Friday, May 28, 2010

DO THE HOBBLE SQUAT

Hi again. Time for more Hard & Heavy sonic gold exhumed from yesterday's bargain bins.
No preamble tonight, on with the music eh?
BASHFUL ALLEY were a Lancaster based NWOBHM trio formed in 1980.
They amassed a large biker following from their live shows and specialised in Hard no nonsense heads down boogie rawk.
Having issued a demo cassette in 1980, another tape followed the next year.
Bashful Alley's only official release during their short life-time was the 1982 "Running Blind" 7" on Ellie Jay/Graffiti Records, which was posted here a long time ago.
They split in 1984 after two further demo tapes, due to lack of serious interest from record companies.
Guitarist/Singer Rob Tidd eventually resurfaced in the band DOLLFACE in the mid 1990's, releasing 3 EP's and an album, touring Europe with GIRLSCHOOL and supporting SLASH'S SNAKEPIT on a UK tour, before they split in 1997.
Over the years the Bashful Alley single had become a recognised NWOBHM classic, which eventually led to the release of a compilation album, "It's About Time", (featuring 10 tracks culled from the 7" and demo recordings), on the German High Vaultage label in the 1990's.
High Roller Records re-released "It's About Time" in 2009, with a new cover and sleeve notes, on vinyl only, in a strictly limited edition of 300 copies.
Of these, 200 copies were on standard black vinyl, with the other 100 pressed on white wax.
Your chances of securing one of these now is pretty slim, so enjoy this pristine 320kbps rip instead.

BASHFUL ALLEY - It's About Time (1980-84) UK

http://www.megaupload.com/?d=9RSKZGWY

SHIVA were a brilliant NWOBHM trio which formed in Bristol in 1979.
Unlike the majority of NWOBHM acts however, the band successfully incorporated prog-rock influences coupled with intelligent and thoughtful lyrics, setting themselves apart sonically from the pack. Their RUSH influenced sound is perhaps only comparable to that of NWOBHM compatriots CHASAR and LIMELIGHT.
After early uncirculated demo sessions, Shiva signed with the legendary Wolverhampton based Heavy Metal Records in 1981.
The band debuted with the haunting classic "Angel Of Mons" 7" in early 1982, which won them rave reviews in the Rock & Metal press.
A second single, the more uptempo "Rock Lives On", was issued a couple of months later, and again found favour in the columns of Sounds, Kerrang! and the like.
The band's album, "Firedance", was released later in the year, and again, was raved over by high profile critics such as Geoff Barton and Malcolm Dome.
However, the critical acclaim they received sadly did not translate into sales for Shiva, and despite recording demos of material for a second album, Heavy Metal Records dropped the group, and they eventually split up in 1984, without releasing further official product.
Now rightly acclaimed as one of the most individual and musically enterprising acts of the NWOBHM explosion, their reputation has grown steadily over the decades.
As a result of this, in collaboration with Shiva, Majestic Rock Records released the "Continuance" album in 2004, featuring 12 unreleased songs which were recorded during the band's '80's heyday, including the 7 songs from the unfinished second album.
Every bit as fascinating as the band's classic debut, this album is now also out of print.
Despite the rather poor cover art and design, the music contained in "Continuance", only adds credence to the belief that Shiva were a very special band who deserved a wider audience than they ultimately found.

