Saturday, February 26, 2011

BRUSHING THE CHEESE BOARD

Hello again rivetheads and earthdogs, 'tis i, Bigfootkit.
Yes, it's been a fortnight already, and i've been a busy boy, down in the vintage rawk mine with my pickaxe in hand, excavating more vintage musical treats for the benefit of you discerning people with impeccable taste.
Christ on a crutch, i do mix my metaphors and talk some terrible shite sometimes, sorry.
You may notice the page looks a little different, i'm experimenting with clickable thumbnails as it may make the "design" (cough-cough!) a little neater. So if you need to see the full size cover art, just click on the thumbs.
Got it?
On with the musique eh?
OVERKILL were a Los Angeles band formed in late 1980 by drummer Kurt Markham and bassist Ron Cordy.
Kurt, the group's main songwriter, was originally the guitarist but moved to drums in an attempt to lure friend Felice LoCoco, a guitarist, to join the group.
Felice, a Metal fan, wasn't interested in joining a Punk band, though, and instead Jeff Dimick was added on guitar.
The group played their first gigs with a singer named "Joe", and their mix of Hardcore and Pre-Thrash Metal caught the attention of BLACK FLAG and SST Records.
SST wanted to put an Overkill record out but the band was tired of Joe, so they dumped him.
At the suggestion of SST's Greg Ginn, Overkill added Merrill Ward, a close associate of Black Flag and a sometime member of SST "supergroup" the NIG-HEIST.
In late 1981, Overkill recorded their first EP with Spot, after which Jeff left the group.
Upon hearing the songs from the EP, Felice LoCoco changed his mind about playing in the band and joined the group.
The EP, titled "Hell's Getting Hotter", was released in mid-1982. The group had also started recording their first LP that year.
Ego problems began to cause tension between Merrill and the rest of Overkill and he was given the boot in the spring of 1982.
Intervention by Greg Ginn and Chuck Dukowski on behalf of Merrill had no effect.
The firing of Merrill Ward, along with the band's decision to pursue Heavy Metal cost them much of their Punk audience.
Merrill's replacement, called Scott Kidd, did little to help the situation with his inability to write decent lyrics and his onstage cock-rock posturing.
Thrash Metal was also on the rise but Kurt Markham, who wrote much of the music, refused to follow that route, causing more tension within the band.
In late '82, Overkill played a gig in San Fransisco with Bay-Area Metal act TRAUMA.
The gig is famous because it was where METALLICA's James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich first saw Trauma bassist Cliff Burton, who they then recruited.
In 1983, Ron Cordy quit to play bass in metal act BITCH and Overkill officially came to an end.
SST released Overkill's LP, the 14 song "Triumph Of The Will", with vocals by Merrill, posthumously in 1985.
Overkill's name has long been a source of confusion because in the early '80's, another Overkill formed in NY.
This Overkill, a Thrash Metal band who released their first record in 1984 and still continue to this day, ended up copyrighting the band name.
SST retitled later CD copies of "Triumph Of The Will" to read "Overkill L.A." in the '90s to end the confusion.
Despite the fact that they seem largely forgotten, the members of Overkill have talked about reuniting several times, although nothing has ever panned out.
Merrill Ward finished out the '80's singing for Chuck Dukowski's post-Black Flag act SWA before embarking on an acting career.
Ron Cordy also carried on in Bitch for the rest of the decade, although big-time success alluded that band.
Kurt Markham was the original drummer for Dez Cadena's post-Black Flag act DC3, although he dropped out early on.
I'll leave you with this amusing summation of Overkill's career from the book "Rock And The Pop Narcotic" by Joe Carducci :
"Any band whose singer lights his balls on fire in performance is perhaps not destined to survive long".
Large chunks of this biography were lifted from the excellent http://www.killfromtheheart.com/ website

