Thursday, April 26, 2012


Hi folks! It's that time again.
More dusty old Rawk & Metal, exhumed from the tomb for the benefit of your ears, hearts & souls.
Before we get started i'd like to give a quick shout out to Weaselkin1.
I just got your message and will be in touch soon mate. Thanks again for all you've done.
Shall we proceed?
DOWN are a Heavy Metal quartet formed in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1991, initially just intended as a part time jam session between longstanding friends.
The material and vibe were so strong that they spawned demo recordings, which caused a widespread buzz in tape-trading circles.
Encouraged by the response, the band decided to record an album.
DOWN's 1995 debut album, "N.O.L.A.", a collision of dense groove, Southern harmony and huge riff distortion, inadvertently gained the status of a timeless Metal masterpiece.
Down was initially intended as a side project of PANTERA's vocalist Phil Anselmo and CORROSION OF CONFORMITY guitarist Pepper Keenan.
Guitarist Kirk Windstein is a member of CROWBAR and played the bass parts on the debut album too.
Drummer Jimmy Bower also plays with EYEHATEGOD and is a founder member of Crowbar.
Crowbar guitarist Todd Strange was the bass player for the band's earliest live shows.
Down, now with Anselmo's former Pantera colleague Rex Brown on bass, would return in March of 2002 with a new album, "Down II: A Bustle In Your Hedgerow".
The album debuted on the Billboard charts at No. 44, selling over 30,000 copies in it's first week of sale.
DOWN would also be a late addition to the 2002 Ozzfest touring festival, putting in their own headline performances along the way.
Phil Anselmo virtually retired from public view in the wake of the onstage murder of his erstwhile PANTERA comrade Darrell 'Dimebag' Abbott on 8th December 2004.
Speculation as to Anselmo's well-being raged throughout the year, the singer eventually revealing he had been suffering from extreme back problems that required surgery and a lengthy recuperation.
Anselmo marked his return to public performance with a March 10th 2006 concert for VH1 Classic's 'Decades Rock Live!' tribute to HEART.
A reunited ALICE IN CHAINS, would be joined by the vocalist and GUNS N' ROSES and VELVET REVOLVER bassist DUFF McKAGAN, on second guitar.
Down went back out on another high profile US tour in 2007, packaged with headliners HEAVEN & HELL and MOTORHEAD in March.
Down issued album No. 3, "Over The Under" in Spring 2007, and, as well as playing at many European Festivals, also toured Australasia with Heaven & Hell & MEGADETH.
The band then landed the coveted support slot on the 2008 METALLICA North American tour.
Anselmo underwent further surgery in April 2009, this time to repair damage to his knee.
European festival performances took the band through the summer, including a show stealing performance at the UK's Download Festival at Castle Donington.
Down parted company with Rex Brown last year, and he is now in a new band called KILL DEVIL HILL, alongside former BLACK SABBATH/Heaven & Hell/AXIS drummer Vinnie Appice.
His replacement in Down is Pat Bruders from Crowbar.
A new Down EP (likely to feature 6 or 7 songs), has been recorded and is due to be released in the Summer of 2012.
This is the first release in a projected series of four EPs which the band plan to release over the next two years.
What we have here is a great-sounding 12 song collection of pre-production demo tracks recorded before the "Over The Under", album in 2006.
10 of the twelve tracks here were re-recorded for the album proper, and a further one appeared as a bonus track on the Japanese issue.
The remaining song, "This Work Is Timeless", has apparently been reworked and re-recorded for that upcoming new EP.
These recordings are great, showing the band at their best, stripped of some of the production frills, with a raw energy and fire in their bellies.
You might even end up preferring this to the finished album, i know i do.

DOWN - Over The Under Demos (2006) USA

In 1977, 4 teenagers aged between 15 and 16 formed one of the first Heavy Metal bands in Spain in Mislata, Valencia which they called WOLFRAM.In late 1977 new drummer Javier Hervías joined, and after changing their name to ZARPA (which translates as "Claw"), in early 1978 they recorded their first LP, "Los 4 Jinetes Del Apocalypsis" ("The 4 Horsemen Of The Apocalypse").
By late 1979, the members of the band were obligated to undertake military service, and so released a demo entitled "Adictos Al Crimen" ("Addicted To Crime"), to keep the band's name alive whilst they served.
In 1981 the band returned to action, focusing initially on live work by touring all over Spain.
1982 saw the release of a new LP called "¿Ángeles O Demonios?" ("Angels And Demons"), on Xirivella Records label, a self-funded work recorded in just 24 hours.
In 1984 the band released their next LP, "Herederos De Un Imperio" ("Heirs Of Empire"), on the larger Twins Records label.
The album reached the national top 40 and Zarpa toured extensively and played several major festivals.
In 1985 the group recorded a demo which was never released called "Progress".
Zarpa toured Switzerland and France in 1987, and recorded their next LP in Geneva after recording a further demo, "En Ruta Hacia Europa" ("En Route To Europe").
On completion of the recordings however, the band are so unhappy with the album that the recordings are discarded.
In 1988, with the popularity of Heavy Metal on the wane in Spain, the group disbanded and the members went their separate ways.
In 1992 Zarpa reconvened, recording the 5 song "Like A Locomotive" demo, but this is as far as their tentative reunion gets.
In 2002 a new line up of Zarpa recorded another album called "Luchadores De La Paz" ("Fighters For Peace"), reintroducing the band to old and new fans alike.
To celebrate the band's 25th anniversary, the following year saw the release of three (yes, three!) live albums, "En Vivo En Grilly", "En Vivo Sala Canaan" and "En Vivo Sala Garage".
With the release finally of the previously abandoned 1987 "En Ruta Hacia Europa", album (albeit in remixed and partially re-recorded form), coming in 2004, Zarpa signed with the German Karthago Records label and then released a brand new album called "Infierno" ("Hell").
This was the best time for Zarpa since the golden age of the group, with main man Vicente having finally found the ideal band members to realize his ever evolving musical vision.
Inspired by the resurgence of interest in Zarpa, 2007 brings a great new album called "El Yunque Contra El Martillo" ("The Anvil Against The Hammer").
In 2009 the band released their "Iberia" album, which garnered Zarpa some of the best reviews of their career.
A new album "Las Puertas Del Tiempo" was released on Pure Steel Records in February of this year.
Here's hoping that the renewed interest in the band translates into sales and some respect for one of Spain's pioneering Heavy bands, as they're in great form just now, and it's long overdue.

