Monday, December 05, 2011


Hi again folks.
Thank you all for your good wishes last time. My back's much improved, but still aches if i sit here too long, so without further ado, i'll let the music do the talking.
For starters, former KIDZ Vocalist Brad Sinsel formed the Hard Rock band TKO in Seattle, Washington in 1977 with guitarist Rick Pierce.
TKO released their debut LP, "Let It Roll", two years later on the Infinity Records label.
It sold well in their home state, but soon after the album's release Infinity Records went bust, leaving TKO without a deal.
By 1981, the band was headlining large shows in Seattle and touring as the opening act for the likes of AC/DC, VAN HALEN, HEART, THE KINKS, ANGEL and CHEAP TRICK.
TKO went through several personnel changes during the early 1980's, with Sinsel being the sole survivor from the "Let It Roll" line up by 1981.
In collaboration with the Hawaii based producer Rick Keefer, the band recorded the classic "In Your Face" album in 1981.
The band released a single, "Give Into The Night" through Sea West Records in 1982, which showed TKO now boasted a tougher, leaner sound than in their early days.
However, the "In Your Face" album went un-released until 1984, by which time the entire band that had recorded it, bar Sinsel, had moved on to other things.
By the time the album was released, guitarist Adam Brenner had gone solo re-billed as ADAM BOMB to cut his "Fatal Attraction" album, first released in Japan before Brenner inked a deal in America with Geffen.
Bassist Evan Sheely and Drummer Gary Thompson joined forces with another ex-TKO member, guitarist Rick Pierce in Q5.
Q5 achieved a modest degree of success, releasing two albums, "Steel The Light" and "When The Mirror Cracks".
Combat Records had signed TKO and released "In Your Face", licensing the album to Music For Nations for Europe, where it sold well and got great reviews.
In order for the band to continue Sinsel hired former CULPRIT guitarist Kjartan Kristofferson and bassist Scott Earl along with ex STRIKE and RANDY HANSEN BAND drummer Ken Mary.
After Sinsel contributed vocals to THRASHER's "Burning At The Speed Of Light" album, TKO started work on a new album.
That album, "Below The Belt", was issued in 1986, featuring, like it's predecessor, Brad's gorgeous wife Suzie Sinsel on the cover.
"Below The Belt", continued in the same tough Hard Rock vein as the previous album, but also showed a more melodic side on occassion.
Ken Mary then left the band to join first CHASTAIN, then FIFTH ANGEL, subsequently hooking up with HOUSE OF LORDS and ALICE COOPER.
TKO sadly broke up in 1987, with Sinsel then recording an album's worth of demos as "Native Tongues", with producer Rick Keefer.
Abandoning the more commercial direction of "Native Tongues", Sinsel then teamed up with Rick Pierce once again in the short-lived SUICIDE SQUAD, releasing the 4 song 1988 "Live It While You Can" EP.
Around this time, ex-TKO guitarist Adam Brenner aka Adam Bomb, formed a new act with ex-DOGS D'AMOUR bassist Steve James. Called LAST BANDITS, they recorded a one off album in 1991.
Meanwhile Brad Sinsel's new band WAR BABIES had signed a deal with Columbia Records, recording a lone self-titled album in 1992, featuring the tracks "Hang Me Up" and "Cry Yourself To Sleep", co-written by Sinsel and KISS frontman Paul Stanley.
Ironically for Seattle legend Sinsel, the War Babies album was released just as "Grunge" hit big, and as a result the album didn't get the attention (or sales) it deserved.
War Babies lost their deal in 1993, and split up soon afterwards.
In 1997, TKO reunited for a one-off performance as part of Seattle's "Pain In The Grass" concert series.
After this show, Brenner underwent another transformation becoming "Pink Gibson" for his new band GET ANIMAL
In 2001, an archive 2-CD TKO album entitled "In Your Face & Up Your Ass" was issued by Metal Mayhem Music.
The first disc featured earlier rawer versions of the tracks from the "In Your Face" album alongside previously unheard songs.
Disc 2 was comprised of 15 vintage live recordings, including LED ZEPPELIN, ROLLING STONES & STEPPENWOLF covers, alongside the TKO originals.
To launch the CD's release, a one-off Northwest Passage reunion show was a celebration of the legendary Seattle band's best works.
Sinsel now fronts AMERICAN STANDARD alongside former FLIPP guitarist Brynn Arens.
Sorry about having to split this archive into 4 parts, when i originally tried to upload it as just 2 halves my connection kept on dropping around the 80 per cent mark, so i made the archives smaller to make sure they got uploaded.
Well worth your time though, TKO rawk!