OVERKILL - Triumph Of The Will (1983) USA












http://www.megaupload.com/?d=WG489BEO

Next, DEALER, a Cirencester, Gloucestershire NWOBHM band band was rooted in the earlier AXE VICTIMS, this antecedent outfit featuring vocalist Trev Short, bassist Pete Gentil and drummer Malcolm Hanselman.
Suffering membership changes, the band evolved into LONE WOLF.
However, due to the formation of a London based act of the same title, fronted by the high profile figure of ex-IRON MAIDEN singer Paul Di'anno, the name DEALER was struck upon.
Shortly afterwards, Hanselman was replaced by Andy Jones.
DEALER scored national media by appearing on the HTV television programme 'Best Band West' and scored valuable supports to GARY MOORE and MOTORHEAD.
1982 saw the release of "Boogie, Booze & Birds", a 9 song cassette recorded in the bands’ rehearsal space, (Steve’s Dads’ shed), and mixed by Dave Short straight onto 1/4” stereo tape.
After a complimentary "Armed & Ready" piece in Kerrang! magazine, the band released the 1983 single "Better Things To Do", on the Windrush label.
A three song demo was recorded the following year containing 'The Final Conflict', 'Money Is Your Password' and 'Looking For A Reason'.
Guitarist Andy Dunne was enrolled but soon vacated his position, being substituted by a then 17 year old Ashley Jon Limer.
DEALER's solitary album "First Strike", emerged on Hull's Ebony Records in 1987, after which frontman Trev Short was briefly replaced by female vocalist Julie Gove.
DEALER folded in 1988. A terrible pun, but there you have it!
Subsequently, Trev Short, bassist Pete Gentil, guitarist Ashley Jon Limer and drummer Andy Jones went on to form the more melodic VAN DAMNE and Limer later turned up on a couple of SACK TRICK albums.
With the advent of the internet and the resurgence of interest in the NWoBHM, Dealer decided to remaster all their old recordings and self-released four full length CDs of archive material on their own Rock Factory label.
The CDs were the 1982 cassette "Boogie, Booze & Birds", the half live, half studio "For Old Time's Sake", "First Strike" and "One More Time!", an albums worth of unreleased 1988 recordings.
ONR Records from Greece then licensed the CD "Bootlegged", a collection of demos; compiled and re-mastered by Trev, and then released a remastered CD version of the band's "First Strike" album in 2010.
High Roller Records of Germany then reissued "Bootlegged" on vinyl with a superb full colour 4 page booklet of lyrics and photo’s.
The record (available in black and limited edition while vinyl), sold out quickly, so High Roller then produced a second pressing.
The band played a one-off reunion gig in 2010, which yielded the live album "The Last Concert", now available from http://www.dealer.uk.com/


DEALER - One More Time! (1988) UK












http://www.megaupload.com/?d=RLTHK660

GRAND SLAM were a five piece Hard Rock band formed in 1984, the brainchild of ex-THIN LIZZY frontman Phil Lynott.
Lynott had originally intended to include two members of the most recent Thin Lizzy line up, guitarist John Sykes and, (after being turned down by MOTöRHEAD drummer Phil "Philthy Animal" Taylor), drummer Brian Downey.
Sykes, after much cajoling and an impressive financial offer, instead opted to join up with David Coverdale in WHITESNAKE.
Downey initially signed up to Grand Slam but quit after a short time, saying he "didn't see the point in making a second-rate Thin Lizzy".
Lynott, although downhearted, carried on with his project, ending up with a line-up of Laurence Archer (Lead Guitar; ex-STAMPEDE, WILD HORSES & LAUTREC), Doishe Nagle (Guitar), Robbie Brennan (Drums), Mark Stanway (Keyboards; ex-MAGNUM), with Lynott on Bass and Vocals.
Lynott was keen to shed the "second-rate Thin Lizzy" tag, and was adamant that they would only ever perform three Lizzy songs live, ("Cold Sweat", "Sarah", "Whiskey In The Jar").
Grand Slam split up in 1985, due to their inability to secure a record deal, despite being an excellent live act with a large cult following.
Lynott instead embarked upon a solo career, releasing the "Out In The Fields" single (A duet with GARY MOORE), before following it up with the "Nineteen" 7", which was, ironically, a Grand Slam song.
Gary Moore then also recorded a version of a Grand Slam track, this time it was "Military Man", for his "Run For Cover" album.
Post-Grand Slam Laurence Archer recorded a solo album, titled "L.A.", which was only released in Japan in 1985.
Stanway returned to his previous band, MAGNUM, rejoining in time for their successful "On A Storyteller's Night" album.
Stanway remains a member of Magnum, and in 2002 he found time to produce and release 2 posthumous Grand Slam CD's, "Grand Slam : Live 1984", and "Studio Sessions".
Archer, having passed through the ranks of UFO, LONG ISLAND RED and MEDICINE HEAD has recently returned to music, reforming his old band STAMPEDE.
Phil Lynott sadly died on the 4th of January 1986 from liver, heart and kidney failure, a result of his years of hard drug and alcohol abuse.
He was just 36.