ZARPA - Luchadores De La Paz (2002) Spain

NWOBHM quartet RICOCHET were formed in Birmingham in the late '70s.The band's sole release during their life-time was the excellent "Midas Light" 7" single, released in 1980.
The single was recorded at Ginger Studios, Aldridge (where WITCHFINDER GENERAL recorded "Burning A Sinner"), and released as a "double B-side" with the nowhere-near-as-good flip-side, "Off The Rails".
Just 500 copies of the single were pressed, most of which were sold at their gigs.
Later that year Ricochet toured Germany.
At the end of the tour bassist "The Finn" opted to stay on in Germany.
The other three members returned to England and formed a brand new band called THE CANERS.
"The Finn" went on to form a new band called DAMIEN, who got a German record deal.
Over the years "Midas Light" became a highly regarded classic NWOBHM single, much sought after by collectors.
Ricochet got back together for 2 weeks in 2000 and re-recorded "Midas Light" in a Coventry studio, together with some other tracks.
These tracks along with vintage version were made available on CD through the band's website, as the six song "Midas Light" mini-album.
However the band members then went their separate ways again.
In 2005 "The Finn" was managing a music festival in Northampton, where he arranged for Ricochet to make a guest appearance.
They played "Midas Light", "Dreadnought" and "Off The Rails", and went down a storm.
In 2010 the band members converged to live on the outskirts of Birmingham, for the first time in 30 years.
After meeting up for a beer it transpired that they all missed the Ricochet times and decided to give it one more throw of the dice.
The revived band have recorded a new single, "The Blue Eyed Beggar & The Teenage Captain", and are reportedly working on a full length album.

RICOCHET - Midas Light Mini LP (1980/2000) 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.
Debuting on vinyl with the well received "Boxhill Or Bust" 7", the band took to the road and stayed there, playing up and down the UK constantly.
Unbelievably the band had to change its name to DUMPY'S RUSTY BOLTS to secure airplay for the 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 suddenly 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, and this is the line-up featured on the double live "Somewhere In England", album.
This release kept the band in the public eye and is a great representation of their high energy (and very funny) live act.
This was then followed by the six-song studio "Hot Lover" Mini LP, released by Gas Music Limited Records in early 1986.
However, Brabbs then quit after just over a year's membership and left the fold with Langford in early 1986.
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 was 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, Fish having departed to form EGYPT.
Ex CLOVEN HOOF guitarist Mick Grafton was 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.
This record also featured HAWKWIND mainman DAVE BROCK as a guest artist, who later tapped Kirkton to join him in that band.
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 himself is also now a sometime member of the venerable psychedelic institution we know as HAWKWIND.

DUMPY'S RUSTY NUTS - Hot Lover Mini LP (1986) UK

Formed in the wake of RIOT's initial folding in 1984, NARITA (originally named MARK REALE PROJECT), featured Riot`s main man Mark Reale, and three former S.A. SLAYER members, bassist Don Van Stavern, Steve Cooper on vocals and drummer Dave McLain.Recording a three song demo tape, Narita got strong radio exposure in the middle part of the USA and from their hometown (San Antonio, Texas) station 99.5 KISS-FM, that led to a very successful string of live shows.
This demo and project serves as a bridge between the more traditional Hard Rockin' Metal of Riot's early years (1975-1984) and the speedier Power Metal of the "Thundersteel" album.
What makes this demo especially noteworthy is that two of the songs, "The Feeling Is Gone" and "Liar," were never re-recorded to appear on a Riot album.
This is especially important, because these should definitely have made it onto a record.
Both are more commercial tunes, with melodic choruses, driving verses, and synthesizers.
They are both strong songs, but the highlight of the demo is a rendition of a song familiar to every Riot fan, the title track of their 1988 album, "Thundersteel."
The version here is absolutely crushing.
The tempo is blazing, and McLain's drums push to the floor and dominates the song.
A fantastic track, and a thrilling performance.
Overall, this is essential listening for Riot fans, as well as anyone who enjoys quality Heavy Metal.
Mark Reale was convinced to resurrect Riot in early 1986, with only bassist Don Van Stavern joining him in the new line up from Narita.
Narita vocalist Steve Cooper later fronted Juggernaut on their 1987 "Trouble Within" album.
Cooper sadly passed away from kidney failure in 2006. He was just 47 years old.
Drummer Dave McLain also briefly passed through Juggernaut's ranks, before joining CATALEPSY in late 1986.
After Catalepsy's 1988 dissolution, McLain passed through the ranks of MINISTERS OF ANGER, before joining MURDERCAR.
From 1991-1997 McLain was a member of SACRED REICH, appearing on the "Independent" and "Heal" albums.
Since 1997, McLain has been a member of San Francisco's MACHINE HEAD.
I dug this demo out to upload after hearing the sad news that Mark Reale sadly passed away on January 25th, 2012 in San Antonio, Texas due to complications arising from Crohns Disease.
R.I.P. Mark.
Shine On.

