Monday, January 28, 2008


Howdy people, another week, another post of the great & the good from the vault marked "should have been huge".
We'll start tonight with a band who could still be huge, if only record buyers had better taste in this day and age. I've featured Oakland's Drunk Horse here before, this one here is their debut self titled album which surfaced in 1999 on Frank Kozic's much missed Mans Ruin Records. This is just a brilliant album from start to finish, if you like low slung riffing, disconcerting time changes, unexpected key switches, and the finest in tongue in cheek lyrics, you'll be in Heavy Rawk heaven when you take a ride on this Horse. Watch out in particular for the lengthy sprawling trip which is "White Lady Of The Mesa", and more conventionally rockin' tuneage like "Greazy Moustache" and "Ass Out-Passed Out". This one comes with a bonus track or two, so even if you have this, you still need it! And the world needs more bands of the quality of this particular inebriated equine, if you like what you hear here, go buy one of their albums, keep the Horse on the road!

DRUNK HORSE - Drunk Horse (1999) USA

Back to 1981 now, for the last throw of the dice from Long Island's Good Rats. In their previous incarnation the Rats were inclined to fling the listener off at various musical tangents, taking in jazz, balladry, blues, doo-wop, and any other side road they fancied away from their more customary Hard Rock sound. By the time this one emerged on Passport Records, they had decided to trim "the fat" somewhat, and armed with new guitarist Bruce Kulick, later of KISS, decided to keep it simple and straight forward this time round. I miss some of the more exotic explorations of their earlier albums, but perhaps they would have gained a bigger following had they simplified things somewhat a little earlier in their career. As it was, they splintered after the commercial failure of "Great American Music", and wouldn't re-emerge, albeit with only Peppi Marchello remaining, until 1996 with the "Tasty Seconds/Cover Of Night" album. "Great American Music" this truly is, and "Tasty" with it!

GOOD RATS - Great American Music (1981) USA

Forward now to 1984, for the lone offering from NWOBHM quartet, Heretic. This is a fine four track EP called "Burnt At The Stake", which arrived hot on the heels of a couple of compilation appearances and a two song demo. Thunderbolt Records were never blessed with particularly good distribution, which may go some way to explain why these guys never went on to bigger things, for the Hard driving memorable music is certainly not at fault. However, regardless of the reasons, they split the following year leaving us just this as their slim legacy. One which they can be rightly proud of. Only vocalist Martin Andrew appears to still be in the music biz, nowadays earning a crust as a Rod Stewart impersonator in Las Vegas!

HERETIC - Burnt At The Stake EP (1984) UK

Another excellent NWOBHM EP for you next, this is the "Metal Messiah" EP from Kent's Triarchy, which arrived in 1981 via the Direct Records label, which i think was a subsidiary of Bullet Records. This one followed their earlier "Save The Khan" 7", and takes the sonic blueprint they used on that one and beefs the sound up somewhat, their unusual keyboard sound and useage setting them apart from most of their peers. Great songs, written and played well, by a band determined to follow their own path and not follow the herd, bow to the Metal Messiah!

TRIARCHY - Metal Messiah EP (1981) UK

More NWOBHM for you rivet heads now, this time from Melton Mowbray quartet Prowler. You may be familiar with their earlier "Forgotten Angels" or "Alkatraz" singles, but probably not this release, their three song 1985 Demo tape. The band are still in bullish form despite their lack of a real commercial breakthrough, the keep their trademark Heavy sound, but temper it here with some clever catchy songwriting know how. They followed this with another demo in '87, but folded soon after, finally dispirited by their lack of progress. Hopefully someone will see fit at some point to collate their recorded output for the digital age and give us a cd retrospective of this tragically underrated band.