GRAND SLAM - BBC In Concert (1984) UK












http://www.megaupload.com/?d=5XNJ6H3I

JINX were a French Heavy Metal/Hard Rock band formed in 1981 in La Roche-sur-Yon, Pays de la Loire, originally under the name of SERVICE COMPRIS.
Having recorded a 10 song album in 1984, they were unable to find a label interested in releasing it, after a word of mouth arrangement with an un-named company fell through.
Undeterred, the band released the recordings themselves on cassette as "Watch Your Blood" which went on to sell well and attract glowing reviews.
As a result of the tape's success the band were signed to Devil's Records, and after slimming to a quartet, changed their name to Jinx.
After the band's members adopted anglicised nom-de-plumes they went back into the studio in 1985.
The resulting sessions yielded the six song "Stand Up For Rock'n'Roll Power!" Mini Lp, released in 1986.
Switching labels to Swan Productions, a further release, the four song "Rockin' Band" EP followed in 1988.
However, this record was a slicker sounding affair, and seemed to alienate the band's fanbase which shrank accordingly.
Jinx then split up, without issuing any further product, in 1990.
Guitarist Fabien Gevraise then went on to contribute to the FURIOSO project and joined FACE TO FACE, playing on their 1992 debut album.
Sadly, that same year Jinx bassist Ricky "Riton" Buccatini, died of a heart attack aged just 26.
Gevraise also sadly died too young, passing away in 2007 at only 43 years of age.

JINX - Rockin' Band EP (1988) France












http://www.megaupload.com/?d=3CJQZKWX

ORIGINAL SIN were a NWOBHM quintet formed in Liverpool in 1979, by the Brunskill brothers, Les and Alan, on Guitar and Drums respectively.
It's rumoured that the band recorded 1 or 2 demos in the early 1980's, but as far as i'm aware, the existence of the tapes have not yet been verified by any trustworthy source.
Gradually, the band line-up changed, solidifying round the Brunskills, with Vocalist Steve Daley, Guitarist Kevin McGinn and Bassist Paul Ollingsworth completing the outfit.
Original Sin's only verified official release would turn out to be the 1984 "The Shadow" 12" single, released on the band's own Sin Records label.
The single's rather nifty picture sleeve sported a striking illustration of the cult early radio and comic book character The Shadow.
Although the exact size of the single's pressing is unknown, it seems unlikely that any more than a few hundred were ever made, as the record hardly ever turns up for sale.
On the rare occassions when it does, as you'd expect, it changes hands for silly money.
However, this is one of those rare instances where the rarity and quality of a scarce release intersect rather nicely.
Both sides of the single are excellent examples of NWoBHM power, with memorable and gritty song structures combined with clever guitar interplay.
It's a real shame that we don't have more releases by this great band, as, on the evidence of "The Shadow", they sounded like real contenders.
For comparisons sake, think GRIM REAPER playing DIAMOND HEAD whilst dreaming of being JUDAS PRIEST, and that should give you a taste of what to expect.
If anyone knows more about Original Sin, please clue us in.
This band was no relation to the Huntingdon or London based acts or the New York or Los Angeles bands of the same name, or the Chinese (!) Black Metal band either.

ORIGINAL SIN - The Shadow 12" (1984) UK












http://www.megaupload.com/?d=TCI110D8

Finally, and just to show how much a band can change in it's short career, BRIAR were a young NWOBHM band formed in Birmingham 1979, initially using names such as LUCIFER, ARK & EMERALD in the early days.
The bands first gig under the Briar name was in 1980, and from there they were soon gigging regularly supporting the likes of CRYER and SHY.
In 1982, after some line up changes, the first Briar 7" single "Rainbow To The Skies", was released on Worcester indie label Happy Face Records.
The record recieved brilliant reviews, with metal magazine Kerrang! claiming "Another new band on their way to stardom !".
BBC Radio 1 DJ Peter Powell gave the band their first radio session at this time and also featured Briar on his TV show "The Oxford Roadshow".
Soon the band inked a record deal with FM/Heavy Metal Records and their first album "Too Young", was released.
The band took to the road again, supporting TYGERS OF PAN TANG, STATETROOPER and ANGEL WITCH.
The band then put out a new longplayer in 1986 titled "Take On The World", which saw Briar embrace a far slicker AOR based sound.
At this point Briar were signed to (later) disgraced pop empressario Jonathan King's management company, JonJo.
A new record deal with PRT was signed and the "Edge Of A Broken Heart" single became a minor hit, eventually reaching the top 50 in the national singles chart.
In 1988 a new worldwide record deal was signed with CBS/Columbia and a new album album was released titled "Crown Of Thorns", followed by a single titled "Frankie".
Although things appeared to be going well, behind the scenes the band were becoming disillusioned having recorded a further album's worth of material titled "Reach Out" which was never given an official release.
The band parted company with Jonathan King in 1990 after the band's last major label 7" release "One Monkey" on A&M Records.
At this point band manager George Bond set up his own label Shotgun Charlie Records and put out a new Briar 7" "Gimme All You Got".
The band issued one more single, "All She Wants", & an album "Hard Times", a keyboard heavy Bon Jovi styled release, but by 1993 Briar was no more.