TKO - In Your Face & Up Your Ass (2-CD) (1981-1984) USA

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SPEED QUEEN were a Hard Rocking French quintet originally formed in Mulhouse, Alsace in 1974 under the name BLACK RAT.
Heavily influenced by the Heavy Rocking style of AC/DC, once they were joined by leather lunged vocalist "Stewy" (aka Martine Himburg), in 1977, they soon changed their name to Speed Queen.
Their first vinyl appearance came on the Crypto Records compilation album, "Rock D'Ici Vol. 2" in 1978.
They contributed two tracks, "Be Bad Man" and "One Of These Days".
In 1979 they played some dates on MOTORHEAD's French tour and Lemmy was so impressed by the band that he invited them to do a couple dates in England also.
They recorded their first album in September 1979 at the Chateau d'Herouville, where the ROLLING STONES had produced "Exile On Main Street".
The album was released in January 1980, and was a moderate success on mainland Europe.
On the sleeve the track "Not To Sell" was dedicated to Lemmy, who was instrumental in Speed Queen being offered a deal with Bronze Records in the UK.
Unfortunately, the band were unable to take advantage of Bronze's offer because they were involved in legal wranglings with Crypto Records at the time.
In 1982, a further album, confusingly also called "Speed Queen", was released by the band on new label CBS Records.
Most of the songs on this record had French lyrics and titles, and overall Speed Queen sounded a bit slicker than on the debut LP.
Lemmy even found the time to appear on the album, contributing vocals to a song called "Revanche".
The record didn't sell as well as the band had hoped, and Speed Queen split up in early 1983.
Post-Speed Queen Stewy reappearred with a 1984 solo album "Gypsy", recorded under the name of STEVIE.
Her label hoped for an international hit, and to this end they hired some American musicians & songwriters.
Bruce Kulick (KISS, BLACKJACK) plays guitar on most of the album and Michael Bolton did some back up vocals too.
Half of the songs were sung in English and the rest in French.
Although very commercial, the album failed to sell, and after one further album, 1986's "Seemann", Stewy/Stevie was dropped by the label.
Later she re-emerged as a member of TOUCH! alongside her husband, former TRUST guitarist Norbert "Nono" Krief.
They released a lone 1994 album, "Marche Avec Moi", on the French wing of the EMI Records label.
She then sang with UN MONDE A L'ENVERS who released a self-titled album in 2005, before guesting on BIG BEN's 2008 "Sur Invitation", album.
Former Speed Queen drummer Bernard "Speedy" Reischtat now plays with GENS DE LA LUNE.

