Friday, June 22, 2012


Hello again my friends.
My apologies for the longer than usual gap between posts here, i'll try not to let it happen again but i guarantee nothing.
Between the European Championships, a spell of decent weather and that unpredictable mess which passes for life in general, the fates conspired of late to keep me otherwise occupied and therefor not sat my computer where i should have been.
Hopefully tonight's mucho varied post will make up for my extended period of tardiness.
For starters, AMERICADE were a traditional Heavy Metal/Hard Rock quartet formed in Brooklyn USA in 1979 by brothers Gerard and P.J. De Marigny.
Setting about building themselves a reputation on the live circuit, the band worked hard on their stagecraft and built a good fan base with their energetic live shows.
A self-titled 4 song EP was issued in 1980, and sold mainly at the band's shows.
With the band's flashy trashy semi-patriotic image it was fitting that their 1982 debut album was entitled "American Metal".
Released on Adem Records, the album was not the success they had hoped for despite some very positive reviews, but undeterred they carried on, despite bassist Dave "The Beast" Spitz leaving to join BLACK SABBATH.
Americade worked with producer Jeff Glixman on a second album with the working title "Rock Hard" but the band split up before having finished it.
In 1989, guitarist Gerard tried to resurrect the band with a new line-up but it didn't last long.
In 1995, Americade released a "new" album, "", which consisted of various unreleased studio recordings from different eras and line-ups of the band, mainly from 1988/89, along with a newly recorded track.
"", didn't exactly set the world on fire and nothing more was heard from Americade until Retrospect Records announced the release of a 5 disc box set containing the band's complete recorded works.
The box set, "Americadence", contains the albums, "First Cuts", "American Metal", "Rock Hard", "Heroes Are Back" and "".
The albums were also all issued separately.
"First Cuts", features 15 raw tracks of the band's first recordings, 11 of them previously unreleased.
The last 4 tracks come from the mega rare self titled 1980 EP and feature drummer Jerry Cuccurullo (brother of ZAPPA guitarist Warren), and keyboard player Frank Antico.
The rest of the tracks are from 1981/early '82, when Americade recruited Walt Woodward III (drums) and Nicky Sodano (bass) from the band RACHEL who had split when their vocalist Rhett Forrester joined RIOT.

AMERICADE - First Cuts (1980-82) USA

ROGUE MALE was the brainchild of Northern Irish singer/guitarist Jim Lyttle, who had previously been in the punk bands VISA & PRETTY BOY FLOYD & THE GEMS.Moving to London in the early 1980's, he decided to form a band mixing punk attitude with the Metal sounds of the NWOBHM.
Eventually a stable touring band was formed, whose riotous live performances gained the attentions of several record companies.
Within weeks the band had secured a deal with the UK label Music For Nations and Elektra Records in the USA.
Shortly afterwards, the band were invited to appear on the E.C.T. TV Show on the UK's Channel 4, where they performed live on 19th April 1985.
The first Rogue Male album, "First Visit", was recorded by Jim Lyttle Guitar/Vocals, ex-DIRTY TRICKS man John Fraser-Binnie on Lead Guitar, Philippe Clark on Bass, and Steve Kingsley on Drums.
Kingsley was however replaced by Danny Fury, with Clark then having his spot taken by Kev Collier.
The album was well received critically, and Rogue Male toured the UK/Europe and the USA extensively in support of it.
Kerrang! magazine in the UK gave the band several features, and a front cover article (issue 101) that helped gain momentum.
This led to more touring, and the release of the "All Over You" 12" single.
A bigger budget was now being allocated for the bands futuristic image, fuelled by Jim Lyttle's love of Science Fiction and motorbikes, and the stage clothes they wore became more extreme over time.
The second album "Animal Man", was released a year later, and also gained worldwide attention, including a memorable television appearance on a French pop TV Show.
Unfortunately, the band were becoming increasingly unhappy with the business dealings surrounding them and started legal proceedings against their manager.
After being dropped by their labels, the band played their final show in late 1987 and went their separate ways.
In 2007 "First Visit" and "Animal Man" were re-released on Metal Mind Records, shining the spotlight on the Rogue Male name once again.
In 2009 Jim Lyttle decided the time was right to record a new Rogue Male album.
Enlisting the help of his good friends from the band GMT, "Nail It" featured Lyttle backed by Robin Guy on drums, John McCoy on bass and guitarist Bernie Tormé.
Bassist Pete D was recruited in April 2009 with original lead guitarist John Fraser Binnie rejoining that October.
Jim Lyttle has now relaunched the band as a going concern and plans to tour extensively with the new lineup, now completed by ex-BLAZE drummer Larry Paterson.
A new album is due later in 2012, with a single, "Liar" already available.

