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.


Anonymous nightsblood said...

Wow, very cool set this week! I've heard one of Heretic's compilation appearances, but not their EP, so I'll definitely check that out. The Prowler demo is a major find; the band has reportedly been working on a CD issue of their old material for some time now, and while no release plans are set, I'm told they are quite serious about the project, so maybe their demos and singles will all be available in the not too distant future. Re: Triarchy, I prefer their 'save the khan' 7" to the EP, but they do score points for the worthy cover of RObert Johnson's 'hellhound on my trail'; not many NWOBHM bands dove into Delta Blues to find themselves a cover song :)

Monday, January 28, 2008 8:49:00 PM  
Anonymous nightsblood said...

Almost forgot; since your earlier Drunk Horse posts, I've purchased one of their albums, so the band can credit you with at least 1 sale :-) Their song 'priest maker' is a killer!

Monday, January 28, 2008 8:51:00 PM  
Blogger bigfootkit said...

"She's a P-P-P-P-P-P-P-P-Priestmaker!"
Yup! They write choruses and riffs like no-one else does nowadays and very few did back in the day. Glad to know that unlike what some people would have us believe, music blogging is encouraging people to go and support artists by buying their records. And Drunk Horse are more than worthy of your support, glad you were happy with your purchase.
Hope you enjoy the Heretic EP and the Prowler demo too Nightsblood, i've not really had the chance to give either a really good listen yet, but on first listen the Heretic EP in particular sounds like a good 'un.
And no, i can't think of any other NWOBHM bands who covered Robert Johnson songs, Triarchy are pretty much alone in that field.
Wish that Fist had given it a try, for some reason i can imagine them giving "Crossroads" a good kicking.
Thanks for the comments Nightsblood, happy listening.

Monday, January 28, 2008 9:24:00 PM  
Anonymous ogmonster said...

Thanks Kit for the Drunk Horse w/ bonus tracks. I know Santa Cruz is the hidden track. But where does One Track Woman come from? An early single?

...and I gotta thank ya for this post, because it made me pull out my DH discs. It been a while since I jammed 'em.

Monday, January 28, 2008 11:31:00 PM  
Blogger bigfootkit said...

Hi Ogmonster, glad you enjoyed the Drunk Horse post, as you rightly pointed out, "Santa Cruz" was the "hidden track" after 15 mins of annoying silence on the original. "One Track Woman", was an outtake from the 1st album sessions, which the band made available for a short time as a free download, i forget which site it was originally on, possibly the old, before it got bought out by the forces of evil. Hope this clarifies things. Glad the post helped remind you of how mighty the Horse are, job done!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008 2:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi there - great post. Always good to see Triarchy up there. What a great band with a top bloke drummer (nice one, Mark N). Save the Khan is my favourite too but Metal Messiah is a great follow-up. Pity they subsequently moved in other directions with their sound but then they had an eclectic set of influences to start off with! Looking forward to the Prowler demo - I take it this is the Leicestershire band rather than the Essex ' Brute Force' band? A couple of requests - any luck with the Heavy Metal Heroes compilation, and can you repost BBC Friday Rock Show sessions such as Taurus, etc? Oh yes, and any chance of reposting Diamond Head Flight East Demos - and one more, anyone got the original version of Helpless on the B-Side of Shoot Out The Lights? Keep on Rockin'.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008 2:14:00 PM  
Blogger Mettle H said...

There's a CD retrospective of PROWLER on the cards. I haven't seen Steve (drummer) in a while but last I did, he said he had some "eastern" interest in issuing it.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008 2:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for the Good Rats post. Been looking for this for ages.

These guys should have been huge!

You rock!

Pete from the UK

Tuesday, January 29, 2008 3:00:00 PM  
Anonymous matt said...

I'm looking forward to the Prowler demo. I always loved their track on the "Brute Force" comp. With all the chatter it sounds like I'd better look into the Drunk Horse disc too! Thanks

Tuesday, January 29, 2008 7:52:00 PM  
Anonymous nightsblood said...

To clarify for folks, this Prowler is NOT the band featured on the 'Brute Force' comp. Instead, this particular Prowler is the band that issued the Alcatraz and Forgotten Angel singles, as well as some other demos (one in each of 83, 84, this one in 85, and one in 87). Very good band!

For the Triarchy fans, there's a legit vinyl collection of their old material available from High Roller Records. Copies are available on ebay and through some vinyl dealers like Shadow Kingdom Records. I haven't heard it yet, but those who have say it's a nice collection.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008 8:15:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Awesome as always, thank you so much!!!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008 11:58:00 AM  
Anonymous Nightcrawler said...

Once again great stuff! Thanx a lot!

Thursday, January 31, 2008 3:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Still the best blog I know. It must be a tough job to do so, thank you very much for those beautiful tracks.

Friday, February 01, 2008 2:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great stuff, dudes! Thanxxxxx!

Saturday, February 02, 2008 5:50:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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And according to this article, I totally agree with your opinion, but only this time! :)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010 7:55:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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Friday, February 19, 2010 3:17:00 PM  

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