NARITA - Narita Demo (1985) USA

To be honest, i have been able to find out almost nothing about the obscure NWOBHM act, THE STEVE CROWTHER BAND.The Internet has very little available information, so just about everything i have discovered about them has come from the record's label itself.
For starters, they were a trio made up of (surprise, surprise), Steve Crowther (Vocals, Bass & Keyboards), Kev Prockter (aka "Kevin Gibb"), on Guitar & Keyboards and Drummer M. Saggers.
They appear to have hailed from either London, or from nearby Essex.
They released just this one uber-scarce 7" single, a 1982 release featuring two songs, "Red Herring" and "My Machine", on SMK Records.
It's one of those odd releases which sounds quite unlike any other band under the NWOBHM umbrella, but is definitely heavy enough to warrant the tag.
"Samantha's picking flowers in the minefields again", they sing, and it's not too long before you find yourself singing along.
Trust me, this isn't a Powerpop or Prog release tagged as "NWOBHM" by unscrupulous record dealers, it's the real, but very odd, deal.
However, i can't think of any other band with a sound quite like the refined and unique audio-thuggery peddled by The Steve Crowther Band.
After the demise of the band, guitarist Kev Prockter changed his surname to "Gibb", and passed through the ranks of THE RAVE, RITUAL, NO SWEAT, MAYHEM DERANGED and FIXATER over the years.
He appears to be the only member of the band who carried on making music, and is still playing to this day.

THE STEVE CROWTHER BAND - Red Herring/My Machine 7" (1982) UK 

Finally, i'm pleased to bring you something a little different, from a little further back in time and even rarer than usual.As the previous posts of stuff like PROUD FLESH and THE UP went down so well with you all, (terrible pun intended), i'm gonna try to make it a regular feature to delve back into the mists of time to bring you some uber-rare early Heavyosity.
We'll be lifting the lid on all things Proto-Metal to bring you some real obscurities and oddities from the late '60's & early '70's.
Every genre of music has it's unsung pioneers and trailblazers who never get their due, and the world of Rock & Metal is no different in that respect.
I think it's about time that someone sings the praises of some of those acts who planted the seeds from which the genre blossomed.
As no-one else is volunteering their services, it looks like that "someone" is gonna have to be me.
To begin this new feature properly i thought i'd introduce you all to J.C. HEAVY.
I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.
J.C. HEAVY were a UK Hard Rock quintet formed in Manchester in 1969 with the specific intent to relocate to, and work in West Germany.
Initially forming under the name HEMLOCK, the band featured Josephine Massaphia on Vocals, Neil Levine on Guitar, Bassist Kenny Anders, Keyboard player Darryl Ogden and Drummer Paul Murray.
Before leaving the UK for Germany in late 1969, Ogden & Murray opted to leave the band, being replaced by ex-MONEY members John Hajok and John Needham.
Once in Germany, the band went to work with a vengeance, touring extensively in their converted ambulance tour bus.
As well as playing dates with contemporaries like JERONIMO, PROUD FLESH, ORANGE PEEL and LITTLE FREE ROCK, they also supported larger touring acts such as Noel Redding's post-JIMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE group, FAT MATTRESS.
Following an appearance at the Progressive Pop Festival '70 in Koln, where they played on a bill which featured DEEP PURPLE, THE KINKS & PROCUL HARUM, J.C. Heavy were offered a recording deal by Admiral Records.
The first fruits of this liason was a quickly issued 7" single which paired the songs "Mr. Deal" & "That Woman's Mind".
This single was also licensed for release in other European territories such as Holland and Spain, but the Spanish Explosion Records issue switched the track order, with "That Woman's Mind", becoming the A-Side.
Somehow or other, amidst all this activity, Josephine Massaphia and Neil Levine also found the time to get married.
The new Mr & Mrs Levine (and band), also made time to appear at the huge Open Air Rock Circus festival, sharing a bill with heavyweights Deep Purple, STEAMHAMMER, EDGAR BROUGHTON BAND and BLACK SABBATH, and with rock'n'roll pioneers BO DIDDLEY & CHUCK BERRY.
Despite healthy sales of the single release in Germany, the 45 had sunk without a trace in it's other European releases, and thus their follow-up 7" only received a German release.
That second 7", which coupled "Do What You Like", with "Is This Really Me?", was issued in 1971, and found the band playing Heavier & fuzzier than the prior release, and forging a more individual sound.
Sadly, it was to prove to be the band's swan song, as poor distribution scuppered sales, the gigs began to dry up, and exhausted and frustrated, J.C. Heavy called it a day in early 1972.
After JC Heavy's split, guitarist Neil Levine went on to spend many years working as road manager for 10CC. He was 10CC mainman Lol Creme's cousin, and they'd played together in a '60's band called SABRES.
Bassist Kenny Anders later reappeared in 1974 as a member of Manchester's PEACE OF MIND, before later joining WAYNE FONTANA & THE MINDBENDERS. He now runs Legends 60's bar in the Canary Islands
Keyboard player John Hajok now lives in Bolton and runs his own accountancy business.
Over the years the band's two singles have become sought after collectors items, amongst those seeking obscure Proto-Metal thrills, with the 2nd single in particular starting to command a hefty price tag, due to it's scarcity.
In 1996, "Is This Really Me?", was compiled on the album "200 Feet Deep In A Purple Idea : Incredible Sound Show Stories Vol. 3", issued by Dig The Fuzz Records on vinyl LP only.
In 2009, the two songs from J.C. Heavy's debut single were collected on the "Electric Asylum 2 : British Psychedelic Freakrock Rarities", compilation CD issued by Past & Present Records.