ROGUE MALE - Nail It (2009) UK

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 the "Iberia" album, which garnered Zarpa some of the best reviews of their career.
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.
A brand new Zarpa album, "Las Puertas Del Tiempo", was issued in February 2012, followed by a four song EP, "En La Rueda Del Metal" in March.

ZARPA - Iberia (2009) Spain

Formed in 1971 in Koblenz in Germany's Rheinland, FIFTH DEAD were a quintet of seventeen year old BLACK SABBATH & URIAH HEEP fans eager to emulate the sounds of their musical heroes.The first configuration of the band was Dirk Crecelius on Vocals & Guitar, Detlef Eckelt on Guitar, brothers Hans-Georg & Peter Killian on Bass and Keyboards respectively and Drummer Eckart Keller.
In 1972, after reading in Music Express magazine that CCA Records were looking for new bands to record, they got in touch with the label head and arranged to travel to Osnabrück to meet with him.
Despite temporarily breaking down on the autobahn en route to Osnabrück, the young musicians very much impressed Hans Werner Kuntze, the main producer at, and owner of, CCA Records.
Kuntze's track record impressed the band too, over the years he had signed or produced renowned German bands such as THE PETARDS, THE SCORPIONS and THE SILHOUETTES.
Kuntze and the band struck a deal to record the song, "A Special Man", which was released later in the year as one half of a split 7" single on the CCA sublabel Help Records.
Strangely, the act they shared the disc with was a middle aged Schlager crooner-cum-DJ from Wuppertal who went by the unlikely stage name of ANTHONY.
A definite mismatch which probably did neither party any favours.
In 1974 the first of several changes took place in the Fifth Dead line up.
Holger Specht first joined to take over Lead Guitar duties, enabling Dirk to concentrate on his Vocals and 12 string Guitar.
Hans Fries then replaced Eckart Keller on Drums.
Then Saxophonist Wolfgang Children was added to the new look line-up as well.
In 1975 the group went back to visit Kuntze in Osnabrück and recorded 6 new songs in the studio with him.
By now the bands style had moved on from their rather nieve beginnings, becoming a very individual hybrid of Psychedelic Acid Rock and more straight forward Hard Rock.
Their music was an acquired taste, but it's a taste that's well worth acquiring.
From these recordings, two songs, "Blue Sky" & "Devilking", were paired up on a 1976 7" single released on the CCA label.
This was to be the only stand-alone Fifth Dead product released during the band's lifetime.
The other songs recorded at that session, "Long Way", "Bumble Bee", "What Can We Do?" and "Angel & God", finally came to light many years later with their inclusion on the 1997 compilation CD "Psychedelic Gems 2".
By late 1976 Peter Kilian had moved from the Keyboards to the mixer, becoming the band's sound man, with new arrival Ditmar coming aboard as additional guitarist.
By this time Fifth Dead had it's own light show and P.A. system, and the band had become one of the most popular live bands on the scene.
Much of 1976 was spent playing live, with the band teaming up with their friends The Scorpions for a few shows together in the Kaiserlautern region & in the Rheinland.
Both bands got along very well, and for many years band members would stop by each others gigs to catch up, with the Fifth Dead guys also invited to the studio by the Scorpions whilst they were recording with Dieter Dierks in Stommeln near Cologne.
At the dawn of 1982 Bassist Hans-Georg Killian decided to leave the band and was replaced by Herbert Simon.
Although Simon fitted in well with his new band mates, the times were changing, and frustration was setting in at the bands lack of commercial success.
Unable to catch a break, after 15 years together Fifth Dead finally went their separate ways in 1986.
As their reputation has grown over the intervening years, the band decided in the 2000's to make available a limited edition CD featuring all their previously released vintage material.
The seven song "Fifth Dead" compilation is now very sought after in it's own right, prompting the band to delve into the archives to create a more in depth retrospective compilation featuring much unheard material.
This forthcoming compilation album is apparently scheduled for release in 2013.

