Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Folks, i'm feeling like crap tonight as i've been struck down by the lurghi, so i'll skip the usual preamble and just let the music do the talking if i may.
Normal wordy service should return next week after i shake this damned cold.
Up first, Bristol based band JAGUAR elevated themselves to NWoBHM notoriety with their 'Axe Crazy' 7" on Neat Records in 1982, although the band was actually formed as far back as December 1979. With frontman Bob Reiss in tow, the group demoed and entered a 'Battle Of The Bands' contest coming fourth, and a further demo followed at the end of 1980.
It was from the second demo that JAGUAR secured the track 'Stormchild' on the 1981 Heavy Metal Records compilation album 'Heavy Metal Heroes' and Heavy Metal followed this up with the 'Back Street Woman' single, which went on to sell over 4000 copies. However, JAGUAR fell out with Heavy Metal over re-pressing the single and, as well as losing their record company, JAGUAR lost their vocalist when Reiss left the band in early 1982. Former HELLRAIZER and STORMTROOPER singer Paul Merrill was recruited, and JAGUAR set off for Holland to headline a Dutch Rock festival. Neat Records mentor Dave Wood was in attendance and offered the band a deal, which they promptly took. The resulting debut Neat single, 'Axe Crazy', was a huge underground hit, being Neat's best selling single to date, and was much in demand on the American Heavy Metal circuit. JAGUAR promptly toured in Britain supporting the likes of STAMPEDE, THE RODS and THE STARFIGHTERS before going in to record their debut album, 'Power Games', in November 1982. By this time they had lost drummer Les Foster to TOK-IO ROSE. Career prospects looked promising for the band as the album garnered enthusiastic praise from the media and the band hooked up with Greybray Management, handling MOTORHEAD and GIRLSCHOOL at the time, in 1984. They managed to blow all that early promise with the neutered and over polished second album, "This Time". Remember them this way instead, young, hungry, heavy and (axe) crazy. This is the remastered Metal Blade cd reissue from a few years back, with three bonus tracks, more (head) bang for your buck!

JAGUAR - Power Games (1982) UK


SHAFTSBURY were a UK Hard Rock trio with progressive influences who formed in the early 1970's but didn't debut until 1979 with an album on the OK Records label. The album, "Lull Before The Storm" was a quasi-concept piece based on the shipwreck of Captain Lane in 1803. Containing 6 excellent songs, it reaches an ambitious climax with the masterful 13 minute long title track. Very scarce nowadays, it's daunting asking price continues to rise as the record's reputation grows. In 1981 the band released their second album, "We Are The Boys", which reigned in much of the bands Prog influences and featured shorter, harder, more direct songs. Unfortunately this seemed only to alienate the bands fan base without finding much favour elsewhere. Sadly, this appears to have been the band's swansong, as no further sightings of Shaftsbury have been reported since.

SHAFTSBURY - The Lull Before The Storm (1979) UK


DUMPY'S RUSTY NUTS were an infamous London based band formed in 1981 by ardent biker "Dumpy" Dunnell, a character who had previously been a member of THE RIVVITS. Renowned over the years for their many appearances at biker festivals, the group was originally titled DUMPY'S DIRT BAND and the transition to DUMPY'S RUSTY NUTS came in 1981 when the frontman was joined by Mac McKenzie on bass and drummer Chris Hussey, both previously members of NUTHIN' FANCY. Unbelievably the band had to change its name to DUMPY'S RUSTY BOLTS to secure airplay for the debut 1982 'Just For Kicks' single when DJ's deemed the original band name too lewd. Sometime afterwards, Mac McKenzie left to rejoin NUTHIN' FANCY (much later ending up as manager of THUNDER) and was replaced by Jeff Brown, although he lasted for only a short period of time before making way in 1983 for Kerry Langford.
The band suffered a severe setback in 1984 when their record label folded. The advertised 'Rock The Nation' EP never surfaced commercially although mysteriously copies came to light much later. By 1985 the band included former TANK drummer Mark Brabbs, although Brabbs quit after a year and left the fold with Langford in early 1986 and the pair were promptly replaced by bassist Alan Fish and drummer Mick Kirton, both ex-GROUNDHOGS. Fish was also a veteran of NWoBHM band ZORRO, a founder member of TREDEGAR and involved with AUTOLAND COMMAND. The band's line-up remained ever fluid, even at one point seeing bassist Alan Davey and drummer Danny Thompson on temporary leave from HAWKWIND with Fish having departed to form EGYPT. Ex CLOVEN HOOF guitarist Mick Grafton also enlisted for a short stint, whilst yet another bassist, Graham Le Mon, joined in 1987 , the same year that the 'Get Out On The Road' album was issued. The record featured HAWKWIND mainman DAVE BROCK as a guest. Kirton was later to leave to join HAWKWIND. In 1991 the band released a cover version of JO JO GUNNE's 'Run, Run' Run' as a single, but while DUMPYS RUSTY NUTS are still a going concern, no further product has surfaced. Dumpy is also now a sometime member of the venerable psychedelic institution we know as HAWKWIND.