J.C. HEAVY - Mr. Deal 7" (1970) UK

And i think that's more than enough goodies for you to be getting on with!If things look a little different on the page, it's because Blogger has just had an extensive update and overhaul, and i now have no idea what i'm doing as a result.
It was always tricky glitchy software to work with, so in time the overhaul may prove to have significant benefits, but at the moment i have to admit that i'm more or less just groping in the dark, utterly clueless.

I think the new "ultra-vintage" section needs a catchy title, but the ole grey matter just ain't sparking at the moment. Any suggestions gratefully received. I'd turn it into a competition if i had anything to give away as a prize, but i don't.
Just for your information, and to save me getting whined at, the links on this post at Mirrorcreator do not have a Mediafire option.
It's not my doing (or Mirrorcreator's for that matter), rather Mediafire have withdrawn from their arrangement because their site is currently inundated with huge amounts of traffic in the wake of what happened to Megaupload, Filesonic etc.
I know that Mediafire had rapidly become the host of choice lately, but many other hosting sites are every bit as good.
I've spread the uploads around the remaining options available through Mirrorcreator, so in the interest of getting the best service here, could you try one or two of the more obscure hosts and let me know which ones work best and worst, so i can tailor my mirror options to the most user-friendly options?
Many thanks.
Thanks as always to everyone who takes the time to comment on the posts here.
I very much enjoy reading what you have to say, both positive and negative, about the work we do here, please keep the feedback coming.
Phew, i'm done for now, see you back here in 3-4 for more more more.

Sunday, April 01, 2012


Say You Missed Me.
Say It Like You Mean It.
Howdy folks!
It's nice to be back again, after such an extended period of blogging inaction.
I've got a mega-super-duper bumper post up my sleeve for you to thank you all for your loyalty and patience whilst i've been "away".
For the benefit of those of you who may have missed a few items from the last full post before the internet went to shit, i've included a couple of select re-uploads too.
Enough of the waffle, let's get to the Rawk.
The history of Oakland Hard Rockers DRUNK HORSE is a long and complex one, so please bear with me whilst i try to separate fact from legend.
As well as having one of the finest band names ever, the Horse are one of the tightest combos ever to crank tube amps and shake lank locks.
Imagine if you will, a collision between '70's ZZ TOP, classic THIN LIZZY and something along the lines of SIR LORD BALTIMORE, then add a little FRANK ZAPPA and leave to simmer.
Low slung riffing, disconcerting time changes, unexpected key switches, and the finest in tongue in cheek lyrics.
You'll be in Heavy Rawk heaven when you take a ride on this Horse.
Formed in 1998, the band released their classic self-titled debut album on Frank Kozik's legendary Man's Ruin Records the following year.
2001 saw the release of their second full-length, the ambitious and cod-conceptual, "Tanning Salon/Biblical Proportions".
Later that year a 7" called "Bambi/Dirty Mind" was released by Wantage Records, which comprised a pair of PRINCE cover versions (!).
2002 brought a further 7", "Unearthed Gems Volume 2", on Unknown Controller Records.
The two songs featured on this hunk o' plastic were apparently also covers, but i suspect that they were actually Horse originals, a further example of the band's odd sense of humour.
Following the death of the Man's Ruin label, Drunk Horse found themselves a new home at Tee Pee Records, for whom they recorded the more streamlined "Adult Situations" album in 2003.
That same year they contributed a killer version of "Kings & Queens", to the Small Stone Records Compilation album, "Right In The Nuts: A Tribute to Aerosmith".
2004 began with another 7" release, this time it was a split with THE FEATHER on Delboy Records, with DH contributing the exclusive "Independent Type".
A further album for Tee Pee, 2005's "In Tongues", saw the band getting a lot of positive press, touring Europe and impressing the hell out of all comers with their appearance at SXSW.
It looked like the stars were aligning and the time was ripe for Drunk Horse to step up on to bigger stages.
Then it all went curiously quiet.
I've no idea as to what order things happened in next, but over the next few years, members of the band began moonlighting in other acts.
Singer/Guitarist Eli Eckert, Guitarist Joel Robinow and Bassist Cyrus Comiskey all passed through the ranks of the neo-Psychedelic HOWLIN' RAIN, but not necessarily at the same time or in that order.
But Drunk Horse continued to play live during this time, until Comiskey joined up with the more Metallic SAVIOURS full-time.
Robinow & Eckert then both briefly passed through the ranks of COLOSSAL YES, before resurrecting the Horse for more live work.
The band has continued to play local shows, with the most recent batch of gigs being as recently as last year, but no further recordings have surfaced as yet.
It looks as though the band may have become a part-time endeavour, with Robinow also playing with the likes of EAST BAY GREASE, TOTAL B.S., ROOTS OF ORCHIS, ESTRADASPHERE & JOEL ROBINOW'S EXPLOSION.
I continue to hope for new material from the band, but fear the chances of this happening are growing slimmer.
For those who already know how great this band are/were, here's a real treat, a very rare live bootleg album entitled "Live - Dennis Hopper's Walkman".
For those of you as yet untouched by the might of Horse-power, this should provide you with an excellent primer and motivator to seek out more of their material.
Recorded mainly at Knoxville, Tennessee's Pilot Light Club in 2006, it captures Drunk Horse at the height of their powers in their natural setting, sweating out the rawk like gods before a small but fanatical crowd.
There are also a couple of bonus tracks from San Fran's Great American Music Hall in 2004 and that same city's El Rio Club from 2011.
A further bonus track (a cover of GOBLIN's "Profundo Rosso" theme), is also included in the rar, but if you're burning this collection to CD, leave this song off, coz it won't all fit on a standard CD-r.
The album takes in tracks from each of the band's four studio albums as well as a couple of rare cover versions of songs by NEIL YOUNG and MAGMA.
The world needs more bands of the quality of the inebriated equine, if you like what you hear here, go buy one of their albums.
Let's tempt the Horse out of the stable and get it back out on the road!
If anyone out there knows any more about the strange case of Drunk Horse, please share the knowledge!