SHIVA - Continuance (1983) UK

http://www.megaupload.com/?d=99DWJDTI

FAITHFUL BREATH, hailing from Witten, Germany, would develop from atmospheric Art Rockers to fully fledged, horned helmeted Heavy Metallers during their career. Forming back in the late '60's round a nucleus of bassist Horst Stabenow and vocalist/guitarist Heinrich Mikus, their original 1967 formation featured saxophonist Ulrich Bock, guitarists Reinhold Immig and Walter Scheuer plus drummer Jürgen Fisher. Both Immig and Fisher exited in 1969. Scheuer and Bock opted out during 1972.
Faithful Breath's first album, a self-financed effort titled "Fading Beauty", was not released until 1974.
Very much in the mellotron themed Progressive Rock mould, alongside Stabenow and Mikus for these recordings would be female singer Renate Heemann, keyboard player Manfred Von Buttlar and drummer Jürgen Weritz.
It was a four year wait before the band recorded their second album, "Back On My Hill", for Sky Records. Faithful Breath maintained a stable line-up of musicians but drafted in singer Jürgen Renfordt. However, the album was shelved and it took a legal battle before it eventually surfaced in 1980. The band actually split shortly after this album's release but they were soon to reform as a three piece, drummer Uwe Otto rounding the band out, pursuing a far heavier direction with a Viking image to match.
Uwe Otto departed in 1982 following the release of the "Rock Lions" album, to be replaced by Jürgen Düsterloh, and by fourth album "Hard Breath" Faithful Breath had established a healthy European following and switched labels to Mausoleum. Second guitarist Andy Honig and bassist Peter Dell were added at this juncture to augment the band's increasingly Heavy sound.
The band's first album for Mausoleum, "Gold n' Glory", was an instant success and garnered the band favourable responses from media and fans alike. An immensely hard hitting Heavy Metal album produced by the team of noted German knob twiddler Michael Wagener and ACCEPT vocalist Udo Dirkschneider at Dieter Dierks' studios, "Gold n' Glory" established the band as a leading light in the German Metal scene, however briefly.
After a bout of successful touring Andy Honig was replaced by Thilo Herrmann to record another fine effort "Skol", an album that gained further mileage from the beer drinking and hell raising Viking image the group had given itself. Recorded at Dierks Studios once more, "Skol" benefited from a skillful production by producer Gerd Rautenbach.
In the wake of the album's release Faithful Breath actually performed a short East Coast tour of America before concentrating once more on Europe, with the "Live" album emerging in 1986, although by 1987 the band had strangely opted to change names to RISK.
As RISK, the band continued to record, releasing five albums and an EP between 1988 and 1993.

FAITHFUL BREATH - Skol (1985) Germany

http://www.megaupload.com/?d=5HW2EWSD

Finally, SIREN were an American Heavy Metal act founded in Tampa, Florida in 1981, which centred around vocalist Doug "Dead" Lee who joined the following year.
Their 1984 debut self financed "Metro Mercenary" single saw Siren with a line up of Lee, guitarist Rob Phillips, bassist Ben Parrish and teenage drummer Ed Aborn.
Following the single release Parrish made way for Edward Amyx before Siren recorded the 1985 four track demo tape "Iron Coffins".
The impressive demo prompted Pennsylvania based Sanaty Records to include the Siren track "Over The Rainbow" on their "Start To Stardom" compilation album.
Following the four song "Dead Of Night" demo tape in 1986, the band replaced bassist Brian Law with Gregg Culbertson and scored a record deal with the independent Flametrader Records label.
Their debut album, "No Place Like Home" surfaced later in the year, and showed the band moving on from it's earlier NWOBHM influenced sound into a more distinctive area with Progressive touches and some Thrash influences in evidence amongst the more traditional, if technical, sounding material.
Following the debut album Lee completely rebuilt SIREN, drafting in guitarist Brian C. Hendrickson, bassist Less Talent and drummer David Smith before recording a five song demo called "The Garage Experiment".
Album No.2, "Financial Suicide" was recorded in Germany and released on AAARRGG Records, (the label of MEKONG DELTA main man Ralph Hubert), in 1988.
The album didn't sell particularly well, and Siren eventually went their separate ways in 1989.
Doug Lee resurfaced the following year as the new singer in Mekong Delta, singing on all 4 of their albums between 1990's "Dances of Death (and other Walking Shadows)" and 1994's "Vision's Fugitives", and also appearing in the "Live in Frankfurt 1991" DVD, before leaving the band in 1997.

SIREN - Financial Suicide (1988) USA

http://www.megaupload.com/?d=LR1WNZVS

That's yer lot for now people.
Hope you enjoy tonight's selection, i'm sure there's something to lift even the most jaded spirit amidst this little lot.
Some quick points:
Comments have been in short supply recently, although the amount of downloads have remained steady.
:(

It takes two minutes to comment, please make the effort.
Even if it's only to to tell me i suck.
Thanks to those of you who did take the time to share your opinions and remembrances on this music we so dearly love.
It is always appreciated.
Until next time, take care.

14 Comments:

Anonymous Khnud said...

I managed to get hold of a copy of that Bashful Alley album, and for those still looking for it - Robert Tidd (guitar/vocals) is selling copies on ebay. Great stuff!

Saturday, May 29, 2010 4:24:00 AM  
Anonymous Steven Cannon (Vibrations Of Doom magazine) said...

You suck!! Ha ha, nah, just kidding.. I always thought Siren should have been bigger than they were; hell, gimme an hour there's tons of bands I could say that about. Have you heard Siren's "No Place Like Home" album?

Sunday, May 30, 2010 7:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks alot for the SHIVA and BASHFUL ALLEY Albums. I remember buying 7" by them on one of my first visits to London. Remember Shades Record Store? Those were the days... Greetings from Switzerland, Andy.

