. They were also noted for being one of the first "White Metal" bands, but please don't let that put you off, without a lyric sheet to hand you'd be hard pressed to tell, and Metal this gloriously over the top was hard to find then, never mind now. Apparently they are back together, they'll be hard pressed to match the bombast captured here, but i'll be interested to hear Glacier 2007 nonetheless.

GLACIER - Glacier Mini LP (1985) USA

By request, here's some more now from San Francisco's true Metal warriors, Brocas Helm. This is their mega-rare "Helms Deep" demo from 1989, and exceedingly good stuff it is too. Most of the songs have been rerecorded for release on subsequent EPs and the "Defender Of The Crown " album, but the takes here are raw, speedy and entirely essential. Sharpen up your broadswords, dust off your loincloths and get ready to ride the Brocas Helm "juggernaut" to Valhalla.

BROCAS HELM - Helm's Deep Demo (1989) USA

Some early NWOBHM now, this is the lone EP from Lancaster power trio Anniversary, "Give Me A Smile". This is much more in the 70's sounding Hard Rock bracket than most of what passed for NWOBHM, a sign that the band had been 'round the block a few times before they got to make their mark on vinyl perhaps? Really nicely constructed songs, tasteful guitars and memorable choruses were Anniversary's hallmarks, and there's nary a duff track among the four here. Sadly, they split in 1981, without recording a follow up.
Oh what might have been.

ANNIVERSARY - Give Me A Smile EP (1978) UK

Finally, we are proud to present Birmingham's Cryer, an act who made their name on the Midlands club circuit . Again, a little longer in the tooth than most of the NWOBHM bands of the day, they have tenuous links with FLYING HAT BAND, JUDAS PRIEST & STARFIGHTERS, but split before their album could be released. Eventually Heavy Metal Records released the album "Set Me Free", but not before they'd decided that they didn't like the name Cryer, and with no band around to object, decided to rechristen them FORCE. In a bizarre twist, Cryer then reformed as Force to promote the album!

CRYER - The Single 7" (1980) UK

More soon folks, 'til then, enjoy!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007


Well, the response to my impromptu poll last time out was not particularly gratifying, folks.
Here's the script, THE NUBS WILL HUNT YOU DOWN & KILL YOU!!!
I don't really know what to make of the non response we got, i'm still in the dark.
What do the people want?
For me to get on with the music?!
You want Southern Rock? I give you Southern Rock. Here we have the shelved 2nd album by the Winter Brothers Band from 1978, "Coast To Coast". It was finally given a release latterly as the imaginatively titled "The Lost Album". If you enjoyed their first album, or quality Southern styled rock in general, this one's for you.


Next, courtesy of Nils, a friend of the blog, we have "Tracked Down", a comprehensive best of compilation of Canadian Hard Rockers The Hunt. Between '77 & '82, The Hunt released three excellent albums which now seem to have been forgotten by all but the most committed Hard Rock collectors. Surprising, as they sold a decent amount of records, especially in their home land and in Texas. Musically, they have their roots in the DEEP PURPLE sound, but with a more commercial sheen and some odd synth touches, coming off like LEGS DIAMOND sometimes or MAX WEBSTER's more straightforward moments. Good good stuff, many thanks Nils, from me personally and on behalf of our visitors, especially those who requested some Hunt music. Very good of you to help out.

THE HUNT - Tracked Down (The Best Of) ('77-'82) Canada

Next, a heavy rarity for the Metalheads out there! Someone suggested i post some Brocas Helm on here, what a very good idea! So here's their very first demo, five kick ass tracks from 1983, the cleverly titled "Demo I". For the uninitiated, this is cult epic San Franciscan Heavy fuggin' Metal for fans of MANILLA ROAD, CIRITH UNGOL etc. Lyrics focus on war, fantasy, sword & sorcery, all that good stuff. You'll love it! If you enjoy this one, lemmy know & i'll dig out more. If not, fuck you & your mother, your Metal is not true!

BROCAS HELM - Demo I (1983) USA

Along similar lines but from this side of the Atlantic, came the sole obscure album from Voltz. This is "Knight's Fall" which crept out on the tiny Airship label back in 1982, and a finer slice of fantasy inspired NWOBHM you'll be hard pushed to find. This one changes hands for silly silly money, one listen will show you why. Great memorable songs, melodies that stick like glue, fantastic guitars & great great vocals. Believe the hype, Voltz ruled!

VOLTZ - Knight's Fall (1982) UK

If you're one of those who enjoyed the recent CRYSYS post, stylistically, this one is a similar aural treat. What we have here is the one & only release by Argus. No relation to the UK act, this 5 piece band were from California, and had one of the great unsung guitar partnerships in Rock/Metal, Glenn Enriquez & Dave Aylor. How they failed to progress to bigger things is anyones guess, but it's an absolute tragedy that this act never trod the boards at Donington or Wacken. Think Crysys, think MISTREATER, think RIOT. Think Argus!!!

ARGUS - Argus Mini LP (1983) USA

For those of you who enjoyed the Cynic 7", "Suicide", which i posted here a while back, i have good news on several fronts. As you may be aware, the band have recently reconvened after a period of inactivity & have just recorded a full length album at the world famous Rockfield Studios. Drummer Tim Batkin has been kind enough to let me hear a couple of "work in progress" mixes of a couple of tracks, and lemmy tell you folks, it's sounding astounding!!! They've managed to balance the old school NWOBHM sound with a great production job, without sacrificing any of their grit for polish. This is a powerful blend of the old & new which really works. Whilst so many of their contemporaries have ended up scraping egg from their faces whilst attempting the same trick, Cynic have pulled it off, classic and relevant, all at the same time. The album's at the mixing stage just now, and the band have attracted heavyweight label & management interest on the strength of their recent work. I'd like to wish them all the best and much success, they've really deserve your support folks. With Tim's blessing we're proud to present their 1982 "Do Or Die" demo, now you're getting to know their past, look forward to their future!

CYNIC - Do Or Die Demo (1982) UK

To finish tonight's post, let's slow things down a bit. This is the debut Ep from Boston's Druid, "Four Curses". Doom guitars, complex riffage and a Halfordesque turn by singer Eric Sager combine to make this one uniquely weird record. Repeated listens pay off though as the record slowly reveals itself to be the work of gifted craftsmen, and not the raving lunatics the first spin suggests. Their 1988 full length, "Vampire Cult", is meant to be a bit more accessible, although i've yet to track down a copy.

DRUID - Four Curses EP (1986) USA

At some point soon i shall return with more of what FZ used to call "hot poop", 'til then, byeeeeeeeeeee.