Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Howdy pilgrims, sorry about the longer than usual gap since the last post, but sometimes unseen forces over which we have no control get in the way of the things which we intend to do.
Trust me, it may seem like a while since the last post, but it seems muuuuch longer to me!
On the plus side, hopefully it's given you all plenty of time to digest and absorb all the stuff i've previously posted and given you all a renewed hunger for some new treats.
So without any further blather, here's the music:
Up first, OVERLORD were a traditional Heavy Metal act formed in Ontario, Canada in 1983 by old school friends, bassist Branko Zugaj and guitarist Mark Platt.
Completed by Dario Rubini on Drums and Vocalist Colin Wilkinson, the band recorded a four-song self-titled EP in 1984.
The EP was released in 1985 on World Records, and copies were submitted to press and labels worldwide in hopes of landing a deal.
Although interest was shown by labels such as Ebony and Combat Records, nothing concrete materialized.
In the Autumn of 1988 Zugaj and Platt recruited full time vocalist Jim Feeney.
In 1990 they created their most progressive music to date, the powerful 3 song, "Into The Dragon's Lair", demo.
A further 3 song tape surfaced the following year, entitled "Nice Life".
By 1993 Overlord had recruited Barry White on Drums, marking their strongest lineup to date, and recorded a new four song demo, "The Open Eye".
After a decade of service, Branko left the band in late '93, a month before the remaining members called it quits.
By 2001 European fans had become very interested in Overlord, clamouring for the vinyl self-titled EP and paying outrageous amounts of money for a copy.
This belated interest in the band led to bootlegs, rave reviews and a brief reunion.
However, after one more recording session, the members went their separate ways for good, putting an end to the Overlord of the past.
Buoyed by the continued interest in the band's old recordings, a compilation cd-r, "Overlord Archives 1985-1993" was made available through the band's website in 2003.
Zugaj reformed the band in 2009, with a new line-up of Ryan Haines on guitar, Dave Toms on drums and Michael Bruno Papaleo on vocals.
Since then, a compilation album featuring all of the band's archive studio recordings, "Back Into The Dragon's Lair", has been released by Heaven & Hell Records.
The new line up are now recording a studio album, due for release in 2011.

OVERLORD - Back Into the Dragon’s Lair (1985-1993) Canada


Next, WILLCOX were a trio of brothers from Newcastle, England, who got together and formed their eponymous Heavy Rock trio in the unlikely environs of Calais in Northern France in 1981.
Guitarist Peter Willcox had been active on the French rock scene for many years prior to Willcox's formation, having joined the band of Franco-Pop star GUY HOUZET in 1968.
With Houzet, he released 3 singles, before leaving to form the Blues based band MULE STATION.
Soon after, Peter's brother Sammy was installed in the band as Vocalist and Bassist, and Mule Station became a popular draw on the European live circuit.
The band only managed to release two singles during their lifetime, but were in constant demand on the concert stage.
At the dawn of the 1980's, inspired by the likes of ROSE TATTOO, RORY GALLAGHER and AC/DC, the Willcox brothers decided that they wanted to pursue a Harder musical direction and began writing more in this style.
Bolstered by younger brother Terry Willcox on Drums and Philippe Vandamme on Rhythm Guitar, Willcox hit the road, touring wherever they could.
Their Harder sound and energetic live show soon brought the band a loyal following and brought the new band to the attention of LPJ Records who signed the band up.
Their debut album, "Roll Of Three" was released in 1982, and captured the band's live attack in the studio environment perfectly.
The album sold well enough for the label to invest in Willcox, sending them back out on tour again for more gruelling roadwork in 1983, and some Festival appearances.
A 7" single was released to tie in with this bout of touring, "We're Out Tonight" was backed with the non-LP track "The Sooner The Better".
1984 saw the band release their second and final album, "Hot Blood", which has since become a cult item amongst record collectors.
This less Bluesy, Harder Rocking album received rave reviews in the European Rock and Metal press, and the boys backed it's release with more touring, including dates with some of the days French Metal luminaries and with touring international bands.
Around this time, LPJ Records lost their major label distribution deal, and as a result the album didn't fare as well as their debut, which in turn led to LPJ dropping the band.
Although the band continued to write and play live for several more years, they were unable to snare another record deal, and disbanded near the decades end as a result.
In 1994 Sammy Willcox reappeared with a solo album, "La Bise Au Perdant" on Carrere Records.
In 2003 he joined the French Blues/Hard Rock institution STOCKS, with whom he still plays.