DUMPY'S RUSTY NUTS - Get Out On The Road ! (1987) UK


ZOSER MEZ were a Copenhagen formed Danish Heavy Metal band with pedigree. Guitarist Hank Shermann was a veteran of MERCYFUL FATE and FATE whilst Michael Denner was also ex-MERCYFUL FATE and KING DIAMOND. A 1990 ZOSER MEZ demo tape, 'Vizier Of Wasteland', saw new recruit Kenny Lübcke handling all lead vocals. The 1991 'Vizier Of Wasteland' album, which included a cover version of CAPTAIN BEYOND's 'Mezmerization Eclipse', was recorded at Easy Sound Recording in Copenhagen by the two guitarists plus session musicians and the band line-up only secured following its release. Tracks for a proposed second ZOSER MEZ album were recorded in 1992 for promotion purposes, but never made commercially available. Of the three new songs an instrumental track, 'Land Of Goshen', would be subsequently re-worked to become 'Castillo Del Mortes' on the MERCYFUL FATE album 'Time'. Shermann, Denner and Wiergang reunited in 1997 for the GUTRIX project in collusion with MERCYFUL FATE drummer Bjarne T. Holm for the 'Mushroom Songs' album. Wiergang would subsequently join FURIOUS TRAUMA. Kenny Lübcke featured as session guest on ANDRE ANDERSON's 1999 'Changing Skin' album. During 2000 Shermann activated SHERMANN SOLDIERS, being joined in this venture by MERCYFUL FATE colleague Bjarne T. Holm on drums, ex-NARITA singer Brian Rich and bassist Manil Lopez. Another Shermann band initiated during 2003 witnessed another alliance with MERCYFUL FATE drummer Bjarne T. Holm uniting with KING DIAMOND bassist Hal Patino for demos. This unit, adding IRON FIRE vocalist Martin Steene and another MERCYFUL FATE colleague Michael Denner on second guitar, was dubbed as FORCE OF EVIL. FORCE OF EVIL have recorded two albums to date.

ZOSER MEZ - Vizier Of Wasteland (1991) Denmark


Okay people, enjoy the music and look after yourselves. Laters.


Anonymous nightsblood said...

Well, I've no idea what the lurghi is, but it scares the bejeezus out of me :-) Hope you feel better soon- being sick sucks :-(
Ah Jaguar, one of the great HM enigmas is how a band went from the likes of 'Axe Crazy' and 'Power Games' to 'This TIme' in about a year- even Meta$$ica took longer than that to sell out :-) 'This Time' has to be considered one of the true sophomore jinx/horrible follow-up/biggest let-down releases since sound waves were recorded onto wax cylinders (sorry, I don't much care for that album).
Still catching up on old listening so not much feedback to relay yet. An upload of Jaguar''s HMR single would be appreciated so I don't have to break out the vinyl in order to hear it (insert joke about lazy american wanker here).
And in completely frivolous news, I finally got a bookshelf dedicated solely to cd's, so they're no longer stuffed into desk drawers, cupboards, medicine cabinets, shoe boxes, hat boxes, hats, and other unworn garments. Sad to report that the fiancee went into shock once she realized how many small plastic discs were laying about the place, but she's resting comfortably now that I put a rather festive plant on top of the new shelf unit to help camoflauge it a tad (I have no idea how to spell camoflague, so that'll have to do).

Tuesday, March 10, 2009 9:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Kit - get well soon! Thanks for the Shaftsbury and the Rusty Nuts. There's a joke in there somewhere but it's probably not in the best possible taste. Still my fave blog. Keep up the good work. Take care, Blofeld.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009 6:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Get well my friend! Thanks for the tunes. That DNR album cover is so fricken cool, I love it. ZZTop hitching a ride? Awesome!

Friday, March 13, 2009 11:16:00 AM  
Blogger s204599 said...

Very curious about the Shaftsbury release...

Saturday, March 14, 2009 12:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for this one.

Saturday, March 14, 2009 3:35:00 PM  
Blogger SLeyja said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Saturday, March 14, 2009 5:37:00 PM  
Blogger SLeyja said...

Kit. Great stuff. Looking forward to checking out the Zoser Mez and Shaftsbury. Hey. Check out my new tribute to San Antonio's Joe "the Godfather" Anthony at http://www.myspace.com/joeanthonyrocks

Saturday, March 14, 2009 5:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Big thanks for Dumpy, looking forward to giving Shaftsbury a go too. Hope you feel better man.


Sunday, March 15, 2009 5:52:00 PM  
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Blogger Sir Lord Doom said...

Shaftsbury is a good one, not an absolute classic but a nice album from the border area of early NWoBHM, Epic Progrock and AOR. "Captain Lane" as a song is not a big burner but then it ain't too bad. The title track just blasts...even the soft passages...

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Friday, August 07, 2009 1:59:00 AM  

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