Saturday, January 10, 2009


Brothers & sisters, here we go again with another batch of 24 karat, 100% Proof, high octane, vintage arse kickery.
A couple of under appreciated NWOBHM albums, a classic slice of cult U.S. Metal and, by request, a repost for an excellent KISS tribute album that died waaaay too quick when it was initially uploaded.
So, let's get on with it then.
For starters, Paul Birch founded Wolverhampton based Heavy Metal Records as a vehicle to promote THE HANDSOME BEASTS, the Nuneaton band he managed at the time, when an initial demo was rejected by all the major labels. Having formed as early as 1973, they finally debuted with the "All Riot Now" single in 1980, following it up with the "Breaker" EP and the "Sweeties" single, all issued by Heavy Metal Records. The band finally released a full blown album, "Beastiality" in 1982. Regrettably the band is remembered more for frontman Gary Dalloway's corpulence than their music, a problem not helped by the album's tasteless cover. The next album from the band was to be 1990's "The Beast Within", with bass now being handled by Mark Knight, although the album sleeve notes mistakenly list his name as 'Wright'. In the latter days of the band guitarist Phil Aston was a member (and went on to join ROGUE MALE and TANTRUM) and a third album was recorded during 1993 and, although finalised, was never released due to Heavy Metal Records going bankrupt. Surprisingly, HANDSOME BEASTS are still a going concern, reuniting annually for a one off gig to appease their fans. By 2004 the band, now including CHEVY drummer Ted Duggan, was plotting a new album, released on the Heavy rock label as "04". Recordings conducted during 2006 found PETE WAY of UFO & WAYSTED and Spike of THE QUIREBOYS guesting. Tragically, Garry Dalloway died from a fatal heart attack on August 20th that year.
Nevertheless, Dalloway had apparently already appointed his successor, Simon "Mongo" Hall, and he debuted with the band at the British Steel festival. The band released a new album in 2007, "Rock & A Hard Place", which was released by Q Records. In 2008, "Mongo" left the band, and his recently announced replacement is none other than Rocky Shades formerly of TITAN, WRATHCHILD, DISCHARGE and ONE TRACK AND DIRTY.

THE HANDSOME BEASTS - Beastiality (1981) UK

Next, by popular request, we're happy to bring you the various artists collection, "LARGER THAN LIFE 4", another in the long running and excellent series of albums paying tribute to KISS. This one features well known names like BATHORY, GALACTIC COWBOYS and JAMES LAST (!!!), rubbing shoulders with unknowns like PASTEL VESPA, ASS and JIM STEINE, and contributions from bands featuring former members of HADES, BRITNEY FOX, DIAMOND DOGS, TESTAMENT, NON-FICTION and BRUCE DICKINSON's BAND. The one thing they all have in common? An obvious love for the original versions of the songs, and the musical ability to stamp their own identity on these classic tracks. You wanted the best? You Got It.

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

AFTER DARK were a NWoBHM era act formed in Berkshire in 1979 by guitarist/singer Steve Annetts. Annetts had previously fronted the IAN GILLAN managed band HEARTBREAKER in the early '70's, and briefly headed up Zak Starkey's band THE NEXT. AFTER DARK issued two singles, 1980's "Evil Woman" and the promotional picture disc release "Deathbringer" in 1983.
An album entitled "Masked By Midnight" was recorded in 1984 and was due to be released by Lazer Records, but before this could happen the label folded. Disheartened by events, After Dark folded in 1985. Vocalist Steve Annets and guitarist Michael Hare then formed DANGEROUS AGE who released the album "Troubled Times" in 1995. Annets also served time with MORITZ, whilst Hare held IRONHEART credentials and drummer Jon Metcalfe played with DEAD MEAT. Thanks to the European Art Of Music label the unreleased After Dark album "Masked By Midnight' finally emerged on cd in 1995. Annetts still plays music with a new band called HIGHWAY.

AFTER DARK - Masked By Midnight (1984) UK

Finally, Previously known simply as SLAYER, this San Antonio, Texas based band prefixed their title with the name of their home city when confusion arose with the more prominent Los Angeles Thrashers of the same name. Famously, both SLAYER's - the Los Angeles version and the San Antonio version, shared a stage in 1985 at the Cameo Theater in San Antonio with support from MILITIA. Guitar players Art Villareal and Bob Catlin were both previously members of BLITZKRIEG. Art Villareal, who played on the 'Prepare To Die' mini-album, released through Rainforest Records in 1983, was replaced by Ron Jarzombek who recorded the 'Go For The Throat' LP in 1984. At this juncture the shadow of their more famous Californian counterparts loomed large and a consideration was made to re-brand these recordings under the band billing SCYTHIAN PREY. However, the album finally emerged in 1988 credited to S.A. SLAYER. Following the albums, Jarzombek recorded with studio project the HAPPY KITTIES with his brother Bobby on drums. A mostly instrumental demo had been recorded with Jason McMaster of WATCHTOWER guesting on 'Hammer At The Ready' and Mike Grotheus of WINTERKAT on 'In Mind'. Bassist Don Van Stavern forged the MARK REALE PROJECT with RIOT guitarist Mark Reale. This project then became known as NARITA, as vocalist Steve Cooper and drummer Dave McClain also became involved. Von Stavern would join RIOT once Reale had resurrected his cult outfit. The bassist's later works included SUITE 16, including drummer Bobby Jarzombek and ex-WINTERKAT and DIRTY WATER guitarist Jonathan Grell issuing an album, and JACK RUBY, again alongside Bobby Jarzombek and his erstwhile S.A. SLAYER colleague Art Villareal on guitar, for a three song demo. Former guitarist Art Villareal forged KARION, recruiting original SLAYER vocalist Chris Kronk, bassist Pete Perez, and drummer Frank Ferreira. KARION folded in 1986. Following on from his NARITA tenure, Cooper briefly joined East Coast Progressive Metal outfit EXPLORER (a.k.a. EXXPLORER), post the 'Symphonies Of Steel' album. He also sang on the second JUGGERNAUT album, 'Trouble Within.' Dave McClain's subsequent NARITA stops would be CATALEPSY, the TURBIN band of ex-ANTHAX singer NEIL TURBIN, MURDERCAR and MINISTERS OF ANGER in alliance with a pre-DAMN THE MACHINE's Dave Clemmons, the latter act featuring on the 'Metal Massacre 'XI' compilation album. Guitarist Ron Jarzombek reared his head again in 1997 with the SPASTIK INK album 'Ink Complete'. Don Van Stavern turned up in 1992 as one of the instigators behind the Industrial Techno outfit PITBULL DAYCARE. Drummer Dave McClain later journeyed through SACRED REICH and MACHINE HEAD. S.A. SLAYER vocalist Steve Cooper died in the early morning hours of May 14th 2006 at a San Antonio, Texas hospital. A diabetic, Cooper had been in ill health and on kidney dialysis for several years prior to his untimely passing.