PROWLER - 1985 Demo (1985) UK

Finally tonight, a pair of rare treats for you, courtesy of nwobhm00. Many thanks my friend, you spoil us! You may recall that the Vermilion 7" posted here a couple of weeks back, provoked some debate as to whether there was a three song version of that same "Angry Young Woman" 45. Any doubt can now be dispelled, as that's precisely what nwobhm00 has posted for your listening pleasure. Not only that, he's provided the follow up 45 "The Letter" from 1979, which finds the eponymous Vermilion Sands joined by an all new band, namely Street Punks, The Menace, moonlighting from their day jobs.
Grab 'em both, you don't see these too often!

VERMILION - Angry Young Woman EP (1978) UK/USA

VERMILION - The Letter/I Like Motorcycles 7" (1979) UK/USA
Sorry no artwork!

So that's that for now people.
Many thanks for the feedback over the last couple of posts, it's good to know that so many of you seem to enjoy the variety we offer here so much, i'm glad that we attract such open minded listeners here, we hope to keep giving you plenty to fill your open minds and ears for a long time to come. Hope you'll all stick around for the ride.

Sunday, January 20, 2008


Well, here we go again, lots more rare, obscure and long out of print rock music from yesteryear.
Up first, the sole album by Angry Anderson, Pete Wells & The Damn Fine Band. This little beauty got a limited release in Australia back in 2001, and i just had to bring it to a wider audience. Many of you will recognise Anderson & Wells' names as the linchpins of legendary Oz Rock'n'rollers ROSE TATTOO, and as the Damn Fine Band also includes Tatts bassist Steve King, and members of Pete Wells' solo band, i reckon you can already guess what this sounds like. What we have here is the Tatts side band which used to play 10 or so gigs a year in pubs back home, just for fun & the love of the music. The tracklist is made up entirely of covers, old blues songs, R&B, Motown, Rock'n'Roll standards, but they attack them with the same intensity that they brought to the Tatts, with great vocals from Angry and some of the late Pete Wells' finest recorded slidework. If this don't move you, you must have a couple of 'roos loose in the top paddock!


Next up, a vintage live set from ex-UFO alumni Pete Way, Paul Chapman & Andy Parker from back in 1984. This is the mighty Waysted, operating at the peak of their powers, supporting IRON MAIDEN on their "World Slavery" Tour at Cardiff's St David's Hall in Wales on the 7th October '84. They were promoting their self titled Mini LP at the time, so the bulk of the material played is from that and their debut LP "Vices", with a couple of UFO standards thrown in for good measure too. Vocalist Fin is in fine rabble rousing form here, and the rest of the band is tighter than the proverbial ducks arse. Live Rock doesn't get much better than this.

WAYSTED - You Won't Get Out Alive (1984) UK

Back to 1977 now for the second and final album from Tennessee Hard Rockers Target. The band is best known nowadays for being the first band of future COBRA & SURVIVOR vocalist JIMI JAMISON, but Target were a tougher and rootsier proposition than his later acts, tough enough to tour with KISS and SABBATH around the arenas of the US in fact. This is catchy, meaty 1970's US Hard Rock, with one foot in the blues, the other free to kick your ass. Enjoy.

TARGET - Captured (1977) USA

Back in time a little further now, back to 1970 in fact, for the debut album by Georgia's Eric Quincy Tate. Back then the boys hadn't quite nailed their Southern Rock sound down, so there's a little more experimentation than on the likes of "EQT", a little Blue eyed Soul, some horns and a whole lot more. It's a great little "up" album, ideal for Sunday mornings or kickin' back on y'porch, if you got one. I think you'll like it.


Much meatier fare for you now, this definitely ain't Sunday morning music, this is Virginia's legendary Pentagram and their mega rare 1979 45, "Livin' In A Ram's Head". This is great 1970's Heavy Rock with an early KISS groove, dark but much funkier than their later humourless Iommi worshipping. Flip it over (metaphorically), for "When The Screams Come", arguably their finest moment. God-like!