DRUNK HORSE - Live : Dennis Hopper's Walkman (2006) USA

STRAPPS were a London based Hard Rock act founded in 1975 by former EPISODE SIX, QUATERMASS, SAMMY and PEACE drummer Mick Underwood and Australian singer/guitarist Rod Stagg.
Stagg had previously tried to make his way as a solo artist, releasing a lone single, "I'll Never Be A Star (But I Might)", on the Dawn label in 1974.
After adding Bassist Joe Read and Keyboard player Noel Scott, the band was complete, and were signed to the Harvest Records label.
Their self-titled 1976 debut album was produced by ex-Episode Six & DEEP PURPLE bassist Roger Glover, and appeared in a striking fetish inspired sleeve.
The band then found themselves on tour as special guests on Deep Purple's ill starred "Come Taste The Band" tour, Purple's last hurrah until their 1980's reformation.
The "Strapps" album went on to find some success with very good sales in the American South, and was a genuine hit in Japan despite failing to even chart in the UK.
Chris Kimsey was brought aboard as producer for the band's second album, 1977's "Secret Damage", which again sold very well in Japan.
Strapps then found themselves on tour again, this time as guests to Underwood's former Episode Six bandmate in the IAN GILLAN BAND on the "Clear Air Turbulence" tour.
A single from the album, the glam inflected "Child In The City", was a minor UK hit single, after the band performed the song live on the "Supersonic" TV show.
1978 proved to be a problematic year for the band, with their 3rd album, entitled "Sharp Conversation", only issued in the U.S. and a few European territories.
In Japan, where Strapps' stock was still high, the album was released under the title "Prisoner Of Your Love".
A fourth album "Ball Of Fire", was recorded early in 1979 but was only issued in Japan, under the modified ROSS STAGG & STRAPPS name.
Thereafter, finding themselves without a record deal, and deep in debt, Strapps went their separate ways, with Underwood accepting an invitation to join GILLAN.
Underwood remained with Gillan for the duration of that band's lifespan, and also appeared on a few of IAN GILLAN's later solo albums.
He then worked as a session drummer, before forming QUATERMASS II in 1997, recording an album with them entitled "Long Road".
Underwood is now a member of RAW GLORY, to date they have issued one album, 2007's "City Life".
Ross Stagg eventually returned to Australia, where he now works as a music and entertainment lecturer at NSW TAFE (New South Wales Technical and Further Education Commission).
In 2008 Angel Air Records released a vintage Stapps live performance on CD, "Live At The Rainbow 1977".