SPEED QUEEN - Speed Queen (II) (1982) France

Irishman Bernie Tormé is a hugely talented guitarist renowned for some particularly wild axework and theatrics.
Such showmanship brought him close to 'guitar hero' status whilst in GILLAN in the late '70's & early '80's.
Tormé relocated to London from Ireland, forming SCRAPYARD in 1976.
A Hard Rock trio of Tormé, bassist Bernie Hagley, and drummer Roger Hunt, Scrapyard gigged solidly throughout the London area.
Hagley was to depart and the band were swiftly brought back up to strength with the addition of former ZZEBRA bassist John McCoy.
However, this union lasted only a matter of months with Tormé striking out on his own as THE BERNIE TORMÉ BAND.
McCoy meanwhile soldiered on with Paul Samson on guitar as Scrapyard became McCOY.
The Bernie Torme Band managed to release two singles and contributed tracks to the Punk compilation album "Live At The Vortex".
The Bernie Torme Band, still a trio, then put in some British supports to Gillan, the headline act now featuring McCoy on bass.
An album was recorded for Jet Records but remains unreleased.
Disillusioned, Tormé took up his old colleague John McCoy's offer to hook up with Gillan.
After leaving Gillan in 1981, Tormé joined ATOMIC ROOSTER, appearing on their "Headline News", album and undertaking two tours of Germany and Italy.
Whilst trying to assemble another solo band, Tormé was asked to fill in for Randy Rhoads in OZZY OSBOURNE's band following the American guitarist's tragic death.
Torme's stint on Ozzy's American tour lasted but two weeks, with the pressure being too much for the Irishman.
Returning to London with Osbourne's blessing, Tormé, set back to work on his own band ELECTRIC GYPSIES.
The "Turn Out The Lights" album, released under the "Bernie Torme" name, featured future SAXON drummer Nigel Glockler, bassist Phil Spalding and Bernie's ex-Gillan partner Colin Towns on keyboards.
For live work Electric Gypsies consisted of Tormé handling both vocals and guitar, Everton Williams on bass and drummer Frank Noon, the latter being on temporary loan from STAMPEDE.
In 1982 Tormé appeared on ex-Gillan keyboard player Colin Towns' solo LP 'Making Faces', which only saw a Japanese release.
The "Live", album, (released during 1984), featured original IRON MAIDEN member Ron "Rebel" Matthews on drums.
A later British tour saw the addition of bassist Chris Heilmann, later to turn up in US act SHARK ISLAND, and ex-FRAMED drummer Ian Whitewood with vocalist Kef.
In 1984 former GIRL vocalist Phil Lewis joined the band on a temporary basis following vocalist Kef's sudden departure before joining on a full time basis.
Two albums (using the TORMÉ handle rather than Electric Gypsies) and successive British touring kept the band in the press, but momentum seemed to be waning.
Lewis then relocated to Los Angeles to join American act L.A. GUNS.
Tormé formed the shortlived RUSSIAN HIPPIES in 1988 with Bennet, vocalist Gary Owens and ex-BOMBSHELLS bassist Marc Russell.
However, progress was minimal so Tormé and Russell travelled to America at the request of former TWISTED SISTER vocalist DEE SNIDER to join the vocalist's DESPERADOS outfit.
The DESPERADO project of Tormé, Snider, Russell and ex-IRON MAIDEN drummer Clive Burr initially scored a huge deal with Atlantic Records.
However, after more than two years the band had switched to Elektra and, having laid down an album, discovered the label had no intention of releasing it.
The DESPERADO album was finally released posthumously on an independent label at a much later date.
Although Snider offered Tormé a position in a new act he was putting together, WIDOWMAKER, the Irishman opted to return to London.
Upon his return Tormé put in a guest guitar appearance on guitarist RENE BERG's "The Leather, The Loneliness & Your Dark Eyes", album in 1991.
Another project band was titled MUTANT with Blacken and Magpie of MOURNBLADE.
The year 1994 saw another solo album release, "Demolition Ball".
Early 1997 found the guitarist involved in Mick Underwood's reformation of the cult act QUATERMASS.
Although Tormé wrote material for the album, "Long Road", he was to opt out before recording of the album.
The guitarist's own solo album of that year, "Wild Irish", recorded with Pearce and Jones, came out limited to merely 500 numbered copies.
Maintaining this renewed momentum a further studio album was issued in 1999, one track including lead vocal from Dee Snider.
Torme returned to the band format for the 'all star' SILVER project.
The band also witnessed a welcome return to action by former MICHAEL SCHENKER GROUP vocalist Gary Barden.
Joining Torme and Barden would be H-BLOCKX drummer Marco Minnemann and MAD MAX, CASANOVA and DEMON DRIVE bassist Michael Voss.
Keyboards were in the hands of as true veteran, Don Airey of RAINBOW, OZZY OSBOURNE and DEEP PURPLE fame.
in 2007 Torme formed GMT with his former Gillan colleague bassist John McCoy with drums handled by Robin Guy of RACHEL STAMP and the BRUCE DICKINSON band.
This vintage BBC live set was recorded at the Paris Theatre, London on 11/06/82 and comes to you courtesy of the awesome Weaselkin1.