PENTAGRAM - Livin' In A Ram's Head 7" (1979) USA

Making this post a whole lot grimier is our next pick, New York's finest fuck-ups Fear, with their debut 7" from 1978, "Now Your Dead". The B-Side of this one is their anthem to Big Apple living, "I Love Livin' In The City", which in a sane & civilised world would have been adopted as some kind of anthem in the tri-state area. This version is different to the one which appeared on their "The Record" debut LP, it's slower, harsher, more angular, with bigger emphasis on the backing vocals. As the similarly excellent A-Side is also exclusive to this release, you can't afford to pass this one up. Go getcha.

FEAR - Now Your Dead 7" (1978) USA

Finally tonight, an overlooked gem from the NWOBHM, this is the 2nd and final release from Turbo, the "Charged For Glory" 7" on SRT Records from 1982. Anthemic and powerful mid tempo Trad Metal from a shamefully unsung band, a cut above.

TURBO - Charged For Glory 7" (1982) UK

That's your lot for tonight, hope there's something in this glittering heap of musical treasure to make your day, keep 'em peeled for more in the not too distant future.
Many thanks also to nwobhm00 for his contributions, which i'll add to the main page on the next post. It's much appreciated my friend.

Saturday, January 12, 2008


So, here we are again, a new year, a renewed sense of purpose, and a heap of overlooked quality rock music to put a spring in your step and a crick in your neck.
Thanks very much for the kind comments, it's nice to know that the work that myself and Time Traveller put in bringing you this stuff is appreciated. Please, any comments, positive or negative, requests, info, ideas, din't hesitate, use that comment button. We're always looking for input and ideas, feedback & trivia, it's part of why we do this. Your blog needs you!
Without further wittering, here's the music.
What do we have here then? We have the sole self-titled album from 1982 by Messendger on Jab Records in the US, and Bernett in Europe. Messendger were a tunefully Hard Rawkin' power trio from Atlanta Georgia, however there wasn't too much of the Southern sound in Messendger's make up. They straddle a strange line between "Rock'n'Roll Machine" era TRIUMPH and add incredible guitar work in the vein of "G-Force" era GARY MOORE. They play it hard for '82, but keep it tuneful and cover a lot of ground musically. There are a couple of strange cover song choices here too, but i won't spoil the surprise. Sadly, despite the interest the album received, especially in the European Metal press, this was all she wrote regarding Messendger. I think you're gonna dig this!

MESSENDGER - Messendger (1982) USA

Next, another one kindly provided by nwobhm00, this is the "Rockstorm" album by Northumbrian band Splitcrow. Unlike most of their NWOBHM contemporaries, Splitcrow had a unique sound which drew heavily on the Blues and Southern Rock as well as the usual influences. On first listen you'd be hard pressed to guess that the band were English, sounding as if they'd misspent their youth in Louisiana honky tonks trying to talk Sally Mae into the back of their beat up pick up.
Released on the independent Guardian label, also home to MYTHRA, the album received rave reviews, with Kerrang! magazine calling it "the best album from a Brit band in 10 years", and singling out slide guitarist Johnny Dickinson for special praise. Rightly so, the fantastic slide playing all over this album is what gives it it's energy and signature sound, setting them apart from the pack. By 1986 however, Splitcrow were over, Dickinson moving on to play with the likes of THE MOONSHINE BOYS, PAUL LAMB & THE KINGSNAKES, before reinventing himself as an acoustic solo act, releasing his debut solo album “Castles & Old Kings” in 2001. His sound a mixture of Bluesy acoustic moods and ethereal Celtic folk. His fifth solo set is due any day now, and a live dvd is in shops now.

SPLITCROW - Rockstorm (1984) UK

A slice of classy female fronted Hard Rock/AOR next, this is "Head On", the second album by Canadian quintet Toronto, which came out on the Solid Gold label in 1981. The band which cut this album and it's predecessor, were a far tougher proposition than their subsequent releases might lead you to believe, catchy certainly, but gutsy, and singer Holly Woods had an incredible voice and range. Sugar sweet and melodic one moment, roaring like a V8 engine the next, all over these impeccably tailored songs. I think you'll like this one, but wouldn't recommend their later output, as they really decided to chase airplay after this, with patchy results.