STRAPPS - Prisoner Of Your Love [aka "Sharp Conversation"] (1978) UK

IMPERIAL STATE ELECTRIC is a Hard Rock band formed in Stockholm, Sweden in 2009 by Nicke Anderson, former front man of THE HELLACOPTERS.
After the break-up of The Hellacopters in 2008, Andersson had begun work on what was intended to be his first solo album, recording all the vocals and instruments for eight songs by himself, before changing his mind and deciding that it would be better to form a band.
To this end, Andersson recruited THE DATSUNS bassist/vocalist Dolf De Borst, Guitarist/Vocalist Tobias Egge and drummer Thomas Eriksson.
De Borst, Egge & Eriksson had previously worked with Andersson in COLD ETHYL, a covers band he formed shortly after the break-up of The Hellacopters.
During the recording of the band's self titled debut album Andersson also enlisted help from several old friends, including BACKYARD BABIES guitarist Dregen, ex-Hellacopter Anders "Boba Fett" Lindström and THUNDER EXPRESS/DEATH BREATH guitarist Robert Pehrsson.
A non-album limited edition 7" single, "That's Where It's At", preceded the release of the band's self-titled debut album in 2010.
Another single, this time culled from the album, "Resign", followed the album's release.
Towards the end of the year ISE issued a further 7", a split affair with tour-mates THE BLOODLIGHTS.
2011 saw the release of two further 7" singles, "Wail Baby Wail" & "You Don't Want To Know", and an exclusive one song CD single, "Rock Science", which was only available with the game of the same name.
A six-song studio mini album, confusingly titled "In Concert", also saw the light of day in 2011.
A new single, "Sheltered In The Sand", was released in January of this year, before the band's second full length album, "Pop War", arrived in February.
Here you'll find all of the band's non-album tracks, twelve in all, culled from the 7"'s, the split, and the cd single, alongside three songs recorded for Swedish TV, two live, one unplugged.
Now go and get a ticket to see Imperial State Electric live, or buy the new album, or at least get a tee-shirt.
They're very much deserving of your adoration and support, cop an earful here and you'll see what i mean.

IMPERIAL STATE ELECTRIC - Non-Album Tracks (2010-2012) Sweden

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.
After a spell in Dublin Hard Rock band URGE, 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.

BERNIE TORMÉ BAND - Weekend EP (1979) UK

and, as a wee bonus for those who missed it...

BERNIE TORMÉ BAND - I'm Not Ready 7" (1978) UK

VALLEY OF THE ADVERSARY were a four piece American Traditional Heavy Metal band, formed as a side project in Lexington, Kentucky in 2006.
The band was initially the brainchild of BLADE OF THE RIPPER vocalist, Adam Neal (aka "The Rock'n'Roll Outlaw"), and his mysterious bass playing partner-in-crime, known only as "Mystery".
Later Neal draughted in his Blade Of The Ripper bandmate, former STARKILLER guitarist Christian Tonegawa, who in turn brought in his BUFFALO BILL bandmate, drummer Kent O'Bryan, to complete the line-up.
The band recorded a self titled three song demo in 2007, but then went on indefinite hiatus shortly thereafter.
By this time Blade Of The Ripper was effectively over too, as Neal had decided to resurrect his best known act, THE HOOKERS, after a five year break.
Since then The Hookers have toured the U.S.A. relentlessly, released several 7" singles, a split EP, and earlier this year, following a European Tour, issued a brand new studio album called "Horror Rises From The Tombs".
Tonegawa and O'Bryan returned to their regular gig playing with Buffalo Bill, with Tonegawa also finding time to guest with LORDS and to play with MOTHER BRAIN too.
Valley Of The Adversary bassist, "Mystery", later re-emerged in a project entitled DIRTY BITCH.

VALLEY OF THE ADVERSARY - Valley Of The Adversary Demo (2007) USA

I'll let DeathRiderDoom from Metal Archives describe this next one, because his review tells it like it is.

"THRUSTER boosted into action in ’83, and formed part of the Ohio scene that included ATTAXE and AXTION amongst others.
Their legacy was a full length in ’86 and this separately released debut single released in ’85.
Their sound is pretty radical pounding Heavy Metal some what similar to Attaxe.
This debut single bursts on to the scene with some pretty big riffs retaining a good deal of IRON MAIDEN-ish NWOBHM to the sound.
Both tracks on this one are solid – with rip-roaring, Iron Maiden-ish riffs and great leads leading the way.
"Excellerator", is a high-octane, fast number which sounds somewhat like a roaring JUDAS PRIEST track from the same time.
Very cool stuff.
Dell McFarland’s vocals have a cool throaty growl to them, and the sound has a nice, triumphant, all-conquering vibe to it, which retains a lot of that classic Middle-American sound to it, akin to other Ohio/Illinois area bands.
"Back in Time", also has traces of ealy ‘80s Judas Priest in it – check the radical intro guitars, and the vocals of the first verse by McFarland.
Big squealing solos and smooth screamed chorus vocals are the climax of this memorable cut.
Very cool debut single here that will appeal to fans of Judas Priest, Attaxe, GLACIER, LIZZY BORDEN, ARMED FORCES and the like.
An awesome style that is slightly Judas Priestish US metal, akin to MALICE or PHANTOM, though as an early single is not quite as refined.
Very rockin' Heavy Metal that is pretty hard to not like.
Fans of the old rare stff would be advised to check it out."