WILLCOX - Roll Of Three (1982) UK


A heavy, yet melodic, band from Horsen in Denmark, PRETTY MAIDS was formed in 1981 by guitarist Ken Hammer (a.k.a. Kenneth Hansen) and originally started off as a THIN LIZZY and RAINBOW covers band, but soon progressed to their own material.
The opening formation saw Hammer joined by ATTICA bassist John Darrow (a.k.a. Johnny Møller) and drummer Phil Moorheed (Henrik Andersen).
The following year the group was brought up to full strength with the recruitment of frontman Ronnie Atkins (Paul Christensen), second guitarist Pete Collins (Jan Piete) and keyboard player Alan 'Stevie' Owen (Allan Nielsen).
PRETTY MAIDS' first demo, recorded in late 1982, featured 'Shelley The Maid' and 'City Lights'.
A few months later a second demo was cut, with the tracks 'Children Of Tomorrow', 'Fantasy' and 'Warchild'.
Other demos included this, the nine song "Heavy Metal" session and "Rave On", the latter comprising of 'Cold Killer' and 'Bad Boys'.
Stoke-On-Trent based Bullet Records then released the band's six song self-titled Mini LP in Britain, during October 1983.
P.A.R. Records in North America and Fingerprint in Denmark released the record in early 1984 with different cover artwork.
Not long after the 'Pretty Maids' mini-album appeared, PRETTY MAIDS secured initial dates in Britain supporting fellow Bullet act LE GRIFFE on a club tour in 1983.
Much championed by 'Metal Forces' magazine supremo Bernard Doe, the act quickly gained a major deal with Epic in Denmark, and the rest as they say, is history.

PRETTY MAIDS - Heavy Metal Demo (1983) Denmark


FUNERAL were a young quartet formed in Hollywood, California in 1980.
Their only release was to be the ultra-rare 5 song "Funeral" Mini LP, released on the highly collectible Azra Records in 1981, shortly before the band split up.
I'll leave it to FutureSynner from www.metalpage.de to explain things from here:
"Once I read that this Mini LP was a promo pressing limited to 50 copies, whilst D.T. Richards on the other hand says that 1000 were made.
It looks like a private pressing with the handwritten back sleeve and the thick cardboard, but is one of the first Azra records and therefore a rare piece for sure.
If it didn't say 1981 on the cover then I wouldn't believe it was released that year.
"Funeral" sounds extremely fresh and especially powerful still today, unfortunately for most Metal collectors it will remain an uninteresting piece of vinyl since Funeral were maybe one of the first Crossover bands mixing the speed of Punk Rock with the power of Heavy Metal.
Besides "Ant Trap" and "Will To Live", 2 exciting uptempo Metal trax with a slightly punky touch, and the almost doomy "Darkness On Your Doorstep".
There are also "Outer Edge" and "Bloody Hands", which in my opinion are pure Punk.
Listen first before spending a lot of $$ for this rare MLP, as Funeral were ahead of their time with their fresh Crossover style."

FUNERAL - Funeral Mini LP (1981) USA


You will likely know Michael Burston better by his alias, Würzel, a nickname given to him whilst he was in the army due to his "looking like a scarecrow".
You'll doubtless also know him as the guitarist with MOTÖRHEAD from 1984 to 1995, during which time he appeared on six of the band's studio albums, a liason beginning with "Orgasmatron" and ending with "Sacrifice".
Bet you didn't know he guested on the 1986 "Quazi-Be-Goode" 7" by venerable British Folk-Rock institution FAIRPORT CONVENTION though!
Whilst still a member of Motorhead, Würzel released a 4 song EP entitled "Bess" on the GWR label in 1987.
The tracks on the EP were recorded with friends Jerry Ferguson (Bass) and Simon Moss (Drums), with Würzel himself handling Vocals on the two non-instrumental cuts.
It was bit of a surprise at the time, no doubt, for dyed-in-the-wool Motorheadbangers to hear Würzel showing a more delicate side to his nature on half the tracks.
Title track "Bess" in particular is a sensitive melodic guitar instrumental, which calls to mind GARY MOORE's "Parisienne Walkways"!
Würzel next reappeared in extra-curricular action in 1989, guesting with ATOM GODS, the new band of former TANK/THE DAMNED man Algy Ward, on their "Wow!" album.
Following his departure from MOTÖRHEAD in February 1995, Würzel formed a new act called GANG SHOW which featured ex-DOGS D'AMOUR vocalist Tyla and former THUNDER bassist Snake.
This outfit put in a batch of London club gigs before folding without issuing any recordings.
Würzel and Algy Ward formed a new band in late 1995 along with ex-WARFARE man Evo called WARHEAD.
Warhead issued an eleven track self-titled album in 1996 on Communique Records before they too folded.
Later in the year he joined arch Punk noisemongers DISGUST for their "A World Of No Beauty" album, but this again turned out to be a short-lived liason.
In 1998 Würzel issued a solo album entitled "Chill Out Or Die! (The Ambient Album)", on Cherry Red Records, which, no joke, turned out to be an album of ambient dance "music"!
After this unexpected turn of events, Würzel maintained a very low profile on the music scene, (with the exception of a guest appearance on a SPLODGENESSABOUNDS album), but has joined his erstwhile MOTÖRHEAD colleagues onstage a few times, noteably at a 2004 London gig and at their 2010 Download Festival appearance.
He has recently resurfaced with a new band called LEADER OF THE DOWN, with a debut album apparently due for release next year.
Believe it or not, but Würz turned 61 last month!