FIFTH DEAD - Fifth Dead (1973-1976) Germany

American traditional Heavy Metal quartet SACRED FEW were initially formed in Cleveland, Ohio way back in 1977.After playing every Ohio bar and club that would have them, they finally made their vinyl debut in 1983 with this self-titled 7".
Released on the band's own Skull Records in a picture sleeve, "Sacred Few" is a mid-tempo wannabe anthem which is let down a little by poor production.
Far better, (to my ears at any rate), is flipside "Low Rider", a memorable catchy driving Heavy Rocker, which probably sounded a little out-dated even in 1983.
I'm guessing this one had been in their repertoire for quite a while, but it deserved it's place on wax.
Apparently there are two sleeve variations, one with the Skull Records logo and one without.
Around the time of the 7"'s release, the band also had the track "Sacred Few" featured on the semi-legendary "Cleveland Metal" LP.
This compilation released on Clubside Records saw Sacred Few sharing vinyl with fellow cult Metal acts like MISTREATER, BLACK DEATH & JAGGED EDGE.
Despite the favourable press garnered by the 45 & LP, 1984 saw some major line-up changes in the Sacred Few ranks.
Out went singer Ray Garstruck and drummer Mike Louka, to be replaced by female vocalist Sandy Rago and percussionist Gary Estock.
With this line-up Sacred Few recorded their lone album, the well regarded "Beyond The Iron Walls", in 1985.
Again released by the bands Skull Records label, the 10 song LP is now something of a favourite amongst mid-'80's Metal collectors.
At the time sales weren't exactly interesting Billboard, and frustrated by their lack of progress the band gradually fell apart.
Drummer Mike Louka was to reappear later on as a member of HATRIX.
In 1993 "Beyond The Iron Walls", was included on a bootleg split CD entitled "Hard'n'Heavy Rarities Vol. 5", released by Racer Records.
The CD also included rare releases by GILGAMESJ & MANIA.
Subsequently, vocalist Sandy Rago married her Sacred Few bandmate, guitarist Wolfgang Kruger.
Under her married name, Sandy Kruger, she has been fronting the current reactivated line up of Greg Hicks' Black Death since 2009.

SACRED FEW - Sacred Few 7" (1983) USA

Next up, a nice rarity which comes to you courtesy of Nightsblood, a longtime friend of NILOOB who should be praised and held in high esteem via the comments section for his generosity in sharing this and a couple of other upcoming items.To your keyboards people!
Many thanks again for your shares Nightsblood, it's greatly appreciated.
Formed in Cincinnati Ohio in 1973 around the nucleus of vocalist Donnie Singleton and drummer Les Sharp, four piece Heavy Rock act SPIKE became the first recording band to feature the dazzling guitar of future CJSS, CHASTAIN and SOUTHERN GENTLEMEN mainstay, David T. Chastain, who joined in 1975.
The band released their first single, "Porno Queen", backed with "Peaceful And Tranquil", in the late 1970's just before original vocalist Singleton departed.
The frontman position would be filled by Stephen Fredrick, and with the change Spike's following began to grow even stronger.
Around this time the band had the track "You Got What It Takes" featured on the "WEBN Album Project No.5" LP, an album which the Cincinnati radio station (WEBN) put together in an effort to showcase local talent.
The act toured relentlessly, and even landed the opening slot for some shows with BLACK SABBATH and BLUE OYSTER CULT on their "Black & Blue" tour.
They finally made another recording available with the 1981 self released "Leah" 7" single, and quickly followed this up the next year with another 45, "Just Want Your Money" on Starbound Records.
After the latter single's release, singer Stephen Fredrick departed from the band, initially to join BILLY THE KID, and later recording with the likes of KENZINER, FIREWIND and KINRICK.
With bassist Denny Kuller temporarily filling the vacant vocalist post, Spike recorded the track "Bad News" for 1982's "WEBN Album Project No. 7".
For a brief period the band added vocalist Kurt Dobkins, but he would eventually be replaced by Mike Skimmerhorn.
In 1983 the band released their only album "The Price Of Pleasure", on Starbound Records.
The album showcased to dazzling effect the blazing guitar work of David T. Chastain and the powerful vocals of new singer Mike Skimmerhorn.
The rhythm section of drummer Les Sharp and bassist Denny Kuller added just the right foundation to punctuate the music.
This particular line up of Spike was only around for a short time.
The group continued to shop material to labels but failed to get any major interest, so in late 1984 the band decided that Spike had run its course, with David going on to form CJSS and Chastain.
Skimmerhorn and drummer Les Sharp, would both later appear in the ranks of CJSS, and Skimmerhorn also went on to sing and play bass with the band Chastain.
SPIKE briefly reformed in 1998 for a few dates which were recorded for a prospective live album, although to date it has yet to see release.
In 2001 a further Spike album was released on Leviathan Records. "The Forum Sessions", was an archival release comprised of eleven songs recorded "live in the studio" at Forum Studios in Kentucky in 1981, but never previously released.

SPIKE - Leah 7" (1980) USA

Last, but definitely not least, 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 liaison 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 - Do What You Like 7" (1971) UK

And that, as they say, is that.Music from four different countries, recorded across a span of 38 years, in a variety of styles, but always with at least one foot firmly planted in the Heavy sound that helps keep us keepin' on.
So i'm sure there must be something amongst that selection to get your blood pumping, and if not, you either have the world's largest record collection, no soul or you're just at the wrong darn blog.
I still need a title for the vintage section of the post, so get your thinking caps on and help a brother out.
My thinking cap shrunk in the wash recently.
All being well, i shall return with some variation on the themes you expect from us here at NILOOB in 3 to 4 weeks.
Until then, kick it 'til it breaks!