Aside from the single, the band's only other release was a 1986 album, "M.I.A.", which was only released on cassette at the time.
Later it was reissued as a CDR by the band, before finally being issued on vinyl by Fils Du Metal in 2009 with new artwork, in a limited edition of 500 numbered and signed copies.
Of the 500 copies, 405 were pressed on black heavy vinyl, with 95 on grey heavy vinyl with an original copy of the "Back In Time/Excellorater" 7" enclosed.
After Thruster's demise in the late '80's, Guitarist Clark Connley and Drummer Jimmy Brink formed a new act called NAKED TRUTH.
Naked Truth released a seven song, self-titled "EP" in 1990, and followed that the next year with a three song demo.
Finally in 1994, a full length Naked Truth album, "Stand Where I Stand" was released, but the band folded shortly thereafter.
Connley then joined Cincinatti covers band SWIMSUIT MODELS, and still plays with them to this day.
His fellow ex-Thruster guitarist Russ Willoughby, has released two solo albums, "Riveted" and "Behind The Velvet Rope".
Thruster have reformed their entire "Back In Time/M.I.A." line up, and have been playing reunion shows in the Ohio area since 2005.
They are currently working on material for a new studio album to be titled "Forever".

THRUSTER - Back In Time/Excellorater 7" (1985) USA

Singer STEVIE LANGE (aka Stevie Vann, Stevie Vann-Lange) was born Stevie Van Kerken in Mufulira, Northern Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe.
In the mid-'70's Vann had a group, BONES, before she married producer Robert "Mutt" Lange.
In the late 1970's Vann met Chris Thompson whilst performing backing vocals on a MANFRED MANN'S EARTH BAND album.
Thompson approached Vann to form a band, which eventually became NIGHT.
Night were moderately successful, releasing 2 albums and appearing in the tongue-in-cheek Vincent Price horror movie "The Monster Club".
She is now best known as a vocal coach, lending her services to the likes of DEF LEPPARD's Joe Elliot & ATOMIC KITTEN.
She still tours with other artists, and has sung live with BRYAN ADAMS, ELTON JOHN, JOE COCKER & BRIAN MAY.
Stevie also sang backing vocals on the version of Def Leppard's "When Love And Hate Collide" on their "Vault" compilation.
Additionally, she has sung studio backup for MANFRED MANN, THE SWEET, TREVOR RABIN, UFO & RICK WAKEMAN.
In 1995, she recorded a self-titled solo album, which produced by her ex-husband, "Mutt" Lange, who also sang background vocals.
Now i know what you're thinking, that's all well & good, but why have you brought her to our attention?
Well, because, for rockers of a certain vintage, Stevie was the mysterious voice behind the naked cartoon chick in the Limara body spray commercial in the early '80's.
You remember the one?
Cartoon animals (and plants), crowded round to watch a girl bathing under a waterfall, whilst a female singer instructed us to "Remember My Name", over a raunchy Hard Rock choon.
It was my favourite advert in 1980, and i often wondered where i could find the song, and who that singer was.
It turns out it was Stevie Lange, and the song in the ad, "Remember My Name", was rushed out as a single in 1981 to capitalise on the adverts success.
Except, somehow, the record sank without a trace.
And, after the ad stopped airing, so did Limara body spray.
Then one day, a few years ago, i saw the image on this picture sleeve on a long gone blog, and the memory of "that song", came flooding back.
One quick download later, and i was transported back to the early '80's, and found the song had stood the test of time rather nicely.
It's a catchy Hard Rocker, not unlike something STEVIE NICKS might have done at the time, but with more balls to it, and Mrs Lange's raspy delivery fits it perfectly.
So here it is, for those of you with long memories, with thanks to the original uploader.
I'd give the flip a miss if i was you, it's sappy lightweight fluffy nonsense.

STEVIE LANGE - Remember My Name 7" (1981) Rhodesia

And now those re-uploads i was talking about, for the benefit of you Johnny come latelys.

Mid '70s Los Angeles Hard Rock quartet THE BOYZ were managed by the notorious maverick figure of Kim Fowley.
A three song demo was recorded in 1975 with producer Paul Ratajack.
The tape brought the band to the attention of KISS bassist Gene Simmons who auditioned the band with a view to managing them, but in the end passed on The Boyz.
The group were constant fixtures on the L.A. club circuit, being supported by both VAN HALEN and QUIET RIOT and conversely supporting THE RUNAWAYS amongst others.
With no record deal for The Boyz forthcoming, guitarist George Lynch, bass player Monte Zufelt and drummer Mick Brown left to form XCITER in 1977.
Ex-The Boyz singer MICHAEL WHITE later went on to form LA ROX with future W.A.S.P. man Randy Piper, THE WHITE with guitarist Lanny Cordola, then fronted LONDON for a stint, before going solo for a 1987 album.
After recruiting talented singer Gregg "Greeg" Sanford, XCiter recorded a four song demo tape at Orion Studios with producer Phil Bateman.
The material showed a talented band who sounded like a cross between early JUDAS PRIEST and VAN HALEN if you can imagine such a thing.
The demo led the band onto the Sunset Strip venue merry-go-round, with XCiter regular performers at clubs such as The Starwood, The Whiskey-A-Go-Go and The Troubador.
Singer Sanford departed in early 1979, and was replaced by a female vocalist, the extraordinarily named Lisa Furspanker.
The new material written with Furspanker saw XCiter move in a slightly more commercial direction than before, but Lynch's incendiary guitarwork kept things sounding tough.
Lynch's fretboard skills then brought him to the attention of the newly solo OZZY OSBOURNE.
Auditioning for Ozzy's band, Lynch lost out ultimately to former Quiet Riot axe man Randy Rhoads.
Xciter then recorded a further four song demo with producer Tony Eubanks, recorded this time at Phallanx Studios.
In late '79, Furspanker was shown the door and replaced by the returning Sanford.
However, fate interveined in 1980, when Don Dokken extended an invitation to Lynch and Brown to join DOKKEN who had just secured a record deal thanks to a demo which they had both guested on.
Both felt they'd given XCiter their best shot, and so split the band in order to join forces with Dokken.
Xciter didn't officially release any material during their lifetime, but in 2006 Wounded Bird Records combined the band's demos to issue a self-titled album.
It's a fascinating snap-shot of that period of time before Brown and Lynch hit the big time with Dokken, and includes a 1977 take on "Paris Is Burning", which Dokken later recorded.