BRIAR - Gimme All You Got 7" (1989) UK












http://www.megaupload.com/?d=Y9CXMUOW

And that's yer lot for another two weeks.
Thanks as always to everyone who took the time to comment and leave their thoughts and opinions in the comment section last time.
Ron...The Cheeb, nice to hear from you, it had been a wee while since i'd seen your name around these here parts and i was wondering what had become of you.
I'll be brief, 'coz i'm short on time tonight, so...more comments please, keep 'em comin', i'll be back with more of the same in 2 short weeks time, be lucky.
Ten-four, good buddies!

13 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just a quick one to say thanks for the last couple of posts. Really liked the Briar singles, Greg Leon Invasion had some winners on too and Grand Slam Live , lovely. Keep it coming mate.

Carl.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011 7:30:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Woah, did Generic Viagra really just say, "Hey guys, nice posts"?
I guess it's some kind of recommendation for their product that your "posts" look so "nice", but it's also creepy in the extremis.
:)
Bijou Funnies.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011 11:53:00 AM  
Anonymous nightsblood said...

I had that Overkill LP a couple of lifetimes ago; think I bought it at a college library sale! Kinda fun in a punky way, only track I remember was the one that keeps repeating, "ladies in leather, tied tight when we're together" LOL This leads me to today's inane question- why has bondage always been such a popular lyrical theme in Heavy Metal? Always struck me as kinda funny that all these bands full of 'tough guys' were always singing about a woman tying them up in chains and spanking them. And don't get me started on the number of Viking-themes songs out there...

Original Sin is a nice lil' NWOBHM release that seems to be getting more appreciation these days. Getting harder to uncover unknown gems from the nwobhm era

Friday, March 11, 2011 8:33:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks a lot!
rob rob

Thursday, March 17, 2011 12:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's a link for the new MIDNIGHT CHASER Mini Album as a thank you for all the great stuff i get here.
If you're unfamiliar with them, they play great Heavy Metal which is heavily influenced by the early '80's sound, and the NWoBHM in particular.
In fact, they do a cover of a TANK song on the Mini Album!
See what you think:

MIDNIGHT CHASER - Midnight Chaser Mini LP (2011) USA

http://www.megaupload.com/?d=RK0JWUME

No Pass Needed

regards,
Kenzo

Monday, April 18, 2011 8:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Kit - Just been re-reading John Tucker's book on the NWOBHM - Suzie Smiled. A cracking read and brings back a lot of memories. Have you read it? If not, it's highly recommended! Still haven't repaired my laptop so I'm borrowing my wife's to keep checking in. Just like to add my thanks for the nice posts - keep them coming (sounds like Roger Moore . . . which is a name rather than an instruction, although . . .). Best wishes from Blofeld (keeping the British end up)

Friday, April 22, 2011 7:58:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not much goin' on here the last 2 months. RIP!!!!

Saturday, April 23, 2011 3:29:00 AM  
Anonymous Feral said...

Hey Kit, seems you've given up? Well I just wanted to say thanks for all the music you've introduced me to. I'll miss ya mate!

Saturday, April 30, 2011 7:29:00 AM  
Anonymous Harry said...

Hello Bigfootkit,

Don't give up. Your post is far and away the best!

Greetings from the Netherlands,

Harry

Saturday, May 07, 2011 1:17:00 PM  
Anonymous nightsblood said...

Between the corroseum's recent technical problems and the prolonged inactivity here, it's awfully quiet in the obscure corners of the Metal Underground

Here's hoping Bigfoot walks again in the near future :-)

Monday, May 09, 2011 7:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

God! This blog looks amazing. I'm gonna be very busy downloading all this stuff..
Keep the obscura coming!
G

Sunday, May 15, 2011 8:33:00 PM  
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