S.A. SLAYER - Go For The Throat (1984) USA

Right then, that's yer lot for tonight. Hope you enjoy our fine hand picked selection. If your ears need more abuse in a vintage fashion, get your neckbraces on and go check out my latest post at the other blog, located here, featuring Scandinavian and European Heavy Metal and Hard Rock LPS, spanning the years 1981-1983.
Nice stuff.
Until we "meet" again, take care and be lucky.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well pleased with the Handsome Beasts post. Thanks, Blofeld

Sunday, January 11, 2009 10:07:00 AM  
Blogger SLeyja said...

Love SA Slayer!! Home town heroes! Those were good times.

Sunday, January 11, 2009 9:26:00 PM  
Blogger SLeyja said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Sunday, January 11, 2009 9:26:00 PM  
Anonymous nightsblood said...

I was listening to some old Texas metal this weekend and thought to myself, "gee, it'd be nice to have a digital copy of 'Go for the Throat' so I don't have to pull out my vinyl copy every time I want to hear it" LOL :-) In SA Slayer news, Reale has reformed the Thundersteel-era RIOT lineup, so look for new tunes featuring Van Stavern and Jarzombek (I think) later this year.
The double-Slayer concert mentioned in the write-up was pressed on vinyl; any chance someone could provide that? I've never heard it. I do have a live SA Slayer show, though the sound quality is not so great.
The After Dark album is hit-or-miss IMO, but does have some great songs, including the title track.

Monday, January 12, 2009 8:12:00 AM  
Blogger s204599 said...

I'm really happy with the Handsome Beasts.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009 5:37:00 AM  
Anonymous Khnud said...

Thanks for the After Dark album, been wanting to hear it for some time now! I've got a few new requests, if you don't mind:

Salem - Cold As Steel (link is dead) 7''
V/A - Kent Rocks LP
V/A - All Hell Let Loose LP (or the "60 Minutes Plus" Tape, which would be even better!)


Wednesday, January 14, 2009 6:50:00 AM  
Anonymous MisterManiac said...

Belated thanks for last week's killer post. Love the Pink Fairies...sort of remind me a lot of Lemmy-era Hawkwind, and the Roundhouse gig is considered a classic, so happy to hear it (although there was a lot more played at the original gig, so hopefully some record company will finally decide to release the whole thing after all these years). Also enjoyed the Fist (no pun intended)...wasn't too familiar with them except in name only, so glad to hear this classic slice of nwobhm. As for the Exxploer, that one sure brings back memories. I still remember hearing "Run for Tomorrow" on some crappy compilation back in the mid-80's and running out and buying the Symphonies LP (on the Black Dragon label no less, which I'm, told is worth some $$ today). Thought the album was hit or miss, but certainly brings back some fond memories nonetheless! I DL the CD version (with bonus tracks) a while ago, but nothing compares to the magic of bringing that slab of vinyl home in '85 and slapping it on the ol' turntable the first time.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009 11:32:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Howdy Kit,

Wow, you still have this thing going strong!!!
I know it's been awhile (hell, it's been so long I can't remember my passwords--but I will soon rectify that little problem). Bryon here(Time Traveller, for those who may have only seen my name on the blog), back from my trek across the vast wasteland with a dogshit computer. I've really missed the blogging scene and I've finally gotten a new computer that I think I can do some uploading with. So I think once I recover my passwords and stuff, I will attempt a post over at the old blog and maybe donate a record or two over here when the genre fits!

I just happened to stumble on this place tonight, man, you've been doing a fantastic job, Kit! I've really been outta touch for the past year or so without a comp. Mine crashed (again) and I lost all my bookmarks and passwords and everything (not to mention another 70 or so gigs of music--again!!) and I just kinda got depressed over it and gave up for awhile. But I promise I will be in touch real soon!!


Thursday, January 15, 2009 12:39:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Digital Memory sure is becoming cheaper and cheaper and cheaper. I'm curious as to when we will eventually reach the rate of $0.01 to 1 GB.

I'm still waiting for the day when I will finally be able to afford a 20 TB hard drive, lol. But for now I will be happy with having a 32 gigabyte Micro SD in my R4i.

(Submitted from Nintendo DS running [url=]R4i[/url] Qezv2)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010 7:10:00 AM  
Anonymous said...

I read a lot of helpful info in this post!

Thursday, October 20, 2011 8:23:00 AM  

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