XCITER - XCiter (1977-1979) USA

Formed in Manchester in 1981, Hard Rock/NWOBHM band SAM THUNDER were a five piece band formed by Guitarists Steve Ferguson and Nick Bennett and Bass player Rob Naylor.
After numerous personnel changes the band stabilised their line up in early 1982 with the arrival of ex-ARAGORN drummer Chris Dadson and recorded a 3 song demo tape.
The tape brought them positive reviews in the music press and helped create a strong buzz about the band.
Kerrang! magazine were enthusiastic, describing Sam Thunder in their "Armed & Ready" section as purveyors of "Hard-edged class Rock’n'Roll."
After time spent gigging, more personnel changes saw Will Glover arrive on Vocals and Andy Chemney on Drums.
Chemney replaced Chris Dadson, who left to join CHATEAUX, appearing on their "Fire Power" and "Highly Strung" albums.
The French based Bullet Records (home of GEDDES AXE, LE GRIFFE & TRAITOR'S GATE), approached the band in 1983 to record an EP for the label.
The three song EP, "Don't Take Forever", was released in early 1984, and sold well enough for Bullet to opt to fund a full album.
Before recording on the LP began Mike Hepplestone was added to the band as Keyboard player.
The resulting album, the ten song "Manoeuvres", was released later that same year, in the picture disc format only.
The addition of prominent keyboards give many of the songs a Pomp/Prog/AOR flavour, but the underlying Hard Rock feel remains the same under all the window dressing.
Unfortunately, Bullet Records went belly up soon after, and unable to secure a new deal, Sam Thunder followed suit in 1985.

SAM THUNDER - Manoeuvres (1984) UK

After Seattle Hard Rock/Heavy Metal cult legends TKO broke up in 1987, Vocalist Brad Sinsel recorded an album's worth of demos in Hawaii as "Native Tongues", with producer Rick Keefer.
Dissatisfied with the more commercial direction of "Native Tongues", Sinsel then teamed up with his former MOJO HAND & TKO band mate, Q5 guitarist Rick Pierce.
This liason resulted in the formation of a short-lived new band which was eventually christened SUICIDE SQUAD.
Rounding out the band's line up were bassist Rick Bradley and former FASTBACKS drummer Pilchard Stuverud.
The bands demos led to a deal with the European Music For Nations record label who had previously released albums by TKO and Q5.
Suicide Squad's lone release turned out to be the 4 song 1988 "Live It While You Can" EP.
After the record's release Sinsel relocated to Los Angeles, joining a band featuring Suicide Squad drummer Pilchard Stuverud, which became WAR BABIES.
War Babies signed a deal with Columbia Records, recording a lone self-titled album which finally emerged in 1992.
War Babies lost their deal in 1993, and split up soon afterwards.
Sinsel now fronts AMERICAN STANDARD.
Post-Suicide Squad, Rick Pierce formed NIGHTSHADE with fellow ex Q5 member, vocalist Jonathan K.
An album, "Dead Of Night" surfaced in 1991 through Music For Nations, before personnel problems forced the band to take a long hiatus.
With a new rhythm section on board, a second Nightshade album, "Men Of Iron", was released through Hellion Records in 2001.
Suicide Squad's drummer, Pilchard Stuverud, went on to a short stint with FIFTH ANGEL, before joining LUV Co., which featured former War Babies and MOTHER LOVE BONE members.
He later teamed up with PEARL JAM bassist Jeff Ament and guitarist Robbi Robb of TRIBE AFTER TRIBE in the experimental project THREE FISH.
To date Three Fish have released two albums, a self titled 1996 debut and 1999's "The Quiet Table", as well as a single, "Laced".

SUICIDE SQUAD - Live It While You Can EP (1988) USA

And that, brothers & sisters, is that.
Hope you find that tonight's sonic smorgasbord of vintage voltage was worth the wait.
As per usual, i'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the stuff i've posted tonight.
Make sure you use that "comments" button to share your grumbles, praises, thoughts, suggestions, requests and remembrances, or even just to say "howdy".
Whilst i remember, i know many of you who visit this blog are also members over at The Corroseum forum, and are probably missing your Corro-fix since the site went down a few weeks back.
The website has now returned, and with it came the following encouraging message from DaN about the future of the forum:
I've hired a guy who's working on repairing the forum database.
This will cause some downtime during the next week or 2.
Watch this space for more updates on the matter...

Hopefully this bodes well for a speedy return for the Corro-forum.
I'll be back with more of the same but different, in about three weeks time.
Until then, take care out there.