Thursday, June 03, 2010 3:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot!!!

s204599

Saturday, June 05, 2010 5:37:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, just found your blog and I´m amazed for the cool "antiques and curious" that been finding here. Amongst them took the take to get the DAGABAND prog band single. As a tribute to the keys man recently passed away, can you please post here the other single aand the cassete live album?
Thanks in advance and cheers,
Jorge, Portugal

Saturday, June 05, 2010 1:24:00 PM  
Anonymous ron..... the cheeb said...

Kit, hello. I have downloaded, but have not been leaving comments lately. It's because I have not listened to any of your shares from the last several posts. I am trying to catch up now.

Thrasher--- always good to hear another song by Rhett Forrester. The overall album is a bit weak.

Sabotage--- not bad at all.....

Black Angels--- now this is the sh*t! Not one ounce of originality, but delivered with gusto. I imagine a bunch of refugees from reform school, with police records dotted with minor offenses such as disturbing the peace, painting graffiti, etc. The background music vibe is a little like Krokus, but the singer reminds me of someone I cannot place.

Minotaur--- neither they, nor Harem Scarem is really my cup of tea, but you can hear the quality in the song writing.

Charlie Ungry--- grabbed this CD some years ago. Really freaky to hear prototype nwobhm cuts like "Who's My Killer" intermigled with some truly awful attempts at 70s britpop crap. If it's really compiled from an album session, or a tightly grouped recording period in the band's existence, then it ranks highly as a historical snapshot of what UK bands were trying to work out in the late 70s.

Sabotage--- mehhh, it's alright....

Lies Of Smiles--- hmmmm, I seem to be pre-disposed to dislike modern material from the ol' NWOBHM people. Very few releases are worth the time I spent listening to them. These guys are better than most, but certainly not worth the hype from the online reviews.

Siren--- pretty darn good, the execution is sometimes a little too polite. I'd love to hear their earlier material (hint hint)

Faithful Breath--- Ha Ha, YES !
I forgot all about these guys. They make want to go out and pillage something.
I think I owned an album of theirs, but this cover does not look familiar.

Shiva and Bashful Alley--- I won't get to listen to these right away, but let me say these will fill HUUUUGE holes in my NWOBHM collection. I have had these high on my search list for quite a while.

I guess that catches me up for now.
Keep up the good work Kit, sorry for the long post.

Sunday, June 06, 2010 9:59:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the feedback chaps.
Shades Records Andy? That does take me back. I was never in the shop, but i did make use of their mail order service many times back in the day.
Hi Steve, I have indeed heard the most excellent "No Place Like Home" album by Siren, and the almost-as-good "Iron Coffins" demo.
If memory serves the latter is available from Good Bad Music blog for anyone interested.
For anyone unfamiliar with the labyrinthine Metallic motherlode which is Steve's Vibrations Of Doom website, pay him a visit. You won't be sorry.
Sorry Jorge, i don't have any of the other Dagaband material. Perhaps someone else could assist Jorge in his musical quest?
Ron, many thanks for your thorough (and thoroughly entertaining) analysis of the last few posts. Overall it seems like the majority get a thumbs up, so i'm pleased with that, and i'm always happy to hear that i've helped cross off wants list items of a nwobhm nature.
Many thanks for all the feedback folks, i'll endeavour to bring you some more of the similar in the not too distant.
bigfootkit

Monday, June 07, 2010 5:27:00 PM  
Anonymous MisterManiac said...

Just had a chance to listen to Bashful Alley and thought it was excellent! Really solid NWOBHM that certainly rivals a lot of better known material. Good melodies, solid playing and just the right amount of punch. Thanks for posting and turning me on to yet another band I missed the first time around. Cheers!

Wednesday, June 09, 2010 9:39:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Kit - thanks a lot, as ever. Been sidetracked the last couple of months. Appreciate all your effort. Shiva and Bashful Alley are both great. Check out Firedance by Shiva. Take care, Blofeld.

Thursday, June 10, 2010 12:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe Bashful alley were named after the street in lancaster--unless they named the street in honour of them of course...
they are on myspace @
http://www.myspace.com/bashfulalley

thanks for the awesome obscurities
as always
cheers
Rob Rob

Tuesday, June 15, 2010 2:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

SHIVA GREAT POST THANKS

Sunday, August 08, 2010 1:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

to the new & improved live & otherwise blog, I personaly realy apreciated your efford, time and kindness to give to us your best that brings back our memories full of melancholy and happyness by your music, thank you.
maniommi-mexico

Friday, September 24, 2010 11:45:00 PM  
Anonymous kamagra oral jelly said...

Financial Suicide is an amazing record, it has been one of my favorites for a long tome now.

Thursday, March 10, 2011 1:44:00 PM  
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