WÜRZEL - Bess EP (1987) UK


HERITAGE were a cultured NWoBHM band formed in London in 1980.
The band signed with Rondelet Records and debuted in 1981 with the "Strange Place To Be" 7", which was followed by the band's lone album, "Remorse Code", in 1982.
Despite good reviews and gigs with the likes of DEF LEPPARD and MAGNUM, personnel problems forced the band to split soon after the album's release.
In 1985 the Johnson brothers teamed up with ex-MICHAEL SCHENKER GROUP vocalist Gary Barden to form an early incarnation of STATETROOPER.
Paul 'Fasker' Johnson later joined up with SAXON playing on their "Rock The Nations" and "Destiny" albums, and would eventually be reunited with his brother Steve in USI.
In later years "Fasker" would contribute to the 2001 solo album by former SAXON guitarist GRAHAM OLIVER, "End Of An Era".
Co-incidentally Steve Johnson contributed to former Saxon bassist STEVE "Dobbie" DOBSON's "Pandemonium Circus", album.
"Fasker" is currently part of JOHN PARR's band, and still plays with his brother Steve in a covers band called GUNS'n'OATCAKES which grew out of USI and who have recorded two albums, one studio, one live.
If you like what you hear from this 7", have a look back through the archives here, as i posted their lone album, "Remorse Code" here a long time ago too, and it's very very worthy of investigation.

HERITAGE - Strange Place To Be 7" (1981) UK


SHRAPNEL were a Hard Rock/Punk/Garage/Power Pop outfit formed in New York in the late 1970's.
Their debut release, the "Combat Love" 7" was released by Salute Records in 1979, with a follow-up single "Go Cruisin'", issued in 1981 on the same label.
The band played a lot in the New York area, including opening for THE RAMONES several times, and built up quite a large following.
Shrapnel also underwent a strange phase where they spent their stage time bedecked in military fatigues for no good reason, apparently the idea of their manager Legs McNeill.
The band then underwent line up changes, before reemerging as a quartet, by this time playing in a more straight down the line Hard Rock style.
Signing to Elektra Records, Shrapnel released a self titled five song Mini LP in 1984, but were dropped by the label soon after it's release.
At this point the band split, disheartened by their lack of progress.
Post SHRAPNEL, bassist Phil Caivano founded Thrash/Hardcore band BLITZPEER, releasing two albums on Epic Records.
Vocalist Dave Wyndorf would later found Stoner Rock institution MONSTER MAGNET and would later be joined in the band by his Shrapnel bandmate Phil Caivano.
SHRAPNEL guitarist Daniel Rey became a much in-demand producer by the late 80's, working with the RAMONES, CIRCUS OF POWER and WHITE ZOMBIE to name but a few.
He also recorded with MANITOBA'S WILD KINGDOM and played guitar with the infamous female biker band CYCLE SLUTS FROM HELL.
As well as his Monster Magnet work, Phil Caivano is also part of STIGMA, the side project of AGNOSTIC FRONT man Vinnie Stigma, and the Hard Rock trio CAPRICORN.

SHRAPNEL - Go Cruisin' 7" (1981) USA


So there you go, that's tonight's banquet, dig in!
The variety of styles on offer probably means that the chances of all of you liking everything posted tonight are remote at best, but there should be one or two things there which you will become firm favourites.
Thanks as always to everyone who takes the time to comment on the posts, sadly last time was a bit of a disapointment in that respect, i'm hoping to see more of you take the time to respond on tonight's selection.
Just lemmy know what's on your minds, it's not too time consuming and it's not difficult to do.
Anyway, it's getting late and i'm getting tired and grumpy, so i'll frigg awf now.
Until next time, be good to yourselves, and take care.