This next one comes to us courtesy of another friend of the blog turned contributer, namely Chatzial. Your generosity is appreciated mate.
DESTINY were a short lived American quartet who hailed from from the state of Ohio, forming in the early 1980's.
Their only release was the five song "Back On The Streets" Mini LP, issued by Bent Back Records in 1985.
Information on the band has proved extremely difficult to turn up, with one of the few mentions of the band on the net being this review by Vaggelis Fotakis from
"This band from Ohio released one of the most interesting private Metal/Hard Rock records in this state.
"Back On The Streets", "Think It Over Lover" and "Fantasy" are songs you won't easily forget, with nice solos and choruses.
I would say this DESTINY (no relation to any other band with the same name) is one of the most underestimated US bands.
Its name is spoken very rarely in collectors' circles and I really can't get why... maybe due to its obscurity... as it was one of the top rarities some years ago.
Don't ignore it if you come across a copy, especially if you like acts like MC BLADE, RUFFKUT, RAZORMAID, INSANE & DARK STARR."
To me "Back On The Streets", is firmly in the Hard Rock/AOR field, and i don't really hear the comparisons that the reviewer makes with those other bands.
It sounds more to me more like "High'n'Dry" era DEF LEPPARD, with the hooks well and truly to the fore.
If you enjoy that style at all, then you should find much to admire here, with the excellent guitar work of Jeff Ward and the strong vocals of Bran Silveous setting Destiny apart from the many acts who laboured in obscurity in this field of music.
I believe this one changes hands for silly money on occassion, often hyped as a "private press Metal monster", which it isn't, but it's well worth a listen regardless.
Bassist John Castetter is still active in music, having been a member of TRILOGY, MEDICINE HAT, THE MENUS and RATTLESNAKIN' DADDIES to name but a few, whilst Vocalist/Guitarist Bran Silveous is now a Christian minister.
Many thanks to Chatzial for ripping and sharing this rare record with us, it's very appreciated.

DESTINY - Back On The Streets Mini LP (1985) USA

And now, another one from Weaselkin1.
He's spoiling you.
SCORCHED EARTH were a five piece NWOBHM band formed in Birmingham in 1978.
Maintaining a solid line up from the outset, they built up a loyal following on the Midlands live circuit over the next few years.
The replacement of drummer Tim Kristic in 1983 with former DIRTY TRICKS and GRAND PRIX drummer Andy Bierne brought the band to the attention of Carrere Records.
Carrere were at the time experiencing success in the Rock/Metal market with SAXON, RAGE and ROSE TATTOO, and keen to add to their roster, signed Scorched Earth.
Their lone release for the label was the four song "Tomorrow Never Comes" EP, which was probably too cultured and subtle to attract an audience at the time of it's release.
Despite good reviews, poor sales lead to the band being dropped by their label.
A four song demo (confusingly, also titled "Tomorrow Never Comes"), surfaced later in the year, but with no breakthrough in sight, Bierne accepted an offer to join the much fancied LIONHEART.
After Bierne's departure the remainder of the band struggled to regain momentum and soon called it quits.
Guitarist Paul Bodley later became a music teacher in Stourbridge, whilst Bierne stayed active as a respected session drummer.
This is their BBC Radio 1 "Friday Rock Show" session from back on the 14th of June 1983 and it's a good 'un.

SCORCHED EARTH - BBC Friday Rock Show Session (1983) 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 1984 the band included former TANK drummer Mark Brabbs, and this was the line up responsible for the "Somewhere In England" album, a 16-track 2-LP vinyl set recorded live at the London Marquee Club, where they were a regular and popular attraction.
Brabbs quit 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 - Rock The Nation EP (1984) UK

Okay, finally this evening, what we have here is one of those uber-rare one-off items, which attracts interest from both NWoBHM and Punk fans alike.
Next to nothing is known about the band behind it, UNDERDOG, aside from the fact that they appear to have nothing to do with the myriad of other bands who used that selfsame name.
What we can say for sure, because of it's scarcity, is that it seems to have had a very low number of copies pressed.
As a result of it's rarity, it's now a very highly prized collectors piece, and as such, it commands ridiculous money when it does occasionally crop up for sale.
Side A, "Blue Water, White Death", is a 6:00 minute tour-de-force, and is very much in the NWoBHM mould.
The great guitarwork is the highlight of the song for me, and overall this is pretty Heavy stuff for 1979.
The flipside, "Life At 21", is less obviously influenced by Rock/Metal, with a catchy Punk/New Wave styled chorus being the obvious hook here.
However, repeated plays reveal some accomplished musicianship behind the bluster, making me wonder if this song was an attempt at a bit of bandwagon jumping by some experienced old hands.
Whatever the truth behind the band, you are unlikely to ever hold a copy of this record in your hands, so give it a d/l and hear it for yourself.
It's a record that deserves to be better known, and unlike oh so many over-hyped big money rarities, this one actually has some worthwhile music in it's grooves.

UNDERDOG - Blue Water, White Death/Life At 21 7" (1979) UK

So that's that for another couple o' weeks.
Hope you enjoy tonight's selection.
Remember to share your thoughts, remembrances, praise and ire in the comments section.
Also please remember to doff yer caps in the direction of Chatzial & Weaselkin1 for their great work and extreme kindness in sharing their collections with us here.
I'm off to lie down for 2-3 weeks, 'til next time, be awesome.