TORONTO - Head On (1981) Canada

To Australia now, for the second release by Perth's The Victims, the bizarrely titled "No Thanks To The Human Turd" EP from 1978. With that name, that title, and the cheapo xeroxed sleeve art you're likely expecting a balls out Antipodean SEX PISTOLS rip off, and to be fair, there is a whiff of the UK/NY early punk sound in places, but these guys were cannier writers and more capable players than most lumped in with the Punk movement. A more accurate comparison would probably be "Back In The USA" era MC5, this is stripped down hard rock'n'roll, punk in spirit perhaps, but a different sounding beast to their UK/US cousins altogether. The choruses are big and catchy, the lyrics wry and often funny and most importantly, the energy resolutely positive. If you enjoy this 5 tracker lemmy know and i'll post their debut "Television Addict" 7" too. You may be familiar with THE HELLACOPTERS cover of the A-Side, which is great in it's own right, but the original totally slays!

THE VICTIMS - No Thanks To The Human Turd EP (1978) Australia

To Ireland next for the self-explanatory 1983 "Heavy Metal" 45 by Severed Head. Formed in '81, the four piece were fortunate enough to record a three song session for the BBC Friday Rock Show the following year. The session proved so popular that the BBC were forced to repeat it due to public demand. Impressed, the shows producer, Tony Wilson, agreed to produce the 2 songs which make up this 7". Unfortunately, despite all the buzz surrounding them at the time, and many positive reviews in the press, the labels distribution was so poor that no-one could find the record in the shops. With their profile dwindling, the dejected band went their separate ways in 1984. This is a little gem of a disc, both songs are as catchy as bird flu, but remain as heavy as hell, one of the finest examples of NWOBHM from the Emerald Isle.

SEVERED HEAD - Heavy Metal 7" (1983) UK

Next, here's the "Red Sun Setting" 7" by Manchester based five piece Tora Tora. This was the first of three singles the band released between 1980 and 1987, but it's the only one to feature future DIO/AC-DC/TYTAN/AIIZ/RHINO BUCKET & UFO drummer Simon Wright, which may explain why it's become the most collectible of the three releases. Released on their own Mancunian Metal label, the 2 tracks here are typically cool vintage Brit Metal with Hard Rock hooks and great playing throughout. They really sound like contenders here. Nice stuff. Enjoy.

TORA TORA - Red Sun Setting 7" (1980) UK

Finally tonight, another rare one for ya, this is the 1978 "Angry Young Women" 45 by VERMILION, a London based band with a female American singer, the eponymous Vermilion Sands. Apparently Ms Sands was quite a colourful character, writing about the Punk scene for Search & Destroy whilst enjoying the biker lifestyle and also working in promotions at Illegal Records, which appears to have involved posing semi-naked for the camera on a regular basis. Initially fronting a Punk band called DICK ENVY, she got a deal as Vermilion with (yup!), Illegal Records and put together a band which bore her name. This Punk/Metal/Biker Rock mess was waaay too far ahead of it's time, i kinda like it, i bet LEMMY did too, but i'm thinking i should probably tag it as being for NWOBHM completists only. Hell, give it a try and see what you think. It's free!

VERMILION - Angry Young Women 7" (1978) UK/USA

There you go, a dazzling return to blogging action i would say, hope you enjoy it.
There's still loads more good stuff to come people, check back regular!

Monday, January 07, 2008


Just a quick one to say howdy and to let you know that postings will resume within the week.
There's still plenty of dust covered musical goodies to be brought back into the light and blared at ear bleeding volume for them that appreciate such things.
That's you guys.
And right here's where you'll find them.
Due to circumstances beyond my control which i won't go into here, my 2 week "sabbatical" turned into a 4 or 5 week absence, but i'm back in the saddle again and ready to kick off 2008 with some top rare ass-kickin' obscurios.
"See" you all right here real soon.