A LOW